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Friday, November 11, 2011

This is Sister President, Signing Off....

Dear Sisters,

Over the last eighteen months I have had the honor and priviledge to serve as Chapter President. I first and foremost have to say thank you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you and our chapter, thank you for your love, trust, faith and support. Thank you for giving me something that has forever changed my life. I can say with one hundred percent confidence that I would not be the woman I am today without out my sisters, our sisterhood, and this experience. Alpha Delta Pi has given me so much over the past two years - and while this time has been brief, the impact is one I don't know if I'll ever fully be able to explain.

Alpha Delta Pi is truly a gift in my life and the experiences and memories I have shared serving the chapter in this capacity are ones that will stay in my heart forever. From my first Jackie hug on big-day to the first grip by former Grand Council President Sister Claire Brown Gwantley, from Leadership Seminar in Atlanta to Grand Convention in Phoenix, and everything in between. While I will admit I have had some trying times during my term, I know that I would not be where I am today without them, I would not be the person I am without them, and our chapter would not be the same without them.

As this journey is coming to an end and others - new, exciting and different - are set to begin let me leave you with a few thoughts:

Over the summer I attended a leadership institute and one of my facilitators told us that "the walls are not there to keep you out, they are there to keep the other people out. The ones who don't care, the ones who are afraid. When you hit a wall keep going, it's not meant for you, it's meant for them." Sisters, remember that when you hit your walls in life. Excellence cannot be achieved without passion, and with passion comes heartbreak. Because you worry, because you get nervous or upset - all of those things mean that you care. When we stop worrying or thinking or looking or aspiring to change, when we rest or let one another slip through the cracks we are giving up on the promise each and everyone of us commits to during our Ritual.

Sisters, always treat one another with the upmost respect, kindness and helpfulness. This will not always be easy. We are human - we have feelings and stressors and jealousies and work. But, remember, we are all students, daughters, sisters, girlfriends, and roommates. We all carry with us a past and a story. While we all have the right to be upset sometimes - if you don't have anything nice to say, or cannot say what you need directly to the sister, then do not say anything at all.

This goes for all sisters, including officers. When you think they "don't understand," or an event or project "is stupid" remember that a sister worked hard, and put in their time and effort to complete that task or project. Did you lend your time, skills or talents? If not, it's not your place to give anything but positive support - or help with the next project if you'd like to see improvement. And sister officers, remember that at the times when you feel lost or frustrated. Remember, it's all there for us. Look to our Creed for guidance, look to our sisters for strength and look to our founders for courage. When you do this, you can have no regrets. When you do this, you can know that every decision you've made, you made with the information at hand and with the best possible knowledge. You can have the security of knowing that every step of the way you made the best choice with the options you were given, and that the choice you made, was made with good intentions for our chapter.

There will be times at home, in your dorm at school, in classes and throughout the rest of your life where you will be unsure. Uncertainly is something we can be certain of. However, you can also be certain of something else - the tie that binds us together is strong and constant. The same Ritual that ties hundreds of thousands of women through time and space so too ties us all together. Look to our Ritual for answers, and know that they carry so far beyond our time as collegians. Also, know that with that tie, I will always be here for you. I will always be your sister.

Thank you to the founding sisters - you are the women who gave me a home away from home; you have changed my life for the better. Thank you to the Leadership Consultants who have shaped my life - you have truly shown me what it has meant to live a life as women of values. Thank you to our advisors and international officers - your constant support and sacrifice has led to our chapter's success, and I personally, would have been lost without you. Thank you to the sisters I have gained over the last two years - you have loved me at my worst and supported me to be the best I can be.

I am so blessed to have been a part of this amazing organization and I can not wait to see the amazing accomplishments that are yet to come.

Love and Loyally,
Mary,
General Member
Alpha Delta Pi

"Always remember that the future comes one day at a time." ~ Dean Acheson


Me and our newly elected Sister President after chapter! (Maybe one of my fav ADPi pics of all time!)


Dean Acheson said "the future comes one day at a time..." while this is true, everything happens just one day at a time, I have to say these past 18 months have felt like they have passed in the blink of an eye. It seems like just yesterday I was handed our C.O.B. and our gavel and sent on the start of a journey that would change my life.

This past Sunday we had our chapter elections. I have to be honest - I was scared and nervous and sad - not because I was nervous for my chapter, we had 50 women interview for offices and I could not feel more blessed to have such talented and capable sisters. No, I felt scared and nervous and sad because my time is done. Yes, I will always be a sister of ADPi, I'll always be connected or involved. I'll have new adventures and responsibilities but at the same time, I could not help but feel a little bit of sadness - this amazing journey is coming to a close. And I know, that while this journey is ending another may soon be beginning - I can not help but think of all the wonderful gifts that this opportunities has given me. All of the things I have learned about myself, about others, about our chapter and our sisterhood.

That being said, I am so excited for our new officers and chapter leaders. I will never forget our I felt and I have these women never do either! The passion, the worry, the excitement that they feel not is what they will need to remember to carry them through. When things are stressful or hard, or when they're feeling overwhelmed - it is that passion that will remind them why they are doing what they are doing and help them to realize the way they will be successful.

Passion alone does not a good officer make, however. Having a successful officer transition workshop, open dialog and providing constant support (as needed of course) - helps make a sister officer the best she can be. Of course, every officer should have the opportunity to make change (that's how we grow), but at the same time - her decisions should never have to be made out of fear or worry. Having an outgoing officer there to lend an ear or a hug or even a place to vent is so valuable. What are ways that we can best help our sisters carry their new responsibilities? Ask lots of questions, work to provide lots of answers, ALWAYS remember the C.O.B. or your officer manual. Share your own missteps with your incoming officer in order to prevent mistakes from being made!!

I have to be honest not having been transitioned and never having transitioned anyone before I'm a little scared - do a pull away too much or too soon? Do I hover too close? I want our new Sister President to make mistakes and choices, to make discoveries and try new things. I was given the opportunity to serve without worry about anyone else and while that's not an experience I can re-create it is one I value and will work to ensure that she knows. As we all begin to move forward I have to remember - the future comes one day at a time... officer transition, graduation, even the Golden Lion (2017, Baby!) .... everything will come in time, and each day I'll learn how to let go a little more and she'll learn how to carry a new weight.

I am so blessed and honored and I could NOT be more proud of my chapter, it's a good feeling to know that even though I'm a little worried - I have absolutely no reason to be scared!

Good Luck, Sisters! Be amazing!

<3 Love and Loyally

To Futures Quest and Beyond!!



So my post about UIFI was incredibly long.... and I still don't feel it truly detailed how amazing the experience was, how much I loved being there or how incredible the people i met where! I'm giving you some warning... I'm anticipating writing a similar post in only a few months!

I am so excited to report that I've been chosen as a Futures Quest mentor for the Alpha Beta session this January in Indiana! "What is Futures Quest?" you might ask!

WELL....

According to the NIC Indy website - The goal of Futures Quest is to help new/er fraternity men discover their priorities and goals for their chapters and to make action plans to accomplishing them:
"Futures Quest provides leadership training to men who have joined a fraternity in the last year. The focus of the weekend is identifying personal strength and challenges, developing leadership and communication skills, exploring personal values and strength of conviction, and making a commitment to fraternal ideals. Past participants have left with a plan for their future."

I am so excited and feel so blessed to have this experience! I know that attending these types of programs can be more than inspiring and to have the opportunity to serve as a mentor and help these men discover all of the amazing things they are capable of doing - I don't know what could be better! Not to mention I am lucky enough to be serving with one of my friends from my UIFI session! I can't wait!!

<3 Love and Loyally




p.s. This is kind of a clue for some other BIG events happening in my life!

Life Moves Fast...

