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Greek of the Week: Matt Gordon from Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Meet this week’s Greek of the Week: Matt from Sigma Alpha Epsilon!

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Matthew Gordon

Fraternity: Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Chapter: Virginia Chi

Position: Chronicler (historian) and Treasurer

Mascot/Symbol: Lion

Motto: Phi Alpha

Colors: Royal purple and old gold

Quick Facts about Matt:

Age: 20

Major: Public Relations

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Lorton, VA

Relationship Status: Single AF

Matt’s Favorites:

Color: Blue

TV Show: Scandal, Gossip Girl, Bob’s Burgers, OITNB

Designer/Store: Forever 21, Nike and Chanel

Season: Summer

Food: Hawaiian style pizza

Movie: WAY too many to list, but my #1 is Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Why did you choose to come to VCU?

VCU was always my top choice for college. Originally having been in the School of the Arts, I knew that going to VCU meant attending the #1 public arts school in the country. Nevertheless, I’ve always loved Richmond and the uniqueness it possesses.

Why did you decide to join SAE?

Being an SAE means representing my grandfather, who was also a member at the Georgia Phi chapter from 1920 to 1925 and I’m proud to carry on that legacy. However I decided to join before I even knew he was a member, which made all the difference to me. When I joined in the spring of 2014, the brothers welcomed me with open arms and since then I’ve learned so much about prioritizing, leading and friendship.

What is unique about SAE?

The men of SAE look for future leaders to portray our age-old creed, which is The True Gentleman, written by John Walter Wayland. The True Gentleman embodies the ideals of being not only a member of this fraternity, but a universally upstanding human being in general. My chapter is unique amongst others because of the diversity of our members and recognizing that there is not one ethnicity that represents the ideals of The True Gentleman. 

Describe a time when your brothers were really there for you.

Once I went to Belle Isle with a couple of my brothers and my boyfriend at the time, and after putting my bare feet into the water I accidentally slipped on the mossy rock and drifted with the current into a part of the river where I couldn’t move without falling over and getting soaked. So to save me they all collectively formed a human chain to reach me and safely pull me onto dry land. Brotherhood is good.

How do you respond to people who are afraid to join a Greek organization due to rumors of hazing?

The reality is that sometimes rumors about hazing in Greek organizations are real, and in that regard the individuals responsible lose any respect in representing an organization that is supposed to build brotherhood or sisterhood and choose rather to deplete it. Hazing happens across the nation and there is a strong possibility it has happened within VCU Greek life. However, joining SAE means the legitimate promise of a zero tolerance hazing policy, which I’m proud to say has rang true since I have been a member.  

How do you respond to people who say that you are “paying for your friends?”

This statement usually spawns from ignorance and from the belittlement of Greek life in general. The dues I pay go towards the preservation and wellbeing of my organization, not so that my brothers will like me. Being apart of SAE has been a priceless experience and outside negativity isn’t worth questioning whether or not it makes me happy. 

Do you think there is any truth to Greek stereotypes?

It depends on how one would define a “Greek stereotype.” I would say that the typical “frat boy” mental image would be a heterosexual caucasian male, and in that, I would have to say that it is not completely true. SAE has a wide range of ethnicities between our members and speaking as a gay man in this fraternity I never knew how accepting they would be. They knew it from the start and have accepted it every step of the way. I believe SAE specifically breaks away from the typical “frat boy” image I described above. Obviously that isn’t to say that other fraternities on campus aren’t diverse as well and many of them are. Being a certain race or having a particular sexual orientation is not a requirement to join any Greek organization and that “stereotype” shouldn’t dissuade anyone from trying to join. 

How has SAE changed your college experience?

SAE has truly expanded my horizons regarding my friends tenfold. Without it I would not feel nearly as connected to VCU as I do now or did before I joined. It has given me more of a purpose to succeed and has helped me connect with more people than I could have without. My positions in the fraternity have also kept me very preoccupied (in a good way) (most of the time).

What would be your advice to someone that’s considering joining a fraternity?

I would say that you should try to venture out and experience the differences between the fraternities before deciding on one to join. I would also say to make sure that it is something that you will want to stay committed to, because dedication in Greek life is key to accomplishment just like anything in life. You get out of it what you put into it.

Are you involved in any other organizations on campus?

I’m not currently involved in any other organization on campus. Hoping to change that next semester!

Who is a celebrity you look up to and why?

I look up to any celebrity who has worked through and overcome racial, sexual orientation based prejudice and/or gender bias to inspire others with their amazing work. Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj are prime examples along with Ellen Degeneres and even our President Barack Obama.

What is your favorite spot in Richmond and why?

All I can think of is Belle Isle on a warm, sunny day but that’s kind of basic. I want to explore Carytown a lot more when it gets warmer and actually see more of the city outside of the VCU campus.

What are some things you like to do in your free time?

Much of my spare time is spent on Netflix (currently working my way through Gossip Girl) and spending time with my friends in the fraternity and out. I also like to shop sometimes and I try to go to the gym at least once to twice a week. 

What do you hope to accomplish with your degree after you graduate?

I hope to become part of a public relations firm. As far as which one I can’t say. I tend to take things one day at a time and I’m just trying to revel in my youth and lack of responsibility for as long as possible.

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