November 30, 2013

On the Road: The Alpha Phi Family

In just three short months of traveling as an ELC I have already visited 12 campuses. At the end of each visit, the time comes when I have to pack my bags for the next university. I instinctively get a wave of anxiety: Will they like me? Will I accomplish all of my goals on my visit? Will I make an impact on the chapter and its members? And more importantly, will I make lasting connections with these women? Time and time again I have these semi-panicked feelings, and each time I am pleasantly surprised by how warm and welcoming each chapter is. The women are genuinely interested in finding out about where I come from, my Alpha Phi experience and what I want to do in the future. 

I grew up in Colorado and went to school just ten short minutes from home, so leaving that familiarity behind was hard for me. One of my biggest fears was that I was going to be incredibly homesick and not be able to adjust to a new lifestyle. What I didn’t realize was that I would find my home and a family in my ELC group, at University of Alabama, University of Southern California, University of Washington, Cal Poly, UC/Davis, Loyola Marymount, Lake Forest, University of Minnesota, University of Virginia, University of Dayton, Ohio State, Miami University and all of the chapters that I will visit in the future. I have come to realize that even though I am thousands of miles from home, I still have my Alpha Phi family stretched across North America that will always be there welcoming me, supporting me and loving me every step of the way. Being on the road can be lonely at times, but knowing that I will be walking through the doors of an Alpha Phi sisterhood at the end of the day is what makes the occasional loneliness so worth it.

My experience as an ELC has pushed me outside of my comfort zone, brought me to new and unfamiliar places, led me to meet some amazing and inspiring women and taught me so many life lessons that I never would have learned in any other position. I can’t believe I only have five more months left of this amazing journey. I will never forget the women I’ve met, the chapters I’ve worked with and the amazing people who have touched my life in ways that I never would have thought possible. I guess you could say that a “thank you” is in order to everyone that I have come in contact with on this wonderful journey. So thank you to my amazing, accepting and loving Alpha Phi family!

Jessica Carver (Beta Gamma-Colorado) is a first year Educational Leadership Consultant.

November 26, 2013

On the Road: Forward Thinking & Officer Transitions

Traveling for Alpha Phi opens so many doors to new experiences, people and relationships. Every chapter, executive council, advisor and member is different, unique and interesting; almost no two chapters operate the same! But what I have found to be similar at many successful chapters is the concept of forward thinking and proactive leadership. Alpha Phi women have a “pioneering spirit,” a proactivity that has the power to initiate change and establish new traditions. Regardless of the region, school or chapter, the women I have met during my time as an ELC are motivated to see their chapters and sisterhoods succeed! It is these forward thinking members—both collegiate and alumnae—that keep our Fraternity moving ahead.

This proactive spirit is particularly applicable as we come to the end of the fall semester. The best way to ensure that a chapter and its leaders have the resources needed to be successful in their future roles is to hold a thorough and efficient transition retreat! There are numerous manuals and guidelines available online for the transition process that are helpful. If you haven’t looked at them recently, check them out. It is important to remember what happens through the course of a year, the changes being implemented and the chapter’s plans for the future.

The online resources mentioned above can help chapters by asking pointed questions, providing built-in guidance and offering helpful tips and suggestions. Passing down important information to the newest officers is a great way to continue Alpha Phi’s propensity for forward thinking. Preparing for the future now will dictate a large part of a chapter’s success in the semesters—and even years—to come! 

Camille Stephens (Eta Upsilon-Chapman) is a first year Educational Leadership Consultant.

November 25, 2013

Collegiate Perspective: Being Greek in the Big Ten

My senior year in high school I narrowed my choices down to two schools for my college experience. A liberal arts school that was 20 minutes away from home and a Big Ten university that was about a 5-hour drive south. I chose the University of Iowa and found myself walking in the heat to 14 chapter houses during Fall Formal Recruitment.

The University of Iowa is currently about 12% Greek, a small percentage compared to top Greek schools like Indiana University, University of Michigan, and University of Illinois. During Fall Formal Recruitment, the numbers were the highest ever and the Greek community saw real growth. Although my school has a reputation of being a party-school, which is usually attributed to the Greek life and bar scene, being Greek at the University of Iowa is so much more than that.

Although it is sometimes difficult to overcome the certain reputation that comes along with being a part of a Greek organization, it’s an honor to be in Alpha Phi. Women and Men in Greek life have dedicated hours to volunteering and philanthropic events, making it a major part of our chapter.

Natalie Westman, a sophomore at Michigan State University Alpha Phi said, “Greek life gives you a welcoming outlet where you can related to thousands of other Greeks and are able to connect at a deeper level.” At a school like Michigan State University, Greek life helps build pride, and fraternities and sororities can combine to create a social scene that is true to collegiate fashion.

“Without Greek life on a Big Ten campus, not only would the social scene be drastically different but there also wouldn’t be that drive to be academically the best and your own personal best,” said Westman. There is a drive to have the best grade point average as a chapter the University of Iowa and I am happy to call myself Greek because of it.

Anna Kozak is a collegiate member at Delta Epsilon (Iowa). Learn more about Anna by clicking here.

November 22, 2013

Featured Product Friday: Infographic Notepad

This infographics notepad from INK&IRON highlights important Alpha Phi facts, from our founding date to our official colors, and can be personalized with a member name for gift-giving. The notepads measure 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" and include 50 sheets. Custom orders ship within seven business days.

Price per notepad is $16. Click here for more information and to order.


See more products from Greek Licensed Vendors on The Alpha Phi Boutique