Sorority Spotlight: Delta Zeta Lambda Phi Chapter

sorority spotlight

Every campus offers clubs and organizations that attract students for a variety of reasons.  For the women of Delta Zeta, Lambda Phi chapter, that was the organization that felt like home.

Founded on October 24, 1902 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, the cherished badge of Delta Zeta has only been worn by Dr. Guy Potter Benton, former Miami University President.  Dr. Potter Benton was later named the Grand Patron of the sorority, thanks to his support and guidance in the creation of the organization.

“The purpose of this sorority shall be to unite its members in the bonds of sincere and lasting friendship, to stimulate one another in the pursuit of knowledge, to promote the moral and social culture of its members and to develop plans for guidance and unity in action; objects worthy of the highest aim and purpose of associated effort. The purpose of this sorority shall be advanced through the National Convention, the National Council and the college and alumnae chapters.”—Constitution of Delta Zeta Sorority, Article II, Sections 1 and 2

Today, there are 165 DZ chapters in the United States and Canada, but College Lifestyles™ is featuring Appalachian State’s Lambda Phi chapter as this month’s sorority spotlight.  The national colors of DZ are rose and green and the mascot is a turtle.  Lambda Phi has been on campus since 1973 and regularly holds events to benefit their national philanthropy, the Delta Zeta Foundation, which benefits individuals who are speech and/or hearing impaired.  In addition, DZ sponsors and organizes the annual Turtle Trot 5k on campus, which raises money and awareness for Appalachian State’s local philanthropy, the Communication Disorders Clinic.  Since 2007, Lambda Phi has raised over $40,000 for the cause!

Fostering tradition is important to the sisters of Delta Zeta, Lambda Phi.  For example, the new big sisters each craft a fold-out table for their little sisters.  This tradition is special because it is something the new big and new little are able to share together.  The littles also write a special message to their bigs on the campus’ free expression tunnel.

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Other than big and little traditions, Lambda Phi regularly does sisterhood events such as Galentine’s Day, snow tubing, visiting pumpkin patches, movie nights, potluck meals and mixers.  Mixer themes include superheroes, Jimmy Buffet bash and athletes and mathletes.  Each spring, the chapter has spring formal.

Former sisterhood chair Averia Padgett reflects on her time in Delta Zeta by saying, “There are numerous benefits in joining a sorority, but few are greater than the unconditional and permanent bonds of friendship that we call sisterhood. Even though sisterhood can be hard to describe and explain to others, this bond allows us to embrace and accept one another to our fullest. We are each connected by shared experiences and obtaining some of the same goals. Sisterhood is truly caring about one another; being there for not only each other’s achievements, but also for the times when one is down. Sisterhood is being apart and then still being able to share those same laughs and pick up as if nothing has changed. Sisterhood is one of the most powerful aspects of a sorority.”

 

Images courtesy of Kaitlyn Norgren.

How to Celebrate Galentine’s Day with Your Sisters

Galentines Day

 

February 13th marks the best holiday of the year: Galentine’s Day.  We could tell you what Galentine’s Day is, but we think it will be best to have its founder, Leslie Knope, tell you about this magical day.

“Oh, it’s only the best day of the year.  Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast style.  Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” – Parks and Recreation

This Galentine’s Day, College Lifestyles™ has the best Knope-approved ideas for kickin’ it with your crew and celebrating sisterhood.

Gather Your Sisters

Before any celebrating can occur, you must gather your sisters.  Send them formal invitations to your Galentine’s Day celebration or send a group text – whatever is more your style.

Brunch

Take it from the founder herself and make a delicious brunch together.  Cooking requires working as a team to achieve a goal, so cooking together will allow you to strengthen your bonds.  Dressing up in your favorite dresses, eating waffles and sipping coffee and mimosas makes for one classy G-Day.  Or, set up a delicious waffle bar with all the best toppings.  Brunching is always a good idea, but if you don’t have the space to cook, just make a reservation at JJ’s.

Spa Day

After eating all the waffles, head over to the spa for a refreshing facial or manicure to really pamper yourself.  When you look good, you feel good.  Celebrating sisterhood and lady friendship is the perfect excuse for getting a treatment that you otherwise might not.  On Galentine’s day, remember to treat yo’ self, one of the many valuable lessons we learned from “Parks and Rec.”

Write Essays

It wouldn’t be a Galentine’s Day celebration without 5,000 word essays about why your friends are so awesome.  Trust us, it will be easy to write 5,000 words about all of your friends. If it is too time consuming, just write one essay and change the name on the top.  No one will know, and we’re pretty sure Knope would approve of that efficiency.

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Crafts

If 5,000 word essays don’t prove the strength of your friendship (but they definitely will), present each sister with a portrait of her face made up of crushed pieces from the bottles of her favorite diet soda.  If that doesn’t say girl power, we don’t know what does.  This is really the gift that keeps on giving, and will also look perfect displayed in your sorority house.

Another wonderful craft idea is a needlepoint pillow with your friends’ face on it and a headline from the newspaper on the day she was born.  It’s super personalized and also cuddly.

Volunteer at the Senior Dance

To conclude your Galentine’s Day celebration, your group can volunteer at the senior dance.  If your community isn’t hosting a senior dance, it would make a great philanthropic event to host or you all can find another community service project to participate in.

Here’s to hoping that Galentine’s Day is nationally recognized in 2017.  We hear Leslie is still waiting for Congress to respond with the status of that.  Stay tuned.  But however you celebrate ladies being ladies, we know Knope would be on board.

 

Images courtesy of nbc.com.

Top 5 Big/Little Reveal Gifts 2016

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Not too long after Bid Day comes another coveted night in sorority tradition: the Big/Little Reveal. This is one of the most special nights in a sorority girl’s college years because it is the night her newest family member is unveiled to her. For the big about to receive a brand new little, this night requires a little more preparation – showering the new little with gifts. CL has the best gifts a big can give – they are exciting, special, cost-friendly and meaningful.

Photo Collage

In order for a big and little to be a match made in heaven, there is some form of natural connection between the two. The memories have already started to be created before big/little reveal. Create a collage using photos, sorority emblems/symbols and inside jokes. This is a simple DIY gift that your new little will absolutely adore. It also makes sweet dorm décor!

Pillow/Blanket

Another great gift idea is a matching pillow and blanket combination. Use fleece fabric from your local craft store as well as adorable iron–on additions, like monograms. With so many fabric selections, this gift can be customized to her interests or to your sorority.  Your new little will be warm and cozy for an upcoming movie night!

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Flowers

Girls love to receive flowers, no matter what the occasion. Pick up a bouquet of your sorority’s national flower or your new little’s favorite to accompany any gift. This will show your little how much you love her and how thrilled you are to be her big!

Big/Little Matching Shirts

Your little has probably started her sorority shirt collection, so why not add to it with special big/little shirts? This will be a gift that the two of you can share as no one else in the chapter will have it! These shirts can be dressed up for any occasion that you attend, so you both look classy as ever. Also, who doesn’t love a great craft night, am I right?

Scrapbook

Swing by a craft store to pick up a scrapbook and some basic supplies, like glue, stickers and fancy paper! Write your little a note to tell her that this scrapbook is for her to document sorority events, accomplishments and memories. It can constantly be updated throughout her sorority experience, so upon being inducted as an alumna, her scrapbook will be a complete product.

Creating or buying gifts for your new little is such an exciting thing to do! There are so many options and ideas to choose from, but these are the top five ideas CL has. Do you have any other ideas? Let us know! Also, don’t forget to check out CL’s sorority and DIY Pinterest boards for more great ideas.

Images courtesy of Alli Heitzenrater.

Top 5 Bid Day Gifts 2016

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Bid Day is quickly approaching, which means not only is it the end of rush, but it is also time to welcome new members into your sorority.  Typically, the chapter will give each new member a few gifts as a gesture to welcome them into their new sisterhood.  College LifestylesTM exclusively has the top five Bid Day gifts to make each new member feel special and excited.

