Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sorority Member Class - Leadership Elective

Every once in a while a great idea presents itself... If you are truly fortunate, it presents itself while you are in conversation with a trusted friend and partner. Last October, I was meeting with a recent alumna and we were talking about the sorority experience. All of the usual questions that can make my life turn from a sit-com to a drama were present: How can the experience for women in sororities be even better? How do leaders really find out what really matters to them? Can we do more to help women know themselves and their chapters better?

At USD, we believe in the learning and experiences students have outside of the classroom. I believe that the experiences of fraternity and sorority membership, when done correctly, can be the most developmental experience we offer students. We want you to know yourself, those around you and to find success in your interpersonal world. This is the core of our programs, meetings, speakers, advising. I work each and every day to create experiences that build better men and women for life after USD. I want you to have a meaningful life launched by an experience at USD that is fun, educational and empowering.

If you consider that leadership is not limited to just a position you hold in an organization, it makes perfect sense that an academic course for sorority women would be offered. This Spring, USD is offering a 1 unit upper-division leadership elective course for women that are sorority members. LEAD 387P (section 4/CRN 4178) will be meeting each Friday for an hour to talk about the sorority experience at USD, leadership and all the dynamics that connect the two. Melissa Lucas, 2011 alumna, and I will be team teaching this course. We hope you will join us to learn something about yourself!

To register for this course, please complete this online form to have the hold for adding the course released.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Home Away From Home - Sorority Recruitment

The greatest decision I made as a college freshman was registering for sorority recruitment. Now, don't misunderstand... it is not for everyone. But, for me, it was the beginning of finding my Home Away From Home. If you are in my day to day world, chances are you've heard the story of my undergraduate experience. If you are not, here are a few gems from the era of 1990...

Picture it - August 1990. Big hair, awesome clothes, 90+ degrees out, and hundreds of women gathered at SDSU to participate in what was then called Sorority Rush. In my home, there was not a question of whether or not I would go to college - the conversation was always around where. Joining a sorority fell into that same camp - it was just what one did when they went to college and where they joined was more of the discussion. My mom is a sorority member, so I suppose her experience is what drove my registration for a week-long experience that was unlike any other. I arrived at one of SDSU's residence halls and checked in two weeks before classes began. I was given a roommate and a small group that had a student counselor assigned to us. I grew up going to summer camp and youth group, so this all seemed to be very consistent with that experience. I was happy, excited and totally naive as to what would unfold.

Over the course of the next several days I met hundreds of sorority members, drank a lot of lemonade, watched countless skits, sat through several slide shows (yes, with actual slides!) and had the experience of people singing songs that I knew but had words that now included their sorority name. As funny as that reads, I was in heaven. My experience was great and I enjoyed every minute of it. As the week came to an end, I was invited to join my sorority and spent an afternoon with the women that were now my sisters.

Over the next 4 years, my sorority became my Home Away From Home. Those members became my source of friendship, opportunities for involvement emerged, a chance to care for and be cared for was solidified. This week is the deadline to register for sorority recruitment at USD - January 14th. Consider giving it a chance - you may find that perfect Home Away From Home!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year, New Plan?

On December 31st, @USDGreekLife posed this question on Twitter:
What are you going to do better in 2012? Use #usdresolutions to join the conversation.

The beginning of the new year gives all of us a chance to stop and think about what we might accomplish in the next year. It affords a moment to pause and ask, "Will this be the year that..." Several years ago, I was sitting with a friend asking her if she was going to pursue a leadership opportunity that had opened up and her reply to me was, "No, this year I am going to focus on finding someone to love." Wow. My goals had always tended to be things like - eat healthier, spend more time at the beach. Low level things. Our conversation inspired me to think about how I live my life and how I choose to dedicate my energy. When I really examine where I am and who I am - is that really who and where I want to be? If not, how can I change that?

As 2012 began, here was my consideration (via Twitter, so excuse the brevity):
Taking some time to consider the places I am leading with fear. 
2012 - no room to be afraid!
As fraternity men and sorority women, we have great opportunity. Where are we not taking full advantage of that because we are afraid? As peers, your fears may be different than mine. But, I would bet that some are the same. 
  • What if I wasn't held back by doubt and uncertainty? 
  • What if the stress of conflict didn't stop me from leading those around me to a better place?
  • What if truly being honest with student leaders costs me those relationships?

Several weeks ago, this video series was shared with me. This is a minute long clip of what one man learned during a series of travels. I hope it inspires you to think about how much more you could be. Will this be the year that you...

So, Team - the question remains:
What are you going to do better in 2012? Use #usdresolutions to join the conversation.

Happy New Year!