First-Year Recruitment Stories: Elena

Elena

I always knew that I was going to participate in formal recruitment.  Greek Life sounded fun and interesting to me and I knew I wanted that a tight-knit relationship with an exceptional group of women.  A close family friend who graduated from Drake a few years ago was in a chapter here and she told me about Greek Life.  It didn’t take much for her to sell me on it!

One thing I was not prepared for was how over-whelmed I would feel.  This was one challenge for me, to relax among all the singing and talking.  I overcame that challenge quickly, though, because once I started talking, I found it easy to just be myself.  My favorite aspect of recruitment was the relationships I made with the women in the chapters, and not even just the women in the chapter I ended up joining.

The advice that I would give women going through formal recruitment would be to just relax and be yourself.  If you act like what you think the chapters are looking for, you might not find the chapter that is truly right for you.  Being a part of Greek Life has helped me build those relationships I was searching for in the beginning, a tight-knit group of women that will always be there for me.

Being in a chapter has given me the opportunity to take a leadership position very early in my college career.  It has also helped me meet new people, not just in my chapter, but in the other chapters as well.  My favorite part of Greek Life would just be the time I spend with my sisters, whether it be during planned events or just an impromptu work-out session.  The relationships I have with my sisters are invaluable and I will cherish them for the rest of my life.​

Upperclassman Recruitment Stories: Kaylin

Kaylin

As a sophomore, I was coming off of playing Women’s Soccer for Drake my first year and I really didn’t know a lot of people. A friend of mine that was involved in Greek Life suggested going through recruitment as a way of meeting new people. Originally, I was skeptical because I had absolutely no background in Greek Life, but she encouraged me by saying it was very relaxed and nobody would ever force me to do something I wasn’t comfortable with. So, I decided to sign up. Turns out, there was no reason for me to be scared at all! I found a chapter that has made me feel at home and I’ve met people from other chapters that I would not even know had I not gone through recruitment this second year around.

However, a piece of advice I would give upperclassmen that are going through recruitment is to get rid of predetermined thoughts or decisions. As an upperclassman, you may already know who is in which chapters and keep an eye out for the chapter your friends are in, but when it comes down to it, none of that matters. Go into recruitment with a clean slate because in the end, that is what is going to help you choose what is best for you. The purpose of recruitment is to find a niche for yourself and it in no way will stop you from making friends with women from other chapters either.

Being Greek has been one of the best things I have done in my college career. Prior to college I never thought I would be in a sorority, yet here I am. The chapter I joined has literally created a home away from home for me and when I say it I mean it. I live in Hawaii and that is not a very easily accessible place from the Midwest. However, no matter the distance, I haven’t felt homesick one time this year and it is all thanks to the crazy loving bunch of sisters who keep me entertained 24/7. They’re the biggest support group I could’ve asked for. On the first day of snow I couldn’t tell you how many of my sisters came by to ask me if I was handling myself okay in this weather because they all knew that I wasn’t used to it. The intangibles are what make Greek, Greek.

First-Year Recruitment Stories: Ashley

Ashley

Even when looking at prospective colleges in high school, a university with Greek Life was on the list of must-haves. I was looking forward to the opportunity of a community, sisterhood, service, and leadership. I found that and so much more at Drake University.

Formal recruitment was a fun but apprehensive time. I had my heart set on joining a chapter and I knew I would be heartbroken if I was not extended a bid. Having a Rho Gamma was extremely beneficial to help me through the process. It was difficult to interpret which chapter would be a good fit for me in such a short amount of time, but my Rho Gamma was very helpful in helping me sort out my priorities.

Joining the Greek community has definitely shaped my collegiate life. I not only gained dozens of sisters to support me through my time here at Drake, but an organization to support me for a lifetime. I’ve become a better leader and friend because of my chapter. There are countless opportunities, even for first-year students, to become involved their respective Greek chapters. I now hold a position within my chapter and that role has helped me become more confident as a leader as well as a sister.

