March 22, 2011

A Director of New Member Education Reflects

While preparing to be Director of New Member Education for the Spring 2011 New Member Class, I reflected on what I loved about Alpha Phi: sisterhood, character development and the ritual. For Assistant Director of New Member Education, Palida Noor, and I, our main goals were to share our love for our chapter with the new members and educate about the various facets of being an Alpha Phi through fun programming.

Through different events, traditions and bonding activities, the new members are able to connect with sisters, their new member class and grow as individuals. One of our favorite events at the Theta Kappa Chapter is “tunnel painting” that caps Big/Little week. Bigs and Littles paint a major tunnel together on the University of Rochester’s campus displaying their Alpha Phi pride.* In addition, Bigs and Littles write messages displaying their special bond. Events, traditions and ceremonies allow the new members to find their place in Alpha Phi and begin lifelong relationships.

Photo by Leah Peres

I spoke with a few of our newly initiated members about the new member process, and overwhelmingly, sisters talked about how it pushed them in a positive direction. Some remarked that they developed effective study habits, or  learned how to manage their time more efficiently. Others discovered their love for philanthropy and are excited to become involved in various efforts.  

A good number of new members described how they have found a group of women who they can finally be themselves around, without fear of judgment or censure. Taylor McKenty, class 2014, perfectly captures why so many members see Alpha Phi as not only an organization, but a home as well. She remarked enthusiastically, “I see so much of myself in everyone.”

Older sisters, due to their involvement on campus, academic achievements and leadership, have inspired new members to take risks, gain confidence and become comfortable with their individuality. Lila Cantor, class of 2014, reflected how the new member process developed and refined her leadership skills. Lila states that the new member process “reinforced my patience and understanding, and proved that I can be a great asset [to Alpha Phi] as well as a leader.”

As Alpha Phis, we strive to live the ritual and uphold the highest ideals of womanhood. Throughout the new member period, our women develop intellectually, form leadership skills and learn the importance of sisterhood. By sharing certain ceremonies, the new members get a glance of the ritual that connects all Alpha Phis. By planning events that focus on the Alpha Phi values, and combining that with love and enthusiasm from older sisters, new members will continue to be an integral part of your chapter and simultaneously become better women.

Devin Denny is a senior at the University of Rochester (Theta Kappa).

*Editor's note: "Tunnel painting" is pre-approved by the University of Rochester and Campus Panhellenic.

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