Greek evolution

Mizzou’s fraternity and sorority system is bigger, bolder and broader than ever before.

A groups of men point at a crowd while stepping in on stage.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. perform in Jesse Auditorium at the annual Homecoming Stroll Off in October 2015. The Alphas took first place in the competition that year. Photo by Hanna Yowell.

Since the University of Missouri’s first fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, was founded on campus in 1869, Mizzou’s Greek organizations have simultaneously nurtured treasured traditions and adapted to the changing culture. With 58 chapters representing four councils, Greek Life now encompasses 27 percent of the student body and is more inclusive than ever before. Historically black (National Panhellenic Council) and multicultural (Multicultural Greek Council) organizations, as well as the LGBTQ-friendly Greek Allies, work together to create an environment that recognizes there is more than one way to be Greek. They invite diversity. They serve the community. They educate members about social issues. Sometimes they even eschew ornate formals and elaborate fundraising events in favor of barbecues, panel discussions, step shows and scholarship pageants. MU Greek Life in 2017 aims to ensure there’s a place for all students to become part of a brotherhood and sisterhood that is truly unbreakable.

Marla Kolostov

Delta Xi Nu multicultural sorority member Marla Kolostov prepares to be unveiled during her new-member presentation May 2, 2015. Delta Xi Nu became an official chapter at MU on Oct. 27, 2016. Tiffany Melecio, BJ ’16, was part of the founding group at MU and says bringing the organization to campus changed her life. “We were eight strong-minded women who wanted a say. We were different. We wanted visibility. We had to learn to work together for the betterment of Greek Life,” she says. “The process posed many challenges, and many administrators rooted for us. It was a journey I will never forget.” Photo by Tiffany Melecio.

Two students in Delta Xi Nu shirts with arms around each other.

Delta Xi Nu sisters Stephens College graduate Mokeila Hunter, left, and MU junior Jacqueline Thai, right, share a laugh before performing for Fall Fest in the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center. Delta Xi Nu sorority is part of the Multicultural Greek Council, which was re-established in 2015. The sorority performs in the event every year. Photo by Tiffany Melecio.

Group photo.

Executive members of MU’s Greek councils attended the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values conference in Indianapolis in February 2017. They learned ways to improve Greek communities at MU and honed their leadership skills. The four councils — Panhellenic Association, Interfraternity Council, National Panhellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Council — share the mission to not only make their organizations more inclusive but also change the face of Mizzou Greek life. Members say it’s a step in the right direction. Photo courtesy of Greek Life.

Students dancing.

Kappa Pi Beta fraternity members stroll during the Asian American Association (AAA) annual Variety Show in The Shack on Monday, April, 26, 2016. Photo by Tiffany Melecio.

Students grilling burgers while other wait in line.

Andrew Pham and Lee Hyuk Jin, BS ’16, grill burgers at the Mizzou Asian American Association’s barbecue, one of several celebratory events held during AAA week in the fall. The group invites Alpha Phi Gamma and Kappa Pi Beta, MU’s two Asian-interest Greek organizations, to participate. Photo by Morgan Lieberman.

Students in banadans and T-shirts lined up in formation.

Members of Delta Delta chapter of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. "Salute" during a demonstration at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Centers 2012 Fall Fest event. Photo by Marc Mayes.

Student dressed as Tupac in a bandana with fist raised.

Sage Williams holds his fist in the air after performing a song by Tupac Shakur at Delta Sigma Theta’s King of Hearts scholarship pageant March 10, 2017. Each participant performed selections by a hip-hop artist. At the end of the night, sophomore Tyler Brumfield was crowned King of Hearts for his performance as Chance the Rapper. Photo by Shane Epping.

Students on stage at the Blue Note.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. members take the stage at The Blue Note during the spring 2016 neophyte presentation, an induction ceremony for newly accepted members. Photo by Morgan Lieberman.

Students with rainbow flags and Greek letter flags in front of the Columns.

Members of Greek Allies and the LGBTQ Resource Center pose for a photo on Francis Quadrangle during Mizzou’s annual Coming Out Week. Greek Allies was established in 2013 by Julianne Sinak, BS HES ’15, Kayley Weinberg, BA ’15, and Lilly Kraus to bridge the gap between the LGBTQ community and Greek life. Photo by Morgan Lieberman.

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. take the stage inJesse Auditorium during their spring 2014 probate. Alpha Kappa Alpha was the first historically black sorority founded on MU’s campus. In 2013, Kearston Winrow, BJ ’14, and 28 other women reestablished AKA’s presence at MU by reactivating the chapter. “From the beginning, we wanted to get on campus and set a tone and standard,” she says. “We were heavy on planning programs every two weeks for campus and making sure we were doing community service every week in some capacity. There is something refreshing [about] being part of something with people who look like you, understand your experience as a black woman, and work with you to help positively impact communities that are most vulnerable. I don’t have any sisters, and AKA offered me sisters in every state across the U.S. and sisters across the globe. I love being able to depend on a sorority sister to encourage me, lift me up, hold me responsible, pray for me, and help me live up to the mission, values, and standards of our sorority.” Photo by Marc Mayes.

big group of students, some in masks.

A member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. leads masked members through Conservation Auditorium at the beginning of an initiation ceremony. These ceremonies, or probates, occur every semester. Friends, family and peers fill large lecture halls to watch as new members are revealed one by one. Guests are encouraged to cheer throughout the probate, which includes a reflection on the fraternity’s history, rapping, singing and stepping. Photo by Marc Mayes.

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