You will never know if Greek Life is for you unless you go through recruitment and meet the awesome women of Drake’s Greek Community. Each chapter has something different to offer while all focus on leadership, scholarship, and service. I would highly encourage any Drake student to register for formal recruitment; you may find your home forever!

Meet Our Members: Sarah

Sarah

“But wait, you’re not a sorority girl.” This was a common response when I told my friends and family back at home that I was “going Greek.” Those people were right—sort of. I’m not the media portrayed “sorority girl,” but I am a Drake University sorority girl. What does this mean? To me, it means that I am a part of a group of women who work together to support their fellow Greeks and improve Drake University. It means that at any point in time I have a large and supportive group of friends with whom I can study. It means that I have joined the multitude of women who understand what it means to balance the going ons of a huge organization while still finding time to order pizza and Jimmy Johns on a very regular basis.

I never intended to “go Greek.” I was much too afraid of the stereotypes that have diluted the integrity of the Greek system. The upper-classmen women I met upon arriving at Drake quickly changed my mind—they were all in sororities. These women were involved on campus, kind-hearted and not only willing to come to my aid, but very enthusiastic about doing so. These women have a huge passion for their sorority, and all were in different chapters. Because of them, I had to check out recruitment, and surprise, I too fell in love with my sorority: just as they had.

Being Greek has shown me the love that women can and should hold for one another. This includes supporting each other, standing up for one another and creating a bond that can withstand coffee withdrawal and heartbreak. It has also shown me the impact that we can have while working for a greater cause—all sororities at Drake support amazing philanthropies. That has impacted my life. I will forever be a part of my sorority and the memories will always be a part of me. That cannot be changed.

My favorite part is the camaraderie that magically appears when you enter a sorority. It brings contentment and a sense of belonging. Not to mention it is pretty great to always have someone to devour a pizza with you at absurd hours of the night. I love my huge family and my adopted home away from home.

Now, while Greek life is a huge part of my life, I still love to do things outside of my sorority. I enjoy being a part of a business fraternity and have held a position in residence life. I participate in the choir at St. Catherine’s—the local Catholic student life center. I hang out with friends not in my sorority; many of my close friends are in different chapters. Many Greek women and men are incredibly involved on campus; it’s pretty typical and reasonable to balance multiple activities and academics while being Greek.

I am currently abroad. But, I must say that even 5,500 miles away I feel the impact of my sorority. Not only do my “sisters” in my chapter send their love and support, but also I have met so many women here that are a part of my same sorority. It is amazing to share such a huge instant bond with strangers.

Joining a sorority has been one of my best decisions in college so far. The laughter, the memories and the breath-taking amount of history and tradition have made my experience at Drake so much more than I could have imagined. Sharing a home, a common cause and incredible memories with so many women has been absolutely incredible—so yes, I am a sorority girl, and I am so proud to call myself one.

Meet our Advisor: Kerry King

Kerry KingThis semester, Drake’s Greek Community welcomed Kerry King as our new Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life.  We are all very excited to have her working with us.  Keep reading to learn more about her!

Kerry’s Background

I am originally from Dubuque, Iowa where I attended Wahlert High School.  I graduated from the University of Iowa.  There I joined the Sigma Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega.  Right after graduation I started my masters work at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.  While there I was the House Director for Tri Delta Sorority, Panhellenic Advisor, Greek Week Advisor and I also worked in Career Services.  I obtained my Masters in Educational Administration and Leadership with an emphasis is Student Affairs. For the past two and a half years, I have been working in admissions and advising medical students.  I enjoy staying active with my sorority; I have held national volunteer positions and been involved with Alpha Chi Omega’s alumnae chapters.  I am very happy to return to my true passion of advising undergraduate Greek students.

What role do you play in Drake’s Greek community?

My role in Drake’s Greek community is to support, mentor, advocate for, challenge, and be a resource for every Greek student on our campus.  I would like for our students to see me as someone who is devoted to helping our fraternities and sororities make positive contributions to the Drake and Des Moines community.

Why did you want to be a Greek Life advisor?

