December 20, 2010

Holiday Highlights

This season has been an exciting and busy one at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. Thank you to everyone who donated ornaments, sent cards, and e-mailed pictures!

Here are some of our favorite EO and chapter photos to get you in the holiday spirit.

The Executive Office front door decorated for the holidays.

The Gamma Chapter at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

The school-spirited Alpha Phi Omega Chapter's wreath at University of Texas.
We love the UT Phi Bear!

Happy Holidays from University of Wisconsin- LaCrosse (Delta Kappa)!

The Omicron chapter house lit up at night.

The Gamma Kappa chapter at CSU-Long Beach wishes everyone a Happy Holiday!

And last, but not least, the beautifully decorated tree at our Phi chapter (Oklahoma).

December 16, 2010

Alumnae Perspective: Alpha Phis Overseas

Going Abroad? Living Abroad? Join Alpha Phis Overseas!

Are you studying abroad for a semester or longer? Or are you an alumna living overseas more permanently? If you answered "yes" to either of these, please consider joining the “Alpha Phis Overseas” group on Facebook! The group was created to help Alpha Phis around the world connect with other sisters who are abroad. Meet up with Alpha Phis once you move abroad or just get together if you are passing through their city on your travels.

Over 270 Alpha Phis around the world – from Australia to Spain, from London to Tokyo – have already joined the group, but we want to hear from you if you’re an ‘Alpha Phi Overseas.’ For more information, go to and send a request to join the group.

P.S. Take a photo of yourself and an issue of The Quarterly, then add it to the album in the Overseas group.

Paige Stallings is the Program Manager of Alumnae Membership at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at

December 1, 2010

Quarterly Review

Love these dresses!

November 17, 2010

Alumnae Perspective: Celebrating Alumnae Anniversary Milestones

By Lori Losee (Beta Rho/Washington State)

At your next special Alpha Phi event, consider honoring those alumnae who have recently reached a major Alpha Phi anniversary milestone. The Delta Beta chapter did this during their 50th anniversary celebration of their founding at Texas A&M/Commerce (formerly East Texas State University).

“Delta Beta’s 50th was definitely an Alpha Phi bright spot for me this year,” said Jandy Thompson. “In celebrating the 50 years we have been on the Texas A&M/Commerce campus, it felt befitting to honor those charter members that laid the foundation for our chapter 50 years ago.”

Thompson said that the chapter purchased 50-year pins for the founding sisters and they were presented during the reception. Former South Central Alumnae Membership Coordinator, Betty Jo Fuller, conducted the pinning ceremony and Charter President, Loretta Stone Warnick, reminisced about the time of the chapter’s founding in 1960.

“We focused primarily on the 50-year members since it was the 50th anniversary and we had 11 charter members in attendance,” Thompson said. “We wanted to highlight these women and this anniversary. As a committee, we will choose to honor other anniversaries at subsequent reunions.”

Anniversary recognition pins are one way to honor the endurance of membership. These pins celebrate your affiliation with Alpha Phi on milestone occasions – 10 years, 25 years, 50 years, 65 years and 75 years.

The 10-year pin features a bold Roman numeral ten in brushed silver, with a delicate ivy vine entwined around it. The Greek letters Alpha Phi, engraved on the front of the pin, proudly display your affiliation.

The 25-year pin is a sterling silver badge in the shape of the Big Dipper, fashioned with seven sapphires at each of the joints,

The first 50-year pins, silver circles with red stones, were presented at the 42nd Convention in 1958 to several alumnae who had given significant service to the fraternity for 50 years or more. These pins are replicas of the pins presented to the six living Founders at the Fraternity’s 50th Anniversary Convention in 1922 and celebrate 50 years of membership in Alpha Phi. The pin is created in a manner that allows your original badge to be placed inside the silver circle for a dramatic jewelry display.

The 65-year pin is an elegant interpretation of one of the most cherished symbols of the Fraternity, the lily-of-the-valley. The Greek letters Alpha Phi are delicately embossed on this beautiful golden pin.

For our most revered members, the 75-year pin is a brilliant diamond-shaped, golden pin, with clear stones at each of the points. This breathtaking piece of jewelry is only available to those members who have been sisters for 75 years or more. Like the 50-year pin, the diamond is sized large enough to allow you to place your original badge within the 75-year pin.

Please note that Alpha Phi anniversaries are determined by your date of initiation. If you have any questions regarding eligibility or purchase of these pins and certificates, please contact the Alumnae Department at or 847.316.8940.

Lori Losee is the Pacific Northwest Alumnae Membership Coordinator.

November 16, 2010

Terminology Tuesday: Is it a House?

We use Terminology Tuesday to highlight and correct commonly misused Alpha Phi and Fraternity/Sorority terms. As you read on you may find yourself thinking, “Thanks, Executive Office, for pointing out the obvious today.” However, many of us regularly use these terms incorrectly without noticing the seemingly logical distinction between the two.

When we talk about our members or the groups at a particular University, we sometimes use the terms “chapter” and “house” interchangeably. Obviously, local chapters may be housed or un-housed. So the term “Greek house” can be misleading and should be reserved to mean the physical residence of the Fraternity/Sorority chapter living in a house. In fact, the terms should be used and understood by their literal definitions:

Chapter (noun) – a branch, usually restricted to a given locality, of a society, organization, fraternity, etc.

