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Get ’Em to the Greek!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Hey all! Thanks for reading! This week I am going to talk about Greek life and my involvement with Alpha Omega. Since we are mid-rush period right now, this has been on my mind quite a bit…

When I came to college, I had no interest whatsoever in joining a fraternity. My idea of a fraternity was that of popular culture: alcohol, frat bros and wild parties. What I became involved with was far from that. When I got hired as a College Rep in the Office of Admissions, I got to move in a few days earlier then the rest of the freshman class. With the exception of the few other Reps who were hired with me, I was one of the only freshmen on campus, which was quite intimidating. However, since I’m not shy, I immediately met some upperclassmen. While hanging out with them, the topic of Alpha Omega, YHC’s Christian brotherhood, came up in conversation. I realized that these guys were highly active in religious life as well, which caught me somewhat off-guard in relation to my idea of being “Greek.” The more I heard about Alpha Omega, the more I thought this was something I could be interested in.

As the semester continued, I learned that many of the guys I had met and become friends with through YHC’s “Underground” Bible study and weekly Chapel services were all part of Alpha Omega. By the time spring semester rolled around, I was stoked to get involved. I went to the group’s interest party and received a bid, thus beginning my journey with Alpha Omega.

Let me back up a bit her and explain that the Greek system at Young Harris College is a bit different than that of a larger university. YHC has a mix of both national and local fraternities and sororities, meaning some of them—like Alpha Omega—only exist at YHC. Through my personal experience, I have found that the traditions and family environment the local organizations have is unlike anything I have ever heard of anywhere else. One of my favorite traditions is Greek cheers, where sororities and fraternities each do a special cheer on the College seal in the middle of the YHC Plaza every Wednesday after Chapel.

Freshmen don’t rush their first semester so they can become acclimated to college life before they get too involved and overloaded with stress. When the spring semester rolls around, all organizations hold interest parties during Rush Week early in the semester where each organization explains what they are all about. Since Young Harris is so small, many students already know which group they are interested in. At the end of Rush Week, organizations give out “bids” (or invitations) that prospective students may or may not accept. If they do accept, they begin the six-week education period. During this time, “littles” (those who are pledging) get to know their “bigs” (current members). Each little is assigned to at least one big, who essentially becomes a mentor to that student. This big-to-little idea creates a big family tree of individual lines that can be traced back to the original founding members. After the education period is over, littles become members and are given a name and number to go on a jersey. The meanings of these names and numbers are some of the most sacred and treasured secrets of each organization, and every member of every local organization has one. (Mine is at my signature of today’s post!)

My fraternity, Alpha Omega, throws some of the biggest events on campus including the annual Halloween dance, the “Boo Bash.” Hundreds of students show up in costume and dance the night away. The other large event we do comes after education period and very much involves the new members. We call this event the “Holy Water Luau,” and we roast a whole pig in a huge cooker on the lawn and serve our famous Holy Water punch. (The recipe is a secret, but I can assure you it is a non-alcoholic beverage.) Nearly the entire student body comes out on the lawn to hang out with us, play our version of dodgeball that involves Frisbees, toss a football around or simply socialize. A large number of Alpha Omega alumni come up for this huge annual event, and hearing stories from the fraternity's alumni never gets old. At the end of the day, we do our traditional cheer and cries of “God is good! All the time!” echo across campus.

Overall, my experience with Greek life is something that I will always hold close to my heart. The bonds of friendship that exist between my brothers and myself will never be forgotten or severed. I highly encourage all students to at least look into Greek life at Young Harris. I continually hear that joining a fraternity or sorority changed the life of a student. On that note, I will talk to you all again next week. Until then, take care!

Peace,

Corey Helton

Treasurer, Alpha Omega
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