Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November Scholar of the Month: Gabrielle Choikhit

Congratulations to Gabrielle Choikhit of Delta Delta Delta! She has been chosen as the Panhellenic Scholar of the Month for November. 

Gabrielle has been very active in Delta Delta Delta since her freshman year of college. She previously served as the music chair for Delta Delta Delta at the University of Denver and is so excited to now be a member of the Tri-Delta here at KU. In addition to being a member of Delta Delta Delta, she is actively involved in some student organizations on campus. Last semester she had the opportunity to be a Sinai Scholar at Chabbad, where she participated in group discussions on Jewish ethics and values. She especially love being involved in the community and has enjoyed volunteering with Natural Ties this semester. She has also been on the Honor Roll every semester of college.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gamma Phi Beta Founder's Day: November 11, 1874

Happy Birthday to the women of Gamma Phi Beta! The sorority was founded on this day in 1874 at Syracuse University in New York.

The term "sorority"from the latin meaning "sisterhood" was coined in 1882 in reference to Gamma Phi Beta. Prior to this, other Greek organizations for women were refered to as "women's fraternites" or "fraternities for women."

Gamma Phi Beta was founded by these four women: (information taken from the website of Gamma Phi Beta Headquarters at www.gammaphibeta.org)

Four Founders

Helen DodgeThe Scholar Helen Mary Dodge Ferguson was a talented musician and member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Her chief interest was the mission work sponsored by her church. Helen died in 1937, leaving a substantial bequest to Syracuse University for scholarships for members of Gamma Phi Beta. Her love of learning has endeared her as the scholar of the four.

Frances HavenThe Artist Frances "Fannie" Elizabeth Haven Moss entered Northwestern University, where her father was president, as one of the first female students. After he was named chancellor of Syracuse University, she transferred to Syracuse. Frances later moved with her husband to Illinois where she was instrumental in establishing Omicron Chapter (Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). She was also the only Founder to have a daughter join Gamma Phi Beta. An accomplished artist, many of Frances' original watercolor paintings are on display at International Headquarters.

The Friend Eunice Adeline "Addie" Curtis graduated from Syracuse with a bachelor's degree in music. She was the soprano soloist at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Syracuse for 33 years and had a son, Edward, with her husband, Frank Curtis. Addie was described by others as kind and generous to a fault, always cheerful, always sympathetic, the most charitable person who ever lived and deeply loved. In a word: friend.

The World Traveler Mary "Minnie" Alice Bingham Willoughby graduated from Syracuse with a degree in fine arts. She was a world traveler, having accompanied her parents to numerous sites in Europe. Minnie and Helen were the only Founders able to continue their close association after their college years, as both lived in Utica, New York. Minnie is described as having "a delight in all things that led to a cultural life," and a "pride in all conduct that led to the beauty of knowledge."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Panhellenic Association Elects New Officers

The University of Kansas Panhellenic Association elected eight new officers for the 2012 Executive Board. Elections were held Monday evening at the Burge Union. Up to five members from all thirteen Panhellenic chapters attended and collectively voted on their chapters’ behalf to select the new Executive Board. Each candidate was selected based on their resume, application questions, and a short speech.

The Panhellenic Association is the governing body of the thirteen NPC-affiliated chapters at the University of Kansas. It serves as a forum for the discussion of current issues facing college students and specifically members of the sorority community. Panhellenic also sets and enforces rules governing membership recruitment, social activities, publicity, and member responsibilities. The eight Executive Officers are responsible for the overall operation of the organization. In addition to the Executive Officers, each chapter has a delegate that serves as the voice for their members. The Council meets at least twice each month.

The 2012 officers are: President: Kathryn Hoven, Gamma Phi Beta; Vice President: Shanah Gaskill, Kappa Alpha Theta; Director for Public Relations: Lizzie Marx, Pi Beta Phi; Director for Risk Management: Christie Holland, Alpha Gamma Delta; Director for Recruitment: Whitlee Douthitt, Delta Delta Delta; Director for Interfraternal Relations: Allison Chael, Delta Gamma; Director for Educational Programs and Scholarship: Kelly Murphy, Alpha Delta Pi; Director for Community Service and Philanthropy: Christie Van Allen, Kappa Kappa Gamma.

For more information on the organization and its officers, please visit www.kupanhellenic.org

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Community Service and Philanthropy 11/1

One of the four pillars of Greek life is Service. Give back to the Lawrence community and support your fellow Greeks by joining in on one of the Community Service or Philanthropic events below! 

