Some Friendly Competition…

Written by Taylor Palmer

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Delta Delta Delta and FIJI

In my opinion, one of the most amazing things about the Greek community at USC is how we come together to make a change when we tackle a problem. When we stand together, anything is possible.

University of South Carolina College Panhellenic Association is proud to call Circle of Sisterhood our council’s philanthropy. Founded by fellow Panhellenic woman Ginny Carroll, Circle of Sisterhood’s purpose is to provide women and girls across the world with access to quality education. Many do not have access to education simply because of their gender- sound familiar? That’s because sororities were founded for the very same reason in 1800s America! It makes sense that motivated, college educated women, like those in sororities, should be involved with the cause.

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Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Psi and Phi Kappa Tau

Our council is contributing by raising funds to build a school in Senegal, Africa this

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Alpha Xi Delta

December. How do we fundraise? By hosting a friendly competition! On Sunday, April 8, sororities and fraternities paired up to participate in the Circle of Sisterhood Powder Puff Flag Football tournament! The prize? Bragging rights and $200 toward the organizations’ philanthropies. The game was ON.

After four hours of tough competition and a snack break with food from sponsors like Marco’s and PDQ, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Zeta and Lambda Chi Alpha WON the tournament. They faced tough competition from Kappa Kappa Gamma and Theta Chi, who came in a close second. When all was said and done, event organizer Darby Nugent, Panhellenic VP of service, said we raised $1,300 for Circle of Sisterhood, all of which gets donated to the Senegal school fund! Thank you to all who came out to support Circle of Sisterhood. We look forward to hosting more events as a council to better the world together!

Learn more about Circle of Sisterhood here: https://www.circleofsisterhood.org 

 

 

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Reading is Fundamental for Kappa Kappa Gamma

Written by Emilee Skillman

image5.jpegFor members of Kappa Kappa Gamma at USC, philanthropy is very important. Our national philanthropy, Reading is Fundamental (RIF), is easy to become involved with! One of the main projects our members love to get involved with is a program called Literacy is Key. We have recently partnered with a local elementary school, Watkins Nance, where, once a month, we go and read to the kids as well as work on a craft with them. At the end of our visit, each child will get to go home with a book or a bookmark created by members of our chapter.

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This past month, we read the book Jack and the Beanstalk with the kids and each child got to plant their very own bean seed! They were overjoyed and could not wait to see their plant grow in hopes it would be as tall as Jack’s beanstalk. This program is so important because getting kids to love reading at a young age is so important. It can help shape their educational future! We want kids to become excited about the world and use their imagination. We are very fortunate to have such hands-on philanthropic opportunities where we actually get to see how happy kids get when they read a fun story or take home a book they picked out. We also have a main philanthropy event each semester where all of our proceeds go directly to RIF. Philanthropy is such an important aspect of our chapter and I personally can’t wait to see where we go from here!

Alpha Xi Delta Lights it Up Blue for Autism Speaks

Written by Jenna El Ghatit

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 3.13.06 PM.pngAcross the county, Alpha Xi Delta commemorates World Autism Month in April by fostering advocacy and support for their national philanthropy, Autism Speaks. Our chapter at the University of South Carolina is excited to showcase the first week in April as AmaXIng week, which is acampaign dedicated to raising understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorders.

Alpha Xi Delta is celebrating AmaXIng week by hosting fundraising nights at local restaurants, encouraging people to wear blue in support of Autism Speaks, and holding a 5K on Saturday! The 5K will be held at Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park and is Alpha Xi Delta’s largest spring fundraising event. It is the perfect culmination to AmaXIng week and allows the whole Columbia community to become involved with Autism Speaks!

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 3.13.16 PM.pngIn addition to promoting their philanthropy on campus, Alpha Xi Delta is involved with Autism Speaks outside of the university. For the past two years, the chapter has participated in the Autism Speaks walk in Charlotte and has been the top fundraising team for both events! Sisters of Alpha Xi also volunteer at local organizations in Columbia that support families who are affected by autism spectrum disorders, such as the Ausome Gym and The Autism Academy of South Carolina. Volunteers are grateful for the opportunity of seeing first-hand the impact that their philanthropy can cause!

Alpha Xi Delta’s Philanthropy VP, Morgan Setzer, is proud of the work that her chapter has accomplished for Autism Speaks over the past two years.

