LETTERS IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY GREEK COMMUNITY | MARCH 2013
what do Greeks
get the KD STORY
THIS EDITION LETTERS volume 4, issue 5
COMMUNITY OF SUPPORT
COMING BACK STRONG
@ISUGreek Greek Community - Iowa State University
Melanie Thwing and Trae Hestness share their stories about battling cancer.
Greek reorganization and colinizaiton at Iowa State Univeristy.
IFCâ€™S PIE CONTINUES TO EXPAND
STAFF INEKE ARMSTRONG
introducing the GREC TEAM BRICE BALLENTINE ANNA MCCONNELL
From Alpha Gamma Delta to the Government of the Student Body.
Members of the Greek Community tell about their travels around the world!
DAVID GARDNER LAUREN HAYES
GREEKS STAND FOR DANCE MARATHON
Collegiate Panhellenic Council firstname.lastname@example.org
JUSTIN MATTINGLY VP Public Relations
Interfraternity Council email@example.com
Advertising/Marketing Brice@iastate.edu Writer firstname.lastname@example.org Writer email@example.com Writer firstname.lastname@example.org Design email@example.com
DIRECTORS TAYLOR VERMEER VP Public Relations
AMELIA THORNE SUZY CAFFOE
Writer firstname.lastname@example.org Writer email@example.com MARCH 2013 3
OF SUPPORT Anna McConnell
ALPHA DELTA PI The Pi chapter of Alpha Delta Pi was founded 1911. Its colors are Azure Blue and White, represented on its crest with its major symbol: the lion. The lion is also the sorority’s mascot, affectionately known as “Alphie”. At Iowa State, the women of Alpha Delta Pi are very involved, hosting philanthropies such as the “Alpha Slam Dunk” 3 versus 3 basketball tournament to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House, as well as being decorated homecoming participants, winning in 2011 and 2012. The national sorority was founded the same year as Iowa State, in 1858, in Macon, Georgia. The members of Alpha Delta Pi strive for loyalty among one another, honesty in all that they do, strength of character and purpose, integrity as individuals and as a chapter, friendship of sisterhood sealed by love, and service to each other. Its motto is: “We Live For Each Other.”
PHI GAMMA DELTA
Weeks after graduating from Iowa State University, Melanie Thwing, a Sigma Kappa alumnae, was diagnosed with both Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma and Cushings Syndrome and was told that she would begin chemotherapy immediately. As a graduate who recently left Ames, one of the first people Thwing reached out to was the president of Sigma Kappa. From there, she contacted other sisters and friends to break the news. Soon after, the entire chapter was informed of the unfortunate situation – its former president was now a cancer patient at the age of 22 and would start chemo with a 9% chance of the treatment accomplishing any kind of response. As she entered the first stages of this process – eventually leading to six rounds of chemo –Thwing received an outpour of love from the Iowa State Greek Community. Almost everyone she’d known from the various chapters around the community reached out to her, which meant an invasion of care packages full of blankets and Iowa State “fuzzy socks.”
The Alpha Iota chapter of Phi Gamma Delta was formed from the “Noit Avrats” in 1907. The Noits were formed as an unofficial fraternity at a time when fraternities were banned by the University and when the ban was lifted, the Noits joined the ranks of Phi Gamma Delta (“Fiji”). The fraternity emphasizes knowledge, excellence, morality, friendship, and service. Specifically, the men of Fiji take service very seriously; last semester the chapter logged over 1,600 hours of community service. Its major philanthropies included the Blue Sky Day 5K, which raised money for Lutheran Services in Iowa, and “Reggie’s Sleepout,” a cardboard campout at Drake that raises money for the Iowa Homeless Youth Association. There have been several famous Fijis over the years. Most notably - president Calvin Coolidge and golfer Jack Nicklaus. The official color of Phi Gamma Delta is royal purple, its symbol is the Phi Gamma Delta Diamond, and its mascot is the snow owl. Fiji’s motto is: “Friendship, the Sweetest Influence.”
“It’s not until something like this happens that you realize how important those people really are,” Thwing said. “Having that constant contact and support throughout the Greek community was wonderful.”
