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UNCP Greeks find new direction

By Erica Vaught
Staff Writer    

Sara Jahansouz is the new Director of Greek Life at UNCP, where there are 16  Greek chapters.      

Jahansouz is a graduate of  Indiana University which has one of the largest Greek communities in the nation.             

She joined UNCP on June 5.

“When I had the opportunity to visit UNC Pembroke, I just saw so much opportunity here,” she said.           

It’s taken a while for the Greek communities at UNCP to become chartered.

New Director of Greek Life at UNCP Sara Jahansouz was a member of a Greek orgainization during her college years.

Photo By Erica Vaught
New Director of Greek Life at UNCP Sara Jahansouz was a member of a Greek orgainization during her college years.
Jahansouz said, “I think that the reason Greek life is at a lower capacity here at UNC Pembroke is that we have never had an office of Greek life until June 2006.            

“I think that in the past, they have lacked so much direction and I am so excited to create a valued-space leadership experience for a lifetime for these students and really provide some meaningful education to enhance leadership development and really enhance their lifetime commitment to their organizations.”

A Greek herself

Because Jahansouz is a product of Greek life and its benefits, she can advise students on a level that understands their needs.

She said she is very passionate about her career. She said she believes that “a Greek community is about the individuals who are participating and are active members.”

The first thing that she wants students to understand when they join a chapter is that the membership lasts a lifetime. 

The second thing is that, as she states it, “Academic excellence is one of our cornerstones” and that “[it] is a reflection on the culture of the organization.”

What are her expectations of the Greek students?            

“I expect to hold each Greek student to a higher standard just as I expect them to hold me to a higher standard,” she said.

Accountable

She also said that she expects them to take on the role of an active member and to be willing to hold one another accountable for their actions.            

Why should a student choose a Greek fraternity or sorority over another student organization?

Networking

“Career development and networking opportunities are phenomenal within the Greek organizations that are nationally and internationally organized.  It provides so much opportunity as well as leadership development,” she said.            

Leadership appears to be a common thread throughout the Greek community.

Jahansouz said that the Greek fraternities began in the early 1800s as support groups to help each other through college.

The reason why the Greek letters were adopted is because it was a way for the men’s social clubs to hide their identities and also to portray themselves as scholarly based on the Greek idea of university and scholarship. 

Women’s social clubs began at the turn of the century and the first one was at Penn State University.

Lambda Theta Alpha            

Christelle Lebeau, a senior and the president of LTA (Lambda Theta Alpha), describes her Greek sorority as a “close knit family.” 

Even though LTA began in 1975 by a small group of Spanish women, it has become a diverse charter filled with all races and ethnicities.             

She said that LTA is “Latin by tradition, not by definition.” 

New on campus

Christelle Lebeau, president of Lambda Theta Alpha, describes her Greek sorority as a “close knit family.”

Photo By Erica Vaught
Christelle Lebeau, president of Lambda Theta Alpha, describes her Greek sorority as a “close knit family.”
The LTA charter of UNCP became official in the spring semester of 2005 although the interest group began in 2001.

Lebeau, along with her sister Genevieve Lebeau and two other young women, Jeshannah Ayala and Joanna Guerrero, began the interest group and were the founding four of the Greek sorority.

The first line to be orientated included Morgan Lucas, Gladys Silva, and Lisa Louis.           

Lebeau said, “I did not picture myself in a sorority.” She went to an interest meeting and, as she said, “liked what they were all about.” She credits her sister for being the reason she joined.

Lebeau said that in order to be in LTA a student must first attend an interest meeting.            

She said that there is no pressure to join at the meeting and that the gist of it is to let everyone know more about the sorority and its expectations. 

Once a student orientates (gets to know and trust the organization), she will be expected to do one community project and one educational project.           

She will also be a member of LSOP, Leadership and Service Opportunities Program. 

A student must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Academics a priority           

LTA considers academics to be a high priority and in order to maintain that high standard, LTA does not allow partying except at social events and absolutely no alcohol can be involved.

To be more precise, “Academic before social” is the term Lebeau uses.             

Because of this, Lebeau said that LTA is considered among students to be the “goody-two-shoe sorority.” 

This sorority looks down upon hazing and initiation rights because as she puts it, “It causes distrust among the sisters.” 

LTA lives by the principles of unity, love, and respect.