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it" ~ Ferris Bueller


I can not believe it is already November. Ferris Bueller's words have never been more true! In a semester that has been filled with exams, applications (I promise I'll come back to this one) and tons of chapter and community activities I have sadly neglected my little area of the blogosphere! While I have been writing down blog-able topics - without even realizing it, the semester has slipped through my fingers! I spent September locked in my room studying for the LSAT exam, and October was spend on applications and surviving mid-terms!

I promise to get back on track! This blog has not only been a place to share my thoughts and feelings about our chapter but it has been an amazing way for me to capture my own experiences and given me a place to reflect on my year and a half term as chapter president. It seems like only a few weeks ago I was just settling into the idea of being president - the excitement and the worry and now eighteen months later I am preparing for chapter elections this Sunday!

While I am nervous, I am also excited - we are so blessed that every woman slating for a position is amazing, strong, talented and capable! We had fifty...that's right FIFTY... women in our chapter interview for officer positions! I thought I loved and cared for these women before - but after this process I find myself simply amazed by them!

There is so much I want to catch up on here but in the mean time.... here is a quick re-cap in photos of what we have done so far this year!



We had our 'Meet the Greeks' BBQ on the Quad at QU! (This might be a fav pic of all time!)




We hosted our 1st ever Pride Olympics - our Prides for the semester were revealed at a "family reunion" party filled with field-day type games (Go Arts, Crafts, Disney Pride!!)



We've had sisterhood events like this one - we broke up and did a "speed dating" type of activity - in addition to celebrating our 2nd Anniversary and Alpha Delta Pi Day! We've also had TME's on Resume Building, Healthy Lifestyles, Voting and Ritual!



We helped to support the colonization of the newest Alpha Delta Pi chapter at Franklin and Marshall by making and packing 100 courage band bracelets!






We had a week full of competition and fun with 2011 Greek Week - this year it was 90's themed - SO much fun! Isn't our banner amazing?! We won the 'Tag it Up' competition thanks for our amazingly talented sisters!




Not to mention our Semi-formal last Friday! (I know this picture seems a little silly but a certain sister of ours is serving as a Recruitment Councilor!! *wink wink*)



These are only a few of the things we've done!! So I can assure you my time not blogging has been well spent! I promise to catch up soon! We've got so much to talk about!

<3 Love and Loyally

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

UIFI: Learn it. Live it. Teach it. Expect it.

Two weeks ago I got home from what was by far one of the greatest experiences of my collegiate life. In a week I wish I could replay and repeat a million times, I made friends that even now I know will last a lifetime. In our 5 day-long institute, myself and about 80 other students from across the country and cross-councils were brought together to learn some of the most important lessons of our Greek lives.

I'm sure other UIFI graduates can attest to this - after about 8 hours in our chapter house, I felt like I had known my fellow attendees my whole life. It was comforting and empowering to be in an environment where I didn't have to explain what NPC was, or how new members were selected during Recruitment. I didn't have to explain my decision to go Greek or the love and passion I feel for me chapter - we all had it, they understood.

With a solid and common foundation, large and small group discussions quickly became powerful and meaningful. While our letters may have been different, knowing that I was surrounded by men and women who share in and believe in my experience made it easy to open up. With a common thread running through us all - we were free to learn from one another and to make ourselves vulnerable.


This is my amazing chapter! Chapter 1!!

UIFI truly is an institute - all of those in attendance, from collegians to facilitators, are all there learning and growing together. Over the five days there is a combination of small group or chapter meetings, large all-group discussions, workshops, and activities. The timing of each of the discussions is very strategic and it is only on the other side that one can realize when the "ah-ha" moments happened - it's now obvious the that each conversation happen when it did. Each day has a purpose and each workshop or chapter session acted as a foundation for the next.

Each large group discussion would be followed by a chapter meeting - something I saw as truly essential and something that quickly became habit. As the issues grew bigger, the need to decompress, to give and hear feedback became invaluable. Each chapter - a group of about 8 - was lead by two facilitators. My facilitators, Maggie and David, were the perfect guides to our UIFI journey - also leading the way but never quite showing us the exact path to take. From their simple questions grew deep, self-led discussions.


Maggie and David!! The loves of my UIFI life!

Our very first task at UIFI was the UIFI Challenge Course. It was a series of mini-games and trust-building exercises, each one with so much more meaning as the week went on. The game the stuck out the most to me required each member of the team to cross from one side of the "pond" to the other. The "pond" was actually a grid drawn with chalk. In the pond there was an invisible path of Lily-pads the group had to follow..... while explaining it properly here would be almost impossible, I'll tell you this: everything I now know about being a Greek leader, it all comes back to that pond, and to those Lilly pads:
1. You never know why someone made the choice they made until you are in their position. Refrain from judgement of actions until you can understand the perspective.
2. Going through the motions of Greek life can be just as big as a mistake as trying all different directions. What is easy, is not always right.
3. From the outside looking in, things always seem easy and care-free, while from the inside looking out things can get confusing and difficult.
4. Sometimes, no matter how scary or difficult, we have to make a decision. Sometimes the choices that lay ahead of us are what is there rather than what we would like.
5. It is okay to make mis-steps but not okay to make mistakes.

The next few days after that first seemed to go by in a flash - each of us falling into a new routine: kitchen duty, meal times, free time, sing-a-longs and late nights. After two days at Indiana University the Alpha Omicron Pi house seemed like home, and the people who had previously been complete strangers were now members of my Greek family.

As the days went on the challenges became greater - first, we had to develop a sense of our own leadership style and gage the tactics and tools that we found the most valuable. Second, we were challenged to live the example, to Do What You Say You Will Do. To be the change and to act rightly on it. We also learned that excellence in leadership is not a born trait - it is an acquired skill. It must be harnessed and practiced before it can become instinct. This is when the heavy stuff started to come in - what was the reality of our leadership? The reality of our community? Can Greek life be sustained on the path we currently sit? The next morning our panic from the night before was put to good use - our anxiety given an outlet in action! We took to the streets to volunteer in the Bloomington community.

That night - a strong feeling of "now what?" sat on all of our shoulders. We had heard and seen and discussed the challenges and detriments of the Greek community. We were scared and nervous. We had all of this energy and yet we had little idea what to do with it. Then, one of the most powerful and empowering experiences took place. Sitting all together in a large group session, attendees were asked to stand and share their creed. Members of the same chapter from across the country stood together to recite the words of their founders, facilitators and their collegiate counter-parts joined voices, proclaiming the power of their affiliation. I was moved in a way that I can not quite describe. I felt truly blessed and still am so grateful to have witnessed the passion and conviction in which the various creeds were recited.

That was it. After that moment things seemed to click - each chapter member having their own "ah-ha" moments. It wasn't going to be easy to make changes, we all knew that now - it was going to be hard. We were going to have to gather all our courage and all of our strength in order to be the change we wanted to see.

One of the facilitators, Erin, quote Pete Smithhisler, the President and CEO of the NIC - he once said that "To know Pete Smithhisler, is to know Lambda Chi Alpha." To me, this describes the entire sentiment of UIFI, of what Greek Life should be, and what Greeks as individuals should strive for.

To know me, is to know Alpha Delta Pi.
If I were to live my Ritual, maybe not being 100% successful 100% of the time, but to try and live my life so that my actions always had a congruence with my sorority's values...what a life that would be? As my facilitator David said - "it's the endless pursuit of excellence." For us, it is the journey that matters and that makes all the difference.

Yes, I accept that not everyone cares, or agrees. Yes, some members are in it for only four years and not for life. Some say they used to be a member instead of saying that they are. But in front of my chapter and now in front of the world wide web, I made a commitment - to never be one of those people. Yes, I accept that those people are out there but please know: I have learned my Ritual, I am working to live my Ritual, through my actions I hope to teach my Ritual and from my peers I expect them to do the same.

UIFI was amazing, empowering, and an experience I will never forget.

