ZTA Crowns Big Man on Campus

By Casey Magersupp, ZTA VP of Philanthropy and Fundraising

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 3.10.02 PM.pngEvery year, Greek chapters across the nation brainstorm ideas for how to make their annual philanthropy events bigger and better, and the Zeta Tau Alpha chapter here at USC is no different. Last year, we decided we wanted to go bigger than just our golf tournament or 5k race; we wanted to do more for breast cancer education and awareness, and we wanted to involve more people in our USC community. We’d heard of the success of male pageants, and decided to give it a shot. Flash forward and here we are, coming back for our second year of Big Man on Campus!The all-male pageant is a great way for ZTA to bring together the South Carolina community in a hilarious way, all while raising money for breast cancer.

 

This year’s event will be hosted on November 5th at 7pm at the Koger Center for the Arts.ZTABMOC.jpg It features contestants from several USC fraternities and USCDM, and is sure to bring in a great crowd of USC students and Columbia natives! Not to mention, the organization that has the most attendees receives a donation from ZTA towards their organizations’ philanthropic efforts.

 

Contestants will compete for the title of Mr. BMOC through three rounds: talent, formal wear, and an on-stage question. In addition to heavy competition between the organizations, the Carolina Girls will perform a routine, and a few boutiques around Columbia will host pop-up shops before the event. Doors will be open at 6:00pm for attendees to check out the shops, buy the event t-shirt, learn more about breast cancer prevention and treatments, and prepare for a night of fun for an amazing cause.

 

Tickets to the event are available through ZTA’s Crowd Change page for $7. (zta.crowdchange.co/3786) or at the door for $10 via cash or card!

Leadership in the Panhellenic Community

By Taylor Palmer, Panhellenic Vice President of Public Relations

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 1.15.20 PM.pngWhat do you think of when you hear the word ‘leader?’ Maybe you think of someone super involved on campus, someone who has a lot of friends, or that person that always seems put-together. Maybe you think you wouldn’t fit as a leader- “The time commitment is too much. I’m afraid of people looking to me for direction! I’m too young. I’m not organized enough!”

 

The truth is, there are many different kinds of leadership needed. From president to photography chair, there are many different opportunities to apply your talents. Love Instagram and Twitter? There are different positions within each chapter from chairs to VP positions to get involved in communications. Passionate about service? Philanthropy is an important element in every chapter, and many ideas and man-hours are required to raise tens of thousands of dollars to support a charity. Leadership positions vary in time commitment and level of autonomy, and you’ll often work in a team to solve problems. Two heads are always better than one!

 

Leaders are creative, passionate, caring. They take initiative and seek growth and change for their IMG_7377.jpgchapter and community. Leaders make a difference on so many different levels. Personally, I was afraid to step up and embrace being a leader in my chapter. I was a freshman new member when I was tapped to serve on my executive board as Panhellenic delegate. I was so nervous! I didn’t know how much I could grow in one year – under guidance and with the help of the best team, I learned to plan events, expanded my network, worked with personalities different than my own and honed my organization skills.

 

As I shaped my leadership style, I learned the most important lesson about being a leader: You don’t have to be perfect! You will have good and bad days. Leaving your comfort zone will help you grow past what you thought you could do.

 

Now, as Panhellenic vice president of public relations, I’ve learned and grown even more – on a team of 8 hardworking, driven, talented women from different chapters, I’ve gained insight into our community as a whole and been inspired by the high standards we’re held to. I’ll be sad to leave the experience behind, yet elated to pass the Panhellenic legacy down to an executive board with renewed energy, boundless creativity, and endless passion for empowering the thousands of women we serve.

DSC_0434.JPGTo Caroline, Allison, Alana, Sydney, Darby, Megan and Amanda- thank you for the laughter, sisterhood, and memories. Thank you for inspiring me to be my best self and having my back. Leadership experience is rewarding, especially when you work on a united team with a vision of excellence.

 

If you haven’t, consider running for a position within your chapter or on the Panhellenic executive board. You’ll be surprised what you can add to a team, the legacy you’ll leave behind and the friendships that will remain strong well after your term.

