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Updated Tue, Aug 22, 2006 at 12:57 p.m. EST



AUG 05 - JULY 06




'Jews for Jesus' Justified or Jilted!

Video: Commencement 2006 christens  college classmates colorfully!


Photo: LLS lovingly lets largest lively banner bring Bob’ O Connor brightness!

Video: Pedestrian Plummets to Pavement at Fifth & Bigelow

Video: Pennsylvania Governor’s School of International Studies 2006 Supports AIDS Awareness!




Video: SGB 2005 Presidential Debate Exclusive Coverage  

"Supporting the Six Servant Student Candidates for SGB"

"Students Savor Food Services and Diversity Seeking the SGB 8 and President!"



Blasi on Board Brings Back Brightness with Bundles of Bliss


Senior of the Year Award Recipient Reminisces Regarding Rewards, Responsibilities, and Review of Four Years!"


"Star Serenades Senior of the Year"




Photos: Chi Omega Sorority Sisters Sweep for a Sweet 3-Peat!


Video: Sorority Sisters Seek Students Selectively!


Video: Vote for your favorite Greek Life Talent Show!


Video: Watch Alpha Phi Alpha open Greek Sing 2006 with a stomp


Video: Watch the winning performance from Greek Sing 2006!  

Video: Greek Talent Show Online Winner is Claire Natale


Video: Watch Cavallaro and her sisters of Delta Zeta take 2nd place at Greek Sing 2006




Trick or Treat  


"What kind of  F.O.O.T.B.A.L.L receiver will you be for Jesus?"


“Demystifying Dan Brown’s Delusional Deceptive Da Vinci Code: Lie #3: The Bible is a by product of man and not of God!"


“Demystifying Dan Brown’s Delusional Deceptive Da Vinci Code: Lie #2: Regarding the issue of Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene"


“Demystifying Dan Brown’s Delusional Deceptive Da Vinci Code: Lie #1: Regarding the issue of Christ's divinity!"




Banning Bisexual Blood Brings Benefit


ACLU Aims to Annihilate Almighty’s Attendance


Funding Failed for Fellowship, 5-3 in SGB!




Rebuttal to Sam Morey's Pitt News column, "Jews for Jesus offend many on campus"


Rebuttal I to Rose Afriyie's sex column, "Relationships part two: when to emotionally invest."


"Contraceptives cause consequences for children!"




Top 20 responses to 'Doing Arrival Survival is like......"


Top 24 answers to 'Celebrating Thanksgiving is like'........


Top 25 responses given by students at Schenley Cafe for the origins of the CANDY CANE!


Photos: College Day at Kennywood Kindles Kinesis


Photos: Peer PGSIS 2005's Past Portfolio Presentations




Audio: Christmas Story with Sing Along Songs 


Video: “Celebrate Mary's  Conception of Christ with Church of AICCP"


Rhyme delivers message of Christmas


Audio: RCR4JC- FM: Jesus is the reason for the season 


Video: Light Up Night Showers Christmas Tree With Lights!



Spiritual Review of "The Visitation"


Video: Spiritual Review of 'X-Men: The Last Stand'


Video: PGSIS 2006 provided with Point State Park fireworks falling from the firmament!

Video: Spiritual Review of 'Superman Returns'


Spiritual Review of  "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"




Human Resource Management Final Exam 45 Sample Questions


Human Resource Management Final Exam Sample Questions II


Retail Management Sample Exam 54 Questions


Retail Management 116 Sample Questions




Photo: Introducing the 2005 University of Pittsburgh Cheerleaders and Dance Team!


