With more than 425 registered organizations on UNT’s campus, there is a place for almost everyone to fit in. If the current student organizations do not suit a student’s needs, though, UNT gives them the opportunity to start their own organization, like three students did this semester.
Sister Circle is a new organization at UNT that promotes sustainability and inclusion. The organization currently has three series, with one being a self-care series, one about sustainability and one called “cookie day,” where they pass out cookies to members.
“I wanted to found Sister Circle because I felt like there was always this sense of anxiety when thinking about the world we live in today, whether it was about social, economic or environmental issues, and I felt like this organization could help center the individual back to finding something that they could do about it, focusing on the more specific details rather than the whole picture, because it’s impossible to do everything by yourself,” said Peter Su, interdisciplinary studies junior and Sister Circle president and co-founder.
Detavious Hill, public relations junior and vice president and co-founder of Sister Circle said that Su’s the idea of founding a club stemmed from wanting to find his place on campus, but not knowing where to find it, so he and the other founders created their own place.
“I thought that [creating the organization] was really spontaneous and cool because I am a firm preacher of ‘if there isn’t a seat at the table, you pull up a chair, you build your own table,’” Hill said. “We decided to build our own table and bring chairs for many people, so that’s what made me really want to get involved in it was just to create a space for other people.”
The founding of the club required more work than expected, but it was worth it in the end, Hill said.
“It was very rigorous because it’s so tedious,” Hill said. “It took a lot more work than we thought it did because you really have to have your core foundation of your [organization] and you have to have your core foundation of people to get them on board. You have to get multiple members, then you have to go to Student Activities. It was very rigorous but also it was a lot of fun because we got to map out what we wanted our legacy to look like on campus with Sister Circle, so I think that was the beautiful part of it.”
Founding the organization has brought the founders and club members closer to one another, said Emily Elizondo, fashion merchandising and digital retailing senior and co-founder and secretary of Sister Circle. Each of the founders have strengths they bring to the club to make it well-rounded.
“It’s been so much fun because we have been able to learn a lot from each other,” Elizondo said. “[Detavious] is a DIY king, Peter knows so much about kitchen and how to make your basic mac and cheese vegan and delicious, and I have a passion for all things sustainability and can’t wait to share my knowledge about how to live as sustainably as you can on a college student budget.”
Hill said their first meeting brought more turnout than expected, and the officers of Sister Circle are always excited to welcome new members and introduce them to the organization.
“Our officer team consists of stellar, well-rounded individuals, and I am very excited to see what this next semester holds,” said Arlette Silva, fashion merchandising and digital retailing junior and Sister Circle director of marketing and public relations.
The founding and creation of Sister Circle has allowed those involved to grow as individuals and as a collective group, said Julian Ybarra, political science and communications freshman and Sister Circle event and service coordinator.
“I think my favorite part of being a part of Sister Circle is really just being part of such an amazing officer team,” Ybarra said. “It’s so nice that we all get along really well and when we plan for events and meetings we all have a good time but we also get stuff done … I can’t wait for all of the future things we get to accomplish.”
People want to return to Sister Circle because of what the organization has to offer.
“I want to continue on with Sister Circle because of what the [organization] offers internally and externally,” said Tessa Bliss, fashion merchandising and digital retailing junior and Sister Circle member. “I want to help educate students on sustainability and help students be more inclusive with one another.”
Su said the Sister Circle members and officers hope to grow their organization and expand their presence on campus to enhance their student engagement.
In order to reach students across campus, social media has played a large role in the promotion of the club.
“For promoting for new members, we did a very heavy social media push,” Hill said. “We posted on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. I think we did a good job and somehow it worked and we got our friends to retweet it. We also had a lot of word of mouth.”
The organization’s officers encourage people of all backgrounds and beliefs to join the organization.
“I think anyone could benefit from this organization,” Hill said. “This [organization] is made for anyone to join and I think if you’re someone that wants to get involved on campus, really wants to find community and really wants to build on that community, I think you would fit in beautifully with Sister Circle.”
To expand the club even more, in the spring, Hill said, the founders would like to merge with other organizations for events to recruit new members. For now, the members of Sister Circle look forward to what is to come in the future and are happy with what they have accomplished so far.
“Our circle has the potential to be amazing,” Silva said. “We are so excited to see what we could do on campus. We have really exciting events planned for next semester that will require a lot of planning. There are small, easy steps that we, as college students, can take to make a difference.”
Featured Image: The executives of Sister Circle pose for a portrait in the Union. Sister Circle is a new organization on campus that promotes inclusion and sustainability through giveaways, events and a self-care series. Image by Isabel Anes