“Being a part of AmaXIng Week is such an important reminder of the power that young women have to make a difference in the community. It’s incredible to be walking back from class and see a group of Sisters wearing blue and enthusiastically promoting our philanthropy on Greene Street to other students. I cannot thank everyone in my chapter enough for not only making this week successful, but also for being passionate about Autism Speaks year-round!”

Kappa Delta Stands Up to Child Abuse During Shamrock Week

Written by Shannon Milhollin

img_7672.png        Hours of work paid off last week when Spring Shamrock Week finally arrived: A full week of fun events and percent nights all for a common cause to raise money for Kappa Delta’s national philanthropy, Prevent Child Abuse America. The strenuous hours of hard work Vice President of Community Service, Julianne Domnauer, committed to in order to make this the best week possible for our chapter and our philanthropy definitely paid off!

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The Confidence Coalition on Monday morning was a sweet start to the week! We handed out free coffee and doughnuts on Greene Street. That night, we hosted a percent night at Chipotle, which is always a crowd favorite. Tuesday, we roller skated the night away at Three Fountains Skating Rink in West Columbia, representing our favorite sports teams thanks to the jersey theme! Wednesday we blew up Instagram with our social media blast, which helped bring awareness to the cause. We could not go a week without taking advantage of Pelicans finally being reopened for the season, so Wednesday night we hosted a percent night at Pelicans! Warm weather calls for outdoor live music and food, so on Thursday we brought in an awesome cover band to perform at the Riverwalk Amphitheater, while we fine-dined at none other than Chick-fil-A! We put on our dancing shoes Friday night at formal to celebrate the unforgettable week, the best way to end spring Shamrock Week.

Shamrock week in both the fall and spring semesters are two weeks out of the year that all of our members look forward to because we get to bond together with a common goal. The amount of people who came and supported Kappa Delta at every event was what kept us going, knowing that every dollar raised was going toward bringing an end to child abuse, not only in South Carolina, but across the nation! Thank you to everyone outside of our chapter who supported us by donating money and coming to our events, your time and money goes farther than you know!

Pi Beta Phi Celebrates Literacy with Arrow Week

Pi Beta Phi’s annual Arrow Week includes a week of fundraising activities to promote their philanthropy, Read > Lead > Achieve! Pi Phis across North America advocate for childhood literacy by raising awareness and funds on college campuses. At University of South Carolina, Pi Phis are passionate about their cause.

IMG_0746Current vice president of philanthropy, Tiffany Walters, is a junior elementary education major from Reevesville, SC.

“As a college student, I can access countless educational resources whenever I want to—it is easy to forget how fortunate we are to have these tools at our disposal. Arrow week is so special to me and other pi phis because it reminds us that some students, even children, do not have access to these things. It makes us realize just how important the work we do is. All the money we raise goes straight to the Pi Beta Phi Foundation so that we can give children the supplies they need to build an educational foundation. We get to use the money that we donate directly through our Champions are Readers program and other Read>Lead>Achieve initiatives. I cannot think of a better way to help the Columbia community than spending a week hanging out and having fun with sisters!”

 

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Arrow Week goes Monday through Saturday, starting with giving away donuts in front of the student union and ending with the Dodge the Arrow team dodgeball tournament, where all of the proceeds go to Read > Lead > Achieve. Throughout the week, Pi Phis raise money selling lemonade, getting pied during ‘Pie a Pi Phi’ and encouraging the community to attend percent nights, in which local restaurants donate a percentage of their profits to a cause. This year, Pi Phi held a percent night at Groucho’s Deli, a local sandwich shop.

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Former vice president of philanthropy, Taryn McLees, is a junior Hospitality Management major from Long Island, NY, currently studying abroad in Gold Coast, Australia.

“Arrow week to me represents a time of philanthropic love and support. Seeing all of our sisters take time out of their busy schedules for one week to support our philanthropy whether it’s to fundraise on campus or get their friends involved at events like Pie a Pi Phi and Dodge the Arrow, it’s all while making memories and is so fun and reassuring that we’re all here for the right reasons. It’s definitely a time that makes me love this chapter and campus even more!”

Learn more about Read > Lead > Achieve and the Pi Beta Phi Foundation here: https://www.pibetaphi.org/

Word to the wise… Do’s and Don’t’s for before recruitment

  1. Don’t go out and splurge!

Your unique style is part of you, and that’s exactly what every house wants to see. Do not bother going out and buying an outfit for every round of recruitment! The items you have in your closet will be just fine. Find a piece you really like? Awesome! Go for it. But don’t assume for a second that new clothes, shoes, and accessories are necessary for recruitment.