Thwing felt the embrace of that support through her connections in the Greek community when she returned to Ames for Relay for Life following her battle with cancer. When she participated in the “survivor lap” and heard the other survivors talking about the crowd she had loudly cheering her around the track, Thwing noticed the reactions of the citizens in the Ames community and other non-Greek participants – She felt so proud to have been a part of such a supportive and loving community.
One of the newest additions to the Iowa State Greek Community, the Beta Lambda chapter of Delta Lambda Phi (DLP), joined in 2006. As brothers of DLP, each member promotes an open and accepting group for progressive, gay, and bisexual men in his student community. The men live its motto, “Making Our Presence Make a Difference”, on campus through philanthropies. Last December, the fraternity held an HIV benefit concert in the Grand Hall of the MU with Mid-Iowa Community Action. The official colors of Delta Lambda Phi are green, gold, and white. Its official symbols are the lamp, stars, scales, and the helmet.
ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA
“Without being Greek, I don’t know where I’d be…It’s just one of those things that you don’t think of when you’re not Greek,” said Hestness. “It’s the fact that you’ve got 52 other guys that are living in the same house that will be there for you whenever you need it. They’re there whenever you’re at your low.” Hestness spent the spring semester serving on IFC as Vice President of New Member Education and Development and acting as a general co-chair for Greek Week Central, all while going through treatments and being a full-time student. Through these groups, he said he has made incredible friendships that are invaluable to him. “It’s a reason to get out of bed,” explained Hestness. “You’ve got those people there to support you.”
DELTA LAMBDA PHI
Iowa State is home to the Eta Tau chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA). The sorority was founded to encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, promote friendship, to alleviate problems concerning girls and women in order to improve their social stature, and to be of "Service to All Mankind". AKA is one of the world’s largest sororities, with chapters in 11 countries. AKA was also the first sorority established by African-American college women, founded in 1908. Most recently on Iowa State’s campus, the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha partnered with the American Heart Association to put on a kickboxing service even at State Gym. Currently, the sorority is working on a national initiative, the “Ivy Reading AKAdemy”, to fund a three-year nationwide after-school project in low-performing, economically deprived inner city schools across the US. The official colors of AKA are salmon pink and apple green, and the official flower is the tea rose. Its motto is: “By Culture and By Merit.”
During the last three years, Hestness has always had the support of his chapter and particularly when he needs to receive treatment – up to four times a week. He describes his brothers as “amazing” and extremely supportive in whatever ways they are able to lend a helping hand- offers for rides to therapy sessions and the hospital are always there.
Trae Hestness knows that feeling of support from friends throughout the Greek community. When he was diagnosed with gastric cancer in 2010, he immediately returned to Pi Kappa Phi and explained to a houseful of brothers that he had cancer and would be beginning treatments soon.
“Everyone got to see that this is what the Greek Community is all about. It’s about philanthropy and all of that, but it’s also about coming together when something extreme happens,” said Thwing. “It’s not just something the Greek community at Iowa State says they’re striving to do, it’s what they are doing.”
“The hardest part was telling your brothers that you have cancer and reliving that feeling over and over,” said Hestness. “Questions come up and you have to answer to 60 to 80 guys.”
MARCH 2013 5
IFC’s Pie continues to expand Amelia Thorne
Picture you and a few of your friends sharing a pie. Now picture 20 more of your friends wanting a slice.You don’t want to be rude and not let them join in, but you are nervous you won’t get a big enough slice to be satisfied. Ben Freese, President of Ithe Interfraternity Council, uses a metaphorical pie as a way to explain IFC’s expansion. He explained that despite concerns for the future of our Greek community, the addition of new chapters would make the pie bigger instead of making the slices smaller. Interfraternity Council (IFC) includes 29 fraternities here at Iowa State.
