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!

Sweet Summertime!

Well, summer is finally here! It’s time to put away the textbooks and enjoy the weather for awhile. Some of you may live close to your universities, while others come from great distances. As exciting as the start of summer always was for me, there was still a bitter-sweet feeling. Yes, I was ready for a break but I also knew going home meant being away from my sorority sisters. When you’re at school, it seems that your sorority/ fraternity truly becomes your family. I always found myself a little lost when I first arrived home for summer. The house seemed too quiet and there was no one to make late-night fast food runs with! Recently, I asked all of you Facebook fans out there what you do to stay in touch during summer break. A few of you mentioned that you were taking trips together to places like Boston or Holiday World, which is an awesome way to relax and keep up with your sisters or brothers. The past two summers, my chapter road-tripped to Chicago for the Walk for Autism. Not only was this a fun way to get out of town for awhile and spend some quality time together, but also to support a great cause!

Summer is a great time to get some friends together and do some volunteering as well. The weather is nice, which opens up a lot more service opportunities. As you all know, the school year gets hectic between school, work, Greek life, and other obligations. This doesn’t leave much spare time for volunteer work. So this summer, grab some buddies a find some projects to do together- it will be a great bonding experience as well, trust me!

I think another great idea is to plan a late-summer meeting to prep for the upcoming school year. This way you can plan events and delegate tasks. When you walk onto campus that first day you can feel calm and confident, knowing your game-plan for that semester.

What else do you do throughout the summer?

How to Leverage Your Greek Experience

As I have mentioned before, I am a recent graduate. I don’t know about you, but the concept of the infamous “job search” left me completely terrified. I had no idea where to start, I was so busy with finishing up school that I had no time to look, and not knowing where my life was going made me nervous. I had worked since I was 16, mostly in retail but with one summer internship. I didn’t know if my work experience was enough to differentiate myself in the competitive job market. I figure that many of you out there are dealing with these same fears and wondering what to do- so hopefully I can help you out a bit. This is a long post but bear with me, you may find something useful!

Not only did the job searching scare me, but even scarier was the idea of the actual interview. My greatest fear was being asked a question that I couldn’t answer. I began searching interview questions and asking around. I came to realize that interviews are about more than just employment experience, they are about life experience. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my sorority experience had provided me with answers to the majority of the interview questions I was asked. I had three interviews over the course of my final semester and received offers for two of the jobs. I knew my sorority experience had taught me valuable lessons that would be impressive to employers, which helped me relax a bit. So, here are a few of the lessons you’ve probably learned, even if you haven’t realized it yet!

-Academic Achievement: Most Greek organizations have academic requirements that must be met and maintained for membership. It is crucial to keep your grades up not only to be eligible for Greek life, but also because education is the reason that you went to college in the first place. Your Greek organization may also have an academic program that requires you to meet for study groups or something along those lines. Use that time to your advantage and don’t blow it off, it’ll help you achieve more. Employers will be impressed with a high GPA, but they also want to know that you care about learning and that you are willing to learn throughout the remainder of your life. If you begin to slip, ask for help! Asking for help when you need it is not something to be frowned upon. Even if you get good grades, it is still beneficial to get extra help with papers etc. Going above and beyond is always a plus in the eyes of employers.

-Networking: Networking can be vital to the job search. Starting early (freshman-sophomore year) will help you to gain more contacts and perfect your skills. Your Greek organization has esteemed alumni and programs to help you grow and develop. There are usually a variety of conferences throughout the year as well as educational programs held by your chapter. I highly recommend soaking up as much of these types of things as possible. You will meet new people, see what kinds of opportunities are out there, and become more confident in yourself. Remember to also build relationships on your own campus. Positive relationships with university faculty and staff can really put you ahead of the game. Many times, companies will call to inform faculty of new employment opportunities and ask for recommendations. If you have built a positive relationship with your professors and those you work with, they are likely to remember you and pass your name along to employers.

