A Letter from Our President

Welcome to the Panhellenic Association!

 

At the University of Maryland, the Panhellenic Association (PHA) is one of four Greek councils. PHA has 16 unique nationally recognized sorority chapters on campus. Governed by the National Panhellenic Council (NPC), PHA strives to promote and exhibit values such as philanthropy, service, community, leadership, and education. I am proud to be a member of this community, which has empowered me and given me valuable appreciation for the women surrounding me.

 

“Going Greek” scared me at first. I had a lot of family involved in sororities and fraternities who spoke fondly of their experiences, but I was still nervous to go through recruitment myself. The recruitment process, time commitment, and finances intimidated me. Ultimately, though, I decided that it was worth a shot. And, if I didn’t like it, I didn’t have to be a part of it. It seemed like an easy choice when I considered it that way. 

 

I have found that, as a member of the PHA community for three years now, Greek life has made a ginormous school feel much more intimate and personal to me. I was worried about making friends and avoiding feeling like just another number in a school of 30,000, but the tight-knit nature of the PHA community has made me feel at home and comfortable with myself. By stepping out of my initial comfort zone and choosing to go through recruitment, I opened the door to meeting 2000+ driven, empowering, and supportive women. I am so glad that I took the leap to join a sorority. It has introduced me to a myriad of women who have taught me more about myself than I imagined… I’ve grown to love my skin and those around me who have made it possible. Not only have I found this security in myself, but I have also found it in others. I’ve seen the beauty in PHA members that they sometimes fail to recognize themselves. Acting as a support for these women around me has instilled a sense of empowerment and capability in me that I can credit to Greek life. 

 

But, being a sorority member isn’t all sunshine and rainbows like you’ve read so far. Part of becoming a member of a sorority or fraternity is understanding some of the underlying discrimination that has affected members of underrepresented communities the most. It’s understanding that we have work to do to make this environment as inclusive as possible. It’s understanding that we should have an active role in social justice issues, even if we don’t feel directly impacted. We can’t move forward unless we acknowledge all this as a community. 

 

And if you’re looking for a community that’s committed to owning its controversial past and bettering itself for the future, you’re in the right place. Let’s move forward, together. 

 

If you have questions about the Greek experience, PHA recruitment, or just want a friend to talk to, please reach out to me at phapresidentumd@gmail.com.

 

Sincerely,

 

Katie May

UMD Panhellenic Association President