Changing the face of Greek life at Binghamton
By Matthew Coleman '11
An advisor once provided Sunni Solomon with a metaphor for her advising style. "She told me she advised like a driver education teacher," Solomon says. "Let students drive, but step on the passenger brake if something gets bad. And, that is how I do my job."
Solomon joined the Binghamton University staff as assistant director of Greek life earlier this year, taking over a community of more than 50 Greek organizations. However, despite Binghamton's large number of Greek organizations, Solomon does not believe that our University can compare itself to other institutions with large numbers of Greek organizations.
"Penn State, for example, has had a Greek system in place longer than us," Solomon says. "We need to focus on helping our chapters make an impact and making sure it is recorded. We must let Binghamton know that Greeks matter."
A proclamation that is much easier said than done.
"I want to change the face of the Greek community without taking away the social aspect of fraternities and sororities," Solomon says. "I don't want to take the fun away, but, I want to show the other side. For example, I want to provide leadership training to help Greeks make responsible decisions so they do not find themselves in a hole."
This is just one step in Solomon's plan to revamp Greek life at Binghamton.
"I want to get to a point where we educate students to a point where they can self-govern effectively and healthily," said Solomon.
So far, Solomon and his staff have been able to create a wish list of things they want to see done at the University.
"There was no budget when I took over," Solomon says. "But, after creating a proposal, we were given a small programming budget. With the money, we will be able to bring in speakers and send chapters to leadership conferences and retreats."
Before coming to Binghamton, Solomon worked in medical claims at State Farm Insurance and then at the University of Alabama as coordinator of student involvement in Greek life. He is completing his graduate degree in college student affairs from Eastern Illinois University. Solomon was born and raised in Pittsburgh and completed his undergraduate education at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania in business administration and marketing.