-Leadership: Sororities and fraternities would not function without strong student leadership. Each group offers a variety of leadership roles that can teach you many things if you take advantage. Many times it seems that students go Greek just for the “fun” aspects. Having fun is a huge part of the Greek experience and can be the best part of college, but taking ownership in your organization will give you a sense of accomplishment and look better on a resume. When I first joined my sorority, I had just begun college and was still a little shy. I was hesitant to speak my mind, wondering if the others would agree with me or not. After awhile, I realized that just going to meetings and sitting there with my mouth shut wasn’t true involvement. At the time, my organization was still just an interest group. I began to think about the future of the organization and visualize the day we would receive our charter. Then it dawned on me- I didn’t want that day to come and be thinking to myself “they could have done this without me, I really didn’t make any difference.” From then on, I began taking any leadership role I could get my hands on, no matter how small. I began sharing my ideas in meetings- and my sisters loved them! Their feedback gave me the confidence to keep striving for more. After five semesters I had held all of these positions:

-Facebook Administrator
-Public Relations Chair
-Co-Director of Formal Chapter Events
-Involvement Fair Chair
-Vice President
-Homecoming Queen Candidate
-Risk Management Chair
-Installation Committee Chair
-Honor Council Meeting Coordinator
-Honor Council Goals Coordinator

Seeing this list on my resume, employers recognized that not only was I in a sorority, but that I was dedicated, I was a leader, and I was loyal. I believe it made them realize that I wasn’t the type who would sit back and let others take the lead; I was a self-starter and had the ability to motivate others.

-Conflict Resolution: In a group, no one gets along 24/7/365 (surprise, I know!). There will always be conflicts on a personal level, as well as a business level. Some of the conflicts I experienced were due to differences of opinions in how the sorority should run or what course of action we should take. Other times the conflict was with a sister, but had nothing to do with the sorority. These things happen. At the time they may seem bad, but look for the good in these situations because they can teach you a lot. I learned quickly that people work differently and can have a wide spectrum of attitudes. Though these conflicts arise, at the end of the day you are working with your brother or sister and you typically work it out somehow. These experiences teach you how to handle different work methods and attitudes. When I was looking for a job, multiple employers asked me to describe a time when I had to deal with conflict and how I overcame it. I had plenty of examples to pull from, and I felt confident in my answers because I knew that I had handled those situations in a mature way.

-Discipline: Greek organizations differ from other student groups often because the rules and obligations are stricter. Attendance, conduct, service, and campus involvement are just a few of the obligations that come with joining a Greek organization. Mixing these things with school and work can often make life hectic. So, how do you survive and how do you multi-task? You prioritize and you work hard. If you are a Greek, you probably know all about pulling all nighters, getting help when your grades start to slip, asking a brother/sister for help when you need it, juggling service, social, academic, and business meetings with school and work, and ultimately managing your time wisely. Employers love to hear these types of things. They know that if you could handle all of that in college, then you can most likely handle whatever a job throws at you.

-Team-Work: In many ways, your fraternity or sorority can be viewed as a team. You have certain goals that must be achieved, and you have multiple people that must work together to achieve those goals. You may be divided up into sub-groups to help distribute tasks, but your chapter is still a team. Employers often ask about experiences you’ve had working with groups. There are many times when you have worked with other members and achieved a goal- so discuss those situations.

-Motivation: I was once asked in an interview to describe a time when I motivated someone to do something. It was not something I had ever really thought about so it took me a little off-guard. I took a second to think about it, knowing that I surely had motivated someone at some point (at least I hoped!). I started to draw a blank so my brain headed straight to the “Sorority” section. Then I remembered a time that I mentioned to a sister how perfect I thought she would be for a certain officer position. She said it had crossed her mind but she didn’t think she could get it, so she was going to settle for a lesser position that she had already held. I explained to her the strengths I saw in her and how I knew she could do it. I encouraged her to accept a new challenge and see where it could take her. The next day, she submitted her interest form for the position- and sure enough, she got it and did a spectacular job. This is the story I told to the employer and she seemed impressed. Employers want to know that you will be a benefit to their environment as well as just their business.

These are just a few of the ways that your Greek experience can assist you in “the real world.” I could go on an on but let’s face it- it’s summer, you don’t want to read a book! These tips worked for me and I hope they work for you as well. I encourage you to get involved and really pay attention to the situations that arise in your lives and how they may come in handy down the road. Best of luck to all of you job-searchers!