House (noun) – a building in which people live, residence for human beings

Remember this next time you find yourself saying, “We’ve made improvements to our house” and you don’t mean you’ve made renovations to your facility or updated your living room decorations. In the Fraternity/Sorority world, the two terms seem to be used as synonyms, where “house” indicates the local members of the chapter or the groups that are at any particular school/University. For example, you might say, “We have 9 Fraternity/Sorority houses on campus” even where the groups do not have residential facilities. Instead, local affiliates of the International Fraternity should be referred to as "chapters."

So to boil this down to my basic point, the term “house” should be used to refer to the actual physical residential facility in which chapter members live. The term chapter should be used to identify the local affiliates (chapters) of Alpha Phi at each school and their members (or local alumnae chapters in a particular city). Use the following pictorial “pop quiz” as a fun self-test on what you've learned here today!

1. Chapter or House?

Answer: House

2. Chapter or House?

Answer: Chapter

3. Chapter or House?

Answer: Chapter in a house!

4. Chapter or House?

Answer: House

5. Chapter or House?

Answer: Tricky, right? Chapter in front of a chapter house!

Hope Gray is the Program Manager of Collegiate Housing Operations at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at

November 9, 2010

Terminology Tuesday: Fee Fie Foe

Welcome back to Terminology Tuesday! Each Tuesday we will blog about some commonly misused terms within the Fraternity. It’s our hope that you take some time to read, laugh, smile, and then use the information to alter your word choices, and the choices of those around you. I’m sure you’ve all been asked by friends and family why we pronounce the name of our fraternity ‘phee’ and not ‘fie.’

When our ten founders established Alpha Phi, they looked to faculty and administrators at Syracuse University who supported women’s education for guidance. Wesley P. Coddington, Professor of Greek, generously gave his time and wisdom to the chapter.

Professor Coddington was instrumental in several areas of Alpha Phi’s development; from establishing our public motto, to suggesting that Frances E. Willard join the fraternity, to the pronunciation of our name. As a Professor of Greek, he taught the women that the preferred Greek pronunciation of F when it follows a vowel is ‘phee.’

You may notice that not all other organizations follow this pronunciation. The main reason these differences exist is that some organizations are using the Greek pronunciation while others are using the Anglican pronunciation. In mathematical circles "Phi" is pronounced ‘phee’ as well.

Now the next time you are asked about our fraternity’s name is you can answer with pride!

Heather Scheuer is the Program Manager of Collegiate Chapter Services at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at

November 5, 2010

On the Road

Ashley Deal (Theta Upsilon – CSU Chico)
09-10 ELC

I’ve never been much for hobbies. In the past I’ve discarded to-do lists, instruction manuals, and many lightly-worn uniforms—all relics of pursuits I’ve given up. I love reading and I imagine that someday I’ll have a library on the scale of Beauty and the Beast (sliding ladders included). My attempt at knitting (or maybe it was crocheting?) was a bust. I had envisioned myself knitting beautiful, fun-colored scarves for my friends as gifts who would then admire my art and praise my dedication. The one and only finished product turned out more like a knotted kitten’s toy than a cute scarf.
After my time on the road, I’ve found a hobby that I’ve finally been able to stick with—trying new things.

Being adventurous when it comes to food, travel, living, has become a passion of mine—a passion with the help of my year as an ELC, I’ve been able to stick with. I’ve flown more this year than I ever have before, becoming an aficionado of airports, an explorer of new cities, and a firm believer in trying anything once. For instance, Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop is a New Orleans-style restaurant in Evanston that all of the ELC’s recently ate at together. As we were debating where to eat, Dixie Kitchen came up as an option. A year ago, New Orleans-style food would have sent me running for the hills. Now, no amount of catfish, jambalaya, or sweet tea can scare me away.

While my nubbly scarves and stack of books may only travel so far with me, I know that my newfound sense of adventure is something I will carry with me long after my trusty rolling bag has worn out.

November 2, 2010

Terminology Tuesday: Inspiration DAYS

As new member orientation periods start coming to an end and we begin to prepare for Initiation, many of our chapters are starting their inspiration activities prior to Initiation. In the past this time was called “Inspiration Week,” “I-Week,” or “Inspo Week.” However, those terms are outdated and do not reflect what our chapters should be doing.

Alpha Phi does not support an Inspiration Week—a five day week full of activities for our members. This does not lead to the most inspirational experience for new members or allow them the opportunity to reflect on why they are joining our organization.

Instead we use the term, “Inspiration Days” to best reflect what our chapters are doing (or should be doing). Prior to Initiation, chapters should plan two or at the most three activities for all members, including Court of Ivy. A chapter can choose to do one history appreciation event (such as a Founder’s Day Ceremony, slideshow of chapter’s history, a Ritual review, or the Rose Ceremony) OR one sisterhood event (such as the Flower Ceremony, a pot luck, or older members sharing their Alpha Phi memories).

The following events are NOT allowed during the time prior to Initiation:
- Requiring new members to move into the house, suite, or a location that is not their normal place of residence
- Scavenger hunts
- Any activities with alcohol
- Any activities with men
- Blindfolding
- Test taking
- Class nights (Examples: Nights with the Seniors, Juniors, etc. or new member class nights: nights with new member class from fall ’09, etc.)
- Sleepovers—Alpha Phi founders felt that members should spend the time before initiation alone, in contemplation.

