My Sammy Journey By: Zachary Plotkin
[From left to right: Marty Weis, Rohan Kalaria, Jake Asuncion, Zachary Plotkin, Evan Wilkoff]
My Sammy journey started long before I was born. My Dad refounded the Psi chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu in 1984 at The University of Pittsburgh. Throughout my life, he would tell my siblings and me countless stories of his days in the fraternity. He would talk about the inter-fraternity sports league they had along with the exhilarating trips they took around the country. I remember a night when I was around 15 years old when I was peppering him with questions about what exactly fraternities do. Why be in a fraternity? Who ran it? What was the point of Greek Life?
When I arrived at Drexel University in the Fall of 2018, I had no interest in joining a fraternity. I was playing hockey for Drexel and did not want to become over involved in activities. I also felt that my teammates would feel a certain way with me for joining a fraternity, which could not have been further from the truth. A week and a half into my first quarter, my Dad emailed Sammy’s recruitment chair at Drexel with my phone number and mentioned that he himself was a Sammy at The University of Pittsburgh. Later that week, I received a text from Jon, the Recruitment Chair, inviting my roommates and me to chill out and watch a movie with him and some of the brothers. All four of us said yes. We went to Evo, and to be frank, we left rather quickly. Our first encounter with the brothers of Sigma Alpha Mu was dull and unexciting.
A few days go by, and my roommates and I get a text from Jon inviting us to hang out with the brothers on Saturday night. We had nothing planned and decided to go. After all, we kept an open mind after the movie night. We hung out with them and meshed perfectly. We had an amazing time getting to know the brothers and had loads of fun. After that night, I knew Sammy was different, not your normal fraternity.
Roughly two months later and I had finished my candidate education process. I was officially a brother. I was approached by a senior and asked if I wanted to be Brotherhood Chair. I accepted the offer and was excited to get going. My role was rather simple; hold events for the brothers, make them fun, and make sure everyone is safe. I held the position for one term, and I enjoyed the job. At the end of my Freshmen year, I decided to run to become Recruitment Chair. This was my first time running for an elected position in my entire life, an opportunity I would not have had without Sammy. I voiced the need for change around our recruitment methods and pushed the idea that we must recruit quality people rather than go after the quantity of people. Parts of the job involved planning and organizing recruitment events, communicating with possible new members, and keeping a list of interested brothers. College is a place to grow, meet people, and get out of your comfort zone. Sammy has enabled me to do just that. I am learning interpersonal relationship skills along with leadership skills that will take me a long way in life.
During my time with Sammy so far, I have noticed rather quickly that our Chapter does not fit the classic fraternity mold. Most of us were not interested in joining a fraternity when we came to Drexel, and honestly had mixed feelings about being a part of Greek Life. Mu Eta is different. We are a tight-knit group that supports one another and does not put each other down, rather we lift one another up. With roughly 25 members, we are a band of brothers that stick with each other. We hold ourselves to high standards and do not put negative light to our name. Having a good name is important to us. With our ideals and altars in mind, we strive to challenge Greek Life norms and push ourselves to change the narrative around fraternity. My journey in Sammy has been a roller coaster, as with everything in life there will be highs and lows. Each of us looks at Sammy differently, and our experiences differ from one another. What makes Mu Eta special is the feeling of not having to be someone you are not. I feel comfortable in being myself and sharing my views and voicing my opinions. Authenticity is important. To call myself a brother of Sigma Alpha Mu, Mu Eta, I will forever be Proud.