I Went From Shunning Greek Life To Becoming A Founding Father

How I Went From Not Wanting To Join Greek Life To Becoming A Founding Father

Sometimes we can't plan for certain events.


To say I was all over the place in high school is an understatement. When I went on college tours I was sometimes interested in Greek Life at one university and at other times it would be on the back burner. Many of my friends knew they were going to join fraternities but whenever someone would ask me I wouldn't typically have an answer. I was going to a school where Greek Life is a huge part of campus and people are constantly wearing their letters around campus. There was always one fraternity I wanted to join but they weren't at Alabama so I assumed that it was a sign that I didn't need to rush.

My freshman year was a little tough. While I did have friends and was having a good time in college I felt something was missing. Not in regards to parties or drinking alcohol but I felt I was missing that distinct group of friends. I always had a group of friends in my life wherever I went and I still do but I didn't have that in college. My freshman year I decided to join an academic fraternity known as Phi Sigma Pi. I liked the idea that it was a social fraternity that had an academic aspect. PSP would hold events such as fundraisers and social events but would also have study nights. PSP made me find my group of people in college and also helped me grow. For someone who didn't know if a fraternity was right for him I was lucky enough to have found a college family but what makes things even better in college is when the opportunity can find you.

As long as I can remember I have always heard the words Alpha Epsilon Pi. Growing up at a Jewish camp many of the counselors were members of this fraternity and would be seen wearing their letters during the day. They spoke highly of the Jewish fraternity which was full of all Jewish members and how many people are Ramah alums. I had told myself I wanted to join this fraternity but when I found out Alabama didn't have an AEPI I abandoned the thought. In the middle of my junior year, I received a message from the national headquarters about their interest in bringing back AEPI to Alabama and that they would like me involved as a founding father. AEPI was the only fraternity I ever wanted to be apart of and while I would not be in school much longer I had the opportunity to create something for the future.

I thought about Judaism, Ramah, my friends and family before I accepted this challenge. Fraternities aren't made overnight but I had the chance to build something that becomes significant in the future and is talked about by everyone.

Its been a year and a half since the eleven founding fathers started Alpha Epsilon Pi at Alabama and in just that time span Alabama AEPI has received a charter, recognition by the university as a fraternity, 26 amazing members who are about to add many more and gained the support and love of a Jewish fraternity that has shaped so many great people. I took a big risk as a 20-year-old who decided to become a founding father but I can say that this risk is one of the biggest payoffs I have ever received.

If you asked me when I was 17 if I would join a fraternity I would respond with "I don't know." I didn't know if fraternities were my thing and I didn't know what I wanted to focus on in college. Many people have told me that joining a fraternity was the best thing that happened to them but for me, I think starting a fraternity and seeing the success in such a short period of time is the best thing that happened to me. Alabama AEPI has a long way to go but the future is bright for this fraternity that was only an idea a year and a half ago. AEPI has allowed me to connect with my Judaism and bring in experiences that could be useful to the rest of my chapter. I haven't gained just my friends but I have gained another family. So whether you want to be in Greek Life or not just know that when an opportunity comes knocking sometimes it is best to answer the call, no matter how late in the game it is.

Popular Right Now

7 Reasons You Should Order A Vodka/Water/Lime When You're Out

There’s a reason the Vodka/Water/Lime is the number one drink at The Strip every weekend.

We’ve all been through it. Whether it was sometime in high school, out freshman year of college or the day we turned 21, at some point you have or will tried to order a drink while you’re out on the town. I’m here to end all the experimentation, and give you a go-to drink that is sweeping across college campuses everywhere, the Vodka-Water-Lime, and the reasons why, are clear to see.

1. It will keep you hydrated

It may seem trivial but hydration is key if you’re planning on drinking any amount any time, or so I have been told. But let’s face it, biology grants us the ability to chug concoctions called 4-Lokos with ease while drinking the recommended amount of water per day almost impossible. The drink that solves both issues—Vodka-Water-Lime.

2. It doesn't taste that bad

I’ll admit I was a little skeptical at first, but this drink isn’t that bad to swallow, especially when you think about some of the other things you could be drinking. There’s a reason why the only way people can drink tequila is in shot from or in a lime slushy. As the old saying goes: if you drink enough everything just tastes like water, and this one already has water in it!

3. It gets you drunk

That’s right. It does the job. Isn’t that really all we want in a drink anyway, everything else is just trivial.

4. It establishes immediate common-ground

What is that girl next to you at the bar about to order? You guessed it. Now imagine that you are about to order the same thing, she is practically begging to dance on you at this point, it’s that easy.

5. Easy, Quick, Universal

There are just three simple ingredients, and the amounts of which are subject to your personal preference and tolerance levels. It doesn’t require the aid of Chet the self-proclaimed mixologist to make—it’s so easy a baby could do it! And it’s known virtually everywhere, if you’re ever in a place that doesn’t have either vodka, water, or limes, you’re probably there against your will anyway.

