Monday, November 11, 2013

Phi Sigma Sigma Founders' Day

Mommy: Founders' Day is my favorite Phi Sigma Sigma event of the year.  This year was especially poignant as it marks 100 years since our founding.  I like reflecting on what led a small group of women to boldly decide that they would not be governed by the expectations of those around them.  In 1913, a group of young friends moved on from high school together to Hunter College.  When they began exploring Greek life, they discovered that they would not all be accepted to the same sorority because of their different faiths.  They saw this notion for the unacceptable condition that it was and decided to start their sorority - one built on shared values and a common sense of purpose and not beholden to a shared religious belief.
These women had balls.
These women were women I would like my girls to emulate.  So, each year, I pack up a little troop of ladies and foist them upon my sisterhood.  Each year, Miss Beth hooks them up with some entertainment for the day.  Each year, they listen a little bit more to the stories that are shared.  Each year, they begin to understand why this matters to me a little bit more.
You like your Aunt Diane?  I got her from sorority.
You like Miss Gretchen and Ethan (cue to Amber swooning)?  Sorority.
Miss Beth, Miss Jess, Miss Melanie, Miss Leah, Miss Mary E?  Sorority.
When I went to the University of Florida, I was almost swallowed up by that campus.  You know what gave me a place of my own?  Phi Sigma Sigma. 
I share this story a lot, but it doesn't stop being true: When I came to Philadelphia and I didn't have any friends, I called Phi Sig Headquarters and I said, "I'm a sister in good standing.  I don't owe you any money.  I just moved to Philadelphia and I don't have any friends.  Hook me up."
The person I spoke to said, "Philadelphia?  You're in luck!  They have the best alumnae chapter in the country!  Let me put you in touch with Diane..."

And of course, that's the Diane who served as doula for 2/3 of my births.
I was never going to be a sorority girl; it was never on my horizon.  But thank God, I opened my mind to something I hadn't considered (and let's be honest, made fun of with my high school friends).  When I was initiated 20 years ago, I had no idea the impact that decision would have.  But, I can tell you quite honestly that Phi Sigma Sigma literally changed my life.
Diokete Hupsala, my sisters, and Happy Founders' Day.


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