An Exploration of Greek Life Leadership: Part One

I can barely hear the phone ringing over the motorists zooming past. The blaring of car horns echo behind me. While not an uncommon sound along Commonwealth Avenue, I worry they will muffle the voice on the other end of the line. But as soon as I hear Hannah Harn’s unmistakable vivacious tone and greeting, my concerns are subsided.

With raised eyebrows and wide, sweeping gestures, Hannah’s excitable spirit commands any audience she finds herself entertaining. Even as we are speaking over the phone, this energy is not lost, and the motorists are long forgotten. Hannah, a senior studying Journalism at Boston University, truly knows how to tell a story.

Throughout 2018, Hannah served as Kappa Alpha Theta’s Ritualist for the Eta Chi chapter here at Boston University. Beginning in 2020, I will serve in that position myself, and as I began preparing for this role, I found myself questioning the benefits of leadership positions within Greek life. 

As more stories are told of hazing and alcohol poisoning among fraternities and sororities, the community’s reputation has been spoiled. While the individual chapters committing these acts deserve all the criticism and punishment by law received, when I joined Kappa Alpha Theta at Boston University, I realized perhaps the entirety of Greek life cannot be summarized by these acts. There are some undeniably rotten eggs, but through a strong devotion to philanthropy and community, Greek life encourages its members to flourish.

When asked about what she learned as Ritualist of Kappa Alpha Theta, Hannah explained this, “I definitely got a lot of really good experience with the idea of delegation. It was a really good experience in that, as Ritualist, I was essentially assigned a whole cake and I learned how to split it up into pieces.

Also, how to handle really big projects and work with other people as a group. As a journalist, there are less delegation skills necessary, but a big part of it is being on a team as well as getting and giving feedback. I learned this while in my leadership position. Additionally, reaching out to sources is very similar to connecting with the people I worked alongside as Ritualist.”

Arielle Kimbarovsky, an advertising major, is also a senior at Boston University and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. I first met Arielle when walking into Theta’s room on the first day of recruitment. While our encounter was brief— no more than a smile and warm greeting— I remember being struck by how poised and relaxed she seemed. After entering room after room of chaos and cheering, her presence was comforting.

Photo Credit: Nick Forti 

On the left is Hannah Harn, and on the right is Arielle Kimbarovsky.

Upon joining Theta, it was no shock to hear that Arielle has held multiple officer positions. From November 2017 to present day, she has served as the Recruitment Data Assistant, Recruitment Director, and Chief Recruitment Officer— all positions that can be found on her LinkedIn profile. Originally, I was surprised by this. I first joined Greek life to find a home, a community on campus. The idea that Kappa Alpha Theta is not only filled with my sisters, but also has ways to build my career was puzzling to me. 

As I spoke to Arielle, the truth in this statement became more clear. She told me, “I haven’t been directly asked about Theta in an interview, but I am almost always asked to discuss prior leadership experience — and Theta comes up. Especially if the recruiter or hiring manager was in Greek life! My Theta leadership experience helps illustrate soft skills that many employers are looking for, and even a non-Theta Greek connection establishes a sense of trust and comfort right away. It makes the interview a lot easier to get through and feel more natural!”

Arielle went on to explain, “My leadership experience in Greek life has taught me a lot about working with people. I’ve learned how to navigate conflict resolution, lead teams made up of different personalities and communication styles, and practice patience. Since my positions were very honed in on recruitment, I learned how to juggle multiple stakeholder needs and plan large scale events. As an advertising major, these are all skills I use in other professional and academic settings, from jobs to group projects in class. I think that any major or career could benefit from these skills too.”

Photo Credit: Nick Forti

Please stay tuned for Part Two of this article coming out next week! You can learn more about the Eta Chi chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta here.

Want to keep up with HCBU? Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, check out our Pinterest board, and read our latest Tweets!