Stop Trying to Explain Siblinghood
by Karli Sherman
I know you know what it means to be a fraternity or sorority member.
I know you know why you joined your organization.
I know you know – you feel – what your brotherhood/sisterhood/siblinghood is to you.
And that’s good. That’s necessary.
But so many times we get caught up in trying to explain our siblinghood, our vibe, our chapter’s personality and values, in trying to “sell” that to potential new members…
…When what we need to do is show them.
SHOW THEM what it means to be a fraternity man or sorority woman.
SHOW THEM why you joined your organization.
SHOW THEM what brotherhood/sisterhood/siblinghood means.
How do I show them?
When I ask chapters and members what fraternity/sorority is to them, and what the purpose of fraternity/sorority is, there’s one sentiment I hear most often – a support system.
So, if siblinghood means support then instead of only explaining how supportive your siblings were when they helped you study to pass that ridiculously hard class – SHOW THEM!
Go in public, with siblings, wearing letters.
You have to study for that ridiculously hard class, right?
Well instead of studying at home, by yourself, in your pajamas…SHOW THEM how you have academic support through your organization!
Go study in the library or a coffee shop, with some siblings, sporting some letters!
You see the difference?
Here are some other ideas for showing support:
Help with campus move in and move out
When you’re cheering on your brother/sister/sibling performing in the talent show or at Open Mic Night, cheer for the other performers who don’t have a crowd of friends there
Give directions to someone who looks lost
Volunteer at campus-wide traditions and ceremonies like graduation, convocation, or orientation
Tell new students (in person or through social media) about campus culture like where to park, where everyone goes after the game, where to get a haircut, or where to eat between classes
Cheer on your athletic teams, club sport teams, and intramural teams at games
Be a resource – a support – to other people just as your siblings are to you.
Show them what having a support system looks like and feels like.
By getting out in public, with siblings, wearing letters we show our families, classmates, and potential new members what it’s like to live life together.
Don’t let the big events, the matching outfits, recruitment, and themed weeks be the only times folks see us out in public (or online), with siblings, wearing letters.
Show them the everyday moments, too.