Wednesday, July 22, 2009

(Undergrad) I want to join XYZ Sorority/Fraternity...What steps do I need to take???

This blog will focus on undergraduate students. I promise I will post another blog about Grad membership as well.

So you've done your research, you realized that XYZ org is the PERFECT org for you. So now what? Do I tell all of its members? Do I tell all of my friends?

After realizing which organization you want to join, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Do you know the National and chapter history? Do you know the principles of the org? If a member was to ask you "Why do you want to be a member of my organization, do you know what your answer will be? These are things you need to think about and prepare.

1. Attend ALL if not most of the organization events. By doing this task, TRUST ME the members will know that you are interested.

2. Join other organizations on campus. Black Student Association, Student Government, get noticed! There is a big chance that the members of the organization of your choice are ALSO members, so this is another way to connect with them. Try to land leadership roles with these organizations as well.

3. Discreet!, Discreet! DISCREET!!!! I can't stress this enough! If you are close friends with a member or two, then it's okay to let them know your interests, but, for the most part, do NOT let anyone else know. That includes "pillow talking w/your boo" talking to your BFFs, and GOD FORBID members from another organization. Even if your friends confide in you and tell you, their interests do NOT mean that you tell them well your interests lie.

4.Community Service- Most organization require that you perform community service. Now some may require more hrs than others, but in a nutshell, you want to stand out! I say that to say this, Don't start community service RIGHT BEFORE RUSH!

5. Grades - Grades are crucial when we are choosing members to join our org. We don't want people that just met the bare minimal GPA requirement, but we want prospective members that are on their A game! For example when I pledge DST all of my line sisters had GPAs well ABOVE 3.0. My GPA was a 3.8!

6. How do I know about their events? Research and see if they have a chapter website, a Facebook account that you can join or become a fan of. (And by that I mean some organization including my initiating chapter have a "Friends of XYZ Chapter") Also, keep your eyes and ears open for flyer's, posters, etc. for events that they may have on or around campus.

7. One of the worst things you can ask a member is "When are you all having a line?" If she/he thinks you're worthy, she/he will VOLUNTEER this information to you, without you asking.

8. Don't become a Fraternity groupie! WE HATE THAT!!!!!!! You have no idea who many emails I have received in the past asking me "I want to be a part of Delta, will become a Q-Sweet, or Q-essence, or Q-doll, etc.. help me? The answer is NO! In some cases, it can HURT you from becoming a member. Let your grades, knowledge, community service, and leadership skills shine! Also so we can make matters clear, Zeta Phi Beta, and Phi Beta Sigma are the ONLY sister and brother organization.

9. Don't HOUND us! We have lives outside of our organization. A question or two is fine, but calling us all the time, emailing us all the time, or following us to class is a turn-off!

10. YOU CANNOT PLEDGE AT A SCHOOL WHERE YOU DO NOT ATTEND CLASSES! You cannot pledge at a school with an active chapter unless you are enrolled there as a degree-seeking student. Isn't that obvious? For example, there is no such thing in Delta as "cross-pledging".

11. Just because you live in a city with a City-wide chapter does not mean you can pledge that chapter. Your school must be included in the city-wide chapter's charter for you to qualify to pledge that chapter. City-wide chapters are not for every woman attending a school in that city. If you don't attend one of those schools, you do not qualify to pledge the City-wide chapter.

12. Several undergrads have asked what they can do if the XYZ chapter at their school is suspended. The answer is simple, nothing, short of transferring to a school where the chapter is active. If the chapter is not active by the time you graduate, set your sights on an alumnae chapter after you get your degree. Also, don't expect a chapter that has been suspended to have intake right after their suspension is over. If the suspension period is over, but a fine unpaid remains, there can be no chapter activities until the fine is paid.

13. A newly-initiated Delta wrote, "I can't stand it when those who did not make the line complain to me and say they are upset because they didn't make it and they know they had better qualifications than some of my line sisters. Keep your comments to yourself because those who did make it had nothing to do with you not making the line, especially if you think you may want to submit another application for membership!" AMEN!!! If at first you don't succeed, Try, try again!

14. Joining XYZ org can be VERY expensive, so are you willing to make a FINANCIAL commitment? It's not enough to pay to pledge - Delta business, for example, takes ONGOING financial support. Too many people have been willing to spend a small fortune to get in and then complain about dues once they are members. It is VERY VERY VERY (did I say VERY?) expensive to maintain membership in these organizations. If you aren't willing and able to budget for it as you do all of your essentials, you don't need to pursue membership.

15. Can I take out a student loan to join XYZ? I have received this question so many times that I thought I should address it. How you pay for membership is your business, but I am strongly against it! As I stated before initiation dues, membership dues, etc. can be pricey!

For the most part, I tried gearing this blog towards all sororities and Fraternities. On the last note, I will end by saying this about MY sorority for those of you that are interested in DST. Delta is not just a lifetime commitment. Delta is a LIFESTYLE! We do not need people who only wear t-shirts or step. If you cannot make Delta and its programmatic thrusts a prominent part of your life FOR THE REMAINDER OF YOUR LIFE, please find another sorority.

I hope this was helpful!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Greek Stereotypes......

This blog will be short and sweet!

Not All Alphas are Bookworms
Not all AKAs are stuck up and have their heads in the mirror all day.
Not all Kappas are pretty boys
Not all Ques are Nasty Boys and Wild
Not all Delta's are Down to Earth
Not all Sigmas are Rejects
Not all Zetas are Big, and/or Country
Not all Sigma Gamma Rhos are Rejects
Not all Iotas are Lame.