There was a lot of learning:



a lot of dancing:




a little bit of identity crisis (POP THAT GAMMA):



and a whole lot of memories.

Now it's just time to put it all to use!
"I am ready to act if I can find brave men and women to help me." ~ Carter G. Woodson, Omega Psi Phi

<3 Love and Loyally






Wednesday, June 29, 2011

This is Convention Number 1....

Last week I had the honor of sharing in Alpha Delta Pi's 160th Anniversary Grand Convention in Phoenix, Arizona! Not only did I get to experience this amazing celebration of our organization with three of my chapter sisters and our chapter advisor, but I also got to meet and meet-again sisters hundreds of sisters from across the country.

While our morning began a little differently than planned - our first flight was cancelled and we were re-routed - I couldn't have asked for better sisters to travel with. Lindsey, Sarah and I had lots of fun as we traveled from cloudy Hartford to sunny Phoenix, arriving just in time to sneak into the opening banquet!

Every moment of this trip was not only memorable but magical! I gained a new appreciation for my organization; I truly learned a lot about my chapter, myself and my sisterhood.

Day 1: Welcome to Phoenix!

After the re-directions, the layovers, and the ummm...unique (?) individuals we met on the airplane, Lindsey, Sarah and I could not have been happier to touch down in Phoenix! After collecting our baggage (six hours later than planned) we were picked up by our chapter sister Miss Meghan. How lucky are we? Not only would we have the pleasure of sharing this experience with sisters from across the country but 4 sisters from our chapter and our amazing advisor Lindsey were all making the trip! Being from Arizona, Meg offered to pick us up at the airport, and we could not have been more excited!

While we arrived much later than anticipated, it still managed to be just in time! After checking into the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, we ran to our rooms, changed our clothes and raced to the ballroom where the Opening Banquet was just about to begin!

In these first few moments of Convention, I shared one of the most incredible experiences with my sisters. To most, the unvailing of a portriate would be nice, boring even, but to our sisterhood, it was a momentous occasion and one I will never forget! Of our six founders, five had portriates commissioned in their image. Their school-girl selves captured and preserved, shared with all the women who follow in their footsteps. Our sixth founder, Elizabeth Williams Mitchel, was "lost." No photograph had been found, and after many many years of searching, she was finally found! An inpromptu call to the Macon Library, a last attempt, led Executive Office to exactly what they were looking for and so much more! To their delight - when the phone call was made and the story explained, the reply of the woman on the other end of the line: "That's my great grandmother!" The search was over, and not only had Elizabeth been found but so had her family! Her great-great grandaughter was initiated later in the week (another amazing experience, but on that later!). The portrait to hang in Founders Hall was revealed to the Convention Body, as well as Elizabeth's decendants - how beautiful! A beautiful painting and a beautiful moment. I could not help to feel closer to my sisters and founders in that moment - something that would continue all weekend!





Day 2: Wave Your Flag

The 160th Annaversary Celebration Grand Convention was officially called to session! Another first experience for our young chapter, Theta Theta's flag was presented in the Adelphean processional for the very first time, along with Theta Iota (Bucknell University) and Theta Kappa (Flordia Atlantic). What an honor it was to carry our chapter's flag! While in my head I kept say "slow down, pick up your feet," I couldn't help but notice the view - I could see the entire Convention body - International Officers, alumnae, sisters... All once, in one place, I saw all of these women - the sisters who came before me, the sisters who in every capacity had helped colonize Theta Theta, had trained us, had taught us, and most important believed in us. We're a crazy group of women - we have big ideas and bigger voices and personalities. We're orientation leaders, and SGA members, we start organizations, and lead our campus. These women ahead of me at that moment took all of our personality and helped mold it into something greater than ourselves. I couldn't help but get emotional... (Cough Cough, Mrs. Sherry!)



After presenting all the chapter flags, the 2011 Grand Convention was officially opened with an address from International President Claire Brown Gwaltney. The address was then followed by our convention photo - all members of the Convention Body in their beautiful white dresses were photographed for the official Convention photo. Seeing this same photo from Convention meetings beginning at the turn of the centuary, I couldn't again, help but feel connect to my sisters and to our history. This photo would represent it's own history and I was a part of it!




Here are our chapter sisters, chapter advisor, and CPD in our own Convention photo!

Now that Convention was officially opened, it was time to get to work!!

We celebrated the many many accomplishments at the "Your Alpha Delta Pi Foundation" luncheon, learning about the many tools, purposes, and support our foundation provides for us!! We are so lucky to have an internal foundation like ours that supports us as students, individuals and as sisters through education!




This quit was made of philanthropy t-shirts of chapters across the country - notice that bright Jail N' Bail orange?! The quilt was then raffled off to raise funds for the foundation - Charles, the official ADPi photographer who had been to 15 Conventions bid $1,500 for it - only to donate it back so it could be re-auctioned! Oh, Charles!

The business meetings and District Caucuses took up most of our day. While at some times revising our bylaws became tedious, it was exciting to be able to vote and see parlimentory procedure in action. While some changes were gramatical, other changes or proposed resolutions would have a great impact on our organization.

After a busy day we were off to the Diamond 4-Point Dinner! As this was our first Grand Convention and we were colonized in 2009, we were eligible for awards! Diamond 4-Point is the first award on our tiered system and must be won in order to progress on to the next tier. D4P measures conpidence in general chapter organization and administrative business.

It was that time, announcing the winners of the Diamond 4-Point - I have to be honest, I was so nervous! While it takes an entire chapter, committees, officers and advisors to win this award, if we didn't win, I would have felt responsible - was I not paying attention? What if I forgot something? Chapter after chapter was called and still no Theta Theta..... Then, wanting to add a dramatic affect, they paused to especially recognize a few chapters - the first two were chapters that had not won D4P in a long time, but with hard work from chapter sisters and advisors, the chapters were not getting set on a great track! "Oh no, I thought, we didn't win!" We were a young chapter, we didn't fit into this category.....then all of a sudden: "THETA THETA!" We heard it! We did it! In our first year eligible we did what we had set out to do! See ya in 2017 Golden Lion!!





Day 3: The Vote Goes On and On and On...

Friday was spent in our second business meeting. We finished voting on bylaw revisions, proposed resolutions and then for our new Grand Council!!

International President - Tammie S. Pinkston, Zeta Nu / Gamma Phi

International Vice President of Collegiate Membership - Susan Swicord Mathews, Epsilon Pi

International Vice President of Collegiate Membership - Stacy DeMartini Bruton, Delta Sigma

International Vice President of Alumnae Membership - Renee Bailey Iacona, Delta Upsilon

International Secretary - Sydnee Jack, Alpha Omicron

International Vice President of Finance - Emily Erkel, Zeta Chi

International Vice President of Organizational Relations - Sandy McDonald Davis, Xi

Executive Director - Linda Welch Ablard, Alpha Omicron

It was absolutely amazing to see the process and incredibly amazing to actually be able to vote for the next leaders of our International Organization! We were also so blessed as a chapter to have so many options, so many women who were capable and willing to serve in such capasities!

That night, we celebrated our alumnae with the "Diamond are Forever - Bring Your Bling" dinner... Sisters dressed up in tiaras, jewels and all things lions, and diamonds! In addition to alumnae awards, we celebrated with another time-honored ADPi tradition, the Convention song!

All members of the Convention Body stand up to begin...

"This is Convention Number 1, Number 1, Number 1,
This is Convention Number 1, Have you been to 2?"

All the sisters who had only been to one convention had to sit down...






Sung to the tune of 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' we went through 27 VERSES of this song... with one of our sisters had been to 27 Convention Meetings - non-concecutively, her very first being in 1941!!

How amazing it was to see all these women celebrate many many years of service and sisterhood!


