Hello! My name is Anna Pellegrini, and I am a senior graduating this May. I am majoring in Organizational Communication with minors in Psychology and Leadership. Throughout my four years here at Missouri State University, I have been involved in a lot of different organizations and each of the organizations has helped me grow in various ways. However, the organization that has impacted my life the most is my sorority chapter.
There are a lot of negative connotations surrounding Fraternity and Sorority Life, however, I am going to talk about my experience over the past four years within FSL and combat those preconceived thoughts. For this blog, I am going to talk about some of the benefits of being involved in Fraternity and Sorority Life at Missouri State University.
“Do fraternities and sororities haze?”
NO! Fraternities and Sororities do NOT haze. Missouri State University has a zero-tolerance policy against hazing and the FSL community makes efforts to prevent and educate each other about the impact that hazing has on individuals. Not only does Missouri State prevent hazing but many states have laws against hazing. According to stfblaw.com, “As of 2019, there are 44 states that have pressed laws prohibiting hazing. 10 of the 44 states have laws explicitly making hazing a felony.” I am proud to say that my chapter does NOT haze but we also continually educate ourselves on the harmful impact of hazing and how we can prevent hazing from happening to others.
Below are just some of the benefits that I have gained over the past four years of being involved in FSL.
- While being my chapter, I have had many leadership opportunities present themselves to me. I had the opportunity to serve as a Chapter President for a chapter of almost 200 girls. This allowed me to expand upon my leadership skills and grow as a person. I had opportunities to attend leadership conferences to represent my chapter not only at Missouri State but also at my national headquarters in Tennessee!
- A large part of FSL is service. Each chapter has worked closely with a philanthropy to bring awareness, raise money, and do acts of service to help benefit the organization and its mission. Chapters typically do one or more philanthropy events each semester. Along with working with a philanthropy, chapters typically work with non-profit organizations in with Springfield area where members are volunteering, raising awareness, or helping raise money for the organization. Having the opportunity to help others or the community is an amazing feeling and allows you to see the privilege and opportunities you have that others might not.
- When students are coming to college, their first priority should be their academics. Being involved in FSL, each chapter has an academic plan to help members be focused on their classes, grades, and give them tools to succeed. Since joining my sorority, my grades have constantly been high, and I have never worried about failing a class. Being in a large sorority, you can always count on seeing a sister in one of your classes and always having someone to study with. Having these resources, I have felt supported and have gained the confidence that I needed to excel in my courses.
- Networking is a crucial skill in life. While being in a chapter not only do you the members of your organization that you are able to network with, but you also have members in the FSL community you are able to network with as well. Having a large community allows you to meet others who have similar interests as you and can be potential future colleagues. Along with networking at your university, you also have thousands of people who are members of your chapter that you have the opportunity to network with. I had the opportunity to travel to Tennessee and Florida for two events within my chapter and I was able to meet other members of my organization from across the country. I still talk with a couple of women that I met, and I am able to celebrate them as they accomplish life goals!
- I have a younger brother and no sisters. I always wanted to have a little sister to share clothes with, do makeup with, hang out with, and have a sister to go through life with, and coming to college and joining my chapter, I gained almost 200 sisters. Over the past 4 years not only had I found my bride maids, but I found my life-long friends. I found the friend group that I had always been looking for. The girls in my chapter are some of the most genuine girls I have ever met. They are true to themselves, are so selfless, the type of people who hype you up, they are so caring, beautiful inside and out, hilarious, and people who I consider are my best friends. From the impromptu dance parties, going shopping, staying up late when someone has a late-night shift at work to make sure they got home okay, to being a shoulder to cry on, the way too many late-night foods and ice cream runs, these are the people I will forever love.
Many people think that joining a fraternity or sorority means that you are just paying for your friends, but after reading the above paragraphs, hopefully, you can see that you are paying for an experience that will change your life. These are only a couple of benefits that come from the FSL community, if you are interested in hearing other benefits and amazing opportunities through the community feel free to reach out to me or visit Missouri State’s website and search Fraternity and Sorority Life!
(submitted by Anna Pellegrini, Missouri State University | Organizational Communication; Orientation and Transition Programs | Orientation Assistant; Student Government Association | Director of Administrative Services; Alpha Omicron Pi)