The Alpha Zeta Cook Chapter at Rutgers University is truly a brotherhood. With 66 active members and over 250 alumni, they have a very wide variety of individuals in the chapter and each one brings something unique to the brotherhood. Brothers come together to support one another whether it be on an upcoming exam or a little extra labor on someone’s farm, the Cook Chapter stands together to see their brothers succeed.
The Cook chapter plans each event to make sure members will have a good time. Coming to events is never a chore because brothers want to participate and hang out with their fellow brothers. In addition, the Cook Chapter uses a point system and requires 14 brother points and 15 hours of service a semester. It is easy for brothers who come to events to earn their brother points and service is always more fun when done in a group! Brothers tend to stick together for different service and brotherhood activities – fun times are had by all.
One of the chapter’s favorite activities is hosting a table at Rutgers Day (formerly known as Ag Field Day) where they sell pulled pork sandwiches and lemonade. Cook Chancellor, CarolAnn Sudia says, "It is great to see all of the alumni come back and share their stories with current brothers.” Another favorite activity is a service project conducted each semester where brothers go to the Rutgers Gardens to do various jobs. "When I first got involved with AZ my service project was maintaining the bamboo forest. It was absolutely breathtaking to see the bamboo forest for the first time and I love bringing new members there now and seeing the look of amazement on their faces,” said Sudia.
At the 2012 National Agricultural Leadership Conference (NALC) recently held in Fresno, CA, the Cook Chapter was awarded the Founder’s Cup. "That is our biggest and most outstanding achievement thus far,” says Sudia. However on a smaller scale, Cook Chapter has recently gotten more and more involved with the rest of the Rutgers Greek Community and it members love to see the AZ name become more recognized. Last spring, AZ won an award for most team participants in a "Rutgers Against Hunger 5K.” And last fall, they won an award for most participants in the Big Chill, a Rutgers 5K to help give toys to children in need. And most recently, the Cook chapter had 13 dancers participate in Dance Marathon, a fundraiser that helps support families of children with leukemia and blood disorders. The chapter rose over $6,000 and placed second in the amount of money raised for a professional fraternity! The AZ brothers are really coming together for good causes, and are proud to see the chapter grow.
Coming up later this spring, Cook Chapter will hold their second Networking Alumni Event for brothers to meet and possibly gain an internship or job from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Alumni. Members also have Formal, the Ag Field Day table, and Initiation to look forward to in the next month.
When asked how to make your AZ chapter successful, Chancellor Sudia suggests making sure to actively involve all new-members before they become brothers; make them feel like they are already integrated into the Alpha Zeta Community. "Good new members become new brothers, so make sure that you are initiating people who will love and be as dedicated to the fraternity as you do. If you can do that it will be easy to keep the brotherhood actively involved,” says Sudia.