Cork Board

Staying organized is so important in college.  Help new sisters stay organized with events and school by giving them a cork board!  To DIY, cover a cork board in fabric that uses the colors or symbols that are representative of your sorority.  You can also add ribbon in diagonal lines to help items stay put.  If you want to go the extra mile, give each sister a set of sorority push pins, which you can most likely purchase from your sorority’s national office merchandise store.

Matching Shirts

Giving each new member the same shirt is a great way to start their time in the sorority.  It will absolutely make each sister feel welcome and included and it’s a solid way to bond with her fellow new members.  More importantly, their collection of sorority t-shirts has to start somewhere!  If a basic letter tee isn’t your thing, try a long sleeve t-shirt, racerback tank or fitted v-neck.  Your new sisters will be the most stylish girls on campus!

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Coolers and Paint

The painted cooler is a staple for sorority women – we love them!  Give each new member a blank cooler, a set of paint brushes and some bottles of paint.  This DIY craft is an awesome way for the new class to hold a bonding night to get to know each other a little better!  Pro tip: Use sandpaper to sand the cooler down a bit first.  This will help the paint to adhere to the plastic.

Swag Bag

Sometimes, one gift doesn’t feel like enough.  When this happens, give each new member a sorority or monogrammed bag (tote bags and draw string bags are both loved) and fill them with all sorts of goodies like picture frames, tumblers, desk supplies, headbands, coffee mugs or refrigerator magnets! The swag bag is a chance to give each new member a few things she might not typically buy for herself, but that she will love to own.

Tailgating Gifts

As sorority members and college students, new members are likely to tailgate with fellow sisters.  Start her tailgating off right with some sorority tailgating gifts like sorority shades, bows to hold her hair back or a water bottle to keep hydrated.

Some gifts are better suited as handmade and some are better when purchased from a great store, but whatever you gift the new members they will appreciate.  Bid Day is such an exciting day for both new members and active members – never forget what brought you all together in the first place.

 

Images courtesy of Alli Heitzenrater.

I Knew I Found the Sorority For Me When…

I Knew I found the sorority for me when

Picture this: You have ventured to several different sororities to learn about each.  You’ve met the members, learned the history and made some connections.  By doing this, you’ve found a few that you love and a few that are great, but not for you.  As you sit in the campus café sipping your coffee, you weigh each sorority carefully, because this decision is going to affect the rest of your college experience and post-graduate life.  For many college students, this situation is a reality.

College Lifestyles™ talked to three sorority women to understand how they knew the chapter they joined was the right choice for them.

Odessa Meredith is in her junior year at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College in Erie, Pennsylvania.  She is a member of the Gamma Theta chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority and is the current Vice President, Community Relations and Director of New Member Education.  Meredith says she knew AΣT was the right organization for her because she “really connected with more than half [of] the girls during recruitment because I saw that they weren’t afraid to be themselves and that they also held class, which really stuck with me.  Also, the values of Alpha Sigma Tau matched with the values of what I was looking for in friends.  Now, not only are they my friends, but also my sisters!”

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Tori Succi, CL alum and sister of Phi Sigma Sigma at Hofstra University said, “I know that I chose the right sorority because when I bid to Phi Sigma Sigma in the Fall of 2013, all of the sisters welcomed me with open arms. I had a perfect big and she knew exactly how to handle all of my crazy.  We have this thing at Hofstra called the RATT (basement of the school).  It is a place [where] every Greek organization has a booth where they can put their plaques on and sit down and have lunch and meet down there.  Well, Phi Sig is one of the ones that actually uses that space and I know that if I go down there at any moment, I’ll have a smiling face to walk into and grab lunch with.  Phi Sig is more than just an organization, it truly is a sisterhood and I can actually say that I love my sisters and I would do anything for them.  It is something you just know—you get a feeling and [you] feel at home!”

Having a great group of friends is not just the only reason Succi knows she made the right choice.  She goes on to say, “We are so embedded in our history and we have such a strong alumni base that will come back and help out wherever they can.  They make me believe that this thing can be more than four years.”

For some people like Abigail Zurcher, there was no contemplating.  Also a member of Alpha Sigma Tau at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College, she says, “My organization was right for me because the sisters of Alpha Sigma Tau share the same values as me.  We all work hard in school, we have similar interests and we have fun together.  When thinking about joining a sorority, I knew AST was right for me the first time I talked to some of the members.”

Whether it is love at first sight, or it takes some time to warm up to the organization, joining the group that does the most for you is essential to the sorority experience.  Think on it alone or talk it out, but make sure your decision feels right for you!

 

Images courtesy of Alli Heitzenrater.

Five Types of Sororities You Will Find on a College Campus

 

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When most people hear the word “sorority,” the thought that most often comes to mind is “Animal House” meets “Scream Queens.” The assumption of society is a group of well-groomed women with unidealistic priorities, $200 Lilly Pulitzer dresses and a white mansion where they all reside.  As a student enters college, it is important to know the different types of sororities that can be found on college campuses across the country.  Each type has a different focus and different priorities, but one thing they all have in common is growth.

Social Sorority

The first type of sorority—and probably the most commonly known—is the social sorority.  This is the sorority that focuses on social growth of its members.  This type of Greek organization is divided by gender and involves a rush process that allows potential members to explore the social sororities who have a chapter at that college.  While these organizations often participate in philanthropic and community service events, they are typically not the major focus of the organization.

Service Sorority

A service sorority is one that places emphasis on creating members who are strong leaders and students, while fostering service to the community or country.  These organizations can either be co-ed or divided by gender.  These organizations do participate in social events and create bonds of sisterhood; however, their roots stem from service.

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Cultural Interest/Multicultural Sorority

For some students, a cultural interest/multicultural sorority is the best option.  A cultural interest organization is specific to an area, such as religion or ethnicity.  A multicultural sorority is one that focuses on sisterhood with members of biracial backgrounds.  These organizations typically recruit per their own schedule, which allows them to create events that are specific to their focus. An example of a multicultural sorority is Sigma Lambda Gamma, a Latina-based organization.

Greek Letter Honors Society

For a group of people who share the same major, turn to a Greek Letter honors society.  These groups are often co-ed and focus on educational and intellectual growth of its members.  Typically, these organizations do not participate in any kind of rush process and their members experience near instantaneous initiation.  Certain honors societies invite members to join, but others wait for the member to initiate joining.

Professional Sororities

Lastly, college campuses offer professional sororities.  Like social sororities, these organizations hold and attend social and philanthropic events, but the focus shifts from social growth to professional growth, such as attending speakers or holding networking events for its members.  To join this type of organization, rush week is usually held, but the timing can vary from organization to organization.  Some organizations have interviews for potential members as well.

Do not forget, dual enrollment is possible for certain types of organizations.  For example, a student can be a member of both a social sorority and an honors society.  For specific membership guidelines, speaking with an initiated member is the best option.  Every organization provides benefits to its members, but it is critical to join the organization that offers the most for you.

First image courtesy of Alli Heitzenrater.
Second image courtesy of nenetus/freedigitalphotos.net.

Introducing the Spring 2016 Dorm and Apartment Life/DIY/Interior Design and Sorority Life Teams

Teams

College LifestylesTM is excited to introduce two of our fabulous teams for the upcoming spring 2016 semester. These classy co-eds will be your guides to dorm, DIY and sorority life throughout the spring.

Say hello to Amanda York, our newest dorm and apartment life/DIY/interior design writer!

Amand

Where do you go to school? Kent State University

Hometown: Westlake, Ohio

Year: Sophomore

Major/minor/concentration: Multimedia journalism with a minor in graphic design

What has been your favorite part of the college experience so far? Living on my own and the freedom.

What advice do you have for incoming classy co-eds? Don’t be scared to try new things and to get involved.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully, I will be writing for an online music magazine like SPIN or Rolling Stone.

Meet Alli Heitzenrater, sorority life writer and CL’s own social media manager!

Alli

Where did you go to school? Penn State

Hometown: Erie, PA. But I have lived in Pittsburgh for 3.5 years.

Major/minor/concentration: I hold a BFA in creative writing.

What was your favorite part of the college experience? My favorite part of college was the friends I made.  I am still close with several of my sorority sisters and friends who I went to school with.

