Parent Magazine

20 Questions with Ali Lifton (CGS’12, COM’14)

A busy sophomore, Alexandra (Ali) Lifton serves as the College of General Studies Student Union representative and recently joined the Sigma Kappa sorority. The Long Island native spoke with Parent about Greek life at BU, the joys of living in Boston, and more.

Photo courtesy of Ali Lifton (right); also pictured, Kara Niland (CGS’12, COM’14)

1. Why did you choose to come to BU?

I’m interested in advertising and had heard how wonderful the College of Communication is. While I was in high school, I did a two-week summer program at BU called Summer Challenge. I lived in Warren Towers and took classes in visual arts and mass communication, and that helped me realize that Boston was where I wanted to be.

2. What has been your most memorable experience at BU so far?

Venturing out into the city with my friends has led to great memories. Recently I was planning on having lunch with a friend in the dining hall, but instead we decided to get on the T, and we ended up at the New England Aquarium. Only in Boston can you be that spontaneous. I also have great memories of hockey games and of learning how friendly and accessible the Dean of Students Office is.

3. What are your responsibilities as the College of General Studies representative for Student Union?

I vote on issues being discussed at senate meetings. I’m also required to join one of three committees: Event Planning, Outreach, and Advocacy. Last year I was part of Advocacy and Outreach. This year I only joined Outreach, which does a lot of surveying to see what people want and what they think of certain issues. I’m also required to cover office hours every week in the Student Union office.

4. What have you gained from your Student Union involvement?

It’s helped me make a lot of connections and expand my network. Being in CGS, most of my classes are with the same people, and in Student Union I get to meet people from every BU school.

5. Why did you decide to join a sorority?

Greek life gives you a community. You see familiar faces on campus, and people stop and say hi. Every night this week, someone has said, “We’re doing dinner—come join us.” You meet people from all around, with different interests, who are excited every time they see you. And everything we do is about helping BU and making a difference.

6. Why Sigma Kappa?

Going through recruitment, you have to meet with every sorority, and it’s a mutual selection process—you eliminate some every day, and they eliminate you. Every day I seemed to like Sigma Kappa. They all just seem like very genuine people. Also, they do philanthropy work for Crohn’s disease, and last year—the first week of school—I found out I have Crohn’s, so that’s something I can relate to.

7. Does BU have a strong Greek community?

It’s strong for the people who are involved in it. Recently some fraternity members’ house burned down, and everyone in the Greek community pulled together to help them. My sorority decided we should help out with fundraisers and then made it a Greek-wide event.

8. How large is BU’s Greek community?

It’s getting larger. More than 600 girls went through sorority recruitment this year, which is up from not quite 500 last year.

9. If you had to join another student organization on campus, what would it be?

AdClub. I’ve always wanted to be a member, but it usually conflicts with my student government meetings.

10. Where is your favorite spot on campus?

I love hanging out at the BU Beach. When it gets warm out, it’s nice to be able to relax in an area that doesn’t feel as city-like. The Charles is also beautiful to look at.

11. In your opinion, where is the best place to live on campus?

I live in Student Village 2. It is the most amazing place to live, and I couldn’t ask for anything nicer.

12. What advice do you have for parents of college students?

Let your child be their own person. If they say they want to be an artist and you want them to be a lawyer, let them explore their options and their goals.

13. If you could give your freshman self a word of advice, what would it be?

Things get better. Don’t assume that your freshman year will define the rest of your college experience.

14. What do you hope to gain from completing your CGS Capstone this semester?

I’m hoping to get a better understanding of working in a group. I want to be in advertising, which will require a lot of teamwork.

15. Have you had any internships? If so, where?

Last summer I interned for Likeable Media. The CEO of the company, Dave Kerpen (SED’98, CAS’98), recently moved into my hometown. It was a great experience.

16. What’s your dream job?

I really want to be in the creative aspect of advertising, maybe doing graphic design.

17. What are your plans after college?

After college, I’m hoping to either get a job or go to graduate school for graphic design.

18. Where are your favorite places in Boston?

Newbury Street and the Boston Common.

19. If you didn’t live in Boston, where would you live?

Probably New York City. I have come to love living in a city.

20. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Australia. I’ve just always wanted to go there. It might actually go back to when I was little and watching Mary-Kate and Ashley movies!

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