News

Sororities, fraternities keep traditions alive with mentor program

This time of year it’s not uncommon to see “Your big sis loves you” written on car windows, or shirts saying “Chris’s little bro too.” This isn’t because students are suddenly proud to be biological siblings – this is the Greek organization system of pairing up an older fraternity or sorority member with a new member to help understand the beliefs and principles of their organization.

“Your big brother is supposed to be your mentor through pledging,” Vance Aloupis, senior Pi Kappa Alpha brother, said. “He’s supposed to show you the ropes.”

These big brothers and sisters also educate the new members about the University and help them through the transition into college.

“Your job as a big sister is to show them the way,” Jacky Beato, senior and Zeta Tau Alpha sister, said. “You introduce her to her friends and help her get used to the University.”

The Greek “siblings” also provide support for each other.

“My big sister is always the first one to stand up for me, the first one to help me,” Beato said of her own little sister experience. “That is something really nice to have.”

Aloupis knows firsthand how a much a big brother can be help. His big brother, Michael Johnston, was Student Government president while he was Aloupis’ big brother. Aloupis has followed in his big brother’s footsteps as the current SG president.

“He opened my eyes up to what the university has to offer,” Aloupis said. “He opened my eyes to the whole position of SG president.”

Being exposed to the position sparked Aloupis’ interest in it, but Johnston’s encouragement made it a reality.

“He told me that if you really want it, you can do it,” Aloupis said. “It was really a huge inspiration for me. He would say ‘little bud, you’re going to do this and do a great job.’ He was a huge source of my strength.”

While each organization pairs up brothers and sisters differently, most ask members to rank the new members they would like to be paired with and vice versa. There is then a revealing ceremony where everyone learns of the pairings.

“It’s been really great because the past two years I’ve been paired with my number one choice,” Beato said.

Aloupis agrees.

“My big brother and I hit it off right away, but he told me that he probably wouldn’t be taking a little brother,” Aloupis said. “I put him down as my first choice anyway.”

Aloupis’ ceremony required him to stand back to back with his big brother and then turn around and see him.

“I was so excited when I saw that it was [Johnston],” Aloupis said.

The connection between big and little brothers and sisters lasts beyond their first year in the fraternity or sorority.

“Throughout the past three years he’s been my mentor and really my best friend here,” Aloupis said of Johnston.

Beato says that she and her big sister would have lunch regularly, which helped form a strong relationship.

“I just love my big sister,” Beato said.

Leigha Taber can be contacted at l.taber@umiami.edu.

November 2, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

Lester Williams wasn’t on the field playing for the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first natio ...

An extremely frustrated University of Miami football coach Mark Richt began his media availability b ...

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.