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  1. Don’t mold yourself to fit an image.

I can tell you from experience that when I went through recruitment I really wanted to put together a combination of outfits that screamed me. So I steered away from the stereotypical look that had been engrained into my mind of what a young woman should wear for rush. I am most comfortable and expressive in my flowy bohemian inspired pieces… so that’s exactly what I wore. And if I’m being completely honest it made an impression! My preference round I was floored by the reactions I received from houses on my look (maxi skirt with 70’s inspired high neck crop top). “You are shining in that outfit!” “This totally looks like you!” And I couldn’t have felt more comfort in knowing that my two favorite houses could tell how relaxed I was in my own skin. So go with your gut and style, and pick the pieces that scream you and make you stand out. You don’t have to always wear a dress on preference round! Go for something that will make the girls in the houses say “remember ____, she was rocking that jumpsuit!”

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  1. Do thoughtful research

I did not know any of the sororities at USC prior to going through recruitment. When I signed up is when I first saw the list of houses, with Greek names that I can definitively confess I did not know how to pronounce. So I went and followed the houses on Instagram, or checked out their Facebook during the summer to see what they were up to. My favorite part of this process was taking a look at the opportunities I was going to open myself up to by going through recruitment. It seemed like these women were EVERYWHERE. Volunteering, going to games, going to fun events like roller-skating or hiking trips, studying together… like honestly what weren’t they doing all over campus?!

  1. DON’T research where you shouldn’t be.

Ahhhhhh good ole’ Greek Rank. The place where intelligent, classy sorority women go to find “insight” on the chapters here at USC. Harmless right? Wrong. You cannot be serious… Ladies do NOT fill your life with such negativity! You are strong, smart, driven women who do not need the malicious words of others to tell you which houses are “worthy” of your attention. Don’t browse, breeze over, surf, or even scroll. It is not worth your time nor energy, and honestly if you live and breathe from this site… maybe you just aren’t mature enough to handle this life changing process. Any site that degrades ambitious and beautiful women like Greek Rank is not even worth a glimpse.

  1. Do prepare yourself for long hot days in the Carolina heat.

Essentials for keeping yourself comfortable during the process…

  • Dry shampoo
  • Gum
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Brush
  • Spray some setting spray on in the morning! Even if you wear little to no make up it will really help with reducing shine and sweaty discomfort.
  • Deodorant and perfume
  • Tissues (to blot sweaty faces)
  • Extra hair ties and bobby pins. Sometimes the hair just has to go up! Change up your hairstyle without feeling like you are ready to play in a soccer game. A cute high ponytail or braid will do the trick when you feel like you’re about to melt.

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  1. Don’t party or go downtown.

Don’t. Even. Think. About. It. Recruitment is a long and tedious process, you need to be alert and ready to face a new day— fresh conversations and new opportunities to talk to amazing women from all over the country are on the agenda… not a hangover and disciplinary measures. Don’t ruin this for yourself, your first night out in the college world will come… I promise. It doesn’t need to come this soon.

  1. Do allow yourself to open up to the process…

Okay all my gals from up north or far away… how much of this is SO foreign to you?! Like the chants and rituals… at first it seems, well to be honest, pretty silly. Remember, those recruiting are having fun and being silly because they want to. They love their chapters, and their funny songs and goofy chants. It is just their tradition and has been for decades. So allow yourself to smile, giggle, and even sing along in your head (because best believe those cheers get stuck in there). You will never get to go through this process again, so take it all in.

  1. …But don’t take it too seriously

At the end of the day, this process is about talking to women. This is a skill we have been learning ever since we had our first mumbled conversation with our moms. We are all connected, and all capable of holding thoughtful and genuine conversations with one another. Strip away the decorations and outfits, and what do you have left? In total you have about five hours of talking with another young lady just like yourself. You guys didn’t click? No worries, you’re meant to find your home elsewhere. Got dropped from your all time favorite house? You’re basing this perspective off of just minutes of a conversation! It’s absolutely okay. It may happen, but trust in your heart that you weren’t made to be a part of that chapter. You were put in that moment to have a lovely conversation, but not meant to be a member for the rest of your life. This process does not define you, so do not let it! You, as your perfect self, will compliment one of these chapters in the most amazing way. You do not need to mold yourself. You are an addition, not a copy. Do not take this as a serious, anxious, stressful and traumatic time. It’s just having some really great conversations with some really great gals.

