As I mentioned in my introductory post, I am a member of ΑΓΔ. Today, I’m going to talk a bit about my undergraduate experience in Alpha Gam- as an unhoused, Canadian chapter, our experience doesn’t always quite fit the mold.
There is a limit of 30 members on our campus, so we don’t have any huge chapters here that could fill a high school gymnasium. We were about 15-25 members when I was a collegiate. It can be tough for Greek life here in the prairies as you typically get a response like this: “We have sororities here?”, followed by “Do you haze/have parties/only have rich members?”. It’s an unfortunate response, as the chapters on our campus were founded in the 1920s and 1930s and have a great history. (I am currently working on a historical survey of Alpha Gam, and Greek life in general, on campus.) Being that we don’t have a house, parties are pretty rare.
The fraternities on campus do throw parties, but I was not really interested in them. (Clearly, I am a nerd and I would much prefer to stay home and watch Downton than shout over loud music and stand for hours.) We also had exchanges with fraternities- I did not join to meet guys, so honestly these were not my favourite events. However, they were only an hour to two hours, and it was nice to have a break from reading and writing papers. Personally, I loved sisterhood events. I joined to meet more girls, and I do take the vows that we make seriously. I enjoyed getting to know the other girls that I was active with, and because we didn’t have a house, we typically have less spontaneous events than chapters that do. It takes a bit more planning, but is definitely worth it. We didn’t do anything too crazy, usually a movie night or baking or going out for dinner, but they were low-key and relaxing. We also have Sister-Mothers and Sister-Daughters. My Sister-Daughter is pretty fantastic and actually visited me for three weeks while I was living in Ireland!
As my nerd-status indicates, I was pretty focused on school so I very much appreciated the academic aspect of Alpha Gam. There is a program, Strive for Pi, where you try to strive for a GPA of 3.14. While getting into grad school requires a lot more than 3.14, it is nice to have recognition for working hard in school. I also received the Scholarship Key for having the highest graduating GPA, something I am particularly proud of. The other areas of focus for Alpha Gam are Leadership and Philanthropy. In regards to Leadership, because we are such a small chapter we each hold multiple offices. In my two years of office holding, I held 5 positions. I really liked the business aspect of Alpha Gam, though I know it drives some members of Greek organisations crazy! We did hold philanthropy events throughout the year, like bakesales and dinners. To be honest, I wish that we had done more philanthropic work. I will explain next week, but I am trying to have our alumnae chapter contribute more to our community, philanthropically.
So, in a nutshell (Alpha Gam pun- ha!), that was my undergraduate experience in Alpha Gamma Delta!