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Fraternities, Sorority Honored for Bettering Selves and Community

PLATTSBURGH, NY (November 8, 2007) - From adopting a highway, to helping at a prom for senior citizens, from working with elementary school children to raising money for diabetes, Pi Alpha Nu and other SUNY Plattsburgh fraternities and sororities have been working to better themselves and the community.

"It's been a very long time since we've seen so many chapters reach this level of achievement," said Jay Biegner, public relations and recruitment coordinator for the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life. "It's definitely something that needs to be rewarded."

The college's Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life is doing just that, recognizing these efforts through awards given to the fraternities Pi Alpha Nu and Sigma Tau Gamma, as well as the sorority Theta Alpha Lambda.

Pi Alpha Nu has been named the college's Most Outstanding Fraternity/Sorority. It is a five-star fraternity. The five-star designation is a mark of excellence, which means that members have had to meet a number of stringent criteria. For instance, at least 50 percent of members must have a GPA higher than the campus' average. In addition, each member has to have raised more than $25 for charity and performed at least 30 hours of community service per member, and the chapter has to hold a values-based program every semester. Other criteria include supporting other groups on campus, hosting non-alcoholic social events, and showing leadership on campus.

Pi Alpha Nu has gone above and beyond those requirements. They've sponsored fire safety demonstrations, distributed information about lamps that are a fire hazard, put together a violence against women prevention project, taken part in numerous events to raise money for charities, handed out information for National Hazing Prevention Week, adopted a highway, helped students in a local elementary school, taken part in a summit to raise awareness of alcohol abuse and more.

The group has also given 46 hours of community service per member and raised $146 per member for different charities.

"All in all, I am proud of all the men have accomplished this year," said Pi Alpha Nu Advisor Michelle Carpentier, director of support services and special programs. She was especially proud of the group's philanthropy and community service.

"They have exceeded expectations in every way," said Carpentier.

Sigma Tau Gamma was recognized for achieving a five-star status. Its chapter members have each given 43 hours of community service and contributed an average of $62 to charities. Some if its activities include sponsoring a violence prevention project, supporting a Ducks Unlimited marsh clean-up, helping with the Mountain Lake PBS telethon, making communication boards for stroke victims, and contributing money to Books for Kids, the Heart Walk and the Relay for Life.

Theta Alpha Lambda, a sorority, has been named the Most Improved Fraternity/Sorority. According to Theta Alpha Lambda Advisor Deborah Brunner, assistant director of the Angell College Center, the women worked hard to overcome last year's lack of participation and leadership development.

"They have new confidence and show a fire to grow and improve that is heartening to see," said Brunner.

Members have contributed an average of 73 hours of community service and raised an average of $73 for charity. Their projects have included working with students at Saranac Elementary, taking part in an anti-bullying campaign, participating in an adopt-a-block program, making Halloween cards for a nursing home, and taking part in numerous fundraisers for groups like Stop Domestic Violence and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

"Anytime we can give kudos to our fraternities and sororities, it is important for us to do so," said Bill Laundry, vice president for student affairs at the college. "We do constantly have high expectations of them putting their best foot forward. These awards are our chance to recognize people who have accomplished something."

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