Guest Post: Sisterhood Everywhere

Hi! I'm Kelly, and I actually do not have a blog, but when I saw Patrice's call on Twitter for guest bloggers I just had to answer it. Talking about my sorority experience is one of my favorite things to do! My collegiate experience is more unique than most. In my second semester at Carnegie Mellon University, I joined a local sorority, Zeta Psi Sigma, through informal recruitment. Originally never intending to join a sorority, at the end of the week I found myself praying and hoping that I would get a phone call on Friday night from one of the sisters, inviting me to the brunch event the next morning. If they invited me to brunch, that must mean that they like me, right? That fall, after 12 years of being the only local sorority on CMU's campus, we made the decision to affiliate with a national organization. Our Panhellenic Council agreed to open the campus for expansion and gave us (most of) the authority to decide which group we'd want to "adopt" us. The semester was filled with research about the remaining National Panhellenic Conference sororities, about everything from their colors to their philanthropic causes to what other schools had chapters. Finally, after four months of research, presentations, discussions, and votes, we chose Alpha Chi Omega. One of the major differences of being in a local sorority is that there wasn't much sense of a lifetime commitment. Sure, our alumnae were informed about what was going on in the chapter, and they were interested in how we were doing, but there was no real opportunity to be “active” in alumnae life. I got my first taste of the lifetime commitment of Alpha Chi Omega when I attended my first national convention in 2006. Hundreds of women, from all regions and of all ages, were gathered together in one location to vote on legislation and gather new ideas to take back to their chapters. It was simply amazing to see all of these women together, and to know that I have sisterhood in common with every one of them. When I was about to graduate and I got job offers in new cities, the first thing I did was email the local alumnae chapter president to ask questions about the area and the alumnae chapter. I decided to take a job in Dallas. I had no family in Dallas or anywhere close to it, and I had never lived so far away from my family. But my Alpha Chi Omega sisters were always there for me and I am forever thankful for that. It made my year there much more bearable when I was painfully homesick. I looked forward to attending alumnae events and chapter meetings at Southern Methodist University. I got to see one of Alpha Chi Omega's biggest philanthropy events, Alpha Chi Couture, which raised over $30,000 for domestic violence awareness that year. When it was my birthday, a sister took me out to dinner so that I wasn't alone. Even though I've moved back home to Pittsburgh, I still keep in touch with my Dallas sisters through Facebook, and I was even able to see a few of them at Convention this past summer. I know that if I ever move to a new city again, the first thing I'll do is connect to the alumnae in the area and build relationships with the amazing women that I am so lucky to call my sisters.

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Mandy said...

Great post Kelly! I am originally from Pittsburgh (Monroeville) and my brother currently lives in Latrobe. I have loved all of these sorority posts...it's even cooler that fellow Alpha Chi's are writing. :)

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