It is important to note that all inspiration activities must include the ENTIRE chapter.

Chapters should not write or use ceremonies specific to their chapter without permission from the Executive Office. All chapters should utilize ceremonies from the Ceremonies Manual or other Alpha Phi International Office publications. This is to ensure that our new members are receiving the Alpha Phi experience and not one that incorporates “traditions” that are no longer relevant or appropriate.

At no time should new members be scared prior to Initiation. Each new member should eagerly anticipate admittance to Alpha Phi’s Ritual. All activities should be planned and carried out in a spirit of love and kindness.

It is also important to understand that inspirational activities should be planned for the entire membership throughout the new member orientation period and the rest of the school year. Why just wait for a few days before Initiation to share the meaning and importance of our organization with our sisters? We can be honoring and living our Ritual daily, and reminders throughout the year are helpful to renew our commitment to our sisterhood.

Stefania Rudd is the Manager of Resources and Training Initiatives at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. One of her focus areas is the new member program and chapter education. She can be reached at

November 1, 2010

Quarterly Review

Our Executive Office in 1980.
Did you know you can schedule a tour
of the Executive Office?

October 26, 2010

Terminology Tuesday-

Welcome back to Terminology Tuesday! Each Tuesday we will blog about some commonly misused terms within the Fraternity. It’s our hope that you take some time to read, laugh, smile, and then use the information to alter your word choices, and the choices of those around you.

Who was the first President of the United States? If you ask almost any Alpha Phi, she will be quick to tell you…George Washington! Now we get a bit tougher: Who was the first Prime Minister of Canada? I’d be willing to bet that many Alpha Phis wouldn’t know the answer to this one (by the way…the answer is Sir John A. MacDonald). Well, I guess we all could use a little lesson in history sometimes. And, for this week’s Terminology Tuesday, we thought we might brush up on our geography as well.

I’ve been involved with Alpha Phi for almost 20 years now, and whenever I visit chapters or meet sisters from across North America, I am surprised that some of our members have a selected understanding on one of two issues:

1) They don’t know that Alpha Phi even has chapters in Canada. In fact, there are six chapters currently active in the Great White North; and, founded in 1906, Xi is the oldest sorority chapter currently operating in Canada of any NPC group.


2) While Canadians do tend to look to our neighbors to the south quite a bit for trade, world politics and better TV shows, we are in fact a separate country with our own parliament (government). You even need a passport to come across the border now! I do hope that both of those facts are common knowledge, and that the use of a term “Nationals” I hear way too often is just due to a misconception rather than anything more. So…I pose the last question in my quiz to you: If you are sending in your dues, pin orders, etc…where are you sending them?

For many, the answer is obvious: “We send them to Nationals!” Hold on there! Can I program “Nationals” into a GPS? So, if it’s not a location, why do we phrase it as such? It’s time to set the record straight. Alpha Phi does not have a “Nationals;” we have an “Executive Office” at 1930 Sherman Ave in Evanston, IL. It is the office of both Alpha Phi International Fraternity and the Alpha Phi Foundation. That office is full of our staff: many women and men who work hard to provide support to your chapter in every way: recruitment, finances, programming, Philanthropy events, and too many others to count. Some groups may call it a “headquarters,” but in Alpha Phi, we say “Executive Office," because frankly…that’s what it is.

So, the next time you are about to say “We have an ELC from Nationals” to anyone, please stop and think. The person who is visiting you might not even be American, but Canadian, which would make her International! But better yet, please say that “An Alpha Phi is visiting” or “She/He works at the Executive Office.” You won’t be hurting my Canadian feelings by doing that. Be proud of our status as an International Fraternity—not every NPC group can claim that. Canadians have served as Regional Team Members, Committee Chairs, ELC’s, IEB members, and even Past International Presidents (the title should have been a clue). I finish by offering you an invitation: Should you want visit, I’m sure any of our Canadian sisters would love to have you…they might even take you out for some poutine and a hockey game!

Alison Nash (Xi/Toronto) is one of the Canadian Resource Coordinators and serves on the Upper Midwest Regional Team.

October 19, 2010

Circle Circle, Dot Dot... Now I've Got My Mom and Dot!

Welcome to Terminology Tuesday! Each Tuesday we will blog about some commonly misused terms within the Fraternity. It’s our hope that you take some time to read, laugh, smile, and then use the information to alter your word choices, and the choices of those around you.

Many of our chapters are in the midst of one the most exciting times of the new member program, Big and Little Sister matching. While some of our members are planning special surprises for the newest members of their family lines, others of us are anxiously awaiting the pictures and stories that get passed on. Amidst all the excitement there comes the inevitable sigh when we see the references of ‘Mom and Dot/Daughter’ or ‘Mom and Kiddo’ on photos and wall posts. As an organization, Alpha Phi refers to this relationship as Big and Little Sisters.

But so what? Honestly we aren’t hurting anyone – we are just sticking with the “traditions” of our chapter – right!?! While this may seem like just another thing small nuisance we talk about, it’s an important topic to discuss with your chapter, and even your campus.

