September 30, 2011

Alpha Phi Founders’ Day

If you do a Google search on “Alpha Phi Founders’ Day,” the results might yield “September 30, 1872” as our founding date. Today, you might also see other organizations wishing us “Happy Founders’ Day” via social media outlets and on the web and think to yourself, But Founders’ Day isn’t until October 10!

October 10 is our celebrated Founders’ Day, but our organization was in fact founded on September 30, 1872. Our ten Founders met on September 18 to plan the sisterhood, and on September 30, at the home of Ida Gilbert, six freshmen, three sophomores and one junior initiated themselves into Alpha Phi.

While today is the official founding date, we hope you celebrate with us October 10 to honor these amazing women and the tradition that began nearly 139 years ago. You can view alumnae chapter Founders’ Day events here, or if you happen to be in the Chicago area, please stop by the Executive Office in Evanston to celebrate with our Fraternity and Foundation staff. Details can be found in this e-vite.

Today also marks the start of our Founders’ Day facts, where we will share details and little known information about the Founders through our social media outlets. Be sure to keep an eye out on these pages today and in the days leading up to October 10 to learn more about the ten influential women who shaped our sisterhood.


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September 27, 2011

Collegiate Perspective: An Alpha Phi Mixtape

A song to encompass the diverse and amazing sisterhood of Alpha Phi can be hard to find. The bond between Alpha Phis is unique and special to every sister, and this playlist provides a wide array of songs—ones that might connect you to a memory or provide the chance to build a new one. Enjoy, and feel free to comment with songs 1. Hang With Me – Robyn

2. Good Life – One Republic

3. D.A.N.C.E – Justice

4. Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland

5. Forever Young – Youth Group

6. With or Without You –U2

7. Sisters – The Puppini Sisters

8. Battle Cry – Shontelle

9. The Best of What’s Around – Dave Matthews Band

10. You Get What You Give – The New Radicals

Katie Foster is a collegiate member at Delta Nu (Maine).

September 23, 2011

Hazing: A Parent’s Perspective

Teasing….putdowns….bullying….hazing…..bystander…..victim. We hear these words a lot. We hear them on the news. We talk about it as part of Chapter Leadership Development, in our education programs, and at conferences devoted to wiping out hazing and empowering students. We wonder how the heck such smart young adults perpetrate these acts on people that they call “brother” or “sister.” It is pretty disgusting to break hazing down into the bits that make it whole. How can organizations that pride themselves on values and ritual encourage or force someone have to drink, get locked in a basement, carry lunch boxes filled with breath mints, gum, Starbucks gift cards, etc.? It is terrifying to think that twenty year olds are doing this to their peers.

This summer I had the privilege of attending the Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention at Lehigh University with several of my Alpha Phi sisters. I had the honor of meeting and listening to Kim Novak challenge us to think about what a hazing-free world looks like. At that point, I wasn’t just thinking about the collegiate world in which I actively volunteer, but about another world in which I am a parent who is trying to raise decent human beings amidst teasing, putdowns and bullying. This is the typical world of elementary and middle school age children in my town. No one would equate what is happening on the playground with fraternity/sorority life, but is it really so different? I think parents are afraid to acknowledge that the child who is just a little too rough, a little too mean, a little too quick to show off how cool s/he is, is a bully and without some kind of intervention, this bully could most likely grow up to be a college student who hazes.

The world of the playground is pretty similar to any other world- college, athletics, and/or the workplace. My friends and I continue to talk about the same situation over and over despite the age differences in our children. There is one boy and he is the boy with “it.” What is “it”? Well in the eyes of a preteen, “it” is defined as: athletic, cool games/gadgets, laxer rules at home than the other children, typically have older brothers/cousins/friends and all the grown-ups like him because of his nice manners. The “it” boy is generally fast literally and figuratively. He has the meanest putdowns out of anyone in the pack. So, when the “it” boy decides he is going to start giving everyone nicknames, what can your child do? If your child protests his name too much, he will be branded a wuss and then “EVERYONE” will laugh at him. Most likely though, “EVERYONE” doesn’t like their nickname either. But “EVERYONE” sits quietly waiting for someone to defy the “it” boy. To an adult, it seems that the solution would be that the pack of boys would turn against the “it” boy. However, it never seems to happen that way. Why not?? Generally, the meanest child is the one with the most social collateral. The other children’s are simply afraid of the consequences. In a smaller town, you may be stuck with the “it” kid until after high school.

