Fraternities Not Your Thing? Rethink Typical Greek Life

Sigma Nu, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Phi Gamma Delta are all very popular fraternities that are well known and found at almost all colleges.

But what about those that don’t get the same amount of recognition?

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, founded in Boston in 1898, is a musical fraternity that although doesn’t have its own house, brings something more to the college campus.

“The Object of this Fraternity shall be for the development of the best and truest fraternal spirit; the mutual welfare and brotherhood of musical students; the advancement of music in America and a loyalty to the Alma Mater.”

This is their Object and they strive to keep this in mind as they take the time to serve their college and community. I had the pleasure of interviewing Freshman Parker Bolte from University of Iowa about his involvement in the fraternity.

 1. What makes this fraternity different than other social fraternities?

We’re a very close-knit group. We do tons of activities together and I think our brotherhood is tighter than most on campus. Because we don’t have a house and we aspire to be the best gentlemen that we can, it unites us in a common goal and that helps us to become a better fraternity as a whole as well as helping us each individually.

 2. What kind of activities does your fraternity do?

Our biggest activity is The Mills Music Mission. We sing to nursing homes and hospitals and bring music into the lives of people who don’t get to hear it very often. We also have singing Valentines each year where we sing to each of the brother’s significant others. We do a variety of service and philanthropic events including serving in soup kitchens and nonprofit groups as well as Thursdays In Service which is our attempt to provide any type of service to a group on Thursday.

 3. What kind of atmosphere does the fraternity bring to campus?

I would say an air of respect and serving our community. We try to be the best men that we can be and that helps us reach out to the community as a whole and on an individual level. We try to spread music and the good qualities that music can provide as well as our own mission of serving others to the best of our abilities.

 4. How did you decide to join?

I knew most of the gentlemen in the fraternity before I joined and the positive atmosphere as well as the dedication to serving others and becoming the best fraternity possible appealed to me. In addition, I liked the fact that Sinfonia pushed each of its members to become the best and most upright man that they could be.

5. How has this group helped you through your first year of college?

Sinfonia has helped me to meet many of the influential people in my life. It has helped me reach out to a lot of people and it’s kept me involved in music, as well as helping me adjust socially and mentally to the college atmosphere. It has helped me try and better myself in every way possible and has taught me to help my fellow man as well as my brothers at all times.

6. List three words that describe your fraternity.

Music. Service. Brotherhood.

Even if the typical Greek life doesn’t appeal to you, it’s worth looking into some of the lesser known sororities and fraternities, such as Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, that tend to focus on something much bigger whether it be music, service, or academics.

There is always a group of people who have the same aspirations as yourself, you just have to go out and find it.

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Abby Thomas

Abby Thomas

Abby Thomas is a freshman at University of Iowa studying Journalism and Nonfiction Creative Writing. She plans to one day be able to get paid to travel around the world writing about her adventures. The day you can find her travel book on the shelves of bookstores will be the day she has finally reached her life goal. When she is not pursuing her dreams of travel writing, she is either at the University's radio station or on her computer wasting time on Tumblr and Netflix.