Greek life — coming to an Honors College near you? A proposal to charter a chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity is pending approval, with mixed reactions from the student body.
“The idea of a fraternity began simply between Raj Basak (CCNY ’15), Jeremy Forman (Queens, ’14), Michael Tal (Lehman, ‘14) and me last October,” said Slava Brodetskiy (Baruch ’14). “We all knew each from sometime before last Fall semester but we quickly became good friends as we bonded over our common interests in Philosophy and Literature. The Hertog Scholars Program sort of facilitated this bond. We got the chance to engage in some really interesting discussion on the works we read and gradually took our conversations outside of class to cafes, museums, operas, etc.”
“We came across Alpha Delta Phi, which began as a literary society in 1832 at Hamilton College, and was chartered at the Free Academy up until 1913. We decided that the founding principles of the organization and its philosophy were something that we wanted to actualize. And that was to develop friendship and camaraderie through intellectual curiosity. The organization emphasizes cross-disciplinary intellectual cultivation; something that we felt is very appropriate for Macaulay’s academic culture.”
Brodetskiy cited the recent growth in student life organizations in Macaulay, such as the Macaulay Marauders and the Macaulay Triplets, as inspiration for the fraternity, as he believes it will “be instrumental to advancing that sense of community and school spirit.” He will serve as the President of the chapter, if the proposal is accepted.
The potential Macaulay chapter of Alpha Delta Phi will include a literary program, where members would give presentations on their academic areas of expertise, as well as cultural outings and service opportunities.
Because Alpha Delta Phi is not a co-ed fraternity, the matter of gender exclusivity is an obstacle for the organization’s proponents. Others remain concerned about occurrences of hazing and dangerous partying that are attached to fraternities and sororities across the country.
Brodetskiy hoped that the establishment of a fraternity would lead to a sorority, should the women of Macaulay desire it. He dismissed instances of hazing and lethal intoxication, citing these reported incidents as “exceptional cases.”
“We will have to work closely with Macaulay’s student life and our local community to develop a great deal of goodwill,” he said. “We hope to distinguish ourselves by building an organization focused on intellectual cultivation and service, which will be formative to Macaulay’s positive image.”