Turtle Tales: Finding Your Forever Home

“I was the first person in my family to go Greek, and they all kept warning me about the same stereotypes to look out for; that the moment I felt left out, I should just drop the process and find friends elsewhere. When I finally arrived at USC, these thoughts were all I had in my brain and I worried that since I’m not what I thought was a “typical sorority girl”, not many chapters would want me. When I arrived at my very first house on the very first day of recruitment, I was almost shaking, and the loud chants of hundreds of girls didn’t help either. I took a deep breath, smiled confidently, and told myself what everyone would say to me for the next week straight: trust the process. So I did, and was escorted into the air conditioning with a friendly face asking me about my life. This house didn’t end up being my forever-home, I only remember this girl’s first name and hometown, but those 10 minutes of talking assured me that somewhere in this neighborhood of 13 sororities, there was definitely one for me. The rest of recruitment went by in a whirlwind of sweat, stress, and lots of late night conversations with my roommate, who was also going through the process (love you B!). I cried and laughed through preference round until it finally came: Bid Day. I woke up with my mind racing, excited but nervous that I wouldn’t get my first choice. I waited in the long line of Pi Chi groups to enter the arena and stood in a circle with my back to the center, awaiting to see which house I would become a sister to. There’s now a shaky, bad quality video of me counting down, unraveling my new t-shirt, and screaming “I’M A DELTA ZETA!!!!” I turned around to see my closest friend in my Pi Chi group, Taylor Gardener, holding the same shirt. We grabbed hands and ran home together, and that was just the beginning of what’s been an amazing and crazy year filled with more love than I ever could have expected. I love every one of my sisters, and I can’t wait to meet out new nugs in the fall!”

Love,

Jane Vista

Recruitment 2017

A Letter From our Vice-President of Membership
About two years ago, I left my hometown for Columbia in a car packed with everything I could possibly squeeze in from my bedroom back at home. That 8 hour drive was filled with plenty of off-tune car karaoke, some pretty bad dancing, an intense game of license plate Bingo and nerves — lots of nerves.

That first month I lived on campus, stories from older classmates making their best friends in college and finding a home away from home replayed in my mind as I wondered if there really was a place for me to call home here at USC.

It wasn’t until Bid Day at the end of August when I ran to Delta Zeta that I knew I really had a shot at finding my place to call home. From the start, the only thing that these women expected from each other was to unapologetically be true to who they are — no makeup or hair product necessary and corny jokes not only accepted but encouraged.

Friday brunches where we would stay for hours and laugh so hard we cried, spontaneous beach day trips and midnight dance parties cannot even begin the list of unforgettable memories I have made with the girls in this chapter. And not a single person judged me for my horrible dance moves. Instead, these girls stood right beside me and we danced our middle-school hearts out to Mr. Brightside together. Somewhere between bonding with my little over our favorite ice cream shop from home and jumping in the TCoop fountain with sisters after making it to the Final Four, I realised that I had found what I started looking for two years ago.

Delta Zeta is home to some of the most genuine, down to earth girls I’ve ever met. These women have truly become not only my closest friends but also my family. At my Delta Zeta home, I’m not afraid to skip the contacts for my glasses or wear my hair in a bun when the South Carolina heat has taken a toll on my curls. They know my favorite foods, embarrassing stories, fears and lifelong dreams. Somehow, in that reserved, nervous girl that walked through the door for the first time two years ago, they saw me for who I truly am. In the years to come, loved me for being just that.

Coming to college can be a little intimidating, but going through recruitment opens the door to find that support system we all need. Going Greek not only allows you to find lifelong friends, but it also gives you a place to both find and be yourself. Greek organizations provide countless opportunities and memories that last a lifetime all while making this big university seem smaller. As you get ready for your semester in Columbia in the fall, consider taking a chance on Greek Life and finding a place at USC to call your home.

