Thursday, August 20, 2009
I decided to write about non-African-Americans that have desires of joining African-American Sororities/Fraternities. Now sure I will say that ALL organizations state that they do NOT discriminate against race. I will also however say that ALL votes are confidential, AND FINAL!
Everyone has their own opinion about non-blacks joining traditionally Black Greek Organizations. I remember reading an article in Ebony about this issues a few years back. The people in the article stated how they get love from some of their members, however other members snub them simply because they are not Black. Some feel that race should NOT be an issue, and we as members should only focus on their credentials and qualifications. I agree with this 100% Others feel that they should join their own orgs since there are plenty of Whites, Latina/o, Asians, etc.. orgs out there where they will feel more "comfortable hanging around their own kind." I remember there was this one girl, she was Mexican that wanted sooooo desperately to join a Black Sorority. She had a banging GPA (3.9) tons of community service, she attended all of their events, was president of various organizations etc. She tried THREE times and still was not chosen. She secretly told me that she felt it was her race, and that this particular chapter would never pick her because she was not Black. She never knew that I KNEW personally that she was right. I had friends in this chapter and they told me the day they pick a non-black person to join is the day hell will freeze over.
So we were having A Greek only event, and this discussion came up. One particular sorority stated that their chapter will NEVER choose someone who is non-black. Some of my very own sorors agreed. I was shocked by this. Think of all of the headaches we went through to get accepted to become a part of organizations that would NOT accept us purely because of the color of our skin. Aren't we hypocrites to deny someone else based on their color? Their arguments were "Well that's precisely whey WE created our own because they would not let us join" Well that may be true to some point, but that was clearly YEARS ago...*Hellooooo, Alpha Phi Alpha just celebrated 103 years* and it's not fair to punish those who had NOTHING to do with the ignorance of how we as Blacks were treated WAY back then.
Okay sure there are plenty of organizations out there for people to join that represents their race, BUT I feel if a person is interested in joining a traditionally Black Organization, then obviously they feel that this particular organization is better for them.
My advice to all of you out there that want to join, FIGHT FOR IT. I have a lot of sorors who are NOT Black, and I know plenty of non-blacks in other Black Greek orgs as well. Will everyone be accepting towards you? NO! I have seen people not give a non-black person a hug, the dap, or embrace the simply because of the color of their skin. To me, this just shows their ignorance, and I can't tolerate ignorant people. Just know that there are tons of people out there that will embrace you.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Devastated, heartbroken, confused, angry. These are a few choice of words that can explain how you feel at this point. You just got the letter that you were hoping for...It states, "Thank you for your interests in XYZ org, but at this time we have decided....blah, blah, blah..You stare at the letter, and you heart breaks instantly. You can't understand it, your GPA was well above requirement, you had this "vibe" that the members liked you, you felt your letter of intent was perfect. You find yourself asking, "What did I do wrong? Why was I not picked?"
You will never know why you were not chosen just because everyone's vote is confidential. And truth be told if you did not receive majority vote then you will not be receiving a letter of acceptance. I have seen some rejected members snub the orgs members, talk bad about them, and simply choose an entirely different organization to join.
Just because you received that dreadful rejection letter in the mail, does NOT mean the end of the world. As I stated before, there are many members of organizations that did NOT make it on the first, second and third try. If this organization is worth fighting for, then FIGHT FOR IT!!!! Continue your community service, joining other organizations on campus, focusing on your GPA. I am sure the tears will fall, but pick you up, dust yourself off, and move on. Harsh words I know but there is nothing you can do if you did NOT get the required votes for membership.
This is why it is IMPERATIVE that you make sure your packet it T-I-G-H-T. There are hundreds of girls/guys that want a spot, so when you look at your packet does it stand out? Do you have a lot of leadership roles, community service hours? Is your GPA well above a 3.0? Were you confident at your interview? Did you take the time to get to know the members of the organization so they felt comfortable and confident in voting for you?
This can be the case when trying out for Alumnae/Grad chapter. This is because instead of going against other college students, you are going against Doctors, Lawyers, Judges, Chemists, Professors, etc...So you need to do whatever it takes to make sure your packet stands out!
