I’m sure we’ve all gathered this by now – UMD is a HUGE school. Some join clubs to make it feel smaller, some do sports and others choose Greek life. Spring formal recruitment for UMD women kicked off Friday, and over 800 girls made the decision to potentially go Greek. I joined a sorority in the spring of my freshman year, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much it enhanced my time here at Maryland. Wherever I go, I feel like I know someone, I can always ask a sister for help with a class or within my personal life and, let’s face it, belonging to a sorority of over 100 women means there’s ALWAYS someone to hang out with.
In light of recruitment, I asked a representative from each PHA chapter to submit a response on why they chose their chapter, what their experience within that chapter has been like and why they wouldn’t take it back. I’ve received responses from five chapters so far, and have posted them all below. As more submissions come in, I’ll add them to this feature.
Spring recruitment can seem really stressful – trust me, I’ve been there. But as you start to narrow down the houses you think you may belong in, take a look at what these sorority women have to say. Maybe an activity their house does is something you’ve been dying to do, or maybe you’ll just relate to one of the writers. I hope this makes your recruitment process a bit easier!
I believe that my sorority, Delta Delta Delta, is so special for a variety of reasons. However, the one reason that really sticks out to me when asked why my chapter is distinctive is the passion that we all share for our philanthropy. Tridelt officially adopted St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as its national philanthropic partner in November of 1999. At our chapter, we do a variety of different charity events in order to raise money for St. Jude. Throughout the year we hold boutique sales, benefit nights at local restaurants, Letter Writing, FlapJack Attack and Bids For Kids.
This year we had our seventh annual silent auction, Bids for Kids, co-sponsored by Alpha Tau Omega. We broke our record by raising $18,305 for St. Jude that night. The following morning we participated in the Give Thanks Walk for St. Jude where we raised another $3,000. In the spring, we host our annual FlapJack Attack. We sell tickets for $5 and students come to socialize and eat pancakes made and served by the sisters of Tridelt. Last year we raised $4,898.49 at this event and were excited to try to raise even more at FlapJack Attack this spring.
At every event we hold, I am able to see the amount of enthusiasm that each member of Tridelt has for St. Jude by how hard we all work in order to raise as much money as possible for our philanthropy. Tridelt has given me a passion for St. Jude that I never would have expected to obtain, and that is why I believe my sorority is so special.
Taylor Sauro, Delta Delta Delta
The Beta Sigma chapter of Delta Gamma, whose home is here at the University of Maryland, is comprised of pageant queens, scholars and women who are involved in every facet of university life. DG’s diversity is what makes it truly stand out on campus, and what ultimately made it stand out for me when choosing whether or not to join Greek Life.
I knew that DG was the right fit for me immediately. I had never pictured myself in a sorority, but I realized upon meeting the women who have since become my sisters that I didn’t have to fit any specific mold to fit in at Delta Gamma. I liked the fact that I met sisters with such a wide variety of interests, habits and unique quirks. Since joining, I have been introduced to more opportunities for involvement than ever before, and I know that I will always be backed by a network of sisters from the hundreds of collegiate and alumnae chapters in existence.
Delta Gamma is one of the oldest and largest sororities out there and being a member is a valuable post-graduation tool. If I move to any major city, I’ll be able to join an alumni group and immediately make friends. The extensive networking opportunities associated with DG even extend to an alumnae chapter in the United Kingdom.
During my time as a Delta Gamma, I’ve gotten to help the blind and visually impaired by working with our
philanthropy, Service for Sight. Events like Anchor Splash and the DG Poker Tournament have been fun, social ways for members of the Greek community and the larger Maryland community to come together for a good cause.
Looking back, I cant imagine my life at Maryland as a member of any other chapter. I truly became part of a sisterhood, and wouldn’t change my experience for the world.
