Greek presidents focus on philanthropy

Story by Katie Thurbon

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Each year at Baker University gives rise to a new group of campus leaders in the form of Greek chapter presidents.

While each year also brings new goals to each chapter, the ultimate missions of brotherhood and sisterhood stay the same.

2014 Greek Chapter Presidents

Alpha Chi Omega – Claire White

Delta Delta Delta – Amanda Seeley

Delta Tau Delta – Andrew Heim

Kappa Sigma – Riley Hoffman

Sigma Phi Epsilon – Owen Lewis

Zeta Chi – Brandon Haefke

Zeta Phi Beta – Stephanie Nelson

Zeta Tau Alpha – Emily Liston

“There’s a bad stereotype to a fraternity and what its true purpose is,” junior Owen Lewis, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, said. “We strive to perform well in the classroom, field and clubs, but at the end of the day, we come together and hang out as a big group of brothers. For us, it’s a huge support system.”

For junior Claire White, sisterhood is a key part of her role as president of Alpha Chi Omega sorority.

“The last president’s advice to me was to remember that even though you are the president, these girls are also your friends and when it gets hard, they will be there for you,” White said. “It’s just important to remember the friendship.”

Junior Emily Liston plans to focus her presidential energy on helping her Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sisters grow as people.

“I think on Baker’s campus, a lot of Greek life is about promoting leadership and involvement,” Liston said. “I know personally through Zeta I’ve become a better leader, and I’ve seen a lot of other girls in the house grow as well and find themselves through Greek life. It’s about knowing who you are and growing as a person.”

Another part of Greek life that has remained consistent through the years is involvement in philanthropy. Lewis, however, said Sigma Phi Epsilon would be making a change this year.

“In previous years we have worked with youth AIDS in Douglas County, but our nationals actually pushed it to the Big Brothers part of the Big Brother Big Sisters program,” Lewis said. “We’re all brothers and we want to look out for each other and help the boys in our area, too. So we’re going to explore our options and hopefully work with the (Big Brothers program) in Douglas County.”

“Don’t worry, though,” Lewis said. “We’ll still be hosting our volleyball tournament in the spring.”

Liston and White also cited philanthropic involvement as being forefront in their presidential terms.

“I think that a really important goal of Greek life is to help the women within our community grow and achieve their dream,” White said. “Through our work with the domestic violence shelter in Lawrence, we really have the ability as a group of women to give back to women.”

In addition to Lewis, White and Liston, four other juniors were elected to the presidencies of their respective chapters.

Amanda Seeley was elected president of Delta Delta Delta sorority, Andrew Heim for Delta Tau Delta fraternity, Riley Hoffman for Kappa Sigma fraternity and Brandon Haefke for Zeta Chi fraternity. Zeta Phi Beta sorority, which hosts its presidential elections at the end of each school year, continues to be led by senior Stephanie Nelson.