March 5, 2010

On the Road

Ashley Baker (Zeta Gamma-Santa Clara)
08-09 ELC

I finally understood the “Big Picture” of Alpha Phi when I made a visit to a chapter for their initiation. When I first arrived, I met with the members to talk about the chapter and find out how I could help them prepare for the ceremony. The president came to me and told me how nervous she was about having to speak in front of a large group in such a formal setting. She felt nauseous and panicky just talking about it!

I took her aside and discussed the honor of her role in the chapter and in the ceremony. Her chapter elected her to the position because they were confident of her abilities to lead the chapter and do what it takes to see things through. After a long discussion of different ways to help her feel more comfortable, we finally agreed I would sit with her to take over if she got too nervous.

When the ceremony began I stood next to her for support and gave her a quick smile of confidence. As the president’s role played out – she did a wonderful job!! She didn’t hesitate or need me to take over once. I was so proud of her and felt so honored to have such an important influence in this chapter’s initiation, the new member’s experience, and to be supporting the president.

This initiation was the first time I got to experience Alpha Phi ritual with another chapter other than my own. Before becoming an ELC, I only thought about my own chapter. Now I understand that Alpha Phi isn’t just about your experience – it’s about the unique experience that Alpha Phi brings to all members whether it’s through the ritual or sisterhood or even chapter activities. Having played an important part in supporting this chapter and helping to initiate these new members helped me to feel connected not only to another chapter outside my own but to the greater connection of all chapters and my sisters in Alpha Phi.

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