Greek Life rocks: a garden of representation

Behind Armstrong Hall and in front of Trafton Hall, Greek Life organizations have found a way to physically represent themselves on university grounds. 

Minnesota State Fraternities and Sororities have placed large boulders with painted art and messages from members in an effort to represent the different organizations at MSU. 

Brandon Gustafson, co-founder of the rock display and alumni of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, said the idea originated from both himself and his fraternity brother, Zach Wickman, in an effort to represent Greek Life on campus. 

“It’s another way to get freshman interested in Greek Life because some people do not know that there are sororities and fraternities on campus,” Gustafson said.

He also said the idea was inspired by other colleges representing their fraternities and sororities by utilizing similar methods. 

“It started when we saw some southern schools that had a row of plaques to commemorate their chapters,” Gustafson said. “Because plaques were too expensive, we landed on the rock idea where each chapter could paint and design their rock.”

Gustafson said he is thrilled to see the idea come to life. 

“It’s really cool to see something I’ve worked so hard for finally happen,” he said. 

John Bulcock, Assistant Director of Student Activities and Advisor for Fraternity and Sorority Life, said he supports the new display due to the campus lacking in traditional sorority and fraternity representation. 

“On a lot of college campuses where there is fraternity and sorority life, people envision large houses for fraternities and sororities which are a noticeable and visible presence,” said Bulcock. “We don’t have that here, so the idea behind the whole project is having a monument serving as representation for those organizations on or near campus. I think it’s a creative way to have that physical and visible representation.”

Bulcock also said the organizations can change the paintings on the rock to advertise different events or updates. 

“There are not many limitations,” said Bulcock. “If a group is having a big charity event and would like to advertise it, they can paint it on their rock. If a group is having a big anniversary event, it can be commemorated on their rock.” 

Bulcock said the project has been successful thus far. 

“The rocks were placed by the grounds crew and the landscaping is done,” said Bulcock, “The goal was to have it visible for homecoming weekend. We have already had positive remarks from alumni which was cool to see.”

The rocks have been painted and placed in a high-traffic area in the center of campus and can be viewed by students traveling to and from their classes. 

Write to Grace Anderson at andersongrace117@gmail.com

Header Photo: The Fraternites and Sororities at Minnesota State came together and painted several large rocks to represent Greek life between Armstrong and Trafton hall. (Nate Tilahun/The Reporter)

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