Research Paper

Not Your Average Sorority Girl

During my sophomore year in college, I looked to join an organization that would help me make friends, and would also help me become a better person by giving back to the community. At first, I wasn’t a big fan of sororities. I only knew them by all the misconceptions and stereotypes I had learned growing up from movies and non-greeks that thought they knew what sororities were like. However, after I decided to rush at the beginning of sophomore year, my opinion has since changed. Once I learned about Delta Delta Delta and their philanthropy, all my fears and doubts about sororities went away. I wanted to join an organization that was making a difference in the world, and with Tri Delta, I found what I was looking for. When it comes to philanthropic works, the sorority of Delta Delta Delta is famous for the organization’s huge commitment and love for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital among the greek community. St. Jude is one of the top children’s cancer hospitals worldwide. The main reason St. Jude stands out from the rest of the children cancer facilities is that, “…families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live…” (How St. Jude Began). Because of this charitable practice, donations from organizations like Delta Delta Delta are so crucial to keeping the hospital funded and running in order keep saving children’s lives. Many people think that Tri Delta falls under the misconception that we are just superficial girls that party all the time, but that is simply not true. Tri Delta women are very dedicated to bringing the community together with different philanthropy events to help raise funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

How is Delta Delta Delta stigmatized by the sorority stereotypes?

When people think of sororities, their minds goes directly to partying, promiscuous girls, and girly activities.These stereotypes are based on sorority movies like “Legally Blonde”, “House Bunny”, “Sorority Row”, and so many more that create a false image of what sororities are really like. In none of those movies do they talk about how philanthropic sorority women are or how enthusiastic these women can be when it comes to helping others. A little-known fact is that sororities on the UC Davis campus raise the most money for their philanthropies, more than any of the other clubs and organizations on campus. It wasn’t until after I joined Tri Delta that I recognized the difference they were making as well. Because of these stereotypes, Delta Delta Delta is taken less seriously by individuals outside of Greek life because they don’t know how much we do for St. Jude. This is unfortunate, and philanthropy events hosted by Tri Delta would probably be more successful if more people knew about our goals and partnership with St. Jude. If Delta Delta Delta could get past the sorority stereotypes, then people would be more willing to attend the events or donate.

Some facts about Delta Delta Delta

The sorority Delta Delta Delta was founded in 1888 at Boston University, and up to today, there are 141 Tri Delta chapters across the United States and Canada with 18,857 collegiate members (Tri Delta). Sarah Ida Shaw wrote Tri Delta’s purpose in 1888 which says, “to establish a perpetual bond of friendship among its members, to develop a stronger and more womanly character, to broaden the moral and intellectual life, and to assist its members in every possible way” (Tri Delta). In each chapter, there are designated Tri Delta women, such a president, vice president, treasurer, etc., that are voted in charge to make sure that the Tri Delta women are following Tri Delta’s purpose during their years as active members. That is why philanthropy is so important to Tri Delta because it helps us grow as a person and act out our purpose as sorority women. As our designated philanthropy, Delta Delta Delta supports children’s cancer hospitals (Wikipedia.com). In 1999 Tri Delta officially partnered up with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and St. Jude became their main philanthropy (Tri Delta). Tri Delta women across the country and Canada put all their efforts into our philanthropy and over, the years we have been able to raise millions of dollars for St. Jude. Unfortunately, members outside Tri Delta know little about our purpose as a sorority and how much we’ve done for St. Jude.

Some facts about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

When Danny Thomas was a young man, he wanted to be a successful actor. When he couldn’t find a job, he prayed to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes, to help him build a career and in return, he would build him a shrine (How St. Jude Began). After Danny had become very successful, he started to gather more businessmen and began to build the promised shrine for St. Jude, a children’s cancer research hospital (How St. Jude Began). In 1962, St. Jude hospital opened its doors for the first time. At the time the survival rate for children with cancer was about 20% and today the survival rate at St. Jude has gone up to 80% (How St. Jude Began). Today St. Jude’s continues to thrive with the help of donations and will continue to work on research until, “no child dies from cancer” (How St. Jude Began). Since donations are very crucial to keep St. Jude functioning, it is important to partner up with organizations that are committed and serious about the cause, like Tri Delta.