1.      Service Opportunities:
a.      Kennedy Elementary School-Parent Teacher Conferences: November 9th (shifts from 3:30pm-7:00pm) & 10th (shifts from 8:20am-6:20pm). Help elementary students with crafts and other fun activities while their parents meet the teachers. Contact: Christie Van Allen at phacommservice@ku.edu
b.      Alternative Spring Breaks: March 17th-25th apply by Friday, November 11th. Volunteer with fellow KU students for different organizations all over the US! Apply online at www.kualternativebreaks.com
c.       The Office of Multicultural Affairs presents The Tunnel of Oppresion: November 15th (shifts from 5:30pm-8:30pm), 16th (shifts from 10:00am-5:30pm), & 17th (shifts from 10:00am-5:30pm). You can be a tour guide, actor/actress, set-up/tear down. Contact: Barbara Hillman (b363h874@ku.edu) or Brad Turnbull (bturnbull@ku.edu)
d.      CLO’s Midnight Farms near Baldwin City: Volunteer at your convenience to work with individuals with disabilities, help walk horses, etc. Contact: Stephanie Wilson at (785)865-5520 or visit their website at http://www.midnight-farm.org/volunteer2.html
2.      Philanthropic Events:
a.      Alpha Delta Pi: Support the Armed Forces with donations (food, entertainment, hygiene products, and clothing). November 1st-December 5th. Contact: mdryton@ku.edu(more info.)
b.      Sigma Delta Tau and Tau Kappa Epsilon present Have Your Cake and ∑∆T it TOO!: November 15th & 16th (Wescoe Beach from 10:00am-2:00pm) and November 16th (Jayhawk CafĂ© from 10:00pm-12:30am). $1 cupcakes and pinwheels. All the proceeds from the event go to Prevent Child Abuse in America.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Greek Alumnae Panel

Last Wednesday, October 19, Panhellenic women were invited to the KU Alumni Association to meet a group of four Panhellenic Alumnae, pick their brains and ask for advice on life after college. Members of the panel included:

Anne Atha a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, she is now in her third year of dentistry school at UMKC. She will graduate with a D.D.S in 2013.

Courtney Brax also a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She is currently in her final year at the KU School of Law and will graduate in 2012 with certificates in Business, Commercial and Tax Law.

Mallory 'Hammersmith' Hannah is a member of Chi Omega sorority and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with an emphasis in strategic communications. She is now an Account Manager at Diamond Merckens Hogan Advertising Agency in Kansas City.

Jessica Roberts is a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She currently works as the Associate Director of Annual Giving, specifically Mail Campaigns for KU Endowment.

Undergraduate women posed questions and panhel members offered advice. Here are a few pieces of advice from panel members:

  1. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Sometimes you have to cold call in order to gain connections. Most people are happy to help younger professionals. The worst they can say is no. So go for it. 
  2. You can NEVER be too persistent. Get creative when trying to contact and network. Drop by the office and see if someone is free to chat or grab coffee. Did you recently go on vacation? Send your connections a postcard. People will be impressed with your dedication.
  3. Talk up your Greek involvement. What you do in the Greek community is impressive, so don't be afraid to showcase what you've done and what you've learned. Many people are curious about Greek life, so explain it to them! Just remember to avoid using jargon only Greeks would know. 
  4. If you are interested in post-graduate experiences like Peace Corps, Teach for America etc. Go for it! Employers and graduate schools look very favorably upon these experiences. They show you are a dedicated and driven person, that you can fully commit yourself to a cause for an extended period of time.
  5. Resumes should be one page! If your experiences run longer than a page ask someone to help you pare down the information. You often get attached to the things on your resume and it is harder to let go of certain experiences. Ask someone else to decide what is the most impressive and work from there. You may also be able to combine and condense lines of your resume. For example, put all your volunteer experiences on one line. If you do not have enough experience to fill a page, expand on your existing experiences. Discuss what you did and what you learned from each opportunity. How are those skills transferable to the job you are applying for?
  6. Customize. Customize. Customize. Research the company you are applying to and tweak your resume, cover letter, writing samples and interview answers to fit that specific company. Highlight the experiences that best relate to the job you want. 
  7. You are also interviewing the company, they aren't just interviewing you. Yes, you want a job, but don't settle for just any job. Ask questions during the interview. Is this company really going to be a good fit? Can you see yourself working there? Will you be happy spending 40 hours a week with these people?
  8. Learn what you want in a job from your internships. Don't be discouraged if your internship didn't turn out to be exactly what you hoped for. Now you know what you like and what you don't. This is great information to have during a job search. 
We are proud of the accomplishments made so far by our panel members and we are looking forward to seeing what great things our current undergraduates go on to accomplish! Special thanks to the panel members, Alumni Association and Stephani Gerson for helping to make this event a success.

Did you attend this great event? Leave a comment letting us know what piece of advice was most helpful for you!

Friday, October 21, 2011

October Scholar of the Month: Annie Brown

We are proud to announce that Annie Brown of Delta Gamma has been selected as October's Scholar of the month!

Annie is a pre-occupational therapy major. She has managed to maintain a high academic standard while being involved in various leadership opportunities on campus. She is the Vice President of Social Standards for her chapter as well as a director for Rock Chalk Revue. She also spends countless hours rehearsing and performing as a Rock Chalk Dancer.

Congratulations Annie!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Panhellenic Association Fights Against Breast Cancer

October has become a month associated with everything pink. Organizations and groups around the nation raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. Being the largest women's organization on the KUcampus, the Panhellenic Association has a unique stake in the health and well-being of women. 

