February 26, 2014

Collegiate Pespective: Sisterhood...It’s the Little Things that Last for a Lifetime!

Alpha Phi celebrates sisterhood! As one of our founding values, it is important to integrate it into our daily lives any chance we get.

As stated on alphaphi.org, "Alpha Phi allows her members to develop life-long friendships based on mutual support and unconditional love. Alpha Phis enjoy a sincere sisterhood throughout college and in every stage of their lives."

It’s true that you will get to know your sisters through chapter, mixers and other organized events. However, it is also important to plan time to get your sisters together and ensure they all feel included. I joined the Xi chapter at Toronto through formal recruitment in the fall and was recently appointed director of sisterhood. I was overjoyed and excited to look at all the different ways that I could get the women of my chapter to spend time with each other and strengthen their sisterhood bonds. One of the successful ideas that we tried out was a Sisterhood Journal, which consists of a picture and a page designated to each sister. This journal is left in the common dining room at our chapter house and we are able to leave little messages or memories that our sisters can look at when they need a pick-me-up. 

In March we have scheduled an optional Disney-themed sleepover at our chapter house. This event will consist of a potluck dinner, Disney movie and mani/pedis. It’s a way to get all the sisters in one place and have fun together. It does not have to cost a lot to host events if everyone is willing to pitch in; and in the end, it doesn’t matter what you choose to plan as long as you have your sisters by your side.
In reality, it’s the little things that count. It’s having one of your sisters tell you they appreciate your hard work and dedication to the chapter, or someone noticing how hard you have been working at school. Or even having one of your sisters notice that you have something troubling you and letting you know they will always be there. To me this is what sisterhood is. It’s not about the events, parties, or stories. It’s about me counting on you, and you in turn being able to count on me.

Coming up with event ideas does not have to be time consuming or expensive. Sometimes it can be hard making connections on your own since most of our chapters have 50+ members. It’s through events like these or finding time outside your busy schedules where meaningful interactions can take place and lifelong bonds can be made.

It is coming down to crunch time with exams just around the corner and final assignment due dates calling your name. So take some time to plan a coffee date or sisterhood bowling night, and definitely make sure to take some time for yourself, and your sisters, and relax.

Sukhe Mann is a collegiate member at University of Toronto (Xi). You can learn more about Sukhe by clicking here.

February 25, 2014

Collegiate PerspectivE: A Different Kind of Sisterhood Event

There is nothing better than spending two+ hours running around DC with a few dozen of your sorority sisters. And nope, I don’t mean running around shopping or grabbing cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake; I’m talking actual running. 

Last April, about 40 women from my chapter (Zeta Iota) raced in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington, DC.  Wearing matching yellow shirts that read “THANKFUL” across the front in honor of our sister, Casey Schulman, these women fearlessly conquered the 13.1 miles that would scare off most people.

Since so many students at the University of Virginia live in or around DC, they were able to coordinate places to stay the night before the race, and groups to carpool with to the race.  There was even an on-going Googledoc so that everyone could plan times to run together during the months leading up to it! Each of my friends who participated said that it was an amazing experience, and that not only did the live entertainment on the side of the race course keep them going, but knowing that they were running with other sisters and friends helped them push through to the end.

This year, convinced by the incredible memories from some of my friends, I made the bold decision to sign up for the 2014 Nike Women’s Half Marathon. I will admit that immediately after signing up, and realizing that the most I had ever run in my entire life was 3 consecutive miles (I’m up to 5 now! …baby steps), I had a slight case of “buyer’s remorse”. However, ever since the reality set in that I would eventually be forced to run 13.1 miles straight, I have been looking forward to April. I can’t wait to cross that finish line, along with the other 35 sisters who will be racing alongside me. 

Though the Nike Half Marathon is not an official sisterhood event, it might as well be. It is not uncommon to see a few Alpha Phis running together around campus, and you are always guaranteed to have a training partner. I am particularly lucky to live in the Alpha Phi chapter house, which is filled with women who love to run, many of whom will be racing in April as well. This event is very special to my chapter, and I hope that it will continue to be a tradition for years to come.

