Sorority Saturday: Emily Pierce

Our Sorority Saturday this week is Emily Pierce of the University of Maine’s Delta Zeta Alpha Upsilon chapter (DZ). Emily is a fourth-year animal and veterinary sciences student with a minor in microbiology. She loves animals (especially cows!) and works at Witter Farm on campus. She is also the president of Delta Zeta. As president, she can help people in other positions if they need it. She is one of four girls in the chapter who have been involved the longest out of everyone currently, so she has a lot of knowledge about Delta Zeta to pass along. 

    Delta Zeta’s core values are friendship, curiosity, generosity, citizenship, belonging, and empowerment. They fundraise for a wide variety of organizations tailored to speech and hearing. One organization they partner with is the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which brings hearing aids to people who are hard of hearing and might not be able to afford them. Nationally, they have been able to raise around 5.5 million dollars towards the foundation. They have also raised money for Gallaudet University in Washington D.C., the only school in the U.S. designed to be barrier-free for the deaf.  They were able to donate a vibrating dance floor to their school, which would allow students to feel the music through their feet. In the Alpha Upsilon chapter, Delta Zeta donates funds to the Conley Speech, Language, and Hearing Center on campus. They focus on providing speech therapy and otology to students. 

    Another really amazing program they have nationally partnered with is called Painted Turtle Camp. It’s a camp that provides for children faced with life-threatening and chronic illnesses. Doctors don’t have lab coats, so that way it can have the feel of a stress-free environment for children. Once the children do their checkups, they can go outside and play. Because Delta Zeta has reached their funding goals with Starkey for this year, they are now able to partner with all nine of the camps around the nation.

    To gain the funds within their chapter, Delta Zeta hosts philanthropy events. During Maine Day, Delta Zeta has an event called DZ Darts, which is when students can pay to participate in a dart game. In return, you could win various gift cards. For that event, all of the money went directly to the Conley Center. Last year, there was a laser tag event hosted at the Orono Brewing Company. This year they weren’t able to have in-person philanthropy events, so they did a succulent sale with Mainely Succulents, a female-owned local plant shop in downtown Orono. Students could pay to have a succulent, and they would be safely delivered to them. DZ was able to raise $900 through that event. 

    When I asked Emily how she knew she was “home,” she said she was having some of the best conversations with the members during her formal recruitment. She also mentioned how DZ allowed her to be herself and to explore her differences. 

“It seemed encouraged that everyone goes out and experiences their different selves rather than being all the same. People typically think that about sororities, but at UMaine, I don’t see that at all, which is so great”

She’s even had 20-minute conversations with her sisters on mashed potatoes, which I personally think is legendary because mashed potatoes are AMAZING! 

    When asking how Emily’s college experience has been enriched from Greek life, she discussed how many friendships she had made. Even though they occasionally fight like siblings, they are also some of the best people she has ever met. Although there are around 50 sisters, she feels like each one of them has impacted her.

    “There’s always someone who is there for you when you aren’t feeling great about yourself, or you’re feeling sad. There’s always someone to call you out on your crap like, ‘Hey, you said you weren’t gonna do that! Stop spending money on Aroma Joe’s, Emily!’”

She also emphasizes how great of a community it is, especially when you want to show future employers or graduate schools your devotion to community and leadership. In Delta Zeta, sisters have a few requirements for their philanthropy. They are each required to fulfill at least 18 hours of volunteer work per semester and also donate $37.50.

Emily’s favorite memory of being in Delta Zeta has been her involvement with chapter events such as big little reveal. It’s a wonderful experience for all of her sisters to get together. Her advice for women contemplating Greek life is to just go for it, noting how valuable the UMaine Panhellenic and Interfraternity council is to our university. 

“Even if we’re not all in the same sorority, I get along with so many girls in other sororities because we share similar experiences. I think it’s a great way to have friends and make connections in the real world.”

Even her organic chemistry TA was a Delta Zeta, so Emily would update her on what’s been happening within the sorority. Being a part of Greek life has given her such great connections with people in her lifetime. 

Emily is a perfect representation of the core values within Delta Zeta because of her hard work and empowering spirit. The love she has not only for DZ, but the entire Panhellenic community was so evident through our conversation. It was such an honor talking to her for this week’s Sorority Saturday!