Do you feel like there has been noticeable change on campus since the incident with SAE?
I wasn’t Greek yet whenever SAE happened, but I do know what took place and when it happened I was took for a loop. As far as change between then and now, I think there has been some change, but not really because I still see people wearing SAE shirts. And those people seem to look at me as if I don’t belong. I feel like if you are not Greek here at OU then you are an outsider to most people.
Did the SAE incident change your mind about wanting to pledge a sorority?
I’ve knew for a while that I wanted to join Delta so when that happened it didn’t change my thought process about joining Delta, because I knew SAE was a part of IFC, that is not my community, that is not who I identify with. So, I made sure that when it was my time to be a Delta that I did not surround myself with people like that and that I educate people in Pan or IFC that just because you have these letters doesn’t mean anything, we are all still human at the end of the day and that they aren’t higher than anybody.
What do you feel you are gaining from your Greek life experience?
I would say the one thing I’m gaining from Greek life would be empathy and sympathy. Different organizations have difference values and different approaches, but we all want to get the job done. In the position that I’m in (Oklahoma State Facilitator for Delta Sigma Theta sorority) I would say that I have learned the different roles as a leader that somebody plays. I have a certain leadership style, but I also recognize people don’t always react to it in the same way. It’s up to me as the leader to adjust, so that my members can understand what’s going on and that they feel heard. Also, I have learned the importance of fostering relationships especially in the Black Greek community where we don’t have a lot of support to begin with, so its important for us to foster relationships with other organizations including the other Black sororities and fraternities because those relationships can go a long way.
How do you feel the community of Black sororities and fraternities that you are a part of have helped foster your growth as an individual?
I feel that people often give excuses about why they can’t do things, and I would disagree that all the organizations have selfish mentalities, but because the Black Greek community is struggling, it has taught me to be more selfless. The work of Delta and NPHC still has to get done regardless of what you have going on, because if we’re not making a presence in the community than how do we expect anyone to support us or to come and see what we have to offer.
What if anything troubles you about the university’s Greek life today and what do you think they need to work on?
Within NPHC I would say the support is not there, like certain organizations want us to come out and support and we do, but then it is often not reciprocated. We understand that you don’t always have to give back, but its important; it shows that you care. As for Greek life as a whole at OU, like Pan or IFC, they just NPHC as, “you have a certain call” or “oh you step and stroll,” so for me the problem is with them being uneducated about what we do. Even when it’s explained to them, they still don’t get it, so its almost makes us wonder if they genuinely don’t get it or if they are choosing not to understand.
What are some prose and cons of Greek organizations on college campuses?
I would say a pro would be the relationships that you gain. I know with NPHC, I don’t get to choose my line sisters. I’m able to create a relationship with somebody I never knew I could connect with. A con would probably would be the stereotypes that are with certain organizations. Whenever certain people see someone wearing certain colors or certain letters they start to assume things.
How do you feel Greek organizations positively and negatively impact the OU community?
A pro would be that most Greek organizations are about community service and volunteering, and each org. has their own philanthropy, so I would say that their ability to bring awareness to those philanthropies that aren’t well known and getting the OU community involved with helping them has been a positive impact. A con would be that there are so many other philanthropies out there that aren’t getting attention because most people want to be associated with the big name, instead of doing something on a smaller scale and really saying something about a certain minority group or marginalized community.
What are some accomplishments that your sorority as made while you have been here at OU?
People have always said, “the work for Delta never stops,” and as soon as we were done with membership intake process we hit the ground running. We have had multiple events and have had a great turnout at each of them and each event gets better every time. And making sure that those events our five-point program while also reaching the Black community and other areas that need to our help.
Do you have any critiques on the type of philanthropy that certain Greek organizations do?
I would say that since I’ve been here I was able to learn that there is more than the Make a Wish Foundation and the American Heart Association. I think that its important, especially considering the time and age we are in now, that all organizations stay up to date and reach out to other philanthropies or organizations that are relevant to society right now. Also, to just encourage others to educate themselves on what’s going on in the surrounding community.
While you have been in your sorority are there any disparities you have encountered simply because you are a part of NPHC?
One thing that bothers me the most is that whenever I’m wearing my letters and somebody who’s clearly not a part of NPHC or MGC sees me, they look at me like I’m crazy. It’s like they’re saying, “Who are you?” or “Why are you wearing those letters?” I have letters just like them, they just represent different things.
Brianna Thomas is a senior, graduating with a Bachelors in Social Work. Brianna has secured a job with the Child Welfare Department of Oklahoma Department of Human Services. Furthermore, she is currently as the Oklahoma State Facilitator for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.