For the past year, Andrea Papini has lovingly and loyally lead the ladies of Kappa Kappa Gamma's Delta Delta Chapter as their President. As she makes way for her successor, the brilliant Maria Som, Andrea reflects on her journey in Kappa and what she has learned.
Lauren Ballard for Her Campus McGill: So how long have you been in Kappa Kappa Gamma?
Andrea Papini: I joined Kappa during my first semester at McGill in Fall 2014. My friend Sarah in McConnell Hall was going to Orientation Day because she is a Kappa legacy and she convinced me to go. I was really hesitant at the time, but going to Orientation Day and meeting all the sorority completely changed my perception of sorority life!
HC McGill: What was your recruitment experience like? How did you know Kappa was right for you?
Andrea: So when I went to Orientation Day, I had no idea how sororities really were at McGill. Coming from El Salvador, I only knew about sororities based on movies and pop culture in general. Therefore, my preconception of these groups was not as positive. So when I had the first couple of conversations with the women from each chapter (of which Kappa was the first!) I was pleasantly surprised!
I met women from different faculties, backgrounds, and academic years which I loved! My school back home was a small, K-12 school so I was used to having friends from different ages and being part of a close-knitted community. I loved how I immediately got that same feeling during Recruitment and especially appreciated being able to meet women that seemed well-rounded, worldly, and quite inspiring.
HC McGill: What is one of your fondest memories of being in Kappa?
Andrea: Being part of Kappa impacted my entire undergraduate career. These four years would have definitely been completely different if I wasn’t part of this organization. A memory that still is close to me would be from this past summer when two other sisters and I went down to New Jersey to celebrate our sister Adriana’s graduation. Sarah flew in from Toronto and Emily and I drove down, it was an amazing reunion! Even a Kappa sister who graduated two years ago came to celebrate, showing how Kappa truly extends beyond graduation! It felt like a family reunion, which really sums up why I love Kappa so much. My family may be far away from Montreal, but I am so grateful to have formed an extended family here because of Kappa.
HC McGill: What other positions have you held within Kappa?
Andrea: I knew right away that I wanted to become involved in the chapter, so I started out as Registrar during my first winter semester. I enjoyed seeing how the officers worked and was glad to develop closer relations not only with the other chapter members but with alumna as well since I would send them monthly newsletters. The following year, I was really glad to be elected Vice President Organization. As such, I was charged with planning the chapter’s weekly meeting agendas, setting the master calendar for the year, hosting visits from representatives from our headquarters, and was able to collaborate with other officers to a greater extent. Holding this position made the transition to being President quite smooth!
HC McGill: What has being president meant to you? What have you learned and achieved in the position?
Andrea: I am thankful for this past year as President since it was an incredibly rewarding experience! Our chapter is constantly changing and I am honoured to have contributed to its improvements! During my four years as a member, I had never seen the chapter as united as it is now. I was able to collaborate with the other officers in order to achieve full member retention during the Fall semester. This was unprecedented and it serves as reflection to our collective achievements!
Our experience as McGill students may become overwhelming at times, but I never lacked the needed support from this group of women. Nothing compares to being part of an organization that strengthens women empowerment. I am glad that my contributions worked toward this goal and hopefully will provide future Kappas with an equally positive experience. As with any leadership position, there are obstacles to overcome and unforeseen events to resolve, but I finished my term with a feeling of satisfaction! I am confident that the chapter is in good hands as I have full faith in Maria Som, the President for 2018!
Images obtained from the interviewee.