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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Prytanean Women’s Honor Society to host annual Benefit Ball

In order to fundraise to stop domestic violence, provide attendees the opportunity to dance the night away in spiffy attire and experience a night of sweet-toothed bliss, the Prytanean Women’s Honor Society is hosting their annual Benefit Ball on March 3.

The Candy Land-themed event will take place at the Rec Pool Lodge from 8 to 11 p.m., and proceeds will go to the Yolo County Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center.

Prytanean Women’s Honor Society is the oldest undergraduate collegiate women’s honor society. With about 50 members on the UC Davis campus and an extensive alumni backing, Prytanean hosts the Benefit Ball annually, in addition to its involvement in several other outreach projects. President and senior biological sciences major Kayla Rouse said that Prytanean is particularly devoted to the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center because it is a women’s organization that aims to uplift women in the area.

“Every year the Benefit Ball donates to this cause, and each year we try to beat what we were able to raise the previous year. We always try to support other women in the community,” Rouse said.

Last year, Prytanean was able to raise about $1,900. This year, they are aiming to raise at least $2,000. Members are hoping that “mocktails,” prom-style photos for $1, raffles and an open “candy bar” will be enough to entice prospective attendees to purchase $10-each tickets from Freeborn Hall for the formal event.

Haley Hubbard, publicity officer and senior design major, said that while Prytanean may sometimes be compared to greek organizations on campus, the defining differences are membership requirements, low cost of club dues and the emphasis on service.

“Annual membership fees are $40 for new members, and to join you have to be at least a sophomore with a minimum GPA of 3.4. Also, so many of our members are involved in things outside of Prytanean,” Hubbard said.

The Prytanean recruitment process includes outreach, applications, interviews and then initiation. During the fall, the organization has a “Membership Drive” during which e-mails are sent out and members set up tables to give out information. Interested women apply and are subsequently interviewed by two current members.

While sophomore members are required to maintain a 3.4 GPA, juniors and seniors must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. In addition, students transferring from a community college must enter UC Davis with a 3.4 GPA from their former school, and must maintain a 3.2 GPA their first quarter at Davis.

“Unlike the greek rush, after a girl is interviewed and selected, she is officially a member of Prytanean,” Hubbard said.

The three pillars of Prytanean are scholarship, leadership and service. In addition to the Benefit Ball, the organization participates in Relay for Life and works with Families First, a nonprofit organization centered on the betterment of children’s lives through the use of different programs.  Last year, Prytanean was named Academic Honors Club of the Year by the ASUCD Outreach Assembly.

Prytanean is celebrating its 60th anniversary at UC Davis this year. Members of the organization hope to unite both current members and alumni to celebrate this year at Picnic Day.

Prytanean member and senior sociology major Dominique Sheth says that Prytanean, which has been at UC Davis since 1952, is notable for the type of women of which it is comprised.

“It brings together some of the most creative women. People in the community work with us because we have been around for so long and they know we’re reliable. Many of our alumni are still active,” Sheth said.

During a recent club meeting, Sheth pointed to junior linguistics and psychology double major Richele Allen’s Prytanean T-shirt and said it was a perfect description of the group.

The shirt defines the word Prytanean as “a beautiful and inspiring young woman ready to take on the world” and “a group of women that embrace leadership and community.”

KELSEY SMOOT can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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