The Award Winning Newspaper Of Pace University

THE PACE CHRONICLE

The Award Winning Newspaper Of Pace University

THE PACE CHRONICLE

The Award Winning Newspaper Of Pace University

THE PACE CHRONICLE

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Greek Life at Pace University is Unlike Any Other School

Delta+Phi+Epsilon+sisters+with+Alpha+Phi+Delta+brother+%28Bianca+Bevevino%29
Delta Phi Epsilon sisters with Alpha Phi Delta brother (Bianca Bevevino)

Delta Phi Epsilon’s (DPhiE) annual National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) Vigil is not a happy event. It is a time to reflect on those who have battled eating disorders and those who are still fighting. It is a chance for Pace students and staff to come together and support each other. As Vice President of Programming for Delta Phi Epsilon, Danielle oversaw running this event in the Spring of 2022. Her position puts her in charge of anything involving philanthropy for Delta Phi Epsilon. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders is one of DPhiE’s three philanthropies. The ANAD Vigil closes out an annual ANAD week filled with fun events and tablings held to raise money for the philanthropy. 

As the event began, Danielle stood behind a podium and looked at the room in front of her. She watched as members of Alpha Chi Rho, Alpha Phi Delta, Delta Phi Epsilon, and Pace University Faculty filled Kessel Student Center’s Multipurpose Room. After introducing the event and finding her seat, she listened closely and felt tears fill her eyes as people had vulnerable conversations. An overwhelming sense of respect and love surrounded the Greek community. Danielle never expected students from so many organizations to not only come to the vigil and support her but also be so open with each other. To Danielle, “It was such a together and wholesome moment.”  

She stood in awe as the event came to a close. Loving words like “Please know that you’re beautiful” and “Please know that you matter” filled the space while Danielle hugged every single sister in that room. She looked around the room at all of her sisters and knew this was a moment she would never forget.   

Greek Life at Pace University is not a space for partying and drinking, but a close-knit community of people who raise money for the causes they care about. Each organization on campus has countless events surrounding their philanthropies where students perform in honor of those who are affected, compete in challenges, raise money, and support each other. Students involved in Greek Life actively combat the stereotypes surrounding their community and try their best to show people what Greeks truly stand for.  

 

Sisters at a Delta Phi Epsilon Event (Bianca Bevevino)

There are tons of stereotypes surrounding Greek Life. While some schools, typically bigger, southern universities, may follow these stereotypes, Pace University does not. Students within Pace’s Greek community actively combat stereotypes every day. They try to be accepting and open to all people and they do more than just party and hang out with friends. 

  One common misconception is that you cannot be religious and be a part of Greek Life. However, at Pace, this could not be farther from the truth. CJ DeFeo, a brother of Delta Kappa Epsilon on Pace’s Pleasantville Campus, said his organization has no religious affiliation.  

“In my own org,” he said. “Nothing about religion holds us back.”   

The Greek Community at Pace is not exclusive to one religion. Students of all backgrounds are accepted and welcomed into the organizations. Your affiliation with religion will not make or break you from becoming a part of Greek Life. There are people with different religions in each organization. JD Petrone of Alpha Phi Delta stated, “You see right through [religion] because they’re your brother at the end of the day.”   

This is not only true for fraternities, but sororities as well. Delta Phi Epsilon is a non-sectarian sorority, meaning they do not affiliate with any religions.  

Danielle Cornetta explained, “It’s not that we don’t care, if it’s important to you we would love to talk about it. But it’s not something we are going to hold against anyone.”   

The most common sentence students in Greek Life hear is, “You’re just paying to have friends.” While Greek students do pay dues to their organization, they are not paying for the friendships they have. Instead, they are paying to keep their organization running. They are paying for fun events to be put on for students outside the Greek community and prizes to be raffled off to raise money. In addition, they are paying for a name to put on job applications, connections, networking, and more. When it comes to job searches, employers are more likely to hire those who have Greek organizations on their resume. This is because being in a Greek org takes tons of organization, communication, and leadership skills. Students in Greek Life have been practicing and harnessing these skills their entire college careers. That is what they are paying for future employers to see.  

