Another year is drawing to a close. You’re one year older, and one year wiser. The sparkle, glamor, and champagne of New Year’s Eve is drawing closer, so while you raid your sorority sisters’ closets for the perfect LGD (“Little Glitter Dress”), you might find yourself reflecting on the past year. And while you smile thinking of memories and cringe thinking of some mistakes (maybe there is such a thing as too much fringe?), we here at A-Lists Greek reflected on some of the highlights of Greek Life in 2015.
Sit back and relax. You’ll laugh, you’ll smile, and you might, just might, shed a tear. Aside from the NYE Times Square ball drop, this is the second most entertaining countdown of the year.
10. Fraternity Breaks Bouncy House World Record
The men of Pi Kappa Phi at Florida Southern College were on a mission: break a world record just like alum brother Bryant Phillips who broke the world record for most high-fives in a minute in 2013. A team of eight brothers took shifts and participated in a bounce house marathon that lasted a full 48 hours.
It wasn’t just all fun and games for these fraternity men, however. They dubbed their world record attempt the “Ability Bounce” in honor of their philanthropy, the “Ability Experience,” an organization of ability praise and encouragement. For $5, anyone could enter the bouncy house with the brother on bounce duty. For, $15 you could purchase a commemorative T-shirt too. What an uplifting (pun intended) way of raising money for their philanthropy!
9. “We are Not our Stereotypes” From SDT, Phi Mu, and APhi
Any female member of Greek Life has faced it before; we are constantly criticized and accused of being an archaic institution that represent women in a less than positive way. The stereotypes of being in a sorority will forever follow us, and we are always on the defense about our life choices. Several chapters, however, have harnessed the power of social media to dispel some of those stereotypes and focused on real college women and even some real college men. Members of the Sigma Delta Tau and Phi Mu sororities and of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity at York College in Pennsylvania created the “We are Not our Stereotypes” Campaign that showed real Greeks in contrast to what people think about them.
Members of the Alpha Phi Sorority at St. Joseph’s University also in Pennsylvania had a similar idea. They created a video that featured sisters negating common sorority stereotypes.
8. Harvard University’s Fraternity Men Prove They Have Brains AND Humor
2015 was the year of cute recruitment videos…some with great feedback, others that could be improved. A common theme in many of these videos and recruitment campaigns? Glitter. Harvard’s chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi got a hold of lots of glitter and decided, why not make a video of their own? These brothers wear matching clothes, frolic smiling, and of course, blow glitter confetti.
7. Kent State Greek Life Throws Rocking Fundraiser
It was the year of breaking records! Every year, the Greek men and women of Kent State in Ohio organize a “Songfest” as a fundraiser for RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network). In 2013, the event raised over $49,000, which set a record for the university. In 2015, over 1,500 people attended the skit night, where teams of sororities and fraternities performed choreographed songs and dances. They raised over $56,000 this year!
6. Alpha Phi Breaks with Panhellenic on Safe Campus Act
You may have heard in an education or program meeting that the National Panhellenic Council endorsed the Safe Campus Act–despite the name, the Safe Campus Act would stop campuses from investigating sexual assault claims unless the student also reported it to law enforcement. Alpha Phi became the first sorority from NPC to say it did not agree with the act. “We believe our sisters who are survivors should have a choice…” the sorority said in a statement.
5. Zeta Beta Tau’s #GiveABurrito
This is probably the greatest mix of “Total Fraternity Move” and sweet fraternity gentlemen ever.The brothers of ZBT in Indiana University decided to start the #GiveABurrito challenge to encourage people to feed the homeless. In the cold Indiana weather, sporting their “suns out guns out” tank tops, the brothers visited their local Chipotle and bought dozens of burritos. Then, they distributed the burritos to the homeless. It’ll warm your heart to watch this video!
4. Alpha Sigma Alpha at Murray State Extends Bid to New Member with Down Syndrome.
In a story that will bring a tear to your eye, ASA of Murray State in Kentucky invited Senior Alexis Cain into their sisterhood. Alexis, who wanted to participate in recruitment a year ago, was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth. Beside joining her ASA sisters, Alexis is a member of Best Buddies and participates with the Special Olympics. Watch this heartfelt video of Alexis accepting her bid!
3. Kean University Fraternity Houses the Homeless
While Zeta Beta Tau fed the homeless with lots and lots of Chipotle burritos, the men of Iota Phi Theta at Kean University in New Jersey put their muscles to good use and started building. The fraternity bought an inexpensive plot of land and rather than using it for another fraternity house, they decided to raise money to build a house for a homeless family. The president of the fraternity, Tosin Oduwole said he saw an opportunity to change someone’s life, and he took it. How awesome is that?! Love these men.
2. Murray State Gentlemen Pays for Chemotherapy
It seems Murray State is determined to make us all cry with happiness and full hearts. Caleb Ellis of Sigma Pi Fraternity, heard from his girlfriend that a kid from her work could not afford chemotherapy. What started as a small project of collecting soda can tabs to raise money turned into a fraternity wide effort to save a child’s life. After hundreds of tabs, the brothers raised enough to pay for one round of chemotherapy. They’re still trying to raise enough for the rest of the treatment, but they did enough to give the patient a chance at life. Are you crying yet? Because we were! If you want to help Caleb raise more money, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. SAE and Their Friend Lexi
Our top choice has all the ingredients of a tear jerker–a young girl diagnosed with cancer, serenading fraternity brothers, and pizza, lots of pizza. 12 year old Lexi Brown is battling sarcoma at the UCLA Medical Center, which happens to be across the street from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity house. One day, Lexi and her mom put a sign up in her window that asked for pizza deliveries. The brothers from SAE saw the request and fulfilled her wish…and more. They brought Lexi pizza AND flowers AND serenaded her complete with live guitar. To show even more love, a brother found out that Lexi loves soccer, so he arranged for his UCLA soccer teammates to visit. They gave her signed jerseys and stuck around to chat about the game. Last, but definitely not least, to brighten Lexi’s holiday, the gentlemen of SAE strung up lights on the roof of their house. It spelled out “Lexi” and she can see it from her hospital window. I mean, come on, how can you not love these boys for what they did and Lexi for her brave fight! You can watch the serenade here!
Here's a quick snippet from the video that Lexi's father sent us. Words cannot describe how we feel right now. pic.twitter.com/O8LBqHFoH6
— California Delta ΣAE (@UCLA_SAE) November 5, 2015