Greek Research Symposium builds on pillar of academics

For the first time, students affiliated with fraternities and sororities at Trinity were encouraged to present their summer research at the Greek Symposium Monday night in the Center for Sciences and Innovation. Students and professors were able see their peers and students’ involvement in various research projects.

The purpose of the Greek Symposium is to show the Trinity community one of the many ways that Greek-affiliated students branch out of their fraternities or sororities and become involved in other academic pursuits.

“We’re all Trinity students here and this is a nice reflection and way to tell the community that we’re all involved here. We’re not just the people you see wearing jerseys, but we wear many other coats,” said Matt Mitts, junior and Omega Phi president.

The event was one of several this week that all function to demonstrate the pillars of Greek life. These events are all done in anticipation of Bid Day. Greek Symposium represented the pillar of scholarship.

“We all go through the same rigorous curriculum as everyone else and a lot of us challenge ourselves academically. I think the Greek Symposium was kind of a celebration of people of challenging themselves academically,” said Angela Arroyo, a sophomore Zeta Chi.

Because many Greek-affiliated students attended the event, people who wouldn’t normally see scientific research were able to learn about the research their peers have been involved in.

“Its fun to present these findings to students who aren’t necessarily science majors…they were certainly engaged in our research, so that was enjoyable,” said Paige Roth, junior and member of Sigma Theta Tau.

The Greek Symposium also gave students in the same Greek organizations the opportunity to see their fraternity brothers or sorority sisters outside of their typical settings. Members who participated in the symposium also got points for their organizations for Greek week. Many Greek-affiliated students went to the event to support their fellow members in their organization.

“It was a way to communicate better within your group as well. A lot of the members know you do research but they don’t know what. We learn more about each other through the experience,” said Mitts.

The event was also run to expose students outside of Greek life to the ways in which Greek life members participate in similar endeavors and have similar interests.

“Greek council often talks about perceived animosity between non-Greek students and Greek students. This is kind of a way to break down some of those stereotypes potentially. And, although some of those stereotypes are completely valid, there is also a sector of Greek students who really do contribute quite a bit. This is a way of saying that Greek life isn’t the only thing we do,” Roth said.

The Greek Symposium ultimately connected Trinity students to ideas, subject matter and people they wouldn’t normally interact with. It gave Greek and non-Greek students the opportunity to see one another in a light they aren’t typically in.