Reflecting On and Celebrating Epsilon Mu

Suzannah Grubb
Suzannah Grubb

Hello all, welcome to 2013! Thank goodness the world is still here (silly Mayans) because a lot of work was done in the fall to prepare the largest colony (to date) to be installed. I wanted to start off 2013 reflecting on the excitement that comes with the installation of a new chapter. In December, the Epsilon Mu chapter had a massive initiation and installation weekend that was truly a feast for maroon and lavender lovers everywhere. Below is my “speech” given at Epsilon Mu’s installation brunch that I wanted to share with you all. The experience of a new chapter beginning is a lot like that of a new year beginning. You don’t know exactly what it will hold, but you are excited about the adventure ahead.

To get the full feel of the experience insert a little whimper (I am a crier!) about every two sentences.

“Yesterday, our secrets were revealed to you. The true meaning of Sigma Kappa was spoken and now we all share in a sacred bond that has existed for over 130 years. Every time a ritual event takes place or our history is discussed, Sigma Kappas attempt to understand what our Founders went through as they began our Sorority. Five young women, the only women at Colby College, were in search of a support system like none other to help them strive for their goals, burn 1.2 calories a second in laughter, and maybe, just maybe, they would change women’s lives at Colby. Little did they know that they would change thousands of women’s lives as a result.

Today, we celebrate you all. We celebrate you all coming to Mizzou, striving for excellence in scholastics, student organizations, and now this Sorority. As you all have studied our history and learned about our founders, I challenge you to think about how you all relate to them in a way that few women, actually only colony members can relate.

Just like our founders, you came to college looking for something special – it was not already on campus, so you created it. You have faced the challenges of starting something new, and you are now reaping the rewards tenfold.

When you opened that bid card back in September, you thought your lives had changed. But yesterday marked a new phase for you – your collegiate time in Sigma Kappa. I promise you there will be tears, heartache, drama,  strife, struggle, and a few messes to clean up now and then. But with those tears come the tears of joy, with the strife comes triumph, with the struggle will come a comedy of errors that you just can’t help laugh at. And out of it all, you will find everything that has been promised to you will come to fruition. I promise you will find your best friends, your roommates, your cheerleaders, your challengers, and maybe even your stereotypical sorority girl bridesmaids. You will share in each other’s successes and you will be there to pick each other up for the failures because that is what sisters do.

Sisterhood is a beautiful thing that few get to experience. It is a bond that can last a lifetime if you put the time into it and allow it to affect you like nothing else. You have made history, together, forever. You step now onto campus not as a colony, but as Epsilon Mu Chapter of Sigma Kappa Sorority. There is a great deal of responsibility that comes with it, but there is a heck of a lot of fun too.

You will stay up until 2 am when you should be studying for a test, watching YouTube videos and Hulu. You will attempt to make popcorn, burn it to a crisp, and then set the fire alarm off. You will laugh until your insides hurt and you will look around one day and just get it. You will get why all of the hard work and time was worth it. You will see what you have built and one day you will be talking to a young new member with hope, because she, one day, will get it too.

Congratulations to you all. Your journey is just beginning and it is the most rewarding feeling to stand before you and look at you all with joy, pride and hope because you are all my sisters and together we are striving to live for our founders and as our founders did – one heart, one way.”

Best,

Suz

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One Step at a Time

Hannah Villa
Hannah Villa

As I began my spring semester as a full time traveler, I was overwhelmed with excitement. Traveling is what I love to do, I love airports and I love meeting new people. But as I was wheels up to my first visit, a feeling of nervousness soon flooded my body.

My Freak Out Face
Cue this face

“Am I ready for this?” I thought. What if the chapters I visit don’t like me? What if I lose my luggage? (My all-time worst nightmare.) What if I never get to sleep?

And then I soon realized, while flying above middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania, I can do this, I am a road warrior.

Being a road warrior means so much more to me this semester than it did in the fall. While I was so afraid of making a mistake last semester – so afraid of misplacing a receipt, and so petrified that TSA would once again pat me down – I lost sight of what my job really means.

This job is not about being perfect but rather about being real, being relatable, and trying. I am not prepared for every situation that I will eventually find myself in. I am not going to be liked by every woman I meet. I am not going to get a full eight hours of beauty sleep a night. And I am not going to be perfect. But I realize that I am going to inspire our members to be better women, I am going to have tough times, and I am going to be okay.

This semester, I have decided to focus on what I can do rather than my shortcomings.

