Greek Chic- Line Hats!

Baseball caps are a classic item that will never go out of style! They have so many uses- from protecting your face from the sun, to keeping your hair in place during a convertible ride in the summertime, to making you look like a stud on the golf course. Regardless of how or why you use it, you want and need a hat that is just right for you. One of our most popular hats at Greekgear is the Line Hat.

This hat has a classic style, but the best part is- you can customize basically everything about it! You will first need to choose the color of hat you want. We provide 16 options for you to choose from! Next, choose your line and text colors. Add in your letters and some text for between the bars such as your chapter name, school name, or just organization’s name written out. And that’s it- you have a custom had designed perfectly for you. Could it be any easier?!

Check out our pictures and video to see this item up close!

Support Systems

As Greeks, we hear it all the time- when you join a fraternity/sorority you gain more than friends, you gain brothers/ sisters for life. “Greekness” if you will, is an incredibly unique bond and an experience that is often difficult to explain to non-Greeks. I know that in my personal experience, the support I have received from my sisters throughout my ups and downs has been invaluable and I would always support them in return. However, I learned a very important lesson from them- you may not always know when someone needs your support the most.

As Risk Management Chairman of my chapter, I decided to plan and implement a Self-Image workshop. Self-image is not merely a matter of physical features, but also the way you view yourself as a person. It is often a topic that many young people (male and female) struggle with, which is why I chose to discuss it. I didn’t want the typical format of a slideshow full of statistics because that seemed so impersonal. I decided to reach out to a few sisters who had briefly shared with me that they had struggled with issues in the past. Two sisters agreed to share their stories with the group. Even I was amazed at the stories they told. I was shocked that there were so many things about my own sisters that I never knew and could never have even imagined. It made me think of that saying, “be kind to everyone you meet, they are facing a battle you know nothing about.” While I was wrapping up the night, I shared with the group a thought that had popped into my mind- We have no idea who anyone in this room was before they came to this university. Many people use college as a clean slate to start over and become the person they want to be. Even though that is a great outlook, past experiences still shaped you into who you are today- and who you want to become in the future. Sharing the things that make you you, helps those around you to better understand the way you function.

I asked for volunteers to share things that make them self-conscious so that other sisters would know how to more successfully build each other up. One sister that shared her story that night agreed to make a cameo today to describe her experience. She said:

“I opened up to my chapter about my struggle with an eating disorder in high school. At times it became difficult for me to speak because it was so emotional, so one of my sisters came to the front of the room and held my hand as I spoke. I could also see some of my sisters tearing up as I was speaking. Afterwards, many came up to me and told me how much they appreciated me sharing, gave me hugs, and also opened up about their struggles. To be able to have such an awesome support system while also being there for your sisters is truly incredible. I know my sisters are always there for me, anytime I need them, and in their own unique ways.”

That night the entire chapter really bonded. We went way past our time limit but everyone was sharing so much that we just couldn’t stop! We left that night feeling supported by one another and knowing that whatever battles we were facing, we weren’t alone in them. After that, it became easier for us to continuously share more. By doing this, we learned how to support each other and what it really means to be a sister. One of the newer members of the chapter said:

“Listening to my sisters open up to their experiences and preaching about how everyone should get help and not go through some things alone made me realize I needed to reach out, so I did. Going to the Self-Image workshop helped me regain my confidence, strengthen my bonds with my sisters, and without a doubt saved my life.”

I saw a change in the group that night. I saw a deeper bond form right in front of my eyes, and it was a beautiful thing. That is why I encourage each of you to take time to get to know who your brothers/sisters truly are, because they may not be exactly what you expect. With recruitment coming up, new friends will be entering your circle and it is important to learn as much as you can about them. Show them what being a brother/sister really means; because Greek life is full of tradition and rich with legacies, and when you are gone those you impact will pass on your legacy.

“For Life, Not Four Years”

Have you ever thought about all of the ways alumni volunteers have helped you or your chapter? Or why they sacrifice their time to be with you and help you with the things you need? I took it for granted at the time.

Before I even graduated, I knew that I was not ready to let go of my Greek experience. Especially having just received our charter, I had such a passion for the Greek system and wanted to fully immerse myself in it. But of course time flew by too fast and before I knew it, graduation had come and gone. I immediately began missing my sisters, going to meetings, recruitment events, and all of those things that seemed so chaotic at the time! I began to start thinking about how to adjust to the “alumni” phase of my life.

