February 22, 2014

On the Road: A Home Away from Home in Cambridge

During my two years as an ELC, I have been lucky enough to spend the majority of my time with our Iota Tau chapter at Harvard University. If you had told me two years ago, that I would come to love and care about a chapter 3,000 miles across the country as much as I love my own chapter, Beta Pi at USC, I probably would have laughed, but you would have been 100% correct.
 
I have been so lucky to experience so many firsts with this young chapter and to be a part of the hard work that has gone into making it what it is today. From getting their first members to their first formal to installation and initiation, I have been there for all of their major milestones, but by far my favorite experience with this incredible chapter was their very first formal recruitment. I fully believe that formal recruitment is a rite of passage for every chapter and every member. Many of my own favorite memories from my collegiate experience were from polish week and formal recruitment, and I have been eagerly anticipating the day the Harvard women would get to have many of those same experiences. 

During polish week, they all shared why they had joined Alpha Phi and more importantly, why they loved it. They chanted, they practiced, and they got really, really excited about their new members.  It was a huge bonding experience, and it was so rewarding to see all of the love for and pride in Alpha Phi that they all had. Most of them never went through formal recruitment so it was their first time experiencing the craziness, not just their first time as Alpha Phis. They pulled together, worked ridiculously hard and did amazingly well. Through it all, I watched their sisterhood continue to grow. They chanted until they lost their voices, they stayed late at The Phi gushing about their rush crushes and they truly became a team working together to get the best new members possible.  And in the end, they made quota and have 39 extraordinary new members as a result of their hard work. I was very excited, but more than that, I loved seeing their excitement about their new members and how ready they were to welcome these women into their chapter.

 
The semester is flying by, and I am already feeling nostalgic for my time as an ELC and my time here at Harvard. These women have become my family and have made Cambridge my home away from home. I love each and every one of the 90 women that have become my little sisters, and even though I will be a little bit farther away, I know I will always be their #1 fan and their obnoxious cheerleader. I am so incredibly proud to call these women Alpha Phis, and I could not be any prouder of this chapter. They have accomplished so much in their short time as a chapter, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for their future. 

 Dakotah Lindsay (Beta Pi-USC) is a second-year Educational Leadership Consultant.

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