Greek students come together for annual summit

Greek students gathered Tuesday evening to discuss perceptions of the Greek community and learn from speakers how they can combat potential stereotypes by giving back to the community and teaching a balanced lifestyle.

Order of Omega, a Greek leadership honor society, sponsored its yearly  “Greek Summit,” and its discussion focused on academics, lifestyle and alcohol consumption in the Greek community.

“Each year we want to have a theme, something we actually fix in the Greek community,” said Nicole Perez, vice president of events for Order of Omega.

Guest speakers gave two separate presentations — one focused on mentoring at local Los Angeles middle schools and the other on occupational therapy — to an audience of about 25 students from various fraternities and sororities.

William Figueroa, program director of Los Angeles Team Mentoring, alongside Kya Kyle, volunteer coordinator, spoke about inspiring Greeks to get out into the community instead of only working on on-campus philanthropy events each semester.

Figueroa and Kyle showed a promotional video for their organization to illustrate the impact mentoring can have on young teenagers who are at usually pivotal stage in their lives to decide if they want to keep going to school or take a different path.

Myka Winder, a graduate student studying occupational therapy, shifted gears at the event to talk about alcohol consumption and how alcohol may affect one’s lifestyle, priorities and goals.

“Thinking about how you want to be perceived and how to combat the image that the Greek system has of being alcohol centered and academically careless,” Winder said.

Winder mentioned a survey that found 75 percent of USC students said they had zero to four drinks the last time they partied. Moreover, she pointed out more than half of the students surveyed perceived the typical USC student had over five drinks the last time they partied. In the Greek community in particular, she said, students think there is more alcohol consumption going on than there actually is.

Winder did note, however, that the study showed that students are more likely to experience binge drinking if they are a member of a sorority or fraternity and new recruits who are typically freshman and are new to living on their own are also likely to abuse alcohol.