Lindley Smith is a collegiate member at University of Virginia (Zeta Iota). Learn more about Lindley by clicking here.

On the Road: Realizing Potential

Something I learned early in my undergraduate career is that I loved to help and serve people. At Georgia Tech, I had several positions where I had the capacity to help others strive for their greatest potential. My first experience was serving as a teaching assistant for Georgia Tech’s freshman seminar program. I had a great time mentoring first-semester freshman (some of whom I then recruited to become Alpha Phis!) on a myriad of topics ranging from what classes to take to how to get involved on campus with their interests. I realized the potential to help others also could be done within my Alpha Phi experience.

During my time in the chapter, I served as director of continuous open bidding, director of formal recruitment and chapter president. However, aside from my various assigned duties, I also made it a point to seek out members with budding leadership potential and encourage them to get involved. That included encouraging certain members to apply for ELI, encouraging women who had concerns in the chapter to get involved to help make a change and even sitting down one-on-one with many members before elections to figure out what positions to apply and run for. Through those conversations, many began to think about taking on positions they would have never thought of doing before. Some of these women went on to serve in positions and others went on to serve in other leadership capacities on campus.

A few of my favorite moments on the road have been when I saw the spark in the eyes of members who I thought had great leadership potential. When almost an entire new member class wanted to call a meeting with me so that they could understand how recruitment works and how individually they could become more involved within their chapter by taking on leadership positions. When I reached out to a few individuals to run for Panhellenic positions, because they I saw the potential for them to reach a wider audience and have a profound impact on their entire Greek community. When I would sit in the common areas of houses and have random conversations with chapter members passing by who threw ideas at me and just wanted to talk them through.

I encourage you to reach out to the women in your own chapter or a chapter you advise and mentoring them to realize their potential. Sometimes all that is needed for someone to succeed is that extra push from someone else—that someone else who believes they can contribute and help make a significant difference. Even if we are encouraging women to reach for opportunities that are not Alpha Phi-related, we are helping them to develop and that, in essence, will help our Fraternity grow.
We always say that recruitment is the life blood of the Fraternity –which it absolutely is. And it’s the leaders and motivators in the chapter who help make the chapter the best it can be. So for those of you who have attended Leadership Conferences (and even if those who haven’t!) and made note of all the amazing ideas you want to implement within your chapter, be sure to also keep in mind those women in you believe to have the potential to leave the chapter better than where you left it. After all, that’s what will help us to not just be around for another 142 years, but to continue to be the best organization we can be and produce future leaders of the world!

Stephanie Savitz (Iota Mu-Georgia Tech) is a second year Educational Leadership Consultant.

February 22, 2014

On the Road: A Home Away from Home in Cambridge

During my two years as an ELC, I have been lucky enough to spend the majority of my time with our Iota Tau chapter at Harvard University. If you had told me two years ago, that I would come to love and care about a chapter 3,000 miles across the country as much as I love my own chapter, Beta Pi at USC, I probably would have laughed, but you would have been 100% correct.
I have been so lucky to experience so many firsts with this young chapter and to be a part of the hard work that has gone into making it what it is today. From getting their first members to their first formal to installation and initiation, I have been there for all of their major milestones, but by far my favorite experience with this incredible chapter was their very first formal recruitment. I fully believe that formal recruitment is a rite of passage for every chapter and every member. Many of my own favorite memories from my collegiate experience were from polish week and formal recruitment, and I have been eagerly anticipating the day the Harvard women would get to have many of those same experiences. 

During polish week, they all shared why they had joined Alpha Phi and more importantly, why they loved it. They chanted, they practiced, and they got really, really excited about their new members.  It was a huge bonding experience, and it was so rewarding to see all of the love for and pride in Alpha Phi that they all had. Most of them never went through formal recruitment so it was their first time experiencing the craziness, not just their first time as Alpha Phis. They pulled together, worked ridiculously hard and did amazingly well. Through it all, I watched their sisterhood continue to grow. They chanted until they lost their voices, they stayed late at The Phi gushing about their rush crushes and they truly became a team working together to get the best new members possible.  And in the end, they made quota and have 39 extraordinary new members as a result of their hard work. I was very excited, but more than that, I loved seeing their excitement about their new members and how ready they were to welcome these women into their chapter.

