People think that Greek life is superficial, or only about partying but it’s not. It’s business meetings and planning fundraisers, and collaborating with other clubs. The whole point of it is philanthropy and helping others.
Evynand Akombi ‘22 wasn’t expecting to find a sisterhood when she went to college. Already outgoing and involved in scholastic activities from her time growing up in Melrose outside Boston, Akombi came to Fitchburg State because she was intrigued by the quality and affordability of its nursing program (though she eventually switched majors to interdisciplinary studies).
“I loved the way the campus looked,” she said, describing an immediate feeling of connection that led her to know she had finished her college search. “I believe a lot in gut feelings, and this just felt right. Everything I’ve surrounded myself with has been that way. It’s what’s kept me here and wanting to stay involved on campus.”
As a first-year student, Akombi started working as a tour guide on campus. She loved that experience of interacting with prospective students and their families, and then added orientation leader to her list of campus engagements. She met another orientation leader who encouraged her to explore Greek life.
“I wasn’t looking for friends, per se, but I was looking for something else,” said Akombi. “I’m always one to try new things.”
Her exploration of Greek life on campus led her to Alpha Sigma Tau, where she learned about the sorority’s activism and philanthropy on topics related to sexual violence and women’s empowerment.
“The people I met I connected with instantly,” said Akombi, who was later elected president of the chapter. “It’s honestly been one of the best decisions I made here.”
From developing new ways to navigate interpersonal relationships to growing her own leadership skills, Akombi said her time with AST has been powerful. She looks forward to traveling to Florida this summer for a meeting with representatives from other chapters across the country.
As she looks back at her experiences with Greek life, Akombi said she is grateful she saw past her preconceived notions.
“People think that Greek life is superficial, or only about partying,” Akombi said. “It’s not. It’s business meetings and planning fundraisers, and collaborating with other clubs. The whole point of it is philanthropy and helping others.”
This story was originally published in the Spring 2022 edition of Contact magazine.