During formal/open recruitment our chapters recruit and welcome outstanding, quality women into our organization. These newest members are excited to get involved and are eager to learn and embrace all there is to know about Alpha Phi. We as initiated members are excited in welcoming and making our newest members feel connected to our sisterhood. We do this by the actions we take and most importantly by what we say.
Since my time working at the office (5 years) it seems after every recruitment season, I am having a conversation with a collegiate sister or an alumna about the use of the term “babies” in referring to new members. This ugly practice seems to be common on many of our campuses. Often times I am reminded of this when a Facebook photo has been posted from Bid Day, an enthusiastic Tweet has been sent, or an alumna member points it out in an email.
In Alpha Phi we do not call our new members babies, pledges, newbies, or any other term that could be perceived as belittling or demeaning. New Members are referred to as new members, new sisters or sisters. Often times, collegians will try to defend the use of nicknames for new members by saying they are thought of as “cute,” “endearing” or that “the new members like it.” However, as young adult women who are welcoming new sisters to our chapters, we ultimately want to show respect and courtesy to them. They, too, are young adult women and should be treated as such.
By calling your new members babies you are freeing them of responsibilities. Babies are not adults. Babies don’t have to pay dues, attend meetings, or are expected to carry out the legacy of our chapters. Even if we are not treating our new members like babies, by calling them that we set a standard that they are below us in stature and that we as the initiated members don’t expect much out of them. We want our new members to get involved, take on leadership roles, and contribute to our chapter success.
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. The second step is to take action and kindly address that using the term babies to identify new members is inappropriate. Alpha Phis are not only leaders on our campuses but also on an international Greek level, so why not behave like one?
I challenge you start this change of not using demeaning nicknames in your chapter, with your alumnae, and on your campus. Even though you think it may be 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
August 17, 2012
Order in bulk and the price per keychain is the following:
August 12, 2012
Kate Bradley (Iota-Wisconsin) recently attended the BE THE PERSON Conference 2012, a collaboration between Phired Up Productions and the RA Project. BE THE PERSON is an inaugural event, and this year 70 participants gathered at Loyola University to not just talk about becoming leaders, change agents, and EveryDay Heroes, but to actually learn by doing. Read about Kate's experience below and be sure to check out another recap from Atlee Matthews (Epsilon Delta-Northern Illinois).
Kate on how BE THE PERSON 2012 will help her in the future:
I am almost certain that what I have taken away from the Be The Person Conference 2012 will impact my time as an Alpha Phi, but will also impact the rest of my life…It was a three day journey I took with complete strangers that exemplified the undying need we have to connect deeply to those around us, and to never lose sight of our highest aspirations. Mostly, Be The Person taught me to never give up on my passions in life, hold on to what I believe in, and through it all, better myself and the community around me.
Kate on what it means to be socially excellent:
To be socially excellent, you must care more, work harder and be more aware of those around you…Social excellence is about pushing outside of your comfort zone and creating a genuine connection with others. During the conference, I had one of the most honest and open conversations with a stranger on a bus and it truly opened my eyes to how easy it is to be socially excellent. All it takes is a little courage and the willingness to be excellent to change not only your life, but also the lives of the people around you.
Kate on bystander behavior:
Before the conference, I realized that bystander behavior was an issue but I never understood the implications it had on my everyday life. Often, we witness situations in which someone is being wronged and walk by with the belief that it isn’t our business getting involved and helping the victim in the situation. After Be the Person, I realized that it is our job to get involved, for you never know how badly that person who is in trouble needs someone to stand up for them. Don’t wait for someone else to step in and correct things that are wrong, it may never happen. As leaders within our Greek communities and campuses, it is our duty to be the person who intervenes and makes a change. Whether it be hazing, bullying, or something as simple as an unnecessary comment to someone you know, step in, take charge, and don’t be afraid to get into uncomfortable situations. Those people need help, and it is relatively easy to create an everlasting impact.
Kate on how to be an EveryDay Hero:
Each and every person can initiate change in his or her community. Whether it’s smiling at a stranger on the street, opening up the door for the person behind you or taking heroic action in a time of danger, it is our responsibility to assist others and offer a helping hand whenever possible. Be that person who goes against the grain, goes against the norm and helps someone in need.
Why Kate recommends taking the EveryDay Hero pledge:
Everyone has the opportunity to become an Everyday Hero and to take the pledge! It is such a simple commitment but the impact of being an Everyday Hero is incredible. As leaders within our communities, it is so important to stand up in the face of adversity and stop being a bystander. By taking the pledge each and every one of us can better ourselves, and our communities. You never know how much a small action can positively impact another’s life, as well as your own.
Please join Alpha Phi in supporting the Every׀ Day Hero Campaign by going to http://www.raproject.org/ap and taking the Every׀Day Hero Pledge.
August 10, 2012
August 9, 2012
Over the past year, we’ve noticed a trend of painting patterns on Alpha Phi letters for recruitment, Greek Week and more, and we’ve enjoyed seeing all the photos! With the start of a new school year, what better time to break out the paint, get your creative juices flowing and enter our Paint Your Letters contest! Here are the deets and how to enter:
1. Take a photo of your painted letters. You can also send us your photos of painted letters from last year. You’re still eligible to win!
2. Send the photo to email@example.com with your name, chapter and school by Tuesday, August 21.
3. We’ll post all submissions to our Facebook page on Wednesday, August 22. The photo with the most “Likes” by the following Wednesday, August 29, will receive the following:
The Executive Office will re-create the winning pattern in graphic form, and work with a licensed vendor to have Alpha Phi letters with the pattern/print made into decals! The winning chapter (and all other collegiate chapters) will then be able to purchase these decals for on-campus promotion, marketing and gifts.
So, get out your paint brushes and get ready for a great year! We look forward to receiving your photos!
August 2, 2012
If you haven’t already heard, Alpha Phi just launched our newest site for our newest members. With so much to explore, we wanted to highlight some great features we know you’ll love!
Visit the fun section and check out everything from chapter specific logos to fresh Facebook cover photos to iPhone backgrounds and more! We’ll be adding content to this page on a monthly basis, so keep checking back!
Take a timeline tour of Alpha Phi through the years. Want to know how Alpha Phi was involved in the Columbian Exposition? What were we doing during WWI to help with war relief? Find out by clicking on a year and an icon and take a blast to the past!
Log in using your Facebook Account and explore the possibilities! Simply click the login button and you can answer questions in each section, take notes on pertinent information and save your journal posts—all within the website! It’s a personal electronic archive for your new member experience.
Tweet tweet! Anything you post via Twitter with the hashtag #apnewmembersite automatically appears in the Twitter Feed at the bottom of the new site!
Check out the interactive map under the “Lifelong Membership” section and watch videos featuring different Alpha Phi perspectives. Hear from alumnae, collegiate officers, a parent of an Alpha Phi and more!
Take this chance to engage with Alpha Phi’s rich history. Learn about Alpha Phi’s Founders by clicking on their photos for a multi-media presentation on each woman.
We hope you take some time to explore the site and let us know what you think by commenting below! And don’t forget about our Pinterest contest running August 1-10. Pin your favorite page from the new member website to Pinterest with the hashtag #apnewmembersite and we’ll randomly pick two winners to receive new products from Lilly Pulitzer’s sorority line! Happy Pinning!
Post by Kristen Mitchell (Gamma-DePauw), Program Manager of Marketing and Communications at the Alpha Phi Executive Office.