As a campus Panhellenic leader, I am blown away at the impact we have made in this past year for Circle of Sisterhood. Last January, we made the decision to take on Circle of Sisterhood as our Panhellenic-wide philanthropy. It has been exciting to see the steps we have been able to make in just one year to fully support the Circle of Sisterhood. Our Panhellenic community has continually gained a passion to help bring down educational barriers through Circle of Sisterhood and I know that passion will only continue to flourish.
Our first priority was to educate our Greek community about Circle of Sisterhood and the incredible impact being made around the world by sorority women. In the spring, we hosted a Circle of Sisterhood week that included events to both educate the Greek community about the global issues women face and to begin fundraising for Circle of Sisterhood. We hosted “dine to donate” nights at a few local restaurants and had a competition between the sororities to see who could raise the most money for Circle of Sisterhood. To end the week, we brought Ginny Carroll, Founder of Circle of Sisterhood, to speak to the Panhellenic community in order to get our community more educated about the cause. That week spurred on many girls to want to be more involved and continue in fundraising efforts to support Circle of Sisterhood.
We knew the fall would be a big semester for fundraising, but we never envisioned it would be as successful as it was. During recruitment each registrant donated $3, which went directly to Circle of Sisterhood. The night before recruitment began, we hosted a fun movie night. The $6 fee to see the movie went straight to Circle of Sisterhood. As well, we hosted a program for the new members to educate them on the purpose of the Circle of Sisterhood so that they would understand early the impact they can make as sorority women.
In October, we held Clemson’s first ever Panhellenic Pride Week. It was a week filled with programs and activities designed to bring the Panhellenic community closer together and to raise continued awareness about the issues women face around the world. During each day, we had Panhellenic delegates and members of the executive board tabling on library bridge to promote the change war between chapters to raise money for Circle of Sisterhood. We hosted a campus-wide trash clean up, a “Half the Sky” viewing party, a karaoke night, a speaker that spoke on the importance of Panhellenic pride, and we ended the week with a Panhellenic wide carnival.
Every year a gala is planned for every new member of the Greek community. It is an event put on by the junior Panhellenic delegates and money is raised by selling tickets, restaurant nights, and a raffle. This year, proceeds of the event also went to CofS.
As my term as vice president of Panhellenic comes to an end, I have done a lot of reflecting on my past year in this position. There is not one accomplishment or program that comes close to the advancements I’ve been able to see in Clemson Panhellenic’s support for Circle of Sisterhood. In just one semester, we raised $11,200 to help girls go to school. And as a Panhellenic Council, we agreed to double the funds raised by the Panhellenic community this semester, bringing our grand total to $22,400 raised!
We decided to bring Ginny back to Clemson on November 13th to present her with this gift. Ginny had no idea that we doubled the amount of funds actually raised. We hosted a Circle of Sisterhood Dedication Dinner, where we invited sorority presidents, delegates, assistant delegates, Greek life staff and graduate assistants, as well as various dignitaries from Clemson University, to enjoy a nice dinner and celebrate our fundraising efforts from this year. Everyone at the event but Ginny was in on our little secret that the check had been doubled. Presenting Ginny with the check at the end of the dinner and seeing her reaction when she realized the real amount of the donation is by far one of the highlights of my time in college. I never dreamed that we would have had such a successful first year of full support for Circle of Sisterhood, and it’s even greater to know that this is only the beginning!
This blog was ccontributed by Dylan Caulder, a junior at Clemson University. Caulder is currently studying Food Science and Human Nutrition. She is serving as vice president of philanthropy and programs for the campus’s Panhellenic Council.