As my post last week covered, at some point we all become alumna members of our sororities. Although clearly your alumnae member ship is roughly twelve times longer than your collegiate membership, most sorority paraphernalia and events are designed only with younger, collegiate members in mind. I think that sorority alumnae everywhere need to be more present and more active in their organisation overall- even by just checking in with sisters every once in a while or having coffee, if a formal role doesn’t fit into your life. We all took life long vows to be loyal to our organisations and hold their values in our hearts, and I think that there are countless ways for you to show your pride for your organisation without trying to look like you are 20 all over again.
1. Stick to Alumnae Events
I could say this a million times until I am blue in the face, but only attend events that are meant for alumnae! Don’t show up at recruitment unless someone has specifically asked for volunteers, don’t try to join exchanges/mixers/socials, and don’t take over the current collegians’ experience. It looks like you can’t let go of the past and that the alumnae experience isn’t worth it. Show that your organisation means something to you by staying committed and involved with having thrice weekly events that you are bound to attend. If there isn’t a formal alumnae group, see if you can gather a few sisters for casual events! If there aren’t many members of your organisation, see if there are any other Panhellenic women that would be interested in dinner or coffee. And if there is an alumnae group but you aren’t terribly interested in the events they do, suggest something you would enjoy- there are probably sisters who feel the same way you do!
2. Wear Crests and Subtle Symbols Rather Than Letter Shirts
I find that wearing my crested cardigan and my simple letter pin are the easiest way to show my Alpha Gam pride without going over the top and looking overly casual. From what I have seen, not a lot of workplaces allow for casual hoodies and t-shirts, so we need an alternative! I think that most NPC organisations offer items with their crest available on it. I particularly enjoy wearing our Armorial Bearings (aka crest) because I know the meaning behind it, and the importance of it. I also love my letter pin from the Alpha Gam Boutique! It was only $7 USD, and on a blazer it doesn’t look any different than a broach but has more meaning. To me, if you are embarrassed to say that you are a member of your organisation, you shouldn’t be a member of your organisation. Subtle pieces like these often lead to questions, and it will give you an opportunity to discuss your membership without permanently being a billboard.
3. Wear Your Badge
Take the opportunity to wear your badge whenever you can! If you work in an office, pick one day every few weeks to dress up a little and wear your badge. Remember during your pledge period when you wanted to be able to wear a badge so badly, and couldn’t ? Well, now you can, and it isn’t only for meetings and ceremonies. Our Founders designed our badges to be beautiful symbols of what our letters and our organisations stand for, not to sit in a jewellery box or a drawer for years. The more you wear it, the more you will be used to wearing it, and it won’t feel weird. If it motivates you, order a new blinged out badge- I finally have my silver and Tiffany pearl badge, and I love being able to wear it!
4. Don’t Forget Your Organisation
Don’t forget that your organisation exists, and that you took vows to be loyal to it. I’ve said time and time again (multiple times in this post alone), not every member has the time and energy to be overly involved in their sorority at every point during their life. However, try to reach out to sisters that you were close with, attend whatever reunion day you have or a Christmas party, or send a card to your chapter congratulating them on their recruitment! Your organisation took you in, and you agreed to do the same for others. Completely disappearing for the rest of your life negates that bond. Be there for your organisation in any way that you can!
How do you stay involved as an alumnae?