Living Our Values Everyday: Sisterhood in a Pandemic

Back in August when a remote semester loomed largely ahead of us, I felt a pit in my stomach thinking about the upcoming challenges I would face. Frankly, I feel like we all felt a similar feeling. The combination of academic anxiety, unknown futures, and the overall loss of control felt like a weight pulling me under the water and sweeping through all the plans I had laid for my senior year.

In a period of so much change, it was easy to feel a bit of despair in how different this semester was going to be. Every facet of the college experience I had known became centered around the pandemic and maintaining health and safety guidelines— including my sorority.

The sorority that I joined way back in my freshman year included weekly chapter meetings, sisterhood activities, social events and many, many brunch dates with sisters. In that time and through those experiences, I was able to grow into a confident example of how Greek Life can pull a person from their comfort zone and expand into a better version of themselves.

Sigma Delta Tau leads with the principle values of Individuality, Connection, Engagement, and Community. These ideals are at the center of everything we do, and even more so now that our typical ways of connection and engagement have been disrupted. In this period of change, life in Sig Delt sure looks a lot different, but the benefits of being a sister in our organization haven't gone away.

We’ve become well-versed in chapter Zoom meetings, gotten used to posting daily updates in our Facebook groups and FaceTiming our sisters at pretty much any hour of the day. We’ve found ways to still fundraise for our philanthropies, strengthen our sisterhood and emphasize the importance of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. We have also unified our strongly held values of equity and empowerment as we navigated the complexities of this past year. Clearly a little distance has nothing on the strength of the individuals in this organization. :)

Sisterhood in a pandemic also really showed me that our chapter is more than the Greek letters that link us together, it’s the sharing of similar values and lifting each other up when we need it. It’s sending letters and care packages in the mail, it’s socially-distant picnics on the National Cathedral lawn, it’s taking graduation photos to celebrate the accomplishments of our sisters, and it’s leaning on each other for support.

If I know one thing for certain, it’s that the unity of our sisterhood in Sig Delt can be beneficial in so many ways. Though we haven't been together since March, the growth and camaraderie of this organization has created lasting impacts on both myself and our community. We have reevaluated the structure of our sisterhood and leadership and examined our role as advocates for change in the AU community. It is through the efforts of our executive board and sisters that we have been able to maintain our sorority experience in an online setting and find ways to establish the same meaningful connection as we would sitting around a table at TDR.

Sig Delt has changed me for the better and being a member of this organization during something as monumental and unprecedented as a global pandemic has shown me that, with the right people, connection under any circumstances is achievable.

When I look back at my time as a sorority sister, I’ll think back to moments like traveling abroad with sisters, our Mamma Mia themed Bid Day and raising money for Prevent Child Abuse America, but I’ll also think of how thankful I was to have this group of people during such a chaotic time. These are the people I have to thank for helping me through a difficult semester, and I know that the bonds we hold together are true.

-Cameron Fisher, Beta Zeta

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