As the President of IFC, Freese advocates for all 1,526 members of the Interfraternity Council at Iowa State and makes sure that students’ Greek experience is as good as it possibly can be. At this point in time, there are 29 chapters on campus, but that number is continuing to grow. Recently, two more chapters have been approved to return to campus. Triangle will recolonize in fall 2013 and Delta Sigma Phi plans to recolonize in spring 2014. Sarah Kellogg, Interim Director of Greek Affairs, explained that active alumni motivate both chapters – especially Triangle due to leaving campus just 2 years ago. “I think that it’s basically a very attractive place to colonize. We have a University here, a faculty, a president, and Vice President of Student Affairs that are very friendly towards our Greek community, and I don’t think a lot of students here understand how lucky we are for that,” said Freese. With so many different chapters to choose from at Iowa State, every man has the opportunity to find his perfect fit. Triangle and Delta Sigma Phi will be looking for current students who have already made the adjustment to college, with a well established GPA and have the ability to make a solid commitment. This is why Freese refers to the pie example – instead of stretching the numbers of incoming freshman men across more chapters, shrinking the pieces of pie, the expansion will make the pie larger by recruiting men who are established on campus.
I don’t think a lot of students here understand how lucky we are.
Holden Asmus,Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Service for IFC, explained how he has been impacted by recent expansion. “I did have a friend that came into college last year that really wanted to join the Greek Community and couldn’t get into the chapter that I am in. So, when Delta Chi came in, he joined them and he loves it. So I think the expansion has something for everyone,” he said.
As with any growth, there is change. That is something the Greek Community can be expecting with this expansion. Jenni McDermott, Interfraternity Council Advisor, spoke on the changes. “All of the chapters within IFC are going to have to start looking at how we accommodate chapters that don’t have facilities; how can we fit them into our activities and support their brotherhood and scholarship the same way we do current chapters that have a facility,” she said. While Triangle and Delta Sigma Phi are working towards getting their charters and possibly finding a facility, our Greek Community will be welcoming these new chapters and helping them grow.
by the numbers
29 Interfraternal Chapters at Iowa State 1526 IFC Members on Campus Fall Reinstallation of 2013 Triangle Fraternity Spring Reinstallation of 2014 ΔΣΦ Fraternity MARCH 2013 7
From Alpha Gamma Delta to Government of the Student Body David Gardner
The snow under Hilary Kletscher’s feet crunches as she walks into the UDCC for the first time. The hot air vents in the entryway welcome her inside the dining center. A Minnesota native, Kletscher isn’t sold on going to college in Iowa just yet (she only went on the visit to humor her family). However, despite the cold weather, her mind is starting to warm up to the idea. Kletscher makes her way to the “Wok Your Way” dining hall line and ponders her future. She is incredibly involved, holding presidential positions for: her high school’s National Honor Society, the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), her high school’s chapter of FFA, and the Minnesota
State FFA. When asked why she is so drawn to leadership positions, Hilary responds calmly. She is always looking for opportunities to improve herself and improve things for others. For her, it’s not about the recognition, it’s about improving the situation for everyone else. Hilary has lived out her philosophy in many ways. This past fall 2012 semester, as a senator for College of Engineering for Government of the Student Body (GSB), she talked to each of the new senators after senate meetings and assisted in getting them acquainted. She remembers the first few months of jitters that accompanied her as a senator and the shyness
that followed her into the first few meetings. Kletscher essentially did the same for her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta (AGD): this past fall, she was a big sister for two new members. Helping others inspires Kletscher - she loves when she can funnel her energies to something positive such as helping those around her to improve. “They’re outstanding young women, extremely motivated...I love these girls!” Said Kletscher regarding her Little sisters With her past leadership history in mind - Kletscher’s rise to GSB Senator for the College of Engineering as a freshman and current candidacy for the Vice President of GSB as a sophomore should come as no surprise. Kletscher is a natural leader for others; she is always helping those around her grow and leave a lasting, positive impact. This can be seen in her campaign with running mate Spencer Hughes, Specifically, the pair wants to deny their salaried positions on the Executive Slate and put the money back to funding clubs. Now flash back to the line at Wok Your Way. All around her, the sound of food sizzling on the grills, Jay-Sean’s “Down” playing on the speakers, and students talking fill her ears. The cacophony is broken by a friendly student saying “Hello” and so starts