I want to be a Greek Life advisor because I have a passion for working with and helping others.  I feel that college is a pivotal point in the lives of young men and women where they really become who they want to be.  My Greek experience helped shape me as a women and I would not be the person I am without my collegiate Greek experience.  I want to help other men and women reach their potential and going Greek is such a wonderful way to do so.  I believe that when held to the standards of our founders, our community does amazing things around the world.  Being a part of that movement is important and fulfilling to me.

Why did you go Greek?

I went to a large University and right away I wanted a place where I felt like I belonged, an outlet to get involved, and a “home away from home”.  In my opinion, joining a sorority or fraternity is the best way to get all of these things.  I remember going through recruitment myself and my first few months as a new member in the chapter.  I wanted to be like these women who had recruited me.  They were intelligent and involved in many different organizations on campus.  It was wonderful to have older members to look up to and help you navigate your way through the beginning years of college.

Why should others consider going Greek themselves?

I believe students should consider going Greek because joining the Greek Community can really add so much to your college experience.  You will meet your best friends, have endless opportunities for leadership positions and community service, and be joining a community that achieves higher academically than the university average, among many other things.  This is an organization you are joining for life; you will be joining brothers and sisters from all across the country and world.

How has being Greek impacted your life?

Going Greek has impacted many parts my life.  My sorority is where I met my best friends and three of my bridesmaids; it has impacted my career choices and my passion for advising students.  Being Greek has taught me how to work and collaborate with many different types of people.  Committing ourselves to Greek life should challenge us all to want to be a better person in all aspects of our life: academics, relationships, health, service to others and all around growth as a person.

What have been your favorite Greek Life memories?

In my undergraduate days I would say Bid Day my senior year.  I was my chapter’s VP Recruitment and it was our first year in our brand new chapter house so there was a lot of extra work that had to be done.  It was a great feeling on Bid Day welcoming all of the new members and seeing our hard work pay off.  I lived in my chapter house for three years and those will always be some of the best of my life.  There are countless memories I have from those years and will always remember them fondly.

As an alumna, a favorite memory is when I participated in a 75 year pinning ceremony.  My supervisor at the time was also an Alpha Chi Omega.  Together we drove to San Francisco to help the alumnae chapter with the ceremony.  It really hit me then that Alpha Chi Omega is a lifetime commitment.  To honor a sister who was initiated 75 years ago and devoted a lot of her time to our sisterhood was very special.

First-Year Recruitment Stories: Mari

MariI was that girl who said that sorority life would never be for her.  I was convinced throughout my college search that the fact that Drake had Greek Life wouldn’t matter at all because I wasn’t going to be a part of it.  Once I finally got on campus, I was told by my peers, upperclassmen and even faculty that I should go through formal sorority recruitment just to see if I liked it, and boy, am I glad that I did!  I met so many people just by visiting all the chapters and once I stepped into the chapter that I joined, I knew almost immediately that I was meant to be there.  Each sorority on Drake’s campus offers something that I didn’t realize until recruitment that I really needed: a home away from home.  It sounds cheesy, but it couldn’t be closer to the truth!

If I had to do formal recruitment all over again, I would have wanted to be less nervous and more myself.  Meeting all the women in the different chapters can be intimidating and I felt that I maybe wasn’t myself during a few events.  It was in the chapters that I let go of my fear and acted like Mari where I had the most fun and felt the most at ease with the girls.  My advice to potential new members would be to be yourself!  It’s easier said than done, but it will work out so much better for you in the end if you make meaningful and personal connections with the girls you meet!  Another piece of advice would be to go in with a very open mind.  I did, not knowing anything about the sororities or Greek Life in general, and it made me much more accepting and loving of all the chapters.  It is an exciting week and you never know what is going to happen!

Since joining a chapter, my favorite part of being in Greek Life has been seeing what big of an impact the students in Greek Life have on campus.  There are Greek Student Senators, PMACs, Orientation Leaders, RHA Members, and everything in-between.  A lot of the movers and shakers on campus have gained confidence and leadership through their experiences in Greek Life that have rolled over into so many other aspects and organizations at Drake.  I am inspired everyday by different people on Drake’s campus.  Knowing that these people I see making a difference are representing a chapter is a really cool thing!

