Fraternity and Sorority Life at Drake has come roaring back after a year of chapter meetings online, little philanthropy and no social events. Each chapter has spent this year making up for lost time.
Alpha Delta Pi:
First-year Ana Cesarz said her favorite event this year was visiting Center Grove Orchard with her chapter.
“It was super fun,” Cesarz said. “We took pictures in the corn pit.”
ADPi put on their annual philanthropy event ADPi Kind of Guy in late March. The event featured representatives from the fraternities participating in a combination of talent show and beauty pageant activities.
Cesarz said money raised at the event will benefit ADPi’s philanthropy, Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Alpha Delta Pi is looking forward to hosting chapter dinners at the house again now that COVID-19 restrictions are waning.
Kiley Kahler is a junior who loved participating in her philanthropy events this year. Her chapter hosted Mac and Phis, a mac and cheese event, at the house and put together the Alpha Phi games the next day to promote heart health awareness.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of work with my team,” Kahler said. “It’s a fun and inclusive way to engage the whole [FSL] community.”
In addition, Alpha Phi hosted Go Red Week in February to promote Heart Health month. They engaged with the student body through tabling and collaborating with the professional pharmacy fraternity.
Big Little Reveal was sophomore Ollie Kress’s favorite event this school year.
“I loved getting my little, and it was such a special experience to share with her,” Kress said.
Kress organized Delta Gamma’s fall philanthropy event, Anchor Splash. Four sororities and six fraternities participated in a synchronized swimming competition to benefit DG’s philanthropy, Service for Sight, and promote awareness for the visually impaired.
“Last year was really weird with everything being online,” Kress said. “We didn’t have the chance to do many things in person, but this year has been awesome. It’s great being able to connect with my sorority.”
Kappa Alpha Theta:
Formal at the Blank Park Zoo was a highlight of the year, according to first-year Paige Lambert.
She said having Formal and a philanthropy event in the same weekend made for a fun, busy weekend with her chapter.
“In the fall, we do Cakes for CASA, a pancake fundraiser for fellow Drake students, [the FSL community and the Des Moines area,” Lambert said.
Lambert helped coordinate Theta’s spring philanthropy, Cookies for CASA. Both events raise money for Court Appointed Special Advocates.
Kappa Kappa Gamma:
Senior Emily Nelson said the Miami Vice-themed Crush date party was her favorite event this year hosted by her chapter.
“I love anything that has a theme, so of course I had the best time,” Nelson said.
When not hosting date parties, Kappa participated in their philanthropy events, Kappa Kare packages and a movie night hosted at their house on 34th Street.
“Our new philanthropy [revolves] around mental health,” Nelson said.
Kappa Kappa Gamma raises money for the National Alliance on Mental Illness as of 2021.
As a senior, Nelson is reflecting on her time in KKG as she nears graduation.
“Kappa to me means always empowering one another to be our best selves,” she said.
Phi Delta Theta:
First-year Matthew Dinwiddie said his favorite times with his chapter are their brotherhood events, such as the time the chapter went bowling.
“It was a nice time to support each other and have some friendly competition,” he said.
PhiDelt is partnered with the LiveLikeLou Foundation, which conducts ALS research. The foundation’s namesake, Lou Gehrig, and its founder, Neil Alexander, were both members of the fraternity.
Sophomore Jack Parkos recently completed the IronPhi challenge, in which he raised $1,000 for the foundation and participated in an athletic event of his choice.
Phi Gamma Delta:
FIJI first-year William Frank said his chapter’s Halloween party was a highlight of his first year on campus. He dressed up as Three Hole Punch Jim from “The Office.”
The chapter’s philanthropy event was FIJI French Toast. They offered all-you-can-eat french toast at their house on 34th Street.
“We had our big alumni event in the fall, and we’re [hoping] to connect with alumni during Relays,” Frank said.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon:
Junior Jon Sterk said his favorite event with his chapter was visiting the pumpkin patch during Mom’s Weekend.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon hosted a raffle event to benefit the Boys and Girls club last semester.
“We want to make sure [students] have a safe environment to come to, so we love to put on those types of events,” Sterk said.
Sterk is looking forward to partnering with the other fraternities for the first-ever Interfraternity Council philanthropy event.
Henry Hallaway said the Derby Days philanthropy to benefit the American Heart Association was his favorite event of his junior year.
“We used part of our sidewalk on the side of our house and did a mini Painted Street kind of thing,” he said. “We sold squares to different Greek organizations around campus and spent a day outside with everybody.”
The members of Sigma Chi are excited to grow their interfraternal relations and spend time with all the chapters of Greek Life in the coming months.
Sigma Phi Epsilon:
SigEp’s brotherhood retreat was a favorite event, according to sophomore Richard Lock.
“It was a fun day where we got closer together as a chapter and had lots of fun,” Lock said.
SigEp’s philanthropy events this year include Miracle on 34th Street, a nod to the famous Christmas movie and the location of the Greek houses, and Queen of Hearts, a volleyball tournament for all the chapters to participate in.
Tau Kappa Epsilon:
Grant Morgan, sophomore, said his favorite event was the Halloween party hosted by his chapter. In addition, he also enjoys philanthropy events such as TKE Car Smash. Participants can pay to let off some steam and support TKE’s philanthropy.
“All the proceeds go to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, an amazing cause for amazing children who are really fighting,” Morgan said.
TKEs are looking forward to sharing the Relays experience with their brotherhood, as so many of the members have yet to experience a full-out Drake Relays.
Sophomore Antonio Pajic said his favorite event hosted by Theta Chi was Family Night.
“It’s so fun to find out our Bigs and Littles,” he said. The event is certainly a highlight across the FSL community.
Theta Chi did their annual fall philanthropy event Tater Chi to support the USO, and they’re currently raising money to support children in Belize’s efforts to attend school.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council, which governs the ‘Divine Nine’ historically black fraternities and sororities, did not respond to request for comment for this article.
As campus returns to some sense of normal, Fraternity and Sorority Life is ready to come together to support each other’s causes, do good for the Des Moines community and make the most of their four years at Drake.