Nickname: Tri Sigma or Tri Sig
Founded: 1898 at Longwood College in Farmville, VA
Philanthropy: Robbie Page Memorial
Membership: 100,000+ collegiate
Motto: faithful unto death
Badge: jeweled triangle with skull and crossbones and the Greek letters Sigma Sigma Sigma
Colors: royal purple and white
Flower: purple violet
Year Joined National Panhellenic Conference: 1951
National Website: sigmasigmasigma.org
I once heard a debate centered on the question of whether or not feminism has failed women. After all, it is 2011, and a woman often times makes less money than a man, even one doing the same job. Men are more likely to hold political offices as they are more prone to be seen as level headed as opposed to “emotional” women. And one in six American women fall victim to sexual violence and our society tends to doubt the stories of those who survive. The numbers, I am told, are stacked against us.
As I go into my last semester as Panhellenic President, I have come to believe that sorority life is a facet of feminism, making it just as alive today as it was during the fight for suffrage, the ERA debate, and the third-wave of the 1990s.
A sorority offers young women a chance to develop and strengthen leadership skills during some of their toughest four years. A college education is good, but not all of it is applicable to real life. I’ll give you an example.
I am a history major and I hope to eventually pursue my Ph. D in psychology. Right now, with my major, there not a lot of avenues open to me. But my major is not what got me a summer job. I got a summer job because during my interview I gave eye contact. I spoke fluidly and I was positive. My public speaking skills were developed by repeatedly getting up in front of my chapter and delivering my reports and not by my one semester of speech class.
Outside of public speaking and leadership skills, the spark for philanthropy that a sorority instills in its members makes each Greek woman humble and dedicated to those less fortunate. Character that is already present in women is again, strengthened. And those most dedicated to service above self reflect that in their Panhellenic actions by giving time and what money they can afford to other organizations.
Finally, a combination of continued personal growth and sisterhood can turn the meekest lamb into the fiercest lion. I’m not talking about women who wear short skirts and low-cut tops. I’m talking about those who know that wit, grace and class take you farther, those who draw the attention in the room through their smiles and genuine compassion. Some of you in sororities probably know women like these-you might even get to proudly call them your sisters.
Empowerment of women continues through the Greek experience because a sorority makes you fearless if you give everything you have.