The semester is flying by, and I am already feeling nostalgic for my time as an ELC and my time here at Harvard. These women have become my family and have made Cambridge my home away from home. I love each and every one of the 90 women that have become my little sisters, and even though I will be a little bit farther away, I know I will always be their #1 fan and their obnoxious cheerleader. I am so incredibly proud to call these women Alpha Phis, and I could not be any prouder of this chapter. They have accomplished so much in their short time as a chapter, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for their future. 

 Dakotah Lindsay (Beta Pi-USC) is a second-year Educational Leadership Consultant.

February 21, 2014

Featured Product Friday: Ivy Leaf Linked Necklace

Four ivy leaves make up this delicate necklace, available in 14K Yellow Gold and Sterling Silver. See pricing and more information on Herff Jones' official website.

February 19, 2014

On the Road: Leadership Conference – Collegian vs. ELC

As a collegian, I always looked forward to attending Alpha Phi Leadership Conference and meeting sisters from different chapters in the quadrant. During my collegiate career, I was lucky enough to attend two of Alpha Phi’s Leadership Conferences. Both times, I found a stronger passion for Alpha Phi and realized the items I dealt with daily as Chapter President were not unique issues within my chapter, but universal.

I came back to campus with a plethora of refreshing and exciting ideas. However, this time, it wasn’t just me rattling off innovative ways to move our chapter forward.  After conference, it was the entire executive board that was on the same page: just as excited and Alpha Phi enthused as I was.

Attending the Western Leadership Conference as an ELC was one of the many rewarding aspects of the job and a very different experience than attending as a collegian. After visiting and working with over ten chapters in the fall, it was exciting to reunite with these collegians and see how much they have grown as leaders representing their chapters. It was incredibly gratifying watching these young leaders that I have been working closely with over the last few months come together to gain  a better understanding of the future of our beloved Fraternity.
What I did not realize when attending Alpha Phi’s Leadership Conference as a collegian was how many amazing volunteers attended. From chapter advisors to the Alpha Phi International President, the room was filled with successful, generous, and hardworking women.  What was even more exciting was to see that many of these volunteers have shared the life-changing experience as I am having as an ELC. There is that instant bond when you meet a fellow sister who has lived out of a suitcase for nine months on the road helping and mentoring Alpha Phi chapters across the U. S. and Canada. Sharing stories and laughing at how traveling was exponentially different 20 years ago than today – I truly appreciate being able to send my fellow ELCs a quick text message rather than using the chapter house phone for a price to pay per minute!

Instead of leaving Leadership Conference with a t-shirt from a different chapter, I left with an even greater appreciation for the Alpha Phi volunteers and our hard working collegiate chapters. My biggest takeaway from the Leadership Conference this year is that Alpha Phi doesn’t end after college, or traveling as an ELC for that matter. The truth is… Alpha Phi will be with me forever.

Elizabeth Palumbo (Gamma Rho-Penn State) is a first-year Educational Leadership Consultant.

February 14, 2014

Featured Product Friday: Feeling the Alpha Phi Love!


Happy Valentine’s Day! We’re feeling the love, so here are some of our top picks from Alpha Phi’s Licensed Vendors—perfect for the month February!
Click the links below to learn more!
View more on the Alpha Phi Boutique.

February 13, 2014

Collegiate Perspective: The Difference of Alpha Phi

Perhaps like me, you were unaware of the effects of heart disease until you were exposed to it through Alpha Phi. The first time I considered my personal heart health was during sorority recruitment. Before Alpha Phi, I was blind to the effects of heart disease; I was uneducated and blissfully ignorant. After watching the Alpha Phi Foundation video, Changing Lives, One Heartbeat at a Time, I began to understand the tragedy of heart disease and Alpha Phi’s passion for women’s heart health. The video says the following:

“Each year, 1 in 3 women will die of a broken heart”

Those words have always stuck with me. If I applied this statistic to my chapter, 53 out of 160 of my sisters would somehow be affected by heart disease. Before Alpha Phi, I had personally never been affected by heart disease. Now, I have 160 reasons to spread heart disease awareness and to educate women about heart health.

