Being a sorority woman is much more than wearing Greek-lettered shirts around campus. The sorority experience is about promoting change, making lifelong friendships, and learning to become the best version of yourself.
Sisterhood often provides members with that “home away from home” feeling while they are away at school. With the fall semester coming to a close, many senior members of these organizations have one semester left in the “homes” that Monmouth University has given them. As they prepare for graduation, these women have shared some of their favorite Panhellenic memories, what they have learned, and their hopes for life after college.
Margaret Abitanto is a senior who served as Alpha Omicron Pi’s Chapter President from 2020-2021. Becoming a new member in 2019, Abitanto explained that she was inspired to go through recruitment because of her desire to take on a leadership role. “When I received my bid, I was overjoyed and so excited for what was to come. It was the start of such a beautiful chapter in my life,” she said.
Throughout her time involved in Greek life, philanthropy events have been some of her favorites. “I especially had such a great time doing Delta Phi Epsilon’s Lip Sync and my own organization’s Strike Out Arthritis event. I really got the chance to connect more with my own org and others, and had so much fun while raising money for philanthropy!”
Skylar Paletta, a senior from Delta Phi Epsilon has also enjoyed supporting philanthropy. Paletta, who is a Certified Personal Trainer, instructed a workout class to raise awareness for the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. She explained, “I loved the workout class so much because it was full of so many different women from all different organizations. We all came together and did something amazing for our physical and mental health.”
For many of the seniors, great memories are not just a result of isolated memories within their own chapters. The Panhellenic community on campus promotes unity and connection across all organizations.
Gianna Catena is the outgoing President of Alpha Sigma Tau who will also be graduating this spring. She shared that being in Greek life has taught her so much about friendships and connections. She said, “My organization and the entire Greek community, in general, has definitely pushed me to become the best version of myself by opening doors for getting involved in and becoming a leader in the community.”
This community also holds a special place in the heart of Bianca Martino, a senior member of Delta Phi Epsilon who has served as both President of her chapter, as well as Treasurer of the Greek Senate. Martino explained, “My favorite Panhellenic memory has been getting involved in the Greek community…Being involved in Greek Life has taught me how to grow as a leader and has strengthened my skills in being responsible and organized. It has also taught me that the more you put into the community, the more you get out of it.”
Kristina Labriola is a senior in Alpha Xi Delta. Labriola, who served as Chapter President explained that being a part of Greek life made her the leader that she is today. “Being involved in Greek life has taught me the importance of community and how to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Joining a sorority has taught me so many important life skills like how to be a leader and work with other people,” she said.
While these women may be leaving their chapters in just a few short months, their futures will surely be bright. Labriola, a business student, hopes to work in the field of social media marketing. Abitanto, a criminal justice student, is in the process of finalizing a job. She shared her aspirations for the future, saying, “In years to come, I would like to work in juvenile detention centers helping kids get back on track and get out of the system.”
Much like Abitanto, Catena and Martino want to work with kids, but as educators. Catena will be pursuing her Master’s at Monmouth after graduation. She said, “Eventually, my goal is to get a job as a secondary English teacher, where I hope to continue to make an impact and remain a leader.” Martino plans on becoming an elementary school teacher and attending graduate school to receive her Master’s in Administration.
Paletta, who finishes with her undergraduate classes this December, will be attending Montclair State University to earn her Master’s in the field of exercise science and sports studies. She said, “I am really excited to continue my education and challenge myself intellectually the next few years.”
Clearly, their involvement in Greek life will serve these women well as they enter the next chapter of their lives.