a conversation. Just as soon, another student joins into their conversation. The two student’s words are like the warm air vents at the entrance to the dining center, welcoming Kletscher to the Iowa State campus. Looking back, Hilary says that this experience with the friendly students was big part of the reason she chose to become a Cyclone. “I love the student body here,” she said, “Everyone is so friendly.” Once on campus, Hilary took no time exploring what Iowa State had to offer. She went through formal recruitment and joined AGD and has been involved with the chapter as the Alumni Relations Chair. Hilary is very enthusiastic when she talks about her sorority sisters; she says some of her best Greek memories were being a big sister to two new members on bid day. Being in a sorority was a big change though. Hilary grew up an only child and overnight gained more than 100 sisters. Kletscher said that sisterhood has changed her for the better; that she can really appreciate the strengths of others now. “Even though we are all very different women, we have the same values, we know what we all have to offer. Even though I’m so involved, they’re always making sure I have fun,” said Kletscher. Hilary is always looking to improve herself and “the way things are” which is part of why she loves being a part of the Greek Community. “It’s like a huge family that’s always inspiring me... We are all constantly making each other better with our competitive spirit,” she said. Kletscher also pointed to the many philanthropies Greek chapters participate in, from the Blood Drive during Homecoming to the Polar Bear Plunge during Greek Week. As of this moment, Hilary is the only Greek candidate for Executive Slate (President & Vice President). If elected, she would become the first sorority woman to be on the executive slate since President Emily Jensen of Chi Omega, who served from 2006-2007, and her vice-president, Sara Faber, of Sigma Kappa. Hilary knows it will be no easy feat; during campaign season, she gets up early for class, gets back late after campaign meetings with clubs, and then works on her homework. Most would call her crazy for taking on so much, but she loves it - and who wouldn’t when supported by more than 3000 brothers and sisters?
voting for Government of the Student Body positions will take place March 11 & 12 LETTERS
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GREEK By Andrea Dvorak
When you come to college with eight (plus) college semesters ahead of you, it seems like a no-brainer to “choose your adventure” and take a study abroad trip during your college career. But as time passes, you start to fit into your college lifestyle and leaving for a semester looks much more complicated.You get caught up in the Ames and Iowa State bubble and may fear missing your “adventure” for one in a far-off destination. The following three Greek students saw past their Ames bubbles and sought adventure abroad. They share a little about their trips and how their Greek Community involvement helped them “choose their adventure” abroad.
Why did you decide to study abroad? “Ever since I decided to apply to the architecture program four years ago, I have dreamed of going abroad to Rome, not only because of the amazing architecture but because of the experience of living in another culture. Everyone that I have ever talked to that has [done] study abroad has come back saying it has been a life changing experience and I wanted that experience for myself as well. I had the chance to go to Europe as a young girl and ever since then I have wanted to come back.”
How will being Greek help you transition back into college life at ISU? “I would say being Greek will help me transition back into college life by the way that I know there are people back home who are looking forward to me coming back and spending more semesters together. It’s like having a family of 100 welcoming you back and helping you pick up where you left off! … It’s the support system that really helps make you feel at home again and not an outsider.”
Where did you go? “Two summers ago I was in Uganda in East Africa. I spent several months working on an irrigation project at a local elementary school where I also spent some time teaching 4th and 5th graders math and science courses. … Conditions were challenging to say the least, but the experience was beyond rewarding. This past spring I spent the semester in New Zealand on a more traditional study abroad experience. Somewhere between bungee jumping, sky diving, mountain climbing, surfing, white water rafting, cave exploring, ocean kayaking, sailing, and hiking glaciers I still found time to go to class.” How did being Greek affect your trip/decision to go? “Although I probably would have studied abroad regardless, being Greek made the decision quite a bit easier. The experiences I gained though being Greek made me much more comfortable in unfamiliar situations, and helped me realize that I was responsible and mature enough to handle leaving the country and being on my own.”
How did being Greek affect your trip/decision to go? “I think being Greek helped me decide to go because there have been many friends and sisters that have taken the leap of study abroad, and they would not trade it for anything. Being in the Greek Community you learn a sense of leadership and independence that helps you leap into a new and unknown situation. Finding the courage to travel to another country and experience another culture can be difficult but having the support of friends and sisters helps you take the leap.”
