October 6, 2014

On The Road: Common Characteristics

At every chapter I visit, women always ask how their chapter is different from everyone else’s. I always have to pause and think about my answer.

It’s true that each chapter has its own personality, that each facility is beautiful and that every member has something new to share. What I never expected to realize is that every chapter I have visited so far is actually very similar. True, our ritual and the values we uphold are the same throughout North America, but there is so much more to it.

All of the Alpha Phis I have met on my journey are women who value a sense of humor and who love to laugh. Even before I left to start traveling, I saw this trait in my fellow ELCs – just ask any of them what it’s like to live with Mindi Grewel or Stephanie Scott and they will tell you they are laughing themselves to tears on a daily basis. I have experienced so many side-splitting moments during the crazy days of recruitment.

In addition to their love for laughter, Alpha Phis are some of the most caring people you will ever meet. During my first visit to the University of Alabama (Beta Mu), I thought it was simply southern hospitality. It turns out Alpha Phis from everywhere put no limits on what they would do for a sister. Genuine love for Alpha Phi and for each sister has made me want to join Alpha Phi again week after week, and I can tell you I have never been homesick because I have always felt at home.

I am constantly inspired by the hardworking and driven women I meet on the road. Alumnae volunteers have served as great role models for me and I have learned so much from them. The collegiate members motivate me to challenge myself every day, and I know I will end my time as an ELC with close friends as well as an experience that has prepared me for whatever my future holds.

The most unexpected part of my job was that I have made such deep connections to women in chapters of all sizes and from such different parts of North America. I’ve realized that although our personalities change from chapter to chapter and member to member, fundamentally we are all thoughtful and driven women who just wanted a place to call home.

Gina Forneris (Iota-Wisconsin) is a first year educational leadership consultant. Learn more about Gina by clicking here.

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