Greetings – Allie here!!
Joining Greek Life at UConn has been one of the most rewarding involvements of my college career. All of the experiences, friendships, leadership opportunities, connections (…I could keep going) that I gained from my Greek membership directly shaped not only my UConn experience but my own personal growth and development.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Todd C. Sullivan, the Director of Fraternity and Sorority life at UConn, and someone who has directly impacted my Greek journey. I’ve attended several conferences with Todd, had him as a teacher in my Greek Leadership class, and have been fortunate to work with him on many separate occasions. If there is one thing that I can say about Todd it is that he genuinely cares for the students he works with. He makes time, encourages growth, seems to be ever-present on campus (Todd, do you sleep?), and consistently challenges the process.
Both of Todd’s parents are Greek affiliated and really encouraged him to go through the ‘rush’ process. His parents advised him to wait until sophomore year to officially join, but Todd eagerly joined Delta Upsilon his first term, freshman year. Todd had a wonderful undergraduate experience; he was involved on campus and later served as Chapter President for DU. Todd earned his BA in Film Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Upon graduation, he traveled for his fraternity as a leadership consultant for two years. He then advised the Interfraternity Council at Indiana University while completing his MS in Higher Education & Student Affairs. He served as the Assistant Director of Campus Life for Greek Affairs at Florida International University and as the Director of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs at Tufts University. He has served on the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Executive Board, facilitates leadership, diversity, anti-hazing, and recruitment programs for CAMPUSPEAK, Inc., and volunteers in the Hartford area. Todd C. Sullivan became the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at UConn in 2006.
When speaking about his position, Todd attributes much success to the support and resources he has in the UConn community and to the people he gets to work with. He describes his colleagues as “individuals who are professionally restless” and smiled when telling me, “There aren’t too many people here who are satisfied with what they’ve done.” In the OFSL, the staff constantly wants to do more or do better, they always assess how they can be better or how they can enhance for the benefit of the students.
Although I have my own answer, I asked Todd, “What can UConn Greek Life offer a UConn student?” He responded by acknowledging that there is an over-abundance of involvement opportunities at UConn but that there is a difference however, in joining a chapter of a social sorority or fraternity that is different than any other club or organization. Because the chapters here are chapters of national organizations, you, as the student, have the opportunity to connect with people deeply, here at UConn, and also throughout North America. He stressed the concept of life-long membership, a unique trait given to Greek members and detailed that the level of connection and support is unmatched.
Todd said, “We have an organization for every student who wants to be Greek, but I also recognize that many UConn students have a great experience without joining a fraternity or sorority.” Greek Life at UConn is comprised of 10% of the student population and has grown 50% in the past five years. Todd is confident that that number can and will continue to grow. For students who are interested in joining, he recommends that you ask lots of questions, do your research, and find out if there is an organization that will help you accomplish your goals whether they be academic, leadership, community service, having fun, connecting, or personal growth. He also urges students not to enter the decision blindly because you met a couple of ’cool people’ but to really ask the right questions to find a good match. Consider what you have to contribute to the organization, not just ‘what’s in it for me?’ but also what am I bringing to the table.
One of Todd’s best qualities is his ability to ‘get real.’ He tells it like it is. “As a larger community, we do not have time or space for people who are only looking for the party or to perpetuate the worst stereotypes. Please do not join our organizations if that is all that you are looking for.”
Todd is passionate about the Greek Experience as a whole, but I wanted to know his thoughts on what makes Greek life at UConn different from Greek life at any other school. “We have more opportunities, resources, and support for the average member to enhance their experience than other places. It is the type of institution where even though you don’t have to go Greek to have a good experience, if you do go Greek you will almost undoubtedly have a good experience.”
Look for the Greek Husky Haulers on Freshman Move-In day and be sure check out Todd and the rest of the Greek Community at http://www.greeklife.uconn.edu/