Teri Craven Where are you studying at? “I am at the University of Birmingham in Birmingham, England. It is the second largest city in England with a population of 1 million, and it's about 2 hours from London by train. … So far, I've been taking trips on some weekends to places around the UK and I will be traveling all over Europe during the four week Easter/spring break we have in April.”
What do you miss the most? “I mostly miss seeing all my friends and sisters every day! It's hard to remember that things are still going on in Ames, because sometimes it feels like everything at home pauses while you're gone. Since Alpha Sigma Kappa recruits informally each semester … there’s a whole new class of sisters I won't get to meet until August, but I wish I could meet them sooner!”
How did being Greek help you transition back into college life at ISU? “Transitioning back into life in the State’s was incredibly easy from a social aspect. Coming home to a house full of guys where everyone was excited to see you again and wanted to know all about your time abroad made it that much easier to come back to Ames.”
Maggie Gehrls Carly Bormann Andrea Garvey (Rome) Maddie Wiedemeier Sidney Rupprecht Ingrid Tunberg Kasey Curtis Mary-Brigid Brady Kailyn Pederson Evelyn Ward Maddy Baartman Katie Ries Emily Wiemer
Spring 2013 Rachel Pierce (Florence, Italy) Shannon Ure (Florence, Italy) Jamie Lauten (Florence, Italy) Megan Willem (Florence, Italy) Amie Long (Florence, Italy) Bre Haguewood (Florence, Italy) Linden Terpstra (Scotland) Ally Straube (Scotland) Meredith Keeler (Caceres, Spain) Kate Leister (Florence, Italy) Mercedes Akinsanya Holly Gabby Caitlin Farmer Jill Stanley Caitrin Fretham Allie Peters Lizzie Gaikowski Katie Walter Mackenzie Akers Teri Craven (UK) Camila Dantas (Germany) Caitlyn Paul(Student Teaching, New Zealand) Max McClelland (Australia) Anna Krug (Spain) Hayley Hays (Italy) Erin Fry (Italy)
How will being Greek help you to transition back? “I think being Greek helped me feel more certain about my decision to go abroad! I got a lot of support from my sisters before I went, and some of them who had gone abroad before helped me figure out what to bring and where to travel in Europe. It's also nice to know that even though I was gone for an entire semester I'll have sisters who welcome me back to ISU in the fall!”
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Greeks Stand for Dance Marathon When Dance Marathon (DM) held its first event on March 29, 1998, as a part of Greek Week, it had roughly 200 participants and at the time was considered a huge success. Now – 16 years and nearly five times as many participants later – Dance Marathon is still an event that captures the hearts of much of the Greek Community. Although no longer solely sponsored by the Greek Interfraternal and Panhellenic Governing Councils, the added participation by members of Iowa State’s campus, both Greek and non-Greek, has helped grow Dance Marathon and catapult it to the huge success it is today. The first Dance Marathon raised over $20,000 and thanks to the many dedicated students today, this year $388, 457. 16 were raised to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. Even with the added participation of non-Greeks, Dance Marathon still has a large level of Greek member participation. Despite the fact that no homecoming points can be won or Greek Week competitions can be aided by participating, many members of the Greek community continue to offer 15 hours of their time on a Saturday for the cause, with even steeper hours for committee members and executive positions. 11 out of the 17 executive spots were filled by members of the Greek Community this past January. So why all the Greek DM love? Well, that’s easy! Dance Marathon is a shining example of many of the pillars of the Greek community and the ideals that the community strives to uphold.
represents two of the other pillars of the Greek community: leadership and friendship. Committees and executive positions give countless opportunities for Greeks to gain leadership experience while doing something they love!
Through Dance Marathon and the many hours spent together, Greeks and non-Greeks can build friendships while sharing in the fun, the emotions, and the common cause that unites dancers. In the words of Macklemore, featured in the 2013 morale dance (an hourly choreographed dance that all participants do together), “and we danced, and we cried, and we laughed, and had a really, really, really good time!” For 16 years, Dance Marathon has been allowing Greeks an outlet for community service, philanthropy, leadership, friendship and a really (really, really) good time.
