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Community and Philanthropy Define Greek Life at Merrimack

Meghan Barrasso ‘19

Staff Writer

 

Greek Life organizations at Merrimack are currently preparing for fall recruitment. Merrimack is home to two sororities, including Zeta Tau Alpha and Theta Phi, as well as two fraternities, Kappa Sigma and Tau Kappa Epsilon.All four organizations on campus want the stigma around Greek Life to be shut down. When people think of Greek Life, they usually think of big schools down South, where partying and hazing are their main priority. At Merrimack, Greek Life is different.

President of Zeta Tau Alpha Ava Clemente explains,  “Many Greek Life organizations can be perceived as all about partying and hazing. However Merrimack’s Greek Life is more about philanthropy and friendships.” ZTA’s philanthropy is focused on Breast Cancer Education and Awareness, and they participate in many philanthropic events, such as breast cancer walks, auctions and filling Patriots games with pink ribbons to raise awareness. Theta Phi focuses on hunger and homelessness. Theta Phi member Pamela Princiotta defines Greek Life as “Bonding, making new friends and getting involved by giving back to the community.” Giving back is extremely important to Theta. One of their well-known philanthropic events was when they went into Lawrence and provided clothing and food for those in need.

To promote upcoming recruitment, Theta Phi plans to have a BBQ and wiffle ball tournament with Merrimack’s newest fraternity, Kappa Sigma. Kappa Sigma joined Merrimack’s Greek Life community in 2017 and their philanthropy focuses on the Military Heroes Campaign.  

“A lot of what the media shows is all the negative things that happens around Greek Life, but it never shows the amount of money Greek Organizations raise for their charities or the amount of community service members put in,” says Kappa Sig member, Thomas Rich. Rich says joining Kappa Sig made him feel like he was a part of something bigger than himself and that is how many members feel after joining Greek Life.

The last and longest standing Greek Life organization at Merrimack is Tau Kappa Epsilon. Nationally, TKE supports St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital and they raise money and awareness by holding an annual dodgeball tournament every year. Locally, TKE supports  the Lazarus House. One of their most well-known fundraisers is TKE in a Box, where they sit outside the Sakowich Campus Center in a makeshift shelter for a week to draw attention to the lives of the homeless.

For a lot of people, this may seem awful and painful, but for the guys in our chapter we all have a lot of fun doing it,” says TKE member Trevor Salvetti. “It really brings us closer together and contributes to the great brotherhood we have.”

Not only does Greek Life focus on their philanthropic efforts, but bonding throughout the entire chapter is extremely important as well. Movie nights, bowling, laser tag and day trips are

just some of the brotherhood or sisterhood events held by Merrimack Greek Life organizations.

“Joining ZTA was one of the best decisions I’ve made here at Merrimack because it has made me a more confident person, as well as bringing me new friendships that will last a lifetime” says Clemente.

If you want to escape your comfort zone, meet new people and work toward a goal for the better, consider joining Merrimack Greek Life or swing by the info sessions from Sept. 25-27 at 7:00 p.m. in Stevens Auditorium.

 

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