When psychology major Julia Lafferty transferred to Adelphi in the second semester of her first year, she was worried about making such a big change. But she quickly found a home in Sigma Delta Tau sorority. More than 600 Adelphi students have also found a home in the Greek community, which comprises 19 campus organizations.
When psychology major Julia Lafferty transferred to Adelphi in the second semester of her first year, she was worried about making such a big change. But she quickly found a home in Sigma Delta Tau sorority. Less than two years later, she was elected president of the organization.
“Greek life is the reason my experience at Adelphi is so strong and special to me,” says Lafferty, who is now a junior. “I have truly found a place that I can be myself, and 60 women who are always there for me, at school or even off campus, and that is what a home is to me now.”
“At the heart of all fraternities and sororities are leadership and service-related opportunities, scholarship, and brotherhood and sisterhood,” says Elizabeth D’Orsa, assistant director of the Center for Student Involvement. “Each organization has a philanthropic organization and raises money for it through campus events.”
In the past semester alone, Adelphi’s Greek community raised more than $27,600 for charities. Tri Delta sorority raised $14,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in just half a year, almost reaching its annual goal of $15,000. And Delta Phi Epsilon sorority raised $6,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at its annual 65 Roses Gala.
Greek life also helps students build their own deep-rooted communities on campus.
“Being a brother of Pi Lambda Phi has allowed me to be in a safe space and express myself with no judgment,” says Zachary Hopkins, a psychology major in the Class of 2020. “My organization has national policies that protect its queer and trans members, and, being a queer man, I found a place that is very accepting of me on this campus.”
Pi Lambda Phi raises money for the Elimination of Prejudice Foundation, which was founded by a member of the fraternity to nurture civil discourse and create inclusive programming. To that end, Hopkins recently worked with Adelphi’s culturally based fraternities, sororities and social fellowships, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity Inc., to create an open dialogue about cultural appropriation.
“Community service opportunities are very fulfilling, especially when they are available to all of the Greek organizations, because they allow us to bond and give back to the community that supports us,” Hopkins says. “I am most proud of how we try to incorporate all forms of education on prejudices since we are a diverse campus.”
In fact, sorority and fraternity members are so involved in their organizations and campus life that D’Orsa can’t tell which students live on campus and which are commuters.
“They meet weekly to go over chapter business, host brotherhood/sisterhood events, attend other organizations’ events, and grab lunch together,” she says. “They find a place where they’re with people who share the same values and are working towards the same purpose.”
Going forward, D’Orsa hopes to see Adelphi’s Greek community continue to grow and thrive.
“I’m really proud of the community here,” she says. “I see them continuing to make an impact both on and off campus with charitable organizations, and I believe that new groups will be established here for even more students to join.”
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