Even surrounded by people, it’s easy to feel alone on campus. With focus on schedules, assignments and rent, social life often takes a back seat. Some students even go through their collegiate careers without expanding their circle of friends beyond the occasional group project.
UVU has plenty of opportunities to get involved in, but now there is one less excuse to stay home alone every weekend: Greek life.
That’s right, Greek letter organizations (GLOs): Fraternities and sororities. It sounds like something that would only belong at a “big university,” but as UVU enrollment climbs, students can expect to see more exposure to international GLOs.
Contrary to common misconceptions, the GLOs represented at UVU are not about binge-drinking, hooking up and partying all night. The members do have a lot of fun, but the primary goal of service resonates with each group.
Kappa Sigma is one of the three largest fraternities in the country. A Kappa Sigma colony, or probationary branch waiting to be “installed” as an official chapter, was founded at UVU nearly three years ago. Like the international organization, this colony is founded on what they call four pillars: fellowship, leadership, scholarship and service.
Bektur Abdrisaev, wanting to find a way to get more involved on campus, joined the fraternity over a year ago. Abdrisaev now serves on the executive council for the colony, handling things like risk management, member development and social events.
For Abdrisaev, being a member of Kappa Sigma means preparing to enter the business world. “When you have to coordinate 30 men to do one specific task, it’s really hard,” Abdrisaev said, “but you have to figure out a way to get things done.”
Another stigma of GLOs – pledging or hazing – is proved false here at UVU. The only requirements of interested students are a willingness to serve and a desire to be part of a diverse group with common goals.
Classifications like race, gender, religion or sexual orientation are irrelevant. “It all depends on your moral character and your willingness to give back to the community,” Abdrisaev said.
President of the UVU Alpha Sigma Alpha colony Madison Leavitt describes entering her sorority as “the perfect way to make instant friendships.”
The Alpha Sigma Alpha girls can often be found covered in green at the UVU basketball games. They have won the wolverine spirit award for two years.
“They pretty much pulled me out of the hallway,” Heather Scovill said. Scovill, a senior, joined the sorority last year after meeting some sorority sisters at a basketball game. The nice thing for her, she explains, is the feeling of being wanted by a group of great people.
Not all GLOs focus on service and fun. One of the honor societies on campus, Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), focuses on helping high-achieving students who are majoring in accounting, finance and information systems.
Vice President of activities Tod-Od Enkhbayar, a senior, explains that the the main purpose of BAP is to prepare students before entering the workforce.
“In college life, there are many opportunities to be social, have fun with friends and get to know people,” Enkhbayar said,. Before he joined BAP, though, Enkhbayar felt like he was missing something that would prepare him for real life in the professional world.
“Being a part of the group means helping other people and also helping myself,” Enkhbayar said. “It prepares me by giving me the network I need in the professional world.”