As this thought process developed, I looked back on my experience and recalled all of the sorority alumni who had influenced me and my chapter. We had consultants in from headquarters every couple of months who stayed in dorm rooms or on our couches. I had weekly calls to plan installation with my consultant. Volunteers from across the country came to our tiny little town just to help a group of strangers accomplish a goal. Alums from other Greek organizations had given us advice during our difficult times. And we had a wonderful advisory board that attended almost all of our meetings and continuously guided us. All of these people sacrificed something in order to give us a better experience. I came to the realization that without alumni, collegiate chapters would not be able to function.

It didn’t take me long to come to the conclusion that I wanted to be a volunteer. I submitted an application and had an interview for the advisory board just last night. When the interviewer asked me what I wanted to get out of being an advisor I told her that I wanted to help others have the life-changing experience that I had. I wanted to watch members blossom from the shy girl in the corner like I was, to the leaders of the chapter. I wanted to watch them develop their self esteem and believe in themselves and in each other. Not to mention its just fun to have an excuse to hang out with your sisters all the time :). I believe those are all reasons that alumni volunteers stay involved with their organizations. They recognize the gift that they had at your age and they want to give back and make sure the organization continues to thrive in the future.

I would encourage all of the collegiate members to reflect on how your organization’s volunteers and alumni have helped you through your college career and thank them for everything they have done. For those of you who are alums like me, I challenge you to stay involved! I know it gets hectic with jobs and families etc., but remember that you wouldn’t have had your great experience without volunteers, and future members may not be able to have the same experience without you!

Greek Chic- Croakies

Looking for a unique way to represent your organization this summer? How about some croakies?! Croakies are straps that fit on the back of your sunglasses so you don’t have to constantly take them on and off or worry about losing them. I don’t know about you, but on vacation I love to jetski. Even though I need them, I never want to take my sunglasses because I’m afraid they will fly off into the ocean! No need to worry about that with these! These are also great for groups who are participating in service projects outdoors this summer. Plus, these will be fun to wear around campus in the fall or pair with some stylish wayfarers for a retro look! Check out our pics and video below! You can order your croakies HERE!

Friday Fun Facts!

Did you know:

-85% of Fortune 500 executives are Greeks
-Greeks have a higher graduation rate than non-Greeks
-76% of all Who’s Who in America are Greeks
-Both women appointed to the US Supreme Court were in sororities
-“A study by the Center for the Study of College Fraternities found that fraternity and sorority members we significantly more satisfied with their college experience than non-members. ”
-Almost all Presidents since 1825 have been fraternity men (with the exception of 2-3)

See! Going Greek really does pay off!
Happy Weekend Everyone 🙂

Find these facts and more at:
Louisville Delta Upsilon

How Greek Makes You Strong

“Fraternities and Sororities symbolize all that we wish to accomplish in our lives. They represent the struggles we all face as we grow. Why we cling to them no one can explain, but in the end, we are all stronger for it.”

I recently stumbled upon this quote and was instantly struck by it. Just last night, I was speaking to a friend considering Greek life. When he asked me how I felt about my Greek experience, it was difficult to reply because there were so many things I wanted to say! I decided on the response, “It changed my life.”

I had an interesting first semester in college. Even though I had 15 credit hours, my classes seemed to always get cancelled for one reason or another. I know what you’re thinking-“Hello! Dream come true!” and in many ways it was awesome…for the first couple of weeks. But, then I realized that I wasn’t meeting anyone. I started to feel very alone and unhappy with my university. I even told my parents I wanted to transfer and toured another nearby school. For one reason or another, I decided to finish out the year and use summer to decide my next step. Immediately following all of this, I received this message from my orientation leader, Natalie:

“Hey Megan! I don’t know if you have ever thought about joining a national sorority but a group of girls and I are trying to start one on campus. We are meeting tomorrow at 10 in Piper 215 and Thursday at 9 if you are interesting in hearing about it. Also tell anyone else you feel would be interested. Hope to hear from you!”

Looking back at this message and those that followed makes me nostalgic because I know this is where it all began. It seems crazy that one little Facebook message could have redirected my path in such a huge way. I attended the meeting, with a little hesitation due to my shy nature, and that was it- I was hooked. I instantly felt accepted by the women in the room and my shyness began to disappear.

