College · Greek Life · Uncategorized

Campus Involvement

Okay, so as I talked about in the quick blog we posted yesterday, I have been super busy lately. I was having a bit of a hard time coming up with a good blog topic and then it hit me, the one thing that I have been doing like crazy since coming back to campus, being involved. 

Now I’m not going to say what to get involved in or try to convince you to do all of the things that I do on my campus, however I am going to encourage you to be as involved as you can be. This doesn’t just go for college students but also high school students, and even graduates or work force employees. In general, I just want you to be involved whether it be with an organization, club, Greek life, the community, your workplace, ANYTHING!

Being involved on my campus as definitely changed my life and my outlook on life. I have found many organizations that I am very passionate about and loving being a part of. To give you a sense of how much time a day I spend being involved (especially the past few weeks) here are some of the things that have been keeping me on my toes lately.

On my campus, I am involved with..

Program Council- this is an organization that plans all of the events for everyone on campus. They host Bingo nights, homecoming week, springfest week, poetry nights, open mic nights, craft nights, and everything in between. All the events that they host on campus are usually 100% free. Other than that, they also plan some Off Campus Adventures that cost money, but aren’t above $10, which appeals to the college student wallet.

Greek Life- I am in a sorority on my campus. Every week we hold a Chapter meeting that is mandatory to attend. Along with that we attend philanthropy events to support the community and our organizations. Since I am in Greek Life, I also support Panhellenic Association. This is the governing board for all the sororities on campus. It also has a Circle of Sisterhood philanthropy that we support and raise money for. We do tons of volunteering in the community, off and on campus.

Residence Hall Association- This is the governing body that allocates money to the Residential buildings, programs, and any other event that you may need money for. This group basically votes to approve your request or not. It also holds some fun events like making cards for people with cancer or playing games against other residential halls.

Lastly, I signed up for a six week course about Greek Leadership and Development (or GLAD). In this we have a small group of campus leaders who get together to have discussions with other adminstrators on how we can become a better campus leader and how we can make a better image for ourselves on campus.

These four organizations are just the major ones that I participate in and attend meetings for every week. As you can probably tell, my schedule is pretty packed. Between these organizations, working, homework and other campus events, you’re probably wondering why I make myself so busy.

The answer is simple. Being involved on campus brings you so many opportunities that if you aren’t involved, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to do. For example, if I weren’t in Program Council, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to attend the Leadership Summit I went to a couple weeks ago. If I weren’t in Greek Life, I wouldn’t have been able to sign up for GLAD. Of course, there have been other opportunities that are available to me that I have had to say no to, as much as I didn’t want to.

And that’s just the case, being involved comes with responsibility and most important time management. First you are a college student. Then you are a campus leader. What I mean by this is that sometimes you can’t do everything. You must prioritize your school work before your involvement. If you know that you have a busy day on Tuesdays, you have to plan ahead and do everything before Tuesday. If you signed up for some leadership course that overlaps with your work schedule, you have to try to find a way to schedule your work week in a way that isn’t intrusive. If you have a huge exam coming up, you have to make the executive decision not to attend the weekly meeting.

I think that the reason why I am so passionate about being involved is all the opportunities that I have found since joining the organizations. But aside from that, it is the people and friends that I have made through them. I would have never met my roommates had I not been involved with Program Council or Greek Life. I couldn’t imagine a life without them as they have become a huge part of who I have grown to be as a campus leader. These organizations give you so much more than you could ever give them. They give you a lifetime of memories in exchange for an hour of your time each week. They give you the strongest friendships in exchange for signing up to volunteer for an event. They give you experience for any career you may go into in exchange for a weekend traveling to a National Conference.

With that being said, I encourage every single high school student, college student, college graduate, parent, employee to get involved with something that is meaningful to you. Get involved with some organization that you are passionate about. What you take away from being involved is so much greater than anything you could imagine.

College · Greek Life

Sorority Stereotypes

This past spring semester, I went through recruitment weekend to join a sorority on my campus. When I told my parents I was interested in accepting a bid I got a couple of different responses. My father, who didn’t really know what a sorority is, encouraged me to get involved on my campus and do whatever I wanted to. My mother as first was excited. Until she talked to my aunt, who informed her of all the sorority stereotypes that parents these days worry about when you go out for recruitment.

Greek life on my campus is pretty different than it is on other campuses. We don’t have houses that are specifically for the Greek Life community to live in. There isn’t a huge recruitment weekend of partying and hazing or any form of bullying for that matter. Greeks on my campus are actually looked up upon by the professors, for the most part. I understand the movies make sororities look bad, but as a member of one, just like high school, they are nothing like the movies make it out to be.

Here are some of the typical stereotypes people think of when they hear that you are in a sorority.

