Identities: Greek life inspires Titans to excel

Robert Huskey / Daily Titan

Robert Huskey / Daily Titan

SORORITY PRESIDENT RISES ABOVE

Although Nicole Hensch’s sorority story started the same as most, it has taken a direction of its own.

Hensch was among nearly 500 eager students who bid for a spot in a sorority house during rush week in the fall of 2011. Though her and her peers were looking to enhance their college experience, she remembers that time as formal—like they weren’t getting to know who she really was.

After being accepted into the Cal State Fullerton Delta Zeta sorority, Hensch was quickly promoted to treasurer. The following year, Hensch was selected as president of Delta Zeta.

Hensch said it is not normal for sophomores like herself to be promoted to president, but because of her diligent work as treasurer and a connection with her peers, she was nominated for the position.

“There was some speculation as to how I would do as president as a sophomore,” said Hensch. “They were concerned my age would affect people listening to me.”

Jade Chiarini, Delta Zeta’s college chapter director, said that even though Hensch is the youngest president to take over the chapter, she is still respected by her peers.

“She’s a strong leader,” said Chiarini. “Age is not going to be anything for this little girl in her life.”

Hensch, 19, a molecular biology major, is responsible for looking after her sorority sisters, delegating tasks to them and dealing with any problems within the chapter.

Hensch said she joined Delta Zeta in an effort to seek out friends and become involved on campus.

“In high school I didn’t have a lot of girlfriends,” she said.

However, being involved in the Girl Scouts until she was 17 helped Hensch gain leadership skills that she said she uses in her presidency.

Hensch said she is looking toward the future. Although she is only a sophomore, Hensch plans to go into pharmaceuticals to make more efficient medications.

As for the near future, Hensch is applying to be a camp counselor at the Painted Turtle Camp, one of Delta Zeta’s national philanthropies.

“I do want to help my community not just in raising money, but I want to see where it goes,” Hensch said.

Hensch said if her presidency goes well, she plans to take on another term.

FRAT LEADER MOTIVATES PEERS

Life in a fraternity offers plenty of networking opportunities, lifelong friendships and many social activities.

For Zack Lipot, being president of Pi Kappa Alpha not only allows for those things, but also helps him honor his father’s memory.

Pi Kappa Alpha’s main philanthropy, the Taylor Trudeau Cycle for Life foundation, raises money in honor of a late Pi Kappa Alpha brother who died of leukemia.

Lipot said raising funds for this cause is close to home. His father passed away of undiagnosed leukemia when he was 6 years old.

“When you have 100 guys coming to support you and your dad’s memory, it’s just awesome,” said Lipot. “I couldn’t even … I can try, but putting it into words seeing all of my brothers helping out and supporting that cause … for me personally was just unbelievable.”

The newest and largest fraternity on campus, Pi Kappa Alpha, otherwise known as Pike, was brought to Cal State Fullerton only a year and a half ago. Lipot said he was the first person signed to the Pike fraternity and is now only the second member to be president of the Fullerton chapter.

Before Lipot became president, he served as the fraternity’s first treasurer.

He said having the experience of being treasurer and president of a “small business,” as a business major, is unmatched.

“I handled a six-figure budget as a 20-year-old,” he said. “That’s just crazy to me … The experience is just incredible.”

Lipot said he is hoping to take his experience from the fraternity into his future career in business. He wants to pursue a career in the business side of the sports industry, hockey in particular.

Moses Yneges, Pi Kappa Alpha advisor, said Lipot was an obvious choice for both treasurer and president because of his work ethic, experience and drive for the fraternity.

“He’s a hard working person, so naturally he was a good selection for the president to continue leading the colony,” said Yneges.

Still, fraternity life is not just about the experience for Lipot. Having attended an all-boys high school, the idea of brotherhood has always been important to him.

Lipot said the support and constant presence of his brothers makes the campus smaller and more enjoyable.

“Pike’s my one true love on campus. I absolutely love it. I love pouring all my time and energy into it,” he said.

About Adreana Young

Adreana is in her fifth year as an undergrad and hopes it to be her last. While she can write word after word and story after story on other people’s lives, crafting a simple 50 to 100 word bio about herself has always proved difficult.