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Best of Both Worlds: A New Perspective to Greek Life

When a girl gets to college, there’s a whole world of new opportunities waiting for her. New friends, New classes, new relationships, and an overall sense of just wanting to build a fun and productive life for the next four years. 

Yet, at least once in the college experience, there’s always going to be a conversation about one of the biggest social and financial commitments any college student could make, Greek Life.

Being a part of a Greek organization is so much more complex than what’s made out to be in the movies. Yet, to be a part of these organizations takes dedication, poise, and a willingness to go out of your comfort zone.

For me, as a young black woman entering college, one of the first social opportunities I was offered was Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment. I could tell you the whole story, but I ended up finding my home in Alpha Sigma Tau. I’ve loved my experience so far! I love my big, and my sisters are some of the coolest girls I’ve ever met. Two of my sisters started the Oglethorpe Her Campus Chapter!

But I also know that for some girls, especially black women, Divine Nine is the way to know. I know a few girls that are in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Chapter and it’s given them a network of so many women and so many opportunities to grow and learn, especially within the black community. 

But how do you know which one is the right choice for you? How do know what experience you might want? Is one safer than the other?

I talked to Nya, a new friend of mine who is a part of the Tau Pi chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I wanted to know a little bit about her perspective on Greek Life and how it has benefitted her.

Below are the two profiles of my and Nya’s experience, Read below to learn more about what it’s like for both of us being in two different sororities!

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My name is Nya Mishel Davis. I am a junior at Oglethorpe University. I am pursuing a major in Political Science and African American Studies with a practice in Pre-Law!

1. What sorority and chapter are you in?

“In Fall 2020, I became a lifetime sister and Soror of the first and finest, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated with the tenacious Tau Pi Chapter at Oglethorpe University.”

2. What’s your favorite part of being a part of your chapter?

“Personally, my favorite part of being a sister of the Tau Pi Chapter is the sisterhood! I am my parents’ firstborn and my parents’ only girl, so I never knew what it felt like to have someone to admire, but my Sorors are very sisterly and family-oriented. Especially being a college student away from home, I never have anything to worry about because all of my sisters are just one dial away.”

3. What’s your chapter’s philanthropy? 

“Where do I begin? There are so many different ways the Tau Pi Chapter makes global impacts on the minority communities. Our main philanthropy is community service. We always find ways to volunteer and give back to different communities. Each year, Tau Pi hosts a school supply drive to the Chamblee Boys and Girls Club and JM Tull Gwinnett Family YMCA, a shoe and glasses drive for Sole for Souls and Lions Club, and so much more.”

4. Why did you choose the sorority that you did?

“In elementary school, I would always see teachers wearing the glamorous colors, pink and green, and every year on January 15th, the teachers would stroll. At the time, I was so young, I didn’t understand what was going on and what the letters on their jackets meant but I knew one day I wanted to be just like them. When I was a 6th grader in primary school, I began doing research about what it means to be a woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and one thing I admired about each teacher was their character. Alpha women carry themselves with poise, elegance, and class. From childhood to adulthood, I was 100% sure I would become an Alpha woman someday.”

5. What’s your favorite event that your sorority/chapter does?

“My favorite event that the Tau Pi Chapter host each year is “Mocktails and Murals”. During this event, each attendee is supplied with a canvas, paint, paintbrushes, and a juice cocktail. What I love about this specific event is that it brings out the creativity in each individual. Everyone is able to showcase their style of art, and personally, I think that shows a person’s gift and talent.”

6. What’s your favorite characteristic of a woman in your particular organization?

“My favorite characteristic of the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated is our elegance. Oftentimes, people assume women of AKA are snooty and “stuck up,” but we’re not none of those characteristics. Women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated are simply elegant — we carry ourselves with grace and style to exemplify our manners.”

7. How has your sorority experience changed you?

“I wouldn’t say my sorority changed me, but I would say my sorority helped mold me into the woman I am today. For instance, before I became a woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, I was very antisocial and quiet, whereas now, I’m more outspoken and vocal about important topics and discussions we have within our sorority.”