Delta Delta Delta’s commitment to St. Jude

The women of Tri Delta care about the wellness of children, that is why our philanthropy is our priority as a sorority. Just in the first year of committing to St. Jude Tri Delta raised more than $44,000 (Tri Delta). In 2006 Tri Delta made a goal to raise $10 million in 10 years for the patient care floor. They completed the goal in just four years (Tri Delta). In 2014 Tri Delta announce their new goal, $60 million in 10 years making them the biggest contributors to St. Jude in history (“Tri Delta’s Partnership with St. Jude”). These goals are critical because it’s how the sisterhood can guarantee that St. Jude will have funds to continue their research and keep saving kids lives for free. To achieve these goals the Tri Delta sisters put together three main philanthropy events throughout the school year, in the effort to reach out to the UC Davis community and raise as much as possible for St. Jude.

Delta Delta Delta’s Philanthropy Events

The three philanthropy events that the sorority Delta Delta Delta hosts to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude are Delta House of Pancakes, Sincerely Yours, and Delta Dodgeball.

Delta House of Pancakes, also known as DHOP, is Tri Delta’s national annual winter philanthropy event for St. Jude. During the event, the sisters of Tri Delta make a variety of pancakes for the participants to eat and enjoy. DHOP is a successful event every year, because college students love pancakes, and the environment of the event is very laid back and friendly, making everyone in the community comfortable. The women of Tri Delta also take into consideration that certain people have gluten allergies, so we make sure to make gluten free pancakes as well, in efforts to keep all the guests accommodated. Tickets are usually $5 pre-sale and $7 at the door, a price appropriate for a college student’s budget. The sorority sisters are required to sell at least ten tickets before the philanthropy event. Most girls sell them to their friends and family, while others use their connections with other Greek organizations such as fraternities and other sororities. The UC Davis Tri Delta women try to reach out to people outside of Tri Delta as well, by setting up an information and ticket station in the middle of campus, because we want students outside Greek life to feel included. The fundraiser is open to the entire community, and all the proceeds go directly to St. Jude Cancer Research Hospital.

Sincerely Yours is a letter writing campaign that is the most personal philanthropy event that Tri Delta puts together for St. Jude. It is also held in the Springtime, but unlike the other two philanthropies, Sincerely Yours is usually not open directly to the public. The sisters are encouraged to write personal letters to fifty people they know, about what St. Jude means to them and how it has affected their lives; concluding the letters by asking for donations that will go straight to St. Jude (Sincerely Yours). This philanthropy event is what raises the most money out of all the philanthropies because letter writing is very personal and the letters are usually sent to family members. By reaching out to people that love us and support us, as well as the things we are involved in, it’s more likely that the donations will be higher. St. Jude also provides us with pamphlets of patients’ stories that we can include in the letters, in an effort to show who they will be helping with their donations.

Delta Dodgeball is Tri Delta’s annual Spring philanthropy benefiting St. Jude.The event is a dodgeball tournament between the fraternities on campus. Each fraternity that wishes to participate in the event can create a team for 70$ that will be donated to St. Jude. Some of the sisters of Delta Delta Delta become the coaches of each fraternity team, while others are responsible for setting up the event and making sure it runs smoothly so that everyone can have fun. The point of this event is for people to have a fun day in the sun while supporting St. Jude. For this event, we try to reach out to the fraternities, because they tend to be competitive in nature and with each other. We want the participants to enjoy some friendly competition while supporting a great cause. During the event, we provide the participants with pizza and water, to make their experience, even more, fun. Delta Dodgeball continues to be a successful event because college guys seem to love dodgeball on a sunny spring day while helping kids.