What advice do you have for incoming classy co-eds? Get out of the dorm a little bit – join a club, go to campus activities and events and just experience what the campus has to offer.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I hope to be married in five years with a well-established career.

Meet Elizabeth Angarola, dorm and apartment life/DIY/interior design and sorority life editor!

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Where do you go to school? The University of San Francisco

Hometown: Edwards, Colorado

Year: Junior

Major/minor/concentration: English with a concentration in writing.

What has been your favorite part of the college experience so far? Being able to study something I am so interested in and taking classes that are exciting to me!

What advice do you have for incoming classy co-eds? Don’t be afraid to be yourself! College is all about learning who you are and finding the people who accept you that way.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I hope to have written at least one novel and to be working in a career I love.

We can’t wait to see the fabulous advice and tips these co-eds have in store for you this spring!

Top and fourth images courtesy of Elizabeth Angarola.

Second image courtesy of Amanda York.

Third image courtesy of Alli Heitzenrater.

DIY Paint Night

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Paint night events are one of the hottest and growing trends right now. Luckily, College LifestylesTM has all the inside details you need to hold a classy party of your own! Whether it is a recruitment event or a sisterhood bonding event, this unique idea will be sure to give sisters long lasting cheer and memories.

Paint preparations

The first thing that needs to be done, of course, is reserving a date, room and time. It is beneficial if you have a sink or bathroom nearby to easily wash the brushes afterwards. Reach out to sisters and see who would be willing to take charge of the painting aspect of the night so she has ample time to get ready.

When it comes to supplies, you want more than you need to assure that there will be enough paint and brushes for everyone. Also make sure everyone will have the correct sizes of brushes she needs to create her masterpiece. Lastly, pick a canvas size and make sure you buy enough for everyone, or have each sister bring one of her own.

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“I think paint nights are great because they bring everyone together to do something fun.”—Emily Sauchelli, freshman, Hofstra University

Pick your art 

When it comes to picking a design, it is best to do something chic, but simple enough that everyone will be able to execute it. It will become stressful if sisters have trouble following along because they are too busy painting a bunch of intricate lines. We recommend picking a design that uses only a few colors so you don’t have to buy so much paint.

“It is a great event to invite everyone to. Even if people are not artistic, they all get to practice together and make beautiful creations.” —Rita Cinquemani, sophomore, Hofstra University

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Practice makes perfect

Make sure the sister who will be teaching the class practices beforehand so she has a reference to use. If she has done it before, she will be more comfortable teaching others while painting her own artwork.

“My favorite part was seeing how every sister put her own artistic spin on the painting!”—Julia Gomel Dunn, sophomore, Hofstra University 

Bits and bites

To add a little something extra to the event, you can serve small appetizers and drinks. A drink that is always a sorority hit is Sprite and pineapple juice for a sweet, fizzy treat.

With these simple steps, we are sure you and your sisters will have a fabulous paint night event!

 Check out CL’s other sisterhood DIY ideas below:

DIY Waffle Robe with Letters

DIY Sorority Cooler

DIY Sorority Bows

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Top image courtesy of Sara Whitman.

Second image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/SimonHowden.

Third image courtesy of Epsilon Kappa chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma.

Bottom image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/kdshutterman.

 

Five Charities Your Chapter Can Support This Holiday

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The season of giving is upon us and we at College LifetsylesTM are excited! You are probably equally as enthusiastic, because this is the prime time for your classy sorority to give back to the community. We know how important volunteering and philanthropy is to sorority members, so CL has come up with a list of great charities to support during this holiday season.

Toys for Tots

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is the perfect charity to donate to during the holidays. All you need to do is purchase a toy and place it, unwrapped, in your local Toys for Tots bin. Campaigns are conducted in about 700 communities across all 50 states annually, so there is bound to be one near you. You can check the foundation’s website for more information. Here’s a tip: encourage all of Greek life to donate toys to your sorority that you can hand in on behalf of your campus sororities and fraternities.

“I think the idea that a kid will get presents even if his parents can’t necessarily afford them is great. It’s nice that he still gets to have a childhood and play with his favorite toys.”—Julia Gomel-Dunn, sophomore, Hofstra University

charityBe an Elf

Have you ever wanted to answer someone’s wish list? Well, here is your chance. This program allows you to read a less privileged child’s wish list and then, with the funds raised by donations, go out and buy the child’s gift. Shopping for presents can also be a fun time to bond with sisters. It’s a win-win!

Pencils of Promise

What is better than giving the gift of education? This charity raises money that is used to build schools, supply school materials and provide teaching support to less fortunate communities around the word. In fact, Pencils of Promise has built 320 schools since 2009. Your sorority can hold an event, such as a spelling bee, and use all the money raised to donate to this great cause.

“It makes me feel really good when I give to charities because I like knowing that I’m doing something to make a difference, even if it’s small.”—Kayli McGlynn, sophomore, Ithaca College

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National Wildlife Federation

Do you want to adopt a polar bear? Well now is your chance. This organization uses funds raised from animal adoption as well as apparel and memorabilia purchases to protect wildlife and promote sustainability. An exotic idea is to pair everyone with a secret sister during the holidays. The gifts will be donations to the NWF through the adoption of an animal in sisters’ names. What a cute way to help a furry friend!

Peacekeeper Cause-Metics

Now you can buy makeup and donate to charity at the same time. This company donates its distributable profits to organizations that fight for women suffering from human rights injustices. Your sorority can hold a make-up party with alumna to make a great charity event.

CL enjoys seeing hard-working co-eds like you making a difference in the world. Whichever cause you choose to support, know that it is an admirable thing to do.

“Supporting charities is important because there are a lot of people who don’t have what they need, and we have to unite as a community so that they feel supported.”—Rita Cinquemani, sophomore, Hofstra University

 Check out some more sorority articles below:

Sorority Chat: Sprucing Up Philanthropy Day

Five Ways to Help Your Philanthropy

Hosting a Huge Philanthropy Event

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Top image courtesy of Sara Whitman.

Image courtesy of taoty/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of digitalart /FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of badrat/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Top Five Holiday Movies to Watch with Your Sisters

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The holiday season is finally here. With all the gift giving coming up and finals also on the way, sometimes it is hard to have fun right before winter break. However, by getting some fabulous sisters together this holiday season and putting on some great movies, the stress can be a little less! Here are CL’s top five holiday movies to watch this season with your sisters.

1.Elf

Elf is a class holiday movie to watch around this season. Not only does it have some great funny moments, it also reminds people to appreciate each other around this season. Natalie Elizabeth, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo alumna, said, “I saw it for the last time last year and I fell in love. Will Ferrell is so innocent, warm and down right hilarious. I can watch it over and over.”

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2. Jack Frost

Even though it is an older movie, it is still a good one. If you have not seen it yet, it is a sure top pick for your list this season. Just like Elf, it has a ton of funny moments your sisters will love! Also at the end, it has a great positive message that sometimes needs to be reminded of during the holiday season.

3. Home Alone

Home Alone is every kid’s dream: to have the whole house to yourself! However, sometimes it does not turn out as well as it does for Kevin in this story. Sara Whitman, a sophomore at Hofstra University, said, “I watched it often as a kid. It resonates with kids because many dream of being alone and having control over the house. However, in the end, it shows that you love your family regardless and would not want to be without them.”

4. The Grinch

We all read the book as kids: why not watch the classic this holiday season? Even better, you can have two versions to watch. Whether it is the cartoon or Jimmy Carey version, you and your sisters are sure to love it.

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5. The Polar Express

Here at CL we love movies that are originally from books. This story is something that every kid wishes he could experience. Elizabeth Angarola, a junior from the University of San Francisco, said, “It is my absolute favorite Christmas movie. It is such an adorable holiday move and you are never too old to watch it.”

Even though the holiday season can sometimes be stressful, it is important to remember to give yourself some relaxation time. By watching any of these five movies this season, you and your sisters are guaranteed to have a relaxing and lovely night!

 

Check out these other holiday articles from CL

CL Chats: Celebrating Your Roommate’s Holidays

How to Shop for Holiday Gifts on a Budget

How Celebrities Spend the Holidays

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First photo courtesy of Ashley Reynolds.

