Ryan Restivo, a senior advertising major, is not your average student. An internship and classwork are only part of his responsibilities, he is also the president of Sigma Pi, a fraternity on campus. Despite the bad name fraternities are sometimes stamped with, Ryan explains in his interview that Greek life is a balance of social activities and community service- both of which help you grow as a person and prepare for your future- isn’t that what college is about afterall? Check out our interview with him and learn about his journey from pledging his sophomore year to becoming pledge educator and Greek Week chair and eventually president of Sigma Pi, which he will be giving up at the end of April when his term ends.
“I pledged in the fall of 2012, which was my sophomore year. I didn’t really want to join a fraternity my freshman year but to be honest Rowan’s pretty beat if you’re not part of an organization (I don’t mean just Greek life). You have to get involved in some way if you go here because it’s a small school. I chose Sigma Pi because it wasn’t like a typical fraternity. We are also ridiculously diverse in our brotherhood. Two of my best friends that pledged freshman year brought me around and introduced me to the brothers. I originally did it for the social aspect but I also never knew the professional benefits of joining a fraternity until I rushed, which are huge.
Ryan’s Presidential Responsibilities:
“I’m the main contact between Sigma Pi and Rowan, as well as our national organization. I run the meetings every Sunday night and I have to hold private meetings with the E-board before chapter meetings. We have 6 E-board positions, and 21 chair positions so delegating is a big part of my job. Between fundraising, philanthropy, community service, sports, rush, and social we end up having a pretty busy schedule during the semester, so making sure we have good attendance at all of our events is huge. I also play a huge role in finances and disciplinary. If people don’t pay their dues the fraternity can’t function. Fraternities have a bad rep in general and Rowan and Sigma Pi Nationals set very specific rules for us to follow, so its up to me and the rest of the E-board to enforce them.”
Greek Life: A Mix of Socializing and Service
“Greek life is awesome. Rowan is a small school so its nothing compared to D1 schools that have mansions with maids and private chefs. We have 10 fraternities and 5 sororities…having things to look forward to from a social aspect is great. We have date parties, we have homecoming and Greek week, and everyone has a formal, which is a giant date party in Atlantic City or Philly. The fundraising, community service, and philanthropy events we do are all things we can put on our resume and talk about in job interviews. It also gives us the opportunity to get involved on campus. “
A Growing Fraternity: High GPAs, Greek Week Winners and Strong Friendships
“It’s a love/hate relationship for sure [being president of Sigma Pi.] It sucks being the guy to have to enforce all the rules but I knew what I was getting myself into. My favorite part about being president is the success we have had in the past year or two. For the past two and a half years we have had the highest overall GPA of all on campus fraternities and up until this semester we have had the highest recruitment numbers. Between all the brothers we have 8 houses in Glassboro. We make more money fundraising than all Greek organizations. We also took first place in Greek Week and Homecoming in 2014. Also, 25 of us went to Cancun last year for spring break and had the time of our lives. Everything about the fraternity has changed for the better since I got in and its great to be in charge of something like that. Our goal for next year is to take over the Intramural sports game.”
Pursuing His Career Goals: internships, conferences, connections
“I’ve made a ridiculous amount of connections through Greek life. 75% of my Linked-in connections are people in Rowan Greek life and Sigma Pi alumni. Sigma Pi Nationals flew me out to a leadership conference in Orlando this past summer that lasted 6 days so I met a ton of people there. As far as helping me pursue my career, Rosie Kelly in DPHIE actually helped me get the last internship I had because she had it before me. Sigma Pi Nationals provides us with a job board where alumni can post jobs specifically for Sigma Pi brothers, which is a big opportunity. There’s also a couple of Sigma Pi alumni who are doing exactly what I want to do career wise, so that’s another hook up.”