Monday, February 6, 2017

Philanthropy and the Community

This piece was originally submitted for publication in the Quill, a national Alpha Xi magazine.

Sometimes we get caught up in the all the wonderful aspects of sisterhood, and forget about the other things that go along with being a part of something as wonderful as Alpha Xi Delta. For many sisters in the Theta Phi chapter, our philanthropy Autism Speaks is held close to their hearts. A number of them has siblings or friends with autism, and having that connection has brought our chapter as a whole closer to the cause. Aside from exceeding our philanthropy goal in the past year, the chapter tried to make personal ties with the people we would be supporting. The local philanthropy, Mitchell’s Place, has worked with us to promote a sense of community.

The chapter wanted to give children with autism in the Birmingham area a place to be themselves, where they could stim without the reproachful attitudes of the allistic. Sisters partnered with Mitchell’s Place and the local kid-friendly McWane Science Center to provide a friendly and accommodating evening for the children and their families. The McWane Center was the perfect place to hold the event: picture hands-on games, jungle gyms, and fish (yes, there is an aquatic section where you can pet sharks and rays). Since our event was being held after-hours, we were able to keep the lights dim and the noise to a minimum in order to cater towards the more sensitive autistic children.

This event was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had through Alpha Xi Delta. I was able to talk to parents about their experiences with raising an autistic child and how events like ours were helpful in that they could let their children run free without having to worry about the judgement of others. The environment was welcoming, and I had the chance to interact with the older children and learn about the wide spectrum of autism that, as someone relatively unexposed to it, was eye-opening. The experience of putting faces to the people we were helping through our philanthropy benefitted me in so many ways. But more importantly, instead of just shipping money off to a distant organization, our entire chapter was able to provide a service to people who really wanted it. This event gave me insight to our philanthropy in ways I had not even considered before, and I would recommend it to all other chapters of Alpha Xi Delta.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New Year, Same Us

With a new semester, and a new year, we look towards the future. The next few months will be full of change, with national politics, classes, and the opportunity to grow on a personal level. I know that these new changes are exciting, but I want to take a moment to look at the past. Not in a dramatic way, I promise. Just take a moment to think about your initiation. It happened at different times for all of us. For some, it was years ago, or just a few months, with forty others or a handful of new sisters. No matter how or when it happened, it was special time for all of us.

Specifically, I want to remember the vows we made at the time of our initiation. To protect the secrecy of it all, I’m not going to go into detail of the ideals we promised to uphold, I’ll trust we all remember them. In summation however, we committed to bettering not only ourselves but our fellow sisters as well. If you ask me, that’s a big responsibility. Some days it’s hard to take care of myself much less worry about how others are doing. However, time and time again I see members of our chapter reach out to others even when struggling themselves. The selflessness that our members exhibit reminds me every day of why I joined Alpha Xi Delta. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sister Spotlight

Alisa Byrd

Hometown: Prattville, AL

Major: Healthcare Management

Position:  Activities Chair


                Book: Catcher in the Rye, Cat’s Cradle

                TV Series: Greys Anatomy, Jane the Virgin

                Movie(s): 500 Days of Summer

                Color: Mauve

                Other Favorites: sunflowers and green tea

Hobbies: I love listening and playing music (I played the saxophone), soccer, organizing, and binge watching shows

Why I love Alpha Xi Delta: I love Alpha Xi because it never ceases to surprised me with amazing blessings. Every day you wake up, deciding whether or not to be productive, lazy, or whatever mood you’re in. With Alpha Xi Delta, it helps me wake up knowing that I can better myself daily and continue to realize my potential. I am blessed with 100 sisters that encourage me daily to remember that I am loved and can do anything I put my mind to.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Best Aspects of Recruitment

Recruitment at UAB is right around the corner. The ladies of Alpha Xi Delta are getting pumped to meet everyone! As recruitment gets closer, the ladies of Alpha Xi have been reflecting on the best parts of recruitment.

