A Little Collaboration Goes a Long Way

This week, I was tasked with writing a blog about sorority relations so I thought “Who better to ask than a sorority woman?”. Here is a guest blog from my girlfriend, letting us know what actually sorority women see as the key to strong relationships between fraternities and sororities.

As a sorority woman, I’ve had a lot of different experiences with Fraternity-Sorority relations, and while I don’t pretend to be an expert, I do hope to share some of the experiences and gestures which I have appreciated the most. Fraternity-Sorority relations are first and foremost a partnership, and I’m not talking about in the stereotypical Animal House-esque way in which fraternities throw parties and sororities attend the parties. Rather, they are partners in service, campus involvement, and leadership.

Partners in Service

One of the best ways to establish a partnership with a sorority is through community service. Many sororities are dedicated to civic engagement, and by sharing time and resources to give back to the community, you establish a working relationship with the sorority on an organizational and personal level. One of my favorite examples of this is when two organizations on my own campus sponsored a 5k together. They chose a local charity which could benefit from their services and sponsored a community-wide race to raise money and awareness for the charity. They combined their community service budgets for the event, and members from both organizations worked to ensure the success of the event. In this way, they expanded the reach of this charity by utilizing networks from both organizations, and they established a relationship with each other.

Chi Omega, Mu Kappa partnered with the brothers of Chi Psi and Sigma Chi for a Make-A-Wish awareness campaign

Chi Omega, Mu Kappa partnered with the brothers of Chi Psi and Sigma Chi for a Make-A-Wish awareness campaign

Partners in Campus Involvement

Within a partnership, it is important to realize the value of expanding each other’s organizations, and help with recruitment activities is always appreciated. While men are not allowed to participate in Panhellenic recruitment at Duke, the Chi Psi gentlemen of Alpha Sigma Delta still found a way to demonstrate that they valued the expansion of our sorority. They put together a giant care package for the entire sorority including water bottles, snacks, and a note of encouragement for us to have during recruitment. After a long day of being on our feet during several rounds of recruitment, it was fantastic to have something to eat and drink and to have a few kind words sent our way. This simple gesture reminded us individually and as an organization that someone knew how exhausting recruitment could be and wanted to see us flourish as we built the future of our chapter.

Partners in Leadership

The partnership also extends to personal and leadership development. While many fraternity and sorority leaders may work together in various campus Greek leadership initiatives such as Greek Emerging Leaders, sharing leadership and personal development resources between two individual organizations can speak volumes. Recently, Alpha Sigma Delta’s Brotherhood Chair reached out to my sorority’s Career and Personal Development Chair about a cooking class our sisters had participated in geared towards learning about healthy eating on a budget. By asking about this event, Alpha Sigma Delta furthered their relationship with our organization and showed that they valued the skills we have learned in our own organization. This opens the door for continued sharing of resources and building better leaders and individuals in both organizations.

Chi O’s at a cooking class: by sharing information about personal development, fraternities and sororities can continue to build leaders

Chi O’s at a cooking class: by sharing information about personal development, fraternities and sororities can continue to build leaders

Partnering with sororities in these ways not only furthers already existing relations between fraternities and sororities, it also promotes Greek unity on campus and contributes to the development of the chapters and their members. So, don’t be shy; go out and form some partnerships!

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