By Zachary Bonner, Asst. News Editor
At the start of the fall 2018 semester, Susquehanna welcomed a new staff member, Bryan Rivas, to serve the university’s Greek Community as the Assistant Director of Greek Life in the Office of Leadership and Engagement.
Rivas is a member of the national fraternity Lambda Alpha Upsilon, a Latino-oriented intercollegiate fraternity that has nineteen chapters across the United States.
“I started my career in Greek Life as a freshman at University of New Haven in Connecticut,” Rivas said. “My leadership roles in my fraternity allowed me to meet more people on campus and connect with members of the higher administration.”
Rivas comes from a university that has a population of about 4,600 undergraduate students, which is over double the student population at Susquehanna.
According to the website of the University of New Haven, the campus hosts 17 Greek letter organizations that are members of the Inter Fraternity Council as well as the National Pan-Hellenic Council. There are 11 Greek organizations on Susquehanna’s campus.
“New Haven has a larger student population, about double the size of the student body here,” Rivas said. “There were about 60 chapters of Greek Organizations, but unlike Susquehanna, there were many more culture-based organizations.”
His experience in a Greek culture that hosted a variety of organizations and a diverse Greek community will bring change to the support structures for Greek students at Susquehanna that haven’t been available the past year and a half.
As Rivas’ undergraduate career came to a close, he came to a common crossroads that many new graduates find themselves at. He wasn’t sure how he wanted to proceed in his future career. He found the answer through the Greek Advisor at New Haven.
“I knew I loved being involved on campus as a student leader, and a leader in my fraternity’s chapter,” he said. “Also, I was very close with the Greek Advisor at New Haven, and I had asked her how she came about getting her job. It intrigued me that she had such an awesome job working for the Greek community.”
He found out that she received a graduate degree in Student Affairs, and proceeded to work at a University level position advising students in Greek Life. He decided to continue his education at West Chester University in this field of study.
“When studying student affairs, you can choose what you’re truly passionate about—be it academic advising, residence life, student activities, or Greek Life,” he continued. “There’s so many things you can do at a University level.”
Rivas graduated from West Chester University in May, with a master’s degree in Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs.
Being a Greek alumnus at a school that has an undergraduate chapter of his organization allowed him to get involved in an oversight capacity that will greatly inform his role as an advisor to students at Susquehanna.
“During my time [at West Chester University], I volunteered with the national headquarters of my fraternity,” Rivas said. “I did expansion work, which involves going to other universities and looking to expand my organization and start new chapters or colonies there.”
His experience in recruitment and organization of his fraternity on a national level will be a key to expanding Greek organizations at Susquehanna. It could also aid students who wish to start chapters of organizations that don’t yet exist on campus.
“I can use my experience in expansion to help students who want to get their organizations recognized on campus,” Rivas emphasized, “Or even to start new organizations on this campus.”
Rivas hopes to act as an outlet of support for students in leadership positions and Greek organizations on campus, and to first take time to learn how students coordinate events.
“From my understanding, there hasn’t been a Greek Advisor in a year and a half,” he said. “So even though there is a lot of new things I’d like to
bring to Susquehanna’s Greek Life, I’d also like to take the time to understand the way our chapters are organized and the way they do their process.”
Rivas also wants to better under- stand how Susquehanna Greeks orga- nize Greek Week, the major event in April that acts as introduction for new pledge classes inducted.
“I’m used to something different, but I’d like to be there to assist leadership, rather than try and switch things around,” Rivas said.
To contact Bryan, you can reach him at email@example.com, at 570-372-4227, or you can find him in The Office of Leadership and Engagement in the first floor of the Degenstein Campus Center.
“My main goal is to make sure [campus events] go successfully,” Rivas said. “and to offer solutions to make things easier for student leaders to organize events.”
Bryan and the Greek Life organizations on campus have been participating in the Anti-hazing week at SU.
On Wednesday, the event ‘Live Like Tim’ was held in Faylor hall. Evelyn and Jim Piazza came to speak to the Greek Life and Athletic students about hazing in organizations. The main message that the two speakers were trying to convey is that if anyone hears or sees any form of hazing, they should report it.
That same night, Ken Nwadike came to advocate for the Free Hugs project. Nwadike, a peace activist and international speaker, talked to SU students in Weber chapel about the importance of trying to heal the social, political and racial divide in the United States.