by Carole Jurenko Jones, Alpha Delta (U of Alabama), 2019-2021 NPC Chairman
As I reflect on the conversations I had earlier in the month about International Badge Day, I am struck at how easy it was to advocate for the sorority experience all because I was asked about the badges I was wearing. From a conversation with a father whose daughter is thinking about participating in recruitment in the fall, to finding out a new friend is also a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, to a local business leader whom I had the opportunity to sit by during a lunch meeting. I am certain these conversations, which focused on the benefits of the sorority experience, only happened because of the two badges I wore that day.
The creation of International Badge Day was the idea of Nora M. Ten Broeck, who wrote an article in the spring 1996 issue of Alpha Sigma Alpha’s “The Phoenix” titled, “A Simple Solution – Wear Your Membership Badge Today.” The article described her personal experience of wearing her sorority pin to work one day. The National Panhellenic Conference then began the formal celebration to honor sisterhood in 1997. The date is recognized during March, which is also National Women’s History Month and set aside for International Women’s Day.
On March 2, I had several places to be during the day and I wondered if people would notice, let alone ask, about the two pieces of jewelry I was wearing. I wore my Alpha Omicron Pi badge on a necklace and my NPC chairman’s badge as a pin. Both represent my lifelong commitment to service, community and sisterhood as a member of Alpha Omicron Pi and the National Panhellenic Conference.
In my conversations, I was able to not only advocate for the sorority experience, but engage in dialogue about Stand Up to Harvard and students’ rights to associate. I had the opportunity to talk about NPC’s work with the Anti-Hazing Coalition and directed the dad to TheSororityLife.com for additional recruitment information and what his daughter could expect as a sorority woman – leadership and volunteer opportunities, friendship for a lifetime, personal development, the importance of philanthropy and much more. It was a really good day!
If you didn’t wear your badge on March 2, I encourage you to join in next year as we show the world we believe in the power of the sorority experience. Or, just pick any day and put yourself out there by wearing your badge to celebrate the history of sororities. Just see how many people ask about your badge, allowing you to tell your sorority story and advocate for the sorority experience.