For National Ritual Celebration Week, we’re going to be breaking down the four main points of Article II. In 1873, Article II was written by our founders, Mary Comfort Leonard, Eva Webb Dodd, and Anna Boyd Ellington. The intention for writing Article II was to establish a mission statement for all Delta Gammas to live by continuously.
Article II states:
The objects of this Fraternity shall be to foster high ideals of friendship among college women, to promote their educational and cultural interests, to create in them a true sense of social responsibility and to develop in them the best qualities of character.
Here’s what a few members of Gamma Zeta had to say about the first point, fostering high ideals of friendship:
“Going through rush, I was trying to find the house that I could turn into my home. A home where the women were fun, genuine, kind and welcoming. I found all of those things and more at Delta Gamma. One of the things that I love the most is our ritual, and the way that we always challenge one another to live our ritual to the best of our ability. As a Delta Gamma, I think the aspect of Article II that plays the biggest role in my life is fostering high ideals of friendship. ‘Fostering high ideals of friendship’ has as much meaning and relevance to our lives today as it did when our founders established our ritual in 1873. At Gamma Zeta - LSU, we strive to develop friendships with everyone. While it's true that not everyone in the chapter is best friends, we try to make everyone feel welcome, respected and appreciated. As a member of Gamma Zeta, it makes me so proud when friends gush about how nice the Delta Gammas they met have been and how friendly our chapter is as a whole. We don't just try to be friends with our sisters, but everyone on campus. Joining Delta Gamma has pushed me to be a better friend. I've learned that being a friend means putting yourself out there and extending friendship to everyone, even if you're shy or afraid. I've learned that being a friend means always being your sister's champion and taking a sincere interest in her ups and downs. I've learned that being a friend means being your sister's touchstone when life gets tough and the first person she calls when it's time to have a dance party. Though we try our best, we aren't always perfect friends. But that's okay because no friendship is perfect and true friendship always challenges you to be better than you were the day before. I'm so thankful that I've found my sisters at Gamma Zeta - LSU and I wouldn't want to make the journey through college and life with anyone else. ITB.”
- Katie Gagliano, freshman, pi alpha: programming
“’Fostering high ideals of friendship’—a simple phrase that builds the foundation Delta Gamma sisterhood sits upon. A friend supports, loves, respects, and honors others around him or her. The friends I have made through Delta Gamma have pushed me to better myself and have motivated me to practice essential values of being a genuine sorority woman. Delta Gamma fosters high ideals of friendship, meaning a Delta Gamma woman pushes her sisters to believe in themselves and be the best version of themselves in all aspects of life. My Delta Gamma friendships are a feeling of forever in my heart. One of my favorite authors once said, ‘Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.’ The Gamma Zeta chapter has created an environment of pure joy and unbreakable support. The friendships I share with my sisters have given me confidence in my abilities to succeed in life. My Gamma Zeta sisters have not only comforted me when I am down, but they have picked me up and guided me back in the right direction. Rather it is baking a sister cookies for her birthday or driving a sister to the hospital in a time of urgency, a Delta Gamma friend can always be depended on and trusted. I asked two of my closest friends in the chapter to tell me what ‘high ideals of friendship’ means to them, and without flinching they said, ‘Friendship means to love at all times, even in each other’s weakest moments,’ and ‘Friends truly respect you for who you are and are there for you no matter what the circumstance.’ I know the friendships I have developed in Gamma Zeta will never cease to give me hope, strength, and life. My friendships will continue to help me grow as a person and live graciously.”
-Caroline McCaffrey, sophomore
“Wow. I honestly do not believe I can efficiently describe the ‘high ideals of friendship’ I have witnessed over the passed three years in Delta Gamma, but I will give it my best shot. When the values of an organization start off with ‘The objects of this Fraternity shall be to foster high ideals of friendship among women,’ the first reaction is most likely a sigh of disbelief, because let’s face it women do not have the best reputation for fostering high ideals of friendship among each other. As a member of Delta Gamma, I can attest for this object. The friends in Delta Gamma all include ‘those friends.’ Those friends that bring you coffee at 3 a.m. when you are studying, even though you did not tell them you had an exam the next day. Those friends that invite you home for Thanksgiving dinner, even though you did not tell them you were not flying back home for the holidays. Those friends that put their arms around you to help you stand after running a marathon, even though you are drenched in sweat. Those friends that scratch your back and make you laugh after a bad day, even though they have a million things on their agenda. ‘Those friends’ and friendships are possible because of Delta Gamma, and I could not be more proud of those women and the ritual we uphold.”
-Jenna Baker, junior, director of senior programming
“It is not untrue to say that many women join sororities today to ‘make friends.’ So I understand why at first glance, an outsider reading Article II might read ‘fostering high ideals of friendship’ and think ‘wow what a pompous way to phrase ‘make friends.'’ But such is NOT the case! I am here to tell you that once you experience friendship within Delta Gamma, you realize that there is no better way to phrase what you are experiencing. The words do not come from a place of arrogance, but rather a place of truth. Any fewer or different words would not give it justice. The friendships I have experienced in Delta Gamma have not taught me how to ‘make friends,’ but rather how to nurture the qualities within myself that make me a better friend. ‘High ideals of friendship’ does not mean that once you are initiated into Delta Gamma you are given a cheat sheet of the ideals you must uphold in order to be a good friend. For me, the high ideals I hold regarding friendship have come from witnessing the friendships between other members of Delta Gamma. If anyone is looking for a crash course in friendship, I would advise them to spend just one afternoon in the Ritz of the Gamma Zeta chapter’s house (just leave your food and drink in the dining room PLEASE!). Here is where you will find excellent models of friendship. I am very grateful to Delta Gamma for teaching me the importance of ‘fostering high ideals of friendship’ rather than just ‘making friends.’ It has challenged me to be a better friend to all of my friends, not just my friends in Delta Gamma. And in the words of the great Barney Stinson, ‘CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!’ to foster these high ideals of friendship til I’m ‘Delta Gam dead!’”
-Caroline Enright, senior
written by: Caroline Rodrigue, director of rituals & Kathleen Smith, director of social media