APP sisters at their paint a pot event on Earth Day. ANGELICA NIEDERMEYER/COURTESY
By Angelica Niedermeyer, Staff Writer
Manhattan College is home to two fraternities and two sororities, something Catholic colleges are not typically known for having. After the last year of being online and assimilating back to being more involved on campus, these Greek life organizations are thriving philanthropically.
The four Greek Life organizations at MC are fraternities Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) and Alpha Phi Delta (APD), and sororities Sigma Delta Tau (SDT) and Alpha Pi Phi (APP).
“What is really special about our campus is that because there’s not a lot of them [Greek life organizations], everyone is very dedicated to helping better the college and the outside community,” Samantha Keating, sunshine chair of SDT, said.
Keating appreciates that the Greek life on campus is growing so they can then work together as opposed to being rival organizations.
Keating attended a post-Springfest cleanup on April 10, which SDT, DKE and APP organized.
“A couple weeks ago, DKE organized a community cleanup after Springfest,” Keating said. “The two sororities and DKE were able to go all around campus and clean up trash. I think we filled 8 trash bags. You never realize how much trash is there until you clean it up.”
Jamie Robbins, vice president of APP, felt similarly to Keating.
“We want to raise a lot of awareness, but we also shouldn’t just turn our back to these smaller things [cleaning up] because even smaller things help the community in a big way,” Robbins said.
APP’s chapter was opened this year, but they haven’t shied away from getting involved. At this time, they are fundraising to get the ground running for future classes.
“We have our Earth day event, we are doing a paint and pot. We are going to have terracotta pots and painting supplies on the Jasper lawn and we are also going to have dirt and flower seeds,” APP treasurer Catherine Feeley-Leetz said.
“We also try to do things for other causes that we see fit, like raising awareness for domestic abuse against women and donating to clothing drives,” Robbins said.
APP is associated with the Alzheimer’s Association, which they will be fundraising for in an event called “The Longest Day,” which will be held online on the summer solstice, June 21.
When asked about their relationship with other Greek Life on campus, Robbins and Leetz shared that it is, “blossoming, the way we would have hoped, and honestly exceeding expectations.”
As the organizations collaborate for more events together, more people become aware of causes and donate.
“We have always been active on campus, and so is the sorority. We have a bigger connection now than we did in recent years. That’s why you see us move in masses. We did ‘Pie a DKE’ [pieing a fraternity brother in the face to raise funds], that’s a new thing we started doing. That was for International Women’s Day. We raised more money solely because of the entertainment that also came with the charity work,” Frederico Cipriani, president of DKE, said.
“We hope to do more in the future. We collaborated on International Women’s Day and I know that APP has just been talking about making that more of an annual event with the collaboration between a bunch of the other clubs and organizations on campus. I hope that’s something we can continue to do,” said Robbins.
“I have been more strict on how many brothers should come to each charity event,” Cipriani said. “It looks bad if you only have two people standing at the table. You need more people, because different people donate depending on who they relate to. The whole reason why DKE worked was because we were partnered with the sororities. It helps because there’s definitely no bad blood between any of us and if anything I feel like, especially SDT, we have gotten close over the past few years.”
With 36 active brothers, DKE contributes largely to causes that are close to them including The American Cancer Society, Autism Awareness and with a recommendation from an MC professor, Cipripani explained that DKE helped raise a majority of their fund this year for the North West Collision for Refugees.
“We don’t do certain events just because we think it’ll make a lot of money. Our biggest charitable donations have been towards the Afghan refugees,” Cipripani said. “Our philanthropy chair, Joey Talenti, he’s kicking butt right now. I think he really elevated us and has taken it really seriously. You need someone like that. You need a strong philanthropy chair and SDT has that too and they are friends. So, it’s perfect. You can’t make this up.”
As for SDT, the sisters focus on two organizations: Prevent Child Abuse America in the spring semester and Jewish Women International in the fall. Additionally, Megan LaCreta, SDT’s philanthropy chair, conducts a vote every month to nominate a philanthropy that is important to the chapter.
“We all get the chance to vote on the one that we want to support and every month we have been supporting a different cause. So, we are able to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Friends of Karen which helps families who have children diagnosed with cancer. I think we were able to raise close to 500 dollars [altogether],” says Keating.
Through the fundraising of “Bingo Boards” on Instagram and bake sales run by new members, SDT is able to spread the word. They are also hosting a unique event — a five dollar “prom” event.
“SDT is hosting ‘five dollar prom’ at An Beal Bocht on Thursday April 28. All of the proceeds will be going to Prevent Child Abuse America. We will be having an open mic night and raffles so we hope to see everyone there!” Nicole Brosnan, an SDT sister, told the Quadrangle.
Brosnan said the chance to host these events in person has changed how successful they are able to be.
“This year has been great because we get to host in-person events again. Having in-person meetings and activities builds stronger friendships and bonds. In-person activities also help us raise more donations for our philanthropies,” Brosnan said.
Ben Bagbek, the president of APD, said something similar in a conversation with the Quadrangle.
“There has been a long period of time where the campus has been shut down because of COVID. We have seen recently people start to have events on campus again and we just want to propel that even more,” Bagbek said. “We want to bring campus back to life.”
“When I first came here, I actually had this whole negative stigma in my head about fraternities, I thought it was all the nonsense in the movies where they would haze you. But, I got to know these guys before I even considered pledging and these are really nice people, good people,” Dev Harrop-Williams, freshman mechanical engineering major and pledge for APD said.
APD has raised money for Ukrainian Refugee Red Cross, National Brain Tumor Society and the Bronx River Alliance. They also ran a fundraising table for the fight against brain cancer in honor of the late MC student Bryan Paredes and had the idea for a mental health fundraiser where they would finance a suicide hotline specifically for Manhattan college.
“The Earth Day fundraiser will be hosted with the environmental science program! There will be events we will be hosting with them throughout the month in honor of sustainability and environmentalism,” Bagbek said.
The Greek life organizations hope to continue to grow their strong unity on campus and to bring joy and education to MC students.