Sorority Life at SSU (photos courtesy of Theta Phi Alpha and Delta Phi Epsilon)
Sorority Life at SSU (photos courtesy of Theta Phi Alpha and Delta Phi Epsilon)
Collage created by Maggie Kayt Franks

Sisterhood within the sisterhoods of SSU

Justice. Wisdom, Loyalty. Faith. Truth. Honor. These are the six values the one male and 10 women founders of Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity believed they wanted their organization to be centered around. Theta Phi was founded in Ann Habor, Michigan, in 1912, however the national office is no longer housed in Michigan. The office was moved to Bay Village, Ohio, which oversees 55 chapters around the United States. While the institution is labeled as a Fraternity because one of their founders was male, though it operates as under the regulations of a sorority.

The Shawnee State chapter originated in 2003 as a branch of the Gamma Epsilon chapter. Around the time of the sorority’s 20th anniversary on the SSU campus they had around 17 active members, along with many alumni. Shawnee’s Theta Phi core philanthropies primarily center around homelessness and hunger. Carissa Link, current president of the SSU chapter, discussed the charity developments they work hand in hand with and the event they tend to be famous for on campus.

“We have three philanthropies; Camp Friendship, Glenmary Home Missioners and Wings of Hope,“ Link explained. “On this campus we are known for ‘Bump in the Night’, which is a volleyball tournament. We usual plan it around Halloween and charge an entry fee, but we also run a can food drive during it.”

Along with working solo, Theta Phi teams up with the campus’s other sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, and fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon. The three organizations interact with each other for other philanthropic project and general “Greek Life” activities.

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Delta Phi Epsilon is rooted in the values of dedication, pride and excellence. These are the core beliefs that the five founding women at New York University School of Law back in 1917 chose to balance their organization’s foundation. The SSU chapter was opened in 2012, since then they have been able to advance the campus experience, along with aid the Portsmouth community.

“Our two main philanthropies are Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) and Cystic Fibrosis,” Perry shared. “Every year we host Deepher Dude which is a male pageant to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. “

“Their sole purpose is to foster an environment of sister or brotherhood and peer support while enriching their campus and local communities,” Marlita Cadogan, head of Greek Life, explained. “Greek Life at Shawnee has been pretty awesome thus far. I serve as an adviser to all of Fraternity and Sorority Life on campus, this means I supervise all three social Greek Letter organizations on campus, which include Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Theta Phi Alpha and Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority.”

Along with the goal to advise and guide each organization, Cadogan’s goal is to help Greek Life to expand on Shawnee’s campus. However, people outside of the sorority and fraternity atmosphere tend to fear the stereotypical behaviors that have been dramatized throughout the years.

“Greek Life sometimes gets a bad rap if you haven’t ever been exposed to it or been able to see how it can be beneficial for its members, but from personal experience, I can vouch that it is truly a worthwhile opportunity to connect with folks locally and globally depending on what organization you join,” Cadogan stated. “The connections and networking you are able to achieve simply by knowing the right people are eye-opening, and I truly see Greek Life as an enrichment to a student’s experience!”

Both of the presidents of the SSU sorority share Cadogan’s opinion about the worth of Greek Life in their college career and beyond. “Greek life is so much more than just wearing your letters,” Perry divulged. “I have found some of my absolute best friends in my sorority and within the other organizations on campus. I met my matron of honor in my sorority and without Greek life we may have never met.”

When it comes to entering the sorority life at SSU, it is very simple. Each organization allows for rolling bids. Rolling bids allow for a person interested in Greek Life to contact the organizations anytime throughout the year and they are able to obtain a bid.  “We love getting to watch potential new members learn about both sororities and find their home,” Perry exclaimed. “Both sororities encourage potential new members to learn as much as they can about both organizations. All Greek life genuinely wants you to find your home regardless of what organization you join.”

However, if you want to follow the traditional route, each organization holds a Bid Rush week at the beginning of each semester!

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