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Cornell Chapter at Cornell University

Author: Alpha Zeta/Wednesday, July 20, 2011/Categories: Chapter Spotlight

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The Alpha Zeta Chapter at Cornell has nearly perfected the art of making members feel right at home. Consisting of 40 active members before fall rush, a Corporation Board of alumni that own the chapter house and around 20 active alumni, the Cornell chapter has developed from a fraternity into a family.

Many things set the AZ Chapter at Cornell apart from other chapters across the country. For starters, Cornell has a chapter house, which can house up to 33 members. Emmaline Long, Cornell chapter scribe, says "Having a chapter house makes AZ seem more like a family and less like a club."

At the house, members come together to study, eat meals and socialize. Those who do not live in the house still benefit by always having a place to escape or hang out with friends, which makes them feel like a part of the Cornell family.

Another unique feature of the group is they are considered a social fraternity at Cornell, which means they participate in Greek events throughout the year. The chapter partakes in formal rush in the fall and spring, which is a two week period where you get to know your potential members. The chapter also gets involved in other Greek-wide activities like Greek Week and the Trick-or-Treat trail for Halloween. Being a part of the Interfraternity Council helps gives the chapter a larger identity than that of just a campus club.

To set its self apart within the Greek community, the Cornell Chapter hosts its own events to cater to the direct needs of Alpha Zeta. For about five semesters, they have hosted "Ag Day" [see photo at right] which includes other ag-related clubs, tractors displays, cow chip bingo and distributing food at the Ag Quad. This event has grown each year and puts a spotlight on agriculture at Cornell.

Alpha Zeta alumni also participate in fraternity events to continue their ties with the fraternity. During fall break, one alumni invites the members to their farm to go cranberry picking [bottom right photo].

Not all chapter events cater only to members. Cornell has created events that include more the Cornell University family as well. By hosting two networking events a year, AZ students are encouraged to develop relationships with the faculty at Cornell. In the fall, the chapter holds a faculty wine and cheese night and in the spring, a faculty dinner. Both of the events are held at the Alpha Zeta house and include about 30 Cornell University faculty members.

The Cornell chapter is one of the most active and has received honors on both the national and Interfraternity level. This past spring the chapter was awarded the Founders Cup at the 2011 National Agriculture Leadership Conference (NALC) and 52nd Biennial Conclave, which is one accomplishment the chapter is very proud to earn. The Founders Cup is giving to a chapter who shows outstanding work and participates as a whole in national service projects, campus activities and NALC.

Ms. Long believes Alpha Zeta has a positive impact on her life as well as that of other members. "Seeing how active recent alumni still are in the chapter and hearing how much AZ has meant to them in their jobs and continued education is something that cannot be explained in words. I know for myself, AZ has given me a family at a large university and has helped me gain confidence in myself."

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