I Didn’t Want to Be the Stigma Anymore

“I tried to make it as much about love…I love you so much, I’m going to call you out on your bullshit.”

Edited by Nick Ladeau

Transcript for I Didn’t Want to Be the Stigma Anymore

I came into college going, “No way, I’m never joining a sorority.” I thought you just pay for your friends and that was it. But my grandmother was in a sorority, and something I didn’t realize until I came to college was her two best friends that she has had for over 50 years that I know, or knew – they actually have died in the past couple of years – they were her sorority sisters. And, they were still close, and they all lived far away from each other. And, that’s something that kind of hit me. And, also, I, myself, I didn’t join my freshman year. But my sophomore year, beginning of sophomore year, I was kind of looking for something else, because my life was either becoming about a show that I was in, or my boyfriend. So, I wanted to find something for myself and I was invited to, you know, go through a fall recruitment.

I got in and right away, we had our process, in the fall right after I joined like, a couple weeks after I joined, I want to say, officially, we had our process. It’s called slating and it’s new positions, getting people into positions. I asked not to be put in a position, because I knew in the spring semester, we were going to be doing a Shakespeare play, which I knew that I would be a part of in some way. If I didn’t get in, if I didn’t get cast, I was gonna do something else with it that was gonna take up a ton of time, and I don’t like giving less than 110%. Towards the end of the semester, I was approached by the President of Tri Delta, who was very intimidating. But she asked me to come up to her room. I was just scared shitless because she was one of those people who’s just, like, very intimidating. She’s so powerful and so intimidating and such a presence. But, she’s like, “well, due to grades and people going studying abroad, we have some positions that are opening up for this next semester. And there’s one really big one and a few small ones.” And I was like, “Okay.” And in my head, I’m thinking, okay, small position, yes, get my feet wet. “We want you for the VP position.” I was like, “Whaa–what?”

The VP position I was asked to hold was vice president chapter development. And what that entails is, I would run all the rituals, I would give a devotion at every chapter, and I didn’t mean to do this, but it kind of happened where I became a spiritual leader of the chapter. I was also the head of our standards committee, which is a committee of kind of our judiciary committee where we would have to call people in to meet with the committee if they were below grades, if they were behind on payments, if they had done something really stupid on the weekend. And if there’s something legal going on, we would be the ones that would have to call them in. Or, if somebody was really doing well, or even if it’s something to the extent of, we know that something’s going on, they’re not acting like they usually are, we kind of do a wellness check. So that’s – they’re very, the committee was really watching over every aspect of the sorority, and I headed up that committee.

So I got that position. It was just supposed to be for a semester because then we reslate for the next year. So I had that position for a semester, and it was super tough. I made the decision not to audition for any shows that first semester of having the position to make sure I could focus, because it was such a huge, huge position, huge responsibility. And I was reslated into it. And so I had it for a full year. It really freaked me out, at first. It was so much, so much work and so much responsibility, and I didn’t want to disappoint anybody. It was so scary in that aspect, because I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t gonna let this fall by the wayside. This position had been filled, but it had only been filled for a semester at a time for the past two years because people have gone down with grades or, you know, things that happen and so it wasn’t a stable position at that point. And, I didn’t want that to happen to it because it is so important.

And the stigma had always been someone who just is really strong but not as caring. And if you got called into standards, you were scared because you were going to be in trouble. And I didn’t want that to be the stigma anymore. It was such a negative stigma for a committee that honestly, is all about caring. It’s all about caring and of course, confidentiality. This caring aspect of we love you so much, we’re calling you in and calling you out on the fact that we know that you can do better. Your classes – why are you so behind? We don’t want to lose you as a sister. So get your act together. I tried to make it as much about love, and the fact that I love you so much, I’m going to call you out on your bullshit.

Hold a Conversation

Can you imagine leading a conversation about this story? Where? With whom? What kinds of questions would you pose? (See How to use the questions for reflection for one approach.) Please email your questions to us or post them in the comment box for our consideration. If you use them in an actual discussion, let us know how the conversation went.