By Paige Heiser (UIS Campus Relations)
After three years of hard work, petitions, and meetings, students at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) are finally welcoming in a group of Greek Life sororities and fraternities.
A true atonement of leadership lived, the effort to petition for Greek Life began three years ago, founded and led by three UIS students: Jessica Odigie, Robert Dixon, and Kyle Palmer.
“It’s more than just a ‘social option’ on campus,” explains Palmer. “The intent is to create students who will become contributing members of society through academic excellence, social justice, selfless service, high social standards, and a sense of brotherhood.”
One unique aspect of Greek Life at UIS is students have the opportunity to create the culture. Other universities are tied-in to tradition, but UIS students are governed by the rules and regulations of the UIS Greek Affairs Board.
There is a no-hazing policy in place, which is governed by the University of Illinois Springfield and the Illinois State Hazing law. No chapter, colony, student or alumnus shall conduct nor condone hazing activities.
Two fraternities are currently on campus: Chapter Upsilon Xi of Alpha Phi Alpha and Chapter Mu Eta of Phi Beta Sigma. The next step is to colonize the fraternity Phi Kappa Tau.
Two sororities will also be joining the ranks of Greek Life at UIS: Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta. These sororities will begin their membership intake process in the spring semester.
All Greek organizations exemplify scholarship, philanthropy, and service to the community.
Greek life has created a new, vibrant feel to the UIS community. More students stay on campus on the week-ends and the presence of alumni has increased through their support to the college chapters.
“These students never gave up. They stayed focused, and never grew weary,” Clarice Ford, Director of the Diversity Center at UIS, explains. “It’s an important lesson to realize dreams don’t happen overnight. You have to sacrifice, work hard and it can happen. This is a true example of ‘leadership lived’ by our students.”