If you know a member of the chapter, then I don't see anything wrong with pulling them aside asking them advice on what they feel you should do differently the next time. Once again I would ONLY recommend this if you know that person personally.
When the new line is introduced to the campus (undergrad) or community (alum/grad) then I would congratulate them, and wish them well. I have seen so many cases where BITTER, ANGRY, prospective members talk bad about the neophytes. Here is a bit of advice, they did not and DO NOT control who gets picked. I have heard it all from "how did she make it, my GPA is higher than hers, or he is a nobody on campus, etc...Remember that talking bad about these "members" will only hurt you in the long run, ESPECIALLY if you still desperately want to become a member. Case in point, these new members NOW have the voting power for the next line, so keep that in mind.
Not getting chosen on the first try is NOT the end of the world. If you are not a Senior, and you are attempting to go through MIP at the undergrad level, then you have a chance of working again if they have another rush before you graduate. If you were not picked at the grad/alumnae level, then you can always try again when they have another Rush. I know this can be disheartening because most alumnae/grad chapters do not have MIP that often. With that being said, use this time to get to know the members of the chapter you just submitted your application for, continue to volunteer your services, and try again.
I have seen many members who were rejected from the organization of their choice and FINALLY cross those sands a year, or in some cases years later. So just because you were NOT picked on the first try does not mean you will NEVER get chosen. Keep at it, and eventually you will find yourself appreciating your journey even more, because of the long hard road it took for you get there.
Ciao for now!!!!
What is a Legacy? A Legacy is a person whose mother, grandmother, is a member of the sorority she wants to join, or who's father, grandfather is a member of the fraternity he wants to become a member of.
What's the deal behind being a legacy? Is it helpful? Hurtful? Does it guarantee you a spot in the organization of your choice? Sometime it's helpful, and other times it does not matter. I would highly suggest that you do your research. There are some organizations out there that have a legacy, where there is a place that you can put that on your application. Alpha Kappa Alpha, has an application for legacies that can be found here:
For this organization, however, your mother/grandmother/stepmother being a member of AKA is not enough, according to their website, they must have a living family member must have been active for at least two (2) years immediately preceding the membership. Other organizations have guidelines behind legacy status as well. I have a few friends who according to them, became AKAs due to their legacy status. They were proud of that it, and I was happy for them. Becoming a member of these organizations is hard enough, so if the organization of your choice has a legacy clause giving you extra "bonus points" in becoming a member, I say go for it! More power to a ya! As far as Delta is a concern we do NOT have a legacy clause for membership. If your mother/grandmother is an active and financial member of DST, then you will have to apply and go through the same steps that other prospective members have to go through who do not have a family member in that particular organization. For some of my sorors, this is a bitter pill to swallow since there have been cases where their daughters did NOT make line. Some find being a legacy a problem because at several colleges and universities, they have a cap of how many people can be accepted into membership. If the organization have a legacy clause, then it becomes harder for prospects who are not legacy. For example, XYZ university has a cap of 50 members. 40 prospective members are legacy members. That would mean that there are only 10 spots left.
Some prospective members feel since their father/mother/grandfather/grandmother etc. is a member, and then they are a "shoe in" for that organization. That is NOT the case. None of my family members were Deltas when I went through MIP and even if they were, if I had the option, I would choose NOT to use their membership status to gain membership into the organization. I would have preferred to become a member through my merit! If you decide rely on your legacy status then I say go for it. No one will shame you for it, and it's really no one's business other than you, and the organization that you are trying to become a member of.
In conclusion, unless that particular organization has a certain set of rules about legacy, I would NOT rely on the fact that your family member is a member to guarantee you a spot! Instead, I would use them to ask question surrounding the organization about the rush, interview, and any advice they can give you about becoming a member. My personal feelings about legacy? There is nothing wrong with being a legacy. If I had a daughter, I would hope she would follow my footsteps and become a member of my organization. I would hope to prepare her enough that she will be able to one day, share the other half of her mid, with my mid.
Preparing for Rush can be exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. What do I wear? Do I show up early? Do I ask a lot of questions? How do I stand out? Will they like me? The list of questions go on, and on and on, and on....
