Approximately 5.5 years ago, on April 22nd, 2010 I was initiated into the best Black Greek Lettered Organization (BGLO) known to mankind (yes, it’s that great), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Delta Sigma Theta was founded on the campus of Howard University on January 13th, 1913 by 22 women wanting to promote academic excellence and social justice. Since its founding, Delta Sigma Theta has been trail blazing and expanding its reach globally. The sorority currently has over 1,000 collegiate and alumni chapters within the states and more than 200,000 proud members.
The Tau Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, was chartered on April 30th, 2004 on the campus of The University of Miami by 17 SAGAcious Divas. Since’s it’s introduction to UM’s campus, the TP Divas have received highly esteemed honors such as inductions into Iron Arrow Honor Society (the university’s highest honor), Mortar Board, Rho Lambda, and several other accolades. TP Divas are the women often seen leading the pack both in and out of the classroom. We pride ourselves on upholding the organization-wide commitment to bettering the community.
I’ve known since before I could tie my own shoes that I would one day become a Delta. I didn’t really know what it would mean to me until I actually had the chance to join. I feel a little dramatic saying this, but becoming a Delta was truly life changing. My life changed for the better in three key ways:
#1. I gained eleven new sisters. While the basic premise of a sorority is sisterhood, the bond you share with the group of women who cross with you is indescribable. As an only child, I was most intrigued by the sisterhood becoming a Delta would allow me. I knew I would be close to a new group of women, but I didn’t anticipate having 11 people to argue with, cry with, borrow clothes from, or really just sit and do nothing with. Even though we rarely all agree, I love these women whole heartedly and protect them ferociously. I know that wherever they call home, I have a safe haven and vice-versa.
#2. My network increased exponentially. Delta Sigma Theta is part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, an organization composed of the nine historically BGLOs. While individuals join their organizations for various reasons, we are all united by a commitment to community service. I meet fellow Greeks almost everywhere I go both socially and professionally. It often serves as an ice breaker and networking tool.
#3. I fine tuned my professional skills. Before becoming a delta, I had already developed time management skills and I generally knew how to behave in professional settings. Delta taught me things like the word quorum, the importance of agendas, and unprecedented levels of organization. Because of all the new obligations becoming a Delta brought on, I was forced to find new ways to mange my time and stay organized. I even got a crash course in the difference between business casual and business attire. I’ve carried all of the valuable skills I learned by becoming a Delta with me into my post-grad life.
This time of the year is often laden with BGLO probates (new member presentations). On Friday, my chapter presented 17 new members to the University of Miami. I’ve gotten the opportunity to start building relationships with these young ladies and let me tell you they are nothing shy of amazing. As they and many others embark on their journey in greekdom, I want to impart some of my “wisdom” on them. Now is when the real work begins. You are a part of something bigger than just yourself and the world is now watching you in a new way. As annoying as it is, you are no longer just Jill or Bob, you are now “Jill the Delta” or “Bob the Alpha”. You are now being held to a higher standard and the expectation is that you will always conduct yourself accordingly. You won’t always know the answers and you’ll probably make mistakes along the way, but don’t hesitate to reach out to past chapter members to ask for advice. While you’ll now be working extra hard to maintain all you did before and now the work of Delta, don’t forget to have fun. Go to Atlanta Greek Picnic, road trip to other chapters, join those Greek GroupMe chats, and definitely stroll every time you hear To Be Real!
Are you in a Greek organization? Why did you join your org? Did joining a Greek organization change your life?