I decided to go through recruitment after weighing the pros and cons of joining a sorority and strictly measuring my scheduling, social, and financial capabilities. The one situation I wasn’t prepared to face was having to defend the reasons why I joined Delta Zeta. I love this sisterhood. I feel such a strong connection to each new girl I get to know. I can see myself using this team to move mountains. But how to you explain that to someone who says, “I never thought of you as a sorority girl?” It’s because media is misleading and stereotypes continue to occupy the heats of those who don’t see what sororities do for the community or for the intelligent and brave women involved.
“You’re just buying friends,” is another way for people to discredit the work of sororities, but then I think of my new friend, Mercedes, who was an early college student in the neighboring county, loves Criminal Minds, and wants to join the FBI just like me! I would have never met her without Delta Zeta. The glaring issue with that question is people thinking that making friends is our only goal. Our membership introduces us to new people, but we build emotional bridges on our own. Our dues don’t buy us leadership positions or networking: those are things what we use our platform to build upon. We may have some dues to pay for membership in our national organization, but we put more heart into what we do than any material possessions.
The last question which is the hardest to answer on the spot is the simple, “why?” There are many reasons why I joined Delta Zeta, but the biggest is community. It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child, so when we’re adults are we outcasts? We can’t afford to be alone: we all need community to be happy, healthy, and successful individuals and college is a very competitive environment. I have to prove my worth in my classes, I have to build my worth in my internship, I define my worth in my job, and I have to tell myself “it’s all worth it.” This was difficult for me to cope with during my first year at Wayne State University, but thanks to the women of Delta Zeta, I have many other ways of valuing myself. I can be a good listener, leader, planner, comedian, and friend. I can also be community service chairwoman and give selflessly to help other girls find ways to give their time, or the new member president and guide new members through their journey before initiation. Delta Zeta has given the tools to develop skills that can’t be learned in a classroom and worth that can’t be defined by numbers.