Greek alumni speak to inform new members

Jessica Parmelee

New members and presidents from the Greek community gathered together to learn about the responsibilities and benefits that come along with being Greek.

Young men and women filled the Kent State Kiva yesterday afternoon for New Member Convocation. Steve Bossart, Kent State International President of Delta Chi grad of ’90, and his wife Lorrie Thompson-Bossart, Kent State Delta Gamma alumna of ’91, prepared the new members for their future in Greek life.

Robyn Heiman, Panhellenic vice president of new member programming, said she has been planning the convocation since April.

“The program is to inform the new members of the Greek community, the responsibilities of being Greek,” Heiman said. “The speakers are advising about the dangers of alcohol and the reputation that you have as a Greek.”

The commitment to Greek life is more than a badge and letters – there is an enormous responsibility, Thompson-Bossart said.

She told the audience there are differences between frat boys and fraternity men.

“The frat boys wear their baseball caps backwards, wake up late for class, if they go wearing a pair of jeans they have been wearing for six days, and are the first to arrive at a party,” she said.

Fraternity men earn a degree, have study goals and pay all fraternity obligations, Thompson-Bossart said.

“In the Greek community, students should surround themselves with the people who they want to be involved with,” Thompson-Bossart said. “When you decided to become Greek, you have an instant bond with the community and it opens doors if you allow it.”

As a member of a fraternity or sorority, a person represents all the Greeks and has a lifelong commitment, she said.

Being involved in the Greek community means a student has many choices to make, Bossart said. A Greek member has the choices of a good student, a leader and a social outlet, he said.

Bossart warned the audience of the consequences of underage drinking. Make a conscious choice to represent the individual chapter of a member, Bossart said. If a member is caught with a fake ID, he or she will never be a teacher or sit in for some open exams because of background checks, he said.

Ninety percent of all hazing involves alcohol, Bossart said. There are many cases where a young person has died because of a poor choice, he said.

There are five parts to a fraternity’s risk management policy: alcohol and drugs, hazing, sexual abuse, fire safety and education, Bossart said. The average liability insurance per person for men is $190 and $45 for women. The men should learn something from the women, he said.

Silence filled the auditorium as Bossart played a recording of a fraternity member’s phone call to 911. The fraternity member found a woman’s body in a spare room in the fraternity house who died of alcohol poisoning.

Bossart warned the new members they are not invisible and told them to make good choices.

“Bad things can happen if you let them,” Bossart said. “Look out for each other.”

Contact Greek life reporter Jessica Parmelee at [email protected].