Caitlin Carr, Delta Gamma
Alpha Epsilon Phi has taught me many things. For instance: Get down to the bagel bag before 10 a.m., don’t leave your closet unlocked if you are unwilling to share, coloring is a great activity even when you’re 19 not 9 and it is always possible to coerce someone into ordering food past 3 a.m. But really, AEPhi has taught me more than just the silly little things that make our house so much more special than any other, and more than just what makes college the best four years of your life. Being a sister of AEPhi has taught me about myself, about people and about devotion. Truthfully, I feel comfortable saying that the reason I am who I am is because of AEPhi.
After becoming a new member of Alpha Epsilon Phi, I immediately began to realize that I made the best decision. At Mamma Lucia’s when my new member class of Fall 2009 sat, talked and ate (everything and anything they put in front of us), I understood that my life was about to change – that I had just been introduced to my new best friends, my sisters. However, as much as I thought I knew what it meant to be a true friend, I had a lot to learn. It took some time, but I began to understand that these girls were more than just passer-bys in my life – they were forever.
The point is – there is nothing more satisfying than the feeling of sisterhood, and there has been nothing thus far in my life that has made me more confident or more dependable than knowing how many people care about me. Being a part of AEPhi has truly made me into the best form of myself, and it is because of this that I, or any sister, would do everything to ensure that every member, present and future, has this same secure feeling. Alpha Epsilon Phi is not just a sorority among a row of other houses; it is a home for our sisters to be proud of.
Jessy Feinberg, Alpha Epsilon Phi
I joined Kappa Alpha Theta as a freshman transfer student at UMD. After the last round of recruitment, it was clear to me that the women of Theta are genuine and are all true sisters, there for each other no matter what. As a senior, I’ve attended countless Theta sisterhood events, social events and philanthropy events that have brought me closer with my chapter. From going to something as simple as a Wednesday night movie night to attending an awesome formal, I’ve had fun with my sisters at each and every event. Along with that we have an amazing philanthropy, CASA, that we fundraise for by holding carwashes, an annual basketball tournament and an annual Theta/Fiji BBQ that all allow us to reach out to the rest of the College Park community for something that really makes a difference. And of course, I love just hanging out in the house or at a sister’s house.
My all time favorite Theta event is going to an Oriole’s game every fall together. We all wear Theta/Orioles gear, like orange “Theta” mock-Orioles T-shirts and white lettered baseball hats while cheering for yet another Maryland team. We all look forward to it all year and the memories we make at each game are worth the wait!
The sisterhood within Theta goes deeper than our weekly meetings and chapter dinners. We are all unique, coming from different backgrounds, places and families, but there is something the same within each of us that makes us all Thetas. I love my sisters no matter what and the loyalty within our chapter is amazing. I think the most unique thing about Theta is that I can honestly say that even though I’m a senior, I’m getting to know younger girls in the house all the time and continuously bonding with new sisters. There’s always someone new to meet, and it’s exciting and comforting to find new friends all the time.
Older women, who are some of my best friends, have already graduated, and I know with graduation this May I’ll be leaving College Park as well as some of my closest friends who have another year or two here, but I know my Theta sisters will never be too far away. I know we’ll always keep in touch, always get together just to laugh together again and we’ll always be sisters.
Julia Jurgovan, Kappa Alpha Theta
Growing up as the younger of two girls, I always tried to do things a little bit differently than my sister. However, after visiting her at college multiple times, I came to the conclusion that joining a sorority was one of the smartest decisions she had ever made. A decision that I, without question, knew I wanted to make as well.
Though going through the recruitment process was chaotic and incredibly slow (due to Snowmageddon), I knew it was well worth my time as soon as I stepped foot into the Phi Sigma Sigma chapter house.
I knew being in a sorority would lead to many philanthropic opportunities, I knew it would give me convenient living accommodations, and I knew it would give me an exciting social life. Of course these are all things that I value about the house that I have chosen, but I could have had those things in any of the 14 houses at the University of Maryland. What sets Phi Sig apart for me is the girls.
