Most campus leadership positions held by greeks

Lisa Kollasch

While student leadership opportunities are available to all students on campus, members of fraternities and sororities make up a large percentage of many student organizations.

“Being a member of the greek community gives you the connections and support to help develop leadership skills,” said Matt Ostanik, Interfraternity Council representative for the Government of the Student Body.

Members of the greek system are encouraged to get involved in campus organizations and philanthropy projects, and the students are responsible for how they choose to spend their time, said Clint Pecenka, Interfraternity Council vice president of recruitment.

“Chapters do not make requirements to the number of campus organizations one must belong,” said Pecenka, junior in industrial engineering. “It is up to the individual how they choose to budget their time and the organizations they wish to join.”

Besides the hundreds of philanthropy projects fraternities and sororities conduct throughout the Ames community, many greek members serve as leaders for events such as Homecoming, Veishea and the semiannual blood drive. Their campus participation and leadership contributes to their education, said Ostanik, senior in architecture.

“Greeks learn a tremendous amount about leadership through involvement with their chapters,” he said. “It’s great to complement that experience with leadership in other campus organizations as well.”

Caleb Hoakison, freshman in agricultural business, said he has become involved in many groups this fall since joining Alpha Gamma Rho, 201 Gray Ave.

“This is an agriculture fraternity, so everyone talks about clubs or posts information,” he said. “My fraternity even hosted a barbecue with the ag clubs on campus.”

Hoakison said he has since become involved with Agriculture Business Club, Freshman Council and Veishea . He said his experience will help build his r‚sum‚.

Tanya Ryan, marketing volunteer for the Student Alumni Association, said she has been involved in both on-campus and in-house activities as a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, 2007 Greeley Ave.

“While at Iowa State, I have been involved in the Society of Human Resource Management, the Golden Key Club and served as Homecoming co-chair for my house,” said Ryan, senior in management. “I believe that membership in the greek system has served as a motivation factor for my campus involvement. It helped me become aware of what was going on and really encouraged me to become involved.”

Greek interest in campus issues also is evident in GSB elections. Ostanik said 35 percent of the greek system participated in last spring’s elections, compared to 10 percent participation of off-campus and residence-hall students.

In addition to their roles in campus groups, greeks have many leadership opportunities within their chapters. Through their positions in various committees, philanthropy and alumni affairs, greeks learn to solve problems and communicate effectively, Pecenka said.

“I feel that participation in outside activities is extremely important whether or not the activity is greek-sponsored,” he said. “The ultimate goal of the college experience is to produce well-rounded individuals. The role of campus involvement is to complement academics in attaining this goal.”