When you think of college fraternities, do scenes from the movie Animal House come to mind?
For 30 years, America's view of fraternities (and in some cases, sororities) has been influenced by the toga-wearing, hard-drinking, food-fighting brothers of Delta House. In fact, fraternity members, themselves, may have believed that the brothers of Delta House were role models to emulate, perhaps the very thinking that caused a backlash against fraternities (originally organized to promote scholarship) in colleges across the nation.
But fraternity brothers are not the town rowdies that comical movies, books, and television shows often portray. When colleges support and partner with these Greek-letter organizations, fraternities and sororities can become sources of scholarship, philanthropy, leadership, and deep, abiding friendships.
Just ask Dr. Steven J. Tyrell, vice president for student affairs at Alfred State College (SUNY College of Technology) in upstate New York. He believes that Greek-letter organizations can be positive forces in the lives of our young people provided the organization and the institution (college/university) clearly understand and agree upon what is expected of both parties.
"Because fraternities and sororities can have such positive influences on today's college students, Alfred State College has taken steps to support and nurture these organizations with the proviso that the college and the fraternities/sororities have the same goals. To this end, the student-run Greek Council on campus and appropriate student life administrators have forged a relationship statement that spells out the criteria Greek groups need to follow in order to receive the recognition and support of the college," Tyrell says.
Among the most important of these requirements, says Tyrell, is that the membership hold each other accountable.
"Students need to take ownership of their club and of the actions of its members," says Tyrell. "When students are held accountable, most often they live up to our expectations."
The relationship statement crafted by the Division of Student Affairs and the Greek Senate at Alfred State holds fraternities and sororities to four major standards:
Scholarship-because academics and scholarship are ideals upon which most Greek organizations are founded, a student's academic responsibility should unquestionably receive the highest priority. Greek-lettered organizations encourage members to embrace a lifelong desire for learning and thus they demonstrate this value in how they inculcate the value of scholarship in their actions and daily practices. Fraternities and sororities must promote scholarship by providing opportunities for students to develop important study habits such as study groups and workshops on time management, note taking, study skills, and test anxiety, as well as foster informal and formal advising sessions with members. Each organization must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 (out of 4.0) grade point average.
Philanthropy and community service-Greek organizations provide members with the opportunity to become involved in giving back to the community through service and philanthropies because Greek organizations care about others and are willing to do something to show that care to others.
Leadership (development)-Greek members can cultivate their leadership skills through their participation in organizational activities or through their involvement in Greek Senate activities. In order to meet their obligation as an exclusionary group, they are required to fully participate in Greek Senate activities, meetings and initiatives, as this insures that the standards will be met and completed at a level of quality that will allow the entire Greek community to thrive at the college. Alfred State College will provide training, seminars, and other leadership opportunities that meet the specific needs of the current Greek population.
Brotherhood/Sisterhood (friendship)-when choosing an organization, students may look for a comfortable fit where they feel they can share values and interests with members. A chapter can serve as a place where friends become family and the friendships can last a lifetime. Greek organizations also give members the opportunity to network with alumni/ae and interact with members who have made a successful transition from college to the work force. Fraternities and sororities also provide a wide variety of events which help bring members of different organizations together, fostering relationships outside the core group.
When asked how the college can be certain these standards are being met, Tyrell noted, "We're not naïve. In a nutshell, we expect the Greeks-who are all assigned a Student Life adviser-to provide us with annual reports; plans for leadership opportunities; policies and procedures -especially as pertains to recruiting new members; and clear, functional risk management policies and procedures to mitigate potential risks to members or visitors.
"Should a Greek-lettered organization-or any student organization on campus, for that matter-disregard the guidelines set in place, it risks losing recognition by the college; groups who choose not to abide by our standards cannot seek to associate with the college or with Greek Senate, nor will they obtain (or retain) college recognition," Tyrell continues.
"We've had great success with our Greek organizations in the past few years," adds Tyrell, "and we're expecting even greater success with the full implementation of our relationship statement.
"So, despite the sometimes tarnished reputation of college fraternities and sororities, Alfred State College has made a commitment to foster the responsible growth of such organizations. After all, if approximately 25 percent of chief executives on the Forbes Super 500 list were members of fraternities during their college years, it simply supports our belief that the skills students obtain while being a brother or sister in a Greek organization can later give them an edge when they enter the work force, allowing them to become contributing members of our society."
Donald Holzer, Murfreesboro, TN, Alfred State College class of 1956 (plant and soil science), recently donated $20,000 to his alma mater to help modernize the soils laboratory and provide students with more practical, hands-on techniques to evaluate soil properties and enhance soil quality. Holzer, who retired from the Soil Conservation Service and the U.S. Forest Service, wrote (or co-wrote) several books on soil and donated copies to the Soils Lab library. Alfred State College President Dr. John M. Anderson spoke for the college community, saying, "I want to thank and recognize Donald Holzer for his generous contributions. Don has been a terrific friend to the College for many years, and we appreciate his dedication to Alfred State!"
