December 12, 2013

Collegiate Perspective: I Chose the Ivy Leaf, ‘Cause Nothing Else Would Do

There’s nothing quite like the holiday season, especially when it’s spent at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. My last weekend as a collegian was spent in Evanston, Ill., with 19 sisters from across the country and even one sister from Canada! We were all flown to Evanston to interview for Educational Leadership Consultant (ELC) positions. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the friendly staff at the Executive Office and were given a tour of headquarters. My favorite room at the Executive Office is Heritage Hall. Here, you will find old Alpha Phi pins and other vintage artifacts.  Outside of Heritage Hall are two stained glass windows from the Alpha chapter house at Syracuse University.

Alpha Phi established the Educational Leadership Consultant Program in 1894, and was the first women’s fraternity to use “traveling delegates.” ELCs are an extension of the Executive Office and provide guidance and support for all of the fraternity’s chapters. Throughout the weekend, all candidates were interviewed extensively and also spent time working together in groups. I met women who have really transformed their respective chapters through recruitment, marketing and campus involvement. It was truly remarkable to be numbered amongst them. Not only were the candidates exceptional Alpha Phis, but the Selection Committee was full of talented women who have done so much for our fraternity. In just a short few days these women became an inspiration to me, and further developed my passion to serve as an Alpha Phi staff member or volunteer beyond my collegiate years.

Alpha Phi is an organization unlike any other, and I know that I speak for all of those who have been fortunate enough to be a part of it. The past 3 ½ years have gone by so quickly, but I could never imagine my college years without Alpha Phi. I have had the opportunity to meet Alpha Phis from numerous different chapters through attending conferences, bumping into Phis at my study abroad program in Rome and now this weekend at the Executive Office. Meeting these women has really put into perspective the value of sisterhood. No matter what chapter a sister may come from, we are all connected through our fraternal vows and that quirky Alpha Phi personality. I bonded with the sisters I met during ELC interviews as much as I have with some of my sisters in Eta Lambda.

As a graduating senior this winter, I am anxious and excited to see what the future holds for me and my other sisters about to embark on a new chapter in their lives (even those outside of Eta Lambda). Together we will achieve amazing things and will push the boundaries on what is possible. The world doesn’t know what’s coming for it; these women are the innovators of the future, with kind hearts and beautiful smiles. There’s nothing we can’t do with our fellow sisters by our side. 

 Kersten Smith is a collegiate member at George Mason (Eta Lambda). Read more about Kersten by clicking here.

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