Fraternity and Sorority Affairs

Member of SU Greek life promotes self-acceptance through campaign

A member of Syracuse University Greek life has launched a fast-growing campaign that promotes self-acceptance among college students.

Sara Eckhardt founded the “I Am Enough” movement at Syracuse University to help other students realize that there is power and strength in accepting who you are, just as you are. SU has set forth its “I Am Enough” campaign to represent a new voice in women’s empowerment this semester. The campaign aims to eradicate the idea that women are expected to look and act a certain way.

After viewing a TED Talk by Brené Brown, titled “The Power of Vulnerability,” Eckhardt said she was determined to make change for women on the SU campus. The talk was focused on embracing your flaws and insecurities to make oneself a better person, Eckhardt said.

“I felt really inspired to take this message to our campus,” Eckhardt said. “I, like most people, am guilty of being too harsh on myself sometimes.”

Acknowledging that such a lack of confidence is an issue for many college students, Eckhardt began the contagious movement that was supported immensely by her sisters of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority at SU.

In just a few months, the campaign became prevalent on campus. “I Am Enough” began as a small presentation during Greek recruitment week for AGD. However, with the sorority’s encouragement, the movement continued to develop and raise awareness. Eventually, through social media marketing, the movement also became a new advocacy group on campus.

Emily Visich, an AGD sister and a senior communications design major, said Eckhardt is “extraordinarily inspiring and was really passionate about the campaign,” making it easy to jump on board and help with it.

In February, Eckhardt and many supporters set up a table in the Schine Student Center for a week. There, students personalized their own “I Am Enough” signs based on their personal experiences. When making the signs, students were encouraged to express why they are “enough” in this world.

Later, the students shared the signs on the campaign’s Facebook page, which has gathered more than 800 likes.

“It never hurts to step away from the daily routine to take some time to compliment yourself,” Eckhardt said. “It’s not conceited. It’s kind.”

Since that week in February, many different organizations and colleges have been reaching out to Eckhardt in hopes of creating their own “I Am Enough” week, she said.

The movement has gained support and acknowledgment from advocacy groups on campus such as the Girl Code Movement, the Whitman Women in Business Club and Students Advocating Sexual Safety and Empowerment.

“I think it’s incredible that a movement started here at Syracuse and has already gained such recognition,” said Brittany Ferreira, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The “I Am Enough” campaign has been gaining momentum not only in the Syracuse area, but on other college campuses across the nation.

As a member of AGD, Eckhardt said she has received encouragement from her sisters and from AGD chapters across the nation including Duquesne University, Lycoming College and the University of Maryland.

Even a fraternity at Loyola Marymount in California is interested in introducing “I Am Enough” to its campus, according to an SU News release.

As a result of this year’s overwhelming success, Eckhardt said she plans to make “I Am Enough” an annual weeklong event, incorporating buttons and stickers for participants in the future.

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