“I Went In Wanting to Give Back” (Student Guest Post)

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by one of Phired Up’s interns this semester — Adrianna Czostkowski. She and a team of undergraduates are collecting stories to help our readers gain insight into the fraternity/sorority experience, and how we can help share the gift of Greek Life with more deserving people.

Adrianna Czostkowski

Adrianna Czostkowski

As President John F. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. When looking at joining a Greek organization, I know one thing many people look for is what organization and chapter will give them the most “bang for their buck”. Whether the list includes the connections, the socials, the philanthropy; it all varies to what each person expects to get out of going Greek. But why not think of it as finding the chapter where your talents can be utilized to the highest and best purpose by the organization and greater Greek community as a whole?

This week, I had the opportunity to talk to my supervisor at my on campus job, Tiffany Elliott, about her experience of being Greek. Tiffany is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Tiffany joined Delta Sigma Theta in 2006 at Michigan State University and is now an active alumna member. The sisterhood, the focus on academics, and the fact that Delta Sigma Theta brought so many women from different backgrounds together to share the same beliefs are just a few of the reasons why Tiffany fell in love with Delta Sigma Theta. Tiffany’s favorite part of being an alumna of her organization is representing Delta Sigma Theta in her day to day life and show young women what a positive impact being Greek can have on their lives. When talking to Tiffany one thing she said really moved me, to the point where all I had to say in return was, “Wow!”

When I asked Tiffany about what she expected out of joining her organization, she replied, “I went in not looking to get anything out of joining my organization; I went in wanting to give back to an organization that was something greater than me.” Wow. Immediately after I heard that, I was at a loss for words. It was so moving to hear a different answer than the usual ones of sisterhood, connections, a family, I bet you fill in a couple in that list, too.

If everyone joining a sorority or fraternity looked at where their talents can be best utilized, rather than finding the organization who has the best mixers or the best t-shirts, think of the leadership that our organizations would be able to establish. These leaders will be able to carry on our organization’s values and recruit people of the same caliber.

The potential for growth and success for the Greek system, and the individuals within that system, would have a dynamic and profound impact on our campuses, local communities and world, now and in the future. Just as President Kennedy said through his insightful words over 50 years ago: ask not what your organization can do for you, but what you can do for your organization.