Photos: Pittsburgh Panthers v.s Notre Dame Fighting Irish Slide Show 2006  


Reddy's Realistic Rankings for Regular Season of NFL 2005  


Pick for free the PS NCAA 2006 Tournament Contest Brackets and win a cash prize


Photo: Panthers costly gaffes cost championship of Big East  


Photo: Former Pitt divers deliver dazzling performances


"Riveting Racing Recap of Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600"




Photo: Steeler fans celebrate at Cathedral of Learning as Steelers surge to Super Bowl XL seeking Seattle Seahawks  


Video: Indian Student Association involves itself in Steelers celebration


Photo: Steeler Supporters Spring into action at Schenley Café  


TOP 17 responses to Steelers seeking the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday’s Super Bowl XL was like……


Video: "Supporters Stress Significance of Seeking Savior’s Service for Steelers Sensation" 

Video: "Fans faithfully fostered for Steeler’s sensational quarterback near Mercy"

Video: "Motorcycle Menace Makes Mercy Mobilized by Faithful Fans of Ben Roethlisberger" 

Chris Meaner Communicates Concerning the A-Z’s of Greek Life Community!"

By Ramesh C.Reddy
Pittsburgh Standard

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Editors Note I: The ads presented within the document do not mean the owners of the ad endorse everything the paper publishes neither does it mean that the publisher always endorses whatever ad is published!

Editors Note II: You will be reading the transcript of an A-Z interview Pittsburgh Standard did with Chris Meaner, the Greek Life coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh.

Interview Contents:

A - Advisor to Greek Life!

B - Because of stereotypes!

C - Counting back to favorite year!

D - Dealing with Hazing!

E - Everyone caught hazing incur sanctions!

F - Fundraising and your role as Greek Life Coordinator!

G - Greek Life Events!

H - How to ensure IFC, PHC, and NPHC work closely together!

I - In your view regarding African American Council!

J -  Jesus and Servant-Leadership!

K - Keeping the Greek life community growing!

L - Little sister and big sister in sororities!

M - Most important aspect to being a Greek Life coordinator!

N - Not effective is ‘Meet the Greeks'!

O - Overall characteristics of a Greek Life member!

P - Partying and its dangers!

Q - Quickly name fraternity or sorority with most awards!

R - Residents of Amos Hall!

S - Student Government Board & Greek Life!

T - The process to join Greek Life!

U - Under your leadership!

V - Valiant support for 'fight against cancer' and blood drives!

W - What is most memorable experience!

X - eXciting moment as Greek Life advisor!

Y - Your advice to freshman contemplating Greek Life!

Z -  Zealous vision for Greek Life !

A - Advisor to Greek Life:

RR:  As there are so many professions to choose from, what made you want to become a Greek Life Coordinator and Advisor?

CM: I don’t know if it is so much a Greek Life Coordinator; I have always had a passion to work in Higher Education. I started out as a Freshman Peer Counselor and a Pathfinder at the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at Pitt as an undergraduate student! Then, I started a club called Habitat for Humanity on campus here and my advisor there really kind of mentored me! He didn’t show me so much on how to be an advisor but how to be a person, a man and I have always wanted to be and have that influence on people. So when I had the chance to become the graduate assistant for the Freshman Peer Counseling Program, I jumped at it. I did that for two years and this position opened up. I was in a fraternity [Pi Kappa Phi] when I was an undergraduate student and am still in a fraternity. I thought it was a great way to give back to an organization and group of organizations that gave back so much to me when I was here as an undergraduate student. They gave me friendship and brotherhood! I got a lot of leadership opportunities from my fraternity and I wanted to instill that into other students. That’s why I jumped at the position when it was there; plus it was a challenge. I am always looking for something of a challenge.

Interview Contents

B- Because of stereotypes

RR: Because there are so many stereotypes out there about Greek Life, how do you plan to dispel them?

CM: Well, I think we have been doing a pretty good job about it. When I first came in here, I like to always say that the Fraternity and Sorority system was in a decline. When I was here as an undergraduate student, our grades were always above the male & female averages. We had a lot of Greeks on campus, like 12% of campus when I was an undergrad. When I started here we were below the male & female average and we were only about 6% of campus. I directly relate that to stereotypes that students come into school with that they hear about from mom and dad, that they hear about from things such as ‘Animal House’, ‘MTV’ and things like that old school. It is hard to change habits and it is hard to change myth. It does not happen overnight but in the two years I have been here we are now above 8% of campus; we are getting closer to the all male average; we are above the all female average! I think this is because our students are really learning how to market themselves to the new students at the University of Pittsburgh. They are showing them through their actions that they are the leaders on campus, that they do raise money for good causes like the Cancer Institute, Pediatric Aids Foundation! Since I have been here we have roughly raised about $350,000 dollars for charity as a Greek system. So that is pretty phenomenal. That is the most that has ever been raised by a student group here before. Each of our chapters goes out and does their own philanthropy that they work with and volunteer with! Through their study hours, holding networking nights, safe-sex education nights, eating disorder nights – how to overcome eating disorders, there are a lot of things they do. It is really hard to walk around campus on any given day and not find a Greek chapter doing something. I think that kind of stuff and showing people that we are doing it dispels the myth what a sorority or fraternity type of person is.