These are the stereotypes that Greek organizations have faced for many, many years. Just because the Zetas on your campus is popular does NOT mean they are the most popular sorority across the country. The same can be said about all Greeks. We all come in many shapes, sizes and colors. We also ALL have different personalities. I remember my cousin saying that she wanted to be an AKA, but one of her friends told her that she couldn't because of how she looked. She was afraid that she was "too dark" with short hair. (She's only 12). We went over to the computer, and I googled AKA and she was surprised to see that they came in different skin color, shapes and sizes.

So please don't buy into stereotypes!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Which Greek Org Should I Join?????

From time to time, I have answered questions from my family, friends, and my cyber friends asking about which org is best for them. The answer? Only YOU will be able to find that out. How? By Researching the Organization.

Now I am going to keep it real with you. When I first went to college, I was blessed to have already known which Greek Organization was right for me. I do, however, understand that there are a lot of freshmen out there that don't know anything about Greek, and the first taste of it can be a bit overwhelming. I am sure some of you heard "Attend ALL the Greek information/Rush and go to events and get to know the members." Well, I am going to give you it you straight! Although I recommend that you attend their events, I am STRONGLY against attending everyone's Rush/Informational. There have been SO many times I have seen girls attend X's Rush, only to find out later that they want to join Z. Well Z finds out that they attended X's Rush and will NOT pick them based on that fact. Petty? Yes!! Personally, I wish that freshman could attend ALL Greek org's Rush's/Informational, so they can find out which one is best for them. I mean if you are new to the college scene, and never knew about Greek before, and considering that joining a fraternity or sorority is a LIFE-TIME commitment, I can't fault you for making sure you pick the right one for you.

Now most schools have what you call "Greek Tables" They realized that people want to find out about Greek organizations without telling the world that they are interested in joining XYZ sorority/fraternity. So what they do, is have a Greek event where everyone MUST go to EVERY single Greek table to find out about the org. By doing it this way, NO ONE will know which Greek org you are interested in, and this is also a great time for you to find out more about each and EVERY single Greek organization.

The Land of the Internet We are living in the information stage. I would suggest that you do your research, visit EVERY org's website and browse around to see what they are about. If you have a close friend that is a member of the org, tell them that you are interested in the Greek scene but don't know which org that you want to join. So you can start by asking them about their organization.

Greek Life is BIGGER than your college campus
This is SO important, so please listen to me carefully! All your life, you have always wanted to be a Delta. Your mom's a Delta, Your Grandmother's A Delta, You've been to National Conventions, and seen your mother interact with her sorors. You then step on campus and realize that the Deltas are Lame, Stuck Up, and Not popular. However, wow look at those AKAs. They are all pretty, very popular, and command attention. Should I join AKA? If I do, then I will be popular like them. Although my heart has ALWAYS been with Delta, I love the AKAs on my campus.

Okay, this is a significant problem. I had a friend of mine that had this same dilemma. She and I always talked about becoming Delta's together. Then it was time to go to college (we went to two different universities) and she did NOT like the Deltas on campus. She would call me and cry about how she was torn because the AKAs were cool, friendly, and very popular. I told her that Delta is BIGGER than just her chapter. In the end, she ended up pledging AKA. I supported her 100%! Fast forward five years later. I invited her to support a chapter event in Chicago, and she for some reason had a someone "funky" attitude all night. My sorors embraced her when I told her she was a friend of mine. I met new sorors who welcomed me and showed me Soooo much love.

Later that week, my friend confided in me that she was jealous and wished she followed her heart and pledged Delta. Although she pledged AKA, she realized AFTER she graduated that although the AKAs were cool on campus, she never quite fit in with them. She would get so jealous of the love that I would receive when we were out and about, and I had on my paraphernalia and would get stopped by sorors, showing me love. She told me in confidence that if she could do it all over again, she would have joined Delta. She now understood what I am was trying to tell her when I told her that Delta was bigger than just HER chapter.

So PLEASE whatever you do, if your heart is within one org, and you get to the school, and they are either not on campus, suspended from your campus, or not as "cool as you thought they would be" just stop and think. Will joining the other XYZ be a wise decision for yourself? College is only four years, but joining an organization is a LIFETIME commitment!

In closing, if you have no clue about Greek organizations, in general, then I would attend their events, talk to a few members, research them on the net, and find out which org fits you best overall, NOT just on your college campus. If you have family members that are a part of this org, then it's time you pick up the phone and give them a call as well. I love discussing my beloved org with anyone, so if you have any questions regarding my org, or just Greek org, in general, then you can also hit me up!

Please choose wisely because membership is a LIFETIME Commitment!



Letter of Reccomendation!!!!

Most people ask questions about how to get a letter of recommendation. So I decided to create a blog regarding Letters of Rec.

For most organizations, including mine, when applying for membership you will need a letter of recommendation. For my organization, for example, you will need letters verifying your community service, as well as a letter from an ACTIVE, ACTIVE, and I stress ACTIVE member.

Speaking of which, let me stress how important this is. I remember we had one lady that we voted on and extended an invitation to join our outstanding organization. Her packet was TIGHT, GPA was on point, and we like the way she carried herself. Unfortunately, we later found out that the letter of recommendation she submitted was from an inactive soror. My heart broke for her, and she was DEVASTATED! Although it wasn't the girl's fault, it was heart wrenching for me to tell her that her packet was incomplete because she did not have a letter of recommendation from an ACTIVE member. I say that, to say this. When asking for a letter, make sure you ask questions as to if they are a FINANCIAL member. (I said active before, but what I meant to say was Financial). Now most of my sorors know the protocol, and they know that they have to be financial with headquarters when writing a letter of recommendation. Now I know what you are going to ask...."Vicki, how would I find out if they are financial? How can I find out? Well, let me give you some clues. If you are asking a soror who is ACTIVE with my chapter, then more than likely they are financial. If you have a soror who knows you are interested and is inviting you to chapter events, then more than likely they are financial. If you do community service with my org, and you establish a rapport with one of the chapter members, then 100% chances are, they are financial.