-Greer Schneider

Sweet Caroline 2017

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If I only knew… If I only knew how much work this would be… If I only knew how many days I would never go a waking moment without thinking about something Sweet Caroline related… If I only knew how many calls, texts, and emails, I would have to send to the same people over and over… If I only knew how difficult and time consuming this whole process would be…

Never in my life have I ever been in charge of 300+ sorority sisters, along with the hundreds of people, 703 to be exact, that our hard working sisters signed up to join the registry this year- breaking last years’ record. Imagine how scary being in charge of 1,000+ people can be. Especially when it feels like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders and it decided to rain that day. But to me, organizing Sweet Caroline in honor of our past sister Caroline Terry is much less scary than her battle with cancer.
In total, Sweet Caroline has added 4,192 names to the registry. That is 4,192 lives that could potentially be saved. I joined the registry my freshman year because in the situation that any of my loved ones need a bone marrow transplant in the future, I hope their match is on the registry.

It was such an honor to be trusted by my chapter to be in charge of Sweet Caroline, a philanthropy event that is so close to our hearts. It is so close to our hearts, that although it is not a national philanthropy, we have kept it going for 13 years putting on 14 events. This experience made me grow as a person. It made me become more confident in my leadership skills and myself. It made me develop an even stronger love and appreciation for my sorority sisters and chapter as a whole, which I didn’t think was possible. It made me an overall better person. It really opened up my eyes and made me realize that all our hard work really does make a difference. And for this event specifically, it literally saves hundreds of lives. It’s crazy to think that our chapter creates such a difference in stranger’s lives and that some people are eternally grateful for our chapter and the life we saved because of our event.

Although I was responsible for Sweet Caroline, it could not have been possible without the hard work and encouragement from my sisters. When I asked them to figure something out, they jumped to help me. When I was down, they picked me up. Without my supportive and amazing sisters, this event would not have been possible. Their positive attitudes and dedication registered 703 people, when we lost half a day to rain. Without my sisters, this event would not have lasted 13 years and saved so many lives.

As I said before, it was an honor to plan this event for my chapter and if I only knew everything that I know now, I wouldn’t change my experience for the world and I would go through the same struggles again to keep Sweet Caroline going.

DZLAM,
Kyra McDonald (Sweet Caroline Chair 2017)

Parents Weekend

On the weekend of September 16-18, Delta Zeta hosted an array of events for USC’s Parents Weekend. We opened the doors to our house for family and friends to visit. House tours were given and parents had the opportunity to see all parts of the chapter house.

Our Delta Zeta parents and siblings had a great time at the first home game against Eastern Carolina University. The Gamecocks got their first win of the season in Williams Brice Stadium!
To wrap up a fun weekend of activities, we hosted a Parents Weekend Brunch at the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens. Sisters and their families were treated to a delicious brunch and after, had the opportunity to explore the zoo. We had such a great time hosting our families and friends and cannot wait to see every one next year!

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Recruitment 2016

On August 3rd, our sisters came back to Columbia from a fun and adventurous summer ready to practice and prepare for formal recruitment. Our Morale Chair, Katherine Cirillo, planned several themed days to motivate our sisters and have fun while practicing our clapping and cheering. Some of the themes included “Throwback What We Know” and “America.”

At the end of the week, we hosted a Mock Recruitment Tea for local alumnae and family members. Loved ones had the opportunity to visit our house and see what it’s like to participate in an actual recruitment party. We also premiered our pillars video and philanthropy video that potential new members would be viewing in a few short days.

Formal recruitment officially began August 11th and there were a total of four rounds with each round lasting two days, except Preference Round, which was one day. Each round was themed based on a value that Delta Zeta holds true: truly giving, truly empowering, and truly Delta Zeta. Potential new members were given the opportunity to learn about events and programs Delta Zeta offers to promote giving graciously, leading on campus and off, sisterhood, and academics.

On August 21, we were excited to welcome 111 new members into the Beta Delta chapter on Bid Day at the Colonial Life Arena! After our new members ran home, they headed over to Columbia Country Club for a night of fun. A delicious dinner was catered while new members and sisters played team building games. The night ended with a pool party for everyone to enjoy!

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President’s Academy

Over President’s Day weekend our College Chapter Director, Sara Warren, and I traveled to Dallas, Texas for Delta Zeta’s President’s Academy. Chapter Presidents and CCDs from all 166 Delta Zeta chapters came in for a weekend of learning and networking with each other. We spent the weekend in a number of different breakout sessions and training programs designed to help become more effective leaders in each of our respective chapters. Getting this opportunity to learn from different people in the world of Delta Zeta taught me so much and I was able to gain more knowledge and confidence in myself as a leader.

