Erasing the stigma around fraternities  

By Faith Flickinger | April 15, 2024

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Stereotypes and misconceptions of Greek life live in many people’s minds, but the members of Sigma Alpha Mu, Sammy, have shared their stories to help erase the stigma. 

“A large chunk of becoming a man and talking like a man and acting like one comes through the support of the boys,” Michael Barry said. “They really build your confidence a lot more and you appreciate the confidence that they give you more than a lot of people in your own life, even your own family.” 

Barry is a sophomore human geography student at Michigan State University. He rushed Sammy this past fall semester. 

“They kept texting me and on a fateful Tuesday, said ‘Hi, this is Kyle from Sammy. Come over here’,” Barry said. “So I took bus 26 and I arrived here. I could tell that it was different. This is a different culture than a lot of other frats.”

Mike Gastwirth is a senior agribusiness management student. He has been a part of Sammy since 2022 and has always tried to look out for the younger members. One person he brought under his wing was sophomore supply chain management student Nick Lagoe.

“He was someone that I tried to keep an extra eye on because he was someone that reminded me of myself when I was going through the process of becoming a member,” Gastwirth said. 

Lagoe is the current treasurer of Sammy. The treasurer is a part of the executive board of the fraternity. 

“I manage all of our finances, budgeting, collecting dues,” Lagoe explained. “I also have roles within social and philanthropy and just helping out the younger guys with their positions.”