Students at Alfred State College will join the trayless revolution when they return to school this fall. Dining services organizations across the county are removing trays from dining halls in order to reduce food waste and save both water and electricity. College campuses across the country are going trayless to reduce food waste and save on both water and electricity. Now, Alfred State's Central Dining Hall will join the revolution.
Karen Canne, director of dining services for Alfred State's Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Services (ACES), expects a reduction in food waste of as much as 25 percent. "Based on the data from other schools, we expect to see a measurable drop in our waste."
The trayless plan saves on water and electricity, as all those extra trays and dishes no longer need to be rinsed and washed.
This project is part of ACES' on-going initiative to reduce its environmental impact. The company also partners with the Center for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture (COSA) to serve organic greens and produce grown on campus in Central Dining Hall. ACES is also working with the college to turn its own used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel for the shuttle buses that take students to and from the School of Applied Technology campus in Wellsville every day.
Perhaps a drop in waste will lead to another drop in waist. With that freshman 15 pounds lurking just around the corner, maybe some students will skip those indulgent "just a bite" habits and battle the bulge right at the food service line.
Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Services, Inc. (ACES) is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the mission of Alfred State College by providing dining services, campus bookstores, telecommunications, transportation and vending services to Alfred State College students.
The Alfred State College athletic department will induct the 2008 Hall of Fame class during ceremonies on Friday September 12 as part of Homecoming activities. Softball/basketball player Toni Darling (Johnston), bowler Gerry Cox, and baseball player Joe Van Gorder will join the 43 current members of the Hall of Fame.
Darling was a two-sport athlete during her time at Alfred State. On the softball diamond she was the top pitcher as the Lady Pioneers advanced to the NJCAA World Series in 1997 and also was the starting point guard on the basketball court.
As a freshman, Darling was 11-5 with a 1.83 ERA. She struck out 76 batters in 103 innings while recording three no-hitters and five shutouts.
In 1997, she was named 2nd team NJCAA All-American and 1st team All-Region after leading the Lady Pioneers to the World Series. She was 18-7 with a 1.52 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 143 innings pitched. She threw her 4th no-hitter of her career, tossed four complete game shutouts, and combined on another shutout.
On the basketball court Darling was named All-Region in 1997. She finished her two year career with 310 points, 180 rebounds, 148 assists, and 102 steals.
Cox is the first bowler to be inducted into the Alfred State College Athletic Hall of Fame. He is the only Pioneer ever to win a title at the NJCAA National Bowling Championship.
In 1972, Cox won the NJCAA National Singles Bowling Championship by rolling a 675. Earlier in the year he was the Region III Bowling Champion and the ASC Team MVP.
Van Gorder is one of the top two-way players in Alfred State College baseball history. During his time at Alfred, he helped the program to WNYAC, Region III, and NYS Division I Championships. The Pioneers were 93-36 during his career.
On the mound, Van Gorder accumulated an 11-4 career record including a 10-3 record as a sophomore in 2001. Van Gorder struck out 135 batters in his career and currently holds the college records for most strikeouts in a season (108) and the most strikeouts in a game (13). At the plate he was a .351 career hitter with 36 doubles, three triple, two home runs, and 79 RBI.
Van Gorder was named the Region III Player of the Year, 1st team All-Region, and the Alfred State College most valuable pitcher in 2001.
Van Gorder went on to West Virginia University where he was a 14th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals. He spent the next three summers playing professionally.
The process to be inducted into the Hall of Fame begins when coaches, alumni, and former athletes make nominations. Each year a committee made of all the Hall of Fame members; three past or present Alfred State College faculty or staff; two alumni athletes (one male & one female); and past and present Athletic directors vote from the list of nominees. To be selected a nominee must receive 2/3 of the votes.
Darling, Cox, and Van Gorder will be honored in a ceremony to be held in the Allegany Room of the Central Dining Hall beginning at 6 p.m. on Sept. 12.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony kicks off a busy weekend of athletic events during Homecoming 2008. Cross Country, men's and women's soccer, baseball, and football will all host competition on Saturday and alumni games will be played in softball, lacrosse, and baseball on Sunday afternoon. (For a complete Homecoming 2008 schedule visit: http://www.alfredstate.edu/events/homecomingfamily-weekend)
Alfred State College sophomore Jenni Jerome (Syracuse/Westhill) has been named pre-season 1st team Division III NJCAA All-American.
Jerome is coming off a solid freshman campaign as she helped Alfred State to a 36-6 record, a Region III Championship, and a 5th place finish at the NJCAA Division III National Championships.
Last season, Jerome was named 1st team All-region and 1st team All-WNYAC after registering 308 kills, 326 digs, and a team high 58 blocks on the season. During the season she was named MVP of the Onondaga CC Tournament and named to the all-tournament team for the Regional championship and the Alfred State Tournament. At the end-of-the-year awards dinner, Jerome was named the Alfred State College female freshman of the year.
Jerome will lead a young squad in 2008 that starts the season ranked #6 in the pre-season Division III poll. Jerome and the Lady Pioneers open up their season on September 6 when they compete in the Mohawk Valley CC Tournament.
