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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA Greek networking site going nationwide

    Three UA alumni hope to revolutionize the way Greek Life members network both socially and professionally with the launch of their new Web site,

    Students from many of the largest fraternities and sororities across campus signed up over the past three weeks, building a roster of more than 2,200 active members on the site. The number will continue to grow, as the developers of UGreekRow plan to tour college campuses across the country and eventually present it to national chapters.

    Justin Shane, an alumnus of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, commonly referred to as FIJI, graduated from the university in May and struggled to find a way to contact fellow alumni. The Web site started as “”an idea to bridge the gap between alumni and undergraduates for job opportunities,”” Shane said.

    Shane shared his thoughts with his long-time friends and fellow graduates Adam Carr and Chris Risi, alumni of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

    Together they designed a site that will not only help Greek Life members network professionally but also make it easier to organize social events, Carr said.

    “”Right now, we’ve launched the full-blown social side,”” Risi said. “”We didn’t want to overwhelm everybody, so we’re getting everybody very used to the social side and, in the next few weeks, are going to be launching the professional side.””

    Riley Sutherland, president of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, finds the site helpful in avoiding scheduling conflicts, because users can see what all the other Greek houses are doing that night.

    KAT has 190 members, and 186 of them have already signed up on Sutherland attributes some of this enthusiasm to a promotional competition sponsored by the Web site that gives a free date dash to the fraternity or sorority that gets 95 percent of its roster to become active members of

    Elizabeth Schmitt, president of Alpha Phi, said the sorority has about 45 percent of its 213 members signed up on the Web site.

    “”People are really excited; it’s a great way to see what’s going on in each different house.””

    Schmitt finds the site to be “”very easy and straightforward”” and expects to become a daily user, “”though it may take time to get there.””

    The professional side of the site will be launched in a few weeks and will include a resume builder that allows students to market themselves to potential employers by using the Web site, Shane said.

    “”We want to continuously roll features out,”” while always preserving simplicity and accessibility, Shane said.

    Soon Greek Life members will be able to collect and pay dues directly through the Web site and be able to add an application on Facebook that gives updates on UGreekRow activity, Risi said.

    New features are not the only concern, however, as users give feedback on any problems they may have.

    One minor problem that was found was that “”you can only accept friends from your e-mail,”” said Chelsea Kerzner, a journalism senior and member of KAT.

    UGreekRow is addressing any minor glitches before taking their model on the road.

    “”Once we’ve got most of the kinks worked out, then we’re planning on going to some of the major California schools,”” including UCLA, Southern California and San Diego State University, Risi said.

    “”The real focus is to get working models at a few of the major schools so that we have credibility when we go to nationals,”” he said.

    After California, the UGreekRow staff plans to tour 13 schools in the Midwest, including the University of Illinois, which “”has the largest Greek community in the country,”” Shane said.

    What started as an idea inspired by three friends’ problems contacting fellow Greek Life alumni has turned into a full-time job with work days that can stretch on for at least 14 hours, Carr said.

    “”This is definitely something we believe in and have given up a lot of other opportunities to pursue,”” he said.

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