In addition, those outside of Greek Life tend to think all the Greek community does is party. Like any other college students, people in Greek Life have a fun time whether that means eating out with friends, watching a movie in their dorm, or shopping together at the mall. However, that is not all they do. Each organization on campus has one or more philanthropies they love and support. For Delta Kappa Epsilon, it is the Susan G. Koman Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness. Alpha Phi Delta raises money for Operation Homefront, helping military families around the country. When asking a Greek student about their philanthropies, you are guaranteed to get a long, heartfelt response. Every member holds their philanthropies close to their hearts, as there are people in their organizations affected by them.  

Danielle stated, “I had no idea how much went into [philanthropy]. It’s why I became VPP because I love everything we do with our philanthropies.”   

At the end of the day, much more goes into Greek Life than partying and friends. While life-long friendships are a benefit of going Greek, they are not the main reason anyone joins an organization. In addition, Greek students have busy lives outside of their org. Danielle herself is in Delta Phi Epsilon, has an internship, is taking eighteen credits, and has two jobs. She can manage all of this because Greek Life has shown her just how much she is capable of. While the Greek community can relax and have fun with their friends, they are also busy, hard-working people.  

One of the biggest questions when it comes to Greek Life is ‘How do you join?’ For every school, the process of joining an organization is different. At Pace University, Greek Life is small. Because of this, joining is less intimidating and more intimate than at larger schools. You can build genuine connections with people before joining their organization.  

In the Fall of 2020, CJ Defeo sat in one of his first college courses, public speaking. One by one students were walking to the front of the room and introducing themselves. When it was CJ’s turn, he mentioned he was from Long Island. As soon as he sat down the boy next to him, John Mike, started talking to him about his hometown.

When class ended, John Mike turned to CJ and said, “You should come hang out with me and some of my brothers.” Despite being a little nervous, CJ found himself saying yes, and the rest is history.   

JD Petrone had a similar experience. He grew up living next door to Danny Zadrima, the current President of Alpha Phi Delta at Pace. When JD decided to transfer to Pace, he knew he wanted to join APD. Being a transfer student, JD was nervous. He did not know anyone on campus besides Danny, but that did not last for long. JD started hanging out with Danny and his brothers and quickly became comfortable with them all.  

“I remember going to their house to hang out,” JD said. “I felt like they wanted me to be there. It was fun, and they made me want to be there.”   

The fraternities at Pace are not the only ones with this close-knit, comfortable vibe. The process of joining a sorority is a little different, but the feelings are all the same. When joining a sorority, students can sign up for recruitment weekend during the spring semester. There, women will have the opportunity to meet sisters from both sororities on campus, Delta Phi Epsilon and Phi Sigma Sigma, and learn about their philanthropies. Danielle Cornetta remembers recruitment weekend as one of the best experiences of her life. Even if someone does not decide to go Greek at the end of the weekend, you still have that close connection with the people you spoke to. If students decide to join different organizations, they are still close with the people who were recruited with them.  

The sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon and Phi Sigma Sigma try to make recruitment weekend as inclusive, accepting, fun, and exciting as possible. They want everyone to look back on the experience positively. They do not expect anyone to wear or act in any specific way. Instead, they want you to be yourself. It is about being who you are authentically as a person, not wearing your fanciest or most expensive outfit. The sisters of both organizations work diligently to ensure every student feels comfortable throughout the weekend. They are unapologetically themselves and try their best to show students that Greek Life is more than what meets the eye.  

Danielle stated, “We want people to walk in and automatically feel like they’re a part of something.”   

