Brittany Ballantyne

Equinox Staff


Although the Keene State College campus is smaller in comparison with many other colleges and universities, it is clear that it has a lot to offer in extra-curricular activities. With over 100 clubs and organizations, KSC students can chose from a variety of groups to get involved with. One of these organizations is Greek life.

Coordinator of Greek life and student leadership is Alex Brown. Part of his responsibility is to “grow and expand the leadership programs as well as give the Greek community a little guidance and support,” Brown said.

Brown said his job entails a number of tasks. “On a daily basis things really vary,” he said, speaking of the leadership conferences he organizes.

“While we’re seeing more and more students involved in our leadership organizations, most of those students already see themselves as leaders, which is great. We want students to feel that way; however, we felt there’s a whole lot of students that we’re not reaching,” Brown said.

In the works is the Emerging Leaders Conference to get more students involved on campus. Brown said this conference is “a way for us to reach a new audience of students, having faculty and staff start nominating those people in their classrooms or students that they’ve worked with in student organizations.”

Brown describes this as an opportunity for students to “come learn new skills” and “grow in your journey as a leader.”

For Adrianna Cardinal, joining Greek life was a matter of getting involved. “I was getting bored of the same routine, and I wanted to feel connected to the campus in a different way than just going back and forth to class.”

She joined the second semester of her freshman year in the spring.  “In high school I was in a lot of community service groups and played a lot of sports so I was always really involved in stuff, and I guess I wanted that same experience,” Cardinal said.

Cardinal said she had heard about Greek life from Facebook groups and was not interested in joining at first. In order to encourage Cardinal to join, sisters of Phi Sigma Sigma would get lunch with her and talk about what their sorority did.

Cardinal said this was when “it started to spark [her] interest.”

“I was more interested once I started to meet the girls that were involved in it, because there’s a lot of stereotypes involved in sororities and I was kind of judging them based on what I had known so I wasn’t interested when I read the things on Facebook,” she said.

Tommy Adams of Phi Mu Delta had a similar response. Adams first heard about Greek life his freshman year.

“I was young and naive as a freshman; I came from a background in high school where I was all about sports. I played sports all year-round. That’s part of the reason why I chose to come here, because I ran track my first year, and I didn’t really know much of anything about Greek life,” he said.

Adams spoke about being at the fraternity house one day where one of the brothers sought him out. He explained that a brother filled him in on what rushing was “and he basically told me ‘Hey, come check it out then ask yourself, why not?’” Adams said.

Brown said, “The reason I joined was it was about pushing me to be better than I was. At their core, Greek organizations are value-based organizations, all founded for a purpose.” Brown stated that each group is crafted to make a better student, provide community service, and create a leader by developing leadership qualities. “Really that core comes down to the development of the whole person. We’re not focused on just one area, they’re designed to help that whole person grow and have a broader understanding of what it means to be an engaged citizen,” Brown said.

Colleen Carol of Phi Sigma Sigma said the purpose of her sorority for her is “involvement in the school type of a thing, because we are very involved in campus activities, like I love the community service we do.”

“It’s nice to actually be doing nice things and actually be with the people you love,” Carol added.

As far as getting others involved, Carol listed a number of ways she gets the word out about her sorority including flyers, boards, and talking to new people she meets in classes. “Even if it’s not your thing at least come by because that was me, like it was not my thing and I came back and I loved it,” Carol said.

Carol stressed that she would not have gotten involved in community service if it were not for Phi Sigma Sigma. Carol explained that before Greek life, she had only done community service when she had to and now, community service has become a consistent activity in her life.

Cardinal said that “besides things like Student Involvement Fairs and through the Internet via Facebook or Twitter I would say that we try to recruit people who we’re friends with, we try to look into other organizations that we’re involved with. It’s mandatory if you’re in our sorority that you’re involved in two other organizations, so we try to look at people who are in those organizations that we already know have good commitment, good grades, and want to be involved with the school so you look for people like that to join.”

Adams said without Greek life, he “would not know as many people, have as many connections for the future, or one of the big things too is experience.”

When asked what Greek life has taught him, Adams said, “I would say I’ve gotten a taste for what the real world has to offer. I mean obviously when you transition from here it’s a big step, one of the biggest steps you make in your life, and I think that Greek life is something that prepares you.”

“You work on governing body like I said earlier. You get the experience to work with people to make an organization successful, you get to see things that don’t work. Pretty much anything that goes on when you’re in an organization you can apply it to real life like how businesses work, how companies work,” Adams said.

Cardinal also said that without Greek life, her life on campus would be different.

“I think I would just not be as happy. I think for me a lot of people say that they join to make new friends, but I joined with my friends. I already had friends before joining. I wanted more than just friendship, I wanted to do other things, you know, have other experiences that you don’t always get if you don’t join Greek life,” Cardinal said. Brown expressed what he wanted KSC students to know about getting involved, whether it is through Greek life or another organization.

“I want to tell them to take ownership of the experience; that really they’re the consumer, they’re the ones that are going and need to make sure this is the right fit for them.”

Brown also said, “It’s about finding that right fit so encouraging students to check out what their interests are on campus, not just with organizations but with fraternities and sororities, talking to the members and challenging them and questioning why should I be a part of your organization?”

Brown pointed out that looking to start new groups on campus is “always good to get some new perspectives.”

“I’ve been able to see an increase specifically in the programs I work with,” Brown said, adding that “the number of student organizations itself continues to grow.”

“There’s so many ways students can be involved in addition to the classroom. We’ve got students that do internships, that get involved in our community service programs, in leadership, in Greek life, we’ve got over 100 student organizations,” Brown said.

Brown also said, “I think in the general student involvement sense, there are so many options that students can get involved with everything ranging from the Harry Potter club to going to study in Australia for a semester.”

Cardinal spoke of her opinion on student involvement on campus as well. “I think a lot of people are scared to go and get involved but there’s groups for every single interest that anyone could ever have whether it’s Greek life or any of the other organizations and they want people to join, people want to get as many people possible involved so if you find a group that you’re interested in, you should go for it,” she said.

Carol said, “I would like more people to join some kind of activity, whether it be Greek life, whether it be I don’t know, any kind of club around campus. I just think that people need to be more involved because it’s usually people that aren’t involved in anything that transfer, or like don’t like their college career and I’m just like, then get involved. We have so much to offer on this campus and people need to find their niche.”

Cardinal said if she could tell KSC students one thing about Greek life, it would be “Greek life isn’t the stereotype that everyone thinks of it as, there’s a place for everyone for all kinds of different people and I guess it’s pretty true that you don’t understand until you’re in it that you can see how different people actually mesh more together and how you have a big effect on the community and each other.”


Brittany Ballantyne can be contacted at





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