By Claire Lindsey, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Picture this: it is freshman year and you’ve joined the best chapter on campus (yours, of course). You’re beyond stoked to be a part of [INSERT ORGANIZATION HERE], because your brothers/sisters are the funniest, smartest, coolest kids on campus, and now you’re a part of that amazing group. After bid night, everything is about your organization, your sisterhood or brotherhood and your philanthropy.
That’s how my freshman year went. But, as I headed into my junior year, I realized I wanted more. I wanted to play a role not only in my own chapter, but in the Greek community. So, I applied for Panhellenic and it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in college. Here are 3 ways joining your campus Greek council can change your life.
1. You meet friends outside your own chapter.
My sorority sisters are the bomb.com. They’re my best friends and my future bridesmaids. But, upon being elected to Panhellenic, I met some of the greatest women I’ve ever known. These women are hardworking, dedicated members of Greek Life, and more importantly, we can openly discuss the complex and confidential dealings in the Greek community.
Being on a Greek Council also fosters friendships outside your immediate circle. Our councils interact at conferences, in the Greek Life office, or even just at social events, and the men and women on those councils have become some of my greatest friends. No matter what council you’re a part of, knowing you have at least one friend in every sorority and fraternity on campus is a damn good feeling.
2. You get to meet awesome, important people.
At a school of more than 20,000 undergraduates, I never imagined I would be on a first name basis with the Dean of Students or the Vice President of Student Affairs, and it really never even occurred to me that I might have any type of personal relationship with the PRESIDENT OF MY ENTIRE UNIVERSITY. But, surprise, surprise, Panhellenic has given me that too. Being on Panhellenic has opened up my world to people who can literally change the course of my college career. Last week, I received an email from the VP of Student Affairs, who was congratulating me on a speech I made at a City Council meeting. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE AT MY COLLEGE KNOWS WHO I AM!?!
3. You realize that you can actually make a difference in your community.
Recently, the news has been filled with stories about sexual assault, racism, and hazing incidents in fraternities and sororities all over the country, and those stories ruin the reputation of these organizations as a whole. Before I became a member of Panhellenic, I was never sure that I could change those stereotypes, because I assumed it was a part of being Greek. But now, I realize that I was wrong. Change is possible. I’ve only been on Panhellenic for one quarter, and already I’ve been a part of the plans to change college culture; plans that combat sexual assault on our campus; plans to ensure safer social environments for students; plans to educate members on drinking habits and alcohol awareness prior to going through recruitment. These plans are already in place—and being a part of those plans makes me incredibly proud.
So, if you’re thinking that you’re a dedicated, passionate, driven member of Greek Life who wants to make a change, think about applying for your Greek council. You can make an impact, make some great friends, and some great memories in the process.
I want to dedicate this to the amazing women and men on Panhellenic and IFC at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. You are all some of the greatest people I’ve ever met, and I can’t wait to continue our commitment to improving our community with you all. There’s no one else I’d rather face it all with.