Even though UMR junior Heather Siscel wasn’t aware of Greek organizations during high school, she had Miner blood in her veins before she arrived on campus her freshman year.
Siscel comes from a long line of UMR alumni. “I was aware of the university’s reputation before I began school,” Siscel says. “But once I came to campus, I wanted to find a way to make close friendships and serve the campus and Rolla community.”
An electrical engineering major, Siscel decided to examine sorority life. While Siscel has friends from all four UMR sorority chapters, she ultimately identified with the Eta Theta chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha national sorority.
“Being in ZTA was a great way to get involved,” says Siscel, who now serves the sorority as president. “I’ve found that Greek students at UMR are not only members in many other campus organizations, but they’re leaders of those organizations. I think these students have developed their leadership skills through their involvement in Greek life.”
Siscel, who is also president of service organization Alpha Phi Omega, knows all about leadership. “Holding positions in various organizations has taught me a lot about myself and others,” she says. “I have learned how to effectively work in a group toward a common goal, and those are skills I will take into the workplace.”
As a member of ZTA, Siscel has recently been able to showcase her musical side for Greek Sing, an annual battle of the bands event where Greek houses put together bands and perform two songs.
“This is my third year Greek Sing, and my second year playing bass guitar,” Siscel says. “I’ve also played drums and trombone for the show. The ZTA band members spend a lot of time together, practicing a couple of days a week. I think it’s amazing how many talented girls we have at UMR!”
Siscel also enjoys Greek Week [link: http://web.mst.edu/~panhel/greekweek.htm], an annual week of games, comradery and friendly competition among the UMR Greek community. Siscel is proud that her sorority won Greek Week for the past two years, but she says she is most impressed by the passion her sorority sisters display during service events.
“Among other events, we held our first-ever Pink Week on campus this past October, with proceeds benefitting breast cancer awareness, our national philanthropy,” Siscel says. “We had a breast cancer awareness speaker, a volleyball tournament and pink flamingo flocking. We also handed out pink ribbons and sold pink T-shirts and pink ribbon cookies, all to raise awareness of breast cancer. It was a great week."
Siscel plans to attend law school after receiving her degree from UMR, and when she leaves, she knows she will take more than just academic memories away with her.
“I know I can count on all my ZTA sisters for anything I need,” Siscel says. “They are always here for me.”
Students in all Greek organizations have made similar remarks about the friendships they formed through fraternities and sororities. To learn more about Greek life at UMR, contact the UMR office of fraternity and sorority life at greeks.mst.edu .