Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Power of (One) Four

Welcome back, USD Friends! Well, to some of you it seems that you have been here forever! Sorority recruitment does eliminate all sense of time, right? It is great to have the campus full and active again. I have missed your energy and presence.

I often hear commercials, clich├ęs, etc. talking about "the Power of One". And, I do have to say that I strongly believe that one person can make a difference in any situation. But, this is a story about the Power of Four. And, really an answer to the question of:

Picture it - a sense of peace and quiet has overtaken the University Center. The 334 women that matched during formal recruitment have received their bids and been welcomed into their new chapters. In addition to the 10 representatives that entered into the Forums to cheer, smile and greet, there were about 600 women outside with noise makers and merriment. The volume was out of this world... and absolute perfection! All of these folks had scattered to the various ends of campus to take chapter photos and begin Bid Day celebrations. The Panhellenic Advisor and I were just picking up a few last things before heading back to the Student Leadership and Involvement Center. As we walked into the foyer of the University Center, I noticed the quiet. Then I noticed something amazing.

Outside of the UC were four women picking up trash. Their friends had moved on and in their wake was a mess. Streamers, water bottles, trash from lunches long forgotten. And, there they were. They were meeting an obvious need... One that nearly 1000 other women had just walked by.

I didn't recognize the first two women I saw. The third was a student who had served as a Sigma Rho Chi the previous year. Here she was today, representing Gamma Phi Beta, along with her sisters for Bid Day. And, here she was today, with three friends representing all that Gamma Phi Beta stands for. Panhellenic had not asked them to stay, and I am pretty sure that their chapter hadn't either. They saw something that needed to be done and stepped up. The Power of One Four.

So, while you may be reading this and thinking... "Big deal, they were picking up trash.", I want to encourage you to consider it as so much more. In that moment, I was reminded of the quality of student we have at USD, the quality of student we have in Greek Life. My eyes filled with tears as the exhaustion of the week set in, but knowing that they, too, were just as exhausted as I was in that moment. These moments are what I call "proud advisor" markers. I believe in "Love, Labor, Learning and Loyalty", but even more significant - I saw it in action.

Well done, ladies. Thank you for reminding me of why we exist.

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