Halloween is fast approaching, and it’s time to purchase or make that perfect costume. It’s also important to think about how Alpha Phi will be portrayed in pictures across social media outlets and events across campus. Here is a brief article on how to keep it classy. In the past, offensive themes and costumes have placed several fraternities and sororities in the media spotlight. This year already several fraternities and sororities have received negative press from such offensive themes or dress.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and there are so many creative and elaborate costumes, decorations and events. The hope is that each chapter and its members have a safe and fun weekend. If you have any questions please feel free to contact your Advisor, Operations & Programming Coordinator or the International Executive Office.
Have a wonderful and safe Halloween season!
J.D. Louk is the Director of Collegiate Operations at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.
No matter how you define autumn—whether it’s the season of midterms or time to start thinking about a Halloween costume—there’s one thing every Alpha Phi can agree on: it’s the season of BIGS and LITTLES! You might already have your little sister for the semester or maybe you’re anxiously waiting for her to find out that you’re her big sister. Either way, we all know that the big/little relationship is one that nobody else can recreate. It’s our responsibility as big sisters to help our little sisters develop a love for our Fraternity, and we not only serve as their mentors, but also as friends for the rest of their time in Alpha Phi (we all know our littles will be at our weddings someday).
One of the ways to make your little feel a closer bond is, of course, all the fun crafts and gifts you give her (Pinterest anyone?). After my little’s initiation last spring, my big sister and I made family t-shirts to wear with her. This was not only a fun way to remember such a special day in her life as an Alpha Phi, but it was also a great way for our “family” to bond together. Picture frames, candle holders, blankets and bags are also fun to shower your little with and help her get excited about Alpha Phi. Within the next few weeks after big/little reveal, it’s a good idea to plan a sisterhood event for your whole chapter where bigs and littles can craft a matching item (picture frame, pillowcase, coffee mug, etc.) This is a great way to create time where bigs and littles can start to bond together.
It is important, as a big sister, to be a role model for the values that Alpha Phi holds. In the time between reveal and Initiation, it is vital that bigs are constant reminders of the love and unity that Alpha Phi stands for. My big took me out for lunches to catch up, talk about Alpha Phi and life in general. She was (and is) always there for me anytime I needed a helping hand, advice or someone to celebrate with. I do everything that I can to make sure that my littles have the same experience with me as I did with my big sister.
A final tool for big sisters (and directors of new member education) to utilize with their little sisters is the AMAZING new member website that Alpha Phi International developed. I took about 30 minutes to explore the site last week and was amazed with all the fun information and tools available. The website has all the individual collegiate chapter logos, wallpaper designs for phones and computers, and information about Founders, the Foundation and service & leadership (just to name a few!). On each page of the tech-savvy site, there is a reflection question and a dialogue box where members can post their answers and feelings. This site is a great tool to get the new members to interact with Alpha Phi and is an indispensible tool in the new member process. If you haven’t taken a look at the website yet, I highly recommend doing so. I promise that you will spend at least a half-an-hour wishing that you had it during your new member process!
Happy season of Bigs and Littles!
Atlee Mathews is a collegiate member at Epsilon Delta (Northern Illinois). Read her bio here.
It’s midterms time again and this year you’ll be ready to rock all your tests. You’ve been keeping up with your homework, going to all your classes and studying on a daily basis, right? About this time of the semester, most of us begin to have project deadlines, paper due dates and major exams—and then reality sets in. Whether you’ve been preparing for this since school began, or if you’re about to study your booty off for the next few nights, here are some tips to help keep you—and your sisters—focused and motivated to make the grade. Doing your part to help keep your chapter’s grade point average up this semester will pay off in the semesters to come.
1. Manage your time. Look at your calendar and plan your study sessions in accordance to the dates of your deadlines. This seems obvious, but it can help to have your week in front of you in a visual format. It makes things seem real and sometimes more doable. Schedule time to study, exercise and sleep.
2.Tackle the hardest material first. Highlight, underline, make flash cards and repeat. Make yourself a quick reference guide to refresh your brain right before your test.
3. Take breaks. Study in 20-50 minute periods with 5-10 minute breaks (but don’t let your breaks get you stuck watching cat videos on YouTube). It takes time for your brain to process and store new information. Even if you have a lot of material to cover, try not to have a marathon study session.
