March 25, 2015

Collegiate Perspective: Working Through the Tough Times

When I first started school, I was extremely homesick. I am the oldest of four, and I was used to the commotion of the lives of my family. Living in a dorm didn't make it any better. I know that many of you can relate to this feeling, and it is awful. I was a little fish in a huge pond and I wanted so badly to find my niche and to be a part of something. I have learned more in my year of being a member of this fraternity than I could have ever imagined. I have become more studious, womanly, responsible and mature. I did not want to have to become someone else to be a part of a chapter. Instead, I wanted to find a home that was going to change me.

I love who I am becoming, and who I am going to be. It is for this reason that I can honestly say becoming a member of Alpha Phi was the best decision I have ever made. This chapter has given me a support system that I never dreamed of having. Around November of 2014, my dad became ill. During this time the women in my chapter were there to rescue me when I felt like I was drowning in fear, stressed because of school and missing home. They kept me going when I thought I couldn't take it anymore.

In March of last year I was unexpectedly rushed home for a family meeting to find that my dad had been diagnosed with cancer, a rare and aggressive form of lymphoma. I was devastated. All I could think was why us? Why my family? My life became a blur. I remember coming back to school on a Sunday evening, only to be consoled by my big sis, Lexi. She, and all of my sisters, was again there to catch me. Everything was going to be okay as long as I had them by my side.

Over the summer, my dad expectedly spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital. And on August 15 he passed away. Everything shattered into pieces around me. My sisters were there to my rescue, yet again, to pick up the pieces and help me glue them back together.

The outpouring of love and support from my sisters was overwhelming, and even that is an understatement. Sisters drove more than five hours to surprise me by attending my father’s services. I received countless texts, calls, messages and posts from each of my sisters, sending me courage; the courage I need to be where I am today. Being a part of something greater than myself has opened doors for me that I never imagined possible.

In September our chapter held a philanthropy event called “Sweet Tea with Alpha Phi” to give back to Lymphoma research in honor of my dad. Together, we raised over $500 to help those families affected by this cancer, and to get one step closer to finding a cure. While Lymphoma research is not our philanthropy, Lymphoma is something that hits home for me, my family and my sisters. I have been so privileged to be a member of the Delta Theta chapter. If I did not have this home to return to, I would not have had the strength to come back to school at all. During a time of grieving, I find myself laughing, smiling, loving life and being truly happy. Happy to be a part of this home. Happy to have 50 beautiful women I call my best friends. Happy to know that I will never ever be alone.

Alpha Phi has changed my life. I would like to leave you with a quote that I feel best embodies my experience as an Alpha Phi. It is a quote that we all can relate to in some kind of way, whether it is moving away from home, making new friends, or joining a chapter that will change your life. “If life can remove someone you never dreamed of losing, it can replace them with someone you never dreamt of having.”

Gianna Petan is a collegiate member at Western Michigan (Delta Theta). Learn more about Gianna by clicking here.

March 20, 2015

Featured Product Friday: "Alpha Phi Mom" Button

Moms' Weekend is coming up, and you don't want your mom to feel left out! Show her some love with an "Alpha Phi Mom" button! Bulk ordering is available, so your chapter can easily order for all of the mothers who will be there. Bulk orders ship quickly!

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March 19, 2015

Collegiate Perspective: Little Moments

If Alpha Phi has taught me anything over the past four years, it's that it is impossible to truly appreciate the significance of a moment until it is a memory. And in this regard I have come to find that the memories that carry the most significance are those that are in every sense of the word, the simplest. In retrospect I realize that the most earnest moments I have had the privilege to share with my sisters have been those occurring quietly.

There is not a doubt in my mind that Alpha Phi has had a profound impact on my life over the past four years. The number of opportunities I have been blessed with because of this organization are innumerable, and the moments I've sat in humble observance of the love surrounding me are infinite.

If I were to try and depict everything this organization has provided me with, personally, emotionally, and tangibly, it would be a short novel missing several chapters due to an inability to properly articulate them. There are so many times you take it for granted, failing to realize just how established it is, and when you take a minute to consider it, it’s incredibly overwhelming. The number of years our traditions have held strong, the hours of community service, the friendships it has formed, and the women who learn they are unique and cherished. How many organizations can boast the things that Alpha Phi is able to?

