Juliet McDade Attends National Conference
Juliet McDade attend the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI) this summer. She wanted to share her story with you.
When I was approached about attending UIFI, I was apprehensive. I had never done anything like it before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Driving so far away by myself and being surrounded by a hundred people I didn’t know for five days sounded way outside of my comfort zone. However, I realized it can be beneficial to try new things. So, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and go into the experience with an open mind.
I expected to have a decent time and to learn some valuable information that I could bring back to my chapter, but I had no idea that I would end up getting as much out of it as I did. My five days at UIFI turned out to be some of the best five days of my life. On the last day, I didn’t want to leave! I learned more about myself as an individual and as a leader than I could have ever imagined, and I made lifelong friends who inspire me. I also gained an entirely new perspective and appreciation for my chapter and Greek life in general.
UIFI challenged me. We dove deep into the real issues facing the Greek community, our chapters and councils. We were encouraged to be vulnerable and to own up to the negative behaviors that threaten Greek life. We were challenged to live the values of our organizations every day and to hold our brothers and sisters accountable to those values. The discussions we had were eye-opening and inspired positive action in all of us.
One of the most significant concepts that I took away from UIFI is the importance of community. We can learn so much more from each other if we understand the value of collective action and collaborative efforts within the Greek community. Being surrounded by Greeks from all over North America presented the unique opportunity to learn about how other chapters and councils operate. It allowed us to exchange ideas about how we can better serve our chapters and communities. Students representing different chapters and councils came together to listen to each others’ struggles and to brainstorm solutions. We came together as one Greek community to work towards the common goal of elevating our chapters and Greek life on our own campuses.
I believe that everyone in the Greek community, especially those in leadership positions, could benefit from the UIFI experience. If someone was to consider attending next year, I would tell them that my experience at UIFI was invaluable. If you go into the institute with an open mind, you will learn more than you could have ever imagined. I simply cannot recommend it enough. I gained a renewed sense of responsibility, passion and motivation for serving my chapter by creating positive and lasting changes.