  • Paying for your friends.
    • Oh my is this a big one. Yes we have dues. Yes we have to pay them. No they are not spent on throwing parties. Yes they actually go towards our philanthropy work. Trust me, if I were paying for my friends that I’ve met since recruitment, it would be a whole lot more money.
  • Constant partying.
    • This one irks me simply because in my so far six months of being an initiated member have yet to go to a sorority party. For one, your chapter can get into a whole bunch of trouble if caught. For two, again, it’s just not like the movies. Just because you’re in a sorority doesn’t mean you party every night of the week, or even every weekend.
  • Getting bad grades.
    • I don’t really understand this one. Why do people associate getting bad grades when they are apart of a sorority which values intelligence? Even when receiving a bid, each sorority has their standards for intelligence with a minimum GPA requirement. My chapter has tutoring and hour requirements if you fall below the requirement during a semester, and not to mention academic probation.
  • Hazing
    • For some reason, years ago sororities were kind of known for hazing during the recruitment process. But it’s a new decade. Sorority recruitment is literally sitting down and getting to know each sorority’s core values and philanthropy work. You get to connect with some of the initiated girls and figure out if one of these sororities is the right place for you. The entire time, you are simply encouraged to just be yourself.
  • Initiation.
    • Since I just brought it up a little, initiation tends to be a huge one. People ask what the paddles are really used for. They ask if you’re going to get branded. Are you joining a cult? And so on. Initiation has a bad reputation pretty much just because the rituals are scared. No one knows what happens besides initiated members. This doesn’t mean that what happens during these rituals is hazing, bullying or anything of that sense, at all.

Now that I’ve discussed some of the simple and basic stereotypes, I hope that everyone can come to terms with how sororities actually work in this generation. They are barely ever what they are portrayed to be in the movies. Accepting a bid not only gets you involved on campus but also allows you to meet so many Greeks, even from other sororities, or fraternities. Being exposed to all these new people you tend to get even more involved. You met friends who are a part of this group or that group and they encourage you to get involved with it as well. Joining a sorority was just the beginning of my campus involvement.

I couldn’t be more thankful for my Greek family.

College · Greek Life

Recruitment Weekend

This past weekend I experienced Sorority recruitment weekend. I had been waiting for this weekend for months, literally since September. I had done my research on each sorority my campus had to offer. I went to every “Pancake Breakfast” or “Meet the Greeks” possible. I had thought that I found the perfect sorority for me. Plot Twist: it wasn’t. So here are some tips when it comes to Recruitment Weekend. 

  1. They will say it a million times but, keep an open mind.  Scratch that, go into it with an open mind. Don’t go in set and sold on just one sorority. Give each group of girls equal opportunities to talk and get to know you. Controversially, when you meet the girls of each sorority you’ll know which ones you like and which one is your least favorite. Definitely go with your gut feeling when it comes to narrowing down your options. Unfortunately, as many times as I was told this, I still was so sold on one sorority that I had been interested and fallen in love with over the course of first semester, so don’t be me and keep an entirely open mind. Anything can happen and whatever does is meant to be anyways.
  2. You don’t have any reason to be nervous. When you walk into each room, the girls will take you by the arm and immediately you’ll feel included and welcomed. Each sorority girl that I talked to during my campus recruitment weekend was the sweetest person ever. I’m happy to inform you that nobody was rude or unwelcoming. With each person you’ll find out what your similar interests are and get to talking about your favorite TV show or your major. Side note: you’ll be asked “what’s your major?”  and “why do you want to join a sorority?”and “do you have any questions?” a billion times. (So have some questions preplanned a head of time).
  3. Continuing from that, have preplanned questions. I went in and the business and craziness of everything kept me from coming up with questions for the girls. One thing that I wish I had done was to have a list of important questions I wanted to ask each sorority. These questions could be something like:
    1. What made you chose this sorority?
    2. What’s your favorite thing about this sorority?
    3. Was this your top choice when you went through recruitment?
  4. Cliche, yet true, be yourself. These girls are looking to add you to their chapter and legacy. They probably haven’t met you before and don’t know anything about you other than you want to get involved with Greek Life. With that being said, there’s nothing to hide from them! They want to hear all the great and wonderful things you’ve done and what you’re involved with or into at the moment no matter how strange it may be. They want to get to know you for you. Showing them your true self will help them in seeing the qualities you have that stand out among the other girls going out for recruitment.
  5. Don’t forget to have fun!  Recruitment gets overwhelming. This one weekend will probably set a record for the most amount of people you’ve met in 72 hours. You’ll lose your voice and get tired of climbing all the stairs and walking or standing for hours or end but it’s worth it. Joining Greek Life has already had a huge impact on my life and it has only been a couple of weeks. So embrace this weekend as it will be the first step into the rest of your life. 

As they say, Greek Life isn’t over after you graduate. It’s a lifetime commitment that forms lifetime bonds.

Here’s a sneak peak at all the recruited girls from this semester on my campus 🙂 ( And of course the Panhellenic board in the back secretly showing their letters after Bid day!)

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P.S. Leave the name of your sorority in the comments!