Throughout the course of the next two years I began to realize how daunting establishing a new chapter can be. Change is not a very easy thing to deal with in many cases, and at our small private school, we were making huge waves. The other Greek organizations on our campus were local (except for one national fraternity) and were concerned about how a nationally affiliated organization would affect them. Administration was afraid of conflicts that could (and did) arise between locals and nationals, as well as how a national sorority would function on such a small campus. Even though things began to get hectic, our group- called the Extension Committee- kept working. We took the necessary steps to declare our interest in the extension process. We received feedback from one sorority following our first extension bulletin submission. The Extension Committee was elated! We felt like our work had finally paid off. However, our excitement was quickly crushed when our Inter-Greek Council, IGC, voted not to let us continue with the extension process for that semester. I remember sitting in the meeting following the decision. Our president- and dare I say fearless leader, Katie, told us we had exactly 60 seconds to cry, scream, or do whatever we had to do to relieve our frustration. Needless to say, it was an intense 60 seconds with a room full of distraught women! After 60 seconds, we turned our frustration into determination. From that moment on, we refused to let anything stand in our way. The next semester we applied again, and ended up colonizing with Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Over the next few months, we began to learn more about Sigma and what we needed to do to become a part of it. The checklists seemed infinite. We began delegating tasks and checking things off one at a time. Even though we were still facing obstacles outside of our organization, conflicts within our group started to arise under the pressure as well. At the time we probably had somewhere around 15 women in the group. Nationals informed us that one of our installation goals would be to have 35 women. Now, at a school with 1,500 undergrad students, a large athletic population, and low Greek life involvement, this seemed impossible. Recruitment became a main focus and also a main stress factor! Greek life on our campus didn’t have the best reputation and the waves we were making deterred a lot of people because they referred to it as “drama.”

During the first week of school, our university hosted an annual Involvement Fair. There was no doubt that we had to make this a big deal. I took over the planning and spent hours slaving over posters and slideshows. We also had women from headquarters and members from other chapters come to help us out. Our booth was rockin’ but we didn’t stop there! We “chalked the walk” (a favorite of ours) with Sigmas and sailboats. We wrote thank you notes to all of the faculty and staff that had helped us in the past and delivered them that day. We handed out buttons, highlighters, info packets, and more to anyone and everyone.

That night we tallied up the names on our interest form- 66 names! Reaching 35 started to feel more realistic. However, there was one major problem. At our school, first semester freshmen were not allowed to join Greek organizations, and the majority of our names were freshmen. Our consultants assured us that it was ok because we had until spring to get our numbers up. Of course, its never that simple though right? More conflicts began to arise between those who felt that we needed to keep these freshmen involved to maintain them, and those who felt we needed to concentrate on our goals for the current semester. I will admit that I was at the forefront of this debate and felt very strongly that the freshmen needed to be involved in as much as they could be. This caused friction between me and other women but I continued to stand my ground. Unfortunately, we ended up losing many of those interested freshmen by the next semester. Not only that, but we were beginning to lose some of our long-time members as well. Stress was high and so was the time commitment. Many women just couldn’t handle the difficult combination at that time. It was a long two semesters and we were recruiting until the week of installation. Now, this was especially stressful for me because I was in charge of planning installation weekend and if we didn’t meet our numbers, there would be no installation. I knew that I was graduating in a month and I desperately wanted to see this dream of ours come true before I was gone. The work continued and before we knew it, it was there- Installation Weekend. Installation was such an incredible experience for everyone involved. For the members of the Theta Gamma chapter, it was a dream come true, something we had fought for for years. For our consultants and other volunteers, it was an inspiration to see how much this meant to us after everything we had been through and refreshed their excitement for Sigma. The weekend was truly amazing and even worth the stress!

So, back to the point- “Fraternities and Sororities symbolize all that we wish to accomplish in our lives. They represent the struggles we all face as we grow. Why we cling to them no one can explain, but in the end, we are all stronger for it.” My experience truly did symbolize what I wished to accomplish in my life. We fought battles we never thought we could win, and came out victorious. We believed in something and refused to lose sight of our goal, even when others told us we couldn’t do it. When we got discouraged, we leaned on each other and our bond is stronger because of the hardships we faced together. By the time I graduated college, I had already learned so many life lessons and made one of my dreams come true. At the end of the day, our sorority made us all stronger women.

Involvement Fair!

Our First Bid Day!

Installation Day!

This quote and others from:
AngelFire Greek Quotes

Greek Chic- Fathers Edition

In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, I thought we would dedicate this week’s “Greek Chic” segment to all the sorority/fraternity dads out there. If your dad is anything like mine, he is impossible to buy for! But never has you covered!

Here we have the Dad T-Shirt. Help your dad show off his Greek spirit and support your organization by giving him one of these awesome t-shirts. You can customize the colors and letters on this item, while staying on a budget.

Another option is The Greek Family Bar Hat. This is perfect for all of these sunny summer days! Dad can take it on vacation with him and wear it to sporting events during the school year!

Or maybe you just want to prepare dad for Dad’s Weekend in the fall with this Family Hoodie.

Whatever you choose, your father is sure to love it! Have fun shopping!