Northeast Greek Leadership Association Conference

Courtesy of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs

Members of UR’s Greek life received recognition at the annual Northeast Greek Leadership Association (NGLA) conference in Hartford, Conn.

Three undergradutes of two UR sororities and one UR fraternity were awarded the Greek Leaders of Distinction Award, and UR’s Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity (SigEp) received the Amy Vojta Impact Award. Sophomores Dori Rohan and Juan Roldan and junior Nick Benjamin accepted the awards on their behalf.

The recipients of the Greek Leaders of Distinction Award were nominated and judged on several criteria, including scholastic accomplishment, leadership, and character.

On the basis of these criteria, it was awarded to Take Five Scholar Harini Morisetty of Delta Phi Omega sorority, senior Kyle Coapman of Delta Upsilon (DU) fraternity, and junior Kelly Scull of Sigma Delta Tau sorority.

Created in August 2000, NGLA works to build “community among students from a variety of fraternal experiences,” according to its website.

The annual conference serves not only to award distinguished  students who epitomize the character and ideals of Greek life in their daily lives, but to also provide educational programs and seminars led by speakers who accredit much of their success to values and principles established in fraternity and sorority experiences. Such speakers include leaders in business, higher education, and sociology.

All three students have held and continue to hold important leadership roles in their respective sorority and fraternity. The three have also noted Greek life as a crucial element in developing their personal leadership skills.

“As president, I had the opportunity to oversee the entire chapter, represent my chapter externally, and try my best to incorporate as many perspectives as possible,” said Coapman. “I have gained a greater understanding of myself and others.”

Morisetty responded similarly: “I have learned many useful leadership skills that will undoubtedly benefit me for my future…[Being a leader in Greek life] taught me the importance of responsibility and commitment.”

In addition, SigEp was awarded the Amy Vojta Impact Award, further honoring the UR Greek community.

The Amy Vojta Impact Award commends a chapter or council that has made an impact on their community. Awards are categorized into groups including character development and leadership, membership recruitment, and public relations. SigEp was awarded the Amy Vojta Impact Award for philanthropy and service in recognition of its work reviving the 19th Ward Spelling Bee.

After the Rochester Spelling Bee was disbanded due to a lack of funding, SigEp partnered with the 19th Ward Community Association and the Rochester City School District in 2010 to organize a new spelling bee for the students in the 19th Ward.

The Rochester Area Community Foundation and UR admissions office are also involved in the service project.

“The idea for the 19th Ward Spelling Bee originated from a shared belief among members of the fraternity and members of the 19th Ward Community Association,” SigEp President and sophomore Jonathan Macoskey  explained.

SigEp and others involved hoped to “motivate [students] to learn and reach their full potential,” according to Macoskey. This spelling bee is one of SigEp’s largest philanthropy events, others including the Nick Tahou’s Run and the 19th Ward Cleanup.

Besides the leadership experience, all the aforementioned students have emphasized the unique “interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills” that will be critical in their life upon graduation from the University.

“Being a member of a Greek organization offers friendship, leadership opportunities, and a true sense of community,” Macoskey said. “[The experience] will be one of the most valuable things I gain from my college career.”

Yoon is a member of the class of 2016.

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