This year, the Panhellenic Association at KU has made a commitment to "Knock Out Breast Cancer" and has teamed up with the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.

The American Cancer Society has estimated there will be 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed this year. In order to raise awareness of this fact and many others, the two groups will be setting up tables on campus from Monday, October 17 through Friday, October 21. At these tables, students will find information about breast cancer and how to check for the disease. Students can write and send postcards to their mothers, grandmothers, family members and friends, reminding them to check for breast cancer. There will also be a memorial ribbon wall where students can honor their loved ones who have been affected by breast cancer.

Panhellenic chapters have also participated in three fund raising efforts to support breast cancer research. These efforts culminated in a more than $1,800 donation to the KU Cancer Center and the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Breast Cancer Center.

This year, 12 of the 13 chapters on campus sold a total of 487 breast cancer awareness t-shirts. This figure is about one-third of the total Panhellenic population. Proceeds from these sales totaled $1,500, which will be donated to the KU Cancer Center.

Sororities on campus also bought ribbons to adorn their chapter houses and Jayhawk Boulevard. Eight chapters purchased a total of 30 ribbons. This raised $300 in donations to Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Finally, all 13 Panhellenic chapters signed up to host “Pink Hair for Hope” parties at their chapter housing facilities. At these parties, chapter members will be able to purchase pink hair extensions for a $10 donation, benefitting the Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Alpha Chi Omega Founder's Day: October 15, 1885

Happy Founder's Day to the "Real, Strong Women" of Alpha Chi Omega! On this day in 1885 the Women's Fraternity was founded by seven women at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

The Fraternity colors of scarlet and green were selected to represent the fall colors present on campus during the organization's founding. The Lyre was chosen as the Fraternity symbol because of its connection to music and Greek mythology. Each founder of Alpha Chi Omega was a talented musician.

Information on the organization's founders was pulled from the Alpha Chi Omega Headquarters' website at http://alphachiomega.org/index2.aspx?id=41.

Anna Allen Smith Anna Allen Smith (1870–1933)

Interested in music from early childhood, Anna was the youngest student to do advanced work at DePauw’s School of Music, graduating at the age of 19. Anna was an accompanist, performer and teacher in the school for 10 years. She lived in Greencastle all her life, and the first Alpha Chi Omega convention took place at her home.

Oliver Olive Burnett Clark (1867–1957)

Olive (called “Ollie” by her friends) studied piano, violin, cello and double bass. She taught at DePauw for two years while carrying on her studies. In her junior year, she left school to take teaching positions in Anderson and Franklin, Indiana. “I have found no greater happiness in my life than in Alpha Chi Omega,” she said later in life. “All I have ventured to give toward the upbuilding and uplifting of our fraternity has been from the depths of my heart, and has been repaid in thousand-fold by my girls.”

Bertha Bertha Deniston Cunningham (1869-1950)

When Bertha’s parents decided their musically advanced daughter should continue her studies at DePauw, she had to play for Dean Howe to determine just how advanced she was. She went on to become the envy of the school’s music students because of her composing skills. She also was an accomplished performer and successful teacher in the School of Music for 10 years. Hers is the only one of five original badges that exists today. It’s on display at Alpha Chi Omega Headquarters.

Amy Amy Dubois Rieth (1868-1915)

Amy was only 15 when she entered DePauw. She studied both voice and pianoforte. She was known as “the little girl with the big voice,” and was selected to sing important roles in school productions. Amy had a quiet and straightforward manner, which belied her fondness for pulling pranks on her fraternity sisters. Her influence on the fraternity endured long after she left to teach music in Kansas.

Nellie Nellie Gamble Childe (1867-1960)

Nellie studied piano from an early age and, after much deliberation, chose DePauw. She was described variously by her sisters as being gentle, energetic, earnest and friendly, leading a life of “quiet influence for good.” Later in life, she cultivated roses and loved to garden. She said that Alpha Chi Omega had a small beginning, but was built by loyal women with high standards who have achieved “marvelous results.”

Bessie Bessie Grooms Keenan (1866-1920)

Bessie began studying music as a young child and was an accomplished pianist by the time she entered DePauw. Near the end of her first year there, she strained the muscles of her left hand from over-practice and had to give up the ambition of her life. However, she gave much of her time to help build Alpha Chi Omega. Her daughter, Hannah, eventually became director of Alpha Chi’s central office, later known as headquarters.

Estelle Estelle Leonard (1860-1955)

Estelle entered DePauw hoping to make a living as a musician. Most of her time was spent practicing or studying. She also served as Dean Howe’s secretary for two years. Though she had serious goals and a “dignified appearance,” she was known for playing practical jokes on her colleagues. She graduated in 1891 and had a full career, teaching music, publishing piano compositions, and reporting for the local newspaper. Long involved with Alpha Chi Omega, she attended more conventions than any other founder. She was described in our 1948 history as “distinctly modern in her ideas” and as having “developed independence, decision, and a rather bohemian attitude.”

