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French works to bring Greek Life to CU

Photo: Korina Rojo – CU Sentry

NON-TRADITIONAL GREEK LIFE TO COME SOON

As a result of CU Denver student interest, the foundation for Greek Life at CU Denver is presently underway. Amanda French was hired in mid July as the Graduate Assistant for Non-Traditional Greek Life (NGL). Her role entails developing the structure and principles for NGL at CU Denver.

Prior to accepting her current position, Amanda worked for CU Denver Student Life as the Graduate Assistant for Student Organizations which she held for four and a half years. Amanda’s interest in her present role was influenced by the values she learned while being part of Greek Life as an undergrad in Arizona. Being a former Greek affiliate, she was involved in a historically Latina sorority that was transformed into a multicultural organization which involved members of a variety of backgrounds. The meaning and purpose behind Greek Life influenced French’s interest in her current position. She has a clear agenda as to how she wants to structure NGL.

“I want to really create a space that feels safe and welcoming while tackling some of the themes that we see in a lot of Greek Life programs such as hyper-masculinity and sexism and safety,” French said. “I also want to incorporate prevention for things such as hazing or even safe practices with sex. I think of Greek Life as a really unique way of connecting students and in doing that we need to create ways that they can feel supported.”

After graduating from Northern Arizona University, French moved to Denver and has immersed herself in counseling and “the therapeutic world.” French is a current CU Denver graduate student pursuing her Master of Arts in Multicultural Counseling.

Amanda’s passion for assisting individuals is evident not only through her education but also through her affiliations. She has worked with a variety of individuals. In Spring 2017 she was a practicum therapist and worked with CU Denver and with Denver Public School students. Her work well extends outside of CU Denver as she is currently also working with the Colorado AIDS Project. She works with gay and bisexual men who are living with HIV/AIDS.

French has a lot of ideas about how NGL would be structured at CU. She aims at serving students of all identities without regard to ethnic or sexual orientation. Greek Life at CU Denver is presently identified as “Non-Traditional” due to its non-traditional focus of initiatives, and French details how NGL aims at a higher purpose beyond what is displayed in movies and television. “NGL is a space to create a very thoughtful, purposeful, and intentional management system of having a Greek Life system on this campus where transparency, multicultural awareness, and competency are really at the forefront. This is what we’re modeling off of what Non-Traditional Greek Life can be on this campus,” French said.

French will be graduating in Spring 2018. “I would absolutely love to continue working in the counseling field. I don’t really know where I’ll end up,” French said. “I just hope that whatever I do, it will have value and I’ll feel fulfilled and I’ll be able to do something that has meaning and really just creating empathetic and strong relationships with other people.

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