Thursday, June 23, 2011

It Takes a Lady

By: Carrington Giammittorio

Last night at our welcome banquet, we were honored to have Rick Barnes as our keynote speaker. Having served as a university advisor for nearly 20 years, Rick had held leadership positions in numerous international organizations as well as serving as a past preside of the North American Inter-fraternity Conference. Although the overall feel of his talk was lighthearted (and at times hilarious), one of his more serious points really stuck with me. Talking about the differences in Risk Management policy between men's and women's organizations, Rick made the point that sororities' more intricate Risk Management policies seem to enforce a higher standard of conduct among their membership than do fraternities'. He emphasized this point by citing fraternity houses and parties as a place where sorority women often "unwind" and let go of these standards, leading ultimately to high risk situations.

This message was especially strong for me because during the last few weeks of the semester, the Presidents Council at UVA (a group composed of the presidents of all sixteen NPC sororities that have a home at Mr. Jefferson's University) focused on a problem in our community that can be summed up as "blaming the boys". When things go wrong, we often find ourselves pointing to the deficits in the conduct and risk management procedures of fraternity men when we really should be taking a hard look at ourselves as well. At one point Rick said, "When you come to our house, keep your standards high. Keep those ideals, and we will raise our standards to meet yours." To me, this seems the perfect antidote to our knee-jerk reaction of "blaming the boys", and I think the takeaway message is that it takes a lady, to make a gentleman.


  1. I love this, especially the last line. Not only would that be perfect on a Black Diamond Ball T-shirt, its a great mantra to keep our incredible chapters in check. Pi love!

  2. Great post Carrington! I can't wait to hear about your convention adventures! <>