Going Greek in College: a Modern Take

Having been accepted to college, high school seniors across the country are going about introducing themselves to their future classmates. In their introductory Facebook-group post, each rising college freshman lists notable things about themselves — not least of which being their preference on Greek life.

Adam Alfieri, sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity. After pledging TKE during the spring semester of his freshman year, Alfieri reflects on how his first year in Greek life changed his perspective on how he viewed the organization itself.

“I never thought I would join a fraternity. I saw all frats as being douchey guys who don’t respect women

Hazing is a commonality among Greek letter organizations (GLO) during the stage of pledging. According to Colgate University, hazing consists of various activities used to create an imbalance between the new pledges and established members of the GLOs. The pressures of hazing earned GLOs a bad reputation, with the generalization that all fraternities and sororities use those methods in the process of pledging. However, not all fraternities and sororities are created equal.

“I was never hazed and never had to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. I’m against hazing morally, but it definitely gets you close with your pledge brothers and is why a lot of places do it,” said Alfieri.

Elaine Townsend Utin, Lambda Pi Chi member, shared her experience within a National Multicultural Greek  orority (MGC).

“I became involved after I attended an information session, and I enjoyed how they could identify with my culture,” said Townsend Utin.

Despite only becoming involved during her junior year of her undergraduate education at UNC-Chapel Hill, Townsend Utin is currently serving her seventh year as a part of the organization.

“As the expansion chair for Southeast region, I work for expansion experts specifically in North Carolina. The goal is to establish a new chapter by working with latinas who don’t have that organization within their campuses,” said Townsend Utin.

The lifetime commitment to Greek life is an aspect students should consider when they make their decision to rush, or not to rush.

“It is a great way to make great friends to last your college experience and likely longer,” said Alfieri.

Regardless, GLOs are not the only opportunities to make friends when you reach campus as college opens up the opportunity to become a part of various organizations.

“I don’t think every organization is the best fit for everyone; it comes down to the vision, mission, goal,” said Utin.

Greek Life At a Glance

  • There are over 9 million fraternity and sorority members in the nation
  • There are over 6,000 fraternity chapters on around 800 college campuses
  • Over 85 percent of students leaders on 730 college campuses are involved in


  • In 2009. and 2010, 77% of sorority members and 73% of fraternity members
  • Of the 47 Supreme Court Justices since 1910, 40 have belonged to a fraternity
  • 85% of Fortune 500 Company Executives participated in GLOs

Adam Alfieri (far left) is a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Photo courtesy Adam Alfieri

CHS DECA diamonds take internationals

From Saturday April 22 to 25, for the first time in Carrboro High School history, two DECA members competed in the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC), held in Atlanta, Georgia.

DECA competitions began in the fall with the districts competition, which Carrboro DECA members competed in at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center. In early March, DECA members competed at the state level competition, NCDC, at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center. There were numerous members who received recognition for their competitive events. During the last night of award recognition, the participants that medaled in the first four positions in their event automatically qualified for the international competition. This year, three students from Carrboro High School qualified: Kirby Thornton, senior; Leanne Joyce, senior, and Ojas Patwardhan, junior.

Thornton competed for the Food Marketing event in the marketing career cluster. Similarly to NCDC, the international event consists of two components, a test and 2 role play scenarios, which each make up 50 percent of the overall score.

“I took around seven practice tests to prepare for the 100-question test that we usually take at school, but for internationals you take in a room with thousands of other kids on a scantron. I also went over hundreds of performance indicators and figured out what terms I did not know,” Thornton said.

Joyce did a written event for states in the event of Business Growth Plan for the Entrepreneurship cluster, which she also participated in for ICDC. For the Business Growth Plan, Joyce wrote a 30-page paper, explaining her plan. At the competition, Joyce presented her business plan to the judges of the event.

“After placing second at our state competition, I revised my work and was them ready to turn in my 29-page paper for ICDC. My event also required a 15-minute presentation and Q&A about my growth plan which I practiced numerous times prior to competing,” Joyce said via an email interview.

According to the official DECA website, the international competition brings together over 18,000 members and students, and there is the opportunity to make numerous connections with many different people.

“It’s socially acceptable to walk up to literally anyone and ask them what event they are in and where they are from, because everyone is so social and really into networking. They make it easy to do so, because each state or province has hats or pins, so people trade them back and forth,” Thornton said.

During Tuesday night, at the award ceremony for her event, Joyce was a top 10 finalist for her event. Similarly to Thornton, Joyce agreed that the atmosphere within the competition made conversation very easy.

