UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS at WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY in ST. LOUIS

The Suite Life of a Chi Omega

I have a problem with the word “favorite.” I tend to describe too many things, in the same category, as my favorite, which is factually impossible. I have about a dozen favorite restaurants in the city of St. Louis alone (including but not limited to Mission Taco, Byrd and Barrel, and Bailey’s Range). By the very nature of the word, there can only be one. My only consistent use of the word is when I employ it to describe the Women’s Building, my actual favorite building on this campus.

The building has an incredible history. In the 1920’s there were far fewer women on WashU’s campus than men, and the women wanted a space for themselves. They were able to raise the money to build a building, a building that was specifically for them. It’s a gorgeous space, with a beautiful lounge, a grand staircase, and large suites on every floor. These suites are now used for several student groups, including WashU’s sororities.

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Couches ideal for napping

My sorority is lucky to have a corner suite, so we get a beautiful view of all of campus. We have a dining space, beautiful workspaces, a TV (fully equipped with Netflix), and most importantly, couches for napping. Amenities aside, this has been my favorite place on campus since my freshman year when I first joined my sorority.

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The view from our window

“The Suite,” as we call it, was the place where I first really got to know the people I was about to call my sisters. Greek Life had seemed mysterious, exclusive, and shallow to me prior to coming to college. I have found my sorority to be the opposite (save the mysterious bit – we are based on an Ancient Greek mystery cult). In my first semester of Greek Life, my New Member Educator put on a series of events in The Suite. They were discussions based on “This American Life,” the NPR show. The idea was we would have a question, and everyone would have a story to share to answer that question. These discussions always lasted for hours and hours. We talked about everything from justice to personal philosophies to what we wanted to change about Greek Life to religion to history to the most pivotal moments of our lives to how to create a better world to how we could better ourselves. They were the kinds of deep and mildly pretentious conversations that you go to college to have.

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Our dining area, complete with a fridge and Keurig

Since then, The Suite has been my #1 favorite napping location on campus, as well as my go-to spot for free food. I have always been able to procure a snack on every visit. It’s also where I watched She’s the Man and ate free breakfast food during finals week. It’s where I met with my sorority’s exec board every week for an entire year. It’s where I sat, supposedly doing homework, but actually catching up with whoever came through. It is a daunting task to keep up with the almost 200 members in my chapter, but just sitting in The Suite, talking to them one by one as they stop by, is my favorite way to do so.

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Bid day 2016 with the lovely Helena Xeros and abnormally large wooden letters

The Suite is our heart. It’s where we come together, learn, cry, love, and do all that sappy stuff that you’re supposed to do with your sisters. But most importantly it’s where we call home. I’m so grateful to those women in the 20’s that had the audacity to say they deserved a space on this campus and were willing to work for it. I’m so grateful that my great-grandmother who came to WashU in 1929 was able to use this space. Lastly, I’m so grateful that I have been able to find a favorite place and a home for myself on campus.