Introducing Greek Life to Campus. Fall 2018 marks the first semester in which a sorority is a part of Benedictine’s campus and Theta Phi Alpha is officially a part of Benedictine University; they are now accepting founding members. Opening weekend for new members will be October 26-28.
This allows for the students joining this semester, who will be known as the founding members, to set the precedent of Theta Phi as it develops.
“It’s going to create a legacy for different [sorority and fraternity] groups to come. It depends on what the students want to make mandatory when it comes to event planning. This group of new members will set a lot of the rules as to what this sorority will mean to BenU,” said Stephaine A. Villanova, who is the Leadership Consultant for Theta Phi Alpha.
Prospective sorority members are expected to make time for all sorority functions, such as attending retreat events, recruitment events, and sisterhood bonding events. Mandatory rituals will be held to initiate the sisters.
Any BenU female, including anyone who identifies as female, may join the sorority. Students in any grade level may join, but there is an academic requirement of a 2.5GPA.
“Holding students to this standard is important because it is one of our big points. But we also want to build an academic excellence program where we help students if they are struggling,” said Villanova
The new member fee is due two weeks after October 27th, which is opening weekend. The initiation fee is due one month after initiation is completed. The following image shows the fees due for Fall 2018. However, there are payment plans and fundraising opportunities.
Members will also have the opportunity to buy Theta Phi Alpha merchandise as soon as they accept the invitation to join. These can range from apparel to other tangible items.
“We have this eternal bond, if you run into someone wearing the same letter as you, you automatically have this instant bond because you know you share the same values and have a shared experience,” said Villanova
Theta Phi members will be able to build on their resume and also make connections with other sorority alumni.
“We are in contact with alumni from different schools who were a part of a chapter. Having that mentorship will lean into networking. And having a sorority on your resume looks really good because it shows that you were a committed and loyal person,” said Villanova.
Villanova explained there are several opportunities for members to travel to other states. These events can range from leadership training to meeting with other sisters during events such as Theta Phi Day and Bonding Day. Members will meet with the different chapters from surrounding states to have a bonding experience. There are plenty of opportunities to collaborate and visit other schools where sisters reside.
There is currently no President, Vice President, etc. of Theta Phi on BenU’s campus. Members joining this semester may be in the running for one of those positions. Once the individuals are chosen, those member leaders will have the opportunity to travel as well.
“We have annual office leadership training nationally. The president and vice-president fly to the location, and we just train on personal development with different workshops.”
Theta Phi Alpha members may also throw socials. A part of throwing a social is getting to know fellow members of different sororities and fraternities.
“Since there is no other sorority or fraternity here, socials will look more like ‘hey SASA let’s do one on this day at this place’. If we provide the venue, there will be a cash bar, but we do have strict alcohol policies [for those underage].” said Villanova
As Theta Phi continues to grow on campus, there will be chances for the new members to recruit. The future of Greek life on BenU’s campus is also being discussed.
“We have a strict no hazing policy. Anything that may be remotely like hazing is not allowed. And we will hold formal investigations [if need be]. And we are talking about bringing a fraternity in the spring, and potential sororities down the years. Nobody has been accepted on either side yet,” said Villanova
There is still time to join and be a founding member of the sorority. All those interested in learning more about Theta Phi Alpha at BenU may e-mail Stephaine Villanova at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“There is nothing to be nervous about and it’s not a huge time commitment,” said new member Haley Warren. “I’m excited to build a bond with these people, they could be my forever really. All these people are so different from me and I could learn so much from them.”