Wear your letters Wednesday
UB Student explains the importance behind wearing her Greek letters
On Wednesday’s we wear letters.
No, not just random letters of the alphabet – Greek letters.
We don’t wear them because we “earned them.” We don’t wear them because we paid for them or “paid for our friends.” We don’t wear them because we’re too lazy to pick something out to wear.
We wear letters because we are representing an organization. Our organization unifies women who have similar ideals and morals.
“Alpha Phi is a sisterhood of outstanding women supporting one another in lifelong achievement.”
My sorority, like many others, is an international sorority with 161 collegiate chapters and more than 200,000 members. My sisters from all around the world are supporting each other, helping out local communities, raising money for national initiatives and striving for excellence.
You might ask how can I call these 200,000 members, most of whom I’ll never meet, my “sisters?”
On May 23, 2014 Elliot Rodger shot and killed six people and wounded 13 others on the University of California Santa Barbara campus. Before the shooting, he banged feverishly on the Alpha Phi, Gamma Beta chapter house. When no one answered the door, 12 gunshots fired. The sisters called 9-1-1 and it was later identified that three of the girls shot outside the Alpha Phi house were sisters of the Delta Delta Delta sorority.
Shortly after the shooting Rodger’s 140-page manifesto surfaced, outlining his plans for entering the Alpha Phi house, committing murder and setting the house on fire as his plan for his “Day of Retribution.”
Within hours of hearing the news, Alpha Phi sisters from around the world immediately started reaching out to our sisters at UC Santa Barbara. Without even knowing each other, we worked together to reach out to our sisters and offer support while simultaneously supporting the girls of Delta Delta Delta as well.
Flowers, cards and funds flowed in toward the Greek community at Santa Barbara for Alpha Phi and Delta Delta Delta.
When I attended Alpha Phi’s International Biennial Convention just one month after the tragedy, the sisters from Santa Barbara were still healing from the incident. Hundreds of us gathered together, in person, to show our support. I never felt more closely connected to strangers in my life. It was if we had all gone through this horrible tragedy together and was healing as one.
When I wear my letters I think back to this tragedy. I’m representing a group of women who are there for one another no matter the distance. I’m representing a lifetime of membership – not just four years.
Sorority women know that every word they say and every action they do is a reflection and representation of their organization. When I wear my letters it’s not because I’m too lazy to put on something else. In fact, when I wear my letters I’m reminded to go out of my way to be a better person that day and to represent my sorority in the best way possible.
When I hold the door open for someone, or help an elderly person pick up something they dropped at Walgreens, I am representing my sorority. I am representing a group of women who would do the exact same thing in that situation.
Everything we do, while wearing letters or not, we are representing our sorority. As members of a sorority, we work tirelessly to uphold the image our founders have set for us.
On Wednesday’s when we wear letters, we show our friends, our campus and the world what we stand for, what we believe in and what we strive to achieve.