CCSU Experiences A Glimpse Of The Greek Community

Shaina Blakesley, Arts and Entertainment Editor


What if I told you the way that movies like, “Animal House,” “Old School” or “Neighbors” portrayal of fraternity life does not accurately shine a light on the reality amongst a majority of Greek organizations?

The Black Student Union invited historically black organizations to Central Connecticut so students could get a glimpse of Greek life, according to their event on The Link. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, incorporated hosted their probate on the CCSU campus.

A probate is essentially the “coming out” ceremony for those who have been pledging the fraternity or sorority. The induction also features acknowledgment to their sisters and brothers, the announcement of the line name and each individual’s given name.

This fraternity is a member of The Divine Nine, which features five fraternities and four sororities all with the rich history within the Greek community. The Divine Nine consists of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity.

Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. chapter President Andrés Gardin-Ríos was surprised by how expansive the Greek community was by how many showed up to a school with a very small Greek population.

CCSU does not have the resources to funnel into the Greek community and only four fraternities have authority to host events and recruit on campus. Any other organization is not recognized by the school, including Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

“The importance of the probate was to show the Greek community a glimpse of what the new members learned on their journey to brotherhood and to introduce themselves to the campus,” Gardin-Ríos said.

Gardin-Ríos was not the only fraternity member that supported the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. probate. Nate Nugent is a part of the Kappa Delta Chapter within the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. — another unrecognized fraternity on campus — and he also enjoyed being a part of this moving moment.

“This is a probate. We came to support fellow D9 organizations,” Nugent stated.

The six neos — new members — may be a part of this fraternity, but on the CCSU campus, they are just students shooting at the stars to earn a degree. Although they cannot promote their fraternity on campus, that does not mean the network created is moot. Brothers create a bond amongst other chapters at a variety of colleges across the country.

“Greek life has multiple benefits but that all depends on the organization since there are different types, networks of different sizes, benefit packages for being an active member, culture, support from other members and access to resources,” Gardin-Ríos continued.

Greek life is advantageous among its members because it flourishes relationships that are more than just friends; it creates a bond that is as brass as a family. Each member of the fraternity or sorority fosters a sweeping matrix of brothers and sisters across the nation.

Throughout the entire initiation, the six fledgling brothers on the line yelled chants to hype each other up and performed choreographed hopping. Hopping requires participants to utilize their entire body as an instrument to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word and hand claps.

Fraternities are not typically mainstream like the ones featured in movies and television shows; each organization has its own purpose for its inception.

“[Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc.] was established at CCSU due to racial tensions and a need for unity. Now we’re around to make positive changes in the community, support and unify to keep Latinos and minorities focused on the ultimate college goal, graduation, while developing professional leaders,” Gardin-Ríos said.

Currently, the only Greek letter organizations on CCSU are: Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity and Lambda Alpha Upsilon Latin Fraternity.

The oldest of the Divine Nine, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, was founded in 1906 at Cornell University; this entire subset within the Greek community is traditionally black to create a sense of togetherness.

“This fraternity isn’t all black, just traditionally black because of their founding. Their importance is to create a sense of belonging and culture, especially in places like predominately white institutions, where some students feel out of place on campus,” Gardin-Ríos concluded.