As I type this, it seems like I’m painting such a grim and hopeless picture, but I haven’t given up hope. Schools are working hard to address this kind of pervasive bullying. Most parents are coaching their children to talk them through these situations. We have better resources and talking points available than just the time-worn “walk away.” We also know that if the playground isn’t giving our children confidence, then we need to find other arenas where they will be successful. These out of school options include scouts, sports, creative and performing arts, and martial arts. I know of one child in particular who was picked on last year. He was the oldest and biggest boy in his grade. He was teased about everything. His parents and the school tried to work through it. What his classmates didn’t know was that he is a baseball prodigy. In the lead up to playing the “it” boy’s team, this boy was teased endlessly. The game was pretty exciting and intense. The “it” boy’s team was ahead by three when the baseball prodigy stepped up to the plate with bases loaded. Yes, this story has the movie ending. Our prodigy hit a grand slam and “it” boy was reduced to tears. Has this silenced the bully? That baseball game ended the teasing of this prodigy’. The teachers made sure this boy wasn’t in class with the “it” boy this year. In the long run, this group of boys also realized that an “it” boy isn’t always as powerful as they think he is.

What is the lesson for us parents? We need to remember that teasing is as dangerous as hazing. Teasing can hurt our young children just as much as hazing can hurt our college students. We need to give our children/college students realistic and authentic ways to handle these situations. We can teach that there is strength in numbers and that they don’t have to stand alone. Our mission as Alpha Phis is “A sisterhood of women supporting each other in lifelong achievement.” Isn’t this also our mission as parents?

Nancy DeLaura, (Villanova/Eta Epsilon) is the Operations & Programming Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Region.

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September 19, 2011

Collegiate Perspective Blogger: Community Engagement at Small Schools

Phis in the Cornfield- Community Engagement at Small Town Schools

As Alpha Phis, we have a responsibility to engage in our campus and local community.  There is no doubt, being a large chapter at a small school in a rural town poses a lot of challenges, the biggest of which is a false sense of community and involvement that can develop simply because of our proximity to those around us.  So, how can we overcome these issues and promote community engagement from within our chapters?  I interviewed Megan Murphy, Panhellenic Director of Philanthropy and Service and Gamma Chapter Community Service Chair to talk about her successes in promoting Greek engagement with our town and county. 

Alpha Phi (Gamma-DePauw) and Beta Theta Pi (DePauw) spending a day of 
service on Putnam County’s “People Pathways” trail system. 

Kelsey: What community engagement issues do chapters at small schools face?
Megan: Chapters fall into going to one or two of the same organizations to do service.  We form wonderful partnerships but tend to forget about the other places in our community that need help just as much.  Another big issue facing ALL schools is that Greek culture becomes more about exchanging “philanthropy” checks without much active participation.  Philanthropies are incredibly important, and we are loyal to them, but we need to be loyal to our community too. 

K: What are some of the things you have done to solve these problems as Community Service Chair? 
M: The first project was the Beta Theta Pi – Alpha Phi Service Project.  I was tired of the Greek emphasis on raising money. I wanted our chapter to get our hands dirty, to get into the community, and to see a difference.  Partnering with another chapter is a great way to foster Greek unity, and it allowed us to get to know each other on a more meaningful level.  I also implemented service hour requirements.  It’s important to set expectations for women to be engaged, active Phis.  Service is one of our values, and we need to embody it.  Plus, a huge part of service is sisterly bonding! 

