Within the the walls of this house we focus on empowering women. Kappa Delta’s national platform is the “Confidence Coalition” – a focus on instilling confidence in our community and each other. We chose this house to surround ourselves with vivacious, ambitious, and academic sisters who can (and will) impact the people we are. This warm blanket of confidence is what we feel in this house, but stepping out of our front door is a different story.
Our peers, those who have found their homes on different parts of the 40 acres, have a very skewed perspective on what Greek life is. And how could they not? The headlines are usually the only insight people gain about the Greek community. But, we cannot earn their respect through fiery articles on TSM or strongly worded Facebook posts. Earning respect takes work, it takes time, and it must be done face to face.
How do we break down the walls that separate Greek life and this University? You get a hammer, you make a trek to the wall, and you use every ounce of power in your body to swing. You join student organizations, you actively seek opportunities to make friends outside of what’s normal to you. You sit in the front row. You raise your hand in class. You lead projects. We can talk about ~inclusivity~ as much as we want but this is how you implement it: actively trying to understand each other. Being Greek gives you an all-inclusive package to college: lifelong friends, date parties, academic support, and a philanthropy to rally around. These things are wonderful, but there is more you can get from your four years. This was the passion that fueled my year as Panhellenic Delegate on KD’s executive council – a focus on getting my sisters involved on-campus in order to enrich our college experiences and break down the wall that the Greek community tends to build around ourselves. There were three steps to accomplish this:
- Inform my sisters of the opportunities on campus
- Remind them that they are capable (this is important!)
- Help them in the application process
This past school year ALONE we’ve had twelve sisters get into their respective College Councils (S/O to the Undergraduate Business Council!), three sisters get into Texas Orange Jackets, four sisters join Student Government, two sisters writing for the Daily Texan, and many more. Not only are these sisters gaining a wider perspective of this vast university, those new friends are learning that “sorority girls” are, first and foremost, incredibly capable women (just like YOU!). Our letters have become an integral part of our college experience, but it isn’t all that we are capable of. These wider perspectives have changed the way my chapter looks at UT Austin. It’s changed the way we speak and feel about this university.
When we put our peers in boxes, we damper the potential that surges through our student body. I am a Korean-American sorority girl, a business student, a marathon runner, a retired (sad) basketball player, and a sports fanatic. I am these things AND I’ve still got much more than even I know of myself at this point. Don’t put me in a box, because the more I hear it the more I believe it.
This is the same narrative that inspired me to run for Student Body Vice President at the University of Texas at Austin. There are 50,000 students at this university with ~18 years of life under our belt. Those 18 years have molded the ways we perceive situations, the selection of words we speak, and the way we handle conflict. You and I may look similar, but the make-up of our brains are incredibly, and intricately different. I have a lot to learn from you. And you have a lot to learn from me.
Within the walls of this university we are 50,000 incredibly talented, passionate, and intelligent students. Let’s not damper our peers by division. Share your story, learn from each other, and change the world.
About the Author:
Binna is a junior Marketing major from Plano, TX. She eats Chipotle even during their tough times and has hugged Harry Styles. When she’s not “walking to McCombs” you can find her watching the Mavs or any Longhorn sports team.