Magic Happens!

Francesca Gomes
Francesca Gomes

Hi friends!

As a Disney lover, I always have Disney on my mind. While visiting the Upsilon chapter at Oregon State University for pre-recruitment and meeting the awesome VPM who is also a huge Disney fan, it became clear to me that two things that I love in life are so very similar – Disneyland and sorority recruitment. Just look at the similarities:

1. The Monorail

The Monorail is a renowned form of transportation for guests to use to get to Disneyland. In sorority recruitment, the Monorail is much like when potential new members line up in front of the chapter house or recruitment room before the very first recruitment event. The anticipation is building!

2. Main Street USA

Main Street USA is the first “land” of Disney that guests enter. It is similar to the first impression a potential new member has of Sigma Kappa. The buildings, atmosphere and cast members on Main Street USA are just like the entrance of the chapter, members’ happy smiles, and fashionable outfits.

3. Disney Characters

When hearing the word “Disney,” what do you think of first? Many are instantly reminded of their favorite characters from the most memorable childhood movies. In terms of recruitment, Disney characters are similar to the potential new members that Sigma Kappas look forward to meeting and connecting with. A trip to Disneyland would not be the same without chasing after Mickey Mouse to take photos and get his autograph. Recruitment would not be the same without meeting that potential new member that you would love to call your little sister.

4. Rides

Each ride at Disneyland is truly unique with a specific theme and feel. Similar to when first stepping onto Indiana Jones or Pirates of the Caribbean, a potential new member experiences a distinct feeling when first stepping foot in a Sigma Kappa chapter house or recruitment room. Each chapter is like a different ride, distinctive with its own lively atmosphere.

5. Food Vendors

To me, the food is one of the best parts of Disneyland. It is something I always look forward to. The food vendors that sell corn dogs, giant turkey legs, and churros represent the tempting late night food runs after long recruitment days. Just like Disney calories, recruitment calories do not count! 😉

6. Parades

The boisterous Disney parades are so well thought out and rehearsed. They are just like the Sigma Kappa cheers and chants that members practice until perfected. They add excitement to the recruitment process, just as parades add to the Disney magic.

7. Fantasmic and Fireworks

After a fulfilling day at Disneyland, the nighttime spectacular “Fantasmic” and the fireworks make their special appearances. These are shows that many guests plan into their schedules for an extraordinary ending to their already magical day. Preference round is similar to fireworks– the recruitment events build up throughout the week to this final event. It serves as something very special to our Sigma Kappa chapters and potential new members. It is the last hurrah before Bid Day.

8. Happy Every After

Everything at Disney always ends in a “Happy Ever After.” The “Happy Ever After” in recruitment is Bid Day, where Sigma Kappa chapters celebrate all of their hard work during recruitment. Bid Day is a time for new members to join our lifelong sisterhood in Sigma Kappa.

Have a magical day!

Francesca

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The Power of Panhellenic…Part I

Katherine Getty
Katherine Getty

In my next few posts, I want to take the opportunity to talk about the National Panhellenic Conference and its impact on me as a Sigma Kappa sister. My first interaction with the National Panhellenic Conference came in the form of one woman, my Panhellenic counselor. And to be honest, I did not know if formal recruitment was the right place for me when I arrived at the University of Florida. When I got to my breaking point after Round 2, I called my Panhellenic counselor. I told her I was done, and that while I appreciated all her time, it was not the right place for me. Then she said something I still remember,

Fellow Panhellenic Counselors during Formal Recruitment 2011

“Katherine, stay in recruitment one more day. These chapters see something very special in you, and I know you will gain so much out of being in a sorority.”

I went back one more day, and then I went back another. Before I knew it, it was bid day. As I opened my bid, I instantly looked for my Panhellenic counselor. I ran to her and we hugged. If it had not been for her influence, I would not have been able to continue.

From that instant, I knew I wanted to be a Panhellenic counselor. From that one interaction, I was hooked, and believed in the idea of Panhellenic. I so appreciated the idea that a woman would “give up her letters, so that I could find mine.” I wanted to be able to make a difference in a woman’s life.

