Speaker asks WKU sororities to live up to their values

Amanda Young

The women of the sororities on campus unified Thursday night over the traditions and values that made their organizations possible.

Mari Ann Callais, a prominent name in the Panhellenic world, spoke to the chapters as a part of Panhellenic Pride Week — a week dedicated to bringing the sororities together.

Callais has presented more than 500 workshops to sororities and fraternities nationwide about values, responsibilities and team-building.

“Being in a sorority is a responsibility,” she said. “It’s a gift, but it’s something that challenges you to be the best person that you can be. It is a responsibility, and sometimes we don’t always live up to those responsibilities.”

Callais engaged the women in the audience by allowing them to participate in team-building exercises and singing songs to bring them together regardless of their chapter affiliation.

After breaking the ice, Callais asked representatives from each organization to share their sorority’s history and values and lead the members in their pledges.

“How many of you, on a daily basis, live out those values that all of our founders believed in?” Callais asked. “Sometimes, the way you represent your letters isn’t always what those badges stand for.”

Callais also presented the idea that representing their organizations is a daily commitment that was made when each woman joined a sorority.

“Earning our letters is not about when you’re a new member,” she said. “One thing we can all share is that we are supposed to earn our letters every day of our lives.”

She then asked for volunteers to share their stories about times when they had pride in their organizations.

Women from several different sororities shared emotional stories about difficult times when their sisters were there to support them.

Callais said that she does not know where she would be had she not joined an organization in college.

“I can tell you, in the last 25 years that I have been initiated, I really don’t know who I would have been without not only my sorority sisters, but my Panhellenic sisters who have helped me to grow into a better person that I ever would have been,” she said.

The presentation ended with a challenge to the audience to reflect on their time spent in their organizations and how it has affected them.

“I’d like for you to think, had you not crossed paths with your sorority, what would your life be like today? Who would be there when you really need somebody?”

She also challenged the women to live daily by the values on which their organizations were founded.

“Our letters become living by the way that we treat each other, by the way we treat other people and by the way we live,” she said. “As sorority women, it’s not someone else’s responsibility to say and do what we say we’re going to do; it’s yours and mine. It’s our responsibility to be your creeds and your mottos.”