“ICDC had a very vibrant energy, and it was incredible to interact with students from all over the world who are united by an interest in business and entrepreneurship,” Joyce said.

Photo courtesy Kirby Thornton

Students and faculty get their heads in the game

On Friday, March 9, the annual student-faculty basketball game will take place in the gymnasium. To make time for the game at the end of the day, there is an adjusted schedule.

Mackenzie Cox, vice president of SGA, explained the significance of the event.

“It’s something we’ve also done, and it’s one of those traditions that you work through, and something you get to in the last point of the year,” said Cox.

At the moment of Cox’s interview, there was only one female teacher signed up for the faculty team.

“I would like to give a shoutout to Mrs. [Robin] Bulleri, because right now she is the only female teacher,” said Cox.

Since then, English teacher Sibel Uzun-Byrnes has signed up to participate as well.

The confirmed list of student players includes Hugo Schuer, Karl Naomi, Neel Mahadevan and Jonah Perrin.

The game consists of two halves that are eight minutes long, with a ten minute halftime show in between. During the half, there is a half court contest composed of representatives from each grade level, as well as a dunk contest.

The student coach is senior Joe Zhang, and the faculty coach is Dexter Croom. Beverly Rudolph, CHS principal, Chad Osborne senior, and Tommy Holt, junior, will serve as referees.

UPDATE: The final score was students 29 and faculty 27.

Photo by Jade Simpson

Second semester senioritis

January 29 marked the start of the last semester of high school for the class of 2018; the momentous occasion comes along with the inevitable crash some (most) seniors experience. Whether you call it the senior slump, senioritis or senior slide, seniors become unmotivated to complete their daily academic tasks.

The cause of the slide comes from the lack of motivation following the completion of college applications.

“Everyday, I don’t feel the need to finish work, or do work, particularly because I am done with all of my college [applications],” said senior Rhiannon Curtis.

Due to the four previously rigorous years of high school, most seniors only need to take a couple more courses to fulfill the graduation requirement, meaning that many of their courses are electives.

“The fact that I only have two classes that actually matter toward graduation, and the rest do not matter at all adds to the lack of motivation,” said Curtis.

Though senioritis can often lead students to procrastinate or plainly not com- plete some assignments, the cramming comes in at the end of the grading period.

“I focus on major deadlines, like tests and projects, anything that can have a major impact on your grade,” said Curtis. As inevitable as the senior slump can be, coming back from it is the most essential part.

CHS School Counselor, Bari Sholomon, advices seniors to be cautious of letting things slide.

“If you’ve already been admitted into college, just remember that a college can rescind an offer of admission, especially because this year admission has been so competitive,” said Sholomon.

The main concern with senioritis is college admissions offices noticing a major downfall between first and second semesters.

If you feel yourself becoming less motivated as the year goes on, make sure to narrow your focus on specific classes.

“You will have APs at the end of this year, so if a college takes those scores it will be less classes you will have to take when you get there,” said Sholomon.

Even though college seems like the goal, it is just the beginning of another four, or more, years of learning. Maintaining a solid academic rhythm will ease the transition into your next step.

“You should definitely think about the present rather than the future. When you are a senior, your whole year surrounds organizing your future, so you lose track of what is important right now. If you think about how everything right now impacts your future, it will motivate many to work right now,” said Curtis.

Girls Give Back

This Thursday, January 11, DECA will host the Girls Give Back benefit concert, working alongside the CHS Young Feminist Club.

The concert will consist of performances by a capella groups from CHS’ Sophistickeys, CHHS’ Lucky 13  and UNC Chapel Hill’s the Loreleis. There will be two featured performers, Millie McGuire, senior, and Sibel Byrnes, CHS English teacher.

Senior Kirby Thornton, the CHS DECA Chapter President, explained the idea behind the organization of the event.

“I had the interest to join [the Young Feminist Club] and help them market the event because it is a good idea to have all female performers giving back to a female-driven charity,” said Thornton.

To organize the event, Thornton used her four year experience on DECA to market the concert.

“DECA has taught me to be a leader, to learn how to delegate, as well as critical skills in business and event planning. It helps me understand what goes into a marketing plan and how to best advertise the event,” said Thornton.

Thornton elaborated on the importance of using your own interests to benefit others in the community.

“There are so many different ways to give back to a community. While volunteering is helpful, we have the ability, as younger students, to put on programs that are really awesome,” said Thornton.

