Sunday, January 30, 2011

Finding a Home Away From Home

It was my first week living on my own. I was born and raised in my hometown of Hutchinson, Kansas-population 30,000-and was suddenly thrust into the madness of a college town. As if the newfound homesick tears and nerves for school to start weren’t enough, I found myself pressured to join a sorority in the middle of Formal Recruitment week and I honestly didn’t know how the Greek system worked or why I wanted to be in one in the first place. Everything I knew about Greek life stemmed from movies like “Animal House” and “Sorority Row.” My family wasn’t Greek and I didn’t understand the point of it all.

Flash forward three weeks, when I was settled into my schedule, joined a few clubs and discovered the treasure that is Skype. I had everything lined up in my life scholastically, yet I couldn’t ignore the pang in my stomach as I watched a girl walk down Jayhawk Boulevard with Greek letters embroidered on her shirt. At the end of the day, I was still lonely and sad; worrying that I hadn’t picked the right school. Until one day I ran into a girl I knew from high school, Elle, proudly sporting the letters Alpha Gamma Delta. The whole Greek thing was sort of a sore subject for me, I had dropped out of Rush and everyone knew it, it seemed almost “scandalous.” Elle could tell that I wasn’t my usual perky self. I had slipped into a gloomy state of mind that wasn’t my usual effervescent radiance. She encouraged me to check out her sorority through something called Continuous Open Recruitment and she gave my name to the director of the program. I was leery, to say the least. I hadn’t had a good experience with formal recruitment’s intensity-everything had seemed superficial to me then. However, after almost a month on campus, I began to see why girls join sororities.

I loved Continuous Open Recruitment. I felt that I was wanted-that there were many, many qualities within me that were not only worthy of acceptance into a sorority, but celebrated and needed by that sorority. I found my home in Alpha Gamma Delta.

The funny thing is I did not “click” with AGD when I went through Formal. However, the second I went to a COR event it worked for me. The girls were so much more real. They had real majors, with real classes, and real problems and real friendship. I wanted to know these girls, I wanted to be their sister. In formal recruitment, everyone seemed like Barbies. COR is real life. I pledged and was then initiated into the sisterhood because of this program.

When time came for officer elections, I knew exactly what I wanted to run for. I had such a wonderful experience with COR that I wanted to grant that to other girls like me, as well. I ran for COR coordinator, and won co-chair with another sister, and the two of us have been a-rockin’ and a-rollin’. We started off the first week of school with a “3 Spoons for AGD” frozen yogurt meet-and-greet at which we had enough girls show up to nearly double my pledge class. I asked every friend I knew that wasn’t in a sorority; It was then that I heard from a girl that had dropped Formal Recruitment with me on the same day. I invited her to join in with COR and she told me that she wasn’t sure, now, if sorority life was actually for her, that she wasn’t even sure if she would be returning to KU next semester. However, she said it sounded fun and she’d give it a try because it was so low-key. Woah, De ja vu. It was then that I had an Oprah “Ah-ha! Moment.” I started looking at COR as a community service, rather than a necessity for my sorority. My goal shifted from supplying potential Alpha Gamma Delta sisters, to helping the girls that are currently suffering the same mindset I was just months before: Alone, doubting, and sad. This University is too big not to have someone to lean on, and in a sorority, you’re guaranteed a family of at least 80 girls.

I had my first “payment” for all my work with this program the other day. After the 3 Spoons event, I was tagged in a facebook status about what a “wonderful time” a girl had with the “beautiful ladies of AGD.” This came from a girl whom I would have never expected to say this. She used to be “anti-sororities”; she had moved from GSP to Hashinger Hall just a month prior to “escape” them, and here she is smiling because of an event that I had planned and the way my sisters had treated her as if she were a person of value. COR gets to give potentials a taste of the beauty that is a sorority.

Alpha Gamma Delta really changed my life. It took a sorrowful, homesick little girl and blossomed her into a shining, confident woman. I was at the right institution all along, I just needed a support system there by my side. I made myself one of those embroidered Greek Lettered t-shirts, more friends than I can count, and 4.0 last semester. I owe it all to the Panhellenic System and my beautiful, intelligent, supportive, fun, graceful women that I am so proud to call my sisters.