Interview Contents

C – Counting back to favorite year

RR: Counting the years you have worked in Greek Life, what has been your favorite year and why?

CM:  My favorite year, I would have to say last year was a crowning moment not only to me but for the entire Greek system. The reason I say that is

#1:  We are above 8%. That was an aim of mine when I got in here.

#2:  We are working on Greek unity. We have three different councils. The InterFraternity Council and the PanHellenic Council are our traditional fraternity and sorority. We also have a National PanHellenic Council which is our African American sororities and fraternities. We are starting to slowly bring all three of them together to go for a common cause which is fixing the problems of our Greek system.

#3: But most importantly, I had couple students Lauren Cavarello and Brian Schaffer who had the desire to start the Pitt Dance Marathon. Ever since I was an undergraduate here, I wanted to start a Pitt Dance Marathon but it was hard to get people motivated on campus but they did. We raised roughly $38,000 dollars from the Pitt Dance Marathon. But, most importantly I saw all cross-sections of campus come together for a common cause. It was not just the Greeks, it was Pitt Program Council who set the whole thing up, it was the athletes, it was Rainbow Alliance, Black Action Society, Asian Student Alliance, all kinds of student groups came together to help bring the campus together. It is something that does not happen here and it has not happened here for so long. It was awesome to see it! We had about 5000 students come at any given time. It was a great time. I would say last year was my crowning moment so far but I am going to say this year will even be better.

Interview Contents

D – Dealing with Hazing

RR: Dealing with hazing has been a problem on campuses, what have you done here at Pitt to address the issue?

CM: Each of our chapters usually has a national consultant come out from national headquarters who talks to them about hazing. We also do some anti-hazing programming here. We bring national speakers to come and speak to our first year students the issue of hazing, what hazing is! I go out and talk to individual chapters about hazing especially to their new members. This year we are starting what is called an anti-hazing coalition because hazing isn’t just an issue for fraternities and sororities. It happens in our club sports, in our different student organizations, it happens to some freshman, it happens to a bigger cross section of campus than just fraternities and sororities. So, what I am going to try to do is bring some of the leaders of the cross section of campus and have them talking about as a campus how we can start effectively changing hazing because it is an issue and not too many people like to talk about it. But, it is something I am open about and will talk to you about. It is something we are going to try to curb.

Interview Contents

E – Everyone caught hazing incur sanctions

RR: Everyone who is caught hazing, what are the sanctions imposed?

CM: It is a case by case basis. There are different levels of hazing. I like to think of it as a scale but all hazing is bad. But the scale is from zero to ten.  Zero maybe that everyone has to wear their letters! A ten is the usage of alcohol, drugs, hitting, and things like that! When you are going closer to the ten scale, sanctions will never happen without a fair trial with the university judicial system and with their national organization. We have had chapters suspended here up to two years where they are not allowed to act as a chapter on this campus. Like I said, it is a sliding scale but at anytime if a student feels uncomfortable, it is hazing and I go into a full investigation why that student is feeling uncomfortable.

Interview Contents

F – Fundraising and your role as Greek Life Coordinator

RR: Fundraising is a big part of Greek Life, what role if any do you play as their Greek Life Coordinator?

CM: I give advice and that’s what an advisor is to give advice! I take no credit for anything because I don’t do anything! It is the students that do it all! I have 16 incredible students who run my PanHellenic, Interfraternity, and National PanHellenic Councils. I have six to eight students who are here that run my Greek Week. Each chapter has 15 students that run themselves! So, these students are basically running their own business. I am just there to give them advice if they run into a roadblock. That’s basically all I do!

