February 28, 2011

The Truth about Greek Rating Websites

Whether you’re a Greek member or not, chances are you’ve heard about the sorority and fraternity rating websites. You know what they’re about. You know that Greek—and non-Greek—members visit them. You may have visited the sites yourself. You may have made an "anonymous" post or two.

Members seem to use Greek rating sites for several reasons: to boost their reputation on campus by putting down others, to defend their chapter against rumors and stereotypes, and to get the “message” out to Potential New Members about what the “best” and “worst” chapters on campus are, especially before recruitment.

What members don’t consider is that every sentence, post and rating on that site, whether malicious or benign, is self-destructive for the Greek Community. Yes, in some terms the posting is anonymous—but it’s also not. To a non-member, it doesn’t matter if you are an Alpha Phi, a Kappa Alpha Theta, or a Beta Theta Pi. To a non-member, you are simply this: “Greek.”

At the end of the day, a lot of our organizations have similar goals: to encourage scholarship and service, to live by our values, and to promote the bond of sisterhood and brotherhood between our members. As leaders in the Greek community, we should be finding ways to come together in order to make a difference. Instead, we waste our time and energy on websites driven by the exact opposite principles of those that our Founders initially established for our organizations.

Before you click “submit,” think about the impact of your words and what they’re worth. In the grand scheme of things, they will only break the promises we make to our organizations, and break the promises we make to one another as Greek members.

Let’s make a pact to change our chapters positively from the inside out. As Alpha Phis, let’s set an example of free, open and respectful dialogue and show others how to conduct themselves when confronted with anonymous comments on sites like these. We can change this trend together, and ensure that the future of our Greek Community is one that fosters healthy, positive and constructive relationships among its members.

“We, as Fraternity women, stand for service through the development of character inspired by the close contact and deep friendship of individual fraternity and Panhellenic life. The opportunity for wide and wise human service, through mutual respect and helpfulness, is the tenet by which we strive to live.”
- The NPC Creed

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

February 14, 2011

Take Heart: The Alpha Phi Foundation and Its Mission

It’s February and we are surrounded by fabulous shades of red! It’s American Heart Month, and we’re all thinking about our own hearts and the impact Alpha Phi Foundation makes on heart health…and on women’s lives every day of the year.

Alpha Phi Foundation empowers women to be generous givers. We raise and award funds for programs that advance leadership development, encourage academic excellence, improve women’s heart health, support sisters in need, preserve heritage and educate about the value of philanthropy.

As Alpha Phis we are proud of our Foundation because, well…Alpha Phis are the Foundation! Through the support of our chapters and individual donors we can share success stories of an alumna member finishing her PhD with the help of a Foundation scholarship, a collegiate member able to stay in school because of the aid of a Forget Me Not grant, and a shy sophomore developing the skills to lead her chapter through ELI (Emerging Leaders Institute). You make our mission possible.

Look how your gifts made an impact during the 2010 Fiscal Year:

- 66 merit-based scholarships totaling nearly $135,000 were awarded.

- 51 Forget Me Not grants totaling over $80,000 were given to sisters in need.

- $50,000 Heart to Heart Grant awarded to the Oregon Health and Sciences University Foundation to help fund a landmark study researching women’s heart attack symptoms, and a $25,000 Heart to Heart Grant awarded to the Greater Boston American Heart Association’s women’s heart health outreach.

- 150 collegiate women attended ELI and our 10 ELCs traveled across North America developing our leaders and making our chapters stronger, sponsored by your gifts.

Remember: Alpha Phi Foundation makes a difference in women’s lives every day of the year-- and so do you!

Missy Moody is the Director of Educational Campaigns for the Alpha Phi Foundation. She can be reached at mmoody@alphaphi.org.

February 9, 2011

Graduation Stoles

Graduating Alpha Phis: check out our new Graduation Stoles from Herff Jones!

February 4, 2011

Calling All Collegiate Alpha Phis!

Are you....

An avid writer?
Social media savvy?
Passionate about Alpha Phi?

Then consider applying to be a guest writer for the Collegiate Perspective section of the Alpha Phi International blog (http://www.alphaphi.blogspot.com/).

Our blog features topics ranging from alumnae perspective articles to staff profiles to general women's awareness pieces. And we'd love to throw your viewpoint into the mix! Document a semester in the life: snap photos, tell about events happening within your chapter, or write about topics concerning women. The possibilities are endless, and we want to hear your ideas!

In order to be eligible, you must:
- be a collegiate member
- be able to write blog updates weekly, at the minimum
- be available to write through the end of this semester (Spring 2011)

Interested? Fill out the "Alpha Phi Guest Blogger Application" below. We'll be in touch when we receive your application!

kmitchell@alphaphi.org with any questions!

