Greek This Week: Omega Tau Gamma what what what? | By Braiden Redman

After reading the title to this article you may be wondering to yourself: Why would I care about the people in some southeastern European country? Well, you’re in luck because I’m an engineer and there is no applicable mathematical formula for me to understand anything about that. Instead I’ll talk about something else I’m involved with: Greek life at the U of A.

So you’re probably asking yourself now what do you mean by Greek life, Braiden?

Do you mean people that walk around on campus in togas all day? Wear those weird leaf things on their heads? Sandals, chariots, and sweet, sweet baklava? Well, you’re in for a treat. (And not baklava. It’s all mine)

I’m talking about the sororities and fraternities that exist on the University of Alberta campus. Yeah, you heard me right. The U of A among many other university campuses across Canada has a thriving Greek system. Just how thriving, you may ask? Well, does more than 500 people in 10 Men’s Fraternities, 5 Women’s Fraternities and 1 Sorority sound like a lot to you?

Wait a second… I bet you thought there were only Fraternities for men and Sororities for women? And I bet you’re wondering what’s the deal with all these Greek letters on shirts you see?

ΥΦΓΦ

(There definitely isn’t an Upsilon Phi Gamma Phi Fraternity.)

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Well! The men’s fraternities on campus are:

Delta Chi   (ΔΧ)

Delta Upsilon  (ΔΥ)

Farmhouse

Kappa Sigma  (ΚΣ)

Lambda Chi Alpha  (ΛΧΑ)

Phi Delta Theta  (ΦΔΘ)

Phi Gamma Delta  (FIJI)

Pi Kappa Alpha  (ΠΚΑ)

Theta Chi  (ΘΧ)

Zeta Psi  (ΖΨ)

Women’s fraternities/sorority:

Alpha Gamma Delta  (ΑΓΔ)

*Alpha Psi  (ΑΨ)

Ceres

Delta Gamma  (ΔΓ)

Kappa Alpha Theta  (ΚΑΘ)

Pi Beta Phi  (ΠΒΦ)

*Alpha Psi is the only sorority on campus.

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So… We have the names down, but what do people in a Greek society even do and more so, who makes the rules?

When you’re in ski club: You ski. You party. You ski. Repeat.

In a Fraternity or sorority there is no set formula for what you do. You meet people, make connections, play sports, learn social skills, life skills, study, party, make close friends and more.  It’s a do-everything student group; you make it whatever you want.

(Yes, a socially awkward engineer like me can learn social skills!)

And where is the Toga kegger with a side of paddling at?

There are strict rules and regulations to be followed to prevent risky behavior, hazing, and improper operation.

All Greek houses have a set of rules, risk management manuals, Proper practice guides etc. written by their international organization, national organization or local founders. Then on top of that, each Greek house has membership in either PanHellenic Council or Interfraternity Council at the U of A which upholds them to more rules written in their bylaws.  Then, chapters have their own bylaws written by their members.  So International->U of A->Local

(Many Greek houses even have alcohol free housing!)

That’s a lot of words.

Tl;dr Rules happen, international and the bureaucracy lays down the law.

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Alright so we have all the basics down. There will be a test later.

Speaking of tests, midterm season is among us and there is nothing Greeks do better than study! Order of Omega holds a study night for members of the Greek system every Tuesday from 5:00pm to 8:00pm in law 113. (Order of Omega is a Greek organization that any University of Alberta Greek upholding certain academic standards can join.)

But all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy right? Good thing some U of A students got the chance to toss the old pigskin around this weekend! On Saturday Kappa Alpha Theta had an event known as Flapjacks and Quarterbacks.  This is basically a football tournament with a pancake and sausage breakfast open to anyone at the U of A. The registration fees and donations went to the ABC head start Charity. Kappa Alpha Theta managed to raise over 2000 Dollars and Theta Chi’s team won!

Unfortunately I can never win carnival games because of those shifty carnies.  Alpha Psi had their annual Games for Wishes last week on Thursday with carnival games, delicious baked goods and prizes! And the games weren’t even rigged!

Let’s hope that Delta Gamma’s Anchor splash isn’t rigged next week though. Starting October 22 A variety of events will be going on throughout the week where each chapter tries to gain the most points in different events to try and win Anchor Splash.  Starting with the president’s serenade on Monday each chapter will sing to the president of Delta Gamma in hopes to win her over and get a point. On Tuesday the beautiful eye booth will be held where each chapter picks a person with the most beautiful eyes which is then voted on by everyone; the eyes with the most votes wins a point for that chapter.  On Wednesday there’s a soup labels drive. So many labels collected.  Nuff said. Spirit day is on Thursday where each chapter creates posters for Anchor Splash. On Friday, there’s a silent auction and delicious baked goods. (Greek women make the best food ever…).  Last but not least Anchor splash is on Saturday. Anchor Splash, the final event, is a pool-based event.  Relays, opening ceremonies, and the famed synchronized swimming competition because we all know fraternity boys are the best at synchro.

