This post was originally posted on my blog hannahetorrance.wordpress.com.
Last week, I opened my email to find a message that I absolutely did not believe I would get any time soon. My national headquarters sent the Alumnae of my chapter an email informing us that due to its uncompetitive size, my chapter would be closing. This didn’t come out of nowhere- it was something that our e-board has worked through since I was an undergraduate. I definitely didn’t think it would come so soon. It definitely hasn’t hit me yet, but I knew I had to do something, so I composed a letter. The letter could apply to a number of people, but it’s mostly geared towards current sisters in the undergraduate chapter. I wanted to talk about how important that experience was to me, and how influential that membership could be to sisters in the future. Writing is a way for me to process, and I wanted to include it here, so feel free to keep on reading!
You probably don’t know me, but I am a 2013 graduate of Chapman University, and an Alumna of the Epsilon Delta Chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma. I’m writing to you to reach out and show my support of what you and your sisters are going through right now.
I joined Phi Sigma Sigma in the Fall of 2009, and it was a decision that changed my life forever. I was so nervous when I went through the process- I was shy, I didn’t feel like I fit in with all of these beautiful women on Chapman’s campus, and I never thought I was meant to be in a sorority. I had a rough transition from high school to college, and I had some difficulty making friends, so this process was really hard for me to go through. I remember walking into Phi Sig’s room each day during recruitment, and I was welcomed by smiles, enthusiasm, and I felt like the sisters were so excited to see me. After I accepted my bid, I started hanging out with some of the older sisters, and my pledge sisters, and these girls were just so stinkin’ cool! I felt like I could be myself and I felt like they truly liked me for me. I remember how excited I was when I went through spoil week and got my big, and she turned out to be one of my best friends, and really helped me a lot throughout the years.
Like I said, I was always super shy, but my sisters encouraged me to break out of my shell, and saw something in me that I never saw in myself. I was obsessed with the TV show “Greek” at the time, and I wanted to be just like Casey Cartwright and be on Panhellenic. I talked to one of my other sisters who was on Panhellenic already, and she pushed me to apply. I got the position as VP of Communication, and was the only freshman on the e-board that year. I got to meet so many other sorority women, and I felt so much love, and like I was truly part of something. That involvement inspired me to get even more involved in the community, and I had the opportunity to serve as Phi Sig’s Panhellenic Delegate, one of Chapman’s Greek Life Coordinator, Vice Archon, and attend several other leadership conferences and trainings.
I have so many fond memories of being a Phi Sig as an undergraduate- staying up late, deliriously giggling during skit practice, making late night food runs, bonding over our dead feet during recruitment, and so many more. I love Chapman so so much, and I 100% credit my Phi Sigma Sigma experience to this. My sisters were a dynamic group of diverse, intelligent, driven, and hilarious group of people, and although our chapter was always smaller, and we were dealing with issues of being competitive during my tenure, I wouldn’t change my experience for the world.
I’m currently in my second year of the College Student Personnel Administration program at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, and it is my passion to work on a college campus with Greek Organizations. Without Phi Sigma Sigma, I wouldn’t have found my life’s work and future career.
This is a long winded letter, and it’s a lot of personal reflection on my part, but I want you to know that the power and influence of Phi Sigma Sigma lasts beyond the four years you are at Chapman. I live in Western New York, and there are Phi Sig chapters everywhere, and I’m able to connect with new sisters every day. This organization has changed you for the better, and all of your hard work has impacted so many women that have come into contact with you. Our battle with headquarters started before even I was an undergrad, and it was always such a struggle, and I can’t imagine what you have been going through. I know you may not know me, but I am here for you if you want to talk, and if there is anything that I or other alumnae can do for the sisters who are currently in the chapter, please please reach out and let me know!
Once a Phi Sigma Sigma, Always a Phi Sigma Sigma, and SO MUCH LITP.
Epsilon Delta, Class of 2013
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