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Another side to Greek life

Fraternities and sororities are an integral part of Weber State University, accepting students of any background to pledge for their recruitment. As stated on the WSU website, “leadership, service and academic success are the cornerstones of WSU’s fraternity & sorority community.”

Psi Phi Psi
Psi Phi Psi, a fraternity at Weber State University, prides itself on its participation service projects that benefit the community around them. Photo credit: Weber State University

The most recent fall recruitment was from Sept. 13 to Sept. 18. The new recruits then underwent an eight-week pledging process in which they attended events and learned about the fraternity or sorority they were joining.

Jake Murray, president of Pi Theta Xi, pledged in 2018 after transferring from Southern Utah University to WSU to help his mental state.

“My dad was a football player at SUU and had stories about how bad the fraternities down there were,” Murray said.

Knowing this, Murray joined the WSU fraternity for what he acknowledged as the superficial aspects until he realized the meaning of a brotherhood supporting each other and the community.

He also had a complicated relationship with his biological brother and says he wasn’t good at making other male friends when he was younger.

“The fraternity has given me something I can’t explain; all these guys have my back no matter the circumstance,” Murray said.

During his first semester as an active member, there was an opening for a disciplinary position called “Sergeant at Arms.” Murray was accepted into the position and participated for two years until moving up into the vice president position in the spring of 2020.

The following year he was voted president of Pi Theta Xi. Murray’s social network is made up of people he has met through the fraternity, and he has been offered many leadership positions, as well.

Murray has also taken part in service projects such as “Project Elf,” a charity drive for The Christmas Box House, a charity that helps prevent child abuse.

They also partner with Ogden Nature Center for “bravery night,” a night of embracing fears anywhere from public speaking to handling spiders.

Murray described an incident in 2020 when widespread claims went around the university about alleged hazing and discrimination within Greek life on campus, causing a 10-day event suspension.

Pi Theta Xi
Pi Theta Xi, the Weber State University fraternity, has allowed for many of its members to build lifelong relationships between its members that many believe would not have been possible without it. Photo credit: Weber State University

“Our intentions are not to demean anyone or to be reckless, but to help people feel safe and uplifted,” Murray said.

Murray also explains that many fraternities want to split from the term “frat,” a word he feels has negative connotations.

“Fraternities and sororities branch across the globe and it’s easy to pick out the bad apples,” Austin Burt, president of the Fraternity and Sorority Life Council and member of Psi Phi Psi, said. “Our fraternity takes part in preventing an unsafe environment with monthly hazing training meetings.”

Burt pledged in 2019 and became active in the spring of 2020. After the social media chair dropped their position, he signed up and participated for a semester until later running for president of the council.

He was the only one who submitted an application, coming to his knowledge after being voted into the position during the spring of 2021.

“I felt really lonely attending the beginning of college because I didn’t really socialize. Joining the fraternity helped expand my horizons and create bonds that will last for life,” Burt said.

Psi Phi Psi also takes part in the community with service projects of their own, such as Extra Life, a nationwide program that raises money for hospitalized children, with this sector being in Utah’s primary care hospitals.

Psi Phi Psi have just finished the initiation of five new active members and are planning a spring rush in 2022.

“I have seen doors open up with job, scholarship and leadership opportunities for me and every pledge since joining the fraternity,” Burt said. “This has prepared me for not just the rest of college, but the rest of life.”

Students who are interested in pledging for upcoming semesters can refer to @weberstatefsl on Instagram or the fraternity and sorority life section of the WSU website.

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Lucas Moore
Lucas Moore, News reporter

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