Day 4: Diamonds in the Dessert

The morning of our last full day began within an alumnae initiation and a Ritual Review workshop... it was amazing and beautiful to sit and see and really take in our Ritual. We're usually a part of it, and being able to see it in a calm and relaxing setting really helped me notices pieces I had not before - both as an Alpha and Delta sister.

After our ritual review we were fortunate to have Christ Blackburn from Campuspeak give us a Keynote entitled: "Response Ability," which was all about bystandard behavior and the different attitudes that contribute it.... it was funny to see every sister in the room "Ohhh" and "Ahh" in agreement as we talked about the different challenges we face in our chapters.

That afternoon we celebrated one of my favorite facets of our sisterhood - Panhellenic!! At our Panhellenic Luncheon, chapter flags from all the NPC groups are presented. We were also fortunate to have the President of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, Peter Smithhisler, speak to us.

Later that afternoon we attended two different educational sessions - I attended Trust, a workshop about self-trust, development, and developing behaviors that contribute to trust and Healthy vs. Hurting Leadership, a workshop about recognizing difficulties and difficult situations within our chapters on all different scales. Both workshops were incredible and I learned a lot.

My Convention experience ended with the final banquet - "Celebrating Diamonds of Excellence." At the final formal dinner the new Grand Council is installed, Alpha Delta Pi's highest awards are given out, toasts are made, and the official roll called. After the banquet, the entire Convention Body went outside and sang traditional ADPi songs. It absolutely felt like a dream, and was truly an experience I will never forget.







In addition to the actually experience of attending Grand Convention and lessons learned in education sessions here are some of things I will take away, maybe the most valuable of all: Alpha Delta Pi is there, always, connecting me to sisters through time and space, throughout history and across the country. My ideals and values give me way to a family of individuals that no matter what, will be there. In doing some self-reflection I realized that things - school, friends, chapter business, etc. - can be difficult; it can be hard, and scary and confusing. When all is said and done, this is where we should all come back to, the most basic principles the most basic notion and the basis for our membership. Our chapter's Ritual gives us important lessons, ones that should never be forgotten, ones that can make these difficult things seem a lot easier. I learned that my advisors may grow to be some of the best friends I'll ever have, and they're women to admire and look up to. I'll always have support, I'll always have sisters, after all - 'we live for each other.'


<3 Love and Loyally

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Whatchamacallit.... Greek Jargon Edition

Greek life has it's own jargon, from sororities to fraternities, chapter to chapter and council to council the language to describe things are different but to un-Greek ears, most of them have no idea what we're talking about!! How are we supposed to prove to the world how awesome we are if they can't understand what we're saying...(am I right? am I right?)!

Language is a very very powerful thing - using one select term over another can inspire us, make us feel happy and or excited, make us feel loved or appreciated - words can also be hurtful. They can demean us, they can make us feel bad about ourselves or others... (think sticks and stones...). Greek jargon is just as powerful. In a community where outside perceptions are not always the best it's especially important that we be mindful of our language....and I'm not talkin' minding our p's and q's (although both are very important!!).

Here are some language DO's and DON'T's:


1. Do: New Member or Potential New Member - these two phrases give PNM's or New Members (Alpha Sisters wooo woot!) the respect that they deserve. They ensure a sense of safety in just our language - there will be no proving yourself or demeaning treatment, you are a new friend or sister or sisterfrand.... whatever you want to call it.

Don't: Pledge - Calling a person a "pledge" infers that they are "pledging," this above all else is one of the most negative notions of fraternity and sorority life. If you want non-Greeks (and many Greeks, I might add) to believe that you are not treating new members with the upmost respect this word is a big cue. Even if you are treating your new members in the best possible way - pledge carries with it a very strong and very negative connotation so why not avoid it?!

side note: Same goes for New Member Period, Alpha Period, etc... are Pledge Period, Rush....

2. Do: NPC Groups participate in Formal Recruitment

Don't: Sisters are not found in RUSH - small different but it gives a blanketed idea to what is actually a very precise and mutual process. While this phrase is still used by many universities to describe the time, it just shows that the campus Panhellenic group needs some reorganizing.

3. Do: Familiarize yourself with Greek terminology including council names,

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)
National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association (NAPA)
National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations(NALFO)
National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC).
North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC)


Don't: Call NPHC groups "the black ones" or refer to NAPA orgs as "the asian ones," having an understanding of the history and development of these councils and their purpose will not only change your own Greek experience for the better - no matter what group you are a member of, but will also give you a new understanding of these groups and their roles in every community....plus it makes you seem plain old stupid.


4. Do: Get to know and properly reference the Green Book/NIC Resolutions and your chapter's and any governing council's officers.

Don't: Count on others to learn these important things for you, if "traditions" inhibit your chapter from moving forward or the way you've always done things isn't working anymore...you might be doing it wrong and chapter officers may not know!


5. Do: Call the sisters of your chapter "Sisters" when trying to get their attention

Don't: Yell out "Girls" when trying to quiet the room - this is a personal one, but to me it just as such an "us" and "them" connotation to it when you're yelling at people. As a speaking officer or sister you're simply that, a speaking officer or sister...(but this could totally be just me!)


Language has a huge impact on the way people react to different situations. When we use the proper language, we'll get well...a proper response. Giving respect to other through language is more often than not given respect in return! Not to mention, calling things by their proper names makes us sound much more professional! (You fancy, HuH?!)


<3 Love and Loyally,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I (heart) Greek Life ... Really I do.

I love Greek Life. I really, really do... I love my chapter, my international organization; I love Panhellenic (ask my Panhellenic sisters how I feel about our Wednesday night meetings!!) and I love being a member of the Greek Community.

Today at work someone was asking me about school - "Yes, I'm only home for the summer..." it was a completely normal conversation, and one that I have almost daily the first couple weeks back. "How was your year? ..." anyone with a summer job knows the exact conversation I'm talking about - you have it with friends and older co-workers summer after summer.

In addition to the "what classes did you take?" type questions, we started talking about my boyfriend and where he goes to school - "that's so far away" - this is the response I'm used to hearing, so the response I'm used to giving is: "It's okay though because we're both so busy, he plays sports and I'm president of my sorority so we are both always up to something."

To me, staking my claim as a member of a sorority is a perfectly respectable account of a busy schedule: philanthropy events, meetings, chapter, the list goes on and on.... and yet today - this person's negative Greek experiences had rained all over my usual "I <3 Greek Life" attitude.

By busy schedule they thought I was referring to my partying and drinking.....

Sometimes I get so frustrated! I know that our Greek community at the Q is very different than most, but my experience has been a wonderful one and has truly shaped my life. Sometimes I can't decide what is worse - the stereotypes about Greek life or the activities and events Greeks participate in to make those stereotypes true.

I consider myself one of the biggest advocates for the Greek system - the Greek leadership model is something truly incredible! But, at the same time that I'm defending my affiliation to the world's end, I'm also one of the biggest critics. I love my Ritual and I am so proud to be a part of it, when Greeks don't live their lives (and that means all the time.... character is what you do when no one is looking!!), by their Rituals, they further perpetuate the bad and all too easily detriment the good!

I feel like most Greeks spend so much time defending themselves and not enough time acting in ways to make outsiders change their minds - there is also always talk about why our behavior should be different or better or one way over another. The answer is simple....Greek Life, I love you but I have to say:

We took an oath that others didn't. We made promises that other college students did not make, and we did it all by choice. It was our choice to be a part of these social organizations, to strive for social excellence, and when we don't we make a lie out of our Ritual.

Learn it. Live it. Love it.

<3 Love and Loyally

Monday, May 2, 2011

LTR: Summer Edition



So it's not summer, not for me, not just yet....but after having our last chapter meeting of the year last night, summer is on my mind (okay, and maybe a little in my day dreams)!!

With our last week of classes and final exams making their way into our agendas it's time to get ready for summer! New bathing suits, trips to the beach, summer jobs....in addition to all the fun that comes with the summer months, spending time with our friends and families, how do we remember our R/ritual and sisterhood while we're separated from one another?

