Sorority dues are not my favorite expense to pay. It’s two hundred dollars I would rather spend on a new pair of Nike’s or a month’s-worth of buying Chipotle for myself.
Although new shoes or Mexican dinners every night would be nice, I am investing that money into myself and into other women. Besides the life long friendships and fun t-shirts, I want to talk about the real benefits of sorority life. I am preparing for my future without even realizing it.
“No matter the letter everybody is Greek together”
I doubt I will live to see a time when there isn’t a person who doesn’t judge sorority women. Sorority women have figured out the best kept secret on campus- being Greek. With recruitment being in full swing at UW-SP and other universities, I think its important to define the benefits of a sorority other than the obvious friendships that every sorority woman speaks of.
Pi Beta Phi was the first known sorority founded by twelve women in 1867 at Monmouth College, IL. A secret society for women to develop academic success, personal goals, and friendships. Sororities have been helping women succeed from a time when only five universities admitted women, to today where women have been the majority enrolled on college campuses for 35 years.
Founded on meetings, events, and programs, sororities require extra time and hard work, which sounds awful… but isn’t that what a corporate job is? Because of Greek involvement, I and many others are skilled in business-like procedure such as attending meetings, forming budgets, reporting to a president or CEO, discussing tough conversations; the list could go on forever, but sorority women are practicing real life.
An article by US News, 4 Traits That Hiring Managers Want in a New Employee, discusses what new hires should be doing in order to land a job. All of these points that author, Vicki Salemi, makes are practiced every day in the life of a sorority woman.
Salemi’s first point is “Plays Well With Others.” Stephanie Lesperance, president of UW-SP sorority, Phi Omega, says “I definitely know how to handle personalities different than mine. It’s a lot easier to find compromise in a large group of people now that I’ve been in a room with 20 women and have found solutions that mostly everyone is okay with.” In a Monday night meeting alone Stephanie is getting direct experience with conflict management, which essentially is learning how to “play well with others” and get others to “play well” with you. She is learning how to make compromises with everybody, listening to each opinion, making everyone in the conversation involved, and formulating a final decision.
The second and third points made by Salemi is “Get Fired Up” and “Work Hard.” Companies want people with ambition and passion for what they do. Sorority women do all of their tasks and more for free. If that doesn’t say passion and commitment, I do not know what does.
Ron Strege, director of Multicultural affairs and sorority advisor, told me, ” I have been a huge fan of and proponent for Greek life at UWSP. I have been involved with a Greek organization for 16 years at UWSP and I find these students to be some of the most engaged students on our campus. They take part in many events both on and off campus, with the focus on bettering themselves as individuals and bettering the community as a whole. I think that many students and administrators do not understand or appreciate the shear amount of work and time commitment it goes into being in Greek Life. These are some of our finest students on campus and some of our best leaders.”
The final point US News shares is “Be Likable” which can often pose a threat. It’s hard to imagine someone judging you on your likability. Greek students at UW-SP create a small community of people in their brother and sisterhood. With around 200 people involved there is a chance to know everybody and make connections all over campus. Employers are not only look for excellent workers, but excellent teammates. They want people who will benefit the overall workplace with their presence in addition to work ethic.
Gamma Phi Delta alum and current advisor, Danielle Beschta, said “Greek life was more of a community. All of the Greeks got together at lunch. We sat at the same set of tables in the food court. You could always find someone to talk to about what was going on or a class. It was a more inviting environment for Greeks both from other UWSP students and from the administration.” Greek students are used to benefiting the team. There are eight organizations that make up the Greek community, but no matter the letter everybody is Greek together.
Although there will always be that one person to say a sorority is stupid, I challenge you to think otherwise. In your next encounter with a sorority woman, congratulate her on her oath to success. She has taken the pledge with her sisters to be the best woman she can be and to benefit those around her in the best way she can. She has taken extra measures in school to become the best professional. She has promised to support her sisters in the best way possible.
She has promised to become a sorority woman.