Second photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/debspoons.

Third photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/nirots.

Fourth photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/photoexplorer.

How to Host a Winter Wonderland with Your Sisters

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Now that Thanksgiving time has come to a close, it is time for the gift giving season to begin. Many people around this time will throw parties like ugly sweater parties or holiday themed parties as well. This season, CL would like to mix it up by planning a Winter Wonderland party. Here are some tips on how you and your sisters can plan a happy Winter Wonderland party for this season.

Planning out the party.

First, make sure to gather some hard-working sisters in order to get a good planning staff. It is always important to make sure that everyone in your sorority will be comfortable with what will happen at the party. Make sure that the music as well as the decorations are appropriate for everyone.

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Decorations.

When planning, make sure to buy some decorations that fit well with the theme. Sara Whitman, a sophomore at Hofstra University, said, “Winter themed decorations are a great addition to a winter wonderland.” By having snowflakes and fake snow, it makes the atmosphere feel more winter already!

Food and drinks.

The food at the party should be winter themed as well. Sugar cookies shaped like snowflakes or even with blue sprinkles to represent ice are sure to be a crowd pleaser. Not only that, but different types of dips can represent different winter themed items.

Usually at some parties, there is a drink that can be catered towards the theme of the party. Sometimes, just by adding a drop of food coloring to a drink can make it more festive. Some people also buy kool aid to make the drink look blue or other colors to go along with the winter wonderland. Natalie Byrne, a junior at West Virginia, said, “Having a certain drink at a party makes the party more fun because it is not the normal punch that is at every other party.”

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Secret sister.

Each year some people always give gifts to the same people. Sometimes, this can get a little repetitive. What some sisters do is put names into a hat and pick out names and keep it a secret. Then there is a spend limit so no one has a better gift than someone else. Amber Swinehart, a sophomore at West Virginia University, said, “By doing secret sister, it helps you be creative and buy a personal gift for someone. It is also better on Christmas budget because it lets you focus on an individual creative gift.”

Parties are always so lovely around the holiday season because it helps you relieve some stress and just hang out with some friends. By using these tips from CL, your Winter Wonderland party with you and your sisters is sure to be a great time!

Check out some more holiday articles by CL here:

Clothes to Help You Stay Warm This Winter

Helpful Holiday Hints

Five Holiday Date Ideas

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First photo courtesy of Ashley Reynolds.

Second photo courtesy of freddigitalphotos.net/bugphai.

Third photo courtesy of freddigitalphotos.net/OZphotography.

Fourth photo courtesy of freddigitalphotos.net/StuartMiles.

Campus President Interview: Giulia Maffei of Tri-Gamma at The University of San Francisco

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Every so often, College Lifestyles™ has the opportunity to interview a campus president. This week, we sat down with classy co-ed Giulia Maffei, senior nursing science major and child and youth studies minor at the University of San Francisco. We asked her a few questions about her fabulous role as the president of women’s nursing society Tri-Gamma.

College LifestylesTM: What made you want to pursue nursing?

Giulia Maffei: At 3-years-old, I was diagnosed with asthma, which required a lot of hospital and doctor visits. I knew even at such a young age that I wanted to help babies and little kids who were sick. As I got older, I realized that I wanted to help by being a nurse because they are the ones that care for the patients.

CL: What is Tri-Gamma?

GM: Tri-Gamma is a women’s nursing society, which was a sorority up until 2010. It was founded in 1946 and was the first women’s organization at USF. Its function [is] to help women entering the nursing profession create a network and form strong bonds with other women that are interested in the same thing. Our mission statement is goodness, graciousness and generosity, and that is what we strive to instill in our members as we send them off into the nursing community.

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CL: How did you become involved with Tri-Gamma?

GM: As a freshman, I was one of 15 women chosen that year for the Alpha Alpha class and it was the best decision that I have ever made. I wanted a close group of girls who would become my sisters to help guide me through nursing school and be my lifelong friends and support afterwards as well.

CL: What made you want to run for president of Tri-Gamma?

GM: I had been involved for three years and felt it was my turn to give back in a big way like the presidents I looked up to before me. It was my turn to step up and guide the over 60 members as they navigated nursing school and hopefully inspire them to do great things as well.

CL: What are some of your responsibilities as president?

GM: It is my responsibility to make sure that everything is running smoothly and that we are following our constitution that we all agree to every year. It is also my responsibility to maintain traditions that have been in place for many years and to also make room for new traditions that we may begin to develop. [I also] make sure every sister and new member is welcomed and that they feel comfortable in the group.

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CL: What is your favorite thing about being president?

GM: Being a role model to the younger students. I so enjoy being able to help everyone out as well–my favorite thing is getting phone calls from sisters asking for advice about school and life. Those are the moments that make me so proud to be where I am that my sisters feel comfortable enough to go to me with those problems.

CL: What is the most challenging thing about being president?

GM: You cannot make everyone happy and with that comes conflict with your sisters. Those are tough moments to try and step in and think of a good solution for the good of the sisterhood, not what is the best for myself or the one or two people who are upset. Being a leader means you think of everyone as a whole, while also trying to deal with individual issues.

CL: Is there any advice you have for young women looking to take on a leadership role in their own lives?

GM: My advice to young women looking into leadership roles is to not hold back and go for it. No one knows all the answers and no one always knows the right things to do, but don’t let the fear of failing keep you from being a leader because that is one of the best rewards you can get in life. When you are helping a group of people be the best people that they can be and you can see in their faces how happy they are, it makes all the challenging times worth it. So don’t let the opportunity pass you by; you will not regret being a leader and that great feeling will follow you the rest of your life.

CL is so excited to have gotten the chance to meet this inspiring young woman and we can’t wait to see where life takes Maffei next.

For more classy interviews, check out:

Campus President Interview: Katie Alder of the Alpha Pi Chapter of Omega Phi Alpha

Campus President Interview: Kai Pedersen of the PLNU College Democrats Club

Classy Interview: Future Journalist, Erin Drummond

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All images courtesy of Giulia Maffei.

DIY Thanksgiving Dinner with Your Sisters

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We are always super thankful to have our sisters by our sides. During this season of giving, why not show your appreciation a little more? College LifestylesTM has your guide to throwing a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner with your sisters.

The details

Although you do not need a guest list since your whole sorority is invited, you may want to buy or create cute invites to get everyone excited for the event. You should also make sure to pick a location and time in advance so everything is set for the day of the gathering.

Décor

It is always important to have some stylish decorations to go along with the theme of any event your sorority holds. We know how much you love crafting, so a cheap and fun way to get decorations is to have a crafting night with sisters. This will allow everyone to be a part of the planning process and is sure to be an enjoyable time. You can also purchase wonderful decorations from Michael’s Arts and Crafts, A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts and even the Dollar Store!

“Little details make up a lot of event planning! Decorations, music and lighting set the ambiance and the mood. Don’t forget the little things.”—Rachael Durant, senior, Hofstra University 

thanks The Food

The food is the star of the show. There are a few ways you can go about this part of the event planning. The perfect way to get everyone involved is to have a potluck dinner for a fresh homemade experience. You can also have your event catered, if your budget allows. Another suggestion, if your sisters are not into making the food, is to buy pre-made Thanksgiving cuisine from your local grocery store. Stores always have a variety of tasty options for Thanksgiving.

“Make sure you always have enough food, and even a little extra!”—Anwar Ahmad, sophomore, Hofstra University

Sweet Treats

You may plan dessert into the above options, but if not, here’s a superb idea: after dinner, have a bake-off with your sisters. This will give everyone a chance to bond and show off her cooking skills. Plus, you will have an ample amount of savory goodness to try.

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Entertainment

Although having a huge dinner event with sisters is probably entertaining enough, you may want to have some options for entertainment. One idea that never fails is to have a Thanksgiving mad-lib for everyone to fill out. You will have a wild time with the crazy stories your sisters create. Another option to set the tone of the night is to have each sister say why she is thankful for the sorority and give a sister a special shout out. This will remind your sisters of why they are together and reinforce the solidarity of the group. A crafty idea that is sure to be a success is to paint pumpkins together to continue the fall spirit. With these options, you are bound to stay entertained the whole night.