Alpha Phi has advocated heart health since 1946 when Alpha Phi International was looking to adopt a philanthropic cause. During this time, rheumatic fever- a disease common in children that causes detrimental damage to the heart- became this focus for Alpha Phi. As technology advanced, rheumatic fever declined. In 1956, Alpha Phi became one of the first women’s fraternities to establish a Foundation; its philanthropic focus: women’s heart health.

February is annually proclaimed by the White House administration as American Heart Health month. This declaration follows a 50-year tradition that began during the Lyndon Johnson administration. Since the beginning of the proclamation in the early 1960s, the number of cardiovascular disease deaths has decreased approximately one million per year.

“It only takes one sisterhood to make a difference.”

As a collegiate member of Alpha Phi, I was astonished to learn that Alpha Phi International had begun encouraging heart health decades before the American government realized the importance of the issue. More astonishing, is how much of a difference Alpha Phi International truly makes.

Each year, Alpha Phi Foundation awards the Heart to Heart Grant (an award of $50,000) in order to fund research and educational programs that progress women’s heart health.  This Foundation grant supports programs that investigate and study the causes of heart disease in women, specifically focusing on symptoms, treatment and prevention. Beginning this year, the Foundation will be doubling the Heart to Heart Grant to $100,000. This increase reflects the amazing commitment of our sisterhood.

Alpha Phi Foundation has also started a new initiative to educate women about heart disease. By partnering with the American Heart Association, Alpha Phi will offer Hands-Only CPR training to all collegiate members. Take Heart. Take Part. is a unique opportunity for Alpha Phi collegians to become aware of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) treatment. In the US alone, emergency medical services (EMS) treat approximately 383,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests per year. This amounts to more than 1,000 arrests per day. Of these sudden cardiac arrests, 92% of victims will die before reaching the hospital. Alpha Phi is training nearly 20,000 collegiate women in Hands-Only CPR; this procedure potentially doubles and even triples a SCA victim’s chance of survival.

Alpha Phi collegiate chapters continue to raise over $1,000,000 annually for Alpha Phi Foundation. Chapters hold various fundraisers and philanthropic events in order to support the Foundation and to educate their campuses and communities about heart health. Through Red Dress Galas and King of Hearts competitions, we expand our philanthropic network and promote the Foundation. Through Move Your Phi’t, we encourage physical activity to improve heart health and as a deterrent of heart disease. Chapters normally schedule these events during February as an extension of American Heart Health month. We should use this whole month to reach out to our communities through social media, events, word of mouth, etc. in order to embody our values and to appreciate the knowledge Alpha Phi has given us.

As collegians, we should be living our Alpha Phi values every day by empowering and educating others through our philanthropy. Every minute, approximately one woman dies of heart disease. This is our challenge. This is the change our sisterhood can make. This is the difference of Alpha Phi.
Visit the Foundation website or Facebook page to learn more about heart health.

Tara Bresette is a collegiate member at Kent State (Beta Omega). Learn more about Tara by clicking here.

February 6, 2014

On the Road: Appreciation

I have had the privilege of traveling for Alpha Phi as an Educational Leadership Consultant. With one semester down, I thought I would share what I appreciate most after the first six months.

