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A bit sentimental.

1 Apr
Seniors 2013

Seniors 2013

Tonight is the Senior Service for my sorority, during which we celebrate the women in our organization who will be graduating. Tonight also marks the last chapter (weekly meeting) that most Seniors will attend – making it a bittersweet evening. Greek life was not something I was looking for when I began my college search, and I definitely doubted whether on not it was something I wanted to participate in when I arrived at Washington & Lee. But now, four years later, I can look back on my greek experience with nothing but fond memories and I know that it helped shape my W&L career and allowed me to grow in ways I didn’t expect it to.

There are generally a lot of stereotypes linked to greek life, many of which I believed prior to enrollment. But the truth is that greek life at W&L is different – it isn’t ‘Animal House’ or ‘Legally Blonde’. With over 80% of the student body in greek organizations, students who go greek are leaders both within their houses and on campus. Greek organizations at W&L maintain exceptionally high GPAs, host a plurality of the annual philanthropy events on campus, and have a diverse membership. Each house has athletes and Johnson Scholars and club presidents – we can’t be labeled or put into categories.

Greek life was not my defining experience at Washington & Lee. My membership in a sorority does not match my participation in Mock Convention or my  research work or my academic success. But greek life was a defining experience of mine. It provided a network of diverse yet connected individuals with whom I could feel at home, and it allowed us a physical place to call our home. Greek life was a beneficial experience – and one that I didn’t think I would have. Simply put, it was a pleasant surprise.

While in many ways tonight is just another Monday night to be spent in the library writing my capstone, it is also a night I will remember for the bonds that I have shared with my friends over the last four years. It will be the night we celebrated job offers of fellow seniors and the memories we have made as members of our organization during our time at W&L. So yes, I guess I am feeling a bit sentimental.

Greek Member Development

10 Jan

Both men and women on campus are this week going through formal rush, at the end of which each fraternity and sorority will have new members.  This week is a good opportunity to briefly highlight my experience as a fraternity man in order to demonstrate how W&L’s Greek culture can be a tremendous boon to our students.

One of the biggest benefits of being a member of my fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, has been our four-year development program, which is based in the philosophy of “sound mind, sound body” and which replaces pledging in our chapter.  Since I have been a brother we have had numerous dinner lectures by professors, athletic opportunities, and so on.  I was recently named a finalist for our Tragos Quest to Greece, a ten day mental and physical challenge with brothers from across the country this summer.  In addition to these specific development opportunities, my GPA has increased significantly since I’ve had the support of a fraternity for my academic work.

Most people considering W&L definitely know that we have a strong Greek system, but many are unaware of the many benefits that can come from membership.  In addition to having found the best friends of my life, I have benefited from all the development activities mentioned above and more.  The Greek community is excited for our new members this year, and for future classes of new members in the years to come.

Food for Thought

13 Nov

This afternoon I ate one of my favorite meals, tacos, for lunch at my fraternity.  This seems like a little thing, but it got me thinking about the experience of eating here.  It comes down to a lot more than just sitting, eating, and leaving.

Our fraternity chef, Hilary, does a lot more than make our food.  Our brothers have enjoyed getting to know her over the years she has been with us.  When our brother Keith starred in “Bye Bye Birdie,” she asked us for a ticket so she could be sure not to miss it.  Hilary is wonderful to have around the house and all her recipes are delicious too.

I don’t generally eat on campus anymore, except from vending machines, but what I miss most is the ladies who work at the co-op.  I saw them so often last year that they knew my evening snack order by heart (ginger ale and breadsticks) and a lot of other things about me.  I really believe there aren’t many schools where students have any kind of relationship with important people like the ones who serve our food, so I am glad I was able to be here and get to know many of the co-op ladies by name as well as know other things about their lives.

There are so many great places to eat in town too, but I’m perfectly happy to have my fraternity tacos, visit my co-op ladies, or stop by the vending machines in the library for some Swedish fish.  W&L is just such a great place to be!

ELF at the Drive-In

12 Nov

Buddy the Elf…what’s your favorite color?

 

As the PR/Programming chair for the Panhellenic Council, I have spent the last two weeks tweeting ‘ELF’ quotes, posting Campus Notices, and advertising around town to get the word out about our fall event. The past few years we hosted a Halloween Carnival for the local children, but this year we tried something different and rented out Hull’s Drive-In for a FREE showing of ELF! Along with the Interfraternity Council, we opened up the Drive-In last night and had over 200 students, professors, and community members come see the show. We collected donations for Toys for Tots and raised nearly $500 for the cause. It was great to see so many people come out to get into the holiday spirit, and I hope this can be a tradition that will grow bigger each year!

Sorority Dining

30 Oct

Sorority Row…on a sunnier day!

It seems like the Sorority chefs know when it’s going to be a rainy day out because we always seem to have an awesome soup/hummus/bread bar out at least one of the houses. With a minimum of four different soups to chose from, five different types of yummy bread and plenty of dips and spread, the sorority chefs know what’s up when it’s getting cold and drizzly. We’re lucky because with sorority dining, you get to go to any one of the six houses for lunch. That means you could get a little bit of everything as you make your way down the row with a plate….

With Sandy rolling into Lex, my fingers are crossed that one of the houses will be offering my favorite chicken noodle soup and spinach artichoke dip today!!

Food, Fun, and Philanthropy!

28 Oct

Buffalo wings, hotdogs, and… philanthropy?! That’s right – this month, several of our sororities on campus combined favorite foods with games and excitement to raise money for charity. Just last night, Pi Phi hosted “Pi Phi Gives You Wings,” which was exactly what it sounded like: the sorority sold hot wings from Macado’s (a popular local restaurant), and delivered them straight to students anywhere, anytime on campus. Students could also order them instantly from the ‘wing hotline’ (just text for wings!), or buy them steaming fresh from the quad. From the freshman dorms to the Woods Creek apartments, Pi Phi girls were seen walking all around campus, carrying stacked boxes of wings to their hungry and very happy owners. All proceeds were donated to support literacy in elementary education.

This was just one of the many successful food-filled philanthropy events hosted by the sororities. Earlier this weekend, KD organized its “Wieners on Windfall,” which drew large crowds with its hotdogs, wiffleball tournament, and patriotic themed costumes. During this month, Chi O also celebrated its annual Chili Cookoff, “Chili con Chi O,” which featured a competition for the best chili, along with cornbread and games, while Kappa held “Kappas Con Queso,” a Mexcian-themed fundraiser with chips and queso, music, and dancing. This is only a glimpse at some of the many philanthropic endeavors shown by our sororities here on campus. As always, they were filled with good will, good food, and of course, good times.

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Another Beautiful Day

26 Sep

Another Beautiful Day

Soaking up the beautiful 85 degree day by studying on the sorority house porch.