First Year Recruitment Story: Marissa

Before I went through recruitment at Drake I knew absolutely nothing about Fraternity and Sorority Life, and I didn't know a single person who had joined a chapter. I had no idea what to expect because the only things I knew was the stuff I had seen in movies. But I can honestly say that going through recruitment was one of the best things I did my first-year at Drake! 

My Recruitment Counselor was my saving grace during recruitment. Because I knew absolutely nothing about the process, I asked probably a million questions. Sometimes I thought she was probably getting annoyed with me, but it is SO important to ask questions! The recruitment experience has a lot of moving parts and getting your questions answered will make it so much less stressful and more fun!

One of the first things I remember from my first meeting with my recruitment counselor was her saying to "Trust the process". The idea behind it is that the way recruitment is set up in a way that is best for everyone, and it works - but only if you let it! Something they talk about a lot during recruitment is that they don't want you to talk with other girls about your experiences with each chapter. And this is not easy to do! For me it was all I wanted to talk about with my friends. 

I remember each night after we would make our preferences, my friends would discuss which chapter was their favorite and why. It was so easy to have those discussions because everyone is so excited and wants to talk about it ll the time - BUT DON'T. Every woman has a completely different experience with every chapter, and the 'process' only works if each woman can make decisions on their individual experience and no one else's. I didn't really think much of the 'trust the process' speech until my second semester in my chapter. Although I would be so lucky to be in any of the chapters at Drake, I ended up in the perfect one for me. 

I had amazing conversations in every chapter. I was really nervous to talk to people one on one during recruitment, I was thinking of it as a job interview - which is all wrong. Recruitment is a mutual selection process. So it's just as important for you to feel comfortable in each house! I think it was easier for me when I just started to talk to women like someone I was trying to get to know. I remember asking a lot of questions about their Drake and Sorority experience, like "what is your favorite part about being in your chapter" or "Why did you chose to go to Drake" and through questions like this I realized that I already had so much in common with women in every chapter. 

I had an amazing recruitment experience and I think it was because I forced myself to have an open mind and get out of my comfort zone. I had great conversations and was able to meet so many amazing women, many of whom I can now call my sisters. I know this is so cheesy but going through recruitment and joining a sorority changed my life for the better. I am so thankful now to have an amazing group of successful and inspiring women to look up to and I hope that every one of you can find that too! 

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Meet Your Members: Jessica

Hi! My name is Jess Lynk. I am a senior news/internet journalism major with a crime concentration. 

I always knew I wanted to go into journalism, so joining the school paper was a natural fit for me. I have been on the paper since my first year at Drake, but I never thought that I would become more than just a writer. Fortunately, this past year I had the pleasure of serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the Times Delphic. 

I got to craft story ideas, lead meetings, navigate through controversy and be a leader on campus. I've learned to develop a thicker skin and my public speaking skills. I have covered multiple national debates, interviewed the mayor and written stories about the Drake community. I also got to go to a national college journalism conference in Washington D.C. 

I also lead a team of around 20 incredible people, which helped me further craft my leadership skills. But my sorority also helped craft those skills before I got my position at the paper. I served as the Chief Marketing Officer and Communications Director. Both of these positions helped prepare me for my future. I got to help run social media, edit a recruitment video and among other things, help direct my chapter. Now, I serve as the Human Resource Director, which means I get to plan fun sisterhood events for all my sisters. 

I couldn't have had half the success I have had in college without the support of my Theta sisters. My big is the one who encouraged me to apply to be on the paper in the first place. She was always willing to bring me snacks at late night deadlines and lend an ear after a long day. My roommates always made sure I had dinner and that I went to bed at a decent hour. My sisters always gave me support by reading the paper and bringing me coffee, but more than that they gave me a support system that was necessary for me to thrive. 

 

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First Year Recruitment Story: Amelia

I thought I knew what I wanted from college. Though I was open to any new experiences, I never would have guessed that I would get involved with Fraternity and Sorority Life. Little did I know that going through fall recruitment my first year was the beginning of an experience that I will never forget. 

It's hard to make a commitment to something that you know nothing about. As I went through recruitment week, I was still unsure of what being a member of a sorority could bring to my life. But as I met women from the five different sororities at Drake, I felt that I could connect with any of the ladies I was talking to. Every woman had such a positive attitude. Every woman spoke with such high regards for their sisters. I could tell that these were the type of women I could look up to and strive to be like. It takes a certain kind of person to be open and ready to better themselves, and I knew that sorority life would be the path that I could gladly follow. 