Interview Contents

G – Greek Life Events

RR: Greek Life has so many each year, what are some of the events you have shown up at?

CM: I try to show up at everything that the councils do, IFC, PanHell, and NHPC groups and the Greek Week groups. I try to show up at their major events. Because there are so many chapters on campus, we have 38 fraternity and sorority individual chapters that it is hard for me to get out to individual chapter events just because like I said, there is something going on everyday. But the big events like our 3K, 5K, our Greek Sing, our Step Show, our Pitt Dance Marathon – I was there all 24 hours last year! I helped set it up and break it down. I am always there before the events and after the events to make sure everything is well taken care of. I try to make it out to smaller chapter events. I try to make it out to things like the NPHC probates where their new members come out as long as the lines of communication are open so I know when the events are. But, like I said, I try to make it to as much as possible but I make sure I am always at the big events.

Interview Contents

H – How ensure IFC, PHC, and NPHC work closely together!

RR: How do you ensure NPHC, PHC, and IFC work closely together as a Greek Life Community?

CM: It is hard! It is very hard and the reason why is because like I said earlier, habits are hard to change and people’s feelings are hard to change. I think for a lot of years there has not been someone sitting in my spot. I am probably the longest tenured Greek Coordinator in 10 years. They have had people come in and leave after six months. There has been nobody here for up to stretches of a year. So, when that kind of stuff happens, it really hurts students. It hurts their relationship with the office. So, when I first came here it was hard to get that respect because everybody thought I was going to be gone in six months but here it is, two years later and I am still here. I think people are starting to see that and realize that I am here for the long run but it is still hard to change. IFC and PanHell nationally and historically have always run together and National PanHellenic has always stayed to the side and run their own thing which is not a bad thing. They are so different that they need to do their own thing but there are common goals they can work towards and I have been trying to do things like Tri-Council meetings where I bring the three councils together and talk about different issues like academics, membership, membership education, and risk management which are issues each of the councils have to worry about. So, it is something they all can rally around! We have been doing things like president conferences where once a year, I bring all the chapter presidents and all the executive boards together to teach them leadership skills, but more importantly so they can get to see each other and so they can learn from each other. That is extremely important. Another thing I am going to try to do this year is I have an advisory council of different university officials that help me with the Greek system help me set up different policies and things like that. I am going to have each of the chapters come in and educate those people on what their councils mean. I really don’t think too many people know about NPHC and what they stand for and how they are different from IFC and PanHell because one of the things I had to do is make the students understand the differences between the two groups. So, we are still working on it but I do think steps have been taken and we are going to continue to work on it this year.

Interview Contents

I – In Your View Regarding African American Council

RR: In your view, why do you think Greek Life has a separate council for African Americans? You already shared some of the views but what do you think the main reason is?

CM: The main reason is because they have a need for their own. The reason why NPHC groups started was so that they would have a place on campus, a social place on campus. I think it is important like I said, they have their own issues, they have their own problems and they need to talk about them among themselves. I found out that the hard way. When I first started here, I tried to get all three of the council presidents to meet me together and it was like have three different conversations all together all at the same time. It was just too much so I learned that you can’t always bring them together. They have to have their own issues. That’s IFC and PanHell also. That’s why they are separated into different councils. It is not just because they are men and women. It is because IFC has their own issues, PanHell has their own issues, and NPHC has their own issues. While PanHell maybe focusing on eating disorders or safety on campus – how is a woman safe on campus, the men are worried about how do I stop this stereotype of me being this big drinker. NPHC is worried about we need a voice on this campus! While some of the stuff transcends between the three councils, they focus on them at different times. So, that’s why they have their own different councils.

Interview Contents

J – Jesus and Servant-Leadership

RR: Jesus said, “I have not come to be served but to serve and give my life as a ransom for many! What does servant-leadership mean to you as a Greek Life coordinator?