Monday, October 3, 2011

From Lawrence With Love: Homecoming 2011

Saturday marked the 99th annual Homecoming here at the University of Kansas! KU holds the second oldest Homecoming in the nation. This year, the theme was "From Lawrence with Love."

Over the years many activities and traditions have been established and lost, but Greek life has always played an integral part during this week. Panhellenic sororities and Interfraternity Council fraternities pair up and compete in activities throughout the week to gain points. At the end of the week, the group with the most points is announced the winner during halftime of the Homecoming game.

This year there were twelve catergories in which Greek groups competed. These competitions as well as partipation in activities earned points toward the overall win.

The winners for 2011 were as follows:

Overall — Alpha Chi Omega and Kappa Sigma


Sunday, Sept. 25 
Stuff the Bus 
Groups competed to see who could donate the most canned food.

1st: Gamma Phi Beta and Delta Tau Delta
2nd: Delta Gamma and Phi Kappa Psi
3rd: Chi Omega and Delta Upsilon

Tuesday, Sept. 27

Groups created homecoming themed sculptures out of recycled materials.

1st: Alpha Chi Omega and Kappa Sigma

2nd: Delta Delta Delta and Delta Chi

3rd: Alpha Gamma Delta and Theta Chi

Punt, Pass & Kick
Individuals competed to see how far they could punt, pass and kick a football to earn points for their affliation.

Finalists: Kadi Suarez and Parker Watson, Alpha Chi Omega

Wednesday, Sept. 28

Chalk n' Rock
Groups created homecoming themed murals with sidewalk chalk on Wescoe Beach.

1st: Chi Omega and Delta Upsilon

2nd: Kappa Delta and Sigma Phi Epsilon

3rd: Delta Delta Delta and Delta Chi

Thursday, Sept. 29

Mural Contest
Groups painted homecoming themed murals which were displayed on Wescoe beach. Individuals could vote for their favorite by donating a dollar to the United Way. The group with the most money/votes won the people's choice award.

1st: Alpha Delta Pi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon

2nd: Alpha Gamma Delta and Theta Chi

3rd: Delta Delta Delta and Delta Chi

People's Choice: Gamma Phi Beta and Delta Tau Delta

Jayhawk Jingles
Groups performed a short homecoming themed skit. They changed the words and danced to popular songs as well as the KU Alma Mater. Individuals could vote for their favorite jingle by donating a dollar to the United Way. The group with the most money/votes won the people's choice award.

1st: Alpha Gamma Delta and Theta Chi
2nd: Kappa Alpha Theta and Pi Kappa Phi
3rd: Delta Delta Delta and Delta Chi

People's Choice: Alpha Gamma Delta and Theta Chi.

Friday, Sept. 30

Letters From Lawrence
Groups competed to see which organizations could write the most letters to troops deployed overseas.

Winners: Chi Omega and Delta Upsilon

Youtube Video Contest
Groups created a homecoming themed video. The winners also received an iPad2 from the Tech Shop.

Winners: Delta Delta Delta and Delta Chi

Saturday, Oct. 1

Parade Banner
Groups painted banners to carry with them in the parade

1st: Alpha Chi Omega and Kappa Sigma

2nd: Alpha Gamma Delta and Theta Chi

3rd: Delta Delta Delta and Delta Chi

Parade Decorated Vehicle

1st: Gamma Phi Beta and Delta Tau Delta

2nd: Delta Delta Delta and Delta Chi
3rd: Alpha Kappa Lambda

Parade Float Non-Moving Parts

1st: Kappa Alpha Theta and Pi Kappa Phi

2nd: Delta Delta Delta and Delta Chi

3rd: Delta Gamma and Phi Kappa Psi

Parade Float Moving Parts

1st: Alpha Chi Omega and Kappa Sigma

2nd: Alpha Gamma Delta and Theta Chi

3rd: Sigma Delta Tau and Triangle

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

553 Women Join Panhellenic Sororities

After a long weekend of conversation and tough decisions, 553 women completed the formal recruitment process and found their home away from home in a Panhellenic chapter.

Starting Friday, August 19, sororities welcomed unaffiliated women into their homes and encouraged these women to join their special sisterhood. Chapter women dressed to impress, sang and clapped their traditional chants, worked on philanthropic projects and discussed the history of their respective organizations. 

The five-day process culminated yesterday in “Bid Day” celebrations, where 553 women were extended “bids”, or formal invitations to join one of the Panhellenic chapters on campus.

All 13 sororities recruited members. About 825 women took part in the recruitment process, an increase of more than 100 women from formal recruitment in 2010.

The 13 sororities of the Panhellenic Association are Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, Sigma Delta Tau and Sigma Kappa.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's All Greek to Me! Defining Important Sorority Terms.

The Greek community is a unique opportunity and experience. During recruitment you may hear some terms that are unique to the Greek community and unfamiliar to you. Here is a list of a few terms that might help explain Greek life a little better.