“It’s important to be hospitable when hosting a party. Gathering sisters together for anything is always a special time, and you want to make sure everyone is comfortable and happy.”—Julia Gomel-Dunn, sophomore, Hofstra University

With these tips in mind, it’s time to start planning! CL hopes you and your sisters have a fantastic Thanksgiving.

Did you like these party tips? CL has some more below:

DIY Thanksgiving Décor

How to Host Thanksgiving on a Budget

DIY Homecoming Mixerthanks3

 Photo courtesy of Sara Whitman.

Photo courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography /FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Photo courtesy of Apolonia/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Photo courtesy of nongpimmy/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

Campus President Interview: Meghan Warren of Psi Kappa Theta

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Meghan Warren is a kind-spirited young adult with big goals and leadership abilities that all College LifestylesTM readers can learn from. She is the president of sorority Psi Kappa Theta. A senior at Iona College, Meghan wanted to fuel her interests in historical presidencies and law into her own experiences as a college student. Read on about this classy 21 year-old!

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College LifestylesTM: Tell us about what your studying at Iona and why you decided to go this route.

Meghan Warren: My major is criminal justice and my minor is pre-law. I absolutely love the law and politics. I have interned in an elder law office over the summer. Currently, I am interning at the New Rochelle city courthouse.

CL: What would be your favorite thing to do during your free time?

MW: I love to read. It’s one of my favorite hobbies. During the summer, my favorite place to go to is the beach.

CL: Have you always seen yourself becoming the president of Psi Kappa Theta?

MW: I love presidents from history and I love to be a leader so when I joined Psi Kappa Theta, my goal was also to be president.

CL: Explain to us the process of becoming a president for your sorority.

MW: After Valentine’s Day we have a meeting and anyone interested for an E-board position can just write his or her name under the position that we put on the blackboard. We can also nominate some people. I actually thought no one was going to run against me because I was the only soon to be senior running so I figured there was seniority, but two other members ran who were sophomores at the time. The first round of voting, the girls and I tied so we each had to answer the same question that the current president asked and then there was a revote. It was actually nerve-wracking, but I wound up winning by a couple of votes.

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CL: What are your most important responsibilities?

MW: I have a lot of responsibilities like attending meetings and handing in important forms to ensure we are still recognized on campus, but my most important responsibility I think is getting the girls to listen and be involved in our events. I don’t want to dictate them but I have to show them I am in charge and sometimes it’s hard to find that balance.

CL: What is the life of a Psi Kappa Theta sister like?

MW: We are a group of 32 girls who just really love to have fun with each other. We are very close and always there for each other in any way we possibly can be.

CL: What makes Psi Kappa Theta special?

MW: Some of the things we do on campus are breast cancer awareness. We are a part of the Make A Wish Foundation and do plenty of animal drives!

CL: What would you say is the overall goal for the girls in Psi Kappa Theta?

 MW: We try to help people feel loved and animals as well!

CL: What are you looking for when recruiting the next president after you graduate?

MW: This year, I actually made it a rule that the next president must have been shadowing me, which is basically saying they need to do what I do. If I have a paper to fill out I’ll send it to them for them to fill out, and then go over it with them exactly how it’s supposed to be. I was pretty overwhelmed when I became president and I want to make sure the next one has a smooth transition. I’m also making it a rule that anyone who wants to be president has to have a 3.2 [GPA] or higher. I think that it’s really important that someone who has a good head on their shoulders and excels in school will lead our sorority.

Meghan is a wonderful leader for Psi Kappa Theta. She ensures everyone feels loved and sends a positive vibe to all of her sisters. With a keen sense of ethics and hard work combined with her charisma, Meghan is the perfect sorority president.

Get a feel into sorority life even more:

 Like Big, Like Little: Why the Obsession?

 Five DIY Initiation Gifts

 Five Classy NYE Mixer Ideas

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Images courtesy of Meghan Warren.

 

 

 

 

How to Dress Up Sorority T-Shirts

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When you join a sorority, usually you will start to get a lot of apparel that represents what sorority you are in. Sometimes, it’s a sweatshirt, sweatpants, a bag or even hats, like a beanie. However, something that you will receive a ton of whether it is for a philanthropy event or a formal is t-shirts. Sometimes they will be long sleeve and sometimes they will be short sleeve. For some girls, this is heaven. Who doesn’t want a million t-shirts? However, for other girls, maybe they are just not big into wearing t-shirts. Here at College LifestylesTM we love helping sorority girls with fashion tips. Here are some chic ways to dress up your own sorority t-shirts!

What you wear on the bottom half really sets the tone

For some people, wearing t-shirts automatically means they are wearing yoga pants or sweats with them. Sometimes this is because they want to work out after class with what they wore that day. However, not always does this have to be the case! Sometimes, we just want to wear a t-shirt for the day instead of what we usually might wear. Wearing jeans with a cute pair of knee high boots can dress up a t-shirt. Or you could also pair your favorite t-shirt with a pair of cute leggings and knee high boots, and look fabulous.

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Put a piece of clothing over top of the shirt

For some people, they just want to wear a t-shirt and call it a day. However, if you want to dress up the look a little more, add something on top of the t-shirt. Since the weather outside is starting to get a little chillier, we need a type of jacket to go over top of our cute t-shirts. Cailin Clee, a junior at West Virginia University, said, “When I wear t-shirts sometimes, I always like to pair them with a cute flannel. It also helps me stay warm in the fall time.”

Wear a scarf

Ladies, it is finally fall time and before we know it, winter will be approaching us. Yes, even though it may be less than 40 degrees outside, a lot of us still want to wear our favorite t-shirts. So, what should we do when it gets cold out? Put a scarf on! Scarves make any outfit more stylish. Sara Whitman, a sophomore at Hofstra University, said, “I love dressing up a plain t-shirt with a scarf, especially in the fall.”

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Classy Bottoms

Girls love to dress up. When we dress up, it is almost like we feel better inside and we feel more confident. How does one do that with a t-shirt, though? It is quite simple for our one intern Toni Dawn Grimaldi who is a junior at Quinnipiac University. Her suggestion is, “I like to wear a leather skirt with black stockings underneath to dress up my t-shirts.” This may be something that one day would be cool to try and be different from everyone else.

Being in a sorority means tons of t-shirts for different events. It sometimes gets boring, wearing the same old t-shirt and sweats combination. With these tips from CL, you are guaranteed to look more dressed up than anyone else on campus with your awesome t-shirt.

Check out CL’s other articles for fashion articles!

New York Fashion Week Street Style

How to Decode the Dress Code

Five Must-Have Accessories for Classy Co-Eds 2015

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First image courtesy of Ashley Reynolds.

Second image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/AleksaD.

Third image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/SergeBertasius.

Fourth image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/nenetus.

Campus President Interview: Meagan B. Cagle of Chi Omega at the University of New Mexico

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Occasionally, it can be beneficial to take a look at a classy co-ed who serves as a reminder to the rest of us what happens when we’re our best selves. College Lifestyles™ is proud to introduce Meagan B. Cagle, a sorority president from the University of New Mexico.

College Lifestyles™: What year are you?

Meagan B. Cagle: I’m a senior this year.

CL: What are your Majors/Minors/Concentrations?

MC: My major is Business Administration, and my concentration is human resources. No minors.

CL: For people who are unaware of how a sorority presidency works, could you explain how you became president?

MC: So, every organization elects a president. We do no campaigning at all. There should be no discussion of it before the day of “slating,” which is the selection of the University’s executive board. We always say the position picks the woman, the woman does not pick the position. We start at 10 am on Election Day, and we’ll break up in to our different classes based on grade. With that, we discuss who we want in [each] position. It was a big surprise to me that I was elected. You can decline positions beforehand, and it never even crossed my mind that I would be picked for this position, so I didn’t do that. It was frightening at first. Our organization has been here since 1895, and they picked [me] to be the leader of future leaders. It’s a lot to take in, and very intimidating. There was a lot of crying, but I think it worked out for the best.