For more information, the Facebook event can be found here:

CC photograph courtesy of “Adam Scotti” on Flickr

(Let’s hope we look this good while synchro-ing)

On Monday night Alpha Gamma Delta had their open house and next week on Monday October 29 Pi Beta Phi is having an open house.

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Finally if you’re interested in Greek life, sororities and fraternities or have a question/topic you’d like me to cover, drop me an email at “uaifc.vppr@gmail.com”

(If I missed a past/future event leave it in the comments or email and it will be mentioned in the next issue.)

 

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  • Ryan Vermillion

    Although I applaud the intent that this message has, to promote and share the amazing opportunity that is Greek Life at the University of Alberta, there are a number of things that were either mentioned or remained unsaid that I feel warrant further discussion.

    Among them is an ideal that is central to Greek life in general. This ideal is that of excellence. That ideal is closely related to a number of others including professionalism and truth that are both items I feel were not fully represented in this article.

    With regards to professionalism, the article touched on a core problem relating to that issue that I believe is facing the Greek System here today. For a lack of a more suitable description I’ll call the problem that of ‘a little kid syndrome.’ How it was represented in the piece was the fact that a fair percentage of the piece consists of descriptions of Greek hosted events. Although these events are all amazing in their own right and I in no way mean to belittle the events, what bothers me is that in pieces like this, in postering/ chalking and in word of mouth advertising most of what GDIs or other Greeks hear about the system is either: A) upcoming events or B) how awesome past events were. Although information about events is important to communicate this must be balanced with other important components that make Greek life what it is. For example, answers to questions like what we stand for, who we really are and who we strive to be must be relayed. Although these questions to a minimum extent were addressed in the article I don’t feel the discussion in the article was balanced in the sense described.

    As to why the phrase ‘little kid syndrome’ was used to describe the issue is as follows. The mindset of Greeks at the University of Alberta seems to have largely been one of ‘look at me, look at me, look at all the great things I’m doing; why don’t you come out to our awesome events? Why don’t you join us?’. A mindset strikingly consistent in some ways a young child often cries for attention and then is sorely disappointed when the results don’t turn out the way it wants them to.

    It’s time for the Greek System to grow up. It is time for the Greek system to become more mature (in some ways) and putting forth a more professional attitude toward certain matters is a component of that.

    To address the second item I had wish to discuss which is one of truth. A caveat on truth, I believe that there are two components to truth. On of these is what you could call the event or in other words the factual component to truth. For example, the statement that Alpha Psi is the only ‘sorority on campus’ is the factual component to that truth.

    However, the other component of any truth is that of the story. Story refers to how the ‘event’ is interpreted by its audience. This interpretation is influenced by many factors including how the story is presented. As such, story is the part of truth that is often misinterpreted and is in turn the cause of contention.

    With regards to the statement about ‘Alpha Psi being the only sorority on campus’ I don’t feel that it was communicated in a clear enough way so as to avoid potential contention around the statement’s ‘story’. Although the other organizations on the Women’s fraternities/sorority list with Alpha Psi are ‘Women’s Fraternities’ and not sororities, to the average GDI reading the article or, for that matter, the average Greek reading it as well, this change in terminology could be greatly misinterpreted.
    As a result, stating that ‘Alpha Psi is the only sorority on campus’, although it is on one dimension of truth, ‘event’, true it also has the power to offend and potentially anger a range of people on the other component of truth, ‘story’, where it can be misinterpreted.

    I’d like to conclude what has quickly become the largest response post I’ve ever written by saying that in the future different issued raised through the article should and could and hopefully will be discussed further in the hopes to eventually help further promote and share the opportunity that the Greek system offers to students at the University of Alberta. The core intention of the article.

    • Braiden

      Thank you for your feedback Ryan! From what I understand you’re addressing the tone of the article, and the details inside about the Greek system in general. The tone of the article is meant to be fun; fun to read and something that any student at the U of A can get a good laugh from whilst still learning about many of the key components of Greek life, events and where to get involved with said events. Going by a “little Kid Syndrome” approach or as you put it simply saying all the awesome things we have done/will be doing is a great way to get words out to many people, but i understand different people have different opinions on what is a positive way to portray our group. In my personal opinion though, a portrayal of a group as a fun group, with serious aspects as well is generally received well by most. Ok apart from that, for me to describe the great values in the Greek system, who we are and what we strive for would take far more than the thousand words that my articles will typically span. There is just too many components to each individual Greek house to completely and appropriately represent all of them in a single article. I plan to try and explain these deeper topics in future articles. I intentionally included that fact about Alpha Psi because the international organizations of every women’s group on campus refers to them as women’s fraternities, and many people take offense when you get the name wrong. I hope this gives you some insight into the Playful tone, and depth of the article!

  • Ryan Vermillion

    Thanks for the response Braiden. I hope that in the future you will continue to explain more fully the components of the Greek system and the individual houses into the future.

    Good work by the way. It’s nice to see some articles on The Wanderer about Greeks even if I disagree about exactly what the content of the first one was.