Chi Upsilon Sigma Latin Sorority, Inc. held a discussion via Google Meet on Tuesday, Oct. 20. The sorority gave a presentation on what it means to be assertive by setting firmer boundaries and saying "no.'"
The event was interactive and those who attended were welcome to ask questions, answer polls and share their experiences with learning to be firm with others.
Chi Upsilon Sigma facilitated this student-led discussion on what it means to say no, why it's difficult and the effects of saying it.
There are numerous reasons saying no is difficult, such as wanting approval from others, fearing the loss of a friendship or relationship and cultural and societal pressures and influences.
In today's world, it is imperative to know when too much is being given.
"Saying no isn't taking away from the hard work you've done. It is just setting up those boundaries to what you aren't going to do or what you will," said Shanel King, a sophomore majoring in biology and vice president of Chi Upsilon Sigma.
During the panel, all the sisters of Chi Upsilon Sigma were straightforward with their experiences in how they learned to say no, while also discussing the pushback that came with it.
"It is very important for people to know how to speak to you and how they cannot speak to you," said Shanel. "Respect is earned and not given."
As the open discussion progressed, more participants shared personal stories of how they are learning to set boundaries and what can be gained from saying no.
"I try to be a good person and help everyone," said Briangie Marte, a senior majoring in biology with a minor in Jewish studies, and secretary of Chi Upsilon Sigma. "But if I start to notice that I am being used, then it's not a good space for me and I won't continue to stay there."
Saying no is known to boost self-esteem and increase self-control, as well as helping to know why and when to set the proper boundaries with others in various situations.
"I started knowing my worth," said Jesmiry Martinez, a senior majoring in criminal justice and president of Chi Upsilon Sigma. "I am always willing to help, but if no one is understanding of me, then I am not going to be understanding of them."
Chi Upsilon Sigma was founded on April 29, 1980 at Rutgers-New Brunswick by seven Latinx women. The sorority empowers women of all backgrounds by fostering leadership in the community and celebrating the differences of others. More information about the sorority can be found on Cougar Link.