K: What have you done as Panhellenic Director of Philanthropy and Service?
M: The main event, Special Olympics of Indiana, brings the Greek community together in a way that doesn’t involve chapter competition.  We also do “Greek Street Trick or Treat,” where Greek houses open their doors to kids in the community and professors’ kids to do safe, fun Halloween activities. This also helps develop positive relationships with our faculty.  This year, I am organizing the first Panhellenic Service Day, which will mix women from all chapters up into groups and go out in the community to do hands on service. 

Hopefully this interview provides you with some ideas to encourage service and community participation in your chapters!  Aoe. 

Kelsey Moore is a collegiate member of the Gamma Chapter (DePauw).

September 16, 2011

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September 13, 2011

Collegiate Perspective: My Sister, My Friend

Part 1 in the Values Series: Sisterhood

As Alpha Phis we value sisterhood, service, scholarship, leadership, loyalty and character development. In the midst of recruitment season, sisterhood might be our most important value.

Potential new members might be looking to gain leadership skills or raise awareness for a certain philanthropy, but most importantly, they’re looking for a place to call home. How do we show our new members how important sisterhood is to us? 

According to our Purpose, “…We seek to aid each other through a constant watchcare always given in love.” As Alpha Phis, we hold each other accountable for our actions. As sisters, we hold each other to high standards and push one another to reach our highest potential. I believe this is a crucial part of our sisterhood. 

The Big/Little Sis relationship allows the new members to
have a role model ofAlpha Phi standards and values. 

“I believe in it as a shrine of international sisterhood wherein I may find love and loyalty, sympathy and understanding, inspiration and opportunity” (Alpha Phi Creed). Within the Alpha Phi sisterhood, you will always have a smile waiting to greet you, a shoulder to cry on and someone to help you get back up when you fall down. Because we are an International sisterhood, we have thousands of sisters all over the United States and Canada with whom we share this special bond.

Sisters from all over the U.S. and Canada instantly
bonded at Alpha Phi’s Emerging Leaders Institute.
Ways to LIVE Sisterhood:

Coffee date with an alumna 
Become a pen-pal with of our international sisters
Make a door decoration or small Alpha Phi gift for a sister going through a hard time
Study together
Attend sisterhoods
Inspire each other to be better and do better
Take a new member to lunch or a movie
Support your sister
Trust your sisters
Believe in your sisters

Through the simple actions of living our sisterhood value and holding each other accountable, we are truly “growing stronger with time, like the ivy that twines.”

Ashliegh Jarzenski is a collegiate member at Ashland University (Epsilon Alpha).

September 9, 2011

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September 8, 2011

Meet our Fall 2011 Collegiate Perspective Bloggers!

Annie Williams (CSU/Long Beach- Gamma Kappa)
Annie Williams, born and raised in Orange County, Calif., is a senior at California State University/Long Beach (Gamma Kappa) where she is currently serving her second term as Chapter President and is pursuing a degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Marketing. Annie has also served her chapter as Director of Member Development, Standards of Excellence Chair and Director of Publicity and Advertising. She is an Emerging Leaders Institute graduate and a 2010-2011 Alpha Phi Foundation Scholarship Recipient. In addition to her involvement in Alpha Phi, Annie is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, an ambassador to the University President, a graduate of the Leadership Academy, and Order of Omega President. Her time in Alpha Phi has been life changing, and she is excited to spend her last two semesters with her Alpha Phi sisters.

Katie Foster (University of Maine-Delta Nu)
Katie Foster is a senior at the University of Maine majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Management.  She is currently the Chapter President of Delta Nu, as well as a Collegiate Member of Alpha Phi's Committee on Leadership.  She has previously served as her chapter's VPCO and Intramural Chair.  Katie will graduate in May 2012 and would like to travel as much as possible.  She plans to pursue an MBA or an advanced degree in Human Resources Management. Outside of Alpha Phi she has served her university on a Presidential Search Committee, as well as the UMaine System on a Chancellors Search Committee.   She also serves as the Undergraduate Student Representative to the System Board of Trustees.  Katie enjoys spending time with her family & friends, drinking coffee, reading as much as possible and shopping.