Okay now moving on, you want to make sure you document your history when performing community service. Now this doesn't include just writing in your journal "Today I worked with Habitat for Humanity, or "Today I fed the Homeless." What I mean is that you contact the head person of the org that you volunteered your services with, and ask them to write your letter of recommendation detailing your services. Also, make sure this is on the letterhead of the organization. Even if you are in H.S., or you are a freshman on campus and the Deltas are not active and won't be back on campus before you graduate from college, and you are looking to join Grad Chapter, you need to get on it NOW!!!!

I have come across so many women hysterical because they can't find the person that can verify the community service they did four years ago.  Or the person that can verify this information has retired, or they don't want to write them a letter of recommendation because they don't remember them performing the services.

Before I became a member, I had consistent volunteering services from Sophomore Yr in H.S., all the way up to the month of when I submitted my application. The Greek Organizations is looking for consistency! We FROWN upon people that only have community service the semester of the Rush/Informational, or community service the month before submitting their application. When we see that, we smell what we in Greek world like to call "T-Shirt Wearers" (I will get into that on another blog)

The point is, if you haven't started doing community service, then you need to start NOW!!!!! Some people ask where? Well, you can start with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Volunteering at your local Elementary, or H.S. United Way, Soup Kitchen, etc...There are TONS and TONS of organizations out there that need your help.

Just remember, make sure you get that letter of recommendation. Now some would ask, "At what point?" Well, let’s say you get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Chances are you will be going there consistently on a monthly basis. During your services, I would mention to the person in charge that you are looking for a letter of recommendation and if they are willing to write you one. Make sure you keep in contact with them. *Get their email, work phone number, etc...* So when the time comes, they will have no problem at all writing your one. You also want to make sure you get a letter from someone that you have worked closely with. Someone that can not only speak about your volunteer services but also about your character.


I have seen a lot of questions on about general questions about organizations. People, I beg you, RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH!!!! When I decided to join my Delta, I did SO much research on the organization. There is TONS of information on the National Website of this Organization! I will include them here.

Alpha Phi Alpha -
Alpha Kappa Alpha -
Kappa Alpha Psi -
Omega Psi Phi -
Delta Sigma Theta -
Phi Beta Sigma -
Zeta Phi Sigma -
Sigma Gamma Rho-
Iota Phi Theta-

Although there are four sororities, and five fraternities, each of them is very different. I tell people ALL the time when choosing an org you want to make sure you choose the one that is BEST for you!

I would also recommend purchasing history books as well. A few that come to mind are:

For Delta - In Search of Sisterhood by my Soror Paula G. Giddings! This is an AMAZING book that focuses on when our organization was founded, why my sorors who were once ALL AKAs decided to resign from the organization and start their own. There is a ton of information in this book, and I bought this book when I knew I wanted to be a Delta my Junior Year in HS. When I finished reading, I was on 10! I knew that I wanted to be among these amazing women who believed in Scholarship, Sisterhood, and Service!!!

I would also recommend purchasing "The Black Sorority Project" DVD! The BSP was created by the same people that made "Stomp the Yard". (They are both members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.) This is a MUST SEE! I was moved when I saw the screening of this movie and the men did an EXCELLENT JOB! I was also pleased to meet my soror Nikki Giovanni, who spoke at the screening of this project. The website to purchase this DVD is Check it OUT!!!! If you do buy this DVD, please hit me up after you see it and give me your thoughts.

For Other Greek Organizations (Delta included), I would recommend The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities by Lawrence C. Ross! This is an EXCELLENT read for people that want to join organizations. It breaks down the History, has fabulous old school Greek pictures, and gives a lot of insight into the Greek community.

I would HIGHLY suggest that you stay away from books that talk about "Wanna Learn the Secrets of XYZ Sorority? Then purchase this book right now!" These books were written for one reason make $$$. These books  PREY on people that are interested in Greek Life! There is NO truth to the information in these books!  Even if the information WAS correct, it takes away from the process of learning about your greek org when going through the Membership Intake Process. Also, look at this way, once you become a member, wouldn't you be ANGRY if someone bought a book with all of your secrets? Secrets that you worked for? That you've earned? Just think about it! But like I said before, most of these books are full of LIES! I know because I have read the Delta Book it was wrong, and my Husband who is an Alpha told me that the stuff they have written in their book is wrong as well. So please beware and STAY AWAY!

With that being said, I would also recommend that you do your research on the chapter history as well. In this day and age, most chapters have websites. Knowing the National History is just the first step, you also want to the chapter history.

My Journey with Greek Life!!!!

I have decided to create a blog since I have found myself answering hundreds of "Black Greek" questions on Yahoo answers. (I think I have answered 600 questions about Greek Life) For those that want to check them out, just type in "delta sigma theta" and my username is "DableST1" and you will find the questions that I have answered in the past. The questions range from "I wanna be a Delta, what do I need to do" What do I need to wear to an interview?  I am torn between AKA and Delta, Is Greek Life for me?, My mom is in Sorority A, but I want to join Sorority B, what do I do? What is a Rush, and what happens there? etc..... I have been answering questions on for about three years now, and one of my sorors thought that since I have helped SO many people (men and women) about Greek organizations that I should create a blog. So here I am!

I felt that my First Blog should be about my experience in Greek Life. Why do I know so much about Greek? How did I get involve? What was my life before, during, and AFTER I crossed?

Please note that every Blog after this one will just focus on general info about Greeks. (What to expect, what to wear to Rush/Information, Doing Research, How to get noticed, What to do, What not to do, etc.)