When it was time to apply for Panhellenic counselor during my sophomore year, I applied immediately. I was then absolutely thrilled when I received the call that I would be a Panhellenic counselor. Soon enough, it was fall recruitment and I was able to live out my dream. I got to make a difference by giving my time and talent to helping women find their place in the Panhellenic community. I know that the feeling I had working with the women during recruitment was the same reason I pursued working as a leadership consultant. I simply wanted the opportunity to help other women achieve their dreams.
A fellow Panhellenic Counselor and I preparing for Potential New Members during Fall Recruitment 2011.

For me, the National Panhellenic Conference was how I found my way to Sigma Kappa and, more importantly, to myself through my involvement in the Panhellenic council. Next time, I am going to continue to explain my journey with Panhellenic. So check back in a couple of weeks!!

~Katherine

It’s Not About the Destination, It’s About the Journey

“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”

Suzannah Grubb
Suzannah Grubb

This is probably my favorite quote of all time or at least in my top three. It truly sums up my life with Sigma Kappa, both as a collegian, alumna and leadership consultant. Last week, I was given the opportunity to speak at the preference event for the University of Missouri (Mizzou) colony’s recruitment. Yet again, I started off with this quote.

Two years ago, I had the privilege to also speak at the Epsilon Chi Chapter’s, Virginia Tech, preference event. My journey to that point reflected on when sisters ban together when things do not exactly go as they had hoped.

At the Mizzou preference event, while it started off with the same quote, it had a much different story behind it. Earlier in the day, I was searching my room for a belt when I stumbled upon a note from my dad.

At the end of my senior year, he wrote me a letter for an event Epsilon Chi was hosting where my little sis, Ashley Hilzendager, read to me words my father wrote. Between the emotions and excitement from colonization, the pure exhaustion felt by all, and a bit of homesickness, this letter struck a cord and brought my time in Sigma Kappa full circle.

My dad’s letter took me all the way back to the very beginning of sorority life; not the day I got my big sis, not the day I got my bid, or even the day I signed up for formal recruitment. It was a chilly afternoon at home when I asked my dad to throw around the ol’ pigskin with me. Let us be honest, except for special occasions, this is not a request I make regularly. While outside, and my arm starting to kill me within three throws, I “pled my case,” as my dad puts it, as to why recruitment and sorority life was a good idea. With his blessing, which I never do anything without, I started my journey.

For the women of the Mizzou colony, their journey started with a personal visit. They thought that the destination was opening an envelope on Bid Day to find that they would become a sister.

As we all know, this is only the beginning for them. Their journey is just beginning, and what an exciting way to begin. Colonizing with more than 200 sisters, on a campus thriving with tradition, and the opportunity to create something all their own, this is just the beginning. I know I can only guess what the journey will be like over the next years for these women, but I am so blessed and honored to be a part of it this year.

I would like to take a minute to thank my dad, and all dads, for giving their daughters the opportunity to find a home away from home, grow in ways unimaginable, and just being there to listen and let us “plead our cases.”

Small Town – Big Personality

Amy Gallagher
Amy Gallagher

One of the most interesting parts about my job is how often I travel and the places that I am lucky enough to visit. That might seem pretty obvious, right? But it might not be for the reasons that you may think. While I fly in and out of some of the major airports east of the Mississippi – with some pretty out of the way layovers – my destinations are often towns and cities that I would never otherwise have a reason to visit or even pass by on an interstate.

During my adventures, I have been able to do some quick sightseeing – in North Carolina, I was able to look out over the Appalachian Mountains, and in New York, I was able to visit Niagara Falls. I have spent more time driving through mountains, next to rivers, across farmland, and over rolling hills, seeing how small towns are shaped by universities and universities shaped by small towns.

Each chapter has the place they call the best froyo or Mexican food or claims that there is not much around to see. But each of these towns or universities has a new culture, a new ‘familiar’ to experience. Every time I am at a new chapter, I start from scratch and learn what is familiar to their experience, and that can be sightseeing in itself!

Recruitment season is wrapping up. We have been on the road for six weeks. Everything I travel with has found its designated space when I pack up at the end of each visit. I have learned to say goodbye to some amazing women and leaders. But this city girl is also slowly learning that it is not the big cities that make up the majority of the map. It’s the small towns with big personalities. Although my allotted 50 pounds of luggage, one carry-on, and one personal item do not allow me to pick up a new souvenir everywhere I go, that is not to say I am not taking away more than just a little something from each one of my visits!

Until next time,

Amy

Visit to App State!
Adventure to Niagara Falls!
Boarding a tiny plane in Pennsylvania!