CM: Servant-leadership means exactly what they do! They go out and do for their community! They are civic minded individuals. This whole office we are sitting in right now is the Office of Cross-Cultural and Civic Leadership! The reason why the fraternity-sorority system is a part of it is because they are our civic minded students on this campus, not to say that there are not other students on campus like your SGB’s and different things like that! But, the Greeks are the ones that go out there and do for their community! The biggest example is NPHC! They go out and do their tutoring in High Schools! They do their mentoring in High Schools! They go and serve their community the best they know! They go into the different neighborhoods in the city and act as positive role models and that’s what it means to be civic minded. That’s what to me servant-leadership is, showing people that you are a positive influence in this world. That’s what they are!

Interview Contents

K – Keeping the Greek life community growing

RR: Keeping the Greek life community growing, what is the best way to achieve it?

CM: The best way to achieve it, it’s funny because I have been just talking to them about it! In the past, I think we have recruited the wrong way! We waited for students to come to us and I don’t think it is a very effective way anymore to recruit students. The students that are coming into the university now have high SAT scores, they are the top 10% of their class! Our SAT average is 1320-1350 somewhere around that! They can go anywhere and find their typical fraternity, what people think of the typical fraternity! Let’s think about it! What do they think about? Parties! They can go anywhere to find that! They want to know what we can do for them four years from now! So, I am having them do more targeted marketing and research to show that we are the academic group on campus that you can find, that we will help you with your time management, help you with your studying! Where else can you find 60 other people that maybe in your same major or have had that class before who can help you study, help tutor you! We have the people with the grades! Where else will you find the leadership abilities that the Greek system has? Where will you find the ability to go out and volunteer and serve your community? Now, you can find those in three different organizations or you can find them in one group. Networking is a big one! You might join a couple other groups such as SGB and things like that but when you join a fraternity or sorority, you have a national networking capability! You can go anywhere in this world and find somebody that is within your organization and that is what we are trying to sell our students that are coming in now that you can go to a bunch of different places and find that or you can come to us and have it right in one place.

Interview Contents

L – Little sister and big sister in sororities

RR: Little sister & big sister is a buddy system in sororities! When did this start and what have been the benefits?

CM: Well, I don’t know when it started! I am guessing it has been part of most organizations since they were founded. What are the benefits of big brothers and big sisters? What is a big brother and big sister do? They help you through your path! And I think that is exactly what they do in fraternities and sororities. It is not just a path of becoming a brother or sister of that fraternity or sorority! A big brother or sister goes way beyond that, beyond the point when you are trying to become a member of that group! It’s for life! My big brother of the fraternity, I talk to him everyday! I see him all the time! He was one of my first mentors in college! It’s that person you can rely on to help you through your path! That’s exactly what a big brother, big sister is!

Interview Contents

M – Most important aspect to be a Greek Life coordinator!

RR: Many aspects go into being an effective advisor for Greek Life, what do you think is the most important?

CM: Patience! Patience is something that any Greek coordinator needs! Patience and time! I get into trouble a lot of times because sometimes it takes me a little while longer to answer emails but the thing is that I am constantly moving, constantly have people in the office, constantly seeing people! When you have 1300 students in a group or organization, you are going to be busy! That is with any campus you go to, you are always going to have students come in and out! Sometimes they don’t make the smartest decisions! You have to have patience and make it into a teaching moment! Why wasn’t that the best decision? Now let’s talk about how that could have been a better decision! So, you have to be patient and have the time! Those are the two big things!

Interview Contents

N – Not effective is ‘Meet the Greeks’

RR: Not everyone I spoke to think ‘Meet the Greeks’ is an effective and efficient use of time and resources for recruitment! You just talked about recruitment! What are your thoughts on ‘Meet the Greeks’?

