Dunham’s Women of Character Institute

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“As a woman of character, I stand for education.”

One of the biggest things I took away from this weekend is stop “doing sorority” and start “being a sorority.” Professional speaker and sorority woman Dr. Mari Ann Callais started off the Sigma packed weekend. Though she is not an initiated sister of Sigma Sigma Sigma she is a big fan of what we are. This weekend helped me to see what sorority life is. When you are initiated as a sister, you make a commitment for the rest of your life. Sorority life has become so commercialized. Monograms, bows, cute letters and over the top events have become the bulk of our lives as sorority women. Sorority has become as close to the commercialization of Easter as Santa and baby Cupid are. It has become what the world thinks you’re doing in your sorority. We flock to Instagram hashtagging sigma and proclaiming we love our sisters. Don’t get me wrong, I love mine. Actually I love mine because my sisters don’t pretend. They are down to Earth and keep it real. They wear, do and say things that they want to because it reflects who they are. Media has turned sororities into a persona instead of being a sorority woman. Post initiation, being a sorority woman should be your new life. As totally obsessed that sounds, it’s true. I met women this weekend who haven’t missed a Sigma function since they were initiated decades ago. They don’t miss anything because they know they only have one lifetime. When you open your mind, heart and life up to the ideals of Sigma Sigma Sigma you have no option but to become a better person. Our values, our ritual, our character gets lost behind the glitz and glam of a good recruitment or a night out.

I don’t think many women realize it, myself included at times, how beautiful Sigma is. We hold ourselves at a higher standard. We have five values: wisdom, hope, love, power and faith. We have six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. We have some of the most powerful ideas structuring who we want to be.

Dunham was such a learning experience for every woman who was lucky enough to attend. I learned so many power tips, came back with tools to apply within my chapter and made my passion for Sigma even bigger.

I have already begun to look into more Character Counts education. I’m excited to educate the chapter then the Greek community and finally the Mount Pleasant community on this amazing program.

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