First off, take a huge breath. You have prepared for this. You've done your research. You realized that this was the PERFECT organization for you. The first thing you want to do is make sure you double, and triple check the location and time of where the event will be held. I have received phone calls form girls crying because they wrote down the wrong date, wrong time, etc... and asking if there is anything they can do. The answer? Nothing other than try again. You can not be granted an interview UNLESS you attend rush/informational. It is essential that you complete this step if you want to be considered for membership.
The next step is finding something to wear. I would strongly recommend that you stay away from the orgs colors, and other sorority/fraternity colors. Wearing Pink to and AKA Rush is a no no,, and wearing blue to a Delta Rush is also not a wise thing to do. Black is ALWAYS a great color or neutral colors. I remember when I attended Rush for Delta, I wore cream and brown. You want to make sure you treat Rush as a job interview. Stay away from loud colors, loud perfumes/cologne, and costume jewelry. You are representing yourself, so you want to be as clean-cut and chic as possible. Light makeup for the ladies, and men if you have worn earrings or have tattoos, I would suggest that you take them out, or make sure they are covered. Have mints available *you just never know*
"To be on time, is to be late" Please keep this in mind when attending Rush. I was the first one there at my rush. This gave me a clear advantage to speak to all of the members, choose a seat and more importantly stand out. So how early am I speaking? Around 20 mins before the Rush begins. Showing up on time can include not getting a seat, or sitting way in the back of the room.
If you are late, then I would suggest not to attend at all, UNLESS you made previous arrangements with the president, or the member in charge of the rush. (This could be due to a class conflict, etc.) In most cases, the organization WILL lock the doors after Rush begins.
While attending rush, ask questions participate in the games, and show that you are interested in the organization. In some cases, there will be a time set aside where you can chat with some of its members, and this would be a great time for you to become noticed.
Some organizations will offer you an application at the end of the rush for those who qualify for membership. I will only take an application IF you qualify. There is no need for you to take an app. If you KNOW, you don't have the community service hours, the minimal GPA, and the letter of recommendation needed for membership.
In conclusion, I would say to listen attentively, look sharp, ask questions, stand out, smile, and be approachable at the rush. You want to make sure you make all of the required deadlines that are stressed at Rush (Application/packet deadlines, etc..) If possible, I would also suggest speaking to as many of the members as possible. Remember for most organizations you will need the majority vote to be invited for membership.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
(Grad) I want to join the alumnae chapter of XYZ Sorority/Fraternity...What steps do I need to take???
I have received tons and tons of email from prospective members wanting to join my organization at the alumnae Level. So I decided to create a blog specifically gearing about joining a sorority and fraternity towards the grad level. Please note that some organizations have different requirements, so you would need to refer to them personally for specific information. The info I will be posting here is just GENERAL info.
So you graduated from college and have entered the real world. Everything seems complete, but you still have that burning desire to become a part of a fraternity or sorority. I know and realize that everyone reason is different as to why they did not join at the undergrad level. Maybe you tried, and tried but were not accepted. The chapter could have been suspended, on probation, or there were no active members on campus. No matter what your reasons are, You are at a place now where you want to join.
For my organization, and according to my dear friend who is an AKA, you have to be INVITED to join. I am not so sure about other orgs, and fraternities. So let me first speak on that. HOW on EARTH do you get invited to join???? You don't even know them, they don't' know you....Well it's time for you to change that! Joining Grad can be quite difficult, especially since a lot of grad chapters do not have lines often. I know one particular chapter that has not had a line in over 10 yrs...I know this may sound heartbreaking to some, but if you have that burning desire to become a member, use that time to get to know your future sorors/fraternity brothers. Grad and Undergrad are very different when it comes to membership. For one thing, it is absolutely necessary for undergrad to have MIP every year or every other year to keep the chapter alive. This is due to students graduating from college. Grad on the other hand is entirely different story. In some cases you will find some members who will remain an active member of that chapter for 10, 20, 30 or so years, so there is not NEED or RUSH to have MIP because membership is alive and well.
When and if they DO decide to have rush, I have seen cases where hundreds and hundreds of prospective members show in high hopes of getting invited to join the organization. The one that comes to mind is when my organization had to rent out an auditorium, because there were over 600 people that showed up at the informational. They ended up having a line of 80 people. With that being said, I am sure you can understand why it is imperative, and important to stand out and get noticed by your future sorors/fraternity members.
