Picture this: It’s 3:52 p.m. on Monday, November 2, 2015 and you are sitting in the office of the dean of students. You have a 4 p.m. meeting with her and the director of student conduct. In the past 36 hours, you have heard from almost everyone you know and apologized more times than you can count. When will this nightmare stop? You take a deep breath and begin to recount the ripple effects of the choice you made on Saturday morning:
Last hour | Monday, November 2, 2015 A note was tucked under your wind shield wiper. The note only contained one word: Bigot.
9:17 a.m. | Monday, November 2, 2015 You received a call from your favorite professor. Professor Barker is concerned about you representing the college ambassador organization next month in light of the recent events. It’s best for you to sit out this opportunity.
7:04 a.m. | Monday, November 2, 2015 It was the lead story on more than one national morning show. There was your face, in that costume, with the university’s name and Delta Gamma’s name scrolling across the bottom. It was horrible.
8 p.m. | Sunday, November 1, 2015 Television station crews were parked outside the location of the chapter meeting. You had planned to honor your big sister with her homecoming court announcement.
12:18 p.m. | Sunday, November 1, 2015 You received an email from your adviser letting you know the Regional Collegiate Specialist will be reaching out to discuss the situation.
11 a.m. | Sunday, November 1, 2015 You called your parents. You explained your social media accounts are private. You don’t know how this picture got out. Your parents cried with you and asked you to explain what you were thinking.
8:37 a.m. | Sunday, November 1, 2015 You woke up to text messages from friends whose parents saw a photo from Saturday night on the local news. You didn’t take that many photos. You have no idea how a photo made it on to the news.
9 p.m. | Saturday, October 31, 2015 You loaded the bus with your date. A sister asked you if you thought your costume was inappropriate. You ignored her.
10:04 a.m. | Saturday, October 31, 2015 You woke up and thought of the costume idea for the party. You hopped online and found some pictures for inspiration.
3:45 p.m. | Friday, October 30, 2015 You received a text from your roommate about costume ideas. You replied, “Want to come up with something funny?”
Imagine this: It never happened. Breathe a sigh of relief. You realized that your “funny attempt” could hurt, would be off-putting and was far from humorous. You are not embarrassed. You’re not crying, nor are you hesitant to answer a call or go to your car. You didn’t offend anyone or upset the cultures represented within your community and our sisterhood. You remain the champion you promised to be, and a kind, caring student within your campus.
Live this: “There is a choice you have to make, in everything you do. And, you must always keep in mind, the choice you make, makes you.” Thank you, Anonymous – you always say the right thing. Pause. Consider the possible ripple effects of your choices. Ask yourself, “Is this supportive of others? Would I want a picture of this to serve as my profile photo? Am I showing that I care about my neighbor, or that I hate them? Is this choice the best me?” Save yourself and those around you by considering the possibilities. Even the possibilities you think could never happen. At all times, but especially as we enter a seasonal time of dressing up in costume, consider how your Saturday morning version of funny will offend, will hurt and will not show your caring heart. There is one thing that separates the above story from becoming a reality: you. Keep it that way, dear sisters. Your choices define the best you. Make choices that are full of hope, not hate.
Kate Stanton, Alpha Iota – University of Oklahoma Director: Collegiate Programming
Kate Stanton’s days (and most evenings) are filled serving the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as Executive Director for Student Affairs and Associate Title IX Coordinator as well as teaching a leadership seminar on the University’s Norman Campus.
Currently serving the Fraternity as Director of Collegiate Programming working with member education and programming initiatives, Kate treasures creating solutions, thinking outside the box and bringing student voice into the conversation. Celebrating life, filling others’ buckets, traveling, and finding the best iced tea takes up the other seconds in Kate’s day. An initiate of Alpha Iota – Oklahoma, Kate will blow out 20 candles this month marking her 20th anniversary as a Delta Gamma.