 

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CL: What do you feel is the most important part about being your sorority’s president?

MC: There’s not just one, there’s a lot of things. Number one would be supporting the other girls. With supporting, it’s not always in a positive way. Sometimes you have to be blatantly honest with people, but still supportive. You need to wholeheartedly love, respect and believe in your organization, and the members in it. Even if you don’t like them, you should still love them. If I gave up on them, they would give up on themselves. Every member is important. Once one member falls, it’s like a domino effect. Transparency is also important, and listening. You have to listen to what the chapter wants. Not just listen, but also try your hardest to make sure they’re getting what they need out of the organization. Normally, that’s a support system. Believing in them helps them be better people. In the end, I believe that’s the end goal of any organization.

CL: What are some of your responsibilities in this position?

MC: Paperwork. I’m basically the connection between our chapter and the outside world—like the university, advisors, organizations, our own personal chapter advisor and regional directors. Also, I am the right-hand woman for everyone in their positions. I need to be in everyone’s business. I need to have a thorough idea of every position so that if it’s not being done correctly, I could step in. I need to be the face of the organization.

 

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CL: What are some challenges you have overcome to achieve this position?

MC: At the beginning of my presidency, our chapter had little morale, and that’s really bad within a sorority. When morale is low, the girls are unwilling to communicate with you, they are defiant and there’s no trust. It was really my job to make sure I was motivating our executive board so they were motivating the entire chapter. Today, it’s the best it’s ever been. Which is awesome.

CL: Is there any advice you’d like to offer to young women considering taking up a leadership position in their own lives?

MC: Listen more than talk. Put others’ problems before your own. Lead by example, not just by what you say.

As a modern young woman, Meagan is not afraid to be a leader and change her community. Her fabulous attitude and inextinguishable enthusiasm are what make this woman a classy co-ed.

 

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Images courtesy of Meagan B. Cagle.

Image courtesy of samuiblue at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Campus President Interview: Katie Alder of the Alpha Pi Chapter of Omega Phi Alpha

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Katie Alder is a sophisticated junior at West Virginia University. She is studying child development and family with an AOE in pre-school special needs. When Alder is not studying, she is the president of the Omega Phi Alpha chapter at West Virginia University. Alder is a fabulous president for this sorority. When she is not assuming the role as president, Katie likes to watch Netflix, hang out with friends and eat her favorite Chinese food! CL was given the amazing opportunity to sit down and talk to Alder about her role as president. Fun fact about Alder: She is actually a founding member of the chapter at West Virginia University.

College Lifestyles TM: When you first found out about Omega Phi Alpha, what made you want to join and what academic year were you?

Katie Alder: I joined OPA when I was a freshman. At the time, I really didn’t feel like there was a place at WVU that was 100% for me. When I learned more about Omega Phi Alpha and its emphasis on service and sisterhood, I finally felt like I found something worth being a part of that could make this place feel like home.

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CL: How do you like being president of Omega Phi Alpha?

KA: I truly love being president! It is definitely a lot of responsibility and a lot of behind-the-scenes work, but my sisters’ love and support motivates me to do my best. I am super thankful for that.

CL: What is one part of your job as president that you like the most?

KA: I think my favorite part about being president of Omega Phi Alpha is the connections I’ve been able to make with other chapters across the country. Being president gave me the opportunity to travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee for the national convention. I got to meet executive board officers from all of the other chapters who gave me great advice and strategies. It’s just really cool to have connections with inspiring, hard-working people who share the sisterhood of Omega Phi Alpha with me.

CL: What do you think you are most excited about this semester coming up for actives as well as the new members that your chapter just received?

KA: I am definitely the most excited about our retreat in December. I think it is going to be a great bonding experience for everyone and I couldn’t think of any other group of 50 plus people that I would rather be locked in a church with all night.

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CL: If you could give any piece of advice to the new pledges as well as the active sisters for upcoming projects and upcoming semesters, what would it be?

KA: My advice to the new members would be to be passionate about everything they do in this sorority. We all have so much going on in our lives besides Omega Phi Alpha like classes or work or relationships; sometimes it is easy to think of our service projects as just another thing you’re required to do. But I encourage the new members to take the time to realize why they’re taking the time out of their busy schedules to do these service projects. They should try to view every service project as their own personal mission to make a difference. That’s what Omega Phi Alpha is all about!

Omega Phi Alpha is an amazing organization at the West Virginia University. Here at CL, we like to find vibrant organizations at different campuses as well as the leaders of those organizations. We would like to thank Alder for her time. We wish you the best of luck with Omega Phi Alpha for the rest of the year as well as upcoming years!

 

Check out CL’s other campus president interviews

Campus President Interview: Allison Church of Shepherd University’s Phi Alpha Theta

Campus President Interview: Marisa Russell of the Beta Eta Chapter of Zeta Phi Eta –

Campus President Interview: Samara Gassman of the Epsilon Kappa Chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma

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Images courtesy of Katie Alder.

Sorority Sister Bonding Tips for Introverts

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Joining a sorority is always such a happy time. All at once you get a bunch of new sisters who become your lifelong friends. For some people meeting and bonding with so many new people at once can be a bit scary. Here at CL we talked to some girls to get the best bonding tips for introverts. These classy tips are sure to help your time in your own sorority less stressful and more fun!

Be yourself!

Sometimes it is hard being an introvert. This is completely okay. You are who you are for a reason. Just because you are not an extrovert like other girls, that does not mean you need to change who you are! Jordan Von Unschuld, a freshman at University of New Mexico, said, “Maybe work a little at it everyday. Don’t try to force yourself to be extroverted, you’ll just make yourself uncomfortable.” Joining a sorority is a great new experience, but there is no reason you should ever feel uncomfortable.

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Keep an open mind at all times

In a sorority, you are always trying new things. Whether it be different activities that are bonding experiences, talking to girls in different majors or doing activities you never pictured yourself doing, it may be new for you. Just because you may have never done something before, does not mean it may not be fun! Keeping an open mind to everything helps you grow as a person as well as a member in your own sorority.

Ask questions if you feel confused

There is always going to be a time in a sorority where you may feel confused as a new member. Maybe you need help understanding the sorority’s history or even just wondering more about philanthropy. Elizabeth Sparks, a sophomore at Belmont University, said, “In my sorority we go on things called squirrel dates. On these dates you meet with new members and ask them any questions you may need to be answered!” By asking questions, you can talk to more members in the sorority. and even find a new friend.

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Have group dates

One way to meet new members as well as actives in your sorority is to plan group dates together. Sometimes, when you have so many girls in one sorority, it is hard to get to know every single one of them. In bigger settings, you may only talk to one or two girls. However, by going on group dates, you can really get to know girls more. Callie Terris, a sophomore at Ursinus College, said, “Try to form a memory with each person you meet in the sorority. Also, going on lunch dates or even coffee dates can really help you get to know a member of your sorority better!”

Sometimes when you are an introvert, some activities are just harder for you. However, this should never hold you back for being who you are. Be confident in who you are! By taking CL’s bonding tips to your sorority, you can help yourself and maybe even more members. You never know what type of people you are going to find in your own sorority!

Check out CL’s other sorority tips and advice articles:

Top Five Costumes for Sorority Ladies 2015

Mom’s Best Sorority Advice

Five Tips to Update Your Chapters Online Presence

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First photo courtesy of Ashley Reynolds.

Second photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/stockimages.

Third photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/jscreationzs.

Fourth photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/nenetus.

 

 

College Lifestyles Top Five Tips for Mixer Etiquette and Safety

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The time for mixers is finally here. It is always so exciting getting ready for mixers with your sisters. You get all dressed up, and then go out to have a fabulous time. However, sometimes there is certain etiquette as well as safety that we all need to remember. Here are CL’s top five tips for mixers this season!

1. Safety bag

As most of you may know from going to mixers in the past, it is always good to be prepared with a bag of things you may need. These things may be hair ties, feminine products or bobby pins. For any mixer you may be going to, this safety bag is a must. Sara Whitman, a sophomore at Hofstra University, said, “My sorority has a safety bag we bring to every mixer with designated safety sisters. It’s always nice to come prepared.”