By referring to our new members as daughters instead of sisters, we are sending the message that she is not equal to the rest of the chapter. There is still someone who is above her, who can tell her what to do. After graduating high school and starting college one of things students say they are most excited about is no longer having a parent telling them what to do all the time. So why do we allow this in our chapters? The purpose of the Big Sister program is to be a peer and mentor to our newest members.

This terminology is by no means strictly an Alpha Phi issue - in fact it is deeply embedded in the “traditions” of many university campuses. Our chapters can’t control the actions of all Greek organizations and often don’t want to be the only different chapter on campus, so the incorrect terminology continues on with time.

But since when has Alpha Phi been afraid of taking a stand on important issues and initiating change? We educate our new members on all the amazing firsts and accomplishments of our Fraternity, so let’s demonstrate to them that we are still leaders today. Let’s be the organization that takes the issue to your Panhellenic Council and lead by example!

Heather Scheuer is the Program Manager of Collegiate Chapter Services at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at

October 5, 2010

Terminology Tuesday – Statuses of Membership

Welcome to Terminology Tuesday on the Alpha Phi Blog!

Each Tuesday we will blog about some commonly misused terms within the Fraternity. It’s our hope that you take some time to read, laugh, smile, and then use the information to alter your word choices. We also hope you challenge yourself and those around you to make changes in our everyday speech to come more in line with the correct terminology. We kicked off last week with "I ain't no baby".

Today we focus on some common misnomers related to membership statuses within Alpha Phi. Here is a brief summary of our options for membership:

New Member: These women have just joined a collegiate chapter and have yet to be initiated. As you read last week, using the term "babies" or any similar terms such as "Phi Babies", "Baby Ivy", etc. is inappropriate. If you are a current collegiate member, you were in middle school when all 26 NPC organizations stopped using the term pledge. (Please note that "pledge" is still used appropriately as verb, as in "The chapter pledged 34 new members.").

Collegiate Member: These women have been initiated, are current dues paying members and are enrolled full time on campus as defined by your chapter’s by-laws.

  • Associate Status is granted only by the Chapter Advisor and is used sparingly for extreme situations where a collegiate member is unable to participate (i.e. an internship in a neighboring city, student teaching, etc.)
Any member who is no longer enrolled at your school (transfers, drops out, takes a break) does not need to resign her membership or be terminated. The chapter president must however complete the Membership Status Change Form,found on the Officer Portal.

Alumna: A woman who has graduated, completed four years in the chapter or was properly initiated through the alumnae initiation process. Who was the first Alpha Phi alumna initiate and when? (hint: her birthday was not long ago) Look for a future Terminology Tuesday post on this term.


  • Terminated: Any initiated member who is no longer associated with the Fraternity. Chapters request the termination of a member; the International Executive Board is the only entity that can terminate a woman’s membership in Alpha Phi.
  • Resigned: Any initiated member who voluntarily discontinued her membership with the Fraternity.

Some statuses we don’t have include: pledge, inactive (there is no inactive status), and early alumna.

Let’s also take a look at some other terms that are commonly heard but are incorrect:

Activate/Sister Up
Resigned or Terminated
Sister or New Member
Doesn’t exist

You may be called many different things throughout your lifetime of membership in Alpha Phi, from New Member to Collegian to Alumna, it’s important to be mindful of the correct terms. Make a little effort to help correct word usage and role model this behavior. It won’t take long to develop a common vernacular.

J.D. Louk is the Director of Collegiate Operations at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. Collegiate Membership Status changes are under his department. He can be reached at

On the Road

Megan Keim (Epsilon Gamma-Sacramento State)
09-10 ELC

As consultants we move from place to place--Atlanta to Kentucky to Canada to California--and live in all sorts of places--houses, apartments, or dorms. With so much of our lives in a fast-paced game of change, it's the little routines we maintain that allow us to feel at home wherever we are.
For me, the two things that make any place I go feel like home are my phone calls home and my morning cup of coffee.
After flying all day, or attending ten meetings in a row, I may not have much to talk about. If I can't get to a Starbucks, the coffee might not be so great. But on any given day, these two small gestures can mean a lot. They provide warmth in the snow, sleet, and rain (which mean a lot for a girl from California), and comfort when airports, recruitments, and meetings become long and tiresome.
So no matter where you are or what you're doing, sometimes it's the smallest acts of normalcy that matter the most.

October 1, 2010

Quarterly Review

We're getting ready to send out the Fall Quarterly.
In the meantime, enjoy this great cover from 1975.

September 27, 2010

I ain't no baby!

Each fall semester (or spring) our chapters recruit and welcome outstanding, quality women into our organization. They are excited to get involved and are eager to learn and embrace all there is to know about Alpha Phi.

So why do we demean and humiliate our newest members by calling them things other than what they are? They are sisters, first and foremost. How difficult is it to refer to them that way?

The photo above appeared in my newsfeed on my Facebook page. I always love seeing photos of our newest members or hearing about a chapter’s recruitment numbers...we all do. However, my heart dropped as I noticed the sign in the corner that reads “Ahoy Baby Phis.”

Since my time working at the office it seems each year I am having a conversation with a collegiate sister about the use of the term “babies” to describe their new members. This ugly practice seems to be common on many of our campuses. 