Ashliegh Jarzenski (Ashland University- Epsilon Alpha)
Twenty-year old Ashliegh Jarzenski is a sophomore journalism and digital media major and speech communications minor at Ashland University (Epsilon Alpha) with the hopes of one day becoming a network correspondent. Ashliegh is the Director of Chapter Events and has served on various committees in her chapter. She also had the opportunity to attend the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute and Alpha Phi’s Emerging Leaders Institute this past summer. Ashliegh is also very involved on her campus as the president of Alpha Lambda Delta, Local Builds Chair for Habitat for Humanity, Director of News and Public Affairs for the campus radio station, writes for the school newspaper and anchors for the television station.

Kelsey Moore (DePauw University- Gamma)

Kelsey Moore is a senior at DePauw University majoring in Anthropology (focusing on Global Development and Medicine) and minoring in Religious Studies.  She currently serves as Chapter President, was the Director of Member Development as well as a member of MDC before, and has a passion for leadership building and program development.  In 2009, Kelsey attended Alpha Phi’s Emerging Leaders Institute.  She is a varsity member of the DePauw Cross Country and Track teams.  Kelsey has a passion for public health, starting with a summer internship in Gaborone, Botswana, and she hopes to get a masters in Public Health post graduation.

September 7, 2011

Promoting Your Greek Membership

For me, promoting my Greek membership began in August 1972 when I stepped off the bus from picking up my bid card at the LSU student union and was welcomed at the Alpha Phi house with my new pledge sisters. That night is still a blur to me.

I quickly found out that a couple of girls in the dorm were also Alpha Phi new members. In short order, we made our way to the closest store to purchase our first Alpha Phi t-shirts – customized stitched on letters with our name on the back! With the purchase of this new t-shit, I was now promoting Alpha Phi all across campus. We were SO proud to be affiliated with Alpha Phi that we were promoting Alpha Phi without even thinking about it. We started learning all of the songs, the different chapters and the history of Alpha Phi. After initiation all members received a wonderful Centennial history of Alpha Phi that I still cherish today. It also became a lot easier to promote our membership when Alpha Phi adopted the Bear as a mascot when I was in college. That was a lot easier to cuddle with than an ivy plant!

After graduation, marketing my Greek membership became rather vague. I am an extroverted person and a joiner so when I interact socially or join organizations, Alpha Phi comes up naturally in conversation. It definitely helped in meeting other Alpha Phis when I mentioned my membership in social situations. It also helped me professionally, as I was told by friends that two women at the bank I worked at were also Alpha Phis. It even helped to seal the deal on selecting my son’s first daycare. The care provider showed me one of her daughter’s room that was set up with cribs and there on the wall was the girl’s Alpha Phi composite from USC. So, it definitely benefited me personally to mention my Alpha Phi membership.

The role of promoting Greek membership changed as I became a mother. My son saw my involvement first hand as a volunteer as well as my husband’s for his fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho, where he was a treasurer of the local house corporation board. During my son’s senior year of high school, I actively asked his friends about their interest going a fraternity or sorority. I wrote recommendation letters for any of the young women who I knew well and considered to be good candidates for Alpha Phi. I also did my homework on the chapter at the school they were planning on attending. I took it upon myself to find out the other sororities at the school and helped connect the young women with women in the community who could write a recommendation for those sororities. This is a great way to promote the National Panhellenic groups as a whole. If the woman ended up joining Alpha Phi, I would call her mom to volunteer that if she, as a mom, had any questions that I would be happy to help.

Volunteering at recruitment for any local college is also a wonderful way to promote Greek membership as these young women see that you, as a Greek member, are still involved. Alpha Phi is a lifelong membership and alumnae should embrace any opportunity that allows them to demonstrate this to our younger members. Remember, you “ARE” an Alpha Phi not, I “WAS” an Alpha Phi!

Nancy Bennett (Delta Tau-LSU) currently resides in Fresno, CA.

September 2, 2011

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September 1, 2011

Quarterly Review

Summer 1984 issue of the Quarterly.Members at Bowling Green State (Beta Omicron) welcome new members on Bid Day!

Send pictures of your new member class to and you could be featured on the Alpha Phi International blog!