At the beginning of each semester, each student at UNA is given the chance to “rush” or “go Greek.” So what are the pros and cons of going Greek?
Coming to a new place is not easy for some and meeting new people can be intimidating. “When I came to UNA, I knew no one,” said Avy Stansbury, President of UNA’s Zeta Tau Alpha. “I wanted to branch out and meet new people and I saw my qualities match up with Zeta Tau Alpha. I had a connection with them. They were all really down-to-earth and I felt comfortable around them, like I belonged.”
While there are many different sororities and fraternities to choose from at UNA, a larger sum of students choose not to join.
“If people want to join a fraternity or sorority, that’s fine, but I don’t want to pay for my friends,” said Ali Pieper, a student at UNA.
Some students disagree with this sentiment. “I like the idea of ‘going Greek’,” said Jaleesa Escott, a student at UNA. “I like that it stands for sisterhood and brotherhood.”
A short-term decision may affect your life more than you think. “I think that joining a sorority or fraternity is something that’s a part of you for a lifetime: it means more than just the letters, ” Escott said.
Many members of sororities and fraternities still keep in touch over the years, even after graduation.
“I met a lot of great people in the Greek community,” Stansbury said. “I also made connections with other sororities and fraternities, because it’s not always about competition.”
If you are skeptical about whether or not joining a fraternity or sorority is for you, Stansbury has some advice: “Give it a try and go through recruitment to try and see if it may be for you. Don’t write it off because of the stereotype Greeks have of partying.”
There are other qualities about ZTA that appealed to Stansbury : “I saw my qualities match up with ZTA through not only their personalities, but also their philanthropy.”
Sugar On Top December 9, 2012
Just two weeks ago, a local sweets shop, Sugar on Top was featured on Food Network’s show, “Cupcake Wars,” and has experienced an increase in sales because of the public.
This mother daughter team started out seven years ago making wedding cakes, but the demand for cupcakes became so high, they decided to expand their baking knowledge.
The owner, Harley Williams and her mother, Paula McGee opened the shop Sugar on Top two years ago.
“Before we opened our shop, there was nowhere to buy just a single cupcake,” Williams said.
About a year after they opened the shop, they had an opportunity to apply for a chance to be on Food Network’s show “Cupcake Wars.” However, that season the shows were dedicated to returning champions.
Later, the producers of the show contacted Williams and McGee and asked them to re-apply.
“They must have saw something they liked in our video, because they contacted us and wanted us to give it another try,” said Paula McGee, co-owner of Sugar on Top.
“To actually be on Food Network was crazy and so much fun,” Williams said. Since the episode aired, “it has been nuts in here.”
“We have tripled our normal sales from the 1st week after the episode aired.”
Many people have heard about Sugar on Top not only because of the episode of “Cupcake Wars,” but more commonly just by word of mouth. “I haven’t been to Sugar on Top, but I probably will visit,” said Marissa Morris, a student at UNA. “A lady that I go to church with knows someone who works there.”
“I went with a friend to pick out a birthday cake,” said Samantha Felkins, local resident.
Sugar on Top is located at 112 East Tuscaloosa Street in downtown Florence. Sugar on Top’s hours of operation are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
How local banks are helping college students October 31, 2012
Products such as: low minimum opening deposits, ODP (Over Draft Protection) and
online or mobile banking are just a few products that may appeal to students.
Three local banks that provide such services are: Regions, Listerhill Credit Union and Bank
Kelsey Brown, a student at UNA said “convenience and speed,” are two main
factors she considers to be valuable when choosing a bank.
Regions offers a “Lifegreen” checking account for students that includes online banking and bill
pay, mobile checking and also ODP.
The Lifegreen account is also “environmentally friendly.” The checks are made from recycled
paper and they offer online statements and check images instead of a mailed statement.
Listerhill Credit Union has a location on campus. It offers a student account for ages 15-29
called “The Hill,” with no minimum balance requirements, and overdraft fee forgiveness.
UNA student, Maryanna Hood said that she considered a bank that didn’t charge a high fee to
open or maintain her account as something she would be interested in.
Both Regions and Listerhill Credit Union also offer linking your student account to your
parents for easy transferring of funds.
“We have free checking accounts, no service charges, free debit cards, a mobile app, low
minimum opening balance and immediate credit to your account up until 8 p.m.,” said Sharon
Bailey, the branch manager of Bank Independent on Cox Creek.
Along with these features, Bank Independent also has free internet and mobile banking and
also offers ODP.
‘The fact that you can call 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. 6 days a week and talk to a real
person in our customer service department, you can also open a savings account with only $1 to
put in place for a back-up plan and the fact that there are convenient ATM locations along with
branches that are open until 8 p.m. make Bank Independent the ‘go-to’ bank,” Bailey said.