If you don’t know where to go, go Rho Gamma.
Tell me about your Recruitment process and what that was like for you.
I transferred in my Junior year with no plan or goals. I saw signs about leadership and women with confidence advertising about Greek-lettered organizations and thought “why not?” and signed up two days before registration closed.
Unforgettable! I bonded immediately with the women I met on Orientation Night, I really enjoyed my Pi Chi group. My Pi Chis, Erin and Brooke, were literally amazing. It was an experience I didn’t expect, in the best way. I didn’t hear that much trash talk and Erin and Brooke did a good job about making sure we weren’t talking about other chapters. A few of the women in my Pi Chi group came over to my apartment one night to have a movie night, little did I know that two of them would run home with me on Bid Day. Bonding so well with my Pi Chi group was a mind opening experience and stepping stone because I felt comfortable with my Pi Chi group and it translated over to being comfortable within a chapter.
I’m glad I did formal recruitment because I loved to talk and its easy when it’s about yourself. I believe that the formal process worked best for me because it gave me more opportunities to connect with a larger amount of women, as well as it gave me time to reflect on my feelings. This process helped me figure out what chapters had women that “fit with me” and women that would inspire me to become and do more.
What helped you decide where you wanted to go?
I had two chapters that were always at the top of my preference lists. I loved one chapter because of its diversity and sincerity, each woman I met showed me authenticity through the love they had for each sister. I loved another chapter because they looked and acted very well put together, yet, they started talking to me about things I wasn’t sure were a main priority in my life, so I didn’t feel like I wanted to see them again and I didn’t rank them very well by Sisterhood Day.
So, with the two other chapters I saw on Preference Day, it didn’t matter to me where I went because I found a home within both. My organization was able to hook, line, and sink me on Spirit Day and everyone I was paired with through the week only reassured my decision and wish to become apart of their sisterhood.
What made you stay after joining?
My first semester, I was the social butterfly, I got close to everyone and was constantly around the house. Initiation doesn’t happen for us until the following semester of when you receive your bid. Right after being initiated I started to have some family-line issues, but who doesn’t? Despite the struggles, I enjoyed my summer and hoped for change when school started in the fall. When school started back up nothing had changed and I didn’t really come around that much anymore. I think the only reason why I stayed was because I had the hope of becoming a Rho Gamma.
I had an advisor sign my Rho Gamma papers instead of withdrawal papers and that is the only reason I still wear my letters today. I pay my sorority experiences myself and had invested a lot of money and time into this, so I didn’t want to leave before my investment paid out. Rho Gamma did a lot to make me WANT to stay in my chapter now and it reestablished values of why I chose my organization and taught me new skills to improve my sisterhood. I also found a big appreciation for PHA and I sometimes feel like I hold my Rho Gammas letters above my own.
What have you gotten out of sorority life since joining?
LITERALLY THE LOVE OF MY LIFE, Alliyah, my ride or die, who is EVERYTHING to me. I have found mentors and forever friends, I learned many professional skills and I grew as a leader.
I love my sisters, I have hundreds of thousands of women across the country and world I get to call my sisters. I am a lot closer to them than my biological sister and it’s been a roller coaster of an experience to feel a genuine, “sisterly” bond.
Growth in Rho Gamma
I learned how to bite my tongue because I had a problem of voicing my opinion too much. Rho Gamma has taught me more appropriate ways to go about things and that has helped with my professional and personal development. My daily habits, such as prioritizing certain things, has changed, too.
It was a very eye opening experience being a Rho Gamma with all the different women from different sororities. It opened my mind to PHA at USF, realizing that each organization has unremarkable women and that USF’s Greek community is one of a kind. It opened my mind to the idea that change can happen through a small group of women and I am very thankful for that experience as a Rho Gamma.
I’m also surprised, but in a good way, about the Rho Gamma experience. Everyone usually raves about Rho Gammas but when I first joined I was thought, “Oh, this is not what I was expecting.” I was very hesitant for the first few weeks through the training and the twin process made me a little anxious because I wasn’t really connecting with anyone at that deep of a level. I wasn’t looking for my best friend but someone who can work with me as a leader, yet there were women who I wanted to reach out to, but they found their friends and I felt slightly discouraged. After I got my twin, I had mixed feelings. But, sitting down with her and learning everything about her, I can see how we can work together as leaders. Panhellenic Executive Board gained respect and gratitude from me after the pairing and after the Rho Gamma summer retreat, it was great to finally begin my journey as a Rho Gamma and I enjoyed how we’ve continued to use communication, accountability, and organization from the expectations we’ve set out earlier in the year as a Recruitment Team through the Formal Recruitment Process.
Talking about this makes me want to cry, but I love Traci.
I am super grateful for Rho Gamma because it brought me to her. Traci has helped me in a lot of ways, that not many people know about. I’m so grateful Traci is in my life as my friend, my study buddy, my hype women and forever my twin. Going back into my chapter was pretty dang smooth, yet the obstacle of being everyone's friend is still presented to me.Traci has given me reassurance and inspiration to overcome anything within or outside of my chapter and I have realized it is because she always has my back. I freaking love her, she’s amazing.
I’ve never been around women who were genuinely confident in their decisions or themselves. I am very sure of myself, and when I was in High School and community college, the constant insecurity and anxiety from everyone around me discouraged me to make friends at the time. Being in PHA, it’s empowered me because it brought me to a group of women who are powerful and confident in themselves, where everyone is going to showcase to you their skills and talents. It’s also great to have an entire support system to give you snaps and tell you what you need to hear. It’s encouraging in a lot of ways. Even hearing them say, “you’re doing such a great job,” can change your entire day and being a part of that culture has been life changing.
Any final thoughts?
When you feel lost or discouraged in your chapter, know that the PHA community needs you. Rho Gamma brings a new light into your life, a new support system and some of the most unforgettable memories. Everyone should do Rho Gamma. It’s worth it. My fellow Rho Gamma sisters and I have started building a workshop for our Sisters and New Members on what we learned. We discuss stereotypes, true values, and a spiel about Rho Gamma and why you should do it. For our retreat we are going to do a reflections portion on the entire process from start to end. Rho Gamma changes your perspective on Fraternity and Sorority life, from “oh yeah, we take cute pics and have matching shirts,” to, “we are the leaders on this campus and we have an impact in this world.”
I was scared that I was going to have a hard time with my PNMs and relating to them. But, I love my PNMs so much and I still get hugs, texts, and FaceTime calls. After Rho Gamma, I’ve become more involved with chapters other than my own, I go to their house to do homework and others come over to our house. It’s shocking to see that, but it’s very comfortable because it feels like we are one now and not separate organizations. One solid community.
The letters we wear do not define us, but are tools to break barriers.
Sister of Chi Omega, 2018 Rho Gamma