SOSU/BU Commemorates a Decade of Service and Unity

May 13, 2010

On Saturday, May 1, the Society of Sisters United and Brothers United celebrated ten years of dedication to community service and campus awareness at their annual formal in Stack Lounge, Dewar Union. The formal also was SOSU/BU’s alumni weekend and an opportunity for alumni to meet new members.

SOSU/BU President Reginald Brown ’10 explained that SOSU/BU was an important part of his first-year experience: “My first experience with SOSU/BU was before I joined. I was very close to transferring. I attended the '80s and '90's party and everyone there seemed like a family. I saw how SOSU/BU wasn't your average club. I joined that spring, and SOSU/BU is what kept me at Hartwick.”

In 2000, SOSU/BU began as an organization for young women of ALANA (African American, Latino/a, Asian American and Native American) descent with the intention of establishing a historically black sorority at Hartwick College. Associate Dean and Director of U.S. Pluralism Programs Harry B. Matthews called the group “Society of Sisters United.” Although the early organization eventually disbanded, SOSU was reestablished in the fall of 2001. In January 2003, Brothers United became a permanent addition to SOSU, forming the organization familiar to many Hartwick campus members today.

Adia Ferris ’12 was drawn to the community service aspect of the organization, but found the family atmosphere helpful to her college transition. “I felt SOSU/BU was family oriented. Everyone was really nice and they helped me out a lot as a freshman. All of the bonding events and community service activities were fun learning experiences.”

SOSU/BU service projects include Haiti fundraisers, soup kitchens, Adopt-A-Highway and YMCA Phone-A-Thon. The organization also dedicates time to awareness campaigns for diabetes and lupus. According to the Office of Community Involvement and Volunteerism, SOSU/BU completed nearly 500 hours of volunteer work this past academic year. Last year CIV honored SOSU/BU with a group award on behalf of the President’s Volunteer Service Award program for their commitment to service.

“It always feels good to be able to give back to the community, and this is something that SOSU/BU has a great reputation for both on and off campus,” Brown said. “Last semester we volunteered for the YMCA Phone-A-Thon and the first thing the lady said was, ‘I remember SOSU from back in 2002. This was my all-time favorite group to work with.’

Brown added, “I have no doubt that 10 years from now SOSU/BU will be celebrating a 20-year anniversary.”

By Alicia Walstad '10

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030