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We know that many of our alumni brothers have questions about how life at Beta Rho has changed given these uncertain times we’re living in. COVID-19 has changed the way we conduct our daily life, and the undergraduates are no exception. We reached out to Chapter Eminent Commander Nicholas Rivera and asked him about what life as a Sigma Nu at Penn is like nowadays. Here's what he had to say.   


Where are you originally from? How did you end up at Penn? 
I am originally from Grosse Pointe, Michigan. As a senior in high school, I knew I wanted to do something related to business and sought out the place that would best allow me to do that. A few essays and applications later and I ended up at Penn studying business analytics and finance.                           

Why did you decide to pledge at Beta Rho? What drew you to the brotherhood? 
Coming to Penn I didn't think of joining Greek life. Like many people, I had a stereotypical perception of Greek life and didn't expect much use. After meeting the brothers at the time, I found a group of interesting and engaging people who I genuinely wanted to spend time with. They also shared the benefits of having a place with a strong structure in place to facilitate friendships and encourage growth. In short, it allowed me to have experiences and make friendships that I really value. 

How long have you been involved with Beta Rho? What have you learned/gained from your involvement? 
Like most brothers, I joined my freshman year Spring, which was back in 2018. Besides great leadership experience, I was also able to gain insight and learn from a group of very interesting people I wouldn't have otherwise met.  

Do you have a leadership role at the house by any chance? If so, what’s your title? 
I have had leadership experience in the form of being Eminent Commander this year, and Treasurer last year. 

What's your expected grad year from Penn? What are your area(s) of study? 
I will be graduating this spring 2021. I am studying Finance and Business Analytics, with a minor in Computer Science. 

Are you involved in any extracurriculars? If so, could you tell us a little bit about your experiences? 
How are your extracurriculars changing in the coming school year, due to COVID-19?  
One of my largest commitments outside of Greek life is Kite and Key, Penn's student tour guide organization. We have had to overhaul the process to go virtual, changing regular on-campus tours to zoom-backed informational sessions. Most activities and clubs have gone this way, and it has required a huge effort by leaders and members alike. There are plenty of activities on campus that continue to thrive despite the pandemic and some that fail. The important part is being mindful of which side you are heading towards. 

How does this fall’s rush process differ from past years? How has it altered to account for COVID-19? 
More than previous years, this process involves leveraging already established networks to determine a potential market. Additionally, in the name of safety, we have been focusing on smaller and more personal conversations and events with students to try to get to know them best.  

Are there any events at the house that you’ve had to cancel or alter due to the pandemic? 
We have unfortunately had to cancel our annual LEAD session and NSO welcome obligations due to the pandemic. While we still try our best to remain present and engaged with the community, maintaining the safety of our members is what everyone is focused on at the moment. 

How is day-to-day life in the house different this year from previous school years? What safety precautions are the brothers taking? 
The largest change is that of reducing the use of common spaces. While brothers usually like to congregate in the chapter room to watch the game or the dining room to eat, we can no longer safely do these things. Brothers have been extra careful to wash their hands, reduce any visitors, and monitor their symptoms. Even with these changes in place, brothers are still taking the time to try to be social with each other while remaining socially distant 

Do you have any post-grad plans at the moment? 
My current plan is to go into a business analytical role, either via management consulting or investment banking.