My Sorority Story- Part 2: The College Experience

Thursday, July 19, 2018

After joining, I started my new member program and that’s when all of this sorority stuff started to come together. I learned about our founders, values, who we are locally (undefined since we were so new) and who we are nationally. I understood why Tri Sigma thought to establish among its members a perpetual bond of friendship, develope us into strong womanly characters, and to impress upon us high standards of conduct would help empower women everywhere to change the world.

I went to UNLV which was a major commuter school. We didn’t have sorority houses, and surprisingly, not a lot of campuses have housing but the movies won't ever let you know that membership was hard to retain, and initiation is a freakin process.

Throughout my college career, I did find myself questioning whether Tri Sigma was the organization for me. I mean it really didn’t matter because it’s too late to go back now but what I didn’t know at the time I was recruited was that it was more of an informal recruitment. This essentially means that not all of the sororities were recruiting at that time, only those that did not make their numbers from formal recruitment where all the NPC sororities on campus participate. I only ever met Tri Sigma. So what if I was supposed to be in another organization?

Those thoughts I found were totally normal. And now I don’t doubt my decision at all.

Coming in, I was told we were going to be the chartering class of the 111th chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma, titled Theta Epsilon. We had to build our sorority from the ground up. We didn’t have any traditions to fall back on, no bylaws (yet), and not one of us had a clue on how to be in a sorority. I was stoked. Honestly, I was. We had the opportunity to develop our local chapter the way we wanted to. I would argue we are stronger sorority women because of it. Nothing was laid out for us. We weren’t thrown to the wolves or anything, we definitely had guidance from headquarters but they were very firm on letting us make this OUR chapter.

It took us a full year to be initiated. There are sets of benchmarks you have to meet in order to qualify as a chapter in Sigma land. Things such as getting bylaws in place, having an officer team, meeting numbers for the amount of members in your colony, etc. This usually takes a semester to meet those for most chapters, but like I said UNLV is such a commuter school, it took us a full year. We were damn proud the day we could be initiated. Shout out to my Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 (my class) sistas for pushing through and shout out to the Fall 2013 class for helping us reach our full potential. Sorority life is really all about lifting each other up and pushing you to meet your full potential, which is what we did without even being an established chapter yet. *snaps*

Welcome to initiation day, November 23, 2013. We just had a whole week full of inspiration activities and we were ready to be a sister in this wonderful organization. I want to share a special moment with you all. There were 123 of us being initiated on that day and Tri Sigma has a tradition of picking an honor initiate. This woman ideally embodies all of the values of Tri Sigma and shows she is a true woman of character. She is the last to be initiated because all of her sisters will be present for her initiation. A real honor if you ask me. Well, everyone voted and I was chosen. Honestly, I was so elated. No way did I see that coming.  After I embraced that came initiation day. Okay, we can all agree that initiation typically involves robes, candles, and secrets being revealed. I won't disclose any secrets of our sorority but I will tell you we are blindfolded upon entering initiation. During initiation, they remove the blindfold and I saw all of my sisters there, all 123 of them. They were all there to see me be initiated. I am a writer but I don’t even have words to describe how inspired I was in that moment.

Sorority life had really started. I got the best big in the world who spoiled me like none other. I also have four amazing little’s that really embody the Tri Sigma vision. I wore my letters on a constant basis and was so proud to call Theta Epsilon, Tri Sigma, home.

There were definitely challenges. Being a new sorority, we were often ridiculed because we’re in the midst of finding our image on campus. Participation was hard, collaborating with other organizations was harder, leadership was corrupted at times, and we had a hard time keeping any of the traditions we thought up.  Through all of these challenges, we were forced to push ourselves into situations. We grew as stronger women, weeded out toxic aspects, and really developed our chapter.

Although my time in college wasn’t exactly standard in the Greek life world I wouldn’t change it for anything. Our philanthropy was one of the best on campus (in my opinion, I’m biased though), homecoming was the greatest stress ball I would ever experience, and we really brought out our creativity when it came to sisterhood events (Sigma poker night still stands as the best).  We learned about service and had service projects each semester. Eventually we found our niche and offered a diverse lifelong opportunity for women to add some fulfillment in their life.

Tri Sigma offered me SO many experiences to meet other sigmas nationally as well as develop my character. I was a UIFI scholarship recipient, which is a Greek life camp for any collegiate Greek life member with the desire to be a strong leader and believes in the fraternal experience.  Honestly, life-changing. I met some of the greatest people and had about three reality checks during said program. Beyond that, I was elected onto the officer board because another sister saw potential in me and told me to apply. I would have never thought of myself as a leader had it not been for her. Once elected I really felt I was able to make a difference in my chapter’s recruitment tactics. 

My most honorable moment, on a national level, was Founders Day 2016. I was on my way out of college, getting in my last dish of sorority life, and just about to graduate when I was awarded the Margaret Freeman Everett award. This is a national Tri sigma award (seriously I got a wicked awesome clock, plaque, and everything) that is only awarded to one senior in the whole organization. Literally, 113 chapters (at the time), over 10,000 collegiate and one (me) was selected as the outstanding senior for Sigma Sigma Sigma. I was FLOORED. Still am actually.

You get out of it what you put in it. I’m sure if you’ve surrounded any aspect of your life with Greek life you’ve heard the expression “It’s not four years, it's for life,” and I couldn’t be happier to express that Tri Sigma has provided me with so many opportunities throughout college and beyond...

My Sorority Story - Part 3:  The After Life (Going Alum)

Post a Comment

DAILYCUPOFJOJO © . Design by Berenica Designs.