In Alpha Phi we do not refer to our new members as babies, pledges, newbies, or any other term that is humiliating. New Members are referred to as new members or new sisters. Because we respect our newest members, we should not degrade them by giving them inappropriate nicknames. They are young adult women and should be treated as such.

I know this can be difficult to do especially if your campus culture promotes such terminology. But why can’t Alpha Phi be the group to help stop this problem? It may take some time, but role modeling the correct language is the first step. We are leaders not only on our campuses but also on an international Greek level, so why not behave like one? 

I ask that you start educating your chapter members on this and encourage you to not tolerate the use of demeaning nicknames. Even though this may seem harmless, it is in fact hazing. 

Stefania Rudd is the Manager of Resources and Training Initiatives at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. One of her focus areas is the new member program and chapter education. She can be reached at

September 5, 2010

On the Road

Evan Guthrie (Omega-Texas)
09-10 ELC

I actually did not think it was possible…

I have always enjoyed traveling and visiting new cities, states, and even countries, but I was also always glad to return home – to Texas.

During my travels as an ELC I gained a newfound independence; I have not only learned to live in places such as Chicago and Lexington, Kentucky, but I have also learned how to live out of a suitcase. I’ve been to 7 different states (including a fantastic vacation in Disneyworld) and spent time in countless airports (Charlotte being my favorite as I very much enjoy the rocking chairs).

A few things I learned during my time away from Texas:
- Don’t bank on finding good TexMex…trust me, I tried, and failed.
- Everyone loves Texas…and I loved seeing burnt orange all over the country.
- Cowboy hats are not a standard wardrobe piece, although boots have become quite trendy.
- Most schools, contrary to popular belief, do not have a hand sign (like the “Hook ‘Em”).
- “Whataburger” is like the “In and Out” of Texas, I haven’t seen a single one on the road!
- Chipotle tastes great across the country.
- Courtney from Colorado has taught me how to identify and avoid ice patches while walking.
- Living in an area where it snows is not pleasant, especially when it turns into dirty slush.
- Snow angels are not made face down…I had forgotten this from my childhood (thanks Caitlin!).

I learned many great lessons, but most importantly, I learned it doesn’t matter where you live but rather who you are surrounded by. Each new place I visited was a new experience, and in each place I was surrounded by Alpha Phi sisters who made me feel like I was home even if I was only moving in for 3 days or 7 months. And while I will definitely return to Texas at the end of this adventure, I will continue to surround myself with my ELC family and maybe even convince them to move to Texas someday.

September 1, 2010

Alumnae Perspective

Kim Riha (Delta Epsilon-Iowa)

Now that I have lived in the “real world” for a few months I find myself missing college and especially missing my time at Alpha Phi. Although I will continue to have a great experience with Alpha Phi as an Alumni member, I will always cherish the time I had as a collegiate member. For my last blog, I hope to impart some words of advice on my collegiate sisters and I wish them all well with the beginning of a new school year.
Be good to each other- Your sisters at Alpha Phi are your family. There will be times when you will fight. Just remember that the women around you share in your ideals and values, and that five, 10 years down the line these women will still be there for you-willing to help, willing to comfort. The bond you share with your sisters is one of the greatest perks of joining Alpha Phi.
Do good in the community- As sorority women you have a unique opportunity to impact the community you live in. Get involved on campus as much as you can. Participate in other chapters philanthropies and most importantly strive to make your community aware of Alpha Phi’s philanthropy. We all know that heart disease is the number one killer of women, but others in your community will benefit from that knowledge as well.
Utilize your resources- Take advantage of the resources your campus provides you. Prepare yourself as fully as you can for life outside of college-you will thank yourself for it. Along with the resources on campus, make sure to utilize the resources Alpha Phi provides you. Apply for scholarships, network with Alumni in the area. Staying connected to Alpha Phi is a great way to help yourself excel through college and beyond.
Take pictures- College goes by fast and the photos you have of your friends, the formals, and the philanthropies will always be a reminder of Alpha Phi and what being a member has meant to you.
Have fun- Above all, Alpha Phi is the most fun part of my life. I have met amazing people, experienced an amazing Convention in 2008, and most importantly I have enjoyed every part of it. My friendship with the women in my chapter has continued outside of college, and these women remain my best friends. I am so grateful for the experience I had at Alpha Phi and I wish the best for all current collegiate members. Make the most of it!

Quarterly Review

It's time for our collegians to start gearing up for another school year.
Anyone bringing a giant Life Saver lamp with them?

August 15, 2010

Alumnae Perspective

Alumnae Sisterhood Events
By: Lori Losee (Beta Rho-Washington State)

As the summer is coming to an end, it’s that time again to reminisce your time in college and all of your Alpha Phi experiences. A great way is by planning alumnae events with your sisters from your chapter or new Alpha Phis you have met over the years.

Planning events with your fellow Alpha Phi sisters is something to treasure and even can be turned into a yearly tradition.

Turning a fun girls’ weekend into an annual tradition is something I'm a big fan of. Since 2005 I, along with several of my Beta Rho sisters, wanted a way to connect with one another away from our busy jobs and crazy lives. Our first trip started with a weekend in Portland followed up two years later to a trip to Seattle and then to San Francisco and then a trip to California’s wine country.

If a weekend trip isn’t possible, day trips or even a meal at a restaurant is a great way to reconnect with your fellow sisters.

