It has been said that the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.
As active members in the University’s Greek community, Amy Entin ’16 and Michael Gulston ’16 couldn’t agree more.
Recently, Entin and Gulston won the award of Greek Leaders of Distinction by the Northeast Greek Leadership Association. The award is given to individuals who are great models in their campus Greek communities with consideration of leadership, service to the University, sorority and fraternity, interest, ability and achievement in scholastic activities.
As an optical engineering major, Entin never thought about joining a sorority her freshmen year.
“I came to school with a really anti-Greek attitude,” she said.
However, she found that a lot of her friends had a really fun time in Greek life, so she decided to give it a try. She went to the rush events and met the sisters at different sororities but didn’t find one that really fit her personality. When she was about to give up, she came across a flyer in her dorm hall saying that Delta Phi Omega Sorority would hold their informational session that afternoon.
“It doesn’t hurt to try, so I went,” she said.
After talking to all the sisters, she decided that this was the group she wanted to join. Entin eventually started her Greek journey at the end of her sophomore year. Because of the small size of the sorority, Entin has taken many different chair positions over the past two years.
“Alumni Relations is my favorite because I get the chance to talk to all of our alums,” she said. “We plan all sorts of our Meliora events as well.”
When alumni come back to visit, Entin is the one who figures out their accommodations, activities like FSA (Fraternities and Sororities Association) Tailgate and all other expenses. Besides all the fun activities, group study is very important to DPO girls. Many of their alumni go to graduate school afterward, and some are applying for medical school. The excellence in academic achievement stressed by DPO is what Entin is most proud of and holds dear.
“Joining a Greek organization really brings up my better qualities,” Entin said. “It does not fundamentally change my personality, but I learn to be more responsible and confident in doing things.”
Because of her impressive leadership roles in Delta Phi Omega, Entin later joined Multicultural Greek Council as the publicity chair at first, and later became the president. Managing MGC is very different from taking chair positions in her own sorority. Since reliability is always stressed by DPO sorority, Entin knows that whenever she sent out emails to the sisters, she will hear back from them within 24 hours with the exact things she asks. However, the response rate at MGC is not as good.
Entin realizes that the whole MGC is struggling on campus in terms of membership, cultural awareness and regulations set by the FSA committee. Seeing all those struggling, Entin is always trying to make their voice heard in a bigger Greek community on campus by providing support to other MGC organizations.
One of the difficulties for Entin as a president is to try to figure out the needs of her council. She recalled one time when she was given short notice to meet president Joel Seligman and was put in the situation of making an on-the-spot decision.
“I don’t know if I represent my council well because I don’t meet my council beforehand and get the idea of what they want,” she said.
Currently Entin thinks that anything that promotes diversity is good for MGC in general. She also mentions that a lot of the regulations on campus affect organizations in MGC. For example, the party rules of Douglass are always geared toward a group of 50 people instead of five.
“This disproportionately affects our group because one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. As MGC members, our functions, goals as fraternities and sororities are different.”
Over the past two years, Entin has seen the school change and grow in terms of Greek life. She witnessed the change of the insurance policy that FSA mandates the fraternities have, and sees people plan Dandelion Day. Having a seat at the table and helping her multicultural Greek group grow in general make Entin feel worthwhile in joining the Greek community.
Similar to Entin, Gulston came to college with an anti-Greek attitude.
“I guess I misjudged the Greek life,” Gulston said.
When the spring semester came his freshman year, Gulston rushed Sigma Beta Rho since he already knew some of the brothers there. Besides that, he was fascinated about the unique culture they represent as a Greek organization. When he was in middle school, Gulston spent a month in Thailand. He was very interested about a different culture from where he grew up.
As an active member of Sigrho since Spring 2013, he has served as the fraternity’s cultural chair, treasurer, and philanthropy chair. He ultimately became the president of his fraternity and tried to achieve his goal of removing the stigma that Greek life is all about partying.
“Sororities usually have philanthropic goals and a lot of community service activities, and I think fraternities should do the same,” he said. “Usually, there’s not much going on except parties in fall semester. We should do more in the fall so that we can project a positive image for recruitment the next semester.”
Passionate about cross-cultural communication, Gulston planned a cultural event called Fusion, showcasing different cultural organizations on campus. With the funding and grants, Gulston is able to hold the events big enough to get both Greek and non-Greek organizations involved.
Ten to 15 different student organizations participated in the event. Each organization is responsible for sharing their cultures and customs with others. They also invited performance groups such as Celtic, Korean Percussion Group, and the YellowJackets to add color to the culture mixer. Sigrho also won the multicultural initiative award because of this.
Hoping to see his fraternity to be a strong voice for social justice, diversity, and inclusion within the larger Interfraternity community, Gulston has led his fraternity to make the smooth transition from the Multicultural Greek Council to our Interfraternity Council. Though he met some opposition during the process, he finally convinced his brothers that it would be a great opportunity for them to transit to IFC, so that they would be exposed to a bigger brotherhood and represent their culture in a more visible fashion.
“A lot of the brothers are for the move, and a handful of the brothers are skeptical,” he said. “They are worried about their multicultural identity. I talked to our national organization and IFC Sigrho in other schools, and we got very positive opinions from them.”
With all the support and downside he kept in mind, Sigrho finally moved from MGC to IFC. As for cultural events programming, nothing really changes. They still show up in the annual Skate Party to fulfill their community service goal.
Within the community, Gulston is also an active member in Order of Omega, an honor society representing the top 3 percent of fraternity and sorority leaders on campus in the areas of service, leadership, and scholarship.