One of the greatest experiences sorority life has granted me is the year I spent as a leadership consultant (If you haven’t read about my journey, check out my last post here). The time I spent traveling for my sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma (Tri Sigma), afforded me so many amazing opportunities. Through this job, I was able to network, obtain personal and professional experience, and meet some wonderful people. My favorite part of my visits, however, was the opportunity to develop interactive workshops for the chapters I worked with. Each presentation was crafted with the individual needs of the membership in mind. My goal was always to leave the chapter with tangible skills to push through areas of concern and promote a healthy environment for its members. Of course, an hour or two hour-long workshops wouldn’t fix all of the concerns the chapters had, but if anything it was an opportunity for the women to spend an afternoon together to deepen their relationships.
My favorite activity to do during these workshops was something I coined as “Defining your WHY.” WHY is an acronym which stands for:
W – who/what made you join your chapter
H – how has sorority impacted your life/college experience
Y- your hope for the future of the chapter
The origin of this activity actually stems from the consultant interview process where the applicants were asked to create a mock retreat and present it virtually. Even before I accepted my offer to work as a consultant, I knew that this activity would come in handy and be very effective. I’ve done several variations of this activity and the results were almost always the same. The main takeaways were often that women joined their chapters for the same reason, sorority membership allowed them to find their place on campus, and that they hoped that their chapter would remain as close or become closer than they already were. There would sometimes be women who shared more personal stories, and I would always find myself amazed at the support they received from their chapter sisters after confiding in the group.
Perhaps one of the most rewarding parts of being a consultant was seeing the work I was doing pay off. I will never forget the moment when a woman from a chapter I had visited earlier in the year came up to me at a conference and told me what a difference this activity had made on her chapter. The chapter had struggled with sisterhood and needed a reminder of why they joined a sorority. Since the retreat, they had seen major improvements in communication and breaking out of cliques that had been formed. Hearing the impact I’d been able to have on a chapter made the hard work worth doing.
This Activity is Good For:
Defining/Resolving Chapter Issues
Building Excitement Before Recruitment
If you ever feel as though your chapter is in a rough place, this activity is a great way to get to the root of the issue. This is also a great activity to do before recruitment so members can have the answer to the often asked question “Why did you join a sorority?” in their back pockets. I hope this activity can bring you the success I have seen it bring to other chapters!