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2. Dress code

Mixers can vary by the type of fraternity you are having one with as well as by just having a mixer with your own sorority. One tip from CL is to always know the dress code of a certain party. For some mixers, you may have a designated theme to which you dress accordingly. However, some other mixers may not have a theme. In that case, always ask a sister how to dress. No one wants to show up out of the loop.

3. Always make sure your phone is charged

This may seem like something everyone should remember. However, most people do forget. Having a charged phone is always something to remember when going out to a mixer. Just in case there is an emergency, you will need to have your phone charged and ready to go. On the flip side, the more charged a phone is, the more pictures you and your sisters can take!

Untitled4. Beverages at a mixer

Usually mixers are held at a fraternity house or a local club. One thing that every classy co-ed needs to remember is to watch the beverage you may be drinking that night. Alex Arnold, a first year graduate student at West Virginia University, said, “It is always important to watch the person pouring the drinks as well as keeping your drink with you at all times.”

5. The buddy system

As children, we are always taught growing up to never go alone anywhere. The same applies now that we are grown and off in college. When going to a mixer, you should always make sure you have one friend that stays close to you the whole night. Amber Swinehart, a sophomore at West Virginia University, said, “The buddy system is always something to use. If there is something that happens at a mixer and you feel that you may want to leave, you always have someone there to be with you.”

Mixers are one of the top fun things that you can attend while being in a sorority. After reading CL’s top tips for mixers, now you and your sister’s can go and have a great time!

Check out CL’s other sorority articles!

Real Sorority Women Speak: How to Handle School without Your Big

Five Fun Fall Sisterhood activities

Big/Little Bonding Tips: 2015

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First photo courtesy of Ashley Reynolds.

Second photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/sattva.

Third photo courtesy of freedigitialphotos.net/arztsamui.

Fourth photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Idea go.

Top Five Costumes for Sorority Ladies 2015

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Halloween is right around the corner. Everyone is always trying to decide what is the best costume to wear. Each year it seems like the same thing over and over. This year, check out CL’s Top five costumes to avoid resulting in the typical costumes and have fresh new ideas!

1. The four seasons

Each year we all go through summer, fall, winter and spring. Why not be creative and try to dress like them? This costume would be best with three of your good friends. Or, if you’re going to do a costume just by yourself, you can pick any of the seasons. Emily Eldredge, a senior at West Virginia University, said, “It’s cheap, easy and keeps people guessing because it’s more original than other group costumes.”

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2. Troll dolls

Remember these when we were children? Trolls were always something every little girl thought was so cool because of their crazy hair. The best way to do this is get a group of girls together and get long enough wigs to spike up your hair. Emily Tolan, a senior at West Virginia University, said, “There’s so many colors of hair that a large group of girls can go together as the same thing. The choices are endless.”

3. An iconic public figure

Ladies, we all know you love either Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, or Lilly Pulitzer because they were public figures back in the day. This would be a great idea to bring back these ladies into the present by dressing up as them.

4. Department store bag

Even though this may seem hard, it is not. Department stores or stores in general have awesome designs. So, why not transform yourself into one? Victoria’s Secret could be a whole entire pink outfit or American Eagle could be all blue and with a picture of the eagle on the shirt!

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It may be something guys dress up as, but that does not mean classy ladies can’t do it! Marvel characters have been around for years and they are starting to come back with all of their new movies. Erin Drummond, a sophomore at West Virginia University said, “It’s always a fun costume to do, and with Marvel having so many movies released this year (and more in the spring), it’s a great idea! There will be plenty for sale, and you can always make it into a DIY costume!”

Whether you are trying to find a group idea for a costume or just one for yourself, these costumes are sure to guarantee you will have a lovely time at any Halloween function this year!

Check out CL’s Halloween articles for this upcoming holiday!

Five Adorable Halloween Costumes for you and your SO

Top Five Stores to Shop for Halloween Décor 2015

DIY: 4 Halloween Costumes For Sorority Ladies

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First photo courtesy of Ashley Reynolds.

Second photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/digitalart.

Third photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/stockimages.

Fourth photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/DavidCastilloDominici.

 

Real Sorority Women Speak: How to Handle School without Your Big

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It’s a new semester, but it may seem slightly different because you are missing a huge part of yourself: your big. Your big has graduated, or maybe even transferred schools, and now you are left to venture through school and social life without your other half.

It may be tough, but College LifestylesTM knows that everything will turn out well. We have brought to you some ways to cope with being away from your big sister and have real-life experiences to offer from co-eds who are going through the same thing.

Use your resources

Skype. FaceTime. Texts. Phone calls. Social Media. These are all here to help you connect with your big, so take advantage of them! The easiest way to keep up with someone far away is to use technology to keep in instant contact with her. Call us old-fashioned, but you can even try writing letters back and forth. They are permanent and can be kept forever.

“I set up weekly FaceTime dates with my big. It is so nice to know that we can talk to each other so easily.”—Julia Gomel-Dunn, sophomore, Hofstra University 

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Road trip

Having a close friend in another state is like having a permanent vacation spot. Don’t just mark in your calendar the next time she is in town; try to visit her! Getting out of town, even if it is just for the weekend, is always a refreshing time. You can even grab some sisters and take them along for the ultimate sisterhood experience.

Make connections with new sisters

No one can replace your big, but her being away gives you a great chance to connect with your other classy sisters. It might be difficult to imagine at first, but you can find sisters that will become just as close as you and your big, who may be going though the same situation.

“It’s sad not having her around anymore. It’s hard since she lives on the opposite coast from me. But being in a sorority means we’re all sisters, so I know everyone is there for me when I need it.”—Alyssa Diblasi, junior, Hofstra University

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Distance strengthens relationships

If anything, you and your big will only build a stronger relationship while being away from each other. It is okay to grow separately and not necessarily apart. This is your time to find out who you are without her physically by your side. She will be there supporting you every step of the way, as you will be for her.

“My little, big and I have a group chat so we are always connected and updated with each other’s lives. In a way, it has made us closer than ever.” —Allie Giordano, senior, Hofstra University

Cherish the moments

You probably began to really savor the moments shared with her as it got closer to her departure. Good news: when you are reunited, you two will treasure your time together even more, which will bring you closer together. Plus, it makes the anticipation for the next time you are together even higher.

We at CL are confident that you and your big will have a great relationship, wherever you end up in life. Sisters are forever, and that is the beauty of it!

 Check out more sorority advice below:

How to Balance Your Sorority and Your Relationship

Real Sorority Women Speak: Handling a PR Crisis

Five Ways to Make Your Chapter Stronger this Semester

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Top image courtesy of Sara Whitman.

Second and fourth photos courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Third photo courtesy of Epsilon Kappa Chapter of Hofstra University.

Five Fun Fall Sisterhood Activities

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The wind begins to blow crisp swirls around you. Leaves transform into vibrant shades of orange, red and gold. Everything is flavored pumpkin. It’s that time again; it’s fall.

Fall is the perfect chance to catch up with sisters who you haven’t seen for a while and to create some new memories. Are you not sure what to do with your sisters this autumn? College LifestylesTM has some activities for you to try.

Campfire and s’mores

Nothing beats a warm fire on a cool fall night to set a cozy atmosphere around you and your sisters. Of course, you need to make s’mores as well! This is a great way to kick off the season and share some great laughs with even greater people.

“I think roasting marshmallows around a fire with my sisters is a good way for all of us to get back in touch with the little kid inside all of us.”—Marissa Gallo, sophomore, Hofstra University

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Candy swap

Hold a costume party with sisters or a fall movie marathon. Treats are a must, so have everyone bring her favorite sweet and allow everyone to swap with each other! This will satisfy any sweet tooth and prepare you for Halloween.

Pick your own food

Fall is the perfect time to go apple and pumpkin picking, and your sisters are the perfect people with whom to go. This is not an activity many people get to do often, so it will definitely be memorable. You can also go on a hayride or puzzle through a corn maze to end this classic outing.

