Epsilon Eta, Tau Chapter at the University of Arizona is the first pre-professional environmental co-ed fraternity founded this semester by students.
Epsilon Eta promotes making connections in the environmental science field, living sustainably and giving back to the local community.
Tanner Johnson, current president and founder of Epsilon Eta, is a junior majoring in geoscience at the UA. Alongside Johnson, there are three other founders to Epsilon Eta: Alyse Kelly, Diego Palmisano and Emily Palanjian. Epsilon Eta was able to have their first bid day this semester, welcoming 31 new members to their chapter.
Johnson came up with this idea as he noticed there were pre-professional co-ed fraternities in other areas of studies such as business and medicine.
“I felt as if our colleges were not preparing us for post-graduation employment opportunities,” Johnson said. “I was asking around to my friends who are similar majors and they would say, ‘I have no idea what I want to do after undergrad. I just feel really under-prepared.’”
He discovered Epsilon Eta’s other 14 nationwide chapters and decided it would be a great opportunity for unsure students in this area of study.
Kelly, a sophomore majoring in environmental science, is the vice president of new member recruitment. When she heard of the idea from Johnson, “I was immediately intrigued,” she said via email. “I feel like there are not a lot of environmentally related organizations to begin with, we wanted this to not only be a way for students to enrich their knowledge surrounding the environment and gain skills for the future, but be surrounded by a group of students that will become close friends.”
This year's executive board is going to be voted on before winter break, and the chapter will be participating in recruitment again in January.
Once the e-board is elected, the chapter will move forward with seeking out these networking opportunities for their members. Johnson anticipates they will collaborate with professors at the UA, invite guest speakers and do local service projects in the Tucson community.
“It's surreal to see that all of this just came from an idea and that all of my hard work is finally paying off,” Johnson said. “I'm just really excited to see where the chapter goes and what this class does.”
Johnson and Kelly encouraged students to join not only for the professional connections and exposure, but just to be involved in a fun social environment as well.
Students already involved in Panhellenic or Interfraternity Council chapters are able to join Epsilon Eta in addition to their current chapter.
Follow Epsilon Eta on Instagram for information on spring recruitment.
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