Sex, beer kegs, and wild toga parties… These are just a few things that come to mind when thinking of the college Greek experience. However, PSU is not your typical college. We are a predominantly liberal school that vastly promotes issues of sustainability and an urban campus located in the heart of Portland.
The reason why many students don’t know about Greek life at PSU is because there aren’t many fraternities and sororities; therefore, they’re not as obvious. Kellie McQueary, Greek Council Social Chair, believes that less can be more. “Greek life on this campus differs in a multitude of ways, seeing how we are a commuter school Greek life is very small and unconventional, but we see that as a good thing. We all know one another and are friends, compared to the more traditional Greek life at U of O or OSU where most houses don’t even know every member in their chapter. We are a tight knit group.”
Although Greek life at PSU is small, their community work is big. Amanda Newberg, SALP Advisor, believes that “Greek life at PSU is both community based and issue oriented.” These students groups are involved with several philanthropic organizations: National Kidney Association, Domestic Violence Awareness, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls club, and several more. Mark Johnston, Phi Delta Theta President, enjoys working with multiple organizations throughout the year. “In the fall, we have the Blue Balls Dodge Ball tournament to raise money for testicular cancer research. In the winter, we work with the local soup kitchens and outreach. Spring is our 48 hour teeter-totter-a-thon where we sit on a teeter totter for 48 hours to raise money for the Boys and Girls club of Oregon.”
I think it’s great that these PSU student groups are putting their time and energy on humanitarian issues, rather than focusing on putting on an epic house party every week. Travis Spencer, Phi Delta Theta member, believes that Greek life can provide PSU students opportunities and memorable experiences. “While different Greek organizations on campus have their own goals and ideals, I think the Greek life structure brings them together with a common goal: to build and maintain a great environment on campus that allows the organizations that are already present, as well as potential future organizations, to flourish.”
What is your experience with Greek life at PSU?