With sisters living across the country, it's hard to ensure that all our members our staying engaged over the summer. Some of the friendships with new Delta sisters and older Delta sisters were just starting to develop and now we have to separate?!

Here are some of the things that we've done in our chapter to keep everyone connected even while we're physically apart from one another!!

Facebook Groups ~ every academic class (Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshmen) have a facebook group. Sisters can post events, keep in touch and even post videos! It's a quick and easy check in that brings everyone closer together.

Chapter Calendar ~ getting our chapter calendar out to sisters as soon as possible will help sisters not only prepare, but get excited for the upcoming school year! By making sure new events and activities are in view, sisters won't forget everything we've done together this past year

Diamond Sister Notebooks ~ Instead of making diamond boards during our Diamond Days celebrations, our Membership Education Team came up with this cute idea! Diamond Sisters decorated a notebook to mail back and forth to one another, some sisters use it at school, passing it back and forth each week at chapter when schedules get too busy for regular lunch dates.

Summer Trips ~ with our chapter log, sisters can see who lives in their area! We have plans to go to amusement parks, the beach, sporting events and other great summer classics! By connecting with women who live in our area, it's yet another way to yet us get to know sisters!!

What do your chapters do to keep the spark of sisterhood going over the summer months??


<3 Love and Loyally

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ode to Chapter Operations: C.O.B., I Love You

Dear C.O.B.,

Thank you!

Thank you for always being there for me when I've needed you - the binder in my dorm room, on the go on Pride Online (Manuals by Section of course!!). Whenever I have had a question over the last year, in addition to my sisters and advisors, you have been there all-knowing! Just when I think something is unique to our chapter, or that we're in an unknown situation - there you are with not just a page but an entire section dedicating to solving the crisis, fixing the situation, implementing the plan or building the chapter!

Thank you for the timelines, the transitions and laying down the law!

Love and Loyally,
Mary


Since I was elected in a special election at the end of the school year last year, I have a particular love for the C.O.B. Sisters in my chapter usually tease me since I've been known to give answers that include "In section _____ of the C.O.B., it says ______"
and although they might laugh, I know that when I can reference the C.O.B. on a subject, it's being done the way it's supposed to with no digression from its purpose or our values.

It's not just the C.O.B. I love, I love all of our officer manuals! They have answered so many of my questions and the questions of other women in the chapter, officers and members-at-large a like!

So I propose these few steps to make your life a little easier!!

1. If you are an officer read your manual. The WHOLE thing. Cover to cover. You will not absorb everything but you will become familiar with the manual and at least be able to recall things that you might have to go back to, to reference later.

2. Check the manual first! 9 times out of 10, I am asked a question and when I open the C.O.B. or the officer manual the answer is not only there but it is there bolded with a specific answer and its own section or chapter.

3. Manuals are our greatest resources! They are gifts from our Executive Offices or International Headquarters for us to use - they were all collegians once, and they know what they're talking about! Consider the C.O.B. the best advise we could ever get from CBG!!


<3 Love and Loyally

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Little Bit Of This and A Little Bit Of That

These past few weeks, thinking about my role as President and a sister (at this point I apologize for my last two post being almost the same...'goals' are kind of on my mind!!) and I was brain storming new ideas and approaches that we could try and utilize in our chapter. What can we do to grow? How do we reach all of our members? Why don't we get perfect attendance at all of our events?

The answer to my questions came in the form of T.J. Sullivan - I heard T.J. speak at our leadership conference this year and I have been completely obsessed with him ever since. I read his blog The Hungry Student Leader almost everyday. In today's hunt, I found this article: Please All The People Some of The Time

This article....as many of T.J.'s entries do...hit me like a ton of bricks. A "duh" moment. Not everyone shows up to everything because no everyone likes everything.

As leaders in our chapter we're prepared for people t get mad at us, to get angry, to "hate" us or come to us with problems. Every discouraged leader has heard "you can't make everybody happy" millions of times, or "If you can't feel the heat, you're not cooking" but there's no standard or obvious plans to host and develop effective programming! Yes, our Chapter Operations Book or your officer manuals give you guidelines for events, for chapter meetings, for chapter education sessions but no one has the key or a secret guide to being successful in executing chapter plans or socials or sisterhood events - PR needs and tools are different on every campus, the culture is different on every campus....

The key to T.J.'s article is that different activities need to be held throughout the year the appeal to the different tastes, availability and interests of our members. Movie nights may be the perfect first for some of our sisters but the others want to play sports. Some sisters aren't competitive are don't want sports - they want to take trips and get off campus!! So maybe all 185 sisters don't come to every single event but if every single sister goes to one of our many events then we should consider ourselves successful!!

This past Sunday at our chapter meeting we did some strategic planning....in other words we talked about the things we don't like and how to change them. We discussed our expectations and our ideas. IT WAS AWESOME! My sisters had some amazing ideas that might not have appealed to everyone, but had some more excited than I'd ever seen!

When making the chapter calendar remember that while we share the same values and that we all wear the same letters our interests, hobbies, and skill sets are all different. Our similarities make us Alpha Delta Pis, our differences make our chapter unique!

Love and Loyally <3

Thursday, April 14, 2011

And...What Do You Have To Show For Yourself?

It's been almost one year since I was elected President. I can hardly believe it. I'm more than half-way done, where did this year go?! Coming into office i had so many goals and ideas about what our chapter could do and what we could accomplish! With a little more than 6 months left, I have a few more things on my to-do list!

I want to post them now so that next Fall when I pass the torch - or gavel - I can say "here's what I did, now it's up to you to make it better." That's the objective right? That we each - every member, officer, sister - bring something different to our chapters. We have different talents, skills, interests, and ideas. If we each leave a little something behind with our chapters, the next generation will take that and make it a little better, a little more effective. When they leave the next, after them, will do the same.

I'm not saying we can never be satisfied or that we are not successful, but I am saying that we should rest on our laurels, that we shouldn't get tired or even lazy. We shouldn't ever do things because that's how they were done, or "that's how we've always done them." Something might work for the chapter for a few years but as the chapter culture or "personality" so to speak, changes, so much our mays of doing things.

Here are my goals for the next 6 months:

1. Work on ways to develop leadership within our chapter ~ host a "Leadership Workshop" within our chapter for sisters interested in running for an office, utilize committee or event chairs for everything!! Any sister who is interested in a leadership role should be given the opportunity to do so!

2. Improve communication! The GIN system is great for our chapter but can be used more, the question boards, discussion boards, the ability for sisters to post things on the "wall" we need to use this better, but how? Update our facebook page and chapter website for potential members and parents. Hold event meetings so all the different officers working together can talk face-to-face.

3. More philanthropy events, fundraisers by class!

4. Greater participation!! I feel like sometimes our chapter does things because they have to, this is the thing that upsets me most, and sometimes something feels like it's missing. We need new means of motivation, new experiences that bring us together, new activities that are fun but structured enough that we can use them as a means of discussion or bonding.

5. More opportunities to get to know different sisters - Bible study, book exchanges, study groups, family dinners!


Here they are just a few more things on my to-do list! Any ideas? Any experiences? Throw them my way! I know how lucky our chapter is to have the amazing women we do, I want to make sure they're getting the experience that they expected and hoped for! I believe in my sorority, I believe in Greek life. What do you want out of your membership?! Let's make it happen!

Ready? GO!!

Love and Loyally

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who Needs 'New Years' to Make Resolutions!

Who needs New Years to make goals and positive changes? We don't need a date or a time to start! "Goals are dreams with deadlines..." so while we don't need to have a start time, we need to set deadlines!

As the year is starting to wind down, I think this is the perfect opportunity to begin planing for next year - to learn from the past year's events and to start setting the tone for next year so we can hit the ground running!