Bid: a bid is a formal invitation to join a Greek organization.

Chapter: a chapter is a smaller piece of a larger organization. For example, Alpha Alpha Alpha sorority is a national organization with "chapters" on hundreds of campuses around the nation.

Charter: a charter is a document given to each chapter by their national organization recognizing them as an affiliated part of the organization.

Colony: a colony is the beginning stage in becoming a chapter. Once the colony completes certain requirements they can apply for a charter from their national organization to become a "chapter".

Four Pillars: the four pillars are the values that Greek life stands for. These pillars are scholarship, service, leadership and sisterhood/brotherhood.

IFC: this stands for Interfraternity Council. They are the governing body of all the IFC affiliated fraternities on campus.

Initiation: this is a ceremony through which you learn about the history of your organization and you become a true member.

Legacy: A legacy is woman who has an immediate family member (mother, grandmother, sister) who was a member of a Panhellenic sorority.

MGC: this stands for Multi-Cultural Greek Council. MGC is the governing body of all the MGC affiliated sororities and fraternities.

National Headquarters: every Panhellenic sorority here at KU is part of a larger organization. Each chapter follows the rules and regulations set forth by their national headquarters, and usually a representative from headquarters will visit the chapter each year.

New Member: a new member is a woman who has pledged to join a particular sorority but has not yet been initiated.

NPHC: this stands for National Pan-Hellenic Council. They are the governing body for the NPHC affiliated sororities and fraternities, which are historically African-American.

Panhellenic Association: The Panhellenic Association is the governing body of all 13 Panhellenic affiliated sororities here at KU.

Philanthropy: Greek life organizations often host Philanthropic events. The purpose of these events is to raise money for a charity of the Greek organization's choice. Each Greek organization usually supports the same charity  as their national organization. Philanthropic events are extremely diverse. They can be a traditional walk/run, a benefit concert, a pancake breakfast, a scavenger hunt or even a water balloon fight.

Pledge: an oath taken to signify your intention to join a particular organization.

Purpose/Creed/Motto: each Greek organization was founded on values and principles. Each organization has a statement of these values. Some statements are public while others can be known only to initiated members.

Ritual: this is the ceremony before every chapter meeting. It was created by each organization's founders and is known only to initiated members. Its purpose is to remind members of the values their organization stands for.

Rush: this is a term for recruitment used on other campuses around the nation. Here at KU we call the process Fall Formal Recruitment.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Why Sign Up for Fall Formal Recruitment?

There's only one week left to sign up for Fall Formal Recruitment!! If you've been debating whether or not Greek life is for you, hopefully this blog will you help you make that decision, or at least make the decision to give it a shot.

Going through Fall Formal Recruitment does not mean you are automatically stuck in Greek life. If you feel at any point that Greek life just isn't for you, that's ok! It isn't for everybody, but you'll never know until you try. Also, going through recruitment is a great way to meet women on a campus that can seem overwhelmingly large. The women you make during this week could become some of your closest friends. So why not try it out? You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain!

So what else do you gain by joining a Greek chapter? Well, every Greek chapter values what we call the four pillars. The four pillars of Greek Life stand for Service, Scholarship, Leadership and Sisterhood/Brotherhood.

Community service and philanthropic support is an integral part of fraternity and sorority life. Each chapter sponsors events to provide service, raise funding and raise awareness to a wide variety of organizations representing many worthy causes. These events can take many forms and they bring the entire Greek community together. Grab your sisters and head off to a water balloon fight, a date auction, a scavenger hunt or even a rock concert, all in the name of helping others! Most students report that helping others is one of the most rewarding experiences that fraternity or sorority membership provides.

Scholarship: it's why you're at KU in the first place! Joining a sorority means that you have an automatic network of support and older women willing to help out with subjects they've already taken. For more than 30 years the All-Greek Student GPA has been higher than the All-KU Student GPA. The Greek Community at KU is acclaimed for its strong scholastic performance and history of academic excellence. Each chapter maintains its own GPA requirements for membership and initiation and ensures continued academic success, through tutoring, academic advising, scholarships and reward systems.

Greek life also provides students with a wide variety of leadership opportunities. Members can participate within their chapter as an officer or on one of the committees each chapter maintains. There are also opportunities outside each chapter to become actively involved in KU’s 500 + student organizations. If you're interested in Student Senate, you will find that the student body president and vice president are members of the Greek community. Greeks are actively involved in sports, professional organizations, religious groups, community service opportunities, even the marching band. For members to achieve a well-rounded education, fraternities and sororities encourage active participation in a variety of KU leadership experiences.

Finally, alumni of Greek organizations often report that the most rewarding part of their Greek experience was the friendships they were able to build and maintain over the years. Fraternities and sororities build a unique bond of brotherhood and sisterhood that students carry with them throughout their lives. The connections that are built in a fraternity or sorority during the college years transcend time and often impact students many times after graduation.