I found my home with the women of Alpha Delta PI and the chapter soon became the beset part of my college experience. I finally felt like a part of Drake University's campus life. It was a way for me to be involved and make connections within the community. I am able to stay busy, whether it be taking on a leadership role within the chapter, volunteering for a cause that I am passionate about, or enjoying the day with some sisters. 

Most importantly, the friendships that I have made and experiences I've gone through would have never happened if I hadn't taken a chance and tried sorority life. I would have never had the support system of 80+ strong and caring women. I can say that I love every woman in my sorority and that I am very proud of the amazing things my sisters accomplish every day. That's the way it works. We all help each other, inspire each other, and teach each other. Joining a sorority has made my time at Drake truly special, and I can't wait to see what the future years bring. 

Meet Your Members: Madelyn

Hello! I'm Madelyn and I am from a small town in Iowa called Farmersburg. I am currently studying advertising, marketing and graphic design and am preparing to enter my senior year! On campus, I am actively involved in DU Ad Club, American Marketing Association, and my sorority. Next year, I will serve as the President of DU Ad Club, Vice President of AMA and the senior Recruitment Captain for my sorority. 

I originally decided on Drake because I wanted my professors to know my name. I grew up in a small town, so this was important to me. I've had great opportunities because I made an effort to know my professors and get involved in organizations. My advisor provided a great recommendation for me, helping me get an internship at an agency in Minneapolis for the summer. Last spring, for the AMA annual project I was able to present a new marketing plan with my peers to some of the top executives for Dasani Water. Now being in my last year of college, I could not be happier to call myself a Drake Bulldog. 

Getting involved in Fraternity and Sorority Life really enhanced my time in college. From my experience I have not only met my best friends through my chapter, but supported so many different philanthropies and great causes. 

My sorority was one of the best decisions I could have made because I am constantly surrounded by women who are always challenging themselves and are incredible role models. It has allowed me to be more confident in leadership positions, exceed in scholarship goals and make amazing, lasting connections with other women. 

Upper Classman Recruitment Story: Lauren

During the Fall of 2015 I entered my sophomore year at Drake. However, it was technically my first-year in Des Moines after making the decision to transfer. After leaving my small college I attended my first year, it was difficult for me to accept the fact that Des Moines and Drake were going to be my new "home". I had been comfortable at the school I transferred from and had developed some amazing friendships. Coming to Drake was a risk; it required me to step outside of my comfort zone and trust that something good would come out of the experience down the road. 

Since I enrolled at Drake as a sophomore, I didn't know anyone. My parents encouraged me to go through recruitment. I was terrified, I was taking the risk of putting myself out there with the possibility of being rejected. 

Leading up to recruitment, I was not as nervous as I thought I would be. The most important part I reminded myself of was to be myself. While going through the recruitment process, I enjoyed all of my experiences with each chapter and found different ways to connect with all of the women I encountered. Kappa Alpha Theta was the first chapter I stepped foot in. The first conversation I had was with a woman that is now one of my closest friends. We bonded over our very similar undergraduate paths; she was a transfer student from a college in the same conference as the one I had trasnferred from. And to top it all of, we both played a year of volleyball at those schools. After my brief time with the women of Kappa Alpha Theta that evening, I felt more confident in myself and with my story that I had the opportunity to share. I knew that there was a lot in store for me, I just had to be willing to take that risk of getting to know others and letting other get to know me. 

Throughout the recruitment process I learned a lot about myself and started looking at things with a different perspective than before. Accepting my bid was just the beginning. The opportunity of going through recruitment has opened a variety of doors. There have been ample opportunities for me to get involved and hold leadership positions within my chapter as well as the Fraternity and Sorority Life community. But most importantly, I have developed some outstanding friendships with women that inspire and challenge me to be the best person I can be. 

I encourage each woman going through recruitment to trust that the process will allow things to fall into place. Take the chance of going through recruitment and get to know some amazing women in Fraternity and Sorority Life! There is so much that each person can gain from and offer to each chapter. Be open to new experiences, because you never know where they might take you. There will be challenges and uncertainty that every person will encounter, but I promise you it is so worth it in the end! 

Looking back, I would go through recruitment again in a heartbeat. I would not be the person I am today if I hadn't taken the chance. I genuinly hope each woman will create their own story with the chapter that they will call "home." 

First Year Recruitment Story: Sharmi

Going through recruitment during my first year at Drake was one of the best decisions I have made. Looking back on my experience, I realized how many positive things came out of it including making lifelong friends, continuing to have motivation to exceed my own expectations, as well as having a support system that I never thought I would need. 

