February 20, 2017

Alpha Phi Overseas Photo Contest 2017

To celebrate our flourishing Alpha Phi Overseas Facebook group, Alpha Phi is holding its fifth overseas photo contest. The contest will showcase creative and unique photography taken by Alpha Phis around the world.

To enter, submit your favorite photo from anywhere outside the United States and Canada. You or Alpha Phi sisters must be in the photo, submit anything imaginative, creative or interesting – from buildings, to landscapes, to urban settings. Please include a brief description of the photo, names, schools and chapters. You can send submissions to photosubmission@alphaphi.org.

Selected photos will be posted on Alpha Phi International’s official Facebook page. Sisters will then “vote” by liking their favorites. As an added bonus, submissions may be featured in the 2017 Summer Quarterly!


Contest opens for submissions on Monday, February 20th.
Contest ends Sunday, March 26 at 11:59 p.m. CT.
Photo album will be posted on Facebook for voting to take place from March 27-30 (at 4:00 p.m. CT).
Winner announced on Friday, March 31!

  1. The Alpha Phi Overseas Photo Contest is limited to entries received February 20-March 26, 2017.
  2. A maximum of 2 submissions may be entered per person.
  3. The entrant must be the sole creator of the images being submitted.
  4. Photo collages are not accepted.
  5. "Ivy” is the only hand-symbol that will be accepted.
  6. Not every photo submitted will be displayed on our Facebook account.
  7. The entrant will not receive payment for the images selected or used.
  8. By entering the contest, each entrant agrees that may also be used in other Alpha Phi International communications.
  9. Entries must be submitted as either:
    • Digital photos must be submitted as attachment as .tif or .jpg files; photos will only be considered for the Quarterly if they are high resolution images (at least 3 in. x 5 in. at 300 dpi).
    • Hard copy photos should be mailed separately (including your name, contact information and photo caption identifying those pictured) to:

Alpha Phi International Executive Office
Attn: Alpha Phi Overseas Photo Contest
1930 Sherman Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201

February 15, 2017

Manifestations of Alpha Phi's Values

The formal recruitment process at Florida State University is, as it should be, values based. At recruitment parties, it is common for potential Panhellenic women to ask the question: “What are your values?” Because of this question, and with the mnemonic device “S3L2C” I can respond with the answer “sisterhood, scholarship, service, leadership, loyalty, and character” as if it were a reflex.

This list of core values is empowering and holds each Alpha Phi to a higher standard while shaping an identity that connects all Alpha Phi sisters universally. It is one thing to tell someone what you value and it is quite another to show them. Fortunately, Alpha Phi’s values manifest themselves in events, outside-the-box activities and the individual role models in every single chapter across the United States and Canada.

Joining a sorority means joining a sisterhood—a true union between diverse women that is deeper than friendship. Some women who join Alpha Phi have never had a sister, while others have never had hundreds of them. Either way, Alpha Phi women treasure the value of sisterhood and honor it with acts of kindness, dependability, love and support. As all sisters are loyal to what Alpha Phi stands for, they are each loyal to one another.

During the recruitment process, I found my first role model in Alpha Phi. Then I found another on the soccer field, and another during my morning routine as I got ready for Spanish each day. Role models inspire you to be better for yourself and one another. At Alpha Phi, there are strong women taking the time to empower others and foster character development in every single member.

Alpha Phi offers the opportunity to take on many leadership positions internally. Each woman can be a committee member, chair, delegate, vice president or even president. Additionally, sisters are seen leading externally on campus and in the community because they are working on being the best versions of themselves, giving back and being mentors to like-minded women.

Sometimes college may seem like fun and games because of date functions and socials, but each Alpha Phi attends college to achieve higher education and prepare for success. This is why scholarship is so vital. We hold each other accountable for academics—in my chapter alone there are future doctors and engineers that the world desperately needs. We all need to help them succeed. You will often find sisters on coffee runs, studying together in the common rooms and testing each other with flashcards right before chapter meetings.

Service is a value Alpha Phi women hold close to their hearts. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women. The women in every chapter dedicate themselves to funding education, research, outreach and technological advancement for heart disease through Alpha Phi Foundation and American Heart Association. We practice on global and local scales—Alpha Phi at Florida State University has close ties with Tallahassee Memorial Hospital which has an entire wing to honor that relationship. I am proud to say that each sister in my chapter has taken a class for hands only CPR, so whether they have already been personally affected by heart complications in their lives or not, they will be able to act quickly and with confidence to save a life.

Sisterhood, scholarship, service, leadership, loyalty and character are universal values that each Alpha Phi has the opportunity to understand more fully. What is so incredible is that we get to know and understand these values by looking into the hearts, minds and faces of sisters. For example, when I look at my little, I see a natural-born leader seizing every opportunity that comes her way and when I look at my  roommate, I see true sisterhood as she drops everything just to help a sister in need. Collectively, the sisters in Alpha Phi manifest all of the values. Together, we can inspire others to hold themselves to higher standards and make a difference in this world. 

Sydney Stelter is a member of the Gamma Phi chapter at Florida State University. To read more about her, click here.

February 2, 2017

Choosing a Little

We all know that feeling when the new pledge class comes bursting through the door on bid day. The pure joy of seeing all the beautiful faces that will carry on the legacy of your chapter. And for me last year, like many Alpha Phis, the joy of knowing that one of these beautiful new faces would be my future little!

But choosing a little is often a complex process. There are so many great girls that make up each Alpha Phi pledge class, so how do you know who is right for you? How do you know who will “click” with your pham in a genuine way? Every big-little bond can be something truly special with just a few simple steps.

First off, with such a large group of girls, there is no need to go on a girl date with every single one of the new members. Personally, I am not big on all the girl talk and coffee dates, so I quickly narrowed down the number of girls I communicated with based on their hobbies, interests and the activities they were involved in on and off campus.

I was also able to narrow this list down further based on similar personalities, and whether this would mesh with my personality as well as the general vibe of my family. As for my pham and I, we are a group of girls with a wide range of interests ranging from athletes to artists who all share common values.

I started meeting some of the girls I thought would fit into the pham. For me coffee dates were too generic, so I thought of different ways to bond with the new members and find my little. I took my group of new members to a fun lunch in the inner harbor of Baltimore.

With the other new members I would go out to lunch or dinners on and off campus. I would attend their shows or sporting events. I would even go to lacrosse games or baseball games with them, along with brunch or just hanging out watching a movie. I think it’s important to hang out with the new members in different environments rather than just a coffee date because you get a better sense of the type of person they are and whether their vibe fits with you and your pham.

Now I am not exactly sure the point where you realize “Wow, I would like this amazing new Alpha Phi to be my little”, but for me it was early on in the process of looking for a little. Obviously I still met with all the girls I was interested in and all those who reached out to me, but it was clear as day she was the perfect match for my pham. Once you narrow down the one or two girls you believe would fit best it’s important to have a pham gathering with this new Alpha Phi; it’s kind of like bringing home the new boyfriend to meet your family.

It’s not only a great opportunity for the new member to realize all the support and love there is in Alpha Phi, but also a chance for them to meet some of the older members in the chapter. Through these simple steps the big-little connection starts and each pham continues to grow this special bond with the new member experience and every day after.

Princess Sutherland is a member of the Zeta Omicron chapter at Johns Hopkins University. To read more about her, click here.