I decided to dedicate myself to helping those who are interested in Greek life for many reasons. For one, I remember being on the other side of the fence. Thankfully, I had a few people that were "nice" to me and was able to answer the 1000's questions that I had. Back then (and shoot still now) I kept a journal of all my conversations that I had with my now sorors, other Greeks, and my feelings in general about joining the Greek family. I understand that there are tons of people out there that come from " the first generation to go to college" and the minute they step on that college campus, this is the first time they are introduced to Greek Life. Although I was the first one in my immediate family that showed interest in Greek life, I come from a ton of cousins in the Blue and White Family (Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc), one SGRho, a few Omega Psi Phi, and several AKAs.

My Delta Knowledge
I knew I wanted to be a Delta since the age of 14. My best friend knew that she wanted to be an AKA. So we decided to embark on this journey and learn as much as we could about both of these organizations. I remember the both of us riding the 108 Halsted Bus heading North on Halsted to Woodson Library. We both hid in the back and looked up as many books as possible about Black Greek Life and Delta and AKA. I remember spending hours there, and although we did not find a lot of information at the time about Black Greek Organizations (Divine Nine by Lawrence C Ross, and In Search of Sisterhood were written years later). During that time, we both thought that we both did not have any Greeks in our family.
I didn't know many Deltas and the only one I knew at the time was my ex-boyfriend's sister. Now that I think about it, I remember when I use to go to his house, how I would sneak off into her room and put on her Delta hat. Aaah... I still remember those BEAUTIFUL letters across the top, and I would hold up the sorority sign in the mirror. *smile* (She no longer resided at home but left some items behind) My ex at the time was interested in joining Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., so he was preparing himself for that journey as well. I remember feeling envious because he had a cousin who was also an Alpha. One afternoon we went over to his cousin's house, and his cousin gave him a Black and Gold Alpha book. He also told him if he had any questions to reach out to him. I was thinking to myself, WOW, I wish I had that kind of connection with my family. I recall voicing my concerns to him at the time, and he told me that I could reach out to his sister who would be willing to answer any questions that I might have. I was extremely shy and even though his sister was the coolest, down to earth person, I couldn't fathom having an "I wanna be a Delta, what steps do I need to take" type conversation with her. I even remember when he and I attended the Delta Derby one summer, and I ran into an old high school friend who graduated three years before me, and I saw her in the Delta Line Strolling/Strutting with her sorors. My boyfriend told me this was a perfect opportunity to connect with her, and once again my shyness took over. Thankfully, my Best Friend, who also went to high school with us remembered the classmate as well. I should also mention that she ALSO wanted to be a Delta. Unlike myself, she wasn't shy at all and went up to give her a hug. When my classmate recognized me, she gave me a huge hug and asked how I was doing. That gave me an opportunity to connect with her, and my ex-seized this opportunity to step away so I could speak to her alone. Thankfully his best friend who just crossed Omega Psi Phi was also present at the party, so he was able to party with him. He was right. I finally got the courage of telling her my heart's desires, and she embraced me, gave me her number and told me to call her to connect. I was thrilled that night. He asked me was I comfortable enough to now call his sister to ask questions, and I told him I was. I went home and wrote his sister's number in my Search of Sisterhood book so I would never forget it.

I will never forget the day that I called her. I have spoken to her many times before, but this time was different. I had a million butterflies in my stomach. I was SOOOO scared to call her, even though she was expecting a phone call from me since my ex-boyfriend told her I would be calling soon. I finally got the nerve to call her. So glad I did. She was Soooooo helpful in answering the many questions that I had regarding her sorority. She gave me some great advice on how to become a member, told me the requirements, and said that if I had any future questions or if I needed anything to feel free to connect with her. She had a lot of knowledge about Greek Life because she was a Delta, an Alpha Angel, and her Husband was a Kappa. I remember feeling happy when I got off the phone with her. She is one of the main reasons why I decided to help as many prospects that want to join my org. She was beautiful, sweet, kind, and gave it to me straight! A week later I connected with the soror from my high school as well, and as my ex- boyfriend's sister, she was calm and very perceptive in answering my questions. I was on cloud nine that summer.

Some people in Sororities act snobbish after they joined, but both of these ladies were mad cool, and down to earth. But the key is, is that I took that first step in calling them. Another soror that was cool believes it or not was someone I met over the internet. I met her on a site called DeltaNet, and I told her I was interested in joining the org. After chatting with her for about three months online via email, she gave me her phone # and asked me to give her a call. I still talk to her to this day and the first time I met her face to face was when I invited her to attend my wedding! How COOL is that?? (Because of her I have a few cyber-friends that I can NOW call sorors.

Freshman Year in College

Aaahhh- I remember that glorious first day of school. Like most of you, I couldn't wait to dive right in and meet my dorm mate, find out where my classes were, and.....Yes, you guessed it, find out where the Greeks hung out. I was a music major (Classical) and the school that I was attending, there was only one other Black Student that was a music major. (I went to a predominantly White school) So it was challenging. At most colleges and universities, you meet a lot of your life long friends in your classes, your roommate/suitemate and people in your dormitory. For my first year in college, I decided to live on the "music floor" in my dorm. Other than myself, there was only one Black Girl on my floor. The music floor was co-ed, (by room of course) and I enjoyed living with other music majors because we were able to go to class together, study together, and talk about music in general. The only challenge I had been that I was the only person interested in Social Greek Life. Everyone else was Sooooo into their music, and creating clubs that focused on Music Theory, Analyzing, Music History and Auditioning for Operas, the orchestra, musicals, and so on. The only Greek Organizations they were interested in joining were Phi Mu Alpha, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma and Sigma Alpha Iota. These are all music organizations, and although I had my heart on pledging a music org as well, I had my heart set on becoming a member of DST first! Pledging a social Greek org was SO far from their minds. That was a challenge for me because I quickly realized that it meant going to Greek events alone, Rush/Informational alone, and Greek Parties by myself as well. But you know what? I did it!