Here are my personal goals for my office and our chapter! I hope you take the time to make some of your own - feel free to share!!

1. Improve Communication
- filter questions to the proper VP/officers
- utilize GIN message boards to share information
- take complete minutes and make sure they're posted promptly for all team/committee meetings

2. Create Positive Environment at all ADPi Events
- Create new positive recognition tools
- Make sure to recognize sisters for their hard work and skills they share
- leave our troubles at the door

3. Create Effective Systems
- Sub-committees for all committees
- Event chairs for all events
- Evaluate all events for future improvement
- Delegate as much as possible to develop leadership in others
- Make organization a habit
- Hold a productive Fall officer retreat

4. Have Fun!
- Collect/share/build new programs that meet sisters interests
- RELAX
- reflect and create opportunities for reflection

What goals do you want to achieve? How can you be a leader in your chapter in office and out? How can we stay "in the moment" while preparing for an even brighter future?

<3 Love and Loyally

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Alpha Delta Pi Foundation

As sisters of Alpha Delta Pi we are so incredibly blessed! While most men's and women's chapters have means and provide scholarships, not all chapters have the amazing opportunities and access that we do. The Alpha Delta Pi Foundation provides academic scholarships and emergency grants to sisters in need but their efforts do not end there! The Alpha Delta Pi Foundation works to create educational programs including the Adelphean Compass, I was able to experience the Adelphean Compass this summer at Leadership Seminar, and other educational programs. They use the funds to develop and support new programming, create total membership development opportunities and to support outside programming and NPC/IFC events like UIFI.

The Alpha Delta Pi Foundation amazing and supports Alpha Delta Pi collegians and alumnae from around the world....check our their amazing video below!




Love and Loyally <3

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy International Badge Day!



Happy International Badge Day!

Monday, March 7th, 2011 celebrates the 15th International Badge Day!


International Badge Day was first celebrated in 1997 after being created by the National Panhellenic Conference. The idea was inspired by an article by a sisters of Alpha Sigma Alpha, wrote an article entitled "A Simple Solution - Wear Your Memberhsip Badge Today." In this article, Nora M. Ten Broeck told of her experience of wearing her badge to work.

Pins or badges are a common Greek experience, so while this day was first started and celebrated by NPC groups, since 1997 the National Pan-Hellenic Council Inc., the National Multicultural Greek Council, the National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations Inc. have all been invited to participate. This is a tie that binds men and women of a common cultural. Just as our Rituals might all be different, our rituals are all the same. Just as our pins are different shapes and have different symbols and different meanings, their function is also all the same.

As a sister of Alpha Delta Pi, our diamond shaped badge, as our creed states is a reminder of the four guide posts of our founding and act as a reminder of our purpose. When we see sisters from around the world wearing their pin, we know that we share a common initiation experience and were recruited under the same values and guidelines.

Our pin is a proud display of our affiliation and inspires others around us to ask questions. It invokes a sense of pride and encourages us to represent our organizations in the best way possible. While we wear "pin/badge attire" when we wear our pins in public, the idea behind them is that mentally, we never take them off. Even when no one is looking we should not stop living our Ritual, we should never abandon our values.

This year's theme: "Keep Your Fraternal Experience Close To Your Heart"

Happy International Badge Day!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Happy National Ritual Celebration Week 2011!


Happy Ritual Celebration Week everyone!

Phi Mu Fraternity, founded at *Wesleyan Female College* in 1852, created National Ritual Celebration Week in December 2010! According to the Alpha Delta Pi website this week was created:
"For members to reflect on why our organization was founded, why fraternities/sororities have rituals, what it means to live by one’s ritual and what being a member of an organization with a ritual means to them personally."

I love talking about what we call Big "R"/Little "r," trust me, ask any of my chapter sisters...

This is something that was passed onto me at a leadership conference last fall. The idea of R/ritual is what this week is really all about. This week of celebration is about the reflection and infusion of the message of our chapter Rituals into our everyday life, and everyday rituals.

According to the Webster dictionary:
ritual |ˈri ch oōəl| noun
• a prescribed order of performing such a ceremony, esp. one characteristic of a particular religion or church.
• a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone : her visits to Joy became a ritual.

I love the definition above - the first applies directly to our chapter's Rituals. These ceremonies have been repeated for almost 160 years, they connect us to women across time and space. We share this ceremony with women from around the world, and with generations of women. The second, applies to our rituals. These are the things we do everyday: we wake up, brush our teeth, wash our face, drink a cup of coffee... The idea is of "Living our Ritual" is that we should bring all of the values that we share and cherish in chapter and initiation into our everyday lives. Honesty, forgiveness, respect, appreciation. How can we be more honest with sisters and friends? How can we be more respectful to classmates and our families? How can we learn to forgive and communicate more effectively with each other?

Our Ritual teaches us how to live our lives, how to make our rituals ones that would be reflective of our founders intentions. Are Ritual teaches us how to make our us better people.

For more information about National Ritual Celebration Week or more ideas for how to celebrate you can visit Phi Mu Fraternity's website!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

UIFI: Helping Collegians Live The Ritual

The Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute is a conference for collegiate Greeks that brings members from chapters from across the country together. Attendees learn from each other and gain a deeper meaning of what it is to be Greek. "Whatever the letters, we're all Greek together..." this is the spirit of UIFI - we all have different chapters but we're all in this together. The bad that far too often overshadowing the good we do in our communities. The stereotypes that are perpetuated and negatively effect our chapters, the stigmas and the people the allow these negative images of Greeks to continue. We sometimes have a tendency to look only from the inside out as members of the Greek community - we understand our activities and functions and might understand the thought behind chapter actions - but do we see, can we see, what others do from the outside looking in?

The video below is an incredible example to the voice and challenge of UIFI. The spirit that it brings and the challenge it presents to each of us - to change our community for the better or to help others change theirs.





Every time I watch this video I get the chills! I hope it did the same for you.

LTR <3

More Than A Ritual, More Than A Symbol, It Is A Way Of Life.

The Creed of Alpha Delta Pi was written by Caralee Stock Stanard and given to our Sorority as a gift in 1948, originally a part of her keynote speech.

The Creed of Alpha Delta Pi, the Symphony of Alpha Chi Omega, and the mission statements of our chapters give us guidelines, and meaning. They translate our independent chapter rituals and traditions into everyday life. Our Creed in particular renews our commitment not just to our sisterhood but to ourselves every time we read it. When things get hard, and times get crazy, when choices become more and more difficult there is one place that we as Greeks can go and find the right path - officers, executive members and sisters - our traditions are all here. Our Ritual Book and our Creed should always be the standard by which our chapter activities surround in addition to providing us with a support network based on family, faith and loyalty.


I Believe in Alpha Delta Pi.

I believe in the purpose and traditions of our chapter, that being a sister of Alpha Delta Pi is worth while.

I Believe that my sorority is more than a ritual or a symbol; that it is a way of life.

"Ritual" makes our chapter unique, it is the tradition that connects us across time and space to women and sisters around the world, but living our ritual everyday means I'll live the values in chapter meetings and out.

I Believe that the principles established by our founders in 1851 are enduring attributes, exemplifying the highest ideals of Christian womanhood.

I believe that the values of our founding sisters are still relevant and by following them I can be my best possible self.

I Believe that our motto, "We Live for Each Other", expresses the true spirit of fraternity; and that by living this motto my life will be enriched by true friendships and by unselfish service to mankind.

I believe that our motto will bring me closer to my chapter and Panhellenic sisters, and those around me. That by being inclusive and giving what I can to others my life will be greatly enriched.

I Believe that the privilege of membership in Alpha Delta Pi brings the responsibility to do my best in whatever I undertake, always remembering that leadership requires confidence tempered with humility and courage blended with tolerance.

I am representing women across the country and a national organization, I must always remember that everything I do will be a reflection of my chapter and Greek community. I must always remember that leading others means allowing them to develop their own leadership.

