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Greek life continues to dominate USGT representation

Of the 20 representatives in Tempe's student government, 16 are in a social fraternity or sorority and 13 are in the Sigma Nu fraternity

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ASU's Greek Leadership Village in Tempe, Arizona, on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018.


The majority of Undergraduate Student Government Tempe representatives for the 2022-23 school year will be involved in Greek life. For USGT's next term, 80% of USGT representatives are members of a social fraternity or sorority, with 65% of the representatives being in the fraternity Sigma Nu. 

Several incoming senators are members of the fraternity Sigma Nu, including president-elect Andrew Kalthoff. 

Kalthoff, a junior studying electrical engineering, wrote in an email that as student body president, it is his priority to "fully engage with all students, and ensure that non-Greeks are involved and fully represented."

"My administration's door will always be open for suggestion and the betterment of the undergraduate student experience on the Tempe campus," Kalthoff wrote. "We are going to work hard to make sure that all students are represented. As student representatives that is the very definition of our job."

The rest of the Kalthoff ticket, which includes Morgann Kelly as vice president of policy and Brooke Meier as vice president of service, are members of sororities. Meier is president of Alpha Phi and Kelly is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, according to their social media profiles.

Senate President Marco Huerta, a senior studying public policy and political science, said students in Greek life tend to be active in USG and are very involved on campus. As he leaves USG behind, Huerta trusts its incoming elected representatives will strive to uphold student government standards and ensure the student body is represented properly.

"Engagement among Greek life has always been very high, which is why developments like these occur," Huerta said. "And even if individuals are affiliated with certain organizations, we will still ask that they keep in mind the entire student body." 

Brenden Castellanos, a USGT senator and member of Sigma Nu, endorsed the Kalthoff campaign during the election season. Castellanos said the ticket has "the leadership experience and the fervor to be able to implement" the plans laid out in their campaign.

"We're always encouraged to be seeking out new opportunities and learn how to be more involved on campus and give back to our communities," said Castellanos, a senior studying political science and justice studies, of his experience in Sigma Nu.

The Kalthoff ticket posted 27 endorsements on its Instagram, 17 of which were involved in Greek life.

Sigma Nu has been active at ASU since 1955. The fraternity aims to "develop ethical leaders inspired by the principles of Love, Honor, and Truth" who provide an "unmatched level of service to its constituents," said the fraternity's website. 

All senators representing the W.P. Carey School of Business and Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering are brothers in Sigma Nu, in addition to Kyler Quaempts and Jake Standridge who were elected to represent The College of Liberal Arts and Science and Rafael Ortiz III who will represent Barrett, The Honors College.

READ MORE: Greeks dominate ASU's 'democracy'

Hannah Berryman, a USGT senator for The College who was reelected, is a member of Kappa Delta. Berryman said she does not believe there will be conflicts of interest in the upcoming term. USG does not make decisions that affect Greek life, and those in Greek life tend to be active in a variety of student organizations, she said.

"I'm not just in Greek life, I also have all these other areas I'm focused in (that) I could represent," said Berryman, a sophomore studying psychology. 

Izaac Mansfield, a junior studying innovation in society and computer information systems, is a USGT senator for the College of Global Futures who has been involved in student government for three years. Mansfield wanted to run a presidential campaign this year, but did not pursue it because he felt intimidated by the large social influence of Greek life. 

"I know people that know people, but chances are the other candidate who ended up being a Greek life candidate is probably going to have far more social capital, far more connections and ability to leverage those connections within the University than I would be able to," Mansfield said.

Despite his concern, Mansfield said conflicts of interest from USGT representatives in Greek life "really hasn't caused much of an issue."


Reach the reporter at awaiss@asu.edu and @WaissAlexis on Twitter.

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Alexis WaissPolitics Reporter

Alexis Waiss is a reporter for the politics desk. She joined the State Press in Fall 2021 and has covered state legislature, Arizona politicians, university policy, student government, the city of Tempe and stories highlighting social justice.


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