Interview with a Girl Boss: Emilie Macfie On McGill Sorority Life

We’ve all heard about the typical sorority stereotypes, and they’re usually not very positive. With our own growing Greek community on campus, we decided to find out more about sorority life here at McGill. Today, we sat down with Emilie Macfie, a true girl boss and the President of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, to gain more insight into her own personal experiences of being in a sorority and how it has shaped her McGill experience.

Sooji Hah for Her Campus McGill (HC McGill): Hi Emilie! Thanks for joining us today. Could you tell us more about yourself? What do you study and what kinds of things are you involved in?

Emilie Macfie (EM): I currently study political science and economics. My main involvement right now is my position as President of the sorority. Out of school, I’m involved with the Montreal Scottish Society.

HC McGill: Today, we want to learn more about your involvement with the sorority. What made you want to become the President of Gamma Phi?

EM: After three years of being in Gamma Phi, I felt like it had given me so much and those three years of being in Gamma Phi made me feel like I could be a leader. When the opportunity came up, I felt more excited than I had ever been at the possibility of being a leader and I think that was because of Gamma Phi and the support it gave me. Initially, I didn’t think I could be a leader but my sisters planted the seed in my mind. They saw the leader in me and I started to see it in myself as well.

HC McGill: Going back to your earlier days, what initially made you want to join a sorority?

EM: For me, it was about having a network of close friends and a support system. I wanted to make the most out of my time at McGill and I felt like having such a network could expose me to all kinds of different opportunities on campus.

HC McGill: We’ve all heard the negative stereotypes about sororities in the media. How do you think Gamma Phi or any of the other sororities at McGill differ from these stereotypes?

EM: I think that what people don’t see, but is really the best part about being in the sorority is how much we build each other up. For example, what I said earlier about me becoming President, I never saw myself as a leader but my sisters saw it in me and convinced me that I was good enough. Now I truly feel confident as a leader. We’re a team and we build each other up constantly.

HC McGill: What kinds of activities do you do in Gamma Phi?

EM: We do a lot of personal development. For example, we have our PACE (personal chapter enrichment), which helps you develop a very broad range of skills from learning about financial literacy to makeup. On top of developing ourselves, we also come together as a group just to relax from trying to balance school and other activities. We keep ourselves sane and down-to-earth during the stress of being at McGill.

HC McGill: Why should someone consider joining a sorority?

EM: When you join a group of 75 women, your network grows exponentially. You gain 75 new perspectives into McGill campus life and into the world because so many of our sisters are from all over the world. My mind and my perspective on life have been broadened so much since joining Gamma Phi. You also have truly a family. It’s more than just making friends in class, it's a tight group of people who you know are going to be with you and support you throughout your McGill life and beyond.

HC McGill: What do you think you have gained the most from your sorority experience?

EM: I think trying new things and being a leader without being so scared of failing is definitely something that I’ve gained from the sorority. I’ve had the opportunity to discover things that I didn't think I could do before. I probably wouldn’t have tried a lot of new things without the support of my sisters and the sorority, and now, since I’ve gained so much confidence, I just put myself out there and try new things.

HC McGill: What is your favourite memory of being in Gamma Phi?

EM: It’s definitely the combination of the little things. Everything from going out of town together, going to the dep at midnight in our pyjamas to get ice cream, or getting a good luck text right before a midterm - it’s all just the little things that make up some of my favourite memories of being in Gamma Phi.

HC McGill: Finally, do you have any advice for girls who are interested in joining a sorority and want to go through recruitment?

EM: Go in with an open mind and give everyone an equal chance. I think going in with an open mind is very important because you never know what you want until you’re in the middle of it. You always end up where you’re supposed to be with an open, positive mind.

Images provided by interviewee.