So how can you accomplish this goal you may ask? Simple! First step is getting involved in the community. If do not know any of MY sorors for example and you desperately want to join DST, then you are not doing enough community service. I am sure this goes for the rest of the Divine Nine as well. My husband is an Alpha, and his grad chapter is ALWAYS hosting events, doing community service projects, organizing social events, etc.... But attending them is NOT enough, introduce yourself. Ask if they need any help, or if they have a mailing list that you can sign up for. Be approachable, friendly, and talkative. We DON'T bite! With that being said, let me also add to NOT stalk us! We have lives outside of Delta, especially at grade level. With Families, Work, Careers, being active within the org, just being hounded by a prospective member is a TURN OFF and will be remembered! So be careful!!!!
Next Step, do they have an active website that you can bookmark on your computer. We are living in the information age, and most organizations have a website where you can find out upcoming events, in SOME cases Rush/Informational info, and social events, community service projects, etc....USE YOUR RESOURCES!!!!! A lot of questions that you may have are already listed on the website.
Now what if they don't have an active website, or what if they do and it's out of date? Then let me refer you back to my previous advice and advise that you need to get out there and perform community service. Black Greeks are EVERYWHERE...Church, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat, Jack and Jill, Voters Registration Drives, etc....
Requirements.....For this, I will refer you to the National Website of the Organization of you choice, but I will briefly speak about MY org. But first let me clear up something....joining a GRAD organization does not mean you have to be in GRAD school. It simply means you are a graduate from a college and university with a Bachelor's Degree (Prospective members with Associate Degrees do NOT fall under this category) You need to make sure you meet the at least the minimal requirements for your GPA, community service, and letters of recommendation. Side note, if they requirement is 2.5...then no you can NOT join if you have a 2.49999 2.5 means 2.5! And with THAT being said,,, for Delta, you want to make sure you have a HIGHER GPA than the bare minimal...as I stated before, all of my line sisters had a 3.0 GPA, and I had a 3.89! If you graduated from college with a GPA less than the requirement, then your only other option is to graduate from grad school. I know of a woman who graduated from undergrad with a gpa that did not meet the minimal requirment. However, she was able to apply once she graduated from grad school. Once you graduate from grad school, your undergrad gpa is no longer a concern.
As I stated before, joining grad chapter is challenging enough, because the chapter of your choice have hundreds of people interested, and they only want to choose the cream of the crop. So what does that mean? Well to me the cream of the crop is someone who has done their research, they have an excellent GPA, excellent LORs, and tons of community service under their belt.
Please be aware that IF you are granted an interview more than likely you will be asked WHY you did not join undergrad! My advice? BE HONEST!!!! Your undergrad school's chapter is only a phone call away, so saying "one thing" and they find out another will not work in your favor at ALL!!!! As I stated before I am sure there are plenty of reasons why you decided not to join at the undergrad level, so be prepared to answer this question. If you applied and were rejected, then just tell them that. We know that not everyone makes it on the first/second try.
Also, another difference between undergrad and grad is $$$$. Becoming a member and staying active and financial can be costly, so please keep that in mind.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, that's what it means to me!!!! Why did I bring this up? Many times I have heard people say they are afraid of joining an alumnea chapter because they will NOT receive the repect from sorors/fraternity brothers who joined undergrad. I will say this, you will NEVER in life please everyone...That includes friends, family, people on the job, etc...So who the heck cares that you joined through Grad. If your ONLY reason joining an org is to get respect from members, then you should not join. This is why I feel it really is important on your reasons for joining the organization. Even though I joined undergrad, I embrace ALL sorors who came through grad, undergrad, honorary, etc....A soror to me is a SOROR no matter how she became a member. Are there members out there that will diss you b/c you didn't join undergrad? YES! I am not going to lie and say they do not exsist because they do in ALL organizations. My response to that? Keep it Moving! You worked JUST AS HARD for those letters as they did! In some cases harder because of how difficult it can be to get invited to join a grad chapter.
I hope this clears a lot of question you may have had, or have about joining the organization of your choice at the alumnae level. Good luck to you!