Other fun activities that could be turned into monthly or quarterly events include a Scrapbooking Night, Bunko Night, Wine Night, or start an Alpha Phi bowling team.

No matter what the event is, it’s this time you spend with your Alpha Phi sisters that is the most important thing you can do.

August 5, 2010

On the Road

Caitlin Massie (Eta Omicron-Virginia Tech)
09-10 ELC

"Birds of a feather flock together," the saying goes. When you're constantly on the fly as an ELC, nothing could be more refreshing than spending time with other consultants. Whether it's getting to work together on an extension project or getting to facilitate a conference with current and past ELCs--we take any chance we can get to spend time with each other.

This year all the ELCs got the opportunity to take our spring vacation in Disneyworld for three wonderful days in the happiest place on earth. We had fun in sunny Orlando and got to rest, relax, and best of all--share all the stories we'd been collecting over the past months. We each had the craziest pictures, tall tales, and great memories from visiting chapters around North America. The joy in such a weekend is both simple and complex—a time to slow down from our fast-paced jobs and a chance to share a completely unique set of challenges and successes.

Now that we've finished our year, we are able to look back at all the times we've spent together and know that we shared in something that has given us the chance to meet incredible women and work closely with some of the best--and we have the pictures to prove it.

August 1, 2010

Quarterly Review

Have you received your Summer Quarterly yet?
Here's a summer Quarterly from 1981 to hold you over!

July 29, 2010

Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Report

Aliza Fishbein (Zeta Omicron-Johns Hopkins)
Alpha Phi Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act Representative

I went as Alpha Phi International's only collegiate representative for the second consecutive year to the National Interfraternal Council and National Panhellenic Council lobbying conference. Over the last several years the National Interfraternal Caucus along with the NIC's Political Action Committee have tried to pass a bill (S.187, HR1547) called the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act. Attending the conference requires several things, including research about housing on my campus, passing a resolution in the Student Government Association, and acquiring the signature of my university president on a letter to the Members of Congress who have jurisdiction over my university. About eighty collegians and several hundred alumni gathered in Washington D.C. for four days to discuss the bill and its importance and get trained in lobbying technique.

The Collegiate Housing Infrastructure Act is a really critical bill for Greeks and other not-for-profit student organizations (including Neuman, Hillel, Co-Op housing) right now. As the status quo stands there is a disparity in the way tax law is written for not-for-profit (501c(3)) organizations.If one were to donate tax deductable dollars to a university or college the institution could use those dollars for any purpose, including building dormitories. That same donation to a not-for-profit student housing organization like a fraternity or sorority could not be used for building infrastructure.

This is particularly significant because this form of housing is important to both college and students. With enrollment on the rise colleges are finding themselves less capable of housing students and are looking to private housing sources for overflow (much like at JHU). As the largest student landlord (after universities), housing 250,000 students each year in 44,000 housing units across the country, Greek houses provide that alternative housing option. As tuition rises and students struggle to find affordable housing, they look to Greek housing which is the cheapest option across the board.

The ability to provide safe housing to our students is a top priority to Greek organization, however, they are unable to raise the funds needed to upgrade their houses. Currently only 39% of Greek houses have fire sprinkler systems and the average cost to retrofit a house with fire suppression equipment is $48,000 and can be up to $250,000. Since 2000 there have been 140 student housing fire deaths and by April there had already been 5 last semester. Fire related deaths is the leading cause of death for college and university students - there has never been a student fatality from fire in a house with a sprinkler system installed.

The Collegiate Housing Infrastructure Act is important for the eleven fraternity houses at Johns Hopkins as well as Alpha Phi chapters across North America. Currently there are a few known fraternity houses at Johns Hopkins with sprinklers but none of them are known to be functioning. Also, CHIA would make it possible for Housing Corporation Boards (run through the National/International fraternity or sorority) could make other safety upgrades, including leaking ceilings, insecure staircases, cleaning of open wires, and the additions of sleeping quarters.

On Capitol Hill we partnered with members of Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Order and soon became close friends with them and others across the Greek community. We met with staff and Congressional Members during our eleven meetings in only a matter of hours. One of those Members is the only Alpha Phi in Congress, Lynn Woolsey, a representative from Northern California (her district includes half of the Golden Gate Bridge!). She credited our visit for her endorsement of the bill in a speech she made at the Political Action Committee dinner. Walking the halls of the U.S. Capitol with Lory was an incredible experience, having a real hand in housing policy. I also have gained a real sense of the deep influence Greek life has on our lives and the true meaning of lifetime membership. Witnessing fraternity brothers ranging in age gather together to serenade the sorority women with their fraternity song was only one means of expressing fraternal ties. True friendships were forged and I am still in touch with the many advisors and collegians I met at the NIC/NPC Conference. What a weekend!

Recently, we reached a majority in the House (118 signatures)! It was a rewarding experience and is still ongoing as I continue to followup with Congressional offices.

July 21, 2010

Alumnae Perspective

Kimberly Riha (Iowa-Delta Epsilon)


Recently I met a woman that currently goes to The University of Iowa and is a member of a different sorority on campus. I was excited to share our experiences and get to know some more about her chapter, but I quickly found that she had a much different experience than I did. She said that she has a great time with the other women in her chapter and she really enjoys it, but she also told me that she isn’t involved and knows next to nothing about the other chapters on campus.