RespEKt!

Mary Margaret Gregory
Mary Margaret Gregory

Hi friends!

For those who do not know, this week is National Hazing Prevention Week. In support of this week, Sigma Kappa chapters incorporate our ideas and beliefs from our RespEKt program. This movement was “established to bring members of Sigma Kappa Sorority together to better ourselves, others, and our communities by building self-esteem, eliminating bullying, understanding the consequences of risky behavior, and focusing on our core values.“-  Sigma Kappa Website

This week is such an incredible week for not only Sigma Kappa and Greek life in general but for young collegians everywhere. Everyone has been effected by hazing or bullying in some shape or form. This is a time for collegians to band together to stop something that has taken so many lives.

Even though there is a week dedicated to hazing prevention, this is something that should be prevented every day! So remember, even if it is not happening to you, speak up for those who are afraid to let their voices be heard!

I hope everyone has a wonderful National Hazing Prevention Week!

❤ Mary Margaret

P.S. Thought I would share some snap shots of where I have been lately…. 🙂

The lovely ladies of Kappa Tau, their 26 new members and me on Bid Day!! Unbelievably proud of them! : )
When I arrived home (Louisiana), I found this sweet treat waiting on the dining room table for me at my parent’s house. I am incredibly thankful to have such an awesome support system!
Kappa Omicron with their newest 57 additions to their sisterhood! I am SO proud of them! 🙂

Thankful.

Sue Buyrn
Sue Buyrn

Greetings from Seattle! 

In the midst of two months of back-to-back recruitment visits, it is always exciting to get out of the house for a few hours and divert my mind from the chaos of songs and chants, door-stacks and decorations, Innova and ICS, and all other stress and joy that comes from Panhellenic formal recruitment. When visiting the Mu Chapter at the University of Washington, I got the special treat of spending an afternoon with Sigma Kappa Foundation Board of Trustees member Kristen Kirst. Kristen took me all around Seattle to give me a taste of the city — literally and figuratively. We went kayaking on Lake Union, sightseeing at the Space Needle, walked through Pike’s Place Market, and ended the day with great seafood on the bay.

Being a past leadership consultant, Kristen knew what it was like living on the road, and had actually visited many of the same chapters as I am. Kristen mentioned to me much of her support on the road came from past leadership consultants who had reached out to her that understood the triumphs and challenges of being an LC. I can’t explain how much I appreciated her generosity, and the altruism she showed me by taking a Saturday afternoon and showing a complete stranger around the city she loves. It reminded me, once again, of the opportunities we have to serve. So often we become wrapped up in our own lives and we forget those around us. Kristen is one of many people who has gone out of her way in the past month to make me comfortable, welcomed and happy. I often think about what I need, or where I need to be, or what I need to hear or know…and I thought for a change it might be nice to take a few minutes to reflect and just be….

Thankful.

My visit at the University of Washington and sightseeing in Seattle!

Success Story

Molly Kenney
Molly Kenney

When I arrived in Indianapolis and began pre-recruitment week with Kappa Psi, there were many unknowns; not only for me as I began my adventures as an LC, but for the women of Kappa Psi. They were getting ready to participate in their first ever pre-recruitment week and formal recruitment. Many questions rushed through their heads as I explained rotation groups and door chants. After the jammed-packed week of learning the ins and outs of recruitment, it was now time to wait two long weeks for recruitment.

The day had finally arrived and recruitment 2012 was getting ready to begin. Kappa Psi was nervous and anxious for the first door chant to begin. I think I was just as nervous because I was also entering an unknown. I had been through recruitment two different ways…as a PNM and recruiter, but not as an alumna and LC representing Sigma Kappa.

I was so proud of these ladies after each day and round of recruitment. They were taking everything they had worked hard to learn and were applying it. Then their hard work came full circle when I was holding the bid list in my hands. Announcing to the women that quota was 31 and they were receiving 40 new members has been the highlight of this job for me. The women started jumping for joy and crying from happiness.

It was now time to greet these 40 new members after they opened their bid cards. As I stood out of the way trying not to get trampled by the stampede of new members, I was able to capture the moment. I think it does a great job summing up the weekend and excitement in Kappa Psi. Congrats ladies on a wonderful first formal recruitment!

Molly

IUPUI Bid Day
Kappa Psi on Bid Day
Welcome new members!