In my four years I had the opportunity to hold positions of leadership within my chapter, and through them I discovered qualities I never knew I had. I was thrust into situations I felt I was ill equipped to handle, only to discover I was far more capable than I had believed. Alpha Phi has blessed me with the best company I could have dreamed of through such transformative years, and people I can confidently say will be companions for the rest of my life. There are so many moments that I look at the powerful, strong, and diverse group around me and understand that without Alpha Phi I would have never gotten the opportunity to know them for the authentic women they are. Without Alpha Phi they would simply be faces in the crowd, and that thought is simply chilling. Alpha Phi has taught me that family is not strictly referring to biology and that home is not a place, rather a feeling.

These discoveries have come to me over time, but never in organized situations. They came in the moments that from an outside perspective must look by any sense of the word; average. But let me tell you, they are the farthest thing from average. There's something greater to them; an intangible quality that is impossible to fabricate.

No, the memories that I will remember best, the most precious moments that Alpha Phi has given me are those that I found while walking home from school on the first sunny day of spring to be greeted by my sisters sitting on our front porch. My love for Alpha Phi can be recognized in the impromptu decision to walk down the block to the local ice cream spot in running shorts and letters, hair messily tied on top of our heads. My appreciation for Alpha Phi will come from the time I was taken to dip my toes in the river following a difficult test. My respect for Alpha Phi will be remembered in the difficult times, bursting into tears to find arms immediately wrapped around me.

My gratitude for Alpha Phi can be traced back to all the seemingly little ways it has eloquently and noiselessly shaped me into the woman I am today.

Taylor Skansi is a collegiate member at Montana (Chi). Learn more about Taylor by clicking here.

March 16, 2015

On the Road: Who Really are the ELCs?

You'll notice a general trend when reading the “On the Road” blog posts by the ELCs over the past few years – almost every single one of them mentions working with their beloved ELC Team. This is because each ELC Team forms a special bond when doing this unique job together. As our contract comes to an end, we'll only have been physically together for a total of 29 days in 9 months, but we've still become like family.

It's easy enough to read basic information about us if you go to the “Meet the ELCs” section on, but I wish that each and every Alpha Phi got a chance to actually meet the wonderful people I work with. You may have been in a chapter with one of the ELCs, seen them lead a presentation at Leadership Conference, or received a chapter visit from one of them. As individuals, we can only visit so many chapters, so I wanted to give you a glimpse of what those bios don't tell you.

Anita, Erin, Hillary and Lissette will give you a run for your money in any fun situation! A big group of us took a trip during our winter break and with them leading the pack, there was no way we could not have had an awesome time. Looks like it's time to start planning trip #2!

Meg, Tasha and Gina are some of the most passionate women I have had the chance to work with... on top of being hilariously quirky and a great time to be around! They have put so much effort into their chapters this semester and I'm so proud of their hard work.

Megan and Tripi have exceeded everyone's expectations recolonizing Iowa State's chapter this past year and have been an amazing team! How could I not put them together? For Halloween, a pair of members told Megan and Tripi that they wanted to dress as them for the night. If that doesn't describe a dynamic best friend duo to you, then I don't know what will.

Calley, Mia and Scottie are some of the most hilarious, down for anything people I have ever met! Their energy and positivity is completely contagious and I always know who I should FaceTime when I've had a long day packed full of airports, meetings, conference calls and need a pick-me-up.

Brie, Emily, Katie and Nikki act like the mama bears of our group, but don't let that fool you. They're all so knowledgeable and helpful, and being on the road wouldn't be the same without them and their love for Alpha Phi. They’re the best mentors any of us could ask for!

Although it’s brief, I hope this gives you a little glance at what my amazing ELC team is like. I am so thankful that this job brought us together. They’re all passionate, hilarious, intelligent, determined and truly indescribable – I hope each and every one of you has a chance to meet these wonderful leaders at some point during your long and lasting Alpha Phi journey.