As women, I think we are often detrimentally hard on ourselves, and I fall victim to self-criticism way too much. But at the end of the day, I did my job. I represented the organization I love and I made it. Sometimes, I only make it halfway and sometimes I knock it out of the park, but my peace and my solace comes from acknowledging my genuine and undeniable efforts at the end of each day.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned through this job is that you can’t eat an elephant in one bite; you can’t “fix” a chapter in one visit; you can’t curb every bad behavior. But you can take each day at a time, doing everything you can to the best of your abilities and being your best self. And that, my friends, is true victory.

My victory dance
My victory dance

Be yourself, do the best you can, pat yourself on the back, and take every situation, every crisis, every meltdown, every challenge, one step at a time.

All my love and more,

xoxo- H

Being The One: Sigma Kappa Volunteers

Sue Buyrn
Sue Buyrn

There is a facilitation I sometimes do with chapter women that has a focus on The Power of One. I thought today I might share a bit of it with you, with a spin.

In so many ways, my life has been impacted by one person:

  • In college, I joined a sorority predominantly because of one boy. I had the infamous freshman crush on a senior fraternity man, Kendall LaRue, and aspired to be what he wanted…which I thought at the time was Greek. One Person.
  • I chose Sigma Kappa because of one woman, Malissa Bradshaw. She was my idol, and she took the time to talk to me. Sometimes that is all it takes. One Person.
  • I served on the Panhellenic Council because my grand-big, Leslie Caputo, encouraged me to apply, after disappointingly not receiving a position in my own chapter. Serving on the Council was the most rewarding, challenging and inspiring thing that happened to me in college, and I did not even know what I was applying for at the time. One Person.
  • I have the job I have now because my Fraternity and Sorority Life advisor, Adam Cantley, planted the seed and recommended me to the Sorority. He believed in me and he trusted me. One Person.

Good or bad, we all influence those around us. As college women and members of Sigma Kappa, our opportunities are endless. Holding a leadership position, lending a hand when it is needed, or even just taking the time to talk with someone can sometimes make all the difference.

On the road, I see people who take initiative to be the change that is needed in our always changing world. College women need guidance and support, they need inspiration and encouragement. For so many of us, that comes through Sigma Kappa volunteers. It sometimes shocks me the level of committment alumnae sisters will give to our organization. From the advisory board member to the national president, I just can’t believe it. They give a part of their life, sometimes their entire life, to helping our collegiate chapters sustain…unfortunately, too frequently without thanks.

The only reason why, that I can think of, is that they want to be the one. The one who makes a difference. The one who lends a hand and the one who makes change happen, for the betterment of the experience.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ― Apple Inc. 

And to the ones who read and write reports, spend their Saturday night overseeing a date party, respond to emails and answer questions, listen to conference calls on a regular basis, hold members accountable and remind them of their values, help a new chapter start up, create and revise handbooks and resources, or the ones who simply show up to lend a hand or listen to a college woman’s problems…thank you for being the one.

A few of the many volunteers I have been so lucky to meet this year!
A few of the many volunteers I have been so lucky to meet this year!

Eating My Way Across the USA: Boston Edition

Francesca Gomes
Francesca Gomes

Hi friends!

The leadership consultants are back on the road after our “winter breaks” with families and friends, followed by a mid-year training reunion!

I am so lucky to be spending three weeks in the great city of Boston to help with the Northeastern University colonization. Hopefully, you all know me by now and my LOVE for famous, local and unique foods! Check out my most recent findings below.

photo 1 (10)The H3 (Hungry Hungry Husky) Food Truck is a Northeastern University must-have! It is always on campus and offers huge portions on a college budget. Jordan Archer and I loved the various egg rolls, and of course, I had to try the broccoli mac and cheese. Go Huskies!

photo 2 (10)

While exploring the infamous Newbury Street, we stumbled upon Georgetown Cupcakes. As a huge fan of cupcakes, more specifically a huge fan of cupcake shows, I had to stop and grab one. Lucky for us, Georgetown Cupcakes was running a promotion and we got cupcakes for free! The caramel praline crunch cupcake in this picture was delicious.

photo 5 (11)The last find was something we happened to stumble upon while exploring Beacon Hill, the area Jordan’s apartment is located in. The Paramount had a crazy long wait, which was an immediate giveaway to how great the food would be. Hannah Villa and I stopped in after lunch time, but everyone was still eating breakfast, so that is what we had to try! I had the western omelette with home fries and a side of fresh fruit. Amazing!

