Dr. Mari Ann Callais speaks about rituals, morals to Clarion Greek life

Clarion, Pa.- On Thursday, March 5, National Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council co-sponsored a speaker to discuss ritual and its

Callais and Greek life members sing “Lean on Me.”
Callais and Greek life members sing “Lean on Me.”

importance to the Greek life community.

This talk was in honor of National Ritual Week, which celebrates the tradition of secret rituals that all Greek life holds. While each ritual for each organization is different, it is something every group does and bonds them all together.

Dr. Mari Ann Callais worked in higher education for 16 years and also was director of development for Delta Delta Delta Sorority. She has held over 500 workshops across the country and even was the International President of her own sorority, Theta Phi Alpha.

Callais started the talk with something a little more cheerful and fun. She brought out her guitar and played a medley of tunes ranging from “Lean On Me” to “Hakuna Matata.”

She does this because she believes music brings people together.

Callais then spoke about Greek life, and what it means to join a fraternity or sorority and why people choose to join one. She asked members of the audience to list reasons as to why they joined their organization. Philanthropy, friendship, leadership opportunities, and more were all presented as reasons. “We’re all in this game together,” Callais said, showing that while members of greek organizations are all different, all joined their organizations to find the same things.

Callais quickly moved on to the negative portrayal greek life gets, especially recently with a large amount of hazing stories that have been prominently featured in the media. Callais believes that greek life gets a bad reputation, but she also believes that if members of the greek life community live up to the values that their organizations say they stand for then that stigma that follows.

Callais ended her talk with some simple advice “Be who you say you are.” This saying had quite an impact on those who came to the speaker. Tori Albert, a sister of Phi Sigma Sigma, greatly enjoyed the speaker. “She took personal experiences and turned them into a lesson. I really liked her, she was entertaining and she got the point across.” Albert said. Catelynn Fleming, also a sister of Phi Sigma Sigma, organized the event through Panhellenic Council. Fleming said, “Overall the event went really well. It makes a difference when someone comes and is passionate about what they do, and it’s empowering for us.”

Callais believe Clarion greek life is good, but could be better and believes open communication will make the greek life on campus not only become more well represented, but also show how great being greek can be.

Dr. Mari Ann Callais is a speaker with CampusSpeak. Follow her on facebook at www.facebook.com/dr.marianncallais or follow her on twitter @marianncallais.

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