My First BGLO Experience

My first main BGLO event, I tried to get one of my dear friend, Monroe (she was the only other Black Person in my dorm) to attend an event with me, and she said she couldn't...She had plans. So once again, I was stuck going by myself. The event was at Columbia College, which was down the street (walking distance) from my university. The Deltas were giving a forum, and I thought it was an interesting event to attend. After the event had ended, I was too shy to go up to the deltas individually and introduce myself, so I left. I was sad because I felt like I missed my opportunity. As I was walking home, I kept thinking to myself how on earth can come out of this simple shell so they can get to know me? I remember walking back to my dorm extremely disappointed. It was SOOOOOO hard because from those that knew me, KNOW that I am the SHYEST person in the world (I still am to a certain extent). I knew that I had to get over my shyness if I wanted to join this great org. What pushed me was knowing that even if I met the requirements, I still needed the majority chapter's vote to get invited to join the org. So it was important that these ladies knew who I was!

About a month later I started signing up for organizations and getting more involved. The chapter that I was hoping to join was a city-wide chapter in Chicago, which meant it included several universities from the city. I looked for posters and flyers for events; I volunteered my services when they had community service projects coming up, and I even had the courage to go up to their table during Rush Week to introduce myself. *HUGE STEP FOR ME* especially since the epic fail from the first event I attended the few weeks before. Although the chapter was a HUGE chapter and included a lot of other universities, my School (Roosevelt) was not represented well with members, so I had to make my face known by attending events at other schools in the area. I also didn't know anyone in the organization, and I knew I had to change that, and quick!

I finally made a breakthrough. It was my birthday, and one of my close friends from my dorm Julia asked me to come downstairs with her because she had a package from her mom that she needed help carrying. I went downstairs, and much to my surprise the package was a surprise B-Day gift that my ex-boyfriend sent to her for my Birthday present. It was something I have always wanted; a violin! I started crying, not realizing that there were Deltas in the lobby. They came over to see what the ruckus was, and I stood there silent like an idiot. I was intimidated because they all had on DST Paraphernalia from head to toe. My good friend Julia jumped in and told them how my ex sent her this violin as a birthday gift to me and how she secretly met w/his dad a few days before to surprise me with a birthday party, cake and all. She went on and on telling them how my ex was going to school in Florida but wanted to surprise me with the party and together they were secretly planning this for me. They (the Deltas the lobby) told us how sweet and thoughtful that was, and wished me a Happy Birthday. I finally stepped out of my shell, by thanking them and asking them if they wanted any of my birthday cake. I then took the opportunity to ask them about the fliers they put up. One of them remembered me from the previous event that I attended a few weeks before. I was happy, and I asked them if they had Deltas on my campus.  They told me they did not, and are hoping to get some sorors on campus in the future. I gave them a HUGE smile and was thinking, maybe this will be my chance.

I knew I couldn't pledge my first year because you had to sit out a year before becoming a Delta. So in the meantime I worked hard to go to their events and to get to know members of the chapter. It all came to a crashing end, because after two years at my university, for personal reasons I decided to leave. It was SOOOOO hard because I had established a rapport with the sorors on campus, and was happily waiting for Rush. I had a lot of thinking to do. Do I pledge at this school and transfer to another school? If I pledged at my current university, would that hurt my relationship with my ships (oh yeah ships is a Midwest term, I think everywhere else they say LB or LS, which is line sister/brother). Will the sorors accept me at the new school if I cross at my old school and leave?? I decided against it and to hold off and try to pledge at my new school.

Starting over from scratch - When I first stepped on the college campus it was HARD! The Deltas were the "IT" girls on campus, and it seemed like everyone wanted to be one. My heart broke, and I knew that more than likely I would have to sit out another year because no one knew who I was. I remember sitting in my room and making the decision that although I was a transfer student, I will do everything in my power to get noticed on campus. And that's exactly what I did. When the first day of classes started, I changed my look, and I was already a stylish person since I use to work at Marshall Fields back at home and spent the majority of my paychecks on clothes. I attended ALL of the events on campus, joined dozens of organizations, and I put my face out there. I remember them being in one of the buildings and they were having a fundraiser selling old skool candy for their scholarship fund. I walked up to them gave them $20, asked for two small items, and told them that I was donating the rest to their scholarship fund. I then introduced myself to the people who eventually became my Big Sisters. I am sure after receiving $20 from me for a .50 pickle and a .10 peppermint they took noticed on who I was!

Transferring was a great thing for me. New school, new chapter, new boyfriend, a new beginning. My new boo was interested in becoming an Alpha (I don't know why I am attracted to Alphas or wannabe Alphas), and the Alphas were VERY interested in him. Like myself, my boyfriend was involved on campus as much as I was, or probably more. We met when I attended Gospel Choir Rehearsal, and he was also the leader of the weekly bible study that I attended regularly. When I first met him, I thought the way he carried himself that he was already an Alpha. For some reason, I always envisioned marrying an Alpha man and the fact that he was interested in joining this distinguish organization was incredible. The first real taste of Greek life I encountered was when he went what we called "online" for Alpha. A lot of "late nights" and we weren't together as much. It was hard because we were like peanut butter and jelly, we meshed together. Folks used to call us the ideal couple on campus. I'm talking every time you saw him; you saw me and vise versa. . When his process interrupted our "time" together, it made me think if my process would be similar to his. For him, it was time-consuming, and we went from spending 80 percent of our time together, to about 10 percent because he was busy all the time. I took this time that we had apart to polish myself for next semester/year in hopes that they would have a rush. I was also thankful that he pledged because if I were ever able chosen, then our lack of time together would not be an issue for our relationship since he understood the demands of pledging a Black Greek Organization. Four months later, he had his probate show/death march. I was SO excited for him and nervous at the same time. Will I get the same opportunity to pledge? Will this happen for me? I remember the love he received from the entire campus as everyone surrounded him and his ship (aka line brother) as they spit out alpha history, his chapter history, Invictus, tributes, greetings, etc. Not only were they surrounded by other students at our school, but there were other Alpha Chapters cheering him and his ship on from other sites as well. The entire experience was surreal, and I was so happy and thrilled for him. At the same time I was wondering, when is my turn?