There is never a dull moment. Every time I walk into the house, I feel comfortable and welcome. I am always greeted by a smile, a burst of laughter or an entertaining story. I have connected on a personal level with each and every one of my sorority sisters, and I know that no matter where I go or what decisions I make, these girls will stand by me, just as I would for them. True connections, friendship and sisterhood is ultimately what a sorority has to offer – Phi Sig is just on a different level.
Phi Sigma Sigma
I had never even considered joining Greek life before my freshman year of college because I didn’t like the idea of trying to fit a mold. But it has led to so many opportunities; on-campus positions, leadership opportunities and even professional networking. Choosing to join a sorority opened up so many doors and allowed me to meet so many people I otherwise would not have.
In an effort to show you how special DPhiE is, I could tell you how our biggest philanthropy event, Deepher Dude, a lip-sync competition in which sisters teach fabulously boy-bandish numbers to fabulously rhythmless fraternity men, raised $2,500 for Cystic Fibrosis this fall. Or I could recount several epic moments on the playing fields this semester, where DPhiE athletes took home the gold. I could even tell you that DPhiE has held the highest overall GPA for several semesters. Yes, all of these things are impressive and yes, all of these things are reasons I am proud to be a part of DPhiE. But the reason why I love being a part of DPhiE is the group of remarkable, genuine and smart women that makes up our chapter.
One of the things DPhiE prides itself on is our diversity — diversity of background, beliefs, interests and ideas. I have never felt the need to fit a “DPhiE mold” because quite frankly, there’s no such thing.
Cara Hedgepeth, Delta Phi Epsilon
Alpha Phi Fraternity is unique because of just that, it is a Fraternity. Alpha Phi was founded at Syracuse University in 1872 before the word “sorority” was even created. Alpha Phi at the University of Maryland brings together a variety of amazing girls involved in many different activities. As a group each year, we host two major philanthropy events to raise money for the Alpha Phi Foundation. We are actually the first chapter on this campus to have our own foundation and this foundation has many different purposes. The Alpha Phi Foundation’s main cause is to donate money toward helping women’s cardiac care, which is the #1 cause of death for women in America. In addition, the Alpha Phi Foundation provides aid to Alpha Phi alumni in need and Alpha Phi students who apply for scholarships.
In the fall, we host our national philanthropy event, the Red Dress Gala. The Red Dress Gala is an auction event with speakers and performers and we invite our parents and alumni to join us. Then in the spring we host our Mr. Greek competition with Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, where Greek men get together and compete in various categories to become “Mr. Greek.” In addition to these events, we are involved in many community service events throughout the year such as making sandwiches for a homeless shelter, and we do various sisterhood events such as going to a pumpkin patch and going ice skating in DC.
Choosing to join the sisterhood of Alpha Omicron Pi has not only been one of the best decisions I’ve made in college — but one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.
While rushing in the fall of 2009, I was really unsure if a sorority was for me, or if I would find a house where I felt comfortable among 100 girls I didn’t know. I soon realized during rush that the Pi Delta chapter of AOPi was where I belonged. I was amazed to meet so many diverse girls in one house. AOPi has girls who dance, cheerlead, play tennis, swim, play water polo, ice-skate, sing and who are also smart and beautiful. I anxiously accepted my bid.
Being a member of AOPi has been an extremely rewarding experience. Every year we participate in many activities to give back to the community and raise money for our local and national philanthropy, epilepsy and juvenile arthritis. We hold events such as “AOPi in the Face,” which includes people paying money to pie our faces, “Trick-or-Treat on Greek Street,” when children from the community come to our house on Halloween for candy and crafts and “Strike Out Arthritis,” when we attend a baseball game in the spring. Money we raise throughout the year supports many research grants that help fund dozens of arthritis related projects.
But for me being part of this sorority goes much deeper than the philanthropy, socials, formals and Greek Weeks. Being a part of AOPi means always having someone to study with, accompany me to the gym, watch a movie on the couch with and comfort me when I’m having a bad day. I’ll be very sad when I graduate and won’t be able to live in the AOPi house anymore, but it’s reassuring to know I’ll be entering the world with such close friends and a sisterhood that will last my lifetime.
Alpha Omicron Pi