Greek Life has a lot to offer and we would love for you to give the experience a chance. Look back through this blog to read the stories other Panhellenic women have shared about their experiences. Read why Caitlin decided to join a chapter here Read about Megan's experience as Student Body Vice President and how Greek life helped her get there. Or read about Courtney's sisters who supported her through her history of cancer.

And Don't forget to sign up for Fall Formal Recruitment before August 7th!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dispelling Recruitment Myths: Chapter Selection

Some Chapters are better than others. FALSE

I won't be happy unless I am offered a bid by a particular chapter. FALSE

Fall Formal Recruitment can often be a hectic and uncertain week for potential new members and current chapter members alike. The pressure will only increase if you go into the process with preconceived notions about chapters. Until you meet the women of every chapter on campus, there is no way to know which chapter will fit you best.

Each and every chapter here at KU is unique in its own way. And every chapter changes with each incoming pledge class. Keep an open mind and make your own decisions. Being a sorority woman does not end with your four years at KU. You will be a sorority woman for life. You will come to cherish the time spent in your chapter and the women that surround you will be come your closest friends. This decision will affect you and you only. Don't allow anyone else to sway your decisions, you will be the only one who can decide where you belong.

It is my strongest belief that things always work out for the best. Try to keep this in mind during recruitment and especially on bid day. Sometimes, you might receive a bid from a chapter that was not your top choice. It is important to keep in mind that every chapter has a unique set of wonderful women. These women are scholars, leaders, philanthropists and most importantly, sisters. The women represented on your bid card want you. They see in you qualities that are important to them and they would love to welcome you into their sisterhood with open arms. They might not have been your first choice, but on graduation day you will look back and be unable to imagine your college experience any other way.

If you take any advice from these blogs to heart, let it be this. Go into recruitment with an Open Mind and always always always Be Yourself. Things have a funny way of working out in the end. You will end up in the chapter you were meant to be in.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dispelling Recruitment Myths: Legacies

I am a Legacy for a certain chapter, so I will automatically get a bid.

My Mom/Grandma/Sister had a wonderful experience in "Alpha Alpha Alpha" so that's the only the chapter I will consider.

Both of the above statements are common recruitment myths. But before we start this blog we should define "What is a legacy?" A legacy is a potential new member whose mother, grandmother or sister is affiliated with a Panhellenic chapter.

In answer to the first recruitment myth, each potential new member is considered on an individual basis. Women who are legacies are not obligated to join a particular sorority and that particular sorority is not obligated to pledge her. The potential new member and the sorority are looking for a mutual compatibility, not family connections.

In reference to the second myth, we encourage all of the women participating in Fall Formal Recruitment to keep an open mind about each sorority. It is always wonderful to hear about the lasting friendships and bonds that tie a woman to her sorority. However, each campus is unique and each chapter changes and evolves every year with each new pledge class. It is important to follow your heart and choose the chapter and group of women you feel the most comfortable with. Keep in mind that which chapter to join is your own decision, no one else can make it for you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

One Mom's Thoughts on the Parental Role in Sorority Recruitment

Fall Formal Recruitment can be an emotional process for many women. It is often their first experience being away from home and the task of choosing a home for the next four years can be daunting. Parents often want to be parents during this time and help their daughters through the process. But as many parents of teenagers know, it can be hard to determine what is helpful and what is not. How can you best help your daughter during the week of Fall Formal Recruitment? 

Below is an excerpt from www.sororityparents.com. Blogger Mary Beth Rice offers some of her tips and advice. To read her full blog post click here.

"A couple of weeks ago I was asked to speak at our local University to the parents of potential new members going through Recruitment. It was move in day; the auditorium full of tired and emotional parents. I was asked to share some advice on what role they could play in their daughters’ upcoming sorority recruitment and start to college. This was a bit daunting to me and humility set in as I hoped I had at best a few encouraging words to share.

Fortunately, I did come up with a few suggestions parents could reflect upon in supporting their daughter through recruitment and beyond, yet allowing them to spread their own wings. I will share them with you too. Take them or leave them but do enjoy this new phase in life for the both of you.

1. Lose expectations or feelings from your own Greek life experience. Whether you have a Greek affiliation or not, you do have some opinion about Greek life if you went to college on a campus with a Greek system. Some of these opinions or biases may be based on a college experience quite a few years back. Try and encourage your daughter to form her own opinions AND only after she begins the process,  not taking to heart any bias from boyfriends, siblings, hometown friends, distant relatives, etc.

2. At each of the recruitment events, encourage her to look around those rooms and really get to know the other potential new members at each of the events. Those are the young women she will be living with and experiencing campus life with and each day of recruitment will help her know where she is most comfortable.

3. For daughters who may be shy or reserved, the recruitment process might be overwhelming. Encourage her to be open minded, taking a risk as she embarks on college. It is a great time to branch out and perhaps lose some of the high school labels we all put upon ourselves. One can really be and should be authentic and sincere throughout the whole process. Even if your daughter decides recruitment might not be a fit for her at this time, remind her that this experience will afford her a great opportunity to get to know other women on her residence hall floor and beyond. New friendships may come from it.

