Greek Honors Societies have their own spin on Greek Life

Madeline Bruce, Staff Writer

You’ve heard of social fraternities and sororities on campus.
For the most part, they’re social groups that focus on personal development through different events.
They hold socials, have their own houses and, in some cases, are known for their parties.
But, you might have noticed some other Greek letters around campus that don’t represent social Greek life organizations.
They represent Greek honors societies here at Gannon. At Gannon, there are several Greek honors societies, one for pretty much each department.
The requirements to become a member of these organizations are different for each one, and you can join one that coincides with your major or interests.
One major difference between Greek honors societies and Greek social organizations is that honors societies are co-ed. They aren’t official Greek life fraternities, so both men and women are allowed in.
“We differ from fraternities and sororities because we are a co-ed fraternity,” Seamus Clerkin, president of Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honors society, said.
Another difference is that honors societies don’t require new members to pay expensive initiation fees.
Alpha Psi Omega only requires new members to pay $35 when they first join.
After that, there’s no more membership fees. Similarly, the English honors society, Sigma Tau Delta, has a $45 initial fee for a lifetime membership.
Honors societies also don’t have houses. Instead, they have meeting places much like clubs do.
This may seem like it would affect how close the members of the honors societies are, but for many it doesn’t. Clerkin said that Alpha Psi Omega’s lack of a house doesn’t affect the bonding between its members.
“Not having a house does not affect how close we are because we have never had a house to begin with,” he said.
“The Schuster Theatre is our equivalent to a social sorority or fraternity house.”
The honors societies also organize fun social events, fundraisers, and service projects.
A few years ago, Sigma Tau Delta held a Harry Potter night open to all Gannon students.
It has also delivered care baskets to those in need in Erie and fundraised through “Blind Date with a Book” and other events. Alpha Psi Omega also holds these types of events, and participating in these events can earn potential members points toward their bids.
Overall, there are some major differences between Greek honors societies and Greek social fraternities and sororities.
Still, the missions of the two and the types of events they hold aren’t really that different.
So, if you want to join a Greek group on campus but don’t want to go through rigorous new member trainings or pay expensive initiation fees, think about joining a Greek honor society.
Check out whether your major or interest has one, and see what the requirements are for the one you’re interested in on engageU.


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