United Cultural Council’s “Life After the Yard”


Emily Teixeira

United Cultural Council hosted “Life After the Yard”, an event geared towards helping students get more informed about Greek life and its benefits in and out of college.

Emily Teixeira

On Wednesday, November 12, 2019, United Cultural Council hosted “Life After the Yard,” an event in which students interested in joining Greek life could gather more information about how joining fraternities and sororities can impact them, both here at Pace and after they graduate.

The event was held in the Kessel Multipurpose Room and featured a panel of Pace alumni from Greek organizations including but not limited to Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, and Sigma Gamma Rho. Students had a chance to ask the panel members questions about their experiences with Greek life both during and after their time here at Pace.

Tristan Thompson, UCC president and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, said that this event gave students a chance to see the other side of Greek life and how you do not stop being part of it once you graduate. Devante James and Denika Desert, two alumni from the class of 2014 who sat on the panel, expressed how even though they no longer attend Pace, they still feel a connection to their respective fraternity and sorority, and that those organizations have benefitted them post-graduation.

They both felt they gained leadership skills, networking opportunities, new friendships, and opportunities to break out of their comfort zones. Other members of the panel said during discussion that involving themselves in Greek life helped them practice public speaking, find a way to get involved as a transfer student and learn that they didn’t have to go through life on their own. There were people who would be there for them, and everyone had something unique to offer.

Desert joined Sigma Gamma Rho in 2010 and is currently working as a student service specialist at a local community college. She says that she joined her sorority because she noticed that the women who were in it did not just join to join, they were truly invested in the organization’s motto of “greater service, greater progress” and its philanthropy, which is geared towards helping children and families. Desert found it admirable and felt that she “just cliqued” with the other girls.

James, another member of Alpha Phi Alpha who currently works as a science teacher, held a similar admiration for those in his fraternity.

“All of them were great leaders,” he said, “but they were also cool guys. Great individuals.”

Current Pace students also attended the event to talk about their experiences with Greek life. Isaiah Fenichel, a senior Political Science Major and member of Alpha Phi Alpha, says that he joined because when he first came to Pace, the guys who were in the fraternity at the time were like mentors to him, and he wants to be able to do the same for others.

Erin Mason, a senior Applied Psychology major, has a rather unique Greek life experience. She is a solo, that is, she is the only member of Sigma Iota at Pace University. She is the sorority’s entire e-board, plans all its events and fundraisers, and its GPA rests completely on her shoulders. However, just because she is a solo doesn’t mean she is going through Greek life alone. She has had help from sister organizations, friends, faculty resources, and Alumni. In spite of the fact that she is Pace’s only member, she is still part of a larger community, and she feels she is benefitting from the work ethic inspired by her involvement.

To students who are unsure whether they should join Greek life, the panel advised them that Greek life is great for people who want to grow, learn, adapt, and acquire new skills. Students should not be afraid to step outside of their shells, take risks, and ask questions. However, if Greek life just does not feel right for them, they should not try to force it.

“If you join or not, you should still get involved on campus in some way,” Desert said.

“It will help you in the long run,” she said. “When it comes time for a job interview, what will you be able to tell them you took part in? What will you tell them you learned?”