O’Reilly: Rewakening Greek life at USM

Posted on November 22, 2011 in Greek Corner, Perspectives
By Patrick O'Reilly

Patrick O'Reilly
Patrick O
Patrick O'Reilly

Throughout the semester The Free Press has offered varied perspectives as to the current state of Greek Life at USM. Active chapter members, students, notable alumni and community members alike have all had the opportunity to voice their opinions both through contributions to The Free Press and with online comments.

All over campus, whenever the topic of Greek life is brought up, an undue amount of attention seems to be focused towards past events, such as the closure of the Phi Kappa Sigma house due to negligence and Phi Mu losing its charter due to a lapse in interest. Woefully absent in this quagmire of opinions and unfortunate events is a hopeful voice that looks towards the future of Greek life: YOU!

Have you ever had the urge to get more involved on campus? Are you a new student looking for a niche or group of people dedicated to helping each other succeed? Or are you simply looking to establish life-long friends? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then YOU are the future of Greek life at USM, and we need you.

It’s no secret that these are tumultuous times for Greek organizations. Stricter town policies, over zealous policing and general ignorance of the principals behind fraternal organizations have led the student population to have an overall negative view of Greek life, but this doesn’t sign a death certificate for the existing organizations. The quickest and most effective way to show the administration, the town of Gorham and the affiliated national organizations that we have a flourishing Greek community is to attract new, engaged students dedicated to bettering themselves and the organizations they join.

This semi-recurring column, the Greek Corner, will be written by a member of the Greek community in the hopes of presenting the student population with an overview of the mission statements, civic contributions and the general ethos of the different organizations in Greek life at USM. Active members will be interviewed and contact information will be given for any students interested in exploring the possibility of rushing at the beginning of next semester.

Rushes are advertised events that afford the student population an informal way of meeting the active members and familiarizing themselves with the organizations on campus. Rushes are held in the first few weeks of each semester and culminate with bids being awarded to interested students. It’s our goal as a community to have every interested student get the opportunity to rush any and all of the active organizations with the eventual goal of expanding our membership. We hope by publicizing our unified mission as Greek organizations that we can dispel any negative connotations that Greek organizations have on campus and reach a broader range of students.

Alan Santos, a student member of the Iota Nu chapter of Sigma Nu, once said, “When the tides are changing a ship must either drop anchor or be swept out to sea.” As a community, USM Greeks have dropped our anchor. As long as we exist, we will continue to foster an environment conducive to success both inter-personally and academically. We will continue to provide sterling service to our community and we want you to be a part of it.

Patrick O’Reilly is a therapeutic recreation major in his junior year and a member of the Iota Nu chapter of the Sigma Nu fraternity here at USM.