Family Weekend: Being a Greek life legacy
Some UA students involved in Greek life are legacies, meaning they are in the same Greek organization as their parents
UA Legacies: Fraternities
Sigma Alpha Epsilon legacy Jake Harris is living in the same room at his fraternity house this year that his father lived in while he was a fraternity member at the UA.
Harris said his father was very proud when he was initiated into the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity last fall.
“He came down and surprised me on the day of my initiation,” Harris said, “and he was super excited about that.”
Harris is the second generation of Harris men to be part of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which is what qualifies him as a legacy.
This semester, Harris’ biological younger brother was also initiated into Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the UA. He said that welcoming his brother into the fraternity with his father was a unique and special experience. The three Harris men will spend their first Family Weekend together this year.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon will hold a Family Weekend barbecue prior to the football game on Saturday.
“I know there are other guys in the house whose dads are coming down for Family Weekend that are SAEs,” Harris said, “so we’ll be able to talk to them, and then we’ll all head to the game together.”
Harris said he believes he and his younger brother’s membership within the fraternity has gotten their father more involved in the organization. He also added that his father is now a member of the UA’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon housing corporation, and he will help set up the barbecue and other things for Family Weekend this year.
Harris and his father believe involvement in fraternity events will lead to a better experience within Greek Life itself and in college as a whole.
During move-in this fall, Harris’s father played a large role in helping set up his fraternity bedroom at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house. Harris said he believes this was primarily for nostalgic reasons.
The relationship dynamic between Harris and his father has changed since his initiation into the chapter.
“It was never a bad relationship, but [it] has gotten so much better,” Harris said. “We can communicate over certain things that we weren’t able to in the past.”
Being able to communicate on a new level is just one of the perks of the changes in this father-son relationship. Harris also said he enjoys being able to discuss the traditions and rituals that happen within the fraternity with his father. He said he hopes his younger brother and his father will be able to bond the same way he was able to.
UA Legacies: Sororities
Active member of the Delta Gamma sorority Bayleigh Preston is excited to experience Family Weekend with her mother, who shares membership in the same greek organization.
Bayleigh Preston was initiated into the UA Alpha Pi chapter of Delta Gamma in the fall of 2013. She is considered a legacy of Delta Gamma because her mother, Jill Preston, was also an initiate of the organization. Jill Preston was initiated into Delta Gamma in 1985 when she attended Willamette University in Salem, Ore.
“My experience is unique because I get to share it with my mom and not just my sisters,” Bayleigh Preston said. “To call my mom my sister, and also my mom, is something very interesting and very cool.”
During the sorority recruitment process last fall, Bayleigh Preston stayed in close contact with her mother and five aunts who were all members of Delta Gamma while in college.
“They would’ve been happy no matter what,” she said, “but once they found out I was in DG, they sent me a bunch of anchor stuff and were just really excited.”
Delta Gamma will welcome the families of all chapter members to the UA for Family Weekend. Over the course of the weekend, sorority sisters will have the opportunity to introduce their families to the friends they have made as a result of their membership in the organization.
Bayleigh Preston and her mother have plans to attend a barbecue with some other members of the Delta Gamma chapter before going to watch the football game and support the Wildcats together on Saturday.
“She is really excited to see our house,” Bayleigh Preston said. “Even though she’s been here before, she’s excited to see what my college experience in Delta Gamma has been like and how it’s similar to hers.”
Molly Delmore, a pre-business freshman, will tag along with Bayleigh Preston and her mother this weekend. Delmore is one of Bayleigh Preston’s little sisters within the sorority and is also a legacy of Delta Gamma. Bayleigh Preston and Delmore grew closer as sisters after discovering they were both legacies of the chapter.
Bayleigh Preston said the relationship she has with her mother has grown leaps and bounds since her initiation into the UA Delta Gamma chapter.
“We definitely became a lot closer through knowing the bonds and everything that goes on within the sisterhood,” she said. “We are just becoming so much closer than we already are, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Follow Brandi Walker on Twitter.