Sixto Arias Named Order of Omega’s Outstanding Advisors

At the recent Northeast Greek Leadership Association Conference, Sixto Arias, the inaugural director of Sorority and Fraternity Life for Stony Brook University, was recognized as one of Order of Omega’s Outstanding Advisors. This award is one of prestige, as it recognizes those who demonstrate a commitment to upholding the mission, values and principles of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the institutions they serve. 

While “Greek life” can be misrepresented and misunderstood, Stony Brook University fraternities and sororities have leadership, networking, community service, charity events and provide an additional network of support for those Seawolves leaving the university. 

On the heels of his recognition, Arias shared some of his goals for this newly created position, how he feels to have been given this honor, and how Fraternity and Sorority Life makes a difference to the Stony Brook University community.  

Stony Brook News: How does it feel to be recognized by the Order of Omega? 

Sizto award

Sixto Arias: Being recognized by the Order of Omega is an honor. The Outstanding Advisor Award was established in 2014 to acknowledge the dedication and leadership of the professional staff who work closely with the individual chapters, fraternity and sorority community, and Order of Omega International. 

As an advisor, my work is simple: To uphold the standards of Order of Omega and highlight the amazing work that our fraternal leaders are achieving at Stony Brook University. My work with Order of Omega started when I was initiated as a member of our very own Chi Kappa Chapter at Stony Brook and since then I’ve had the fortune of serving as the advisor to two chapters in my role as an advisor to fraternities and sororities. 

What I am most proud of in this work and why this recognition is so touching is that for those two chapters, I was pivotal in the reactivation of these chapters. One was a chapter that was reactivated after COVID and the other is the Chi Kappa chapter, which was dormant for five years and by the end of this semester will have 27 new members initiated into its ranks. 

SBN: Fraternities and sororities are often misunderstood. What is something important that people should know about fraternity and sorority life at Stony Brook? 

SA: As someone who works in supporting fraternities and sororities, I recognize that historically fraternities and sororities could perpetuate many of the things that individuals believe to be true about these organizations. However, it is also important for me to provide the tools to the members of fraternities and sororities to be change agents at Stony Brook and challenge the negative image. We do this through having our students participate in Bystander Intervention training, such as Green Dot, Red Watch Band, and QPR. Participate and collaborate with campus partners such as Counseling and Psychological Services, the Center for Prevention and Outreach, and Enterprise Risk Management to host workshops on how to mitigate risk. And go through several points of training and education semesterly with our department and their inter/national offices to ensure they comply with our standards and accreditation program. Ultimately, we strive for preventive practices that maximize strong ethical outcomes for our community.  

SBN: Can you discuss your role with Stony Brook’s Fraternities and Sororities and how/why it is important for you to be involved in that way? 

SA: Although Fraternities and Sororities at Stony Brook University have been around for more than 40 years, the department was established when I was hired as the inaugural director of Fraternity and Sorority Life. This role was specifically created to focus on the experience that our fraternity and sorority leaders were experiencing while giving the community the full attention it needed. 

Since my start in September 2022, the community has grown in size and impact. As an alum who once supported the community as a graduate student, it is important for me to continue to pour into a community that provided a home for me during those two years at Stony Brook. Being able to serve the community and be its champion is truly a rewarding and full-circle moment for me. 

SBN: What is the next step for growth when it comes to fraternity and sorority life at Stony Brook? What are you working on that can help bring this to fruition? 

SA: We are expanding our team by adding an assistant director to the department. With the addition of another dedicated full-time professional, I am confident we can take the community to the level I’ve envisioned. Other things to expect from the community are a comprehensive training program for all the officers of each fraternity and sorority to understand their role and impact on the fraternal movement, full implementation of student, alumni, and faculty/staff advisory boards to have critical conversations on what is impacting the community and how we can engage stakeholders to be invested in our work, and finding ways to provide more programming to the larger Stony Brook community to learn more about the work our chapters are doing at Stony Brook and beyond. 

— Emily Cappiello 

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