Meet Our Members: Lauren

LaurenWhen you go through recruitment, you’ll often hear the statement, “This place gave me a home.”  And cheesy as it sounds, everyone says it because it’s true.  I joined my chapter because I really needed a home in an unfamiliar place.
I’ve always been close with my family and hometown friends, and it was hard to leave them behind to explore Drake.  My fall semester of my first year was intimidating to say the least and I wasn’t sure of my place on Drake’s campus.  I regretted not going through recruitment when I had the chance and knew that I was missing out on a lot of new friends and new experiences.
Thankfully, through someone I now call my sister, I was introduced to my chapter and its incredibly tight-knit sisterhood.  I attended events as her guest and felt immediately at home in the chapter.  I returned for Vampire Diaries marathons and felt a bond forming with her sisters.
When I heard about spring recruitment, I jumped at the chance to join such a kind and loving sisterhood.  It was the best decision I’ve ever made.  I’ve made so many new memories and so many new friends and even got closer to old friends.  Joining a chapter is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and has made my Drake experience much more exciting.
Although it’s taken some juggling, I’ve been able to balance a full course load, two part-time jobs, several activities on campus, and my involvement in my sorority.  And having my sisters around for a pep talk definitely makes it easier to keep going.

Upperclassman Recruitment Stories: Anna

AnnaI transferred to Drake as a sophomore this past fall and I knew that it was important for me to get involved and immersed in the campus community immediately.  I never thought that I would join a sorority simply because I didn’t consider myself a “sorority girl.”  However, I knew that Greek Life is a big part of Drake and so I thought that going through recruitment would at least be a good way to start meeting people.  I realized that the majority of girls going through recruitment were first-years, so I thought that it would be a disadvantage to me as an upperclassman.  With this in the back of my mind, I went through the formal recruitment process and to my surprise, each night I continued growing more and more attached to a particular chapter.  Every time I went there I talked with girls who were like me and who I could see as being future friends.  Thankfully, that chapter offered me a bid and I accepted without hesitation!

The hardest part about being an upperclassman going through recruitment is that everyone assumes you are first-year.  You constantly are correcting others and explaining your situation.   Although this can get frustrating at times, I think it is important for other upperclassmen to know that it is important that you don’t feel as if you are misplaced.  You will be the minority and the exception, but at the same time your unique situation can be what sets you apart from the other girls and may make you more memorable.

I love being part of the Greek system here at Drake.  I feel pride in wearing my letters and I love being a part of something larger than myself.  The best part about being in a sorority is that from the minute you join, every single member has embraced you and accepted you as part of the group.  Normally in life, people have to get to know you before they can accept you; in a sorority, it is the other way around, which is awesome.  Already in just one semester, my sorority has provided me with countless opportunities, hundreds of fun-filled memories, and an abundance of loving, amazing sisters. And so the only bad part about joining as an upperclassman is having this incredible experience cut just a bit too short.

We’ve Got Fall 2014 Formal Recruitment on Our Minds. Do YOU?

Panhellenic Council

It is the beginning of a new semester at Drake University and the Panhellenic Recruitment Team is already very excited about 2014 Formal Recruitment.  We hope you are, too!

This past week, officers on the Panhellenic Council attended the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.  We returned to Des Moines with new ideas for the upcoming year and passion to share our love of being Greek.  We intend to fully utilize this blog to better help you understand our enthusiasm for Greek Life—and sign up to be a part of it, too!

We hope you find this blog exciting and informative—whether you are a Potential New Member, Collegiate Greek, or Alumni Member.  Check back often to find weekly posts featuring one of our Greek members, inspiring videos, or helpful information.  Please feel free to leave questions on the blog or email sorority.recruitment@drake.edu.  We promise we will get back to you very soon!  Go Greek!