St. Paul’s Greek life roots itself in agriculture

by Avery Vrieze Published April 23, 2024

Image by CJ Bonk FarmHouse, captured on April 22, is one of the few greek life houses located on the St. Paul campus. FarmHouse is one of the few Greek life houses located on the St. Paul campus.

Of the five fraternities and sororities on UMN’s St. Paul campus, many of them have ties to agriculture.

The University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus in Minneapolis is home to a multitude of fraternity and sorority houses along University Avenue and in Dinkytown, but the same can be said for the St. Paul campus. 

Greek life on the St. Paul campus consists of three fraternities: Delta Theta Sigma, FarmHouse and Alpha Gamma Rho, along with two sororities: Beta of Clovia and Lambda Delta Phi. 

For many members of these organizations, the smaller St. Paul community was what they needed in their Greek life experience. 

FarmHouse president Noah Erickson said growing up in rural Minnesota helped him connect with his fraternity brothers because many of them have had the same life experiences and morals. 

“I don’t even know if I would have finished my schooling at the U of M if it weren’t for my experiences in FarmHouse,” Erickson said. “Just because of the sense of community that it provided, especially for somebody who is from a town of a population of like 5,000 people.”

Erickson added that it is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities campus, but being on the St. Paul campus feels like a small town with a tighter community. 

After seeing both her sisters join sororities on the St. Paul campus, Lambda Delta Phi Second Vice President and Recruitment Chair Elle Penzenstadler said she felt she could see herself thriving in her sorority. Moving into a leadership role helped her give back to her sorority before she graduated, she said. 

“You put yourself out there as a recruitment chair and just do all you can to try and get new members,” Penzenstadler said. “It’s been a lot of communication and just putting yourself out there and being vulnerable to meeting new people.”

According to Penzenstadler, Lambda Delta Phi was founded on the ideal of creating a home for women of all backgrounds. Although many in the sorority are College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) majors, there is a lot of diversity from other programs.