Greek life on college campuses has been under fire with extremely negative connotations for awhile. While the scandals that have been associated with Greek life are completely unacceptable, it’s also important to recognize that these scandals do not represent Greek life as a whole. One fraternity on Millersville’s campus that continually tries to break the negative stigmas is Phi Delta Theta. According to PDT president, Matt Hudak, and vice president, Gasser Abousaif, their fraternity recognizes the problems and tries to combat them as best they can.
PDT played an influential role in bringing the It’s On Us campaign to end sexual assault to Millersville’s campus. “ It’s On Us was actually an event that wasn’t run through any individual fraternity, it was actually run through the InterFraternal Council. Our ex-president was the vice president of IFC and we felt very obligated to make the event as big as we could and was responsible for organizing most of the event [on Millersville’s campus.]”
Along with this, PDT is involved with many philanthropic events, which is one way they are trying to break the stigma that fraternities are simply party-hungry packs of college students. They put in a great deal of effort in their charitable events. Hudak expands on this, saying, “Our national philanthropy is Lou Gherig’s disease. A Phi Delt alumnus created the Live Like Lou Foundation, which is a foundation that we raise money for that raises money for ALS research.”
They even partnered up with the Lancaster Barnstormers, a professional baseball team in Lancaster, to raise money for the foundation. Abousaif states that “any tickets we helped them sell, they gave away a percentage of it to the Live Like Lou foundation and then we were presented with a check in front of everyone in the stadium so we ended up raising nearly $1,000 that we were able to sell to the Live Like Lou foundation. It was a really great opportunity.”
They also, much like other Greek organizations, require their members to obtain a certain GPA percentage and be involved in at least one other outside activity in order to be an active member of the chapter. PDT places an increased importance on making sure their brothers are well-rounded and upkeep the moral values of the fraternity.
Abousaif also believes that joining Greek life is extremely significant in the social lives of students. “95% of the friends I have today are from Greek events. It’s been instrumental in my social life and the connections I’ve made. It’s been the best decision of my life.”
One stigma that is commonly known is that the financial obligations of Greek life can be stressful and a cause for students not being able to become a member of a chapter. However, Hudak and Abousaif debunk this stereotype as well. “We really try to make the financial obligation not stressful in any way,” Abousaif explains. “Ultimately, you’re a brother and we’re going to make it as easy for you as we can. We give payment plans, we help with finding a job because we have a lot of connections not only in the Millersville community but in the Lancaster community as well. If someone wants to become a brother, they will be a brother. We make sure that finances are not going to be a huge hurdle.”
Hudak continues, “the network of Phi Delta Theta can help later down the line in our professional lives too.” Once past college students recognize the familiar greek letters, it instantly connects them: “Just the fact that we both wear those letters, we automatically connect. That’s what this whole organization is about,” according to Abousaif.
While PDT is considered a colony here on Millersville’s campus, meaning they aren’t an official chapter here quite yet, with the valuable work they’re doing, they might be considered an official chapter here on campus in the near future and will continue to work toward breaking down the stereotypes that affect all of Greek life.
“A lot of brothers from other chapters do notice that it’s a problem that we’re trying to fix. We’re still working on ways that we can try and fix it.”
“We have Pie a Phi that we do almost every semester where you can throw a pie in a brother’s face. It’s fun. We were founded a year ago so we haven’t gotten too many opportunities to raise money, but we sold stickers recently this semester, wristbands, stuff like that.”
“In the end, we’re all Millersville University students, we all have the same goal in mind where we just want to better ourselves.”