  1. The value of hard work. This recruitment season, I set my phone background to a quote that reads, “Good things come to those who hustle.” Why? Because I have seen firsthand the outcome of hard work. One of my favorite ELC moments was listening to a senior from Washington State University (Beta Rho) motivate her chapter during polish week. She said, “This is our turn to work hard. We are all here today because Alpha Phis before us worked tirelessly to put together a perfect recruitment. These women gave so much to us without even knowing us.” This dedication is what delivers ecstatic new members to the front lawns of Alpha Phi chapter houses across North America. Hard work is the reason why our Fraternity continues to thrive.
  2. A hand-written note. As an ELC, a good portion of my work is remote. Some days, my primary form of communication is via email. Nothing puts a smile on my face faster than a hand-written card. In a world that is so attached to technology, a personal note is one of the most meaningful gestures.
  3. The work of the Alpha Phis who came before me.  One of the most important lessons I have learned on the road is that change does not happen overnight. Sometimes, it can take several years, multiple officers and countless volunteers to make what may seem like a minor change. Arriving to a chapter and seeing the effect of those who came before me is a reminder that we are a team. I am so appreciative of the women who have devoted themselves to an Alpha Phi project, knowing that they may not be there to witness the end result, but trusting that someone else will continue the job.
  4. Flexibility. ELCs immediately learn to be flexible due to our constantly changing schedule. No two days are the same, and that is part of what makes my job so fun! But some of the people I appreciate the most are the ones who do not have to be flexible, but who choose to out of kindness. For example, the airport employees who let me check my bag when it is over 50 pounds because they can tell I am in a hurry. Or the collegians that stay up the night before recruitment because there was a last minute change to the party schedule. My job has made me so much more thankful for those who are willing to go the extra mile to make someone else’s day a little better. Thank you, thank you, thank you to these individuals!
  5. My ELC group and network of ELCs.  I could go on for days about how much I love my ELC group. They are my FaceTime buddies, my biggest fans and greatest resource.  Although we are separated for months at a time, whenever we reunite it is like we never left each other’s side.  When I became an ELC, I did not just join this year’s group of 17 consultants, but the huge network of ELCs across the country. When I meet a past ELC on the road I immediately feel welcome. These women continue to give back to Alpha Phi and inspire members to apply to be an ELC. In fact, I would not have applied if it were not for several past ELCs who were my role models as a collegian.  I cannot express how grateful I am for the ELCs who I have looked up to, who have been my support system and who have made this job an unbelievable journey.

All in all, my job as an ELC has been an amazing experience that will stay with me forever. I have learned so much, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of this semester holds!

Katie Madden (Alpha-Syracuse) is a first year Educational Leadership Consultant.

February 5, 2014

On the Road: 10 Ways I Know I'm in Love with Alpha Phi

ELCs spend countless hours strategizing. We create competitive chants, we learn campus cultures and somewhere in between marketing plans and door decorations, we become expert travelers. Through all of this our love for the fraternity continues to grow. Working with volunteers, collegians and staff I have learned that this affection is not something exclusive to consultants; however, these are the 10 ways I know I’m in love with Alpha Phi:

  1. I rejoice in the opportunity to give the grip to any woman I encounter wearing our beloved letters.
  2. Eight of my 10 speed dial contacts are my sorority sisters.
  3. I am the designated organizer for my weekly, monthly or yearly phone call, coffee date or vacation with my favorite group of Alpha Phis.
  4. At least one of the quilts in my house is comprised of the t-shirts I collected during my years as a collegiate member.
  5. I find myself checking my Alpha Phi e-mail on vacation and I'm somewhat disappointed if I don't have any new messages.
  6. Making a song’s lyrics relate to Alpha Phi comes naturally, and I've rewritten one or more of the Top 40.
  7. Visiting the Executive Office and/or Alpha chapter (Syracuse) was on my bucket list.
  8. Alpha Phi is branded on my phone, car or computer (or maybe all three).
  9. I have or plan to collect every badge offered by Alpha Phi. Every. Single. One. 
  10. When discussing dates for big events I'm planning, I strategically avoid the months in which the chapters I work with recruit.
Thank you to everyone who uses their love for Alpha to continually strengthen our fraternity!

Taylor Surby (Beta Upsilon-Oregon State) is a first year Educational Leadership Consultant.

February 3, 2014

Meet the Spring 2014 Collegiate Perspective Bloggers!