Minimum entry to the event is currently listed at $5. All proceeds of the event—donated clothing, canned foods and money—are going to the HomeStart Shelter for Women and Children.

Senior year: farewells and finances

by Niya Fearrington and Cinthya Plazas

The year filled with goodbyes; the year we spend an obscene amount of money to graduate from high school.

Everyone is well aware of how expensive college is, but less known are the large amounts of money that have to be dished out during senior year. Every week, it seems, more fees pile onto the price of being a senior.

High school graduation should be a celebration of students’ cumulative twelve-years-worth of effort. To attend the ceremony, seniors wear the traditional cap and gown. At their most basic cost, those two items total $58.85, including taxes, shipping and handling. Unless you have siblings of approximately the same height and size, that fee is a requirement for most seniors.

The graduation ceremony itself is held annually at the Dean Smith Center. In order for graduation to occur at the arena, seniors contribute to the hefty fee that the CHCCS district pays for the space, as well as all of the printing costs for the event’s programs.

The fees associated with applying to college are already extremely overwhelming. On average, seniors apply to six to eight institutions. The application process requires not only an application fee, which ranges from $25 to $90, but each college also requires a transcript — which comes at an additional fee of five dollars per school. Some schools require you to send official test scores from CollegeBoard, costing $13 each. While there is an option to submit tests scores for free at the time you take the test, anxiety sets in and you often contemplate if the score will be good enough or if you even want to attend that institution.

Applying to college is already a stressful process in and of itself, add in financial stress, and senior year can become too much to handle.

Even after you decide on which college to attend — the place where you will spend the next couple of years — deposit fees add even more financial stress. Used to seal your commitment to an institution, these deposits range in prices from $100-$500.

Along with all of the fees associated with furthering our education, there are events and opportunities that you just don’t want to miss out on during your senior year. Dances from T-dance to Prom, for example. But those come with prices of their own; those of tickets, dresses, dinner and more. So do things like indulging in “Class of 2018” paraphernalia; or your last high school yearbook to remember that teacher that gave you three hours of homework and the time you were the star in the spring musical; or simple things like enjoying the last high school rivalry game. All of these fees come secondary to the cost of advancing our education. These are all the things that you would want to reflect back on in 20 or 30 years.

The last year of high school is one that you wait for from the time you start kindergarten. You dream of all the perks and privileges of being a senior, but were you really prepared? Even if you took rigorous classes, visited colleges and wrote your college essay over summer were you really prepared for the financial commitment?

Back to Back Powderpuff Champions

Following tradition, the freshmen and seniors played the first game of the night. With the help of senior coaches Karl Naomi, Joe Zhang and Chris Millar, the seniors defeated the freshmen 35-0. Sophomores and juniors faced off in the game that determined the seniors’ opponent. The one touchdown of the game earned the sophomores a ticket to the final, leaving the score 7-0. In the final game, following a scoreless first half, the seniors managed to score two touchdowns before the end of the second half, making them the 2017 Powderpuff champions. 

To the third round they go

Saturday night, the boys’ varsity soccer team defeated Randleman in the second round of playoffs, with a final score of 3-1. Dixon Flores, sophomore, opened the scoreboard for the Jaguars in the first half of the game.

Following the half-time break, the Jaguars scored twice more before the Tigers scored in the final minutes.

Hudson Magee, junior, scored the second goal of the game. Magee addressed team’s performance from last week.

“We played really well, and it was a good team effort. It tested us, and we showed that we are a strong team,” said Magee.

Finishing the second half, Casey Mook, senior, cemented the fate of the game in favor of the Jaguars.

“I was really excited, because the third goal was the goal that pretty much clinched the game for us,” said Mook.

The Jaguars will face Jordan-Matthews on their home field for the third round on Wednesday at six.

“Jordan-Matthews is a really good team, and it should be a good game, so people should really show out and support,” said Mook.

Photo by Spencer Hayden

Spirit Week Day Four: Jersday Thursday

Soccer, football, baseball, basketball: all sports represented in this year’s Jersday Thursday. From collegiate to professional teams, students and staff supported their favorite teams.

Photos by Cinthya Plazas

Spirit Week Day Three: Wacky Wednesday

CHS students and staff brought the wack to Wacky Wednesday. Mismatching socks and clashing patterns dominated the campus.

Lauren Baddour and Ashley Hong, sophomores, brought

out their wacky cat shirts for the day.

Ryan Severance, math teacher, embraced the day’s

theme with his bold and wacky outfit.

Photos by Cinthya Plazas