Meaner Communicates Concerning the A-Z’s of Greek Life Community!"
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.
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.
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.
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
#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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
K – Keeping the Greek life community growing
RR: Keeping the Greek life community growing, what is the best way to
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.
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!
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!
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!
O – Overall characteristics of a Greek Life member
RR: Overall, what characteristics do you want Greek Life members to
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
U – Under your leadership
RR: Under your leadership, what have you been most proud of, the least
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
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.
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
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
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!
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!
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!
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
RR: Thank you Chris for your time!
CM: Thank you Ramesh! I had fun!