When I joined Alpha Phi I was so excited to learn everything I could about my chapter. I loved finding out about the rich history, the philanthropy and the values of the women who came before me. As time passed and I became more involved in my chapter, I got to know more about the rest of the Panhellenic community on campus. When I became a recruitment guide I got a crash course on the background of all 14 chapters, and I found it so interesting to learn about the similarities and differences. Meeting this woman who didn’t even know where Alpha Phi was located on campus reminded me that a lot of women don’t get as involved in their sorority as I did with Alpha Phi.

This chance meeting made me proud to be part of a group of women that has its own values and is also compassionate and understanding of the values of others. Alpha Phi teaches women of her own history, and also instills the desire to learn about others and work together as a community—empowering women to be the very best version of themselves. I can only hope that other sororities try to strengthen their members the way Alpha Phi has strengthened me.

July 16, 2010

Alumnae Perspective

By: Lori Losee (Beta Rho/Washington State University)

July 1, 2010 marked the beginning of another fiscal year for Alpha Phi, which means it’s time to show your ongoing support and pride in Alpha Phi by paying your international dues.

Are you wondering what your dues help fund? By paying your International Alumnae Dues, including your Founders' Day Pennies (a penny for every year Alpha Phi has been in existence), you are showing your outward commitment to Alpha Phi. Additionally, your dues help fund the ongoing programs, products and services that keep Alpha Phi strong.

A portion of your international dues help fund:
• Publication of the Alpha Phi Quarterly Magazine;
• Re-design of the Alpha Phi Web site:
• Launch of the new Official Facebook Application (debuting this summer)
Transitions e-newsletter for recent graduates
• Ivy Leaf new member information manual
• Staff and Educational Leadership Consultant visits to 150 collegiate chapters
• Little Dipper legacy program
• Facebook fan page
• LinkedIn groups
• On the Go Podcasts
• New collegiate chapter efforts, including recent colonizations at University of Kentucky, University of Denver and Florida State University
• Maintenance of the Alpha Phi Executive Office
• A
comprehensive membership database
• Coddington Club for Alpha Phi family members
• Support for new and existing alumnae chapters

Alpha Phi offers two different payment options:

• Select Annual Dues and pay $36.38. This payment includes your dues ($35) and your Founders' Day pennies ($1.38). Your dues will be paid through June 30, 2011.
• Select Lifetime Dues and pay $325. Your dues and Founders' Day pennies will be paid for the rest of your lifetime.

As a dues-paying member, you are afforded many benefits including, a subscription to the Alpha Phi Quarterly and corporate discounts through Working Advantage.

To pay your Alpha Phi International Dues, visit the fraternity’s Web site.

In addition to your international dues, please don’t forget to pay your local Alpha Phi alumnae chapter dues. If you are looking for an alumnae chapter near you, check out our listing or email Paige Stallings

July 14, 2010

Inside the EO

Ashley Breitenbach (Butler-Epsilon Beta)
Marketing and Communications Intern

My summer as the Alpha Phi Marketing Intern:

I was blessed with the opportunity to work at the Executive Office for a summer internship. Initially, I figured it would be convenient since I am an Alpha Phi and live real close to headquarters. However, I had no idea what a positive experience it would be to work here at the Alpha Phi Executive Office.

As my first official internship, I was nervous to work in an office setting.
This is a real business and a real office, Ashley. This is the big guns.

I’ll admit later, my friends asked how my first day was and I got to brag to them about how I have a cubicle, my own phone and computer and have to dress in real office clothes daily. They were even jealous of me because I had a staff meeting earlier in the day - who would have thought it was possible to be jealous of staff meetings? A supply room was stocked up with all the essentials to run a business: paper, envelopes, stamps, and POST-IT NOTES!

Even though all these exciting components of business was rather enjoyable for me, at the end of the day it isn’t the repetitive stapling and printing that will leave an impression on me. Throughout my internship, I reported to my supervisor,
Arden, daily on my progress. Even with all the busy work and lack of social time, Arden and I were still able to bond and laugh together when Excel wouldn’t work properly. We were able to connect with one another and even joke around when we spent almost 30 hours (no lie!) together making name tags for Convention. When Arden wasn’t around, I often would work with the other staff members in her department. Alissa, Paige and Stephanie all respected me and welcomed me with open arms.

Working with them has taught me how to work and communicate with a group of people and showed me how to accomplish a goal or project as a group. Regardless of the hard times, stressful times, goofy times and fun times, being here at Alpha Phi has showed me that these are all times that we have spent together. The support system here at Alpha Phi is one that is stronger than ever. Just in my few weeks here at Alpha Phi, I have seen glimpses of this support net. From J.D.’s peppy musical beats, to Denise’s fashionable outfits and infectious smile, to the whole office celebrations as individuals in the office step forward to a next chapter in their life (birthdays and law school graduations), the Alpha Phi Executive Office staff have been there for me and have taught me more things about myself than they know.

So to everyone at the office, thank you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you, thank you for helping me learn, thank you for giving me the chance to make a difference and thank you for allowing me to meet such amazing individuals. The things that I have learned at Alpha Phi I will always keep with me and you have all helped me grow into the person I am today. I am so privileged to have this opportunity.



