Finding your niche

Finding your niche

Do you wish you could find your place on the hill?
Published: May 14, 2023

Finding your niche (clubs_orgs)

With over 300 clubs and organizations, deciding where to devote time and energy can feel daunting. Whether you want to join or just support, these insights from current members of student organizations – like DanceWorks, Moody Magazine, Ski Team and Greek life – will help the rest of the Orange community navigate extracurricular activities on SU’s campus.

Common Themes

1. Support the organizations in Schine. It’s literally so easy. “If people are tabling, walk up and support them. Sign their petition, eat a cookie because I know what it feels like to table. People always think we are trying to recruit people, but we just had free snacks for Women’s History Month.” –Ericka Love, Zeta Phi Beta

2. Seniority is a thing. “Upperclassmen or people who have just been in the organization for longer periods of time hold positions. They have been around and know how things should operate.” –Sofia Arashiro-Garcia, DanceWorks

3. Networking is crucial. “I didn’t think that it would already be such a competition of needing to make connections on campus in order to grow in clubs. It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do. If you want to have a good position, you just need to make friends with the right people. I guess it’s a taste of the real world.” –Mattea Vecera, Mixtape Magazine

Danceworks Walk of Fame


1. It’s no Dance Moms, but joining is still a competitive process. “Leading up to auditions, it’s very competitive. Just because you were in the organization last year does not necessarily mean you get a spot in the dance this year. People aren’t very open and talkative until they’re in dances.” – Sofia Arashiro-Garcia, dancer

2. Once performers are assigned to dances, the pressure subsides. “In terms of how people speak about themselves and others, it’s more of a positive and uplifting environment instead of competitive or tearing each other down.” – Emily Devito, dancer

3. Get in close with the 4 members of Eboard. “It’s only 4 girls that get to choose the new Eboard. If you’re in one of those girls’ dances, they obviously have gotten to know you pretty well. That can give people a leg up.” – Sofia Arashiro-Garcia, dancer

4. Bring a box of tissues to the last show. “Before the last show, the seniors sit in a circle and talk about what their time in the organization has meant to them and why they love DanceWorks.” – Emily Devito, dancer

Professional fraternities

1. Bring a suit for Phi Delta Epsilon. “They make us dress up in professional business attire every Sunday. When we go, we have to dress as if we’re getting a medical interview. So, it’s like a full-on blazer and fancy pants.” -S ofia Arashiro-Gracia, sophomore PhiDe member

The University Pep Band: The Sour Sitrus Society

1. Join the band for the best tickets to all the games (and to provide musical entertainment, obviously). “I’ve played the trombone since sixth grade, but I also love basketball and knew I would be at all the games. I remember watching the Pep Band when I was in high school and thinking, ‘They have so much fun! I want to be in the front row but not have to camp out’.” – Will Mahaney, senior trombone player

2. Never forget: Georgetown has and always will suck. “At the end of every rehearsal and after every game, whoever is in charge gives their announcements and always says, ‘Are there any questions?’ Everyone raises their hands. He calls on someone who asks, ‘What time is it?’ He answers and everybody screams back, ‘and Georgetown still sucks!’.” – Will Mahaney, trombone player

3. Keep your eyes peeled for when the trombone and tuba players put on a show. “When we play “Gimme Some Lovin,” all the trombones jump down the line, starting with the leftmost person, like a ripple effect. Then, during the under-8-minute timeouts at men’s games, all the flags run around the court with the tubas following along behind them.” – Will Mahaney, trombone player


Syracuse University Marching Band

1. Storm Castle Varsity’s post-home-game football victory “After every football victory at home, the whole marching band goes into Varsity’s Pizza and stands on the tables, play the fight song and then flips the opponent’s banner upside down.” – Will Mahaney, trombone player


1. Save the hard-hitting questions for someone else. “Everybody has to have the same answers to some specific questions like ‘Is this really a party school?’. Yeah, it is, but they make us say no. It’s all very rehearsed answers, and it’s not necessarily like I can totally speak the truth all the time.” – Emily Devito, junior tour guide


1. Don’t just sit in the back. Put in the work! “The idea that if you’re a freshman, you can just shut up and sit in the back is not totally true. It’s the work you put in. Freshmen come in and assume they just have to shadow or watch and not insert themselves. But, if you apply yourself and start talking to the upperclassmen, you can get on air second semester freshman year.” – Sammy Lindell, junior host and reporter


1. You define “Game-Day Ready.” “Your hair has to either be half-up, half-down or fully up and always with a bow. Otherwise, we like to refrain from requiring certain things. We would never say you have to put this makeup on because some people don’t feel comfortable or confident that way. I know my coach likes to frame it as doing what makes you most confident!” – Michelle Beraud, senior cheerleader

2. No swearing, only positivity and smiles. “We are not supposed to swear at all. You should always really have a smile on your face. You’re not allowed to cheer against the other team.” – Michelle Beraud, cheerleader

Cheerleaders held up in the air waving to the crowd.

3. Cheering does not mean mingling with athletes. “I personally don’t interact with them. A couple girls are legit friends with some football and basketball players and some girls have hooked up with them. If we see them out, we kind of know who each other are and act friendly, but that’s the extent of it.” – Michelle Beraud, cheerleader

Junior Panhellenic Council

1. Chapters support other chapters. “I feel like just in Greek life in general, people have that conception that there’s always going to be some tension or beef between chapters, which is weird and stupid.” –Natalia Pedraza, sophomore on the Philanthropy Committee of the Junior Panhel

Ski Team

1. Competing and supporting go hand-in-hand. “When you finish your run, you go back up and cheer for the next person.” – Sammy Lindell, junior racer

2. Own your walk-up song. “We play walk-up songs for each of the racers and other schools have caught on. My song was Walk in the Spot by Matroda. I would act crazy and get up to the start gate, pumping my fist. The other teams would always look forward to it.” – Sammy Lindell, junior racer

Greek Life

1. Don’t judge a book by its cover (or Greek life by Bama rush TikTok). “I never ever thought I was going to join Greek life. Like, it is something that I was and still kind of am against. But, I tried it because I realized I was assuming a lot of things. I decided to do it, and it’s amazing and perfect.” – Carley DellaRatta, Kappa Alpha Theta

2. Joining the Greek community does NOT make you a Greek God. “A lot of people feel like if you’re in Greek life, you move different and try to act like you’re the shit, but that is definitely not true.” –Calvin Atieku, Phi Beta Sigma

3. Avoid drunkenly interrogating upperclassmen about their sorority before rush. “It is just a bad look to be sloppily asking girls (who you do not know) if their sorority is cool and who they party with and how many parties they have.” – Molly Cummins, Phi Sigma Sigma

4. Never speak of the 5 Bs during recruitment. “The goal of rushing is to learn about the values of different chapters, the sisterhood and philanthropies which really have nothing to do with the 5 Bs: Booze, Bank (money), Boys (frats), Biden (politics) or Bible (religion).” – Molly Cummins, Phi Sigma Sigma

5. Join multicultural sororities and fraternities. “Rush is so different. You don’t have to go to every event. You meet all the members and then there are different events based on the pillars of our sorority. You can pick and choose what you want to go to and then you end up having an interview with the entire chapter.” – Chu, Delta Phi Omega