Dancers revealing Iowa State’s 2013 Donation Total
Dance Marathon embodies the Greek pillar of Community Service. Its goal is to raise money for the kids and all funds raised by participants are donated to help children in hospitals – to fund treatments and to make their time and their family’s time in the hospital easier. Through Dance Marathon, dancers can meet many family’s who were helped directly by the funds they raised. As the largest student run philanthropy on campus, Iowa State Dance Marathon supports over 80 families in Iowa and over a million dollars have been donated to the cause since its beginning. DM also provides a fun and fulfilling outlet for Iowa State students and members of the Greek community to give back. Additionally, Dance Marathon goes beyond simply giving back. It also LETTERS
MARCH 2013 13
coming back strong:
Greek Reorganization and Colonization at Iowa State Kristin Peterson
This past year, two Greek chapters reclaimed their spot among Iowa State’s Greek community, helping to expand and improve the community as a whole. Those chapters were Delta Chi Fraternity and Kappa Delta- Sigma Sigma Sorority. Each is currently in the re-colonizing process. For those who have never heard of it, recolonizing is the act of starting a fresh, new chapter of a pre-existing Greek house. Although Kappa Delta and Delta Chi have both been a traditional presence on campus, this is a new and updated version of these chapters. Although the two chapters went about reorganizing in a different manner, both are excited to make their own unique mark on campus. As participants in Varieties this year, Kappa Delta made it on to sweeps and Delta Chi is looking forward to its first Greek Week. Each has made a strong run thus far and is loving the support they have received from the Greek community as a whole. Delta Chi chose to remove themselves from campus in 2002 due to low numbers. Its rebuild began when two Iowa State students, John Lieser and Jeff Adkin, now the President and Vice President of Delta Chi, decided to take a look at bringing a new chapter to campus. With a little research, they came across Delta Chi and expressed their interest in bringing it back to Iowa State. Lieser and Adkin described the situation as kind of a “founding father’s experience” for them as well as the other members of the budding chapter. “The coolest thing for me was getting that many people interested in Delta Chi, I didn’t expect that at all,” said Adkin, who was overwhelmed by the positive response they got from students wanting to join their chapter. Now 42 members strong, Delta Chi is anxious to see what the Greek Community can do for its chapter. Thanks to the support of many chapters on campus, Delta Chi was able to recruit a large
pledge class and is learning the ropes as a new member of the community. Still relatively new, the members of Delta Chi are open to new opportunities regarding community service and are embracing all the community has to offer. “We’re excited, we really are. For Greek Week and everything, we are pumped,” Lieser said. Kappa Delta sorority reorganized with the help of national and local representatives. The chapter launched a huge recruitment force taking in 85 new members, bringing its total member count to 97. With help from national leadership consultants and many Greek members – often seen sporting “I heart KD” buttons around campus – Kappa Delta grew its chapter and a fresh start has now become a solid foundation. “The support of the Greek community has not wavered; members of other chapters have expressed sincere pleasure at seeing our success,” said Carly McKinney, President of Kappa Delta. Ultimately, Delta Chi and Kappa Delta have helped strengthened the Greek community through the recruitment of new and eager members and promoting a larger sense interfraternalism among chapters. “There is so much joy and energy coming from members. I’m excited for our chapter to continue to grow and thrive in the Greek community,” said Sara Schlueter, Public Relations chair for Kappa Delta. The Greek Community welcomes the return and the success of Kappa Delta and Delta Chi and can’t wait to see what else these chapters have in store for the future.
Photos courtesy of Delta Chi and Kappa Delta
With all the support that the chapters have already received, hopefully the strong support will continue and Kappa Delta and Delta Chi will continue to thrive. Be sure to continue to welcome Kappa Delta back and to help Delta Chi to be involved in their new endeavors… After all, isn’t a sense of community what being Greek is all about?
LETTERS MARCH 2013
a publication of the Greek Relations Executive Council