i’m aware that this isn’t something we’d normally talk about onT TGC, but I’m sure that for most of you, over the past few days your social media timelines have been overflowing with pictures about different sorority’s Founders’ day. First, let us start by saying Happy Founders’ Day to those individual organizations, but especially to the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. If you attend an accredited 4-year college or university, then you should have seen members of the Greek Community on your campus, whether strolling, participating in community service, or wearing their letters in the cafeteria–they’re there.
Greek life is very appealing to most and can be as equal an opportunity for you as it was for me. I understand that at most schools, inquiring about becoming a member of a BGLO (Black Greek Letter Organization) is one of the most frightening parts of your college career. Today, I’m going to offer some tips to ease the pressure of inquiring about making one of the greatest decisions in your life and why joining a Greek organization is, indeed, one of the best life decisions to make.
Being a Greek woman (or man) is a lifelong commitment. Your organization becomes a part of you. Your love for your organization only grows stronger with the service, years, and sisterhood/brotherhood you experience. You appreciate and embody all of the values that your organization represents. It is a lifestyle. With that being said, not everyone who is interested will be selected by the chapter at their school, but there are some things you can do to help yourself stand out among the others at your school.
Do Your Research
Hopefully, it goes without saying that you need to RESEARCH the history and values behind each of the organizations that make up The Divine Nine and everything that goes with it. You can’t possibly be considering making a lifelong commitment to something you know nothing about. Seeing the different organizations on campus is great, but that doesn’t always demonstrate what the real meaning is behind joining a Greek organization. I was the first in my family to go to a 4-year institution and to become a Greek woman, so I had to do the necessary research to know exactly what it was and why I wanted to do it. No one can make that decision for you.
Don’t Play into the Stereotype.
For those of you who attend a school with Black Greeks or have ever seen a yard show of some kind, I’m sure you have in your mind or have heard the stereotypes associated with each Greek organization. Do NOT, by any means, try and fulfill these stereotypes thinking it will help you gain access to becoming a member of these organizations. That is not what Greek life is about.
Make Good Grades.
In doing your research, you will learn that each of these organizations value scholarship. These organizations only extend membership to people who take their education seriously. Remember, at the time these organizations were founded Black people were privileged to even get the opportunity to have a college education. It takes a great deal of discipline to make good grades. Strive towards educational excellence always.
Demonstrate Your Values.
In lesser words, be the best person you can be. Be the person your mother raised you to be. Don’t do stupid things to fit in. Be kind. Be courteous. Be genuine. Be a leader. Whatever is true to your beliefs, do your best to show them with your actions. Remember, this doesn’t mean do what you think your organization of interest is looking for; this means showing YOUR values.
This part is normally the most forgotten and what normally has the greatest negative effect on a persons rapport with the Greek community. Once you learn more about the organizations, you will soon find that being a part of these organizations takes a great deal of work and that work is not and should not be taken lightly. It is very disrespectful to undermine that fact. If you’re not a member of that organization, DON’T act like you are. It’s okay to be interested in an organization, but let that be YOUR business. If you want more information, visit the organization’s website or your Student Activities Office–NOT OTHER PEOPLE OR SOCIAL MEDIA. Yes, I’ve even seen it on social media.
Be mindful of the decisions you make. Bad reputations, bad decisions and things of the like follow you throughout your college career. First impressions are lasting. Don’t fool yourself, things like this are definitely taken into consideration when you show your interest in a Greek organization. These organizations want the finest men and women representing their Founders’, Letters, and Values. Even though you should be doing this regardless of considering becoming a brother or sister of the Greek community, be mindful of the company you keep, your behavior ON AND OFF campus, your rapport with others around campus, and the choices you make while in school.
Keep in mind that doing these things does NOT guarantee you will become a member of a BGLO, but they can certainly help with being considered. Also, when learning about the Greek community, do not fail to recognize that there are other Greek Letter Organizations that do not belong to the NPHC. Find out which organization best suits you. Good luck in your search!
Peace and love, dear reader.