The application is now closed. Thank you for your interest.

Thanks for your interest!

Alumnae Perspective: Alumna Initiate, Jennifer Rabas

Jennifer “Jenny” Rabas (Alpha Lambda/Alumnae Initiate) never thought she would have the chance to join a sorority after she decided to pursue other interests in college. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where Greek life wasn’t very strong.

“I always wished I joined a sorority,” Rabas said.

Fast forward several years after graduating, Jenny was working as a graduate assistant at the University of Central Missouri. It was there she met Alpha Phi member and G.A.M.M.A (Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol) President, April Anderson.
Rabas connected with Anderson and later hired her as a student worker. Their friendship developed so much that Anderson brought up the notion of Rabas becoming an alumna initiate.

Rabas learned more about the process of becoming an alumna initiate and was committed to learning about the Alpha Phi organization and its purpose.

“I had no idea what to expect, but I was really excited,” Rabas said.

Rabas adds that her October 2007 initiation experience was amazing.

“It was so exciting and I came away with a feeling of wow,” she said.

Following her initiation, it didn’t take long for Rabas to take on an active volunteer role with the chapter. She was invited to join the Theta Lambda advisory board as the Program Development Advisor.

“It’s been a really great experience,” Rabas said. “I have been able to learn more about Alpha Phi and how amazing our Fraternity is.”

Her experience working as a Prevention Specialist in the Office of Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention has been extremely helpful in working with collegiate women.

As an advisor, Rabas has been able to attend Regional Conference, and last year she served as a Silver Circle Facilitator at the Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI). She is also a member of the Kansas City Metro Alpha Phi Alumnae Chapter.

Rabas encourages alumna initiates to look at ways they can give back to the Fraternity after they receive the gift of membership in Alpha Phi.

Lori Losee is the Pacific Northwest Regional Alumnae Membership Coordinator.

GAMMA is a student organization advised by the Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Prevention. GAMMA provides valuable information on health and safety topics, and works to create change in high-risk attitudes and behaviors within their chapters.

February 3, 2011

Staff Profile: "Fresh Faces" Series

Name: Hope Erin Gray

Hometown: Orange County, California

Chapter: Eta Upsilon at Chapman University

Job Title at the EO: I am the Program Manager of Collegiate Housing Operations

How long have you been working at the EO? I’ve been at the EO for over 2 years. However, I have been in my new full time position since October.

Major in college: I majored in Communications Studies and Leadership and Organization Studies

What was your plan post-graduation? I would have loved to stay a college student forever. I was obsessed with student affairs and I thought I would pursue a career in Higher Education. Ultimately, I was inspired by my mentor and Chapter Advisor Wendy Sugg. She and my work alongside other attorneys at my political internship led me to law school. Initially, I worked as a political consultant for a year after college – managing campaigns and establishing a Political Action Committee that was dedicated to promoting excellence in education. I began law school at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles before going a little California stir-crazy and applying to transfer to law schools in Chicago.

Why did you decide to take a job with Alpha Phi International Fraternity? When I was considering moving to Chicago I was looking for a support network and a way to keep busy. I had visited the Executive Office when I was a collegiate on the COL (Committee on Leadership) and I knew that the EO was close to Chicago. I visited the website and saw that there were several job openings. I decided to move and had an interview at the Executive Office that first week. I began my second year of law school at Loyola Chicago, lived downtown and worked part-time at the EO.

What do you like best about working at the Executive Office? I love working collaboratively and acting as part of a team. When I go to the office I never feel like I’m going to work.

What are some of your goals for the next few years? My goal for the next few years is to learn as much as possible about Fraternal Law, housing/real estate, and other legal issues facing professionals in Higher Education. I’d also like to get my former Southern California tan back!

What is your favorite memory of Alpha Phi—as a collegian, alumna, or staff member? There are too many to pick just one. Alpha Phi has changed my life for the better on so many occasions. With each milestone I have a favorite new memory. At this point in my life, it has been so wonderful witnessing sisters, that I was in college with, fall in love, get engaged and then get married.

Do you have any advice for current collegiate members? My advice is to volunteer for any and every position possible and pursue leadership opportunities in your chapter, whether big or small. There is nothing like the personal growth and skill development that can be obtained through coordination of events or management of chapter operations (I overcame my debilitating fear of public speaking by leading weekly chapter and Executive Council meetings). Also, attend as many sisterhood events as possible and recognize that sometimes the best relationships with your sisters grow out of attending an event where only a few others show up.

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

February 1, 2011

Quarterly Review

In honor of National Heart Health month, here's a cover featuring
Alpha Phis hosting a "Heart Fund Ball"