Greeks attracted to leadership positions on campus

Nicole Gennarelli

Between plane trips all over the world, conference calls to Hillel executives, recruiting new members for a seniors-only organization and schoolwork, Lindsey Ryb certainly has her plate full. She attributes her success in campus leadership to her sisterhood in Alpha Xi Delta.

Ryb, like many members of the Greek community, has developed leadership skills through her time in Greek Life.

“Fraternity and sorority members learn a lot from their Greek experience,” said Teniell Trolian, advisor for the Greek community. “Their experience encourages them to assume additional leadership positions in different on-campus organizations. Groups such as Undergraduate Student Government, Student Ambassadors and other student groups on campus give Greeks a chance to have a more significant impact on the larger Kent State campus.”

Alpha Xi Delta’s Lindsey Ryb

Ryb was Alpha Xi Delta’s philanthropy chair for two years and is currently the vice president of programming, where she oversees the sorority’s philanthropy, new members and academics.

Ryb said that her decision to join the Greek community opened her eyes to all the different on-campus organizations. Each one functions differently, so she found it interesting to keep joining different ones.

She is the sole student member on the international board for Hillel at Kent State. Three times a year, Ryb is flown to different locations for in-person meetings to make decisions for Hillel centers all over the world. The rest of the year she has meetings through conference calls.

“It’s an executive board with adults holding positions above me,” Ryb said. “There are 10 students below me on this board as well, and we help make decisions based on student input.”

She is also recruitment chair on Mortar Board, which is a national honor society for college seniors.

“I try and spread the word about Mortar Board because not everyone knows what it is,” Ryb said. “My job in the spring is to recruit the juniors so that when the seniors graduate, the group still exists.”

Ryb said getting involved is important no matter what school you attend.

“When you look back on your college career, you’re not going to remember sitting in the library cramming for a test,” Ryb said. “You’re going to remember all the friends you made and activities you did through these organizations. It’s about being able to multitask and get the most out of your college experience.”

Delta Upsilon’s Justin Pierce

Justin Pierce, brother of Delta Upsilon and executive director of Undergraduate Student Government, has been involved in USG for two years. Last year, Pierce was USG’s director of student advancement and president of his fraternity at the same time.

After fulfilling leadership positions in his fraternity, Pierce desired more.

“A Greek organization is simply a stepping stone for personal and professional growth you may be looking for,” Pierce said.

He had friends in USG who encouraged him to get involved. His position this year is essentially the student body president, in which he oversees meetings and consults with the other 23 members of the organization to ensure everything runs smoothly.

“I think that Greek leaders are attracted to USG and other leadership positions that are available because they had such a great experience within their chapters and are ready to take the next step,” Pierce said. “They have the training, experience and the confidence to serve a greater entity.”

Delta Zeta’s Emily Orians

Emily Orians is philanthropy external for Delta Zeta, and she is also president of Mortar Board. She coordinates Mortar Board’s executive board to design activities and programs to support the pillars of scholarship, leadership and service within the organization.

“I found out about this organization through Greek word of mouth,” Orians said. “We have a lot of Greek members involved in many of the groups across campus. By talking to people, they mentioned Mortar Board, so I applied when the time came around.”

Mortar Board is a senior-only honors organization that helps to recognize students based on achievements in the areas of scholarship, leadership and service.

“When you join a Greek organization it’s because you want to get involved in your campus and get more out of your education,” Orians said. “Becoming part of this system gave me a support system to tackle bigger goals and larger initiatives. I met people who could teach me how to become better in some way, and I was introduced to core values that strengthened my own character.”

Delta Tau Delta’s Kevin Papp

Kevin Papp is director of academic affairs for Delta Tau Delta and director of governmental affairs for USG. He monitors local, state and national legislation to make sure that students are aware of issues that could be affecting them and voices student concerns to the appropriate bodies of government.

“The Greek community is attracted to leadership positions in general because Greek values strive to promote and foster leadership,” Papp said. “I think it is for the same reason that draws them to Greek Life in the first place. They strive for service to their community.”

Alpha Xi Delta’s Jessica Young

Jessica Young, financial vice president for Alpha Xi Delta, assumes leadership roles because she believes she gets a better college experience. Young also serves as treasurer for Kent Student Ambassadors.

“I like being involved on campus and getting to know a lot of different people,” Young said. “I believe that by getting involved in many organizations on campus, one gets a better college experience.”

The Greek community provides members with the experience to get involved and helps foster skills such as time management, leadership and networking.

“The Greek community is full of students who enjoy giving back to the Kent State community,” Young said. “They, just like everyone else, want to see great things done on campus.”

Contact Nicole Gennarelli at [email protected].