You Can Be Supportive — Erin Buckmeier (’22)
“You Can Be Supportive” — Erin Buckmeier (’22, Accounting & LSM in Global Perspectives)
One would be hard-pressed to find anyone who fits the description of “team-player” more so than Erin Buckmeier. From the moment you meet her, you can’t help but notice her clear investment in the success and well-being of those around her—including those she hasn’t even met before, like incoming freshmen. As a junior now, Erin has positioned herself at Bentley to maximize all that she can give back to the people involved in the organizations that have helped her get to where she is today. Some of these organizations include the Orientation Team, in which she serves as an Orientation Coordinator and the Kappa Delta sorority which led her to join and now serve as president of the Bentley Panhellenic Council. As Erin notes, these involvements have led her to have a “greater stake in the Bentley community” as opposed to just engaging in academics. Erin is well-aware of the influence that the roles she serves in now can have on the members of the Bentley community and wants to utilize this influence to have a perennial impact on them and the organizations.
In discussing her freshmen orientation experience, she could not speak any fonder of the orientation team that shaped her first memories of the Bentley campus—as it was also the first time she stepped foot on campus. She lightly described the onboarding process as “life-changing,” in part due to the strong relationships forged with Orientation Leaders and the connections made with other students of her class. And in just the first few days of her Bentley experience, she knew she wanted to be more than just a participant in the impactful Orientation process. Now as a junior, having worked her way up from Orientation Leader to Orientation Coordinator. As a Coordinator, Erin is heavily involved in training Orientation Leaders and ensuring they are ready to provide an experience as great as the one she had when she was just a freshman.
“I wanted to be able to welcome the next class of students the same way I was welcomed.”
This past orientation brought an unusual set of circumstances amid the pandemic—forcing the whole process to be virtual. As a Coordinator, she was responsible for helping to convert the intimate and highly social experience to something that—like most programs—was confined to computer screens. When talking about how the entire program was converted to an online format, she described the process as “looking at each event that was previously held in-person and figuring out what values we wanted new students to get from it—then try to translate it to a virtual setting.” While the orientation simply was not the same as years past, the first attempt in the new medium was met with positive feedback by the students who said they were able to make “strong connections.” Despite the circumstances, Erin was still immensely proud of the work she did with her team and was never hindered by the many roadblocks that stood in their way.
Aside from the Orientation Team, Erin also found a community in her sorority, Kappa Delta. In being part of the sorority, she felt privileged to be surrounded by such a supportive group of girls that created a diverse and unique environment. And even with that, she felt there was more that could be done to create an even more diverse and inclusive environment. Having been inspired by those who had served on the Panhellenic Council, which oversees all sororities on campus, she decided to join, and today serves as the president. In serving as president, she wants to bring all the chapters together and create the most positive environment for everyone involved. While sorority recruitment on campus has steadily grown over time, she wants more students to join to reap all the benefits that can be had from such organizations. She is also set on eliminating any stereotypes that may surround sororities and prove that these organizations are an incredible space for students to succeed and better themselves.
“I’m always looking forward to how we can continuously improve anything, internally and externally.”
For Erin, it is undeniable that her impact will last for a long time at Bentley. In being part of the Orientation Team—which arguably has the greatest impact on Bentley students—she has been able to ensure that her work will have lasting effects on the important process. As president of the Panhellenic Council, her mission is clear in making sororities more diverse and inclusive—a mission that will undoubtedly change the organizations for the better for years to come. With her time on Bentley’s campus limited to four years, Erin has so far maximized her potential and her impact to make sure her work will create a better environment and a greater Bentley experience for all—with yet another year to keep working at it.