Welcome to our #GoGreek series! This blog series focuses on interviewing past and present members of sororities and fraternities. We are able to learn more about their experiences and ask them questions to help others learn more about the Greek world, bust stigmas, and find out if Greek life is right for you. Check out all of our #GoGreek interviews here.
Liz was drawn to Alpha Chi Omega because she loved their philanthropy. It really impressed her how she could impact her community not only nationally, but locally as well. She also loved that the girls involved in Alpha Chi Omega were genuine and helped her become the best version of herself.
What drew you to Greek life?
At Marquette, all sororities have to have a service component as well as a social component, which I thought was great. I am a big believer in being involved in the community and it seemed like a good way to do so at college. Alongside that, I wanted to push myself to grow as a person and I could tell that any of Marquette’s sororities would help me do such.
What is your philanthropy and what effect does serving this philanthropy have on your life?
Our philanthropy is domestic violence awareness, and I have learned so much from being involved with our philanthropy. I never truly understood how big of an issue domestic violence is until I joined AXO. Through volunteering at a local women’s shelter, I have also seen how it impacts people up close, as well as the Milwaukee community. We also stress the importance of understanding what is and is not a healthy relationship, whether romantically or just as friends. That knowledge is so applicable every day, and I feel like I’ve become a better friend from it.
Liz’s advice for anyone considering joining a sorority or fraternity is to make sure that your values align with the organization and also allow you space to grow as a person in your time there.
Not only is Alpha Phi an incredible organization for the service and leadership they provide, but they also offer scholarships for academics. The stories that come from the students receiving the scholarships are incredibly moving and absolutely worth noting. They have been offering them since 1959 and continue to do so today.
Alpha Phi is aware of the rising costs of higher education and wants to assist its members with funding it as much as possible.
“Samantha Bliss Mullin (Theta Tau–Rensselaer) shared that although she “knew it was a good decision to get a graduate degree, the reality of the cost of education was pretty daunting.” Now able to focus on her graduate research and worry less about her financial obligations with the help of a Alpha Phi Foundation scholarship in 2017, Samantha went on to finish graduate degree on an accelerated track.”
-Alex Goodman alphaphifoundation.org
They are able to fund these scholarships through generous donations, mostly from the alumni of Alpha Phi. You can read more of Alex’s story highlighting their scholarship program on their website.
Alpha Phi’s history began in 1872 when ten women came together because they too wanted to be involved with something on campus of their university, but were denied access to their school’s fraternities. From this, they started their own women’s fraternity, which became the Alpha Phi sorority.
Their philanthropy is based deeply on service. “How can we serve and help?” is always the question on their mind, along with their motto, “Union Hand in Hand.”
“You will find a group of women passionate about making the world a better place. Whether it’s initiating community service efforts, raising awareness for heart health, or navigating the unique and challenging issues facing women on today’s college campuses, we stand together boldly to make a difference on our campuses and in our communities.”
They also pride themselves in the inclusive community they create at their sororities. They create an environment where you can feel at home away from home, get involved in your community, create lasting friendships, and grow as a leader.
“Every year, nearly 9,000 new members find a home in Alpha Phi. Like you, they too were looking for a place where they could confide in others, share new experiences, conquer difficult challenges, and achieve things they never thought possible.”
“More than 270,000 members found a community of friends who impacted their collegiate adventure for the better… and so will you. In Alpha Phi, you’ll have sisters standing shoulder to shoulder with you through the ups and downs of your college years. And perhaps the most surprising gift of all is that this Alpha Phi family extends well beyond your college years… Alpha Phi sisterhood means friendship for life.” -alphaphi.org
Joining Alpha Phi is participating in a lifelong sisterhood!
It’s Greek Week season! This means planning, planning, planning! Greek week is fun and exciting for everyone involved. One of the best parts of Greek Week is that there is always an activity to attend somewhere. BUT. For those on the planning committee, it is a lot of work. So here is a list of some Greek Week activities for you to consider.
Have a guest speaker
Chalk competitions outside of your organization’s house
Canned food drives
Sporting events- softball, kickball, pickleball, mud volleyball, etc! The opportunities with this are endless, there are so many sporting events you can put on!
