We’re more than we get credit for

Samantha Laros

It took six hours and 47 minutes to get here.

We stopped once to get gas and Chicken McNuggets 10 miles past the “Welcome to Ohio” sign.

Four hours later, as my father shut the door to Allyn Hall and started down Eastway Drive with tears in his eyes, I realized the consequences of my decision to go to an out-of-state college.

I couldn’t go home. I had to make friends. If I didn’t, I would become a college dropout statistic.

2009 Sorority Recruitment Schedule:

• Information Nights

Sept. 1, 7-9 p.m.

Sept. 2, 6-8 p.m.

• Orientation Nights

Sept. 8, 7-9 p.m.

Sept. 9, 7-9 p.m.

• Recruitment Round 1 (Philanthropy Round)

Sept. 10, 7-10:30 p.m.

Sept. 11, 5-8:30 p.m.

• Recruitment Round 2 (House Tour Round)

Sept. 12, 2-7 p.m.

• Recruitment Round 3 (Preference Round)

Sept. 13, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

• Bid Night

Sept. 13, 8-9 p.m.

-Steve Opalko

For weeks, I cried each night when my dad called me. About a month into my freshman year, I made friends with a group of boys from Small Group (dorms) who called themselves “the horsemen.” I had one girl friend; we went to the same high school.

Sophomore year, a chalk drawing of a giant blue stiletto caught my interest on my way to College Writing II. I thought any girls with such pristine penmanship, who could create works of art with playground chalk on a cement block, were the kind of girls I wanted to be friends with.

My decision to go Greek was the best one I made in college.

Neatly scribed on another block of sidewalk read the motto, “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it; from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”

Despite anonymous warnings, I would like to at least clear up the bad reputation of fraternities and sororities here, on a campus where less than five percent of the students are actually involved in Greek life.

We may seem like we are a larger percentage, but that’s only because we are everywhere. We are student ambassadors, resident assistants, First Year Experience instructors and members of the Army and Air Force ROTC.

Some have said that we hide behind claims of philanthropy and pretend to care for our community, when in reality, all we do is party.

The truth is, each fraternity and sorority on campus has an annual philanthropy event to raise money toward their respective causes. Last year, my sorority raised $10,351 to support the hearing and speech impaired. Divided by 100 girls, that comes to more than $100 per girl.

And while guilty parties would love to attribute last year’s College Fest “riot” to a bunch of degenerate frat guys and sloppy sorority girls, the reality is almost all of the Greek community was at Relay for Life that night, camping out and raising money for cancer.

My sisters are not only my best friends and future bride’s maids, they are the adhesive that held me firmly to the grounds of Kent State and the fortitude that kept me from hitchhiking six hours and 47 minutes back to Amish country, Pennsylvania.

Samantha Laros is a senior magazine journalism and news correspondent for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].