Mikayla and CCD Sara Warren had a great time in Texas!

In addition to spending time in each of the sessions that we attended, I also got a chance to meet Presidents from other Delta Zeta chapters around the country. It was so great to see that many of us handle the same triumphs and trials every day. Meeting other leaders was a great way to get new ideas for our chapter and many of us are staying in touch as we continue this next year as a way to support one another and work together. I left President’s Academy so inspired and I am excited to take what knowledge I have gained back to Beta Delta. – Mikayla Spurlock

A Black & White Affair

There was certainly no grey area surrounding the fun had at Delta Zeta’s “Black and White Affair” Crush Party!  On Friday, February 5th, sisters and their dates came out to our first social function of the semester at Seawell’s.  Dressed in a wide variety of styles, ranging all the way from fancy black and white dresses, to fun costumes like dalmatians, a fun night was had by all!  A special thank you to our Risk Management Chair, Tatiana Allgeyer, and our Social Chair, Emily Adams, for making the night a huge success!

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Turtle Trot 2015: Hike for Hearing 5k

 

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On November 8th, our chapter held our fourth annual Turtle Trot, a Hike for Hearing event! The 5k color run was our most successful yet – with over 200 runners signed up and over $19,000 raised for Starkey Hearing Foundation! The color run featured a route through our beautiful campus and around the city of Columbia, food and refreshments at the finish line, and music to keep the runners and those cheering entertained along the way!

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Our philanthropy co-chairs, Madison Kraft and Ellie Hanzsche, have both expressed their gratitude and excitement for the success of our Hike for Hearing event, saying “We couldn’t have done it without the help from our wonderful Delta Zeta sisters! Turtle Trot grew tremendously this year and we really appreciated everyone who came out to support this great cause. We exceeded our goal and signed up over 200 runners and are so thankful to everyone who came out to support such a great cause. It has been such a rewarding experience to see how much we, as sisters, along with this community can do to support those around us.”

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Thank you to all of the runners that came out to support our philanthropies, and to our sponsors, Pepsi, PDQ of Columbia, Tradeversity, Course Hero, and University Oaks for helping us to coordinate a successful event for a great cause!

 

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Big/Little Reveal 2015

 

Throughout the week of October 26th, our chapter held our Big/Little week comprised of three nights of Lamplighting ceremonies and ended with Initiation. Our newest members were thrilled to be showered with gifts from their then-secret big sisters each night – all leading up to the BIG reveal on Thursday night.IMG_2993

Staying with our tradition of a “Big in a Box” – new members were given a piece of wrapping paper that corresponded to a wrapped box outside the house.  Once the new members found the box with the correct wrapping paper, their big sisters popped out of to reveal themselves! After a week full of anticipation, our newest members were finally welcomed into their families within our chapter!

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After an exciting week of Lamplighting ceremonies and Big/Little Reveal, the Beta Delta chapter of Delta Zeta was finally able to initiate our 111 new members into our sisterhood on Sunday, November 1st. It was a beautiful ceremony that our sisters will remember forever – congratulations to all of our new sisters!

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There’s No Place like Carolina: Homecoming 2015

After the historic flooding that occurred in South Carolina this past month, Homecoming took on a new meaning the week of October 11-17th as our University came together to showcase not only the pride in our University but the resilience of our city and state after a tragedy hit home for all of us. Some events were tailored to provide additional aid to flood victims and to allow essential personnel and first responders to work where they were needed more.  Nevertheless, our University took the changes in stride and showed that there’s no place like Carolina and there’s no event that brings together the University of South Carolina students and organizations quite like Homecoming Week!

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This year’s theme was the Wizard of Oz with a USC twist of “There’s No Place Like Carolina” and included some of our favorite events such as Spurs and Struts dance competition, Float building parade, Showcase, and the Homecoming football game against Vanderbilt to cap off the week. Our sisters loved being paired with the brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha and attending all of the events that our University’s Homecoming Committee put on for us!

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