8. Any advice to any freshman women who want to join Greek Life? 

“My advice to any freshman woman interested in joining Greek Life or any social organization at Oglethorpe University is to simply get involved. If your time permits, attend events the organizations you’re interested in host and make sure you ask questions so you are knowledgeable about the organization before joining.”

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Hi! My name is Jasmine Martin! I’m a sophomore at Oglethorpe University, but I plan on graduating early! My major is Communications (specifically PR) with a minor in Studio Art with a focus on Graphic Design.

1. What sorority and chapter are you in?

I am a member of the Delta Pi Chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau! 

2. What’s your favorite part of being a part of your chapter?

I love our chapter’s personality as a whole. We’re a group of smart girls who know how to get their work done. We also love a good TikTok too. Oh, and the majority of us are K-Pop fans. 

3. What’s your chapter’s philanthropy?

Our philanthropy is the Women’s Wellness Initiative. It’s one of my favorite things about our sorority overall. We donate to Girls Who Code Atlanta and Dress for Success Atlanta, which are both organizations that help women in their career development and gives them the skills needed to be successful. We also get to donate to women’s shelters, and we get to fundraise and provide products that some women don’t always have access to. For example, last semester, we had a period product drive and donated pads, tampons, and feminine health products to a battered women’s shelter. 

4. Why did you choose the Sorority that you did?

My Greek Life journey was interesting because I was open to everything. Yet, once I did a little bit of research on the different sororities on Oglethorpe’s campus, I decided to do Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment. That week was hectic but it’s where I met my big and some of the sweetest, strongest, most talented women I’ve ever met. I loved AST so much because the girls that are a part of this organization liked a lot of the same things that I liked them just as much as they liked me!  Of course, I was beyond excited to see the Green and Gold on my Bid and the rest is history! 

5. What’s your favorite event that your sorority/chapter does?

My favorite event is Big/Little! The experience of being a little and having a little is a part of all Panhellenic sororities. However, with our chapter, it’s really a time to grow those intimate relationships and I feel like Big/Little really applies to our value of Graciousness. We pass down our favorite snacks, notebooks, shirts, keychain, and all the cool little things that make us who we are. I remember when I got my third basket for Big/Little week and I got flowers and a whole bunch of cute AST stuff and my heart was so happy. I can’t wait to do the same for my little soon! #TigerFam4L

7. What’s your favorite characteristic of a woman in your particular organization?

One thing I love about the AST woman is how she’s the true embodiment of excellence. Our values have an acronym called GRICE, which stands for Graciousness, Respect, Intellect, Connections, and Excellence. All of these make up the AST woman because usually she’s a leader in her community and always stands up for what’s right with poise and graceful hand. It’s an honor to be considered an AST woman.

8. How has your sorority experience changed you?

I definitely would say it hasn’t changed me, but it has changed my perspective on Greek Life, 1000%. I know that a lot of black people would feel a type of way seeing a black woman joining a traditionally white sorority.  Yet, my experience has helped me to unlearn that bias and realize that a lot of these spaces are having conversations about concerns of racism, sexism, and all of the other issues that come with sorority life and implementing bylaws to ensure the safety of BIPOC women who are interested in joining these organizations. I also understand that not all campuses are the same as Oglethorpe, but I do think that on our campus, being black shouldn’t stop you from looking into Panhellenic Greek Life.

9. Any advice to any freshman women who want to join Greek Life? 

Girl, just go for it. Don’t let society, your mom and dad, or your cat tell you what you should do or what you should be a part of. Do your research and look into the organizations you’re interested in and if there’s an event or an opportunity to join, jump at the chance! You might find that you love one thing a whole lot more than the latter. You should only be joining something because it represents your values and who you are. You make your sorority, it shouldn’t make you.

Although there are a lot of differences between both organizations, one thing that can be agreed on is that both NPHC (Divine Nine) and NPC (Panhellenic) work hard to become an inclusive place through community service, fellowship, and prioritizing the advancement of womankind. 

Jasmine is our Social Media Director and writer for her campus. Check out her articles on Life, Style, Sex and Relationships, and more! Fun Fact: Jasmine loves popcorn.
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