According to the President of LTA, if hazing or initiation rights were allowed, then the sorority would be going against those principles.

Room for growth           

Lebeau said that even though her sorority is a very diverse one, there is always room for growth. As of now there are only four women and they are hoping to add more.

Lebeau said,” It’s all about growth.”  She should know. She had to carry the sorority on her shoulders for a semester and a half and was more than happy when the other women decided to join.

Community service           

LTA is affiliated with SFVC (Southeastern Family Violence Center) in Lumberton, NC. 

They are also a part of the Clean Highway program.            

Within the last four years, LTA has ranked three times in the Chancellor Cup Competition and won the Community service award last year.

“The most important thing I want everyone to know about LTA is our commitment to community service and academics,” Lebeau said as she beamed with pride about her life as a LTA sister.

Remembering their roots           

To remember the women who first began Lambda Theta Alpha in 1975, a special effort is put forth to hold a Latino-based festival or gathering every year. 

This year, the festival will be held during the last week of September and LTA invites everyone to come and enjoy the Latin foods, music, games, etc.             

An interest meeting was held on Sept.13 at 8 p.m.

Alpha Phi Alpha

Christopher “Chris” Adams is the president of APA (Alpha Phi Alpha) Fraternity, Inc.            

Adams said he is proud to be a leader of this fraternity.

APA Fraternity, Inc. is the first Black Letter Greek chapter that was established on Dec. 4, 1906.

Illustrious members 

Chris Adams, president of Alpha Phi Alph Fraternity, Inc., says he is proud to be the leader of the first Black Letter Greek chapter.

Photo By Erica Vaught
Chris Adams, president of Alpha Phi Alph Fraternity, Inc., says he is proud to be the leader of the first Black Letter Greek chapter.
This organization is able to claim such men as Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass (only member initiated after death), Quincy Jones and Kwame Kilpatrick, mayor of Detroit. APA was officially chartered at UNCP in 2003.

APA Fraternity, Inc. is a small chapter at UNCP with only four or five brothers, and one has left to go to Iraq.

Adams chose APA Fraternity, Inc. because of he men it has been able to claim.

As he said it, “The Alpha founders tried to promote self-esteem within the African American male.  They inspired me to continue the Alpha legacy.”            

He also said, “I chose Alpha because they are a group of men who promote themselves as well as our culture.”

Adams said that Alpha is different because “We are about business and we try to promote the name of Alpha.”          

They host many educational events such as “Go to High School, Go to College” that encourage high school students to go beyond high school and continue with a college education.

“Project Alpha” encourages children to read. Alpha also holds tutoring sessions.   

Alpha also helps out with the community.           

Women and children are very important to APA Fraternity, Inc. They host such programs as the women’s seminar that gave women an opportunity to have breast exams to check for cancers and other illnesses, cholesterol screenings, and blood pressure screenings. 

They also hold group sessions for children.

Role models            

“Alpha wants to go out and make sure we are a part of their lives because they might not have a dad or a strong male to be their role model,” Adams said.

In order to become a member of APA Fraternity, Inc., Adams said, one must first be a gentleman-not only on campus but everywhere.         

Alpha accepts males with the highest standards in life and they must be goal-oriented. The men must also have a high GPA.            

Adams said, “Fraternity is a lifestyle.  We have very high standards and it’s not that easy to get in.  We believe in quality over quantity.”         

           

Adams also wants prospective members to first research other fraternities.            

As he said, “Before joining a fraternity, research all of them and make sure it is right for you.  Don’t join just because it looks good or because someone you know is in it. Do what is right for you.”           

Initiation                      

Alpha does have secret initiation ceremonies but frowns upon hazing. Adams considers hazing to be something done against one’s will.           

“Some organizations take it out of control. You should never want anything that bad, ” he said.           

History                  

In WWII, fraternity housing was a problem because of the men coming back from the war.            

In order to house all those men, land grants were given to the universities and eventually led to off-campus housing.           

Because of the housing locations, the universities had (and still have to this day) very little say so in risk management. This helped to give way to alcohol abuse and hazing.            

As of today, most of the Greek housing around the nation is still located off of campus grounds.                  

LTA and APA Fraternity, Inc. hold interest meetings and invite everyone to attend.            

If interested in joining a fraternity or sorority contact Sara Jahansouz at 910-521-6207.

 

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Updated: Saturday, September 16, 2006
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