Greek geeks

Your home away from home

Ferris automotive engineering major Kevin Straney (left), pre-nursing major Robert Ross (center), and marketing major Chaz Shugrs represented Sigma Pi at Ferris’ 2017 Bulldog Bonanza. Photo by: Sam Cavotta | Torch Photographer

Each new school year is the beginning of possible friendships and new experiences, bringing students together to join in on events, registered student organizations (RSOs) and Greek life. 

Ferris State’s Greek Panhellenic Council is used to help unite and advocate for the campus sororities, such as Phi Sigma Sigma and Alpha Xi Delta, with a goal of helping bring students together into a welcoming community. 

“I think that the best reason is that you’re looking for something sort of bigger than yourself,” Ferris integrated studies fifth year student and vice president of Panhellenic council Sarah Scorpio said. “So, if you’re looking for an organization that is a little bit different than the other ones on campus, because obviously we have over 251 organizations, or something a little bit different, then Greek life may be for you.” 

The recruitment process for each Greek chapter varies. Students who are interested in going Greek are encouraged to attend chapter or council events. These events will give insight on costs, academic requirements and philanthropies, as well as the benefits of living a Greek life. 

“I think that it’s a different type of support system. You’re always with the same 44 girls– 45, 46, whatever your chapter size is– and you really get to know them on a deeper level, honestly like family,” Scorpio said. “So, if you want a family, that’s not your family– kind of the family you get to choose, you know– then that’s for you. That’s your home away from home, honestly.” 

While Greek life can have a large impact on a student’s social experiences, it can also play a key role in providing benefits and opportunities for a student’s academic and professional career which they can use towards scholarships and giving back to the Big Rapids community. 

“There are so many different opportunities that you gain from Greek life, whether it be leadership or just personal development,” Ferris hospitality junior Allison Jackson said. 

A student’s academic load can also affect how the experience of joining the Greek community may first seem, but it can also serve as a memorable learning experience. 

“There’s a lot and you’re really busy all the time but you learn to manage time,” Jackson said. 

Prior to joining Greek life, Jackson considered herself a shy individual. A transfer student to Ferris, she never imagined joining a sorority, but found herself attending recruitment and becoming treasurer of her chapter. Over time, her chapter has helped her both professionally and personally. 

Elementary education fourth year student Sarah Quick also found both her professional and personal life benefitting from experiences in her chapter. 

“When I first came to college, I was probably one of the shyest people I knew and now you can never get me to shut up,” Quick said. “Honestly, I say hi to everybody. I can strike up conversations, which is really good because I’m going into teaching and you can’t really be shy if you’re going into teaching, so it ended up helping me professionally.”