“I would love to go apple or pumpkin picking. It would give us a great chance to bond and celebrate the season!”—Kim Dossett, sophomore, Hofstra University

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Model status

How often do you get to walk around campus or through town and take pictures with your beautiful sisters? Having a photo shoot is always a phenomenal time, and having a gorgeous fall background makes it even more fabulous.

Grab a bite and bond

Since you just came back from summer, you may not have seen your sisters for a while. This is the perfect opportunity to grab a snack at a coffee shop and to talk about how awesome your summers were. I recommend using this as a time to speak to sisters you may not be totally close with before recruitment starts. There are always new things to bond over with sisters!

“I’d love to go to a rooftop brunch and enjoy the changing leaves with sisters.”—Sydney Seligman, sophomore, Hofstra University

CL cannot wait for you to try out these festive fall activities. We are confident you will find one that you love! Are you looking for more sorority advice for this season?

Check out the articles below:

Five DIY Halloween Costumes for You and Your Sisters

Top Ten Big/Little Halloween Costumes

Thirteen Nights of Halloween Sisterhoods

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Top photo courtesy of Sara Whitman.

Second photo courtesy of Evgeni Dinev/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Third photo courtesy of Epsilon Kappa chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma.

Fourth photo courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

 

 

DIY Homecoming Mixer

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School has been in session for over a month now. Guess what is right around the corner now. Homecoming! Homecoming is a fabulous time for any college campus. The air is probably turning into fall now and football season is in full swing. Here are some great tips to help your sorority plan the best homecoming mixer.

Decorations: Your school colors!

Every mixer needs classy decorations. Since this mixer is all about homecoming, why not add in your school’s colors? Homecoming is all about the school spirit everyone is feeling. Jenna Talley, a sophomore at West Chester University said, “School colors are always something that brings people together. Whether your school is a big football school or not, everyone for homecoming is all dressed alike!”

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Music: Something everyone already knows from games or traditions.

A lot of schools have songs or types of music to go along with the school spirit that can be found during homecoming. Some schools have special songs they sing before a big game. Some schools even have songs you hear all the time and right away know the connection between the song and your school. So, it is important to have a song that can bring the whole mixer together. Lauren Strauss, a senior at West Virginia University said, “I love hearing the song ‘Country Roads’ when I am at school. It is such a special song to our university and it brings everyone together.”

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Bring the mascot to your party (if allowed)!

At some schools, the mascot is the biggest sign of pride. Some people know the mascot personally or know the person who gets to dress up as the mascot. So, if one person knows that certain mascot, why not invite him or her to the party? Nothing says school spirit more than having its own mascot at the party. Haylee Roush, a senior at West Virginia University said, “Our mascot here is so filled with school spirit. The mountaineer is a huge symbol of WVU that nothing says school spirit like him.”

Whether your school’s homecoming is all about the big game or just coming together as a school, these tips are sure to help! Homecoming overall is all about happy school spirit always remember that!

Check out CL’s other articles for mixers!

Five Classy Halloween Mixer Ideas

Top Five Valentines Day Mixer Ideas

Five Classy NYE Mixer Ideas

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First image courtesy of Ashley Reynolds.

Second image courtesy of freedigitialphotos.net/StuartMiles.

Third Image courtesy of  freedigitialphotos.net/adamr.

Fourth image courtesy of  freedigitialphotos.net/StuartMiles.

Sorority Spotlight: Omega Phi Alpha

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In 1953, the National Service Fraternity of Alpha Phi Omega decided to form another organization like itself to help with projects they wanted to do on their campus at Bowling Green State University. From that moment, Omega Phi Alpha was formed. In 1958, classy women at Eastern Michigan University decided they also wanted to form Omega Phi Alpha. Then in 1962, the women at University of Bridgeport in Connecticut formed the third chapter of Omega Phi Alpha. Altogether, Omega Phi Alpha was created as the National Service Sorority in June of 1967. Since then, the lovely Omega Phi Alpha has been formed at 30 different college campuses, which spreads across 18 different states.

Omega Phi Alpha was founded under the three principles of friendship, leadership and service. Omega Phi Alpha focuses on giving service to the university community, the community at large and the members of that sorority, as well as the nations of the world. West Virginia University is one of the lucky campuses out of the 30 to have the opportunity to have Omega Phi Alpha on its campus. College LifestylesTM was fortunate enough to sit down with the fabulous vice president, Lexi Wheeler.

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College LifestylesTM: How long have you been a member of Omega Phi Alpha?

Lexi Wheeler: I heard about Omega Phi Alpha colonizing at West Virginia University during my freshman year. When I heard about it, that is when I decided to join. I am in my junior year now, so I have been a member of Omega Phi Alpha for three years now.

CL: What do you like about being vice president of the sorority?

LW: I really like that I am apart of all the executive decisions that are made in Omega Phi Alpha. I feel I can also give people equal opportunities and be more understanding when girls are sent to my standards board.

CL: How has Omega Phi Alpha impacted your life?

LW: In my life, I always felt like I had more guy friends than I did girl friends. Joining Omega Phi Alpha has helped me get along with other females better. Also, with joining Omega Phi Alpha my friend group has expanded and now I have more people to count on. Lastly, Omega Phi Alpha has helped me appreciate community service a lot more and it has shown me how important it is to our community.

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CL: What do you want outsiders to know about Omega Phi Alpha?

LW: I want others to know that we focus on other aspects than just socializing. This is extremely important to me because I feel that some girls can shape their lives through service.

The sisterhood of Omega Phi Alpha is very special to each and every member. Each day, they continue to help each other out through struggles while also helping the community at the same time!

Check out these other Sorority Spotlight’s featured on College LifestylesTM.

Sorority Spotlight: Sigma Lambda Gamma

Sorority Spotlight: Phi Sigma Sigma

Sorority Spotlight: Sigma Delta Tau

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Images courtesy of the Alpha Pi chapter of Omega Phi Alpha at West Virginia University.

 

Real Sorority Women Speak: Is it Okay to Date within the Greek Community?

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In Greek Life, you will come across different fraternities. In these fraternities, you may find a boy that you think you have somewhat of an attraction towards. Some of your sisters may say, “Go for it!” However, others may say, “Oh no, do not do it.” What do you choose? Who do you listen to? Here is a look at both sides of this situation and why you should consider both sides of this fabulous question.

Just Do It!

For some people, dating a fraternity boy is the best thing they have ever done. This is completely fine! Some girls can click with a boy in a fraternity and establish a really awesome relationship. Not only do you establish a great connection, but you can also understand each other’s scheduling conflicts. Being in Greek life means you have a ton of activities all the time. Having someone in a similar activity means you can understand each other more. Sara Whitman, a sophomore at Hofstra University, said, “You can go to Greek events together as well. My one sister is marrying someone she met in the Greek community!”

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Just Do Not Do It!

 For other people, dating a fraternity boy is something they just did not care for. Yes, having someone who understands what you are going through can be nice. However, when your schedule starts to conflict you may not have time for each other. Not only that, but sometimes your relationship with other fraternities can get messy if you break up. Erin Drummond, a sophomore at West Virginia University, said, “It is not fair for your so-called “friends” to disappear if you and your significant other break up.”

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Just maybe do it!

 Sometimes, it really depends on how each person feels toward each other. Some people may love dating within the Greek community because they understand each other. However, others do not like it because of the scheduling conflicts and the bonds that may be broken if the two decide to split. Overall, it really depends on the person. Haylee Roush, a senior at West Virginia University, said, “It really depends on the connection the two people have. It is not a one sided thing!”

Dating within the Greek community can either be the best or worst thing someone has ever done. Overall, it depends on how you feel towards the other person. If you feel you have a strong and confident connection, then go for it! But, if you are still on the fence about it, it may not be the best thing to do. Check out CL’s other articles on Greek life and dating.

Guy Talk: Dating Within Greek Life

Real Sorority Women Speak: Being an Executive Board Member

10 Things to Know About Dating in College

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First image courtesy of Ashley Reynolds.

Second image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/imagerymajestic.

Third image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/photostock.

Fourth Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/DavidCastilloDominci.