September 27, 2010

I ain't no baby!

Each fall semester (or spring) our chapters recruit and welcome outstanding, quality women into our organization. They are excited to get involved and are eager to learn and embrace all there is to know about Alpha Phi.

So why do we demean and humiliate our newest members by calling them things other than what they are? They are sisters, first and foremost. How difficult is it to refer to them that way?

The photo above appeared in my newsfeed on my Facebook page. I always love seeing photos of our newest members or hearing about a chapter’s recruitment numbers...we all do. However, my heart dropped as I noticed the sign in the corner that reads “Ahoy Baby Phis.”

Since my time working at the office it seems each year I am having a conversation with a collegiate sister about the use of the term “babies” to describe their new members. This ugly practice seems to be common on many of our campuses. 

In Alpha Phi we do not refer to our new members as babies, pledges, newbies, or any other term that is humiliating. New Members are referred to as new members or new sisters. Because we respect our newest members, we should not degrade them by giving them inappropriate nicknames. They are young adult women and should be treated as such.

I know this can be difficult to do especially if your campus culture promotes such terminology. But why can’t Alpha Phi be the group to help stop this problem? It may take some time, but role modeling the correct language is the first step. We are leaders not only on our campuses but also on an international Greek level, so why not behave like one? 

I ask that you start educating your chapter members on this and encourage you to not tolerate the use of demeaning nicknames. Even though this may seem harmless, it is in fact hazing. 

Stefania Rudd is the Manager of Resources and Training Initiatives at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. One of her focus areas is the new member program and chapter education. She can be reached at

September 5, 2010

On the Road

Evan Guthrie (Omega-Texas)
09-10 ELC

I actually did not think it was possible…

I have always enjoyed traveling and visiting new cities, states, and even countries, but I was also always glad to return home – to Texas.

During my travels as an ELC I gained a newfound independence; I have not only learned to live in places such as Chicago and Lexington, Kentucky, but I have also learned how to live out of a suitcase. I’ve been to 7 different states (including a fantastic vacation in Disneyworld) and spent time in countless airports (Charlotte being my favorite as I very much enjoy the rocking chairs).

A few things I learned during my time away from Texas:
- Don’t bank on finding good TexMex…trust me, I tried, and failed.
- Everyone loves Texas…and I loved seeing burnt orange all over the country.
- Cowboy hats are not a standard wardrobe piece, although boots have become quite trendy.
- Most schools, contrary to popular belief, do not have a hand sign (like the “Hook ‘Em”).
- “Whataburger” is like the “In and Out” of Texas, I haven’t seen a single one on the road!
- Chipotle tastes great across the country.
- Courtney from Colorado has taught me how to identify and avoid ice patches while walking.
- Living in an area where it snows is not pleasant, especially when it turns into dirty slush.
- Snow angels are not made face down…I had forgotten this from my childhood (thanks Caitlin!).

I learned many great lessons, but most importantly, I learned it doesn’t matter where you live but rather who you are surrounded by. Each new place I visited was a new experience, and in each place I was surrounded by Alpha Phi sisters who made me feel like I was home even if I was only moving in for 3 days or 7 months. And while I will definitely return to Texas at the end of this adventure, I will continue to surround myself with my ELC family and maybe even convince them to move to Texas someday.

September 1, 2010

Alumnae Perspective

Kim Riha (Delta Epsilon-Iowa)

Now that I have lived in the “real world” for a few months I find myself missing college and especially missing my time at Alpha Phi. Although I will continue to have a great experience with Alpha Phi as an Alumni member, I will always cherish the time I had as a collegiate member. For my last blog, I hope to impart some words of advice on my collegiate sisters and I wish them all well with the beginning of a new school year.
Be good to each other- Your sisters at Alpha Phi are your family. There will be times when you will fight. Just remember that the women around you share in your ideals and values, and that five, 10 years down the line these women will still be there for you-willing to help, willing to comfort. The bond you share with your sisters is one of the greatest perks of joining Alpha Phi.
Do good in the community- As sorority women you have a unique opportunity to impact the community you live in. Get involved on campus as much as you can. Participate in other chapters philanthropies and most importantly strive to make your community aware of Alpha Phi’s philanthropy. We all know that heart disease is the number one killer of women, but others in your community will benefit from that knowledge as well.
Utilize your resources- Take advantage of the resources your campus provides you. Prepare yourself as fully as you can for life outside of college-you will thank yourself for it. Along with the resources on campus, make sure to utilize the resources Alpha Phi provides you. Apply for scholarships, network with Alumni in the area. Staying connected to Alpha Phi is a great way to help yourself excel through college and beyond.
Take pictures- College goes by fast and the photos you have of your friends, the formals, and the philanthropies will always be a reminder of Alpha Phi and what being a member has meant to you.
Have fun- Above all, Alpha Phi is the most fun part of my life. I have met amazing people, experienced an amazing Convention in 2008, and most importantly I have enjoyed every part of it. My friendship with the women in my chapter has continued outside of college, and these women remain my best friends. I am so grateful for the experience I had at Alpha Phi and I wish the best for all current collegiate members. Make the most of it!

Quarterly Review

It's time for our collegians to start gearing up for another school year.
Anyone bringing a giant Life Saver lamp with them?