Last month I had an experience that I never imagined would be mine... I went back to the chapter house where I had lived for 3 of my 4 years as an undergraduate to collect all of the ritual equipment for Kappa Alpha Theta. The decision had been made earlier in the month the revoke the charter of my chapter. The chapter that taught me what sorority meant, was closed. And, I was the volunteer that sorted through 60 years of history to determine what was shipped back to headquarters for storage until the chapter once again exists. As I packed up the ritual materials, robes, President's gavel, etc. it occurred to me that I would never wish this upon anyone.
As I walked through the house - pausing at different rooms I had lived in, I was reminded how important my experience with Theta was to me as an undergraduate. For me, it led to a vocation. For me, it became so much more than something I did while in college. (I attribute much of that perspective on my role as a Panhellenic officer - but that is a story for a different post.) The fact is that we were a mess. A big mess. We had leadership that people didn't follow, risk management problems (read - kegs), members that didn't care and more. We were selfish and self-focused. And, it never occurred to me to ask the question - "What should we be doing?" We were fun, we were popular, were pledged who we wanted, we had exchanges with an exclusive group and we were friends. I will honestly say - we cared about each other and took care of each other. But, we only cared about ourselves. We didn't use our influence to look at the bigger picture. Heck - I am not even sure we knew a bigger picture existed. That was the early 90's. (yeah - I know, the years of your birth!)
I have not been involved with my chapter nor served as a volunteer for my organization for the past 4 years. Exactly what happened to cause their closure isn't something I know a lot about. I know that the group lost their way and weren't providing a good experience for their members. I would venture a guess that the selfish and self-focused went from a focus on Theta (as opposed to the larger community) to each individual. As I was asked to meet with women who were active members this past year, there was a sense of deep sadness among them. The experience should have meant more. The experience should have been better. Someone should have asked - "What should we be doing?"
So, I am here with the 3rd question our Advisors Group grappled with last month at our meeting -
What are our "To Do" items? What should we be doing?
Perhaps if we get some solid responses, I will dig out some good 90's hair photos of the SDSU Greek experience. Until then, I appreciate your thoughts.