Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Leadership lived: Greek Life helps UIS student feel at home


Crystal Terrazas admits to being a little homesick her freshman year, but that changed when she became a member of the Gamma Phi Omega International Sorority Inc. She now services as vice president of the University of Illinois Springfield colony.

“Greek Life is a home away from home,” she said. “When I decided to be part of it, I started doing my own research on the different organizations on campus and Gamma Phi Omega made the most sense to me.”

Terrazas, now a junior political science and legal studies major, is a member of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS), Model United Nations (MUN), a resident assistant in east campus housing and a mentor for the Hispanic and Latino Mentorship Program.

As part of Gamma Phi Omega, she helps organize academic events designed to help other students on campus, cultural awareness programs and participates in community service, along with raising money for the American Diabetes Association.

“Greek Life is not just about the parties or all of the fun stuff you see on TV or in movies. It’s more about the academics,” said Terrazas.

She chose UIS because of its location in the state capitol and has already completed several internships. She plans to attend law school following graduation from UIS.

“I want to own my own law firm,” she said. “I want to go into immigration and family law, so hopefully I’ll be able to do that.”

Terrazas is thankful for the wonderful people she’s met at UIS and the leadership skills she has learned on campus.

“I love the close-knit community and the people who are here,” she said. “It’s just great. I don’t think I would have had that experience anywhere else.”

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