January 31, 2011

The January "Podcast" Alternative

In place of January’s podcast, please enjoy a short video sponsored by TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), a non-profit organization dedicated to "ideas worth spreading."

The TED video below, “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders,” features a talk by Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer for Facebook. In this clip, Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions—and offers three powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.

This talk is particularly relevant to Alpha Phi Fraternity, as we are an organization that encourages its members to, in the words of Sandberg, “keep their hands up,” “sit at the table,” commit themselves to scholarship, and support one another in lifelong achievement.

Enjoy this insightful and compelling talk by Sandberg, and feel free to spark discussion using the comment tab below.

Kristen Mitchell is the Program Manager of Marketing and Communications at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at kmitchell@alphaphi.org.

January 21, 2011

Are You and Your Sisters Truly Practicing Watchcare?

Often times when we ask our chapter members about Watchcare or their chapter’s Watchcare program they immediately says something along the lines of, “We have a great sober sister program.” Although looking out for one another in social situations is an example of Watchcare, it shouldn’t be the only thing you or your chapter does in order to uphold this idea.

In writing the Purpose of Alpha Phi, our Founders employed a term that remains the cornerstone of our member development: Watchcare. Our Founders supported each other by offering “to aid each other through a constant watchcare shown by mutual criticism, sometimes perhaps severe, but always given in love.”

Today, for Alpha Phi members, Watchcare means sisters watching out for sisters. It is about keeping sisters from harm by either helping one who is in harm’s way or by confronting a sister with a problem she is not recognizing and helping that sister help herself.

Watchare has three components:
* The preservation of human dignity, integrity, self-respect and self-esteem
* Awareness of risks and willingness to reach out and protect each other from
* Development of solid values and ethics to help each member make appropriate

From the International perspective, Watchcare is about setting standards for all Alpha Phis based on the values Alpha Phi holds in high regard. These values include a belief in the dignity of every person.

If we, as Alpha Phis, strive to live and uphold Watchcare’s concepts of human dignity, protection, values, ethics, and appropriate decisions, then hazing should not occur.

A key factor in ensuring that our Watchcare practices protect our members against hazing is in recognizing it when we see it. Hazing has many faces, from something that seems minor to the extreme cases we read about in the media. It is sometimes hidden by the term “traditions,” and is often justified by seemingly good intentions (“We wanted our new members to bond by staying overnight together.”). We need to look past these excuses and recognize that having good intentions or practicing a "tradition” does not make any form of hazing justifiable. We also need to ensure that we practice Watchcare outside of our chapter’s activities and protect our sisters in any situation they encounter. Watchcare does not end when a chapter meeting or activity ends; we have all made a promise to each other that extends throughout our days and lives.

If you individually and your chapter collectively truly practice Watchcare at more than just Alpha Phi or other Greek social events, there should be no hazing –of any kind—in your chapter or every day life.

Practicing Watchcare means having a sister there to support, encourage, and build you up.

Stefania Rudd is the Manager of Resources and Training Initiatives at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at srudd@alphaphi.org.

January 19, 2011

Hazing Hurts Week

This week, January 17-23, Alpha Phi is bringing awareness and education to our members on the subject of hazing. It should be our goal as sisters of an elite women's organization to eliminate all forms of hazing--emotional, physical, and mental--in each one of our chapters in the United States and Canada. This responsibility falls on each of us individually as well as collectively.

Video written by J.D. Louk and Kristen Mitchell, Produced by Kristen Mitchell

Music compliments of One Republic, "Secrets"

Facts about Hazing:

* 1.5 million high school students are hazed each year; 47% of students came to college already having experienced hazing.

* 55% of college students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experience hazing.

* Nine out of ten students who have experienced hazing behavior in college do not consider themselves to have been hazed.

* 36% of students say they would not report hazing primarily because "there's no one to tell," and 27% feel that adults won't handle it right.

* 82% of deaths from hazing involve alcohol.

Data taken from the national study Hazing in View: Students at Risk conducted by Elizabeth Allan, Ph.D. and Mary Madden, Ph.D. from the University of Maine. The full report of both the pilot and complete national study are available at: HazingStudy.Org

Be sure to check our blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts to gain valuable information about the harms of hazing and what you can do to help eliminate this problem.

Stefania Rudd is the Manager of Resources and Training Initiatives at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at srudd@alphaphi.org

January 18, 2011

Terminology Tuesday: Executive Council vs. Executive Board

As the leaders of your chapters, you carry many titles. A few of the most commonly used titles are Executive Council, Exec, E-Board, or Executive Board. But which one is the correct term to use?