I was hesitant about registering for recruitment due to a prior commitment I had during the week of events. Yet after sharing my concerns with an older student, I realized how willing the members of Fraternity and Sorority Life were to assist me and ensure I was still able to go through recruitment. I will forever be grateful for taking a chance and stepping out of my comfort zone to join a sorority in which I have been able to thrive as an individual, a sister, as well as a friend. 

Though I joined during the fall of my first year, I still get just as excited to wear my letters today. I remember going to India during my sophomore year and while at the airport I saw another woman wearing the same letters as me! The excitement and pride that comes with meeting others in different chapters is a rewarding experience in itself. 

The bonds you create with your sisters not only at your own school and chapter, but at others across the nation, is amazing. Along with this, being able to 'kite' at places across the world lets me carry my pride of being a Theta everywhere I go! I remember being so excited to be at a kite festival in India and sharing with my relatives what the kite means to us members of Theta. Being in my chapter has motivated me to continue my goal of becoming a pharmacist one day and has pushed me to get an MBA degree as well. 

I have always valued being an individual, but my chapter taught me how it is okay to have to rely on others sometimes, whether that be a shoulder to cry on or just have somebody to give you a ride to a job shadow. Some of my best friends are members of my chapter and it has meant so much to me that I gained these relationships just because I stepped out of my comfort zone my first year. 

Meet the Members: Gabby

Hello! My name is Gabby and I am a senior Health Sciences major here at Drake. Within my chapter I currently serve as our New Member Chairman and serve on the Standards Committee. I cherish the moments in my sorority, however I've had some amazing opportunities here on campus as well. 

Since my senior year of high school, I have been involved with the Drake Relays. Going on four years now, I have been able to work with so many people through the event and help put on one of Drake's biggest events. My duties include organizing the meals for over 500 officials and volunteers from Wednesday through Saturday the week of Relays, coordinating the awards tent during the meet, helping develop content for the Drake Relays app, and other tasks that the Assistant Director needs done. I've also helped out as necessary with other events like the Grand Blue Mile and Pole Vault at Capital Square. I was even in the front row when the Relays hosted an exhibition High Jump event in the produce section of Hy-Vee! 

Despite the horrendous weather that Relays week seems to be cursed with, it is hands-down my favorite part of the year. The atmosphere surrounding the event is contagious. There are so many fun things for students going on around campus as well. However, to me the best part is being able to watch Olympians compete here in Des Moines first-hand. Meeting the athletes has been some of my favorite Relays memories. How often can you say that multiple Olympic medalists are on your campus all at one time? Honestly, not very often. 

Working with the Drake Relays has provided me with so many professional connections, not only within Drake Athletics, but also with members of the community that help make the event possible. Making these connections has helped me develop my skills for whatever comes after graduation, while setting up recommendations and connections that will help me get started on the next step after I leave Drake. 

FSeLebration

On April 10 Drake Fraternity and Sorority Life held the annual awards and celebration, FSeLebration. FSeLebration serves as a time for us to honor every chapter and their outstanding accomplishments over the last year. Congratulations to all nominees and winners, and we look forward to an amazing 2017! 

2017 Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards

Outstanding New Member Award: Wendy Wrocklage and Gabe Altenbernd
Outstanding Drake Spirit: Emma McDonald and Ben Weinberg
Outstanding Campus Involvement: Braeden McElmury and JD Stehwien
Outstanding Fraternity and Sorority Life Leaders: Kori Ponder and Joel Afriyie
Outstanding Community Service: Elena Dietz and Noah Skantz
Outstanding Chapter Presidents: Kendall Wenaas and Nick Bianchina
Outstanding Chapter Advisor: Natalie Young, Delta Gamma
Outstanding Faculty Member: Tony Tyler, Director of Student Engagement, Equity and Inclusion
Fraternity and Sorority Life Hall of Fame: Nick Bianchina, Nick Kosicak, Mari Moroz and Nicole Draker
Highest GPA for Spring 2016: Alpha Tau Omega and Kappa Alpha Theta
Highest GPA for Fall 2016: Alpha Tau Omega and Delta Gamma
Outstanding Chapter Community Service: Sigma Phi Epsilon and Delta Gamma
Outstanding Philanthropic Event: Alpha Tau Omega and Alpha Phi
 Outstanding Programming Award: Kappa Alpha Theta
Outstanding Membership Development: Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Delta Pi
Outstanding Harm Reduction and Risk Management: Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Alpha Theta

Chapters of the Year: Alpha Tau Omega and Alpha Phi