After having a "Greek" boyfriend, his life changed drastically. He was well known and popular before, but once he became and Alpha he was like a Superstar. And not only on his campus but all the surrounding schools as well. He got right to work as an Alpha becoming the chapter's president, being the delegate for his chapter at Regional Conventions, etc. As he was doing his work for Alpha, I started gearing up my goal towards Delta. I was in a lot of organizations on campus, held various positions in organizations, and I tried my best to get my name out there. People were taking notice of who I was. That shy girl that I described before disappeared. I was on a mission, and my boyfriend/now husband made me realize that EVERYONE wants to be a Delta, so I need to set myself apart from everyone else. And that is precisely what I did. What's funny is that I remember walking on campus and being approached by one particular female. She told me that "they" have been watching me on campus and wanted to invite me to an "invitation only" interest meeting. My heart was beating soo fast. Is this it? Is this the org that I have been secretly wanted to enter in since sophomore year in H.S.? My heart broke when she handed me a Pink piece of paper with Green writing. Sure I was honored because I know how HARD it is also to become a member of AKA, and I had friends back at home that longed to belong to this organization. However, it was not my choice, so I thanked her but declined. I remember wishing, "Dang, why couldn't she have been a Delta?"

Will they have a line? -The fall semester came and went, and I went home for Christmas break with my stomach tied in knots. People were on edge wondering if the Deltas were going to have a Spring Line. And then that day came. I was in the Student Union, and I saw the famous Red and White Banner that said" Coming Soon, Are you ready?" And that’s all it said. But I apparently knew that they were talking about their upcoming rush. I remember running home telling my then boyfriend now husband about how excited I was! He said that now is the time for me to make sure I get my stuff together. I was there every step of the way when he became an Alpha, so I wondered if my process would be similar? Different? I had tons of questions, and no one to ask. He couldn't answer them because although he was Greek, he was not a Delta. My husband supported me 100% and wanted to make sure I was fully prepared for the process. I have been doing community service since H.S. non-stop and already had the proof of it on letterhead from each organization. I had stuff ranging from Big Sister, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Volunteering at the Woodson Library back home, Tutoring, etc... I had well over 1000 hours of community service under my belt. My GPA was a 3.89, I was on the Dean's List and a part of the honors college, and I was in some leadership roles at school. The only thing was getting a letter of Recommendation from an ACTIVE member of Delta. I asked my ex-boyfriend's sister if she could write me two years prior while we were still dating but she told me as much as she would have loved to write me one, she couldn't because she was inactive at the time. I also couldn't locate my old high school classmate because the number that she gave me back then was no longer in service. Thankfully, at my previous school, I established a close bond with the Delta Sorors on campus, and one of them was more than happy to write me one.

-Rush- Boy was that a stressful day! I have prepared for this day what seemed like forever. I went and got my hair done, mani-pedi, eyebrows arched; I bought a BRAND new suit as well as looked over my "In Search of Sisterhood" book again. Although by then I have read the book over 12 times, I wanted to be on point with the information that I've learned. I also studied who the current officers in the chapter, which the charter members were of the chapter, Learned the chapter's history, and spoke to my boyfriend asking him to wish me luck. We said a nice long prayer and then I was off. When I got there, I noticed that I was one of the only ones there aside from the members. I went to the Rush with a person that I became friends with, but when we arrived at the event, we wanted to come in separately, so I went in first. As my mother always say, "To be on time is to be late" so I arrived 30 mins before the event. I made an effort to speak to every single Delta in the room, using eye contact and took a seat in the front row. I don't think I have ever in my life been THAT nervous. About 15 mins later the room began to fill up with nervous prospects. As I waited patiently, I wonder if I was chosen who would be online with me as my eyes gazed throughout the room. That made me nervous. My friend and I spoke on the phone the night before, and boy we talked late into the night of how exciting it would be if we were both picked and ships!!!! She did warn me that it is SOOOO Hard to get picked on that campus and that the chances of getting selected on the first try were VERY slim! At that point, I erased it from my mind and told myself that if I didn't get picked, I chalked it up that I was new on campus and that they didn't know me. I also made a vow that I would try the very next year again. There were a lot of people that showed up to the rush to the point where the Deltas had to go to the rooms next door to retrieve more chairs. At 7:13 on the dot they locked the doors. Unfortunately, some girls showed up AFTER the doors were closed and they were turned away. There were well over 100 people that attended Rush that evening, which is a very nice crowd considering I attended a PWI (Predominantly White Institution). I was told that out of all the four sororities; Delta always gets the most people at their rush.I was told that this is the average number of people that attends rush for this chapter. However, the average line is 10. The reality of only picking 10 out of 100 made me nervous; that's only 10 percent. I was just praying that my background, GPA, community service, and campus involvement was enough to get me chosen.