- Caitlin is a freshman Alpha Gamma Delta, majoring in Journalism

Sunday, January 23, 2011

President's Welcome

Hi, ladies!
I would first like to thank you all for visiting the Panhellenic Blog-we are always looking for support and interest in our community! Our Panhellenic community at KU has so much to offer. As president of the Panhellenic Association, I have come to see my decision to go through recruitment as one of the most important choices I have made in my time at KU.  From friendships to philanthropies to campus involvement, I believe that our community has more to offer than any other organization on campus.  I have met some of the most amazing women through my involvement in Greek Life both within my own sorority and throughout all of the Greek chapters.  If you or anyone you know is at all interested in finding out about how to join a sorority, I would strongly recommend you to check out our website,, or contact our Vice President for Recruitment at to get information on getting involved!  Thanks for checking out our blog ☺
Kelly Tankard
Panhellenic President

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tips for Surviving Fall Formal Recruitment

Fall Formal Recruitment might be the most intense week of the year. It is full of smiling, heat, dresses, conversations and HUNDREDS of women.
Things to remember:

Make sure you always have a water bottle to take with you, each chapter will have water jugs for you to refill.

You need to eat! Eat breakfast. It will be a long day and breakfast will help give you enough energy to get through the day. Bring snacks, like granola bars in case you get hungry.
-Listen to your recruitment counselors! They are full of information and have been through Recruitment on both sides. They also have backpacks full of things you might need: tampons, snacks, mints... etc.

Dress accordingly to the weather! If it is rainy-- make sure to have an umbrella.

Stay true to who you are.
Recruitment is intimidating, but once you are done... the result is amazing. Once the week is over, you get to meet the women  who will become your closest friends. You begin to become a part of the Greek community, being involved on campus and wearing your letters.
- Courtney is junior Sigma Kappa, majoring in Journalism and History

Enriching Your College Experience

So, why bother getting involved in college? As a college student you already have loads of test, projects, papers and homework to do on a weekly basis.  A lot of students also have a part-time job to cover the rising costs of post-secondary education.  Getting involved in college—especially early on—builds your resume, teaches you time management skills and enriches your college experience overall.  Also, college is about having fun and not all work, so getting involved is a great way to meet new friends. 

Right now the job market is down and will probably remain so for the next few years.  Recent graduates will also be competing with seasoned professionals who may have been recently laid off.  Not the most fun thing to think about, (as a senior nearing graduation, it’s terrifying) but getting involved during your undergraduate years can set you above other candidates.  My best advice (or the advice I’ve gained from speaking to career counselors and employers) is to get involved early on in an organization or two and try to move your way up to be an officer, on the executive board or even president.  Being a member of 10 different clubs is great, but are you really doing anything in those clubs? Potential employers will favor being an officer in one organization (and having some responsibility) than attending many club meetings a month and not contributing much.   Sure, getting good grades is important, (Scholarship is one of the Four Pillars of Greek Life at KU) but getting involved is just as important in finding a job.  Being involved will also foster good relationships with other peers, advisors and/or faculty/staff members, which will always come in handy for advice, letters of recommendation and networking. 

Aside from being a great resume builder, being involved in college has taught me great time management skills, which is applicable to school and life.  Being an active member of my chapter, taking a full load of classes, a member of the Panhellenic Executive Board, the co-executive director of another campus organization called Rock Chalk Revue, a part-time job and all the stress that comes with it has taught me to manage my time well.  Being proactive and having a neatly scheduled week allows me to get all my work done and maybe some time to watch Glee or Gossip Girl.  If not, there is always DVR.

I spend approximately three to four hours in the Student Involvement and Leadership Center a day and countless hours in the Kansas Union at night.  Yeah, I’ve missed out on some quality TV or relaxation time, but I don’t regret it for a second.  Being involved has enriched my life in so many ways including managing stress, a busy schedule and giving me an awesome resume.  It sounds really cheesy, but I’ve honestly met my best friends through being involved on campus.  I’ve met friends who share my need to be hyper-involved, my values and my goals. 

Yes, being involved can be tough. Invest in a reliable calendar/planner (I’m currently obsessed with the Uncalendar®) and from time to time invest in a yummy caffeinated beverage. 

You’re only in college for four years, so make the best of your time and get involved.

- Meghan is a senior Delta Gamma, majoring in Journalism

The Support of Sisterhood

Being in a sorority has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.  I have had the opportunity to meet my best friends within my chapter, as well as in other chapters.  These friends are there for me when I need them and we have a blast together!  I know it sounds cliche, but the friends you meet in a sorority are always there for you and a great support system! A sorority creates strong bonds that are not easily broken.

- Lauren is a senior Alpha Gamma Delta, majoring in Applied Behavioral Science