Greek President Spotlight: Lydia Burke, AXO

Emily Chudzik

Being the president of a sorority is kind of like being a mom. You have to be a role model and set a good example for the rest of the chapter, keep everyone organized and on task, and provide a support system for your sisters.

Junior BFA musical theatre and Spanish double major Lydia Burke recently became the newest president of Alpha Chi Omega, one of the three social sororities on Millikin’s campus. “In AXO, we’re lucky enough to have members with diverse majors. Being in two very different majors, I thought that I would have a better understanding at scheduling,” said Burke. “I felt a lot of support from my sisters; they really encouraged me to do it [run for president].”

Burke did not have the traditional recruitment experience most Greek women at Millikin had, as she did not participate in formal or informal recruitment. “I transferred halfway through freshman year, which is when everyone has already made friends. [Luckily,] I met lots of awesome young women who were highly motivated to succeed, and they all happened to be Alpha Chis. I knew I wanted them around me.”

Elaborating further on why she decided to try out Greek life, Burke said, “As a theatre major, it’s a habit to hang around with other theatre people. In AXO, I have friends in all different things- it keeps me grounded and able to see what’s actually important.”

One of the many great things about Alpha Chi is their philanthropy. It is domestic violence awareness, something close to Burke’s heart.  “I am very passionate about giving a voice to those who don’t have one. [It’s great] being the voice of an organization with such a strong and impactful philanthropy,” Burke said. .The chapter at Millikin works closely with the Dove shelter in Decatur and strives to help women and children affected by domestic violence.

In addition to philanthropic service, AXO has other principles essential to being a “real strong woman.” Burke said, “My favorite part of AXO is the values that we have as an organization, such as upholding character and leadership. We encourage our women to be held to a higher standard and to constantly better themselves.”

Burke has enjoyed the love and acceptance the sisterhood of AXO has provided her. “Sophomore year, I got deathly ill. I couldn’t drive anywhere, so some sisters drove me around, even some alumni who were still in the Decatur area.

“I’m from out of state, so it’s nice to have this family. Even when we have a petty quarrel, [my sisters] will always have my back. Knowing that I will always have someone on my side is great.”

Her favorite memory of Alpha Chi so far has been the most recent bid day. “It was incredible. We got some really incredible women. Welcoming people home is one of the best things ever.”

Burke loved this one in particular due to the prevalent sense of Greek unity. “For me, this was the first time that there was so much support between houses. Everyone was so supportive, and there was not a drop of negativity. Pi Phi and Tri Delta were excited for us, and knowing my sisters were excited for them, too, was a great feeling.

“We had the Dive outside on the quad this time, and the fraternities were standing on the upper levels supporting us, as well as some non-Greek students. We really were surrounded by such joy and positivity,” Burke said.

Burke is looking forward to serving as AXO’s president. She hopes to continue supporting other chapters and strengthen Greek unity on Millikin’s campus.