According to our philanthropy chair, Emily Bingham, at the UC Davis Delta Delta chapter, during the 2015-2016 year, “we raised $20,800 from Sincerely Yours, DHOP raised about $2,000 and Delta Dodgeball about $800” (Bingham). As stated earlier Sincerely Yours helped us raise the most money for St. Jude. This year Emily worked very hard to encourage the Tri Delta sisters to reach out to as many people as possible to ensure that our first event of the year for St. Jude, DHOP, goes successfully. The event turned out to be a huge success. Emily posted on our private Tri Delta Facebook page the following, “I’ve counted the money, and I’m happy to present you with the total amount raised from DHOP! Our grand total is about $5,760! Literally, I’m so shook because I could not have expected this great of a turnout/outcome and I have no words but thank you, everyone! We got one of the biggest turnouts ever for DHOP, and it was magical that we could share our love for St. Jude with over 600 people. I’m so proud of all of you!” (Bingham). That’s 600 people that Tri Delta managed to get together under one cause. They loved the pancakes and everyone’s company.

My Personal Experience with Delta Delta Delta

As I mentioned before, joining a sorority was something I was a skeptic about due to how sororities are portrayed in the media. After learning how passionate and philanthropic they are about St. Jude, I realized how wrongly I misjudged Tri Delta based on stereotypes that weren’t true. After two years of being a Tri Delta sister, I have experienced first hand how much dedication and work goes into our philanthropy events. Our main goal as an organization is to raise as much money possible for St. Jude because we want to help sick children get the treatment they need for free. Our event’s such as DHOP, Sincerely Yours, and Delta Dodgeball have all been very successful, and the community enjoys being a part of our philanthropy.

 

 

 

Citations

Bingham, Emily.  Facebook.com. 11 March 2017 Web. 17 March 2017.
“Delta Delta Delta.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Mar. 2017. Web. 5 Mar. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Delta_Delta&gt;.
“Delta Delta Delta Fraternity.” St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017. <https://www.stjude.org/get-involved/at-school/college-fundraisers/greek-organizations/tri-delta.html&gt;.
“How St. Jude began.” How St. Jude began – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017. <https://www.stjude.org/about-st-jude/history/how-we-began.html&gt;.
“‘Sincerely Yours” St Judes Childrens Research Hospital Campaign hosted by Delta Delta Delta.” Greeklifefuture. N.p., 3 May 2013. Web. 5 Mar. 2017. <https://greeklife.lafayette.edu/2013/05/03/sincerely-yours-st-judes-childrens-research-hospital-campaign-hosted-by-delta-delta-delta/&gt;.
“Tri Delta’s Partnership with St. Jude.” YouTube, uploaded by Delta Delta Delta, 24 July 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo3tJVtE4PM.
“Why Tri Delta.” Tri Delta. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017. <http://www.tridelta.org/collegiate/why-tri-delta/&gt;.

Cover Letter

Love-Hate Relationship

Let me begin by saying that no one likes to write essays. No one, including myself and if there is anyone out there that enjoys the struggle of writing an essay, then they are not my friend. Essays though seem to love me, they follow me and haunt me in more than half of the classes I’ve taken at UC Davis. I thought that by choosing a science major, then I wouldn’t have to take classes that required writing. How naive and wrong I was. After three years at UC Davis, I have come to terms with my fate with writing; I just have to accept they’ll always be there, no matter how much I try to push them out of my life.

