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Wofford Panhellenic hosts diversity panel

Photo+courtesy+of+SJ+Vaughan.%0AThe+panelists+seated+in+McMillan+Theater.+The+panel+was+hosted+Feb.+2%2C+2022+prior+to+formal+recruitment+in+the+weeks+that+followed.+
Photo courtesy of SJ Vaughan. The panelists seated in McMillan Theater. The panel was hosted Feb. 2, 2022 prior to formal recruitment in the weeks that followed.

Wofford Panhellenic’s newly created Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee member Solona Rodrick ’23 presented the idea to the committee to create a panel to highlight the diversity in Greek life and to have an open discussion about discrimination in sororities and the many stereotypes that are associated with them. 

“I decided to start this panel because when I had been speaking with Potential New Members at previous events this past fall, a lot of women were wanting to know the full ins and outs of the Greek life experience, the good, the bad, the ugly,” Rostick said. “I also know that recruitment is sometimes a nerve wracking experience going in as a minority because there are these concerns and fears of being excluded or feeling like you are included solely to meet a ‘diversity quota.’”

“The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee is composed of members from each Greek organization with the goal to research and plan events that seek to improve Greek life” said SJ Vaughan ’22, who serves as the Vice President of Judicial Affairs on Panhellenic. 

Panelists included representation from each sorority. Kappa Alpha Theta’s panelists included Solana Rostick ‘23 (MC), Eliza Williams ‘23 and Eliana Boone ‘24. Kappa Delta’s panelist was Julia Reagan Clark ‘22. Zeta Tau Alpha’s panelists included Sarah Owens ‘23, Shaina Patel ‘22 and Makenzie Cook ‘23. Delta Delta Delta’s panelist was Karysn Solesbee ‘24.

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The questions presented to the panelists were geared towards their personal experiences with discrimination in Greek life and how they hope to see a positive change in the future. Many panelists spoke about the openness and inclusiveness of the sororities on Wofford’s campus and that they felt lucky to have such positive experiences in their respective “homes.” 

For some of the panelists, Greek life was something new to them as some came from backgrounds where Greek life is not as common or seen. 

However, a common thread that was evident through all the panelists’ responses was how fortunate they felt to have had a positive recruitment experience, whether that was the traditional one in the Spring, or from what most sororities call “snap bidding” which can come at a later date. 

Likewise, the panelists encouraged first year students to register for recruitment out of the love and passion they possessed for their chapters. 

“Girls need to hear that who they are is the best thing to be,” Boone said. “I hope that girls in general feel comfortable in their own skin.” 

The panelists hope that the discussions will be long lasting, surpassing Bid Day. It was a time for the Wofford Community to gather around important, and sometimes difficult, conversations. The panelists were given equal opportunity to articulate how their perspective on Greek life and sororities in general has changed since coming to Wofford. 

One of the questions that was addressed during the panel and that has continued to be a question for the Greek life community as a whole, was surrounding panhellenic and Greek life’s reputation for being exclusive  and what steps the sororities are taking to address this reputation as well as to become more inclusive.  

Panelists were apt to respond by collectively saying that Greek life has adopted the stereotype of being exclusive given the way it has been portrayed and demonstrated within various media outlets. The panelists explained how their chapters have made a push for more diversity, equity and inclusion by introducing various programs, creating new committees and participating in a privilege walk, to name a few. 

The panel served as an opportunity to become aware of the dangers that could accompany any Greek Life organization. Panhellenic organizations hold the purpose of empowering each individual within it, so it is vital to recognize the importance of diversity within a goal like this.

Wofford Panhellenic proudly accepts women of all backgrounds and encourages them to go where they feel most loved, no matter what letters those might be. 

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