UMass Greek community welcomes new members


Summer Kaeppel, Contributor

AMHERST – Over 600 new members of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Greek community took part in the first annual Greek 101 event in the Student Union Ballroom last week. The event was held to welcome and educate the new members from the university’s 19 fraternities and 8 sororities.

Members of Sigma Sigma Sigma and Alpha Chi Rho, two newly colonized Greek organizations, were also welcomed into the Greek community as part of the event.

The event was hosted by the Greek Health Advisors, a group that was founded with the goal of promoting a healthy and happy lifestyle for all members of Greek life, and was comprised of a variety of speakers, trivia games, and skits.

The night started off with Katie Lancaster, a senior nursing student and president of the Greek Health Advisors, introducing the first group of performers, The Phallacies.

The Phallacies is a group that challenges the ideals of traditional masculinity and encourages acceptance of multiple types of masculinities. They performed skits ranging in topics – from “locker room talk” to being an active bystander.

One skit, named “It’s On Us,” stressed the importance of creating a welcoming and safe environment and community.

“It’s on us to create a community that is safe for everyone. It’s on us to be role models and to respect women and men fully. It’s on us to call out sexist, homophobic, and transphobic comments. It’s on all of us,” said a performer from The Phallacies.

Officers from the UMass Police Department (UMPD) and the Amherst Police Department (APD) were also in attendance. UMPD Lieutenant Tom O’Donnell, Officer William Laramee and Officer Eric Beal spoke to new members about the importance of creating and maintaining good relationships with police. They all encouraged the new members to not hesitate to reach out to them whenever needed.  

“We want you guys to communicate with us and have an open dialogue with us. We’re here to serve you. Use us as a resource because we want you to be successful while you’re here, ” Laramee, an APD liaison officer, said.

The night closed with the Not Ready for Bedtime Players, a social justice and sexual education acting troupe. The series of skits summed up the main message that the various speakers had that night – to make thoughtful and healthy decisions when it comes to themselves, relationships and their new community.

The next Greek Health Advisors meeting is Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cape Cod Lounge.

Email Summer at [email protected].

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