By Amanie Altall (Delta Nu, Iowa State University)
When I was first at college orientation, I remember asking about how sororities work and what they are because I truly had no idea about them. My sister went to a smaller university without any Greek life, and I had only heard slightly about them from movies. I learned more about recruitment and talked to my family about it, and my parents were very against the idea. My dad attended a university with Greek life in the 1980s and said sororities were not a good idea for me as a person of color; from what my dad remembered, Greek life was predominantly white. My mom had only seen the movie perspective of it, which is filled with stereotypes of partying, not caring about school, etc., and she was very against it.
I decided to not go through with primary recruitment and to think about possibly joining at a later time. When I moved into my dorm, it was preference night, and my roommate was telling me all about how her week had gone and how she was feeling about all the valuable connections and conversations she had. I instantly knew I wanted to join a sorority and realized it’s so much more than I thought. My parents were still on edge, but after learning more about the civic engagement, academics, leadership and friendships, they were more open to the idea.
I began participating in continuous open bidding and met with Alpha Chi Omega. I instantly knew this was the place for me. I felt so comfortable talking to every woman and knew I would grow into my best self being a member. The values of Alpha Chi Omega aligned directly with mine, and joining was the best choice I made.
My parents began to realize how beneficial this was when I would tell them about all the support that had been helping me with my college transition, including academic support and just helping me learn the campus more. My parents now love everything about me being in a sorority and have told me they can see a huge change as I have been growing into a more independent, real, strong woman. I am now so proud to serve as the first VP diversity, equity and inclusion for my chapter. Being able to help Delta Nu continue to be an inclusive, supporting chapter is my biggest achievement in college.