Delta Phi Epsilon Sisters (Bianca Bevevino)

 

***

Students in the Greek Community could give hundreds of reasons as to how going Greek has impacted their lives. I have become a more confident, outgoing, and strong person because of Greek Life. Before going Greek, I was shy, quiet, and not confident in my abilities as a leader. When I joined, I learned how to be confident in myself, supportive of those around me, and how to lead a large group of students.  

Today, I am the President of DPhiE, something I never thought I would achieve. However, my time in Greek Life pushed me to become the best version of myself possible and to reach for my goals no matter what may stand in my way.  

JD Petrone feels he has matured since joining Alpha Phi Delta. Reflecting on who he was before going Greek, he realizes he has become a more responsible person since becoming a brother, He said, “Joining a fraternity allowed me to better myself.” Being surrounded by people who constantly encourage you to be the best version of yourself helps you reach your goals.

Greek Life has allowed JD to see he is capable of more than he ever thought possible. He works, plays sports, is in a fraternity, and manages his schoolwork. He never dreamed he would be able to manage all of that, but thanks to the brothers of APD, he now knows he can

Pace University’s Greek community has also coined the term “grunity,” a portmanteau for Greek Unity. When people from different organizations come together to put on events or even just hang out, the students call that community. CJ Defeo remembers these moments the most. One of the biggest examples of grunity on the Pleasantville campus was Greek Week 2023. Due to COVID-19, there had not been a Greek Week in many years, so this was new for almost all students in Greek Life. For an entire week, the Greek community came together in three teams and competed daily in challenges, games, and competitions.  

At first, students were intimidated by the daily events and competitions. On paper, it seemed like so much work. However, CJ remembers the energy changing as soon as the week began. “At first, we were jokingly excited,” he said. “Nobody thought it would be fun, but we hyped it up so much that it got more fun as the week went on.” 

The week included a field day with lawn game competitions, a tabling competition to see which team could raise the most money, a family feud where teams competed for points, a cake decorating competition, and a dodgeball bracket. At the end of the week, a Greek Gala was held with awards, superlatives, and a video showcasing the entire week. By the end of the night, the gold team, composed of Phi Sigma Sigma, Pi Lambda Phi, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., was crowned the winner of Greek Week. These small moments are what Greek students remember. The moments when everyone comes together. It did not matter who won or who lost, because all the students had just had one of the best weeks of their lives. Moments like this make students feel like they are part of something bigger than just themselves and their organization.

 

Delta Phi Epsilon’s “See Your Beauty With Dphie” Event on February 1st, 2024. (Bianca Bevevino)

***

By now, you should consider going Greek. While deciding to join a Greek organization can seem overwhelming and a big commitment, Pace University’s Greek Community makes the process as easy and stress-free as possible. Everyone currently in Greek Life wants students outside the community to feel welcomed and accepted. If you’re considering going Greek, take a chance and try it out. Deciding to go Greek is not a binding contract. If at any point during recruitment weekend, your time as a New Member, or your time in the organization you feel Greek Life is not the right fit for you, you are allowed to step away. So, why not give it a try?   

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself. You will never know if you like something until you try it. While Greek Life is not for everybody, having exposure to new things is very impactful for people, especially those in college. And while you are experiencing these new things, you will have an entire community of people who are going to watch your back.   

JD’s biggest piece of advice when deciding to go Greek is to think to yourself about the type of connections you want to make throughout your time in college. Do you just want ‘college friends’? Or do you want deeper connections that will last the rest of your life?  

Most importantly, keep in mind there are causes bigger than going to parties. Greek Life gives you connections, networking, leadership skills, personal growth, and so much more. It can have such a positive and beautiful impact on your life if you just take that leap and try. Every day, in everything she does, Danielle knows she has an entire community full of people telling her “You can do anything.” 

 

Bianca Bevevino is a guest writer for The Pace Chronicle and a member of Delta Phi Epsilon at Pace University.

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    franFeb 5, 2024 at 10:50 pm

    such an amazing article!! love reading ever second!

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