One of Alpha Phi’s governing documents, the Policies and Procedures, outlines this terminology for our collegiate chapters. According to this document, the correct title for the President and Vice Presidents is… Executive Council!

Some of this confusion may result from the name of our governing body, the International Executive Board (IEB). To help clarify why the difference exists, let’s look at the definition of a board and a council:

Board: an official group of persons who direct or supervise some activity

Council: an assembly of persons summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation, or advice

The role you play as officers is to guide the direction of the chapter, not provide absolute governance, so we use the term Executive Council.

Take the challenge to implement the correct Alpha Phi terminology in your chapter!

Heather Scheuer is the Program Manager of Collegiate Chapter Services at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at hscheuer@alphaphi.org.

January 10, 2011

Alpha Phi? There's an App for That!

It’s no secret: in the Panhellenic Community, Alpha Phi has always been on the cutting edge of technology. In 1996, Alpha Phi was the first member of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) to launch a Website. Over the past 15 years, our organization has shaped an entirely new online experience for our members: an innovative webpage for a personalized Alpha Phi experience, a user-friendly mobile site for accessing Alpha Phi on-the-go, and lastly, a social media platform for real-time communication and the most up-to-date information. And in August of 2010, we checked another social media milestone off of our list: the Alpha Phi Facebook Application.

The Official Alpha Phi Facebook App serves as a home for groups connected by collegiate chapter, alumnae chapter, or common interests. Members can share personal announcements and upcoming events, submit pictures, join discussion groups and message boards, and search for sisters on Facebook.

Under the discussion tab you will find a thread for job and internship opportunities, topics for undergraduate members regarding chapter practices and ideas, conversation about alumnae events and opportunities, and even recommended reading.

Once you’ve signed up, you can refer the App to your friends to earn points. If you’re interested in scoring free Alpha Phi merchandise, just help us spread the word by inviting your Alpha Phi chapter or network and visiting the application on a frequent basis. Each day that you access the application earns you 25 Alpha Phi points. For every Alpha Phi friend you invite, you’ll receive 100 points. The higher your number, the more likely you are to win Alpha Phi give-a-ways!

All of this is just one click away. Log onto your Facebook account today and add the App by clicking on the “Network” tab, or follow the link below:


It’s up to you to make Alpha Phi social. So join our online experience today!

Kristen Mitchell is the Program Manager of Marketing and Communications at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at kmitchell@alphaphi.org.

January 3, 2011

Staff Profile: "Fresh Faces" Series

Name: Liz Snider

Hometown: North Muskegon, MI

Chapter: Gamma Epsilon at Lake Forest College

Job Title at the EO: Coordinator of Events and Administrative Services

How long have you been working at the EO? I started at the beginning of September of 2010, so I’ve been here about 3 -and-a-half months.

Major in college: Double major in Sociology and Anthropology; minor in Communication

What was your plan post-graduation? I definitely didn’t have a set “post grad plan.” I knew that I wanted to stay in the Chicago area, and based on an internship and past experiences, I knew that I wanted to work in the world of non-profits. However, I wasn’t 100% sure what I specifically wanted to do within that industry.

Why did you decide to work for Alpha Phi International Fraternity? Alpha Phi had a HUGE impact on my collegiate experience and I knew that I wanted to stay involved with the organization after graduation. When the opportunity to work at the EO came up, it seemed like a no brainer. Every day I go to work in an office with people who have the same passion for Alpha Phi that I do, which is amazing.

What do you like best about working at the Executive Office?My position enables me to work with staff members from every department at the EO. In the short time I have been here, I have learned so much about what goes on in each department and what goes into running the organization. Everyone who works at the office is great, so that makes coming to work each day even better!

What are some of your goals for the next few years? To continue to help Alpha Phi advance and to make it the best organization it can be. I would also love to travel more. A couple of my Gamma Epsilon sisters and I already have a few reunion trips planned!

What is your favorite memory of Alpha Phi—as a collegian, alumna, or staff member? It’s so hard to pick one! Attending Initiation at Convention (I attended in 2008 and 2010) is definitely a top contender.

Do you have any advice for current collegiate members? Have fun and enjoy every aspect of your experience. As much as 4 years seems like a long time, it goes by SO fast. Enjoy it!

Kristen Mitchell is the Program Manager of Marketing and Communications at the Executive Office. She can be reached at kmitchell@alphaphi.org.

January 1, 2011

Quarterly Review

No matter the year (or the fashion) Alpha Phi sisterhood is forever.
Happy New Year!