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!


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 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.