BY ANNA JENSEN
Haley Davis, a junior radio TV production major, joined a historically black sorority this year, Delta Sigma Theta, which is dedicated to public service.
Abbreviated DST, the sorority is part of National Pan-Hellenic Council and National Association for the advancement of Colored People.
“I am one of four members between (Drake) and Iowa State,” Davis said. “My first year on campus, there were about 2 or 3 girls on campus who were members of my organization and they put it on the map for me.”
Davis never really considered joining Greek Life until the girls approached her and shared their experiences.
She then did research and looked up the qualifications needed to join, which change almost yearly, and then went to an informational session.
A few necessary qualifications are a minimum cumulative GPA of a 2.75 on a 4.0 scale, prior involvement in public services activities, and completion of at least 24 semester hours or 36 quarter hours before applying.
When Davis completed enough credit hours and had the time to dedicate, she applied to be in the sorority and then went through a rush process.
“The rush starts with a membership intake where you learn all about the history of the organization, whereas other rushes really involve meeting the current members,” Davis said. “But for the National Pan-Hellenic Council is all about learning the history of the organization and why the foundation of the organization is so important.”
The sorority was established in 1913 and one of the first acts of public service was participating in women’s marches.
“We’ve also had members elected to Congress,” Davis said. “And being that the organization was founded on public service and leadership, it continues to be a big part of the organization today.”
Davis contributes to public service by going out into the community to work with youth, and by helping feed the homeless.
“Sisterhood has been a driving force for me,” Davis said. “I both needed and wanted to be around powerful women of color.”
Davis joined just this past December and has already done much more public service than she did prior to her investment in the organization.
One specific community service event she participated in occurred on Martin Luther King Day.
“We held an event for high schools are got to tell them about our college experience and answer any questions they had,” Davis said. “We also helped facilitate budgeting activities and putting together things like toilet paper and toothbrushes to drop off at homeless shelters.”
The organization bridges its foundations of public service and empowerment by putting on events that specifically help people of the African American community.
The goal is to put on one public service event a month, and because the chapter in Iowa is joint between Drake and Iowa State, a lot of the events are done in Story County in Ames.
Beyond her involvement in DST, Davis is also a Resident Assistant in Jewett Hall and a Crew Scholar.
Crew Scholars is an academic and professional success program for students of color and Davis started off in crew her first year.
Davis explains her love for Crew stems greatly from the community she has established within it.
“You go through your time at Drake with the same cohort of students you came in with,” Davis said. “My cohort started at 20, but two people transferred.”
The group of 18 people is all incredibly different, because Crew Scholars is about finding out what works for the individual in the college experience, to which they all know isn’t the same for each member. Instead, they offer their friendship and support to one another.
“We are all incredibly close,” Davis said. “There are about 70-80 of us total, and we are all like a family.”
There is a mentorship program within Crew where Davis is partnered up with someone from her grade, and they have a ‘son’ and two ‘daughters’ that they help guide, which makes the family aspect even more surreal.
“People in Crew are always like, ‘Hey, you should do this, you’d be really good at it,” Davis said. “They are the voice motivating me to do what I always knew I wanted to do.”