03.13.12 / Category: Campus Spotlights

Campus Spotlight: University of Mount Union

The Panhellenic Council at University of Mount Union in Ohio has adopted Circle of Sisterhood as its community-wide philanthropy. The women have been extremely successful in hosting events, fundraisers and programs that raise awareness and funds for the organization and its mission in unique and impactful ways.

Ryli Barrett, Vice President for Recruitment for the University of Mount Union Panhellenic Council, and Kate Carnell, Advisor for the Panhellenic Council, fill us in on how they achieved this success!

Tell us about your fundraiser/event or programs to support Circle of Sisterhood:

Each year the University of Mount Union Panhellenic Council hosts an International Badge Day dinner for its sorority community. At the 2011 event, Michelle Marchand, an MU alumna and a Connector from Circle of Sisterhood, shared the mission of the organization and what our sorority members could do to help bring awareness to its cause. At the event, we put a jar on each table so attendees could donate to help provide education to girls globally; it was such an amazing sound hearing change hit the jars throughout the night.

After the event, we have continued to brainstorm how to further help the organization. Collectively we decided to make Circle of Sisterhood the philanthropy for our Panhellenic Council. During our fall 2011 recruitment week we had a competition among all the potential new member “recruitment groups,” as well as the chapters, to see which one would donate the most money to the organization. We also wore Circle of Sisterhood T-shirts during our Philanthropy Night of recruitment, which served as a conversation starter far after recruitment.

At this year’s International Badge Day dinner, Circle of Sisterhood Founder Ginny Carroll spoke about the gift of sisterhood, the organization, and her passion for the work being done.

In April, sorority women will have the opportunity to receive their own copy of the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression in to Opportunity for Women Worldwide, the inspiration for Circle of Sisterhood’s founding. We will be having a book discussion to allow the women to reflect what is going on in the world and what the Circle of Sisterhood is doing to help.

How did you get buy-in from other students to get excited about the cause?

By providing information during International Badge Day dinner each year, we’ve been able to spread the message of the Circle of Sisterhood and advance our goal of implementing an all-Panhellenic philanthropic endeavor! By having the potential members participate in penny wars throughout recruitment, we energize them about the cause before they even join a sorority!

“We were not only touched by the mission of the organization, but we also loved that it was founded by sorority women. Knowing that our sisters had gone to great lengths to make this organization possible made us want to help even more.”

Describe how you’re connecting the mission of Circle of Sisterhood with education around social issues like gender roles, privilege, interpersonal relationships, and more.

This spring, we’ve put together a full complement of programs with assistance of the Kappa Delta Foundation’s “Confidence in U” program. This series includes interactive educational opportunities to share with our Panhellenic women in the areas of salary negotiation (from a female perspective through the WAGE project), gender role development throughout history, gendered communication, bullying, disordered eating, eliminating stigma from mental illness, and celebrating sorority for International Badge Day. Through these programs, we connect our own education and empowerment in these areas with helping women around the world obtain education through the Circle of Sisterhood.