Greek successes at RPI

To the Rensselaer Community,

Following completion of annual elections of the Interfraternity Council Executive Board, it is appropriate that we provide the Rensselaer community a brief overview and update into the accomplishments and successes of fraternities this past calendar year. Despite various Greek life incidents at other university campuses, the Greek community at Rensselaer remains strong and continues to actively adapt to the changing student environment. We are growing in membership; significantly strengthening our relationships with the Rensselaer administration, faculty and Troy community; and providing significant support for philanthropic and volunteer service. Members of the Greek community have demonstrated their commitment through the various events and programs they meticulously plan and execute throughout the year. This past spring and fall recruitment periods were notable for fraternities across campus, significantly increasing our total membership. Recruitment increased fifteen and thirty percent for spring and fall periods respectively, which resulted in more than five hundred new members of the Rensselaer community deciding to join Greek life this past year alone. With these increased numbers, Greeks constitute nearly one third of all Rensselaer undergraduate students. These successes can be attributed to community-wide events sponsored by Greek organizations, such as the Greek Life NRB Trip, Meet the Greeks, and Pawling Crawling, all of which were attended by hundreds of potential new members.

With the increase of membership numbers, the relationship between Greeks and Rensselaer administration continues to strengthen. Beginning with the Greek Leadership Summit in the spring, fraternity leaders, along with representatives from the Greek Life Commons as well as the Dean of Students Office, came together to plan the year ahead and further integrate the Greek community with the rest of the campus, as well as improve organizational issues within the Greek system. Additionally, the various faculty dinners and events that fraternities host continue to help reduce the barrier of communication and increase understanding between students and the faculty and administrators. Open communication between fraternities and Rensselaer administration has created new and exciting opportunities for students, including the Greek Emerging Leaders series, led by the Archer Center, which serves to prepare our young members for future leadership roles in their chapters and on campus, as well as the potential implementation of assistant Greek deans to act as advisors who would help support individual chapters.

Along with fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of their own respective organizations, fraternities strive to serve the general Rensselaer and Troy communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. Over the course of 2017 alone, Greek organizations have raised around $100,000 for various charitable organizations and dedicated over 17,000 service hours. Such notable events include the Chi Phi and Theta Chi St. Baldrick’s joint event, which raised more than $20,000 toward cancer research in one single instance. Acts of service such as these not only bring into focus the amount of time and money dedicated by these fraternities to these worthwhile causes, but also bring to light the number of volunteer hours these causes need and would otherwise not receive.

Lastly, these successes would not have been possible without the efforts of the IFC and its members. We thank them all for the time and dedication they have put into revitalizing our Greek system. In similar fashion, the newly elected Interfraternity Council Executive Board will continue to build on the previous boards’ accomplishments. I am now honored to introduce the new Executive Board, with Benjamin Lanning ’19 of Theta Xi as president, Andrew Berger ’19 of Lambda Chi Alpha as executive vice president, Nathan Shreiber ’20 of Phi Kappa Theta as vice president of recruitment, Harry Smith ’20 of Rensselaer Society of Engineers as vice president of social, Rohan Garg ’19 of Pi Kappa Alpha as vice president of philanthropy, Neil Patel ’20 of Phi Kappa Theta as vice president of risk, Jacob Blaustein ’20 of Lambda Chi Alpha as vice president of public relations, Tyler Shepherd ’18 of Phi Gamma Delta as treasurer, Jack Conlin ’20 of Sigma Alpha Epsilon as secretary, and Sean Ferracioli ’18 of Sigma Chi as Greek senator. Under their leadership and with the cooperation and support of the Rensselaer community, it is with great certainty that they will be able to bring new ideas, foster stronger inter-organizational relationships, and achieve greater goals.

Marvin M. Cosare ’18
100th Interfraternity Council President