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Madi Carzon ~ VP of Public Relations ~ University of South Carolina Panhellenic Association

Letters from the girls who wore your shoes

Letters from Fall ’16: Sorority Women who were in your shoes only a year ago.

Joining a sorority is nothing short of an overwhelming, exhilarating and pivotal moment in one’s college experience. One moment you’re stepping into a sorority house filled with hundreds of screaming girls, and the next moment you’re accepting a bid from a sorority, not entirely sure what to expect. Recruitment goes by in the blink of an eye, but it is one of the most crucial events and processes you may go through during your college experience, and we want to ensure that you take everything away from it that you can. So, we’ve decided to share some letters of encouragement from women who were in your shoes just one year ago. Although everyone has a different recruitment and new member experience, we hope that you may find comfort in their words and take away some valuable information from their experiences.

 

Megan Sherman, incoming Junior- Fall ‘16

When I made my decision in the Spring of 2016 that I was going to transfer from my small Virginia school, to the University of South Carolina, I was extremely nervous. I did not know a single person at USC and I was wondering how I would make friends, especially going from a school of only 2,000 to 33,000. I knew that I was very interested in Greek Life and also figured it would be a great way to find a home away from home and make a big school like USC feel a little bit smaller. I had no idea that going through recruitment would not only give me an amazing group of friends and sisters, but a support system as well. Alpha Chi Omega has forever changed my college experience and me for the better.

As an incoming PNM, some advice I would give to you all would be to be yourself. A lot of girls feel that they need to look extra pretty, act different or try to impress each chapter by being who they think the chapter wants to see. The wonderful part about recruitment is that every chapter is incredibly different, so as long as you stay true to who you are and don’t try and be someone you’re not, you will find the home that is perfect for you.

As a new member, I would say don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and step out of your comfort zone a little bit. Its important to remember that every new member feels the exact same way and you’re all trying to get to know one another and make friends. Stepping out of your comfort zone and sitting with girls you don’t know at the house, or starting a conversation with another new member at an event is the best advice I can give. It can be awkward in the begging because these girls are your sisters, yet you do not know most of their names or even their hometowns. However, eventually you will and you’ll end up finding people within your chapter that will be your forever friends and you’ll wonder how you ever went through life without them.

 

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Joanna Tiller, incoming Sophomore– Fall ’16

“If you would have told me a year ago that the girl who left me a weird voicemail about being my “pi chi” would later become one of my best friends, I would have laughed with confusion and uncertainty. Thankfully, in my case, it did not take long to realize how similar my pi chi and I were, and we instantly hit it off. On bid day, running home to the same place as my pi chi was such a relieving and incredible feeling. If it was not for her constant nagging about my tardiness,  or encouragement when I was in doubt, I am not sure I would have found my home at Alpha Chi Omega and been lucky enough to call her, amongst 400 other women, my sisters. As a new member, she took me under her wing and never let me feel left out. Even though she was a senior and I was a freshman, I was completely welcomed with open arms into Alpha Chi. Whether I needed someone to pick me up from class, borrow a dress from, or simply had any question about anything, she would always be there. She will always be someone I consider a close friend and the person I look up to the most. So, here’s a thank you to my Pi Chi, and all the Pi Chis’s. PNMs, do not be afraid to get to know them or ask them for help, that is what they are there for! Plus who knows, you could end up running to the same house as yours on bid day, which is a feeling unlike any other!”

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Heather Fordham, incoming Sophomore– Fall ‘16

“Go into round one with an open mind. When you’re engaging in conversation be you’re true self! We are just as nervous to talk to you as you are to talk to us, so don’t be nervous, we want to get to know you! There are not “top tier” sororities, it is based on what YOU feel fits your values. Join the sorority that aligns the closest with your values and beliefs, and the sorority where you feel most welcome, and at home. Do not let other girls tamper with your thoughts on a chapter, have your own opinion, and stick to that! Just because one girl had a negative experience, should not affect your outlook on that chapter, especially if they were one of your favorites. And lastly – trust the process. Your Pi Chi’s will tell you this over and over again, but it really, truly, is so important.”

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Best of luck during Recruitment 2017. We can’t wait to meet ya’ll!