It’s all Greek to Me
My name is Molly Lurensky and I am a Sophomore from New York City! I am majoring in Public Relations and Strategic Communications with a minor in Education Studies.
When I talk about the activities that I am a part of, I always say that joining AU Ambassadors and going through Panhellenic recruitment (and joining a sorority) were the two best decisions I have in college thus far. When I was looking at colleges, I was not sure if going through Panhellenic recruitment was something I wanted to do. Before I came to AU, I had a narrow view of what Greek life looked like from what older friends had told me.
When trying to decide if going through Panhellenic recruitment was going to be the right choice for me, I went to several open-house style events where I got to meet women from each organization. At this point, most of my friends were people who lived on my floor, so I decided to sign up for formal recruitment to meet a broader range of women. It was one of the best choices I have ever made. Now, it’s hard to walk around campus without seeing a friendly face from my organization or another sorority or fraternity on campus. Through the Greek community, I have met some of my best friends who I know will always be a part of my life. I have gained friends to go on new adventures in D.C. with or spend countless hours studying in the library.
I have found that the Greek community at AU emphasizes scholarship, community service and philanthropy by encouraging all organizations to get to know each other and attend each organization’s events.
Students cannot go through formal recruitment until the second semester of freshman year and it takes place over the course of a long weekend. There are nine social sororities on campus. This small number allows the Greek community to remain close-knit and allows for making friends in many different organizations. I have friends in organizations across the Panhellenic community and have had the opportunity to attend many of their events.
I have also been able to take on leadership roles in my organization that I know will serve me in the future and give me tools for future leadership roles, jobs and internships. This semester, I am serving as the Co-Philanthropy Chair for my organization, where I had the opportunity to host and help plan a fundraiser for Hurricane Florence victims. We partnered with a fraternity on campus to make a broader impact and get more people involved. We raised a over $200 in three days just from tabling on the quad. It was amazing to see how people can come together in order to benefit a good cause.
If you are on the fence about going through recruitment, I would encourage you to attend the open-house events so you can get a feel for the different organizations on campus. In addition to social sororities and fraternities, there are service and professional fraternities on campus as well.
One big happy AUA and Greek family; three Greek organizations are represented in this picture.
Learning in and Outside the Classroom
My name is Haley Epping and I am from Rochester, New York. I am a sophomore with a double major in law and society and communication studies.
During my freshman year of college I was a part of University College, a living learning community here at AU. This means that I took a particular class with people I lived with. My class was called Harsh Justice and we discussed punishment and the criminal justice system in America. The class was taught by a professor who teaches undergraduate and doctoral students at AU and is expert in institutions of punishment and confinement, the death penalty, institutional violence, and race and justice in America. One of the components of the class was taking part in off-campus field trips to apply what we were learning in the classroom to the real world.
Our two off campus trips were organized by our student Program Leader, Cal Creeden, who is also an AU Ambassador. The first trip was to a poetry reading at the Kennedy Center. The poetry was written by prisoners and then read by individuals who either studied the prison system, or worked to help prisoners. My professor ended up reading one of the poems which was exciting to hear and see. This trip helped me bond with people on my floor while exploring D.C. and learning more about the American prison system. The other trip we went on was to a play at The Round in Virginia. This play was called Jesus Hopped the A Train which was about two different stories from men in prison. After the play there was a question and answer session with Kirk Bloodsworth, the first man exonerated by DNA evidence. During the intermission my professor introduced us to Mr. Bloodsworth and I was able to have a conversation with him. It was an enriching experience because I was able to apply what I learned from the play to the real world.
Additionally, we were each required to go on a police ride along or go to a court case. I chose to go on a police ride along in D.C.’s Ward 3. It was an eye opening experience for me. I was assigned to a cop for the night and I was able to ask him questions about being on the force in D.C. and being an officer in general. In class we also had a police officer from Fairfax, Virginia come in to speak with us. This was a really interesting experience because we learned about the justice system through both the eyes of a police officer and prisoner respectively. The cop also fielded questions about jobs in law enforcement. This class broadened my horizons and I ended up switching my major to Law and Society after this class. I enjoyed the diverse perspectives we learned about in class as well as a lot of the real life experiences my professor incorporated into the curriculum.
This year I am a program leader for a University College class about medical perspectives because I loved my class so much!