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The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

Phi Delta Theta Comes to NJIT

Yukthi Sangoi
Recruitment specialists Adrian Ghilardi and Brian Lyke table in Weston Hall to capture interest in the brotherhood.

Fraternities and sororities serve as a community and a way to find brothers and sisters, respectively, who will remain committed to their new family through college and beyond. Adrian Ghilardi, the recruitment specialist for the Phi Delta Theta headquarters in Ohio, can be seen across campus either tabling looking for recruits or handling the paperwork necessary to finish stabilizing the new chapter of Phi Delta Theta at NJIT. 

Ghilardi completed his undergraduate degree in sports business at Arizona State University. As a freshman, he joined the aforementioned fraternity, which was beginning to expand into the college. This occurred in December 2019, and by March 2021, the college approved the official charter.  

Ghilardi’s role started by helping grow and operate the chapter, and eventually led to him serving in different roles and committees. He recalls this process as “a really cool experience launching from the ground up with people that you never knew before.” When Ghilardi graduated, he worked for the Phi Delta Theta headquarters, where he launched a chapter at Texas State University, and is now at NJIT as “the guy recruiting the next generation.” 

Phi Delta Theta has three cardinal principles: friendships, rectitude, and sound learning. This is the focus for any chapter, new or old. Ghilardi shared, “Specifically from the perspective of a startup chapter, this is what our organization is looking for in people that we interview and recruit. The quality standard is strict and high for an expansion because we want to start with the right materials.”  

From an organizational facilitator perspective, the main goal is stability. He commented, “I want all the guys to embody the cardinal principles. Once this semester ends, I will be gone, and the fraternity will need to be able to move forward with the support of groups on campus.” 

The fraternity has partnered with Live like Lou, an organization founded by brother Neil Alexander, who received an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) diagnosis. Alexander’s family established this foundation in memory of Lou Gehrig, a famous New York Yankees baseball player, who was diagnosed with ALS and a brother in the Columbia University chapter.  

The money raised for the disease supports research at two hospitals — one at Vanderbilt University, and the other at the University of Pittsburgh. For more information, check out livelikelou.org and PhiDeltaTheta.org, which includes a recent renovation of the group’s website. 

When asked about the support for alumni, Ghilardi explains the fraternity’s tagline: brotherhood for life. This is the case because the alumni network gets together often, and there are nearly 100 alumni clubs in the United States and Canada that support scholastic conventions for undergraduates in leadership development.  

Phi Delta Theta is actively in the recruitment phase. Ghilardi mentioned, “We are looking for the best and brightest men. We are not focused on one major or background. We want to bring excellence from every corner of the university. Our question is: what if we take the best men and introduce them and put them in a room with a set of shared values. What effect on the world can they have?”  

Recruitment will be all semester, and the next step is to install a board and supporting officers. Ghilardi’s role will include making sure that they attend necessary meetings and are able to build stability. 

There are a couple of ways interested students can reach out — firstly, they can speak to Ghilardi if he is tabling. The fastest way to reach him is filling out an interest form through PhiDeltaTheta.org/join. Ghilardi will then reach out and conduct an interview to determine who will be best at supporting the mission; students can also find the fraternity on Instagram using its handle @PhiDeltNJIT. 

As Associate Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Brittany Costantino manages the overall trajectory of fraternities and sororities, deals with issues like policy violations, manages finances for the office, and helps the assistant director with educational programs, data gathering, statistical analysis, planning partnerships with any office on campus, and attending conferences. 

While Costantino was hired after the previous associate director started the process of onboarding Phi Delta Theta, she is currently working to provide support and hopes that since the last fraternity to be approved was in 2014, Phi Delta Theta can bring new perspectives to campus. Constantino mentioned that the goal of her office is for 10% of NJIT’s student population to be affiliated with fraternities and sororities by 2026; currently, the school is at 4%. 

Costantino points out the benefits that she wishes students knew about, most notably connections, networking opportunities, and professional development: “With a fraternity or sorority, you are making a commitment for life.” 

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About the Contributors
Arwa Ouali, Senior Staff Writer
Yukthi Sangoi, Editor-in-Chief
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