One way, Loyola Marymount University stands out from other universities, is through the presence of the service organization community on campus. This unique community is focused on promoting both service and social justice. Essentially, each organization has a certain focus, mission, and specific service sites. The community is comprised of nine different organizations: Crimson Circle, Gryphon Circle, Belles, Ignatians, Sursum Corda, Magis, Marians, Creare, and Espérer. More information about each one can be found here.
Recently, I went through the recruitment process and am proud to call myself a member of Gryphon Circle. My experience thus far in the organization has been fun, eventful, and eye opening. Before I continue gushing about the organization I am a part of, let me rewind back to the recruitment process.
If you choose to go through the recruitment process during your time at Loyola Marymount, be prepared to invest your time and to discern. Recruitment is started with All Org Night, which gives potential members a chance to learn about all the organizations and mingle with current members. The recruitment process consists of weeklong events, essays, and interviews. Each organization plans events to allow prospective members to get a chance to learn about the organization, meet the members and figure out where they belong. These events are not mandatory but it is highly encouraged to attend as many as you can. The events can be anything from informational meetings to barbecues to cookie decorating. After recruitment week, comes the deadline for the formal applications. Potential members must fill out an application for each organization they are interested. No application is the same; be prepared to spend a significant amount of time on them. It is in this application where you get a chance to express who you are, your passions, and interest in joining the organization. Some questions are challenging, and require you to reflect on who you are. The next step in the process is interviewing. These interviews are not set up to be intimidating. The interviewee members take special effort in making sure you feel welcome, and some organizations give you candy! As a whole, do not be afraid to open up and remember to remain true. Avoid judging your answers or giving answers you believe the organization is looking for. After the recruitment process, there is a waiting period. If you get into an organization, congratulations, and if you do not, do not be discouraged.
I have been lucky enough to find myself as a member of Gryphon Circle, an all-female organization with a focus on education. Now, this is the part where I gush! I am very lucky to find myself surrounded by such strong and inspiring women who are very passionate about the organization. Recently, we put on Education Week. The week was dedicated to raising awareness about the social justice issues within education. We had various events such as a hygiene kit-packing day for St. Margaret’s center, an open mic night to remind everyone the value of arts in education, a screening of Matilda to remind others the importance of reading and teachers, and a discussion about women in education led by a panel of professors and students. The last, informal part of Education Week is Gryphon Games, which we put on for children from kindergarten to seventh grade. Usually we play outdoor activities with the kids, but this year, due to the rain, we had indoor activities such as face painting, coloring, relay races, and a dance party.
Even though I only recently joined this organization, I have already gained a wealth of knowledge about our service focus, gained a new passion for promoting education and gained a new friendship with my wonderful “big.” This organization has also introduced me to hardworking and inspiring women who I would have never had an opportunity to meet otherwise. It’s only been a little over a month since I’ve gotten to know these women, but we already share wonderful memories from singing Disney songs to dancing the Cupid Shuffle to watching the Cheetah Girls. I am thankful to have been invited into the circle of sisterhood and hope that you find your place in the service organization community if you choose to go through recruitment.
There are also other opportunities to be active with service, which can be found here.