Catch the Collegiate Spirit

To read the full text of "Catch the Collegiate Spirit," check out the Fall 2015 issue online (coming soon). Read the below testimonials, a special "web extra" to the fall feature. 

It's an exciting time to be an Alpha Phi. Over the past decade, Alpha Phi has established and re-opened chapters on 22 campuses across the United States and Canada. Last year, our chapters welcomed 8,047 new members to the sisterhood of Alpha Phi, and the Fraternity celebrated that record-breaking number by announcing more exciting news: In the 2015-16 academic year, Alpha Phi would establish five new chapters on campuses across the United States — and three more by 2017. These campuses range from private Ivy League research university on the East Coast to an urban public university on the West Coast. And we can't forget about the South. Over the next three years, Alpha Phi will establish chapters at five Southern universities, making this one of Alpha Phi's most concentrated periods of growth in the South since our founding in 1872.With 164 chapters currently in tow, our Fraternity looks to the future feeling proud. Proud of our past. Proud of our membership. Proud of our present. And most importantly, proud of our continued growth. We hope you join us in catching the collegiate spirits our Fraternity continues to expand to campuses across North America.

On the Iota Phi chapter at St. Francis 

"We've seen the data on the benefits of Greek Life: higher grade point averages, higher engagement, a stronger connection to campus life and a higher retention rate. There's a professionalism that Alpha Phi brings [to St. Francis] that I never expected, having never been involved in a Greek letter organization myself. I've been impressed with how they recruit, their commitment to service (which is a big part of our mission), and their accountability of members...We had a few doubters along the way when we first opened up our campus to Greek Life, and I'd like to show them that our Alpha Phi members are some of the best students we have on campus. I'd love for the sisters to be leaders in their fields and in other student organizations on campus. Already we have a few who are resident assistants, Saints ambassadors and executive board members of other student organizations. I'm really proud of that." — 
Damon Sloan, Vice President of Student and Alumni Affairs at St. Francis

On the Beta Mu chapter at Alabama 

"In the spring of 2008, I was walking out of the University of Alabama rec center after a long and strenuous workout when I was approached by four beautiful women at a table. A Lilly Pulitzer-patterned banner surrounded two Greek letters: "Alpha" and "Phi."  I'm from the north, and I immediately recognized the letters. At the time, most at Alabama did not.  My main goal as a collegian was to focus on academics and take the "right" steps, driving me towards reaching my dream career.  Little did I know those four beautiful women at the rec center were about to play a major role in my future.

After accepting my bid to colonize Alpha Phi at the University of Alabama, I dove head first into finding out more about the traditions and symbols of the Fraternity and almost immediately started serving as marketing chair. I became extremely passionate about the success of the Beta Mu chapter. I wanted it to thrive, and accepting the role of chapter president charged me to strive for that success.   

As the first president, you walk a fine line:  getting members to trust me on this journey of creating a solid foundation to building a 220 member strong sisterhood with a full academic and social calendar, all while remaining budget- and campus culture-conscious. My executive council was the glue to structuring this chapter. Without the leaders on exec, their departments and the passion of the charter class of Beta Mu, my role would've been significantly more challenging.  At the end of the day, no matter the celebration or lesson, I always had my sisters for support. 

What inspired me the most to join Alpha Phi was the ambitious, strong, intelligent women volunteering their time and efforts on Team Bama.  It was these very women who walked onto the grounds of Tuscaloosa in 2008 and took Greek life at the University of Alabama by storm.  The vision and guidance of Team Bama and our ELCs played an integral role in shaping this chapter. Alpha Phi allowed me to explore my leadership skills and opened me up to a new campus community, where I was encouraged to meet other Greek students who were devoted to the same ambitions and passions as myself.

Now, Beta Mu has a brand new home on sorority row and has a wonderful sisterhood made up of more than 300 members. Alpha Phi at Alabama just recently went through one of our most successful formal recruitments and is continuing to empower young collegiate women to strive for success." — Nicole Blum (Beta Mu-Alabama), Founding Member and Alpha Phi Volunteer

On the Iota Sigma chapter at Carnegie Mellon
(Originally published on the Alpha Phi Blog in April 2015)

"Three years ago I made the best decision of my life: I took a chance, listened to my instincts and became a founding member of the Iota Sigma colony at Carnegie Mellon. Within the week I was a Greek Sing chair, on the recruitment committee and on my way to being well entrenched in Alpha Phi. When it came time for elections I very much wanted to be the chapter president. It took all of five weeks for me to fall in love with Alpha Phi and want to lead the chapter, to want to help shape it and make it grow.

Being the founding chapter president was simultaneously amazing and terrifying. There were times I had no idea what I was doing and times I was positive I was doing everything wrong. There were times I knew I had gotten it right and knew that I made a great decision for the chapter. Without my sisters and the incredible women of the extension and advisory boards I would have never made it through. During my year as chapter president I thought a lot about legacy and about what I would leave behind when my term ended.  I learned how to make decisions bigger than me, to think of 60 other women, to think five years out. Being the chapter president changed my entire perspective in ways that I feel every day.

The chapter looks very different today than it did when we first started. I see my fingerprints on less and less of the chapter everyday, which has been hard at moments but mostly it's wonderful. The chapter is 30 people larger than when I was chapter president and we've won awards, reached campus total and strengthened a truly beautiful sisterhood.

Now, I am five weeks from graduation, and I am back to thinking about legacy and not at all ready to leave my chapter behind. Alpha Phi is and will always be a huge part of my life. I am invested in the future of the Iota Sigma chapter and invested in its members.

Three years ago my life changed forever. I had an amazing year leading my chapter. I learned more in that year than any other time in my life. Alpha Phi shaped me, and I hope I helped shape Iota Sigma. There are a lot of send-off and commemoration events in the coming weeks, many things are coming to a close. None of them will be as emotional or bittersweet to me as my Alpha Phi Senior Send-Off. Alpha Phi will always be with me, but it's going to be very difficult to say goodbye to my collegiate years with my chapter." — Rachel Pustejovsky (Iota Sigma-Carnegie Mellon), Founding Member