Tara Bresette (Beta Omega-Kent State): Tara Bresette is a senior at Kent State University studying entrepreneurship and joint military studies. She is an Army ROTC Cadet and will be commissioning come May as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. In her chapter she has served as director of administration and the vice president of risk management.  She enjoys traveling to new places, a good read and venti caramel brulee lattes from Starbucks!

Alyson Faucett (Gamma Alpha-San Diego State): Alyson Faucett is a junior member of the Gamma Alpha chapter at San Diego State University. She is a journalism-media studies major with a minor in television, film and media. After graduation, she hopes to work in the broadcast media field. She began her Alpha Phi journey in fall of 2011 and has since been appointed chaplain, attended the Emerging Leaders Institute and served on Gamma Alpha’s executive board as vice president of programming and education. When she’s not busy with school and Alpha Phi, she works in the marketing and communications department at SDSU and volunteers at the local humane society.

Lauren Holman (Eta Mu-Marquette): Lauren "Lo" Holman is a junior at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is majoring in public relations at the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication, while also pursuing a minor in both writing intensive English and sociology within the Kilnger College of Arts and Sciences. Lo currently serves as the Vice President of Programming and Education for the Eta Mu chapter. Her past involvement in Alpha Phi includes serving as the director of sisterhood, director of parent relations and director of alumnae relations. In addition to her commitments in Alpha Phi, Holman is the social media and web writing intern for Marquette’s Office of Marketing and Communication (OMC). She is also a communications intern at 800-CEO-Read, a small publishing company located in downtown Milwaukee and works in the university's Office of Undergraduate Admissions as a student tour guide.

Sukhe Mann (Xi-Toronto): Sukhe Mann is a collegiate student from Alpha Phi’s Xi chapter at the University of Toronto. She is an upper year student enrolled as a psychology specialist and women’s/ gender studies major. She currently holds the director of sisterhood position for her chapter, and she is constantly looking for ways to stay involved with the community—and encouraging her Xi sisters to do so as well.  She spends most of her spare time reading or volunteering at local hospitals or with charities in the Toronto area.

Cheltzie Miller-Bailey (Epsilon Theta-Northern Iowa): Cheltzie is a junior at the University of Northern Iowa, where she is majoring in leisure, youth and human services, concentrating in the areas of non-profit/youth administration and tourism. She is a dedicated Harry Potter fan, loves a good cheeseburger and is a self-proclaimed Netflix junkie! An initiate of the Psi chapter at South Dakota, Cheltzie is now a member of the Epsilon Theta chapter, where she has held multiple leadership roles through participation in committees and positions. Most recently, she interned at the Executive Office in Evanston, Illinois, which provided great experience for her future career working in the non-profit industry or student affairs. 

Samantha Padilla (Iota Beta-St. Mary’s): Samantha Padilla is part of the Iota Beta chapter at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. She is originally from Honduras, a small country in Central America. She is currently a senior pursuing a double major in economics and mathematics. She joined Alpha Phi her freshman year and says it has been one of the most rewarding decisions of her life. During her four years, Samantha has served as vice president of programming and education, director of philanthropy, vice president of Student Government Association and president of the Economics Honor Society. She is also an Alpha Phi Foundation scholarship recipient and an Emerging Leaders Institute graduate, and now, she is beyond excited to serve as a collegiate perspective blogger!

Lindley Smith (Zeta Iota-Virginia): Lindley Smith is a member at the University of Virginia studying foreign affairs and French. She has gotten involved at UVa with College Council and the Women’s Center, and she also serves as a French tutor for student-athletes. She has had an awesome experience with her chapter, especially this year, as she has had the chance to live in the Alpha Phi chapter house with twenty other women from her new member class. Lindley was recently appointed director of marketing and apparel for her chapter, and she can’t wait to see her sisters wearing the designs she has worked so hard on. She is excited for the opportunity to represent Alpha Phi International through this blog, and she can’t wait to get started!

February 1, 2014

Quarterly Review

Spring 1992

On the Cover: Beta (Northwestern) alumna Kimberly Williams Paisley gives a kiss to her "dad", Steve Martin, in the comedy "Father of the Bride".