4. She will be exhausted and emotional. Allow her this indulgence and help her maintain her sense of humor. Remind her other potential new members are experiencing the same things.

5. Be a good listener. You don’t have to fix anything. If she can share the ups and downs of her experience she can sort through her feelings about all of it and often doesn’t need or want advice.

6. As she begins college try and become connected to your daughter through technology. NOTHING replaces voice to voice communication, eye contact or hugs…but this generation communicates on Facebook and in text messaging and there is no going back. Learn to text and possibly get a Facebook page (especially if your daughter is encouraging it) just to be connected….not to hover but just to be available. The technology allows a kind of subtle way to be present.

7. Encourage and frequently discuss safe choices especially regarding alcohol and driving under the influence or with others who have been drinking. The more we encourage them to be safe and smart, the more likely the messages will stick when presented with more risky choices. If you are informed about binge drinking and alcohol poisoning then you can help inform her. Awareness is the first essential step.

And finally,
8. Love her up and remind her of the gifts you see in her! As a parent I was not prepared for how difficult the transition was for my own daughter on many levels. One loses a bit of confidence beginning all over again out of high school-especially if the new campus is large. That is why it is EXCELLENT that our daughters want to join a sorority to engage in that support system and in those relationships as they begin college life.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Supporting our Military Sisters

Last month the Chairman of the National Panhellenic Conference wrote a special message to honor and recognize women in the military. You can read her message here.

Sorority women come from all walks of life and can be found in all types of careers. They can be found serving their country in all branches of the military and in high ranking positions. Notable sorority women in the military include:

Margaret A. Brewer, Brigadier General, Marine Corps
Marianne Blackburn Drew, Rear Admiral, Navy
Terri Walter Gabreski, Brigadier General, Air Force
Claudia Kennedy, General, Army

The National Panhellenic Conference also shared the story of a sorority woman, who at the age of 58, decided to join the military. You can find the podcast interview with Kappa Kappa Gamma Carol Haertlein Sells here.

In this podcast you will learn that Carol decided to join the U.S. Army after taking a visit to an Army rehabilitation center in Texas four years ago. She is part of a new doctoral program at Brooke Army Medical Center. She took a leap of faith from teaching occupational therapy in Wisconsin to instructing occupational therapists for the military – and she had to go through basic training along the way.

This Fourth of July we wanted to recognize our military sisters and send them our support. We recognize that freedom isn't free and our hearts go out to all the enlisted men and women as well as veterans that have served our nation and protected our families.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dispelling Recruitment Myths: Letters of Recommendation

You Need a Letter of Recommendation in order to receive a bid from a specific chapter. FALSE

We have received numerous calls in the Panhellenic office worried about this myth. The summer before I went through recruitment I was scrambling to find letters for all 13 chapters at KU. I asked almost everyone I had ever met, hoping and praying they were Greek. I wish I had known that this Recruitment myth was just that, a myth.

Letters of Recommendation are not necessary for membership in a particular chapter. Recruitment is a week-long mutual selection process, and I strongly believe that at the end of the week each individual ends up where they are supposed to be. Ask any member of a Panhellenic sorority here at KU and she will tell you that her chapter has become a home, and she couldn't imagine it any other way. Things always seem to work out the way they should.

However, if you would like to send in Letters of Recommendation it certainly can't hurt you. You can ask family members, mothers of your friends, friends of your mother, anyone that can speak to your character. If you are still really set on obtaining letters for every chapter at KU and you don't know women affiliated with a specific chapter, the Alumnae Panhellenic of Greater Kansas City is a great resource. These women will be happy to write letters of recommendation. Their website is www.kcpanhel.com or you can email info@kcpanhel.com for additional information.

Just remember that Recruitment is meant to be a fun process, allowing all the participants to meet new people and have great conversations. There are no "secrets" to recruitment. You don't need anything special, just yourself and a smile!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Simply Sorority Features the KU Greek Community

There is a strong sense of community within the Greek chapters here at KU. All of our organizations were based on a set of values and we all work together toward a common goal. One of the biggest displays of this sense of community can be seen through the annual event Rock Chalk Revue.

Simply Sorority, a blog dedicated to celebrating sisterhood and tackling the negative stereotypes of Greek life, has decided to feature our Greek community and Rock Chalk Revue.

Follow this link http://simplysorority.com/ to read the article Courtney wrote to celebrate Greek life at the University of Kansas!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention

This past weekend a group of four students and three administrators from KU attended the Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention. Representatives from multiple campus organizations were present. Christi Davis, Vice President of Public Relations, attended the institute on behalf of the Panhellenic Association.

The Institute ran over four days at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Nationally recognized faculty led discussions and offered expertise from their own experiences. Participants represented all types of organizations, including athletics, marching bands, student clubs and Greek chapters.

Institute faculty discussed the importance of hazing prevention instead of simply responding to incidents. The goal is to stop problems from occurring by reducing risk factors and promoting protective factors.

