This column is part of the Up For Discussion on Greek life at Yale. View the other columns in the discussion here.
At the beginning of my freshman year, when I was attempting to navigate the multitude of student organizations at the extracurricular bazaar, I wasn’t even aware that Yale had sororities. I spent my first few weeks trying to find an organization on campus that would allow me to get involved in the New Haven community while introducing me to a network of peers on campus. When I decided to rush a sorority the following semester, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Greek life at Yale could do just that for me. Joining a sorority not only introduced me to a community of intelligent, resilient and driven women on campus, but it also presented me with a new medium through which I could give back to my community.
Each sorority on campus is partnered with a philanthropic organization for which they are committed to raising money throughout the year. Yale’s three sororities are partnered with Court Appointed Special Advocates, Read. Lead. Achieve and Reading Is Fundamental. The sororities hold numerous fundraisers and events for the organizations each semester.
I’ve also been able to do a lot of volunteer work with my sorority as we team up with different organizations on campus and help out with their various initiatives. We often coordinate with Hunger Heroes, a branch of the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Project that sends volunteers to the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen on weekends. This partnership gives our members the opportunity to be involved with Hunger Heroes even if they can’t make a full-time commitment to joining the organization.
My sophomore year, I became one of my sorority’s philanthropy directors and learned quickly that most of the initiatives we take on as an organization, from sisterhood events to campus-wide parties, are geared toward service. We are constantly finding ways to raise money for our associated charity while getting our members involved with causes on campus and in New Haven. There are countless community oriented groups on campus, a few of which I am an active member of, but being in a sorority has been a wonderful supplement to those groups. My sorority has allowed me to participate in various fundraisers and service initiatives to which I otherwise might not have been exposed.
Ally Daniels is a junior in Berkeley College. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org