A simple solution – wear your badge today
In the Spring 1996 issue of the Phoenix of Alpha Sigma Alpha, Past National President Nora M. Ten Broeck, BK, wrote an article titled, “A Simple Solution — Wear Your Membership Badge Today.”
The article described her personal experience of wearing her sorority pin to work one day. This article led to the creation of International Badge Day, a celebration started by the National Panhellenic Conference to honor sisterhood. The date is recognized during March, which is also National Women’s History Month and set aside for International Women’s Day.
Nora’s full article is transcribed below…
I learned a valuable lesson from a 19-year-old of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.
Kyle Seifert, a founding member of Western Illinois University’s newest men’s fraternity, taught me that pride in one’s Greek affiliation isn’t something that members can show every once in awhile, it’s something that can be shown everyday.
Kyle is the type of guy who dresses well. He also happens to wear his colony pin or letters everyday without fail. As a resident assistant, Kyle has a lot of interaction with residents, their guests and residence hall staff. He is the only Greek resident assistant on staff in the hall where he lives, so naturally his peers ask him questions about his Greek experience.
Many people made the assumption that Kyle was forced to dress up everyday and put on his pin as part of his fraternity training. “Many people” included myself, so during our weekly meeting, I decided to ask the burning question that everyone was thinking: “Why do you wear that pin everyday?”
Kyle immediately responded, “I wear my pin everyday because I am proud of what Pi Kappa Alpha represents and all that we do.”
Not completely convinced, I used some leadership consultant reverse psychology skills and asked him if he would wear his membership badge everyday after he became an initiated member of the fraternity. I figured I had him there.
Again he replied, “Yes, I’ll wear my badge because I’m proud of who we are and I want to share that with others.”
Our conversation lingered in my mind until I decided to put my own membership pride to a test. While getting dressed for work the next day, I put on my Alpha Sigma Alpha membership badge. I work as an assistant residence hall director and am a fulltime graduate student.
Funny things happened when I put on my membership badge.
Some of my Greek affiliated friends made the assumption that it was “pin attire day,” so I must be wearing it for that reason (i.e. a forced behavior). Due to my involvement as an advisor for the Beta Kappa Chapter, others thought I might be on my way to a sorority ritual (i.e. isn’t that the only other time a badge is worn?).
In elevators, hallways and classes people asked me why I was wearing my membership badge. Many people didn’t know what my badge was and inquired about it. Wearing my badge gave me the opportunity to talk about Alpha Sigma Alpha and the positive aspects of Greek life.
What a simple concept! By putting on my membership badge, I was able to tell at least 100 people about Alpha Sigma Alpha and Greek life. All I did was give people the opportunity to ask about it.
For collegians and alumnae of Alpha Sigma Alpha, there are opportunities everyday to wear our badges and to speak of our sorority experiences to fellow students, co-workers, friends and relatives. Do we only think of sorority when it’s time to go to a meeting or when Founders’ Day rolls around or the Phoenix appears in the mail? Are we missing valuable opportunities to promote Greek life and Alpha Sigma Alpha?
Alumnae can wear the membership badge on a ring, on a pendant, on a stick-pin and in other creative ways. Go straight to the bottom of your jewelry box and find your membership badge!
Now more than ever it’s important to show the strengths and virtues of the Greek experience. The badge that represents our ritual contains many beautiful tenets: Aspire, Seek, Attain; Give Full Measure; Self-confidence, Self-control, Self-sacrifice; Love, Give, Serve; Victory and Achievement are within our reach. Why wouldn’t we want to talk about the tenets that comprise the core of our lifetime Sorority membership?
A solution to challenging the perceptions of Greek life is within our grasp. The solution is as simple and as beautiful as our ritual and embodies all the power within it: Wear your membership badge.
I wonder if Kyle knows what a big influence he had on me?