I Believe that I must strive to become a well balanced person by following the dictates of the four points symbolized by our diamond shaped badge: first, strengthening my own character and personality; second, watching my attitudes toward my fellow beings; third, recognizing the value of high educational standards; fourth, developing faith and loyalty.

I believe that the four values on which our chapter was founded will lead me to become a better person. I must strive to become a good person, to respect and treat those around me with kindness, I was always challenge myself to be a woman of merit, and I should work to develop trust and deep friendships.

I Believe that these four guide-posts, guarded by the stars and friendly hands clasped in the Adelphean bonds of fellowship will lead me to achieve a rich and useful life.

Being a sister of Alpha Delta Pi will make me a better person if I remember our Rituals and strive to live our values as outlined in our sisterhood and passed on through our traditions. These values won't end with my college career, but will carry me to success in every aspect of life.


When things get hectic, or stressful, when people get upset or tired. When days are long and the challenges seem never-ending - bring it back to basics. Bring it back to our Creed. Everything you need to know about living and leaving a positive influence on your Greek and campus community are here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Take Pride In Your Pride!

When people talk about sororities you'll hear about meetings and charity events, parties, and all other types of stereotypes good and bad... you might also hear "Bigs" and "Littles" being thrown around.

In Alpha Delta Pi we call them "Diamond Sisters," but they're essentially the same thing that other chapters have - an older already initiated member of the chapter becomes the Big/Big Diamond Sister of a younger not-yet initiated member of the chapter. These women act as big sisters, mentors and friends. It's a special relationship that makes your sisterhood much more personal. Big Diamond Sisters answer questions for their Little Diamond Sister, help them meet other sisters and are there for them inside of ADPi and out...

The idea and purpose of Diamond Sisters is really an amazing one when you think about the common practice of "families." In our chapter Diamond Sister relationships exist independently of each other...I have a Little Diamond Sister, and she now has a Little Diamond Sister. By these relationships being independent of each other, no sister ever has to worry about the relationship of her Big Diamond Sister or even perhaps another Little Diamond Sister. While all the women in our chapter share the same values, we might have different senses of humor, like different movies, activities, music, whatever.

Different women connect with different aspect of our personalities, we share different moments, special talk, and different experiences. When we limit or build an expectation of the "type" of connection women make, we in turn limit our own opportunities to grow and develop new relationships and different part of our own personalities as leaders, women and sisters.

Instead of following family lines, or building family trees, Alpha Delta Pi has what we call Prides. Prides are made of Big and Little Diamond Sisters and switch every semester. Prides have fun and do different activities together, they're our version of families and allow sisters to get to know different women in the chapter on a more personal level than they might otherwise have the opportunity to do.

Need a Pride Event?

Chips and Dip Party! Every sister brings a different bag of chips and a different dip!

Get Crafty! Paint pin boxes, ADPi letters, make hugs and kisses blankets! Give every sister a square and make a quilt!

Go to the batting cages, driving range, go carts or laser tag... nothing like a little sisterly competition

Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or the local animal shelter.

Cookie Party - bring cookies or buy store made sugar cookies and get the supplies to decorate them!

Mocktail Party - dress up and crack the grape juice! Serve a cheese platter

Go to the movies, and of course sneak in popcorn and candy! Or have your own movie marathon at home! Have each sister bring a snack to share, get some sodas and turn off the lights!

Game Night - grab Apples to Apples, Scribblish, Clue or any game you can find!

Cook! Pick a fancy or simple recipe and get on your aprons make a home cooked meal! Or even just an appetizer party!


LL,
Mary

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sisters, Sisters, There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters

They're here, they're here!!

Recruitment is over. The parties, the stress, the excitement.... everything over the past two weeks has been leading up to one moments and for one purpose: NEW MEMBERS! Recruitment ensures that our chapter will last for years to come. We prepare and practice, the same way that sisters before us have prepared and practiced.

Almost 70 Alpha members were welcomed Home to Alpha Delta Pi last Monday night pushing our chapter size to almost 200 ... will it be crazy? Sure. A challenge to get to know these women? Of course! Are we ready for it? Heck yes we are!

With new members come new challenges - how do you form bonds with these women? How do we introduce new members to the wave and overwhelming spill of Sorority life? How do we continue to function as a chapter while still playing Greek 101?

The first few weeks of the new member period is especially important to the Alpha and Delta members (new members and initiated members) - these few weeks form the new habits and rythem of the chapter. Sisters either open up or feel left out. It also creates a new start for the chapter in terms of excitement and chapter goals.

It is therefore our job, to use the sparks and excitement, the feeling of a fresh start, to look back and fix the the things that need fixing, addressing the issues of last semester - to infuse positive communication and recognition.

As a Delta member - what can you do to give the Alphas a true welcome home? What would you like to see in the chapter, how can you implement it? Who/what committee can you bring your ideas to? What has the past year meant to you?

As an Alpha member - what made you choose Alpha Delta Pi? What were you looking for in a chapter? What skills/talents do you have that can be translated into a chapter role or leadership position?

Being a new member is exciting, and having new members is exciting. It's filled with firsts, new ideas, new people and lots and lots of new opportunities.

Never forget the moment you felt at home. Never forget the sister who made you feel that way. Never forget the thoughts that made you reluctant, and too the moments that reassured you. Collect these moments and hold on to them, not just for four year, but for life.





Welcome Home Sisters!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

You Can Trust In It Always...

Alpha Delta Pi is a sisterhood, you can trust in it always.

This weekend was Formal Recruitment and quite the weekend it was.

3 days, 12 parties, and almost 400 amazing women.

I'm not going to lie, I was nervous - petrified even. This is only our second Formal Recruitment since our instillation and our first year without a stationed Leadership Consultant. Could we do it?

I was worried that my sisters wouldn't be able to convey what our chapter's values are, what we mean to each other... what if we couldn't find women who share those things? What if we found those women and they didn't find us?

But as always - my sisters beyond surprised me!

we spend a lot of time practicing for recruitment - our skit, our songs, but mostly conversation. Sisters are prepared to answer questions, have meaningful conversations with women they've never met, and to open themselves up to potential members.

All chapters do these things. So what makes us different?

Our love of Alpha Delta Pi and each other comes through when all else fails. It's easy to tell people about something you love, about the people to love.

I am so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by women who constantly surprise me, who take care of me, who never cease to amaze me.

Alpha Delta Pi IS a sisterhood, you can trust in it ALWAYS.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Good Cop or Bad Cop or Sister?

When many of us join a sorority we have the instant expectation for sisterhood.

That's what a sorority is after all isn't it?

We're not just a club or a student group, we call each other sisters, so there's got to be more to it than that.

It comes with its share of difficulty, when there are standards issues, or someone isn't fulling their weight.... what do we do about it? These women aren't just on a committee we see once a week, they're not just peers in another resume pumping activity, they really are sisters.

So when standards issues arise, it's hard on everyone.

The sister who was elected or selected to hold the chapter accountable - it's her job, and you should take pride that she's doing it well to uphold the image and values of our chapter.

The women who acted in a way not reflective of our values - she'll be defensive, if she absolutely truly belived what she was doing was wrong she never would have done it..DUH! She is also a sister of the Director of Standards and Ethics.

So what do we do?

Be perfect and never do anything wrong because we know it becomes a difficult situation for all involved?

But what can we REALLY do?

1. Any standards matters need to be kept private. End of Story.

2. NEVER reply to an e-mail when you're angry/stressed/upset etc... which is bound to happen! Draft an e-mail and send it to your roommate. Call your mom and talk her ear off, write her a letter and never deliver it... it sounds stupid but it works. When you're upset, you have to validate your feelings before you can move on and reflect.

