How Three Letters Shaped Four Years

By: 
Emily Baldwin
Class of: 
2016

Just three years ago, my mom convinced me to go Greek. As my time at St. Lawrence is coming to a close, there’s only one thing left to say—Thanks, Mom!

At the beginning of my sophomore year, I decided not to rush. I only understood the cultural perception of “Greek Life” and didn’t see how St. Lawrence could be different. Yet, after that nudge from my mom, I went through Rush Week and realized that I was wildly wrong. I didn’t have to own a closet full of dresses or wear as much pink as Elle Woods; all I had to do was be myself.

As I entered each sorority house, I began to recognize why Greek life is unique at St. Lawrence. The excitement surrounding each house piqued my interest, but it was the confident women that drew me in. Everyone had their own story and I realized that I really wanted mine to be written at 53 Park Street.

And then…it happened! On September 14, 2013 at 8:23 a.m., I was asked to join Kappa Delta Sigma, a sorority founded at St. Lawrence.

I’ve been a member of the Greek community for three years and am still learning why it’s so special at St. Lawrence. I can’t imagine my time at SLU if I hadn’t gone Greek and often think back to my decision not to rush. While my story has been written at 53 Park, there are many reasons why Greek organizations are so important to St. Lawrence. Here are four reasons why Greek life is more than just letters we wear here at St. Lawrence.

1) A Greek connection is a Laurentian connection.

Greek life at St. Lawrence is comprised of 347 individuals, six chapters, and 18 letters. Yet, we share one common thread - unity. Despite our different locations and philanthropic organizations, Greeks are always there for Greeks. You’ll often find chapters supporting each other in philanthropy sporting events, raising money for national organizations, or planning rush. We’re all part of a community and help each other as much as we can. Even after I graduate, I know I will share a connection with future Laurentians - one that is formed and maintained through the legacy of three letters on one college campus.

2) Greek life inspires us to become the best version of ourselves.

Before joining KDS, I was involved in one campus organization. After joining KDS, I took on six. I was impressed by my sisters’ leadership roles and quickly learned that success is as fundamental to the house as the S in KDS. While taking on so much was overwhelming, I knew I could do it because my sisters would always have my back. As you can imagine, any student would thrive with 65 mentors.

3) οικογένεια in Greek means family here at SLU.

While Greek life allows us to grow as individuals, it wouldn’t be possible without the support of our sisters and brothers. My favorite memories have been created during our family dinners. When listening to conversations circulating the dining room, you feel the overwhelming support we have for each other. The conversation changes every night but one thing remains the same—my support system will always be there for me.

I’ve seen this in other houses, too. There’s something special about the bonds we’ve formed. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing, we’ll always find a Greek by our side.

4) Greek life teaches us to be Laurentians.

Laurentians learn to embrace, discover, advance, and connect. In Greek organizations, these goals are met on multiple occasions. We embrace the moments we share together and know we are part of a community that can never be broken.

We discover our “inner Laurentian” through the people we meet at St. Lawrence. Similar to the bond formed in theme houses, clubs, or sports teams, Greek life offers a special opportunity to connect with others to better contribute to SLU and the local community. When you see students tabling in the Student Center or participating in local philanthropies, I can guarantee that there’s at least one Greek affiliated student, whether they’re wearing letters or not. While St. Lawrence is focused on service, Greek life allows us to do this to the next level.

As I approach the end of my senior year, I know Greek life has taught me to put my thoughts into action, provided me with leadership opportunities, and connected me with sisters I will continue to learn from. If there are a few things I’ve valued over the past three years, it’s the sisterhood I’ve been a part of, the values we maintain, and the St. Lawrence connection that holds us all together.