4. Outsmart your inner procrastinator. During my late night sessions at the library I always head straight to the “quiet floor.” The lower levels of our library are designed for students to study in groups and they tend to get loud during midterms and finals week. However, on the quiet floor it is easy to find space to be alone. I would advise you to bring headphones to help you zone into your studies. I also like to use a website called 8tracks (www.8tracks.com). This site works well for me because you can specifically go in and search for playlists that users have created for studying. The key words you can search for are truly endless: study+classical, study+instrumental, study+chill, study+relax, study+upbeat, etc.
Another good tool that I try to take advantage of when I’m studying in the library is a website blocker. Google Chrome has a great application for temporarily blocking sites that are distracting. Personally, I block Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, but you can customize the application to block anything. If you don’t use Google Chrome you can search the web for other programs that do the same thing; there are a bunch!
5. Get your chapter excited about making grades. As extrinsic motivation for our sisters, my chapter started a contest that we like to call ‘smarty panties.’ When sisters in our chapter make good grades on tests and exams, they send pictures of the grades to our scholarship chair. Our scholarship chair then puts the names of the girls who made awesome grades into a drawing for our Monday meeting. Once a month, we draw for Victoria Secret gift cards! It isn’t much, but it sure is good motivation—and the extra shopping money doesn’t hurt either.
6. Remember to take care of yourself. Your body and your mind need to work together for you to recall the information you’ve learned (or crammed). If you can schedule the time, go exercise. Try to work in a yoga class or a spin class or even just a run. Give your mind a break from excessive thinking and help your muscles release some of the tension from hours of sitting at a desk. Try to make healthy choices for your body. We know that energy drinks and carbonation are not the best choices, and too much coffee will dehydrate your body. Try sipping on lemon water, or green tea. You’ll be able to stay focused and hydrated and you’ll avoid the crash that energy drinks and coffee can cause. Also, if you have the time, take a power nap. Sleep deprivation will only intensify any stress or anxiety that you’re feeling. Good luck! Study with your sisters, breathe and smile! The stress is temporary.
Alexandria Hudson is a collegiate member at the Gamma Eta chapter (North Texas). Read her bio here.
As promised, we've got you "covered" with more Alpha Phi accessories from Greek Licensed Vendor Uncommon. Their adorable iPhone 4 cases are available in solids, patterns and stripes. Whatever design you choose, you can't go wrong with their fun take on our traditional designs!
It’s officially October, and fall is certainly upon us.This is the season for changing leaves, crisp air, pumpkin flavored everything and, of course, fall fashion.Bordeaux was named one of the top colors for fall, and who better to rock some adorable bordeaux fashion pieces than Alpha Phis!I’ve compiled some of my favorite fall must haves, all in our favorite signature color.
1. Essie Bahama Mama - A quick and easy way to incorporate bordeaux into your fall look is nail polish! This gorgeous hue by Essie is the perfect addition to your polish collection!
2. Urban Expressions Hobo Purse – This faux leather hobo is a perfect way to carry all of your essential items (and then some) and is an easy way to spice up any outfit.
3. Silence and Noise Boyfriend Blazer – The boyfriend blazer has been a wardrobe staple for the past few years. Add some variety by wearing it in this rich color, and it is sure to become your go-to jacket.
4. Ruche Belted Sweater Dress – Dresses in fall are essential, and this bordeaux sweater dress would be perfect paired with a cardigan, tights and boots.
5. Tory Burch iPhone Case – Not only is this iPhone case in bordeaux, but the adorable print with gold detailing makes it one you’ll want to show off all year long.
7. Forever 21 Suede Booties – These high heel booties are the perfect way to make sure you stay on trend from head to toe. The low price point combined with the beautiful color means this is an item you’ll want to snatch up quickly!
8. J Crew Peter Pan Collar Sweater – Alpha Phis are known for being ladylike and polished, and this sweater is the epitome of both. The Peter Pan collar adds a unique touch, and would be perfect paired with a pencil skirt for work or Monday Night Dinner.
9. Hunter Boots – Hunter boots are always classic, but this unique color will be sure to stand out on campus. These boots are versatile and stylish, perfect for either rainy weather or a snowy day trekking across campus.
10. A’GACI Three Layer Triangle Necklace – Statement necklaces are right on trend this season, and this triangle pendant necklace is a perfect way to add some interest to your outfit.
11. Sparkle and Fade Ponte Knit Pant – Colored pants were extremely popular in spring and summer, and you can continue that trend by switching to jewel tone bottom. These bordeaux pants are a perfect pop of color to add to your wardrobe.
Lindsey Schaefer is a collegian at Drake University (Gamma Omicron). Read her bio here.