 

Panhellenic executive board applications available on Garnet Gate, due November 2, 2018: https://garnetgate.sa.sc.edu/organization/panhellenic 

Empowered Women Empower Women – Circle of Sisterhood at USC

By Darby Nugent, College Panhellenic Association Vice President of Philanthropy

After spending a year abroad working to promote education for young girls in Central America, I knew I want to spend my time in college doing the same. Within a week of returning from C.A. I was headed down to USC for sorority recruitment and feeling completely overwhelmed. I didn’t know if being in a sorority was really for me. Then, my first day of recruitment, I attended the Sorority 101 program. Hearing about the time and financial commitment of being in Fraternity and Sorority Life was helpful, but what changed my mind about whether or not I belonged in the community at USC was hearing about our Panhellenic philanthropy, Circle of Sisterhood.

IMG_4869.jpgHearing Ginny Carroll, the founder of Circle of Sisterhood and a sorority alumna, speak about the impact education can have on a girl’s life and the numerous barriers girls in underdeveloped nations must overcome to achieve education resonated with me. The pictures she showed of the numerous treks she had been on and the women that Circle of Sisterhood had empowered made me think of the girls I had worked with during my gap year. During my time in Central America I spent most of my time launching an after school program in one of the underserved villages in Belize. I remember on my first day there asking a group of girls, no older than 12, what they wanted to be when they grew up and every single one of them saying they didn’t want to be anything- they had never been given to opportunity to dream and aspire to a profession. This was heartbreaking for me. 

Circle of Sisterhood’s goal is to change this. Through education, Circle of Sisterhood seeks to empower women. Education is the answer to many of the global issues related to women such as poverty, oppression, misogyny, abuse, and brutality. However, education is not always easy for young girls to obtain. Several barriers such as cultural norms, security, human trafficking, and cost of education prevent girls from going to school. Circle of Sisterhood seeks to remove these barriers and make education accessible in order to empower women and girls globally. After all, studies show that educating girls is the most effective way to fight poverty.

CPA chose Circle of Sisterhood as their philanthropy because sorority women are the largest group of college-educated women in the world. We’re also super passionate about changing the world for the better, making us the best fit for Circle of Sisterhood’s mission.

I loved Circle of Sisterhood’s mission and I totally agreed with the process and I knew IMG_0380.JPGit was something that I HAD to be a part of. By my second semester at USC, I was already the Circle of Sisterhood delegate and committee head for my chapter. It quickly became my favorite thing about not only Greek Life, but my college experience at USC as a whole. The more I learned about women’s rights globally and the more I invested in Circle of Sisterhood, the more acutely aware I was of the privilege we have simply by attending college. I want to make a difference for girls who are not as fortunate as I am.

As I start my third year here at USC as the Vice President of Service for College
Panhellenic Association and the committee head for Circle of Sisterhood, I can’t wait to continue promoting awareness and education for girls globally. I also look forward to going on trek this December to build a school in Senegal which will give numerous girls access to education and empower them and their futures.

Learn more about Circle of Sisterhood here

Follow @circleofsisterhood and @uofsc_circleofsisterhood on Instagram to stay updated with the official philanthropy and the USC chapter as we go on trek!

Venmo uofsc_cofs to donate

 

What Sisterhood Really Means

Mental Health in the Panhellenic Community

By Megan Barbee, Panhellenic Vice President of New Member Development

My best friend once said that in order for people to bloom and experience growth, we Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 5.40.47 PM.pnghave to water their seeds. Watering seeds looks a lot like building each other up, meeting each other where we are and empowering each other to be the best versions of ourselves. This made me question how often we take the time to make sure our own seeds are being tended to, something that is a lot harder to do for ourselves.

It is so easy to see how gardening can be used as an analogy for growth.  We often hear people speak in idioms about “blooming” and “being planted,” but how often do we think about the role of weeds? This summer I have had the opportunity to volunteer at a community garden, and—quite literally—garden. I have noticed that most of what it takes to cultivate a successful garden is a persistent removal of weeds.

The more I began to analyze this, the more I realized that this generally reflects our brains and how we process the problems that occur in both our conscious and subconscious minds. Like weeds, our problems have to be acknowledged and tamed. We cannot let even the smallest things go untended or else they will continue to grow and overtake the garden. Weeds steal the nutrients that we need to produce the flowers and truly bloom.

Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 5.41.10 PM.pngWeeds are an overpowering nuisance, but they are an integral part of the gardening process. We all have different types of weeds, and they never really fully go away. They are a part
of what makes up our garden and holds our soil together. We have to learn that having weeds is NORMAL and OKAY. Accepting this is the beginning, and knowing how to keep them maintained at a healthy level is so important.

Tending to our weeds looks different for everyone. Maybe it means you need to make sure your basic needs are in check: is your body physically in check? Are your physical activity and nutrition levels healthy for you? Are you getting enough sleep? Maybe it means taking more time to do things that make you happy: are you spending time with people who build you up and inspire you? Are you doing things that you enjoy in healthy intervals? Maybe it means you need to see a therapist and talk through issues that are far beyond the surface. It looks different for everyone, but it is so important to note that there is not a fine line between mental health and mental illness. We all have to work to be happy, content and at peace with our own minds.

When I was elected to my position as VP of Membership Development, a new CPA position with a job description that was open to interpretation and creativity, I got to decide what could be implemented into our Panhellenic community to better our members. To some, membership development looks like working on leadership skills or focusing on incentivizing scholarship. To me, this meant focusing on mental health awareness. In order to better all of the other areas of our life, we must focus on and challenge the roots of our negative thoughts and beliefs. This has led to a wonderful partnership between College Panhellenic Association and the USC Counseling Center. Our contacts there have allowed us to create mental health programming that is open to everyone, but focuses on Panhellenic women and meeting their needs. I was overtaken with joy seeing the success of the “pilot” sessions hosted in the spring, and cannot wait for what we will offer in the fall.

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With this new school year approaching, I encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunities we have with CPA mental health programming, the 10 free sessions at the USC Counseling Center and generally just monitoring our own and others’ mental health. With everything we do as Panhellenic women, I realize that it can be easy to let our weeds overtake our garden. However, if we intentionally spend time tending to the things that hold us back and attacking our metaphorical weeds at their roots, we can learn to grow and bloom to the best of our ability, and I think that is beautiful.

 

Find more about the USC Counseling Center here

Delta Zeta Dreamin’, Delta Zeta Livin’

By Ansley Hagenburger, Delta Zeta Vice President of New Member Education

The best experiences are ones you always swore you’d never do. You know, the kind that were never what you thought you wanted, but end up being everything you actually needed. That’s how it was for me living in my sorority house. I always said there was no way I could live in one house with over 30 other girls. That is way too much estrogen and way too much screaming, peppy energy.  Little did I know it was far from that assumption, and much better than what I imagined.

Let’s get one thing straight. If nothing else, living in your sorority house is the best just because of its convenience. You don’t have to drive to campus (you’ll just sweat like a gorilla walking up there, but we deal with it). Since we get our meals at the house, there’s no need to put on a bra to get food. You just walk downstairs in all your beauty, whether you just rolled out of bed or came from work. Not to mention the leftovers, which we always have first dibs on! As sad as it is to admit, there were many times that I scavenged around for extra pizza, paninis and anything sweet that was leftover. Shout out to our chefs; they definitely know me on a first name basis.

As cliché as it is, the most significant parts about living in the sorority house are

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the ones you share it with and the memories you make. There were girls that I didn’t know before living in the house, and now, I get to call them some of my best friends. See, when there are endless closets to borrow clothes from, someone always needing their hair done and tons of shoulders to cry on, you become friends pretty quickly. There is always someone to study or watch a movie with, go on a Target run with, or get Cookout milkshakes with. Sure, as someone who needs her alone time, it’s not always easy being surrounded by people who want to hang out and chat. But I don’t regret those moments for the world. From playing Super Mario Bros to late-night chats about life, every memory I have there is cherished.
For someone who was apprehensive about living in their sorority house, boy was I wrong! It’s this experience that has made me feel even more a part of my sorority and truly pushed me out of my comfort zone. No doubt, by the end of the year, everyone was ready to go back to having a room to themselves and some peace and quiet. But, between tearful goodbyes, I think we all wished we had a few more days there. Luckily for me, I don’t have to wait because I get to do it all over again next year! With different people and personalities, it’s bound to be a completely different experience. But I bet it will be just as memorable and just as life changing as the first time.