Here are a few more pictures of what we have been up to this past week:

photo 1 (11) photo 3 (11) photo 5 (12)

photo 4 (8) photo 2 photo 3 (10)Tabling

Snowing

Parkas

Dexter

Panhellenic

Alex and Ani

SKLC Friends

Do not forget to follow the Northeastern colonization updates on Facebook at Sigma Kappa at Northeastern and Twitter @NUSigmaKappa! Until next time…

xoxo,

Francesca

So, What do You do for a Living…

Katherine Getty
Katherine Getty

“What do you do for a living?” inquires a stranger on a plane. “Well, I work for a nonprofit organization that seeks to help members develop into stronger, better individuals. This is attained through member recruitment, various programs, and opportunities for growth.” “Wow. What nonprofit?” responds the stranger now hanging on my every word. “I work for Sigma Kappa Sorority.” Cue blank stare.

I recognize it. The second I mention that I work for a sorority, the other person begins to think of what the media presents as sorority life. As a leadership consultant, I know firsthand that sorority life is much more than that. Being in a sorority is much more than lettered jerseys or high squeals about a sorority. Being in a sorority is raising over eight thousand dollars in three weeks for the Alzheimer’s Association.

This is the Theta Omicron Chapter after they completed a very successful Walk to End Alzheimer's event. The chapter raised over 8000 thousand dollars.
This is the Theta Omicron Chapter after they completed a very successful Walk to End Alzheimer’s event. The chapter raised over $8,000.

Being in a sorority is about providing women an opportunity to learn and further develop their leadership skills. Being in a sorority is learning the issues that face the Greek community and joining together to tackle legislation in D.C.

Last April, I had the amazing opportunity to represent Sigma Kappa on the Hill as a student lobbyist. It is truly amazing where Sigma Kappa can take you!
Last April, I had the amazing opportunity to represent Sigma Kappa on the Hill as a student lobbyist. It is truly amazing where Sigma Kappa can take you!

I know what people may think of what I do, but all I know is that these women and their experience is much more than that. I have seen the growth and change of women who could barely make a speech. I have seen women tackle an issue that faced them with the calm demeanor of a business CEO. As my first semester has drawn to close and a new semester begins, I seek to be better, work harder, and give all I can so that these women truly know what a sorority is.

New Year, New Goals

Molly Kenney
Molly Kenney

The start of a new year means a fresh start and usually goals to go along with that. Over the past several weeks, I’ve been surrounded by goals both for me, personally, and for the chapters I work closely with. Lucky for me, I’ve been able to sit through several different workshops on goals. There are several different keys to keeping and achieving your goals. I have pulled the “best of” from the different workshops. My hope is that this list will help you or your chapter be able to stay on track with your 2013 goals.

  1. Before setting your goals, review positives and negatives of the past year – this will allow you to see what you should focus on for your goals.
  2. Set a time frame with your goal – this allows you and/or the chapter to be more committed to the goal.
  3. Write your goals down and put them where they can be seen often.
  4. Create check points for yourself to assure you’re reaching the goals.
  5. Frequently reflect on your progress and areas to improve.

Good luck, and have a wonderful new year everyone!

Molly

On the Road Again ..

Amy Gallagher
Amy Gallagher

Welcome back! It is that time of the year again – recruitment season! After time at home for the holidays and reuniting with the whole leadership consultant team at national headquarters after the new year, I was refreshed and ready to get back on the road.

Our time at mid-year training gave me time to reflect on the past semester, make personal goals for the one coming up, and think about life after consulting. It also gave me time to reconnect with my teammates, who I hadn’t seen since July. We shared travel adventures and mishaps and talked of all that we had accomplished during the past semester. Mid-year training was a sound reminder for all of us that even though we are constantly in different parts of the country, we are sharing more experiences than we realize. It was a rejuvenating segue from personal time to this semester’s chapter visits.

When I hit the road, I was ready to hit the ground running. My first visit brought me to the Delta chapter for their pre-recruitment and formal recruitment. My week-long visit encapsulated all of the aspects that make the recruitment process what it is – chanting, cheering, crafting, conversation, long days, and late nights. There were ups and downs working through the ins and outs of recruitment, but having the opportunity to share those things with the women of Boston University was an amazing experience.

I’m looking forward to the adventures that this semester will bring. I’m lucky enough to revisit some of the chapters that I worked with last semester and see some new chapters as well. My bag has been packed with sweaters and tights instead of sandals and cropped pants, and I’m ready to share my second semester of a lifetime with you all in the upcoming months.

Until next time,
Amy