Sophomore pre-season NJCAA All-American volleyball player Jenni Jerome (Syracuse/Westhill) is busy preparing for the 2008 season. She took time to give her prespective on the preseason camp and the upcoming season.
What are your personal and team expectations for the upcoming season?
I expect to come out on top this year. After graduating 4 out of 6 of the starters, it will be hard to live up to the success that we had last year. Our team is becoming closer every session, and I think if we put the work in, we will be right where we want to be.
Describe Preseason Camp?
Right now we have triples everyday. Preseason prepares you physically and mentally for the actual season. It is all about getting used to the campus life, and spending time with the girls. We do everything together.
What is your most memorable athletic accomplishment?
Last year, winning the Regional Finals, and finding out we would be traveling to Minnesota to play at the National Championship tournament.
Who has been your biggest influence?
My parents have influenced me a lot. My father was a college and pro athlete so he knows what to say and how to handle my frustrations and problems when it comes to sports. My mother is a first grade teacher, she just always knows the right things to say and do to make the most out of a bad situation.
What is on your iPod?
My iPod is mostly rap, but there's a little Dave Matthews, Ani DiFranco and Trevor Hall in there.
If you could have superpowers, what would they be?
I would love to be able to fly, it would make a world of difference on the volleyball court.
Name 3 people, past or present, that you would like to meet.
Marilyn Monroe, Misty May, and Kobe Bryant.
Name 3 things you would like to do before you graduate.
I would like to improve myself as an athlete, the team to make it to the National Championship again and make a name for Alfred State College in the volleyball world, and graduate from this school knowing what I want to do for the rest of my life.
Favorite toppings on pizza?
Green peppers and mushrooms.
Favorite food: Pineapple
Favorite color: Yellow
Favorite cartoon: Daria
Favorite movie: Brand New
Favorite restaurant: Tully's Sports Bar
Favorite off day activity: Shopping!
Alfred State College President Dr. John M. Anderson recently convened a meeting of all the volunteer boards that serve the institution. This first-ever gathering of its type served to acquaint new board members (and experienced ones) with the goals and responsibilities of the other volunteer boards. Represented at the meeting were the ACES board (Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Services--the campus dining, vending, telecommunication, and transportation provider), represented by board chair, Steven Reynolds, ASC associate professor, Business Technology Department; the Alumni Board, represented by board chair Gail Boorman, ASC class of 1969; The College Council, represented by Dr. Frank Thiel, College Council member; The Development Fund Board, represented by board chair Susan Adsit, ASC class of 1966; and The Educational Foundation of Alfred, represented by board chair James Locker. In his remarks, Anderson thanked the boards for their tireless work and noted that because of these dedicated volunteers, and their contributions of time, talent, and energy, Alfred State College is well-prepared to enter its second century.
Moving-in day at Alfred State College saw hundreds of families like the one pictured here hauling their students' belongings to campus to begin the new academic year. Instead of the traditional linens and clothing packed in a tidy footlocker, students these days need trucks and trailers to transport today's college necessities, including computers, refrigerators, microwaves, and the myriad electronic gadgets that make life "bearable."
Alfred State College faculty and staff welcomed this year's incoming freshman class of 1,400 students during the 15th annual New Student Convocation. This year's speakers were Jim J. Grillo, SUNY distinguished teaching professor, ASC Business Technology Department; and Adam Nash, Barneveld, ASC Student Senate president. In his remarks and unique "plop, plop, fizz, fizz" presentation, Grillo introduced students to his philosophy of motivation: "There are three types of people," he noted. "Those like ‘Mr. Aspirin' sit around and complain when others surpass them; those like ‘Mr. Bromo Seltzer" start off strong, but lose momentum; but those like ‘Mr. Alka Seltzer' give 100 percent and rise to the top. There will be a lot of competition out there; pattern yourself after those people who work steadily and enthusiastically, and you, too, will rise to the top." Nash gave the "newbies" an insider's look at the college years, drawing on his experiences at Alfred State so far. Included in his advice: "Get involved, don't complain about something that you think is wrong, work to do something about it; and, dream big, because even if you accomplish only a part of that dream, you will have accomplished a lot!"
Pictured here, members of the stage party prepare for the event: l-r: Dr. Steven J. Tyrell, ASC vice president for student affairs; Deborah J. Goodrich, associate vice president for enrollment management; Grillo; Dr. John M. Anderson, ASC president; Nash; and Dr. Ronald R. Rosati, ASC provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Alfred State College faculty and staff gathered for breakfast recently to hear President John Anderson's opening remarks. Anderson kicked off the academic year by updating new and returning faculty on the state of the college as well as spotlighting the college's strategic plan to guide the campus community through the next five years. Following Anderson's presentation, each vice president introduced his/her new hires. Breakfast was sponsored by ACES, the campus dining, vending, and transportation supplier; Sysco Food Service, which provides a full spectrum of food service supplies and equipment to complement its broad food product offerings; Venture Sales Group, a sales and marketing agency specializing in meeting the needs of today's food service customers and suppliers; and New Horizons (Food and Marketing Company) which represents Perdue Farms for the upstate New York food service market.