Archive for Thursday, August 18, 2005

Community service inspires Greek organizations

August 18, 2005

Community service has been ingrained in Lindy McNicoll's life since she attended Olathe East High School.

As president of Alpha Chi Omega and vice president of the Greek Council at Baker University, McNicoll has maintained her connection to the community.

"Being active in a sorority allows me to do a lot of community service and to keep that as a part of my life," said McNicoll, a senior in elementary education.

Alpha Chi Omega is involved in Women's Transitional Care Services Inc., which provides safe-shelter, peer counseling, advocacy and other services to survivors of domestic violence in Douglas County.

"All sororities have different philanthropies and different organizations they try to assist," McNicoll said. "We all try to support each other."

Alpha Chi Omega organizes several fund-raisers and awareness events in conjunction with its philanthropy, especially in October for Domestic Violence Awareness month.

"We do things around campus to promote awareness," McNicoll said. "The last few years we've had a self-defense class for students."

Two other sororities contacted in the summer -- Phi Mu and Zeta Tau Alpha -- said they donated money to Children's Miracle Network and Breast Cancer Education and Awareness.

Community service has long been one of the basic tenets of Greek life.

"Greek members are constantly contributing to the betterment of not only their campus, but also to the Baldwin community," said Shelby Coxon, director of student activities and Panhellenic Council adviser. "Through the local chapters, as well as their national organizations, members of Greek organizations are provided numerous opportunities to give back to their community and grow as individuals. Through community service, our Greek students are giving of their time and talents, but also receiving in ways that are immeasurable."

Fifty percent of the Baker students are in fraternities (Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Zeta Chi) and sororities (Alpha Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Phi MU and Zeta Tau Alpha).

"Academics and campus involvement are emphasized in each house," McNicoll said. "School activities and class activities always come first."

McNicoll hopes community involvement lasts a lifetime.

"The sorority has offered me a lot of leadership positions I think that will carry into my professional life," she said. "I have learned a lot about working with people."

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