Hazing is a complex and multi-faceted issue. It is more than just one incident. It is a set of beliefs and actions developed and accepted over time. Simply responding to an incident after the fact will not create change.

Representatives from KU have started working toward change by creating a partnership among staff and undergraduate students. During the institute KU delegates discussed some of their first steps in the process to hazing prevention. Institute faculty stressed that "effective hazing prevention is a process, not a program". Most campuses address hazing issues by bringing in a speaker and sponsoring a program. These programs can be helpful, but only as a supplement to a complete hazing prevention process that digs beyond the surface.

Recently, KU has started a University-wide initiative to "Start a new tradition. Stop Hazing". Visit their website at www.preventhazing.ku.edu. The website offers resources for students, parents, organization advisors/coaches and University staff/faculty.

The University has also created a hazing prevention task force, which will be planning National Hazing Prevention Week from September 19 – 23. The Panhellenic Association fully supports the University in all their efforts and has pledged to "Start a new tradition. Stop hazing". Panhellenic members understand why hazing is harmful and will not be bystanders. Join us and take the pledge at http://www.preventhazing.ku.edu/pledge.shtml.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Top Five Tips for Fall Formal Recruitment

One of the Head Recruitment Counselors, Jill, offers her top five tips for a wonderful recruitment experience.

1.) Go into recruitment with an open mind: Forget anything and everything you have previously heard about the chapters. Each chapter is made up of a diverse group of women so no one stereotype fits a chapter. Keeping an open mind will give you the best opportunity of finding a group of people that you feel comfortable with.

2.) Be yourself: As clichĂ© as it may sound, you want to find a chapter that fits your personality and you can’t do this if you’re pretending to be someone else. 

3.) Do what feels right for you: Don’t let your friends or family decide which chapter is best for you. You are the one that will be spending time with the women of your chapter, and you want them to be people you enjoy being around. If you are having a difficult time and need someone outside of your friends or family to confide in, talk to your recruitment counselors. They will offer you guidance from an unbiased viewpoint.

4.) Participate in the conversations: When visiting the chapters, don’t make the chapter members do all the work in the conversation. Ask them what you want to know about their chapter, so you can make a decision as to whether or not the chapter is right for you.

5.) Have fun: While recruitment is stressful and overwhelming 3/4ths of the time, don’t forget to relax and enjoy yourself. Recruitment is a great way to meet new people and make your first friends at KU. Talk to the person sitting by you on the bus, strike up a conversation with someone waiting outside of a chapter house, and get to know the women in your group. Having normal interaction outside of the actual recruitment process and taking time to relax will help make the recruitment process more exciting!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Making the Most of Fall Formal Recruitment

One of the head recruitment counselors, Caroline, has a few tips for women going through Fall Formal Recruitment.

"Fall Formal Recruitment is right around the corner! Even though the end goal of recruitment is exciting, I haven’t met a single woman who isn’t nervous and uneasy at the beginning of the process.  What you need to remember is that the women in the chapters are just as nervous and excited to meet you as you are to meet them.  Recruitment is the most important event of the year because you are the women who are the future of each chapter.  The chapter’s goal is to impress you and make you feel as comfortable as possible so that you want to come back and learn more.  While the women in the chapters are excited to talk with you, it is important that you ask questions that you have as well.  The conversations need to be as 2-sided as possible as opposed to one person constantly asking questions and the other always answering.

As I’m sure many of you know, there are stereotypes for each chapter on our campus.  One of the best things you can do before beginning recruitment is forget everything you have heard.  Regardless of the supposed validity of stories or rumors, there is no chapter with strictly one type of person.  Each chapter is diverse and unique in it’s own way, and you will learn this quickly as the week progresses.  With the amount of women in the chapters, it is impossible to not find someone you enjoy talking to and spending time with.  The chapter members are going to be as genuine as they can be so that you get a real feel for what they are about.  Since they are being genuine with you, your best bet is to be as authentic as you can be with them.  In doing this, you’re going to give yourself the best chance possible at ending up in a chapter that you will love all four years at KU. 

You will all be in a recruitment group with 20-30 other women, and two Recruitment Counselors.  Utilize these women during the process.  You will have at least 20 other women who are experiencing the exact same thing as you are.  Hang out with them and get to know them because the women in your group could end up being some of your best friends.  Your Recruitment Counselors are there for you 100 percent of the time.  That is their reason for being there.  Anytime you are feeling uneasy or unsure about something, talk to them about it.  They are there to offer you guidance and to help you wade through your emotions (which are sometimes high during this week) to figure out how you are really feeling and what you really want.  For the entirety of recruitment week, they will be more than happy to talk to you at any hour, day or night.

Finally, have fun!!  That is the key to a successful, enjoyable week.  You having fun will translate into conversations in the chapters as well as helping others around you keep their spirits high.  If you are enjoying your week, it will make the process so much better for you.  When you are going through some long days, because there will be a few long, tiring days, just remember how much you will benefit from sticking it out in the end.  It can be one of the best experiences of your life, but it is up to you to make it that way!"