I am from Australia, I have been in Columbia, MO for about four weeks now and so far the ‘American cultrure’ seems very similar to that of Austrlia’s. The food is similar, the people, and the schools are much the same; however, one thing that did take me aback with disbelief was the fact that sororites and fraternities actually exist. Now I know that your probably thinking of course they exist.. so what, But for me this was bizarre. The only knowledge of sororities and frat houses was that which i had seen in the movies. And because no one would actually tell me what goes on in sororites and fraternities during the ‘hazing’ or ‘welcoming’ period (apparently its strictly top secret and those involved are sworn to secracy) I only had the knowldge from the movies to fall back on (and trust me this is not a promising picture.. think ‘Old School’ or ‘Pledge This’) So Sororities and Fraturnities are a social organisation that emphasise ritual harrassment, conceded beauties and keg parties where everyone drinks out of red plastic cups (yes another one of my movie references). Well no. In the last couple of days I have been pleasantly surprised to learn that these brother and sister organisations actually do a lot of good for their members and the community. One of the examples that I really want to draw attention to is Alpha Phi’s ‘Rocking Red Dress Poker Tournament’. For more than sixty years the Alpha Phi foundation, Alpha Phi’s philanthropic partner, has focused on heart disease and cardiac care. Through its annual $50,000 Cardiac Care Award, the Alpha Phi Foundation helps to fund outstanding research and educational programs that support cardiac health care in the columbia community. And tomorrow night (February 15) the women of the Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi will hold the fourth Annual ‘Rockin Red Dress Poker Tournament’ at the Stoney Creek Inn, Columbia, MO. Over three hundred college men and women as well as parents, families, friends and community members are expected to participate in this years event. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in America, killing one out of three american women. Therefore, Alpha Phi’s ‘Rockin Red Dress Poker Tournament’ is a fantastic example of what sororities and fraturnities stand for – service to the community, as well as personal advancement, and scholastic achievement.
Here is just one example of what a sorority or fraternity stands for and how they work with their students, members and the public to better their community. If you know of other sororities or fraturnities doing something good for the community, whether it be a fundraiser or whatever please let me know as the more people who know about it, the more will show up and the better the event will be.