CM: We evaluated the program after last semester’s ‘Meet the Greeks’! Anybody who walked into the door got an evaluation and they evaluated it for us! What we got from that is they wanted it to be more structured! They wanted it to be less intimidating and they wanted to learn more about the Greek system! So, what we are doing this year is, we are starting it at 9:00 p.m. first off! Usually, it starts at 8:30 p.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m. You can come in and go as you want. You come in maybe at 9:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. into the room and there’s 18 tables there and hundreds of people standing around. You don’t know anybody and it’s intimidating! Who really wants to walk up to that and say, ‘Hey, tell me about your group? We have some people that do but most don’t! So, we are starting at 9:00 O’clock! We are starting it with a question and answer session! So, we are going to have each chapter president get up and say a little bit about their chapter and then it is going to be an open forum to ask any questions you want. You can write them down on a piece of paper and hand them in or you can stand up and ask the question, that’s fine! From there, they can go into their room, they will go in as a group instead of just one person so that people feel more comfortable as they go in! We are eliminating the number of people that are going to be around the table so people feel more comfortable opening up, going up and approaching somebody and having a conversation with them. We are also teaching our Greek students how to start that conversation because a lot of times, it’s hard to start that cool conversation: Hi, my name is! A lot of people don’t feel comfortable doing that! That’s something we are trying to teach them how to do! Now, that’s IFC and PanHell! NPHC, we are actually following their lead on this one! They have had their ‘Meet the Greeks’ this way for since I have been here for the past two years! They open up with a question and answer session dispelling the myths or talking about the myths! What is it like to go through a membership process, to be a brother or sister of X, Y, and Z organization. They then go into their tables. So, we are actually following NPHC’s lead! The reason why we are doing it is because of the evaluation and NPHC gets a lot of great people out there and they seem to be learning about the Greek system! So, that’s why we are going to follow their lead and do it on the other side also!

Interview Contents

O – Overall characteristics of a Greek Life member

RR: Overall, what characteristics do you want Greek Life members to exhibit?

CM:  It’s hard for me to say that! Each chapter looks for their own individual person. We have some chapters that only take people who have had five leadership positions on campus! We have some chapters that say if you don’t have a 3.25 don’t even bother looking! We have some people say that if you have not done 10 hours of volunteering in the past six months, then don’t bother applying. It all depends on what the organization wants. For me, I want a student that is going to be dedicated to their organization. I want somebody that is going to go out and find out what that fraternity or sorority values and have that value match what they value. If we get that, we have a great system! That’s exactly what I expect out of each student in the Greek system. Know what their fraternity values and that’s any organization. If any organization has a group of students that values what that organization values, it’s going to prosper.

Interview Contents

P – Partying and its dangers

RR: Partying is a part of Greek life and no one denies it! What have you done for the safety of the students as a Greek life coordinator whether it deals with alcohol, sexual assault, etc?

CM: You get all of those other things I have mentioned such as the networking, academics, brotherhood, sisterhood, and what have you but as a reward you have the social side of things also. That’s what I have been trying to preach it as a reward. You do all these great things for the community, for yourself, for your fellow brother and sister, you get to reward yourself with a social event! Now what have we done to help to ensure they are safe? We have set policies and procedures for any social event that happens on campus. When I first got here, we did not even know what social events were happening. Now, we have them register each other their social events whether it is on campus or off campus so we that know what is going on in terms of social events. We have asked that each chapter have at least 10 sober individual brothers or sisters what have you to make sure that everybody in that party is safe and that was something that was missing also! If you are going to call that person your brother or sister, you are accountable for that person. So, you are the person that is there to make sure they are safe. So, we have set a bunch of other policies and procedures. On top of that, we have asked Student Health to do some alcohol programming for us. Each term our new member classes have somebody come in and they talk about alcohol. Shirley Haberman and Joe Mall have been incredible with coming in to each of the chapters and doing whatever the chapter wants them to do. We have also had Mary Cocoulse and the Sexual Health Service do a presentation for our new member classes so they learn a little bit about what sexual assault is because I think it is one of those just like eating disorders and hazing, sexual assault is one of those nobody really likes to touch. So, it is my job to make sure we touch it and that people understand what it is and what happens if it happens.

Interview Contents

Q – Quickly naming fraternity or sorority with most awards

RR: Quickly tell me what sorority and fraternity has won the most awards since you have been here?