The Rush was very sweet, classy, and informative. I think I impressed what I had hoped to be my future sorors by knowing a lot about the org and the chapter. We had to introduce ourselves, and they introduced themselves to us. They gave us the necessary information needed to pledge the organization and had a Q& A session. We played a lot of games of "When did, Who were, Who are, How did, etc...And I answered all of them correctly. Some of the girls were looking at me like -Wow- you have done your homework. I was SO proud of that, but wanted to make sure I didn't come off as being cocky! At the end of rush, they invited us to stick around for cake and punch. I ceased this opportunity not only to chat with the members but talk to the prospective members as well. I stayed around to see if they needed help cleaning up, and told them I enjoyed myself and the activities. For some reason the intimidation that I once had disappeared. I think the reason was that I utilized my boyfriends/husband's advice. He said, although you want to appear humble, you have to convince yourself that they need YOU, and not the other way around. Utilizing this advice helped me a great deal with by dealing with my shyness/fear. (I now approach every single vocal audition like this as well, thanks, babes)

-Interview- I will never forget when I got the call that I was granted an interview. Before then I couldn't eat, sleep or think and every time the phone would ring, my heart would skip a beat. I was so nervous/scared/hopeful and everything in-between..... I went out and bought a NICE gray suit matched with my white and black fur jacket that my boyfriend got me for Christmas. I wanted to be ONE CLEAN SISTAH going up in there. I made sure to give 100% eye contact, smile at each person, pause and gather my thoughts before answering questions, and I thanked them for the opportunity. I made a point that if chosen for membership, that I would be a HARD worker for Delta, not only at school but after I graduated from college. I told them that I realize pledging this organization is a lifetime commitment, and if given this opportunity I would make them proud. I felt very confident in my answers, but I couldn't read their faces. Only the chapter advisor smiled as I answered the questions whereas the chapter members were very stoic. Did they like me? Did they like my answers? I quickly erased negative thoughts from my mind and chalked it up as that's probably the way they treat every interviewee. I went home and said a prayer, hoping that God would give me this opportunity to join this organization. I realized that a lot of girls had the same desires as I had, and this chapter was VERY meticulous on who they picked for membership.

-Accepted- I was jumping up and down when I found I was chosen for membership! I shared an apartment with two other people and was thankful that I chose to have my room in case I was going to pledge. I had no clue what I was in for, and the word on the campus was the Deltas pledge hard. I realize that I should never believe the rumor mill, but I was nervous about what the process was going to be like. Out of 110 girls that applied, I was going to be one in NINE girls!!! I still can't believe that I made it! The greatest thing about this was out of nine of us, Me and one of my other ships were the ONLY two that was picked on the FIRST TRY! Wow- Everyone else applied and was denied the year before, and there was one of my ships that tried THREE times!!! I prayed for this for so long, and I couldn't believe it was finally coming true! I have wanted this since the young age of 14, and I still can't get over that not only was this going to happen to me, but I still couldn't get that it was on my first try. I was SO thankful and grateful that these ladies offered me this opportunity to become a part of their sisterhood.

-The Process - I just have three words....LongHard, and Rough!!! There was so much to learn and like a sponge I was soaking it all up. I bonded so well with my line sisters, my big sisters, and my pledge mom. But with that being said it was well WORTH IT!!! People ask me all the time if I had to do it all over again would I, and I would say YES, in a heartbeat. Although the road to Delta Land was a rough one and long one, it was worth it! It was hard trying to keep up with my classes, my grades and getting my studying done, but I was able to do it successfully! I enjoyed learning about Delta, My Chapter, and My Line Sisters, and My Big Sisters. At times, I get so emotional when I think about my process because all the ups and downs, and laughter along the way.

-Crossing- One of the best days of my life. I never knew how the air smelled different until that day. I was no longer a pyramid. They were no longer my Big Sisters, but my Sorors, and I was finally a full-fledged member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. I still remember when I first did the call Oo-oop! It was long, loud, and filled with emotion! I cried as I hugged my Big Sisters, I cried as I hugged my Line Sisters, who by the way were no longer my Line Sisters but my Ships/Shippies! I never thought the day would come where I could do the call amongst sorors! I couldn't wait to get home to tell my boyfriend/hubby that I was one of him now; I was a GREEK! I also couldn't wait until the summer, so I could tell one of my best friend that I crossed over into Delta Land. She had NO clue that I was even online because I wanted to keep that as a secret until AFTER I became a member. She went to Howard and also wished to be a Delta. I was envious because she had an opportunity to join the chapter of ALL chapters.....Alpha Chapter! I couldn’t wait to get paraphernalia, put a Delta license plate on my car, do the call on campus to another soror, and to get ready to accept my new Name Neo or The Neo. It was wonderful!!!! I went from being a girl that very few people knew about everyone knowing who I was. We were given the line name, D.S. 9 MM (M.i.l.l.i.m.e.t.e.r.) and I was the Deuce of the line. My individual line name was Da' Assassin!

My Delta Work as an Undergrad - Upon returning to school, I was elected as chapter president. I wanted to uphold this honor, especially since the president before me was my spec (pronounced SPESH) I wanted to make myself available for prospective members, and I made a point to be approachable in school. I will always remember that year of being president and being taught how to lead the org from my prophytes.

Social - I never knew that being a Delta can make a person SO famous. I mean I had girls coming up to me like Hey Vicki, How are you doing today? Vicki, you look so cute today. Or Vicki where did you get those shoes??? My prophytes taught us how people would view you differently just because you have three letters across your chest, but I never knew to what extent. This DRASTICALLY changed when I became the president of my chapter. All of the Presidents of Greek Letter Organizations on my college campus have their names Phone # and Address in the phone book, and BOY did I get phone calls. I received invitations to lunch, dinner, and I had one girl call and asked me if I wanted something special for my neophyte. To this day, I still have those notes and letters from prospective members asking me about my respected organization. I was even receiving phone calls from girls from other schools. For some reason or another, Delta was not active at their chapters, and they wanted to connect with me and ask me many, many questions about my respected organization.