Since I moved to the United States when I was ten, I was never taught the English grammar rules in school. I could barely understand the language at the time. Therefore I had to teach myself the basic grammar rules. I learned from the feedback I was getting from my teachers on homework assignments and by using online sources. Thankfully my teachers were very patient with me and my slow learning process. Having the disadvantage of learning English as a second language during the time when my peers were mastering it, was tough for me and it made me hate having to write.
In high school, I took honors and IB English, and both classes required a lot of essays throughout the year. As you can imagine, they weren’t my favorite classes because of that, but we wrote essays so often that I started getting good at writing the basic five-paragraph essays. For my junior and senior year of high school, I was in the IB English class, which meant that I would have the same teacher both years. That helped my writing a lot because my teacher was able to see my strengths and weaknesses in my essay writing. She would always point out to me that my verb tenses sometimes wouldn’t match and that my writing is too wordy.

Now as a junior in college I seem to get similar feedback from my professors, but less often. Sometimes it’s hard for me to recognize when I’m switching the verb tenses, because as I am writing at the time my tenses make sense, so I have to look out for them when I edit. On the other hand, I tend to make my essays wordier than they should be because of two reasons. One being that I don’t know another way to get my point across. Since my vocabulary is still not as developed as I would like, I tend to summarize a lot, when I’m not sure what words can sum up what I am trying to say. The second reason my essays tend to be wordy is that I am trying to hit a specific word count, and I am worried that I won’t make it. I usually go over the word count and forget to go back through my essays and remove the fluff.

In my UWP 1 class, I was able to focus on my problem with grammar and verb tenses through the Language Development Project (LDP). The LDP assignments helped me, because we had to look at old writing pieces and analyze them, and that’s when I saw my mistakes with grammar and verb tenses. I saw that in my writing I was going from past tense to present tense to future tense, and for the first time, I finally understood what my teachers meant by switching verb tenses. Before I had an idea but the LDP made it clear to me and now I know what I have to look out for in my writing. My tenses have to match with the time frame that I am using. The LDP’s also helped me analyze my problem with some grammar rules, like run on sentences and figuring out ways to make my writing less wordy. My biggest problem with run-on sentences is that I have a hard time knowing when to use a comma, a semicolon, or a period. In the LDP’s I spent a lot of time analyzing old essays and figuring out when it was appropriate to rephrase sentences and when to change my punctuation. These changes helped me fix my run on sentences, which also helped me fix my essays from being too wordy. I continued to practice what I was learning from the LDP assignments in my problem letter and research paper.

For the problem letter, I wrote a letter to my Statistics 13 professor from last year. I talked about how difficult it is for students to do well in his class because he makes the exams very long while not giving us enough time to complete them. In the letter, I stated the problem of not having sufficient time for the exams. I also presented some solutions which are to make the exams shorter or making the problems on the exams less wordy. While writing the problem letter, I tried to make it as concise as possible, while making sure that the problem and the solutions are clear. I also worked on my verb tenses in this letter, since I wrote about an issue in the past that should be corrected in the future.

For the research paper I talked about the negative misconceptions that people have towards sororities based on the media when in actuality sororities like Delta Delta Delta have shown their value in the community by doing an outstanding job with their philanthropy to St. Jude Cancer Research Children’s Hospital over the past two decades. By talking about a discourse community I am a member of, it made the research paper very personal, and I wanted to present my sorority with correct information. In this paper, I used my knowledge on the run on sentences and punctuation. There is a lot of information I was trying to get in the paper, without trying to be too wordy, so I had to focus on correcting my run on sentences and placing commas where they were needed.

After years of trying to fight this love-hate relationship with writing, I know now that I will always have to write essays, so I’m finding ways to start liking writing. With the help I’ve received from my teachers over the years, as well as what I’ve learned in UWP 1, I feel more comfortable with writing. There’s still a lot to learn in the future, but at least now I can easily say my grammar, punctuation skills, and wordiness have improved since the beginning of this quarter.

Problem Letter

.