3. Reflect - after you've written but NOT sent your "perfect" reply, you've walked away from the situation, you've calmed down...it might be the next day, or that weekend. Think about the e-mail/notice and what it's saying. What happened? What is your side of the story? How does the chapter see the situation? Were you honest and open about your situation?

4. Review the "accusation" - RE-Read the bylaws, rules, chapter expectations. Did you break a rule? What are you being accused of or what chapter values did your actions compromise?

5. Control your language. In an e-mail. In person. On the phone. Being rude does not help your situation. You are an adult and will be faced with conflict for the rest of your life. Being open, honest and respect to everyone involves shows them that you to demand and deserve to be treated with openness, honesty and respect.

6. When it's done. Let it go. At the end of the day you're sisters. Live our ritual. Be a sister and a friend. Take it, make a solutions, do what needs to be done and what it fair. And forget about it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Got Spirit? Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

SPIRIT WEEK IS HERE!

For those of you that don't know:


Spirit Week |spe'it weak-| noun. producing or able to produce large amounts of Spirit : a week long celebration of Pi Love. • most notable distinguished by large amounts of coffee (or caffeine substitutes), weird or silly behavior, and long nights achieving or producing a significant amount or result: The Theta Theta Chapter of Alpha Delta Pi is celebrating Spirit Week and getting ready for new Alpha Sisters.

Spirit Week is one of my favorite times of the year. I really love Formal Recruitment - I am always amazing by my sisters, what they can do, how they present themselves and how they come together. While I absolutely LOVE recruitment, I also recognize that it is a very stressful, busy, crazy time.

Fact:
1. Practices will go late.
2. Sisters have homework, boyfriends, roommates, friends all of which also require attention.
3. Happy at 4 p.m. does not always ensure happiness at 4 a.m.


So what can we do? How do we as chapter members, leaders, and officers ensure that this is the best week possible for our sisters?

We have to set the tone.

Setting expectations as a chapter or whole group, making "rules" for the week - our list, which we made at chapter last night, covered everything from "No saying 'shut up'" to "Don't burst my happy bubble" - if sisters have to stay up until all hours of the night, they have the right to set the standard for themselves and each other about the behavior they expect.

As our Spirit Chair beautifully said last night - this week will be long, and we'll all be tired, but we have to choose our attitudes, this week gives us the opportunity to choose that we're "a sisterhood, not just a sorority."


Set the bar. Hold yourself and your sisters to it.

<3 Happy Spirit Week

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baby Let's Roll With It

Sometimes things work out exactly the way you imagined, exactly the way you planned.

Most of the time however, they don't.

Mistakes or miscommunications are made, circumstances change, space is unavailable, your budget is cut, numbers go up then down then up again.

How do we get through it? How to we execute an event or program or anything else when it seems like the details are coming apart at the seams?

Start with this:

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."

The wisdom to know the difference . . . that's the key !

Have you read your manual (all of it, even the less interesting parts)?

Where you as prepared as you possibly could have been?

Did you use effective communication with the people you're working with?

Even while you're frustrated, were you mindful of your words and language to others?

If so....then that's all we do.

Our job in creating chapter or campus events is to create programming that positively represents our chapter's values, gives sisters the opportunity to develop their friendships and come closer together . . . not to mention have a little fun !

So what, the balloons are the exact shade of chartreuse that you imagined ! So what, one name tag is missing the slightest bit of glitter ! In my experience, especially with Recruitment, is that the little things I think are SOOOOO terrible at the time, can sometimes make the party or the event even better!

If we are all doing all that we can, and all that we are responsible for . . . then we just have to roll with it.

Have a back up plan for situations that are foreseeable. Pack a few extra everything. But, no matter what be proud, and remember that people know what they see in front of them, not what you imagined or expected. They see what's there and now, and I can assure you, no matter the situation, they're seeing something amazing!

Baby, just roll with it . . .

Friday, January 28, 2011

Be The Change You Wish To See...In Your Chapter!!

Why did you join your chapter?

What did you expect to gain from it?

What has been your role as a member?

Most members can easily answer the first two questions - felt like I belonged, loved their philanthropy... make friends, get more involved - the list for both goes on and on!

We all have expectations, we have them for every part of our life! We expect to be treated a certain way by the people around us, we expect to gain certain things through our participation, we even sometimes expect to be given certain things (actual stuff, experiences, etc.) based on our involvement.

When it comes to question #3.... many members don't have an answer "I'm a member?" or "I go to chapter."

Officer, committee member, special event chair, or member-at-large: it does not matter!!

You have a great idea? Tell someone! Want to host a really cool philanthropy event? Go to the philanthropy committee's meeting that week and talk about your idea? Think that meetings are taking too long and have an idea about how to streamline them? Post it in the suggestion box, or attend executive committee to talk to advisors!

When officers or sisters send our surveys asking for your opinions - respond! Otherwise, they'll stop asking.

What do you think is fun? What are your hobbies? What would make you enjoy going to chapter instead of, as T.J.Sullivan says in his keynote, drink bleach?!

If you see something wrong or different or maybe just not as good as it could be...CHANGE IT! You have the power to make your experience exactly what you want it to be as a chapter member! You can suggest socials or express interest in a topic for membership education.

If you want to see change around you, you have to start it. Use the tools and outlets you have (or come up with your own!) and express your opinions!

Want to change the general mood of the chapter? Come to chapter in pin attire, on time, ready to focus and listen to sisters, volunteer, be engaged. Share your experiences, socialize with a sister you might not know as well! Choose your attitude - leave bio and economics, boyfriend troubles, and stress at the door!

It's up to all of us to help build the traditions and legacy of our chapter or any activity we're involved in...

Well...what are you waiting for?!?

No One But You

As college students, we have classes, homework, endless amounts of reading to complete. We have roommates and friends, our chapter sisters, boyfriends or loved ones, and of course our own families.

Each part of our college experience life is demanding. They demand our attendance at events, they have expectations for us, and they take up our time....a lot of time to be honest.

So what makes us get it all done? How do we tackle our pile of work? How as college women to we manage to have lunch with our roommates, read 6 chapters of economics (or A/P or Bio or math...or all of the above), write our QU seminar papers, call our boyfriends, go to the bank, the grocery store, and of course DUNKIN'? The answer is simple: motivation!

Dare I say, Greek women on our campus are especially motivated. We have chapter meetings, membership education sessions, starting next week recruitment practice every night, philanthropy events, committee meetings....the list goes on and on!

I often hear members of the Greek community say things like "I feel like I do this full time and go to classes to fill the rest of the space" or "Greek life is my full time job" - honestly I can't lie, sometimes I'm feeling the same way!!

So how do we get through everything we have to do?
1. It's mandatory ... .as much as we procrastinate, our QU papers will not go away. We can do them the night before or in advance but somehow they get done.

2. Expectations .... you barely have time to breath - but your chapter expects you to be at chapter every week. Wanting to or not, you're there.

3. You WANT to do it ... you enjoy spending time with your loved ones, you miss you boyfriend, or love being silly with your roommates. You might even enjoy your class or project enough to move it to the top of your academic to-do pile!

Yes, we all have days were our motivation is dead and we get absolutely nothing done. It's a fact. Everyone has an "off" day, and sometimes, we all need an "off" day.

What gets us out of bed every morning? What makes us start our engines?

If you know me, this answer is simple: caffeine!! (just kidding...but kind of serious)

We have to be engaged in what we're doing. We have to be there, in that moments, for class, for our families, for our sisters. The key to staying motivated is to compartmentalize - when you're at chapter, BE AT and THINK ABOUT chapter, when you're in the library think about Biology or History - one thing at a time. If all you're thinking about in chapter is the work you need to get done, you won't be taking anything away from your chapter experience. If you're in class or studying and let chapter meetings or calendar events stress you out, what are you retaining?

Sometimes we need motivation from others but most of the time it comes from within, we have to inspire ourselves and in turn be the inspiration for those around us.