By Julian Leon
GREEK life is a way to find friends, have fun, and create relationships you can have for life.
Alexis Bonamassa, the new student activities and Greek Life assistant director, would like to see more students experience what YCP’s fraternities and sororities have to offer.
Bonamassa comes from Campbell University, a private university in Buies Creek, North Carolina, where she held a similar role and saw success in the growth of Greek life on campus. When deciding to come to YCP she saw an opportunity to do the same thing here.
“I want to help grow our fraternity and sorority community and guide them to be more engaging and welcoming to new incoming students,” she says.
York College of Pennsylvania currently has six fraternities and six sororities.
COVID took a toll on everyone, including Bonamassa, causing her to lose her job at Campbell University. She decided to move closer to her parents and in the process discovered York College. After assessing the situation, she saw an opportunity to help create a respectful environment for all of Greek life students and potential new members. “Fraternities and sororities need to become closer as a group, only then can we create a better marketing strategy and attraction to more students,” she says.
Currently, numbers within the fraternities and sororities are trending lower. There are a total of 240 students in Greek life, as compared to the past three years in which the numbers have been in the range of 300 to 400. In order to reverse this downward trend, Bonamassa says, “We need students to want to buy into Greek life; I can’t do everything on my own. It’s gonna take all of us to get this train moving in the right direction.”
According to a 2019 Gallup survey, there are an estimated 750,000 fraternity and sorority members in college and more than nine million alumni in the United States. Membership ranges from less than 5 percent on some campuses to more than 50 percent on others. It’s especially popular in the South.
One member of a fraternity on campus, Alex Maher, works closely with Bonamassa and orchestrates events on campus for Greek life to get the word out more and entice new students to want to join. He says Bonamassa has the right mentality and he believes that she can get interest turned around. “She’s doing all the right things; it’s up to all of us to work together and make it happen,” he says.
When asking other students why they joined Greek life in the first place, their statements all go back to this idea Bonamassa wants to adapt in creating a family within all the organizations. Megan Hinds, from the sorority Sigma Delta Tau, says, “I joined Greek life because it was a way to make new friends, it was being a part of a big community for life.”
Adds Joshua Duthu of Phi Kappa Psi, ”I joined Greek life to be a part of something bigger than myself and to create meaningful relationships and connections.”
Can that community grow at YCP? Bonamassa is counting in it.
Julian Leon is a senior majoring in Sport Media.