CM: Every year since I have been here Kappa Sigma and Tri Delta have won Greek Week! So, they get a lot of trophies! This past year Lambda Chi Alpha and Chi Omega won our chapter of the year! That’s probably the most prestigious award! But, I will say Kappa Sigma and Tri Delta have pulled in the most hardware as I would like to call it at the end of the year!

Interview Contents

R – Residents of Amos Hall

RR: Residents living in Amos Hall are all in sororities! How is it determined who gets to live there?

CM: That’s based on the chapter. Some of our chapters are larger than the others so the smaller chapters don’t have as much of a fight to see who lives in the sorority suite but the others have a point value system. So, depending on how many points, you get first choice of whether you want to live in or live out of the sorority suite. Most of the time their entire executive board needs to live in the suite so that takes a good amount of space and then it goes into a point value system.

Interview Contents

S – Student Government Board & Greek Life

RR: Student Government Board presidents and leaders are usually from Greek Life! Why do you think that is the trend?

CM: Because people who join sororities and fraternities are looking for leadership. They are the leaders on campus. They are looking for other avenues to be those leaders so that is why you always see an SGB president for the past 10 years have always been Greek with the exception of one, Joan Synder! I think that is the type of student that joins a fraternity or sorority, somebody who wants that type of leadership. They want that leadership so they go out and find it but those are the people who are joining the system.

Interview Contents

T – The process to join Greek Life

RR: There is a process to join Greek life! What is the main process in terms of the chapters?

CM: Each chapter has their own thing that they do. We have set a policy here in the office that and it depends on what council you are talking about! IFC, Panhell, and NPHC are completely different but IFC and Panhell have their typical rush period or recruitment period which is a week long. At the end of that, they have a certain number of new members and we say at the office that they have to initiate those new members within eight weeks. So in those eight weeks they learn about the fraternity or sorority and they learn about the community service that they do! Each chapter is different; each chapter has their own program and process. I know whenever they are doing something with the new members. I don’t know what they are doing and that’s because that kind of stuff is secret! It’s stuff they need to learn about the fraternity or sorority! Our organizations are very secretive when it comes to rituals and different things like that! You can ask anyone what their values are, what they were founded upon but when it comes to rituals and things like that, they have their own things that each one of them do which makes them different from each other. So, I know when they are doing things but I don’t know what they are doing. NPHC is a little bit different though. NPHC will rarely take a Freshman student. They really ask the student to learn about them before they seek membership so you will see students who are bidding NPHC do their homework on each chapter for a year or two, going out and learning about the brothers, going to different activities with the brothers and sisters, just learning about what they do and what they are about. That’s how they gain membership.

Interview Contents

U – Under your leadership

RR: Under your leadership, what have you been most proud of, the least proud of?

CM: That’s a great question! What have I been least proud of? I would say what I have been least proud of is the social probations we have had here, some of the hazing scares we have had here. When I first started here, seven of the eight fraternities on the hill were on social probation. Last year, I am proud to say we have had only one on social probation. It is still one too many! So, I would still like to see some of the risk management issues improve so that’s what I have been least proud of!

What have I been most proud of? I have had the pleasure of working with some of the most incredible students on this campus! I have seen people who are not the strongest leaders turn in to the best leaders that I have ever encountered in my life and I have had the chance to mentor them both inside the Greek system and outside the Greek system. You ask another thing it takes to be a Greek advisor is the ability to listen and the ability to be a mentor. I think that is something I am very good at and a prime example is some of the students that have come out of the Greek system and what they are doing in the community now, what they are doing in their life and how they are leaders to this day. I mean just working with some of those students makes me proud that I had a little bit of influence on them being the kind of person they are.

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V – Valiant support for fight against cancer and blood drives

RR: Visiting with different members of Greek Life, fundraising to ‘fight against cancer’ and blood drives have been popular, why those two mainly?