Mindi Grewell (Iota Nu-Kentucky) is a first year educational leadership consultant. Learn more about Mindi by clicking here.

March 13, 2015

The Alpha and the Phi: An Original Poem by Lindsay C. Billmeyer (Theta Phi)

They're just two simple letters that stand side by side,
Like the pride that we strive to keep as our guide.
Because we are sisters, united we stand.
Union hand in hand to tackle any demand that we think we can.
It's not just the love and the loyalty that makes it so great.
It's all of the morals and values that we encapsulate:
Sisterhood and scholarship to mold our minds and souls
Are created by the leadership we exemplify when we service our philanthropic goals.
Our diversity works to make us stronger as a whole
By building skills of all levels and traits of all roles.
No sister the same as the next that you meet,
Which allows us to stay sweet and dance through life to our own beat.
Our colors, silver, to shine in the light and stand tall and bright
So that we can reach with all of our might to fight for what is right.
Bordeaux, to show the crimson glow of a classy group of ladies that I am proud to know.
Two letters bound by ivy since 1872 to create strong minded women, who do what most won't do.
Women who I am proud to have representing me;
My lifelong friends: The Alpha and the Phi.

March 11, 2015

Collegiate Perspective: Excited. Nervous. Anxious.

Excited. Nervous. Anxious. All of these emotions are racing through the minds of 127 young women as we are approaching Central Campus at Iowa State University. It’s a warm, sunny afternoon and with each step we take the noise gets a little louder and the scene gets a little clearer. Gold and sapphire glitter is scattered amongst the sidewalks and two women, who we later learn are our ELCs, greet us with genuine smiles as they throw us bid day tanks. We're the new chapter on campus and today marks the genesis of an everlasting bond between sisterhood, Iowa State University and Alpha Phi.

What’s it Like Being a New Chapter on Campus?

Upon receiving our first Alpha Phi apparel we were welcomed by over ten sorority chapters, each comprised of seemingly countless members. On behalf of all the Alpha Phi Zeta Delta women, I can say it is an incredible privilege to be part of a Greek Community that is so well established, accomplished and welcoming. Celebrating this Alpha Phi milestone with hundreds of other Greek women was an honor and exceedingly moving!

We have only been here a few months, but have grown to be one of the largest sororities at the largest public university in Iowa. We have already hosted several events, some of which include heart health awareness events and CPR training. We even placed in our first Greek competition! We are currently in the process of preparing for our very first Greek Week and are beyond ecstatic. Being a new chapter on campus has been full of learning, growing and bonding as sisters. Together we look forward to the endless memories we have yet to create and we are thankful for the ones we have already made with our welcoming Greek Cyclone Community.

From Strangers to Sisters

“I can’t thank the girls of Alpha Phi enough for making my first year at Iowa State so amazing and memorable. You ladies are my home away home.”

Although it has only been a few months since we have all met, the friendships we have made feel like they are all but new. Our chapter has just announced the location of our new house, which some of the women will be moving into in August. The majority of those living out of house have already signed leases for next year with their other new sisters.

Gymnastics has become our new favorite sport, since we are honored to have three of the women in our chapter on the gymnastics team at Iowa State. We love attending their home meets and cheering on our fellow Phis. Whether it is cheering at sporting events, hosting philanthropies, becoming roommates, attending sisterhood events, or having weekly dinners with our established Phi Families, it is evident we have quickly gone from strangers to sisters.

Jamie Chamberlain is a collegiate member at Iowa State University (Zeta Delta). Learn more about Jamie by clicking here.

March 6, 2015

Featured Product Friday: I Heart Alpha Phi Tote by Dormify

Totes obsessed. If you're guilty of re-wearing your sorority apparel too often, here is one tote-ally amazing sorority accessory that you can wear every day. This I Heart Alpha Phi canvas tote bag is the perfect accessory to carry everything! Fill it with gym clothes, books, or use it as your handbag. No matter what the purpose, it is the perfect opportunity to rep your letters and show some love.

Price is $12. Bulk ordering available. Click here for details.