One really awesome thing about Greek Life at The Woods is the opportunity to network and take on leadership roles. Last year I served as Director of Administration on the Executive Council for our chapter. I was in charge of keeping track of dates, roster management, and other forms. This past November I was elected Chapter President, as a sophomore! It has been a crazy ride so far and I am loving every second of it!
This past weekend I traveled with a group of my sorority sisters to Atlanta Georgia for Alpha Phi's Southern Leadership Conference. The weather tried really hard to keep us here in St. Louis, so for a few days we thought we might not make it. Atlanta experienced ice and snow storms in the middle of last week, and phenomenon they aren't all that familiar with. We checked our airline religiously to make sure our flight was still on!
Conference started Friday afternoon, and we got a chance to meet with Alpha Phi International Fraternity Staff (we're actually called a fraternity because we were founded before the sorority existed!). We met some amazing women and learned a lot about our history.
Saturday was when I really started learning about the importance of effective leadership. Each officer had break out sessions with other women from chapters across our quadrant who hold the same position. I had a lot of conversations with other Chapter Presidents about what it takes to lead not only the executive council, but the entire chapter. It was very neat to hear the different perspectives from the presidents at larger campuses and those with smaller chapter size than ours. We all helped each other by giving things our chapter had done successfully so everyone left with new ideas.
One highlight of the trip was a session that the Chapter Presidents had with Linda Boland, the current International President of Alpha Phi. She really helped us think about life beyond college and how being a sorority woman can bring all kinds of opportunity and support well beyond our four years in the chapter.
Sunday focused on a key note speaker, Dr. Lois Frankel. Dr. Frankel is a leadership consultant with an emphasis on women as leaders. One of the things she talked about that really struck me was to treat each person as if they are going to die tomorrow. I've grown up hearing the golden rule and the importance of treating people with respect, but this new spin on it really stayed with me. I'm hoping to live my life with that motto, and help others do the same.
We made the trip back to St. Louis Sunday afternoon, and we were a strange mix of excited and exhausted! We were able to learn a lot in the short time we spend in Atlanta, but I glad to get back to The Woods.
Being Greek here at William Woods has not only given me life long friends and a lot of fun activities, it has helped me realize the importance of leadership. I know that what I have learned so far will stay with me and apply to my career and other aspects of my life. Being Greek is not the only way to gain these perspectives. We have plenty of other clubs and leadership societies on campus that will teach the same types of skills. I'm thankful for the opportunities I have been presented here at The Woods.