Living Our Values Everyday: Leadership By Meghan Holl

Joining a sorority is not something I had prioritized when I was choosing a university to attend as a senior in high school. In fact, it was never even an option for me as I entered college in the Fall of 2016, as I was attending a different school at the time that did not have Greek life. After a not so enjoyable first few months of college, I made the decision to transfer to AU in the middle of the school year after only completing one semester. I knew that transferring in the middle of the year was going to be difficult, so I decided to go through Formal Panhellenic Recruitment in the Spring of 2017 in hopes of making new friends as soon as possible.

I went into the process completely alone knowing absolutely nothing about Greek Life at AU, which was a big step out of my comfort zone as I have always been a person who likes to know all of the facts before I jump into something new. Regardless of my hesitation about the process, I went in with an open mind, ready and excited to meet new people and experience the whirlwind that is recruitment.

After a crazy few days, I ended up receiving a bid from Sigma Delta Tau. I began my new member process hoping to develop a solid friend group that would last throughout college, but little did I know Sig Delt was going to provide me with so much more: a home away from home, an amazing support system, opportunities that have had a huge impact on my college experience, and leadership skills that I will be taking with me into the “real” world.

When I first joined Sig Delt, I wanted to fly under the radar. I was only there to make friends, and had no interest in taking on a leadership role in any capacity. However, that changed as I was encouraged by my sisters to serve on committees and our general board, experiences which, surprisingly, I enjoyed. Eventually I decided to run for Executive Board, and was elected as our VP of Recruitment, and then as our VP of New Member Education. My time serving on the Executive Board was such a fun experience that gave me so many skills that I know I will take with me as I enter the workforce. I learned how to collaborate with others, solve problems, organize events, and become a better leader. Although at times serving on the Executive Board was pretty hectic, it was one of the highlights of my college experience.

Aside from being very active within my own chapter, I also had many opportunities to become involved with my sorority on a National level. I was chosen to attend Sigma Delta Tau’s Convention in Cleveland, OH in 2018 as a “rising leader” from the Gamma Delta Chapter at AU. Attending convention was one of my favorite experiences throughout all of college. It was an opportunity to meet all of SDT’s from across the country. Attending the Convention allowed me to see just how widespread the network of Sig Delts really is, and got me even more excited to get involved within my own chapter, as well as continue to become involved on a National level.

A year later, I had another opportunity to participate in another National program, an Alternative Summer Break (ASB) trip. I went to Philadelphia with sisters from other chapters across the country to work with a nonprofit organization called Northern Children’s Services. Northern’s mission is to create safe spaces for the healthy development of children and to support their families in order to create a strong community. This organization and its mission directly relates to one of SDT’s national philanthropies, Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA). Participating in this ASB program and meeting some of the children at Northern had a huge impact on my outlook of PCAA, making me feel even more connected to the organization that I had before. Campus wide events and fundraisers are a large part of how chapters across the country support our philanthropies, but being able to directly work with children allowed me to see how impactful PCAA is.

All of these experiences, whether that be taking on a leadership role within my own chapter or taking part in the opportunities that SDT Headquarters has for collegians, has led me to where I am now. I am excited to continue working with SDT as a Leadership Consultant for the 2020-2021 school year. This job will allow me to work directly with numerous SDT chapters across the country in order to help with their continued development and success, whether that be recruitment, new member programming, philanthropy events, or any other support that they may need. I’m so thankful for the amazing opportunity to have a job that allows me to travel across the country and continue working with an organization that I care so much about. The experiences and opportunities that Sig Delt has given me over the past few years have had such a positive impact on me, and I’m sure that this organization will continue to impact my life long after graduation.

As my time being a collegian in the Gamma Delta Chapter of Sigma Delta Tau is coming to an end, I’m met with so many emotions. I’m excited to be graduating and start my “adult” life, while at the same time, I’m so sad to leave the supportive family that this chapter has become to me over the past four years. I know that the next year of being a Leadership Consultant is going to be full of so many new experiences that I’m sure will further enrich my life and have a positive impact on my future. There’s a saying, “It’s not for four years, it’s for life” that so many people don’t think much of or even choose to ignore. For me, at least, this saying rings true, and I can’t wait to see what the next four, eight, however many years (I know there will be many) brings me.

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