Nail painting night
Obstacle “American Ninja Warrior” courses
Lip sync battles
Minute to Win It games
Pie eating contests
Greek week is an important week where Greek organizations can come together and get to know one another. It’s celebrating brotherhood and sisterhood and everything each organization represents. Though Greek week is a lot of work for many individuals, everyone will always agree that it pays off and is incredibly fun to spend the week doing these various activities and getting to know one another.
Do you have any other activities you do during Greek Week that you would add to this list?
Welcome to our #GoGreek series! This blog series focuses on interviewing past and present members of sororities and fraternities. We are able to learn more about their experiences and ask them questions to help others learn more about the Greek world, bust stigmas, and find out if Greek life is right for you.
Today we are interviewing AJ Cutler. AJ was a part of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.
AJ was drawn into Greek life through her friends, they were participating in the recruitment process and encouraged her to come along. She also loved the idea of finding like-minded people. Her favorite part of being in a sorority was always having something to do, there was always some event she could be a part of or join, enriching her overall college experience.
What was your philanthropy and what effect did serving this philanthropy have on your life?
“Domestic Violence/ Sexual Assault Awareness. This topic hits too close to home with so many of my friends, that’s felt very passionate and connected to this cause. I have chosen to continue to believe and support survivors of domestic violence end sexual assault, as well as create a safe space for any friends or colleagues that may experience it themselves.”
How has your experience helped or shaped your life beyond college? In what ways do you feel like being in a sorority or fraternity boosted your resume?
“I very frequently hang out with my friends that I met through Sorority life. There has also been a domino effect on my career, as a sorority sister helped me land my first job on campus, which led to opportunities in my field of study, which eventually landed me my current job that I love! I was able to diversify my experience with social media and marketing, and it led me to go out for more career-based clubs, which has boosted my resume!”
Her advice for those wanting to join Greek life is to join based on the people. Find the people you want to surround yourself with, and then you can find your own purpose in your organization.
Joining a sorority or fraternity comes with one big thing that often gets overlooked and sometimes comes as a surprise to a lot of new recruits during rush week, and that is finances. There are a lot of fees and dues when it comes to joining a Greek house and it’s important to know what your upfront and yearly costs will look like before committing so that you aren’t surprised later.
Each school and each organization will have its own fees, so it is best to do your own research on the specific houses you are looking into. This is typically information they will cover during Rush Week as well. However, here is a quick overview of fees or charges you may see.
New member fees
Chapter or house dues- annually
Social dues- for social events
National dues- paid to the national headquarters of your organization
Rent- if living within the household
Fines- which could be for anything from damages done to your room/the house, to missing an event or meeting
Georgia Southern University posted this table to their website for all students looking into Greek life, this is just one of the examples you may see when it comes to the financial responsibility you hold as a fraternity or sorority member. Typically the bigger university you attend with higher tuition rates, the higher Greek fees will be as well.
Should all of this financial responsibility deter you from joining? No! But it is something to be aware of. Especially because these fees are on top of your college tuition and fees.
A few places you can turn to for help:
Scholarships- both in and out of your University or organization
Financial aid- Loans and grants. Some organizations offer them, as well as applying directly from the government through FAFSA.
Omega Phi Alpha was founded in 1953 at Bowling Green State University. A handful of students at Zeta Kappa Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity wanted to start a new organization for the purpose of assisting with projects on campus that they were working on. After a group of women stepped up and wanted to fill the role, a sorority was started with a similar, but different name. Omega Phi Alpha. Originally the sorority was only open to members of Girls Scouts or Camp Fire Girls. This has since been changed.
Their core values are service, tradition, sisterhood, diversity & inclusion, and leadership. Each separate organization is centered around service in some way. They state on their website their purpose:
“The purpose and goals of this sorority shall be to assemble its members in the fellowship of Omega Phi Alpha, to develop friendship, leadership and cooperation by promoting service to the university community, to the community at-large, to the members of the sorority, and to the nations of the world.”
They truly are a sorority founded on women that stepped up to help and will continue to leave a legacy of women willing to step up to help. They are a positive influence on college campuses everywhere!
You can see more about Omega Phi Alpha and the overview of the sorority here in this video: