The opportunity for the Texas Tech Panhellenic community to support Circle of Sisterhood came after a session at Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values (AFLV) conference two years ago when we first learned of the organization. Our community was lacking something. Individually our chapters make incredible donations of time and money and bring awareness to so many local and national philanthropic organizations, but we needed something to bring us together. When we first learned of Circle of Sisterhood, I visited the website and read this:
In the mid 1800s in America, the women who founded our sororities stood together for the right to go to college, thus beginning a sorority movement. Now, almost 150 years later and more than 5 million strong, we vow to continue our Founders’ legacy by standing together again to help girls and women go to school around the world.
That’s all it took; I was hooked. I knew it was a concept that was too important to ignore and incredibly easy to implement on a campus full of not only a sisterhood of Greek women, but a sisterhood of educated women who understand that education is the key to success and the most valuable gift you can give.
After a ton of planning from an incredibly supportive and hard-working executive council and an adviser who backed us the entire way, we organized Texas Tech’s first Circle of Sisterhood awareness week, with the understanding that the year would be a trial and error. We had no idea what to expect and I can honestly say that we were more than pleasantly surprised.
We had an outstanding outpouring of support from our community for Circle of Sisterhood. Our council worked hard to plan an awareness week that included a giveback night at a local restaurant where 20% of the proceeds benefitted the organization and a documentary viewing the next evening where we showed the condensed version of the Half the Sky documentary. All week we promoted a social media campaign via Twitter and Facebook and we had our council as well as committee members outside of our Union Building selling circles for $1 that were decorated and displayed at the end of the week. Our collective efforts raised over $1,500. The awareness of the organization and cause is more far reaching than we could have imagined and means more to our campus than any monetary amount. Our IFC got on board with Brothers 4 Sisters and made a generous donation to support the efforts. I was personally astounded at the amount of support we received from the other Greek councils and non-Greek organizations and students on our campus.
We intended for a trial and error year and came out of the week realizing that there was definitely no error. This organization not only allowed us to contribute to a global cause but unified our campus in ways that we could never have imagined. Through Circle of Sisterhood, we have been able to come together across affiliations and organizations to support one cause and show that at the end of the day, no matter who wins a philanthropy event or who has the best skits during recruitment, an education is what brought us to this campus and the opportunity to provide this experience and the benefits of an education to even one woman is a worthwhile endeavor.
I truly believe that our Founders would be proud of us. In the middle of a time when our core values seem antiquated to the outsider and with so much opposition facing Greek communities today, the realization that so many women are supporting the right for all women to have an education is inspiring and I am proud to say that our community is part of the One Sisterhood that is supporting One World of educated women.
This week’s post was written by Kaitlyn Cennamo. Cennamo is a senior at Texas Tech University, studying broadcast journalism. She previously served as panhellenic vice president and president and is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.