CM: Well, the blood drives no matter who we are giving our money to, always do blood drives. Why is that one popular? Because there is such a need for blood and it is an easy one for people to get around. When I first started here we gave most of our money to the Elizabeth Glazer AIDS Pediatric Foundation! That was during my first year! Last year, I wanted to keep the money local and so did the students. The students wanted a long term commitment though not just from year to year. They wanted a long term commitment and that’s what they found through the Hillman Cancer Institute. We teamed up with the Hillman Cancer Institute to raise $500,000 in the next five years. In return, they will name a research lab after us at the Hillman Cancer Institute. We are raising money for the Thoracic and Lung Cancer research! So we have found that it is a popular one for people. Cancer touches everybody whether you want it to or not and most of the time you don’t but it is very hard to find somebody who has not been touched by cancer. That’s why we decided to go in that direction and give our money to a cause that touches everybody!

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W – What is most memorable experience!

RR: What is your most memorable experience at Pitt as a Greek advisor?

CM:  I have two of them! The Pitt Dance Marathon, it was 2:30 in the morning and I thought when we were planning it that was going to be the dead time from 2:00 to 7 or 8 in the morning. I thought how are we ever going to get through this? But the support I saw was PHENOMENAL! We had seriously three or four thousand students all packed into the Field House shouting support and giving support to the students that were dancing! It was PHENOMENAL!

I am going to give you two more! This past July 17, we had a fire in South Oakland! We don’t have any off campus fraternity houses but the house that caught on fire had many Tau Kappa Epsilon students, our TKE students! Their entire house was gutted! The house next door had a couple of Delta Zeta’s living there and they lost everything! The house on the right, the number of women living there lost everything but the TKE brothers lost a really good friend! I didn’t even have to make phone calls to my executive board. They already knew about it and started planning a vigil for the first night of classes and that is something! That is what it means to be in a fraternity or sorority, that’s what brotherhood or sisterhood is! During your lowest times or your highest moments, they are there to support you no matter what!

Third, was seeing last years’ graduation ceremony! Seeing first, a whole group of NPHC students walking with their letters on was PHENOMENAL! Seeing them with their ‘Alpha Phi Alpha’ and chapter names was incredible! The graduation speaker was my PanHellenic president, Lauren Cavarello! That was incredible to see! She mentioned a number of Greek students so that was a very proud moment! I was there and had people who congratulated me for whatsoever reason I don’t know why!  It was just incredible to see what the students can do!

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X – eXciting moment as Greek Life advisor

RR: eXciting moment as Greek Life coordinator, what would it be?

CM: I would say seeing all of my chapters above the male & female average and us being around 12 to 15% of campus! The reason why I say that is because I know that we would be touching as many people as we can and that they are here for the right reason, to get their education and move that education on into the world because I have heard the chancellor say this a number of times that your best times in life are not in college, your college years are not your best life! The best years of your life are what happen after college! I know that fraternities and sororities help people make those years after the best years of their life. That’s why my most eXciting time would be when those grades are up and when those membership numbers are up!

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Y – Your advice to freshman contemplating Greek Life!

RR: You have always been very outgoing, what advice would you give those contemplating joining Greek Life in their first year?

CM:  Be open! Be yourself! Those are the two main things! There is a place for everybody in a fraternity or sorority! You have to just find it and let the organizations find you as well! You are yourself and you go up to people naturally and have a serious conversation with them as yourself, you will find a place. I am an outgoing person so it is easier for me to talk to people but we have as many students in the Greek system that are not outgoing and you will find them! You just have to take your time, be yourself, and be patient and you will find them!

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Z –  Zealous vision for Greek Life !

RR: Zealously, in closing what is your vision for Pitt Greek Life?

CM: My vision is my most eXciting moment! I want to see our grades up! I want us to have the best grades on this campus! That’s my number one goal! My second goal is to get our membership recruitment numbers up! Eight percent of the campus is okay but I know there are more people out there that will benefit from our organization. So, I would like to see our membership numbers up! Risk Management, I don’t want to have the alcohol issues, hazing issues and anything like that! It will always be there and I know I am not so unrealistic that I am not going to think that all of the Risk Management issues will go away but I want to control them! So, those are probably the three main things but let me close with unity, bring all three of the councils together, bringing all 38 of my chapters together so they are all fighting for those main goals!

RR: Thank you Chris for your time!

CM: Thank you Ramesh! I had fun!

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