Styliani Karabinaki

1234 Rainbow way

Davis, Ca 95616

 

February 3, 2017

 

David Lang

University of California, Davis

One Shields Avenue

Davis, CA 95616

 

Dear Professor Lang,

Hello, my name is Styliani Karabinaki, and I am one of the many UC Davis students that have participated in your Statistics 13 class. Specifically, your class of Fall 2016. Statistics 13 was one of my favorite classes last quarter because you taught the material so well and it was easy to understand. As much as I enjoyed learning about probabilities and learning how to find the Z-value, I wouldn’t necessarily want to go through the learning process all over again in my undergraduate career, unless it was necessary for a different class. Unfortunately, I am going to have to repeat Statistics 13, because your exams were too long for the amount of time we were given to complete the exam.
Not having a sufficient amount of time to complete the exam leads to students, like myself, to get bad grades, resulting in failing the class and having to retake it. I understand that the classes are structured around a particular time frame and can’t exactly make the examination time longer, but have you considered making the exams shorter?

Having a shorter exam would mean that the students will be able to pace themselves through the exam and not have to rush; avoiding those little mathematical errors that could result in a wrong answer. Also, having a shorter exam would take a lot of stress off the students. With each exam being 30% of our final grade it puts a lot of pressure and stress on us having to do well. When the exam consists of thirty-five-word problems for fifty minutes of examination time, it easy to see how the students feel rushed. We have about a minute and a half to spend on each question. That involves reading the question, comprehending it, and solving it. A mathematical question includes equations that need a lot of steps to be resolved, something that would take more than a minute and a half to solve correctly. After every exam the students would gather outside the classroom to discuss how they think they did, or what they did wrong/ right, expressing their stress and fears of getting a low score. Most importantly, I would hear almost everyone talk about how they ran out of time and didn’t finish their exam.

If making the exam shorter is too difficult, another option would be simplifying the word problems. Long word problems add to the problem of not having enough time for completing the exam. A lot of the questions on the test are in fact word problems, and the students spend a lot of time reading through irrelevant information to find the actual information that is needed to solve it. For example, “The overnight shipping business has skyrocketed in the last ten years. The single greatest predictor of a company’s success is customer service. A study was conducted to determine the client’s satisfaction levels for one overnight shipping business. In addition to the satisfaction of the customer’s level, the customers were asked how often they used overnight shipping. The results are shown below in the following table”. This question is an exam question taken from the Fall 2016 Midterm 1 exam. As you can see the question involves background information in the first two sentences that are not necessary for solving the problem. That might not seem like a significant change to the problem, but when it happens to most of the word problems it adds up to the time we wasted reading irrelevant information when we could have spent that time solving the problem.

Most of the students taking your class are planning to go to some higher education after UC Davis that requires a GPA 3.0 and above, therefore these exam grades and the overall grade in the class affects us in the long term.What if this class grade is the reason I’m not going to be able to achieve my dreams of going to medical school? Right now having a D+ letter grade on my transcript for your Statistics 13 class brings down my GPA tremendously. No medical school is going to look at that D+ on my transcript and believe that I tried very hard to do well in the class. I went to tutoring services twice a week; I read the textbook, I did all the homework, went to your office hours, attended the lectures and still ended up with a D+ in your class because the exams were too long to complete. I believe that it’s unfair to students that worked hard in your class, to get a bad grade for something that’s out of our control. I remember speaking to you about the exams after lecture one day. I asked you if there was any extra credit I could do to get some points back, and you told me the best thing I could do was to do better in the final exam. I explained to you how if I had not been able to finish the previous exams there was no way I was going to complete the final exam. Disappointment and stress once again overwhelmed me. After the final exam, I rode my bike in tears all the way home, feeling frustrated and not good enough to go to UC Davis. I don’t think any student should feel like that after any exam.

Overall I believe that you are an excellent professor, and I do feel like I learned statistic last quarter, even if my grade doesn’t show it. Fixing the timing problem for the exams would make future student’s experience with the class a much better one. I appreciate you taking the time out of your very busy day to read my letter, and I hope my suggestions can help with solving the problem.

Sincerely,

Styliani Karabinaki