As the house mom for one of the newest greek houses on campus, Janet Wielwal has been with the women of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority almost since the beginning. Their house officially reopened in 2011, the same time Wielwal took her position as house mom.
“There is no such thing as a typical day,” Wielwal said. “We are more than just a mom.”
Wielwal described her position as one that is sometimes heavy on behind-the-scenes activities, such as coordinating repair services and helping plan meals and events.
“There are some days I don’t have time for breakfast or lunch,” Wielwal said, with a laugh.
Other times, she said her job is heavy on the other, more maternal side.
“Then there are times when I’m a ‘mom,'” Wielwal said. “I’ve had several girls who have had semi-emergencies this semester, and I am here for them.”
It’s this angle of the job that Wielwal said she finds most rewarding.
“(It’s most rewarding) to be able to be there when any of the girls need me,” she said. “I love being able to be a surrogate mom to them.”
Wielwal said she enjoys being able to support “the girls” at various events.
“Hardly a day goes by when I don’t take pride in something one of the girls has done,” Wielwal said. “I’m amazed with the maturity. They are very nice to work with.”
While the day-to-day activities are important, Wielwal said she has a bigger focus for the members of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.
“I’m very into academics,” she said. “I encourage lots of studying and doing well. I want all of them to do well.”
Wielwal said she came into the job at K-State almost by accident. Initially, her son sent in the resume for the job because he thought it would be a good fit for her and bring her closer to him; he lives in Missouri.
Later, she interviewed and eventually accepted the position, something she said she is happy about.
“I really like it,” she said. “I really like the community, the size of Manhattan and how involved it is. The community really takes an interest.”
Wielwal, who wasn’t a member of a greek organization during her collegiate years, said she is very impressed with Zeta Tau Alpha sorority members and the K-State greek organizations in general.
“I am so impressed with the greek community and all their work,” she said. “It’s wonderful for girls this age to be so involved. Those who learn at this age to be volunteers help support the community in the future. It’s wonderful.”