(Oh yeah, let me explain for those not from the Midwest. A Neophyte is a celebration of you crossing over into Greek Land but does not take place until the following year AFTER cross. Ours was that following February (I crossed that previous April).  During this time, the Neo's put on a show for the entire campus by renting out the Ballroom, dressing in long black gowns, being escorted by the man of their choice (my escort was my then boyfriend/now husband) and you put on a show. (Singing, Dancing, a unique presentation that we give to our Dean, and AD) We put on a step show, and unlike any other neophytes at our school, WE were the only ones that use to step in our dresses and high heels. Other Greeks would change clothes. , At the very end, the neos received gifts from our chapter sorors, then from Visiting Delta's from other chapters, then from each Greek org, and last but not least family and friends. When it's all over, we gather in a circle and sing the Delta Sweetheart song! I will NEVER forget my Neophyte! I have never received SO many gifts in my life! I received everything from jackets, coats, a Delta Barbie Doll with a Red Delta Convertible, Paddles, Shirts, Jewelry, Chairs, clothes, Delta Shoes, Glass Set, Book Covers, Pillow Cases, you name it I got it. It's also a tradition that when you cross over into Delta Land that you can NOT buy any paraphernalia until AFTER your neophyte. I HATED that rule, so I would beg my little sister to buy me stuff so I wouldn't break the rule. But After seeing all the beautiful gifts at my neophyte, I COMPLETELY understood why they made that rule.

***Side Note**** Neophytes are Now considered illegal in Delta, so I was blessed that I was able to experience mine before they outlawed them in the organization!

Okay back to social- I was also known as being a step master queen of my chapter, so when it came to step shows, my sorors looked to me to create them. I enjoyed creating new steps, concepts and ideas for my chapter. We often took them on the road winning various competitions. It was one experience I will NEVER forget!I was the master of making up Delta Strolls as well. Even to this day, My Husband and I would often put on some music in our family room and make up some strolls and stroll to the music. Also going on road trips to other schools, in other states were a blast as well! One thing I LOVE about being a part of this org is you will ALWAYS run into another soror!

First Convention- The summer after my crossing I was able to attend my First Delta National Convention. Wow and I thought crossing was my best experience with Delta. That all changed when I attended my first Convention. I never have in my life seen So many women in red. My chapter elected me to be the Voting Delegate for our chapter, and although I am from Chicago, (The Convention was in Chicago, IL) they paid for me to stay Downtown in a hotel since the meetings were eearrrrlllly in the mornings at 7:30. It was by far one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. To see Vashti Murphy, Carol Mosley Braun, Dorothy Height, Cecily Tyson, and many of the other past National Presidents was excellent. I even had the chance to take pictures with out-going President Marcia Fudge, as well as incoming President Gwendolyn Boyd. The opening ceremony was so incredible. I had tears in my eyes. I never said the word "soror" so much! And I was happy to see we come in all shapes, sizes and colors. I remember going to dinner with some sorors we just met, and as we were crossing the street on Michigan Ave, we heard someone say "Hello Sorors." We looked around and didn't see anyone. They said it again, and it was then we realized that the group of Asians women was our sorors from Korea! We embraced them, gave them hugs, and apologized to them. It was one of my BEST experiences I have ever gone through being a Delta. It was also my first experience to witness how Delta handle's its business on a National Level. I knew I made the right choice in choosing this org. I made so many connections during that time and made life-long friends. Facebook wasn't around during this time. However, I was able to exchange phone numbers and email addresses. I still communicate with a lot of sorors this day.

Wedding -
One of the happiest days of my life! My husband to be and I decided to incorporate both Alpha and Delta in the Wedding. His groomsmen were his ship, pledge father, and Big Brothers. My hostesses were my Shippies. At the reception hall, it was wonderful to see my husband, and his frat gathers together and sings the "Alpha Hymn, followed by all of them strolling along to "The Big Payback" by James Brown. (An Alpha tradition in the Midwest). Then it was my turn. My eyes swelled up as my number six started singing "Calling all Sorors to the floor...hmmm mmm Delta, We got some here, but we need some more....hmmm hmmm Delta" As I sat in my reserved seat and my ships, big sisters, pledge mom, pledge daughters, and other sorors surrounded me in a circle, my heart was warm.....As they started off singing "She maybe an Omega Sweetheart.....I thought about the million times I have sung that song before, and usually I was the one that always performed the solo part...At Neophytes, Step shows, Founders Day, Other Weddings, and I couldn't believe that it was now being sung to me.....It was beautiful, and after they finished the song, and serenade me with a long, and loud OO-OOP, they pushed my chair aside, the DJ put on "We Are Family" (A Delta tradition in the Midwest), and I led the stroll off....It was wonderful! In the end, we all ended up taking a Greek Picture together. To top it off, I met my Delta Mentor, who I met over the internet for the first time at my wedding. It was wonderful to put a voice to a face finally, because when we first met, we chatted for many hours online, and then many hours over the phone.

-After College- As promised, I kept my word of always being active in the org. For the first few years, I became an MAL (Member at Large) I also decided to go from being a regular member to a Diamond-Life Member. I am now a member of an excellent Alumnae Chapter, and my husband who is also a Life Member is very active in his Alumni Chapter as well. Thankfully his Chapter meeting is on the same day as mine; the only mine is in the morning whereas his chapter meets in the evening. I love this org, and I am, happy that I was able to be a part of it. I include my membership on my resume, and in every single job I've had, I have been embraced not only from my sorors but Greeks in general. I love that we have so much love for one other. Being Greek has its advantages in getting you an interview, and in some cases a job. When I moved from my hometown to another state, and I reached out to sorors, the response was overwhelming. TONS of sorors from my new hometown contacted me asking me if I found a place to stay, inviting me out to dinner, offering to take me sight-seeing, and telling me all the HAPS in the Area. My husband is also very involved in his chapter as well. We both support each other events, and it's great to know that a lot of my sorors are married to his chapter members.

Memberships in these organizations are a lifetime commitment. Sure it's great to go to step shows, road trips, participate in step shows strolling/strutting, etc. BUT that is not what the founders had in mind when these organizations were created! Membership requires a lot of work, and I enjoy each and every day working for Delta.

Now that you know a little bit about me and my personal experience with Greek Life, I will start posting blogs in general in hopes of helping you all understand Greek life!

It's late and time for me to call it a night!

Peace and Love!