What makes the relationships of Sorority sisters different from any other group of friends? How to we claim that the women that surround us are "sisters" when most of us meet during the Formal Recruitment process and have the chance to speak for only a few minutes at a time?
Sororities are social organizations. We strive to be socially excellent. That does just mean we go to parties or have lots of friends (although realistically, those these can both be true), it means that we strive to be political, engaged and involved members of our communities. We find each other (or should strive to find each other) through this engagement and expression of our values.
Roommates or best friends can go through recruitment together and end of in different chapters, how does that happen? While the values we share as members of the Panhellenic community may make us friends the common thread that ties us to one chapter over another are in fact our values.
I remember the "ah-ha moment" that I realized this is true:
Like many women in my chapter and other Greek women, I remember looking around and just wondering - how did you end up here too? We have little in common; we don't dress the same, talk the same, care about the same things....How are you a member of ADPi? How am I?
Then it hit me. It was our Bid Night on campus after our first Formal Recruitment. It had been a long process and an even longer week. Sisters were running on no sleep, lots and lots of caffeine! My vision as Formal Recruitment Chair surrounded us with Christmas lights, duct tape, glitter and yes, even a band saw! Spirit week was in full swing but there was so so much to be done before we would be ready for our first party!
Arts and Crafts scattered across our LC's apartment floor (@Jackie Mills), and just as I was on the brink of exhaustion in walked my sisters: sophomores, juniors, seniors - Jersey girls, Holy rollers, blondes and brunettes (the list goes on and on) - all carrying Dunkin' cups and all ready to go! "What do you need they ask?"
"I NEEDED YOU!!" was the only thought flashing in my head!
So 20 palm trees, a volcano, a 6 foot tall RMH logo and countless name tags later... Recruitment was on and there they were: our Alpha members!! The light at the end of this long process!!
Just when sister finally made it into bed....the first time in 3 weeks I might add.....RING RING RING
Something had gone wrong, a mass of confusion, miscommunication, and frustration; it was a hot mess.
Delta members ran back to the Student Center to assess the now looming situation. The FRC Mary couldn't keep it together and whiney, sleepy, hungry, angry Mary came out. What was going on? Who would do this? (It seemed as though a terrible prank had been played on us at the time - turned out to be nothing...)
Tears started coming. And, there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop myself.
But then again, "ah-ha" - the girls I couldn't image to have anything in common with me, the people who had plenty of attitude to dish out to me and everyone else - "You did great, we'll figure it all out."
That was it. I knew then, in that moment that she too was my sister. Like my real sister, we weren't exactly alike. We wore different clothes and cared about different things. We like different music and had different ideas, but what did we have in common: our values.
Like real sisters we fight, and disagree; we don't have the same experiences or perspectives on everything, but at the end of the day - our values, bring us back together. The common thread that our international officers found in each of us during our interview process, the shining light we saw in each of our new members.
As we begin the Recruitment process again this February, we must strive to find the women who will be our sisters - who will bring us coffee in the library, who will make sure we have something to eat after hours and hours of ADPi crafting, the ones who run over after a bad day, and yes, even the ones who have nothing in common with us but will be there to say "we'll figure it all out."