July 10, 2010

Alpha Phi Staff Profile: J.D. Louk

J.D. Louk
Kappa Sigma – Mu Tau Chapter/Austin Peay
Director of Collegiate Operations and I have been here almost a year!

Where do you work?
I work in the Collegiate Department at the Executive Office on the 2nd floor.

What does your job entail?
I work with operations of a chapter: risk management, elections, investigations to violations of fraternity polices and procedures, working with chapters who are on probation and action steps, and university relations. I also work with the Operations & Programming Coordinators for each of the 8 regions.

Why do you like working for Alpha Phi?
I love seeing committed women who are concerned for the advancement and development of each other. Volunteers and collegiate members working to advance each other and women’s issues. Alpha Phi has such a rich history and women who have helped pioneer strong women who are not afraid to take risks and who are cutting edge. There are so many areas that I feel I am able to help and I am excited to be a part of working with such dynamic women. Alpha Phi has the ability to impact so many women’s lives positively if each new members coming in opens up her heart and mind to what she may become through her commitment and involvement to Alpha Phi.

What is your favorite Alpha Phi memory?
Being a non-member and working as a volunteer with the Theta Omega chapter and seeing those women succeed and grow. We had such a culturally diverse group of women that learning from them was essential in my Alpha Phi involvement.

What is your Alpha Phi legacy?
I hope I am able to show that even a non-member can care about the success of each and every member and chapter. There are more people who altruistically want to help: just ask! While I may be a non-member my commitment to the history, ideals and principals of the fraternity does run deep.

What is the future of Alpha Phi?
I believe that Alpha Phi has such a potential for greatness. The foundational principals of the fraternity are grounded deeply in such rich values. If each member can understand these, the fraternity will not only be the best women’s fraternity but the ideal women’s organization for collegiate and alumnae alike.

Tell us about your family!
I have two nephews who make me smile and laugh often.

I love to travel and explore/see new places. I enjoy the theatre and miss the beaches of Miami. I am also training to complete (not compete) in the Chicago Half Marathon with some friends and Alpha Phis in October.

Interesting fact about yourself!
As a Chapter Consultant (our version of the ELC) for the Kappa Sigma Fraternity I traveled to 22 states visiting chapters. The driving was a great time for reflection and learning it’s to be ok being by myself.

July 5, 2010

On the Road

Anne McMurray (Beta – Northwestern)
09-10 ELC

The weight limit on checked bags is something that every ELC knows intimately. Each of us is an expert on exactly how much one can pack into our specific suitcase, and how to work a little magic when bags get close to fifty pounds. So it’s interesting to consider those little things we can’t imagine living without on the road, our life essentials—things we’d carry with us no matter how heavy they were.

For me, it’s stationery.

I have a specific pocket I reserve just for cards and when I have a little down time at a bookstore, I make sure to check out their supply of paper products. Now, while this isn’t the most usual essential, I’ve found it to be incredibly beneficial to many relationships I’ve had and made.

There is nothing more universally appreciated by volunteers and friends alike than a show gratitude and thoughtfulness. Dashing off a few lines in a handwritten note is the simplest way to make a fantastic impression and assure a good relationship. After each of my visits, I have made sure to send or leave thank you notes for my hosts, and thank every person that has put effort into making my time there well spent and enjoyed.

Even beyond thank you notes, a handwritten note is a special way of keeping in touch with all my friends and family members that because of my sometimes crazy schedule I’m not able to call as regularly as I’d like.

My grandmother and I regularly send each other letters, and just last month her sister found a stack of postcards that my grandmother sent her detailing her honeymoon in Europe many years ago. She has a happy reminder of all the wonderful things she experienced—one that no Facebook album will rival. I like to think that at some point down the road, one of my close friends will be able to do the same, and we’ll be able to reminisce about the year I spent traveling the country and collecting stories.

So, the next time you’re looking for the right way to express how much someone means to you, put down your laptop and pull out your pen.

July 1, 2010

Quarterly Review

Convention is in less than 2 weeks!
Anyone who came to Miami for our Convention in 1960?

June 30, 2010

Collegiate Experience

Kimberly Riha (Iowa-Delta Epsilon)

As I sat in my graduation ceremony waiting for my name to be called, I looked next to me at my roommate, a fellow Alpha Phi. We had spent the past four years at Alpha Phi together, and now we waited for our diplomas and for whatever the world may throw at us. Looking back on the past few years I have spent as an Alpha Phi, I see a family. I see a family that let me grow and have new experiences all while keeping me sheltered and safe. I see the third floor of our chapter house while everyone got ready to go out. I hear laughter and I remember the way the sun would shine through my window in the early spring. Some of my Alpha Phi memories have begun to grow hazy, as though they are from a past life. I know that when I look back on my years as an undergraduate I won’t remember specific parties or conversations, but I will remember the amazing women who were by my side through everything.

Now that I have graduated, I am hoping to stay close to the University of Iowa. I also hope to be an advisor for my chapter. I loved my undergraduate years as an Alpha Phi and though I know my experience will never be the same as it once was, being an Alpha Phi will continue to enrich my life. Even if I am not close to an undergraduate chapter, I hope that I end up living near an alumnae chapter that I can become involved in. I see Alpha Phi always being a big part of my life because it was one of the biggest contributors to who I have become as a young woman.