Getting to learn more about the sororities and getting to know the ladies in your Pi Chi group. You never know which ones become your sisters!”
“Recruitment was so exciting because I was meeting all these girls that were going to be my potential new family. Talking to the sisters at Alpha Xi, I was most excited when I realized these girls had the same values and ambitions that I did and that being a part of their sisterhood would help me through my college career and life.”
“The best part was getting to know the girls in my Pi Chi group, who I'm all still friends with!"
"There is no better feeling than the feeling of belonging when you figure out your way during the recruitment process. It can be very stressful and emotional, but the best part is knowing that when it ends, you'll be where you belong.”
“The best part about recruitment is connecting with the many diverse women from different chapters.”

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Happy Founders' Day!

April 17, 1893 was the day that Alpha Xi Delta was nationally founded. It is a day where we honor our ten founding members: Cora Bollinger Block, Alice Bartlett Bruner, Bertha Cook Evans, Harriett Luella McCollum, Lucy W. Gilmer, Lewie Strong Taylor, Almira Lowry Cheney, Frances Elizabeth Cheney, Eliza Drake Curtis Everton, and Julia Maude Foster. These ladies made Alpha Xi Delta what it is today, the sorority we call home.

The Theta Phi chapter at UAB is celebrating with alumnae. This is a day to remember where our chapter has come from as well as recognizing the founders hard work to establish Alpha Xi Delta. Our Founders' Day ceremony honors each of our ten founders. We also highlight their accomplishments throughout their college career and beyond. We close with a rededication ceremony to keep us grounded in our values.

"Founders' Day is the day commemorating the ten amazing women that came together to form the organization that today gives me the most amazing and incredible support group that I could ever ask for. April 17th reminds me that ever since 1893 there have been Alpha Xi Delta women who had the same support and love that I experience every day. Being able to call myself an Alpha Xi Delta is something that I take such pride in. In the last 3 years, it has impacted my life and taught me so much about how to be a gracious, strong, smart, and courageous woman. I love Alpha Xi Delta and am so thankful for the ten women who made it all happen over 100 years ago." ~ Bailey Stein

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sister Spotlight

Andria Diamond

Hometown: Spanish Fort
Major: Nursing
                Book: Jane Eyre
                TV Series: White Collar
                Movie(s): Becoming Jane, Aladdin
                Color: Gold
                Other Favorites: Beyonce and Nicki Minaj* everythan, Sushi, Cookie dough ice cream, Red rose
Hobbies: Writing, Dancing, Shopping, Modeling, Hiking/Camping, binge reading when I have the chance, riding around and looking at pretty houses, Singing in the car
Why I love Alpha Xi Delta: My favorite aspect of Alpha Xi Delta is what lured me to the sisterhood: the opportunity to make a difference. Growing up, my dream was to make a change. Whether that was in someone's life, my community or the world, I wanted to know that my life had made an impact- that I had created a legacy. My father had ingrained the well-known words of Gandhi: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." When I met the ladies of Alpha Xi Delta, I saw in them the empowerment and support which they used to be the change in our community and beyond. I saw a group of women who was committed to not only bettering themselves, but lifting up others around them by "inspiring women to realize their potential." This motto not only represents the strength within this group of women, but underscores the love and bond of this sisterhood. The greatest part of Alpha Xi Delta is knowing that no matter what, your part in this sisterhood will live in those you encounter and affect: Whether that's with sisters who you inspire and move with the stories of your triumphs in dark times, the community with your leadership and service to others, or with the world, raising money for the fastest growing developmental disorder, Autism, and being able to provide support and love to millions of families everywhere. Alpha Xi Delta not only will help you realize and achieve your full potential; it will be a fundamental part of creating your own legacy.
My favorite memory in Alpha Xi Delta... could never possibly be singled to one moment. It's the combination of all of the small, irreplaceable moments I share with these women. It's the nights we stayed up with a marathon of Disney princess movies while seeing how marshmallows we can eat before getting a sugar overload; it’s the ugly snapchat selfies and spontaneous ice-cream runs to the local gas station at 11pm because you aced your test; it's the embarrassing birthday collage, but the surprise party when the confetti cannon's pop scared you so badly you screamed; and it's the tears I shed as I hugged the graduating seniors at our senior ceremony, realizing the impact they have made on my life forever, and realizing that soon, I will be standing in their spot, and I can only hope that someone will feel the same of me. My favorite memories are things I look back on and can smile, laugh, and even cry at. But the memories I know are to come: that's one of the many reasons I stay and fall more in love with this sisterhood of women every day.