6. Health Benefits

Since most people don’t drink liquor straight, the use of a chaser or mixer is required, but we all know the problems that causes. Sugar and alcohol don’t mix well, not to mention the calories in soda. Vodka-Water-Lime has not calories and no sugar added. On top of that, the presence of water and lack of soda is almost a guarantee that you won’t be hungover the next day.

7. It's shameless

With all of the numerous benefits, it’s impossible to give someone a hard time for ordering this, yet it happens. Becky’s friends may tell her that she looks great and shouldn’t be concerned about her calories. WELL MAYBE BECKY JUST LIKES THE TASTE. Still, Bradley may get bold and order one out with the boys, but since there’s nothing to crack open, he may be the butt of their jokes, but Bradley knows that he made the right choice.

NOTE: limes can be substituted for other in-season citrus fruits.

There’s a reason the Vodka-Water-Lime is the number one drink at The Strip every week. The facts are there; it’s not fake news. Vodka-Water-Lime should be your new drink. It’s not just something you adopt in college or for a few nights out, it’s a lifestyle. The Vodka-Water-Lime is classy and sophisticated, it is a drink that you can order somewhere fancy like a restaurant or a Carnival cruise ship, or even on your wedding night.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Hating On Greek Life Isn't A Personality Trait, Get Over Yourself

Congratulations, you don't like Greek Life...now what?


I was doing my usual scrolling through Twitter recently, and I found a tweet that seemed to be making fun of a set of photos. In hopes of discovering some classic Twitter humor, I decided to engage further. The tweet referenced a photo series that a group of sorority girls created, where they attempted to defy the stereotypes of sorority girls in America with statements like: "Society says sorority girls are rich and spoiled, but I pay for my dues and tuition," or "Society says sorority girls buy their friends, but you can't put a price on sisterhood." The photo series itself is sweet – it has a message of inclusivity and positivity. Yet, the responses to this photo series were anything but that.

One Twitter user responded stating that the photo series was "pathetic" because, "Some of us are actually from diverse backgrounds, immigrant families, low-income households, etc."

Another Twitter user mentioned, "I saw some s*** like this on my Facebook literally a week ago lmao why do they wanna be oppressed so bad."

It is absolutely no secret that Greek life has a bad reputation. Popular movies like "Neighbors" paint members of Greek life as shallow, rich, and incompetent for the purpose of shock value and humor. Although this image was manufactured for the purpose of entertainment, the idea has seeped into the mindset of society to ultimately promote an extreme overgeneralization of an opportunity in college that is anything but harmful.

Many of the responses to the original tweet seemed to stem from the assumption that being an intelligent and reasonable student and being a part of Greek Life are mutually exclusive. This concept is extremely hypocritical. The human identity is multifaceted and contextual. Every person engages and utilizes their intelligence in different ways depending on what the context requires, and to reason that members of Greek Life are not privy to this exact ability simply because of their affiliation is absurd.

Furthermore, users who claimed that Greek life lacks "diverse backgrounds" or "immigrant families" are only reinforcing this stereotype. Although I'd like to first state that I believe that Greek life absolutely does harness a fair amount of diversity, I think making this type of argument would be stale. Instead, I believe that restating stereotypes such as the above only isolates those from diverse backgrounds who may want to join Greek life, because they worry they will be cornered or ridiculed by their peers.

If you believe that Greek life is exclusive, my first recommendation would be for you to challenge that exclusivity by joining and breaking the barriers and proving Greek life wrong. But if we as a society continue to paint Greek life as this "whitewashed" organization and then ridicule any person of color who may be interested in joining, we are simply generating redundancy and contributing to the perceived issue.

In response to ideas of oppression, I agree with the statement that members of Greek life are by no means oppressed. There are minority groups who face genuine and violent oppression, and to use a word as strong as that to describe Greek life demeans those who endure a genuine struggle. However, I would argue that members of Greek life are unfairly stereotyped against, which is only highlighted by the backlash this photo series received. A photo series that had no purpose beyond defying stereotypes and promoting a well-rounded understanding gathered sarcastic feedback such as "sorority girls are braver than US Marines." Yet, all this negative feedback manifested in response to a photo series that had no intention of marginalizing or ridiculing those who were not a part of Greek life.

Instead, Twitter users took it upon themselves to assume the worst of Greek life.

I'm not saying that everyone needs to go rush to their nearest flower shop and send a sorority a beautiful bouquet of flowers begging for an apology. In fact, I couldn't care less if you like Greek life or not after this. What I am saying is that isolating and marginalizing members of Greek life because you believe that they unfairly prejudice those from diverse backgrounds is a problem. If you believe that joining an organization that promotes positivity, philanthropy, and mentorship isn't for you, that is absolutely ok. It isn't for everyone, and that's not a trait exclusive to membership in Greek life by any means. It is worthy to note, though, that making fun of sororities or fraternities for unreasonable assumptions you maintain makes you no better than what you perceive Greek life to be, and that is something to absolutely be mindful of.

Related Content

Facebook Comments