Sorority leader seeks to change views on Greek life

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Emily Lovelass ’15

Hometown: Vestal, NY
Major(s): Journalism (Public Relations Concentration), English
Graduation Date: December 2015
Alpha Kappa Phi Agonian Sorority, Inc.
— Multi-Cultural Greek Council
United Greek Association
— Red Cross Club
— Sorority Leader of the Year Award 2014-2015
— Sorority Overall Chapter Excellence Award 2014-2015

How do you think your student leadership experience, and Greek life in general, will help you in your future endeavors?

Greek life has completely altered my perceptions in all aspects of my life. Working with all the different sororities and fraternities has exposed me to so much diversity. I’ve gotten to meet fantastic people. I’ve always considered myself a leader, but on campus, it feels bigger. Being a leader at New Paltz means you can make a real difference in the community. Going forward, I feel prepared for anything. Not only do I have an incredible support system in whatever I decide to do, but my sorority has taught me how to be professional, hardworking, and most importantly, kind.

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The person who nominated you for Faces of New Paltz said you’re always looking for different ways to improve negative attitudes towards Greek life. Can you elaborate on this?

Generally speaking, I would say Greek Life has a bad reputation in America. You see all these headlines about individuals who did and said very questionable things. At New Paltz, and campuses across the country, that’s not the reality. My goal has always been to disprove the stereotypes. I want to see a change in how the student body sees sororities and fraternities, but more than that, I want to see students respecting each other more. Regardless of what group or club or even major you belong to, we’re all here for the same reason. No one should be put down for their own personal definition of the college experience.

Emily (back row, third from left) with her sorority sisters

Are there any particular professors you’ve strongly connected with on campus?

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my professors over the past three years. I’ve learned the most from Penny Freel. She’s so sassy and always makes class fun, but she also makes everyone in class feel smart and valued. I’ve also really enjoyed my experiences with Donna Flayhan. She’s incredibly encouraging, and she reassures me every day that I’m on the right path. Finally, Professor Howie Good made my first experience with journalism both hilarious and informative. All of these people have helped me so much during my time here.


I learn something new at New Paltz every day. … It’s such a rich environment where you never really stop exploring.


Emily hiking at Lake Minnewaska in New Paltz.
Emily hiking at Lake Minnewaska in New Paltz.

How did you come to attend New Paltz? What do you like most about it?

I came to New Paltz because my dad forced me to go on a tour and I ended up falling in love with the whole place. There are so many things I love about this school. My favorite has to be how open and friendly everyone is. All of my friends are on this campus and I continue to meet amazing people.

How has New Paltz helped broaden your horizons?

Honestly, I learn something new at New Paltz every day. Everywhere I look, there are new groups and clubs and events I’ve never seen before. It’s such a rich environment where you never really stop exploring. I came here wanting to stay pretty uninvolved, like I had been in high school. I was going to hang out with friends, watch Netflix, and eat nonstop for my whole college career. Today, there’s very little time when I’m not running around and doing something. The weirdest part is that I’ve enjoyed it. Now I get antsy if I’m stuck inside with nothing to do for too long. It just kind of happens here. The environment on campus pushes you to advance and succeed.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to become a wedding planner in Syracuse after graduation and do some freelance public relations when I can. Eventually, I’m going to move south where it’s not quite so cold, and try to open up my own event décor business.