The Power of Greek Unity at USC: A Guide to the Four Councils and Greek Relations

By Sydney Janes, Panhellenic VP of Programming

For those coming into our Greek community, get ready: together, we are force! We are a power for good and we are filled with change-makers who are ready to positively affect those around us.

Who makes up our community? Great question. We are made up of four of the strongest councils, and we are being led by some of the greatest leaders on campus.

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 1.43.21 PM.pngCPA

At South Carolina, the College Panhellenic Association is the subset campus organization that supports 13 National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) chapters on our campus.

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 1.42.46 PM.pngIFC

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) oversees 20 USC fraternity chapters.

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 1.45.27 PM.pngMGC

The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) is the umbrella group for our cultural-based organizations, and represents five USC organizations.

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 1.46.03 PM.pngNPHC 

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is the umbrella organization for nine fraternities and sororities, all of which are represented at USC.

Why do I think this community is the best? When I say we are a community, I mean it. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders; we support each other whenever possible, and some of us even call each other neighbors. The most important aspect of our community is we understand individual successes allow for communal successes because at the end of the day, we are all Greek.

Since being elected to serve as VP of Programming, I have been on a mission to createScreen Shot 2018-06-25 at 2.30.47 PM.png
events that remind us how fortunate we are to be Greek at the University of South Carolina. Our community is big and our university is bigger, so when we work together, our impact is enormous. Last semester, when I planned Greek Week 2018, a week in April featuring activities centered on unity and fun, the week’s tagline was “Together We Stand”. For the first time ever, we welcomed 13 deserving and purpose-driven student organizations to join us in the tradition. Teams represented, served, and fundraised for the service organizations all week with the hope of being crowned Greek Week Champion! The 13 service organizations we partnered with, as well as their information, can be found at the end of this blog.

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My goal was to unite not only Greeks, but also our campus community! The week was for every person to understand the power of our community with events like MGC cultural food fest and Greek Life Through the Ages, a powerful time when all chapters were encouraged to share their history and traditions in front of the Carolina community. We are fortunate to have many chapters with many members, so we wanted to remind everyone that the heartbeats of our chapters are not just our chapter leaders. It is the university that has welcomed our organizations with open arms. We are fitting into the university, not the other way around.

Personally, the week was one of the biggest highlights of my college career because this community means the world to me. It was an honor to create a week that I hope encouraged people to step out of their comfort zone and, no matter the letters, proudly stand next to each other as teammates and friends. My sisterhood is one of my greatest treasures because it has been my home; my sisters have been pillars for me as I have continually dreamt big. When I think I am crazy, they tell me to dream bigger! My sisterhood is just one of the many organizations that makes this community feel like home to thousands of Carolinians. I want outsiders to know not just about the good we do for others, but the good we do for each other.

I came to the University of South Carolina on a mission. My goal was to be bold and take risks. This community has lit a fire in me and I want others to see why I think we are so special. The Greek community has allowed me to stand out, hone my talents and be my best. No matter where you are in life, find a group of people that pushes you towards success like this community has done for me. College is a time to find YOUR passions and YOUR purpose. No matter where you go or what letters you wear, go with endurance because once you find your purpose, you won’t be able to stop.

Gamecock Reach, http://www.gamecockreach.org/

Carolina Homelessness Outreach, https://www.facebook.com/usccho/

Together We Rise, https://www.togetherwerise.org

Students Helping Honduras, http://shhkids.org

International Justice Mission, https://www.ijm.org

Dream Outside the Box, http://dreamoutsidethebox.org

Student United Way, https://www.unitedway.org/get-involved/groups/student

FIMRC, https://www.fimrc.org

Active Minds, https://www.activeminds.org

Timmy Global Health, https://timmyglobalhealth.org

Waverly After School, http://web.sa.sc.edu/waverlycenter/Volunteers.html

Gamecocks Aiding Refugees, https://www.facebook.com/uscgarc/

Cocky’s Canine PAALS, https://paals.org/programs/