When I decided to join Phi Sigma Pi Honor Fraternity, I was not sure I was making the right decision. I was at a point in my life when I wanted to turn everything around, but did not exactly know how to. I met a lovely group of people. My curiosity followed me through the door and I sat down at a social with intentions to allow myself to get to know several people in the room. These people did not look like me. They did not sound like me. They did not major in the things I know most about, however, they accepted me. They saw me for everything I was and everything I am not. They did not ridicule me for being different, and they made sure I was comfortable. I decided to take a leap of faith and join this organization, and I'm happy I did. PSP has taught me that every journey we travel on in life will provide a destination we are not sure we will reach. Every journey is not easy and in fact we may not understand why we are in the position we are in at that moment in time. I have learned that everything is intentional. Through scholarship, leadership and brotherhood I have built a family. Though I may not always be around them and able to communicate, I know without a doubt these people care for me and will be there for me. PSP has taught me there are people on the campus of Illinois State University striving for the same success I am. We are embarking on different journeys and reaching for different heights, yet we are still standing. Despite the obstacles college brings, despite the issues we may personally face, despite the moments we feel alone and without guidance. We find strength in each other. We find beauty in the honor of Phi Sigma Pi. We find unexplainable joy in the ability to remind one another we are better than the person who used to be. We remain conscious of our fight which will never stop. It is the fight to create a brotherhood and include those that have never felt like they belong to a family. This is my fraternity. I am proud of who I am, I am proud of this organization and I am proud to be a member of this brotherhood.
I joined Phi Sigma Pi the spring semester of my sophomore year. Simply put, I was looking for something new. For an organization I could be involved in and gain a few new friends in the process. What I found was a family, full of caring and inclusive individuals who would be there to support me throughout the remainder of my college career.
Growing up in a small, sheltered town I tended to be rather shy and while I was very involved in school, it was in the same programs and activities with the same people I had been in school with since kindergarten. Looking to get involved as a college freshman, I sought out similar groups with similar people to the ones I had stuck so closely with at home. It was not until Phi Sigma Pi that I realized how desperately I needed a change. At the very first information session, I sat in a room full of people and just looked around as I listened to introductions. I quickly started to realize how different each individual in that room was, not just from me, but from every person. Sure, there were groups with similar majors or people from nearby hometowns, but I was struck by the individuality of each person sitting in that room, and the bond that they had between each other.
I left that event grinning ear to ear. I had found a group of people who celebrated diversity, were welcome to all, and sought to provide a safe place for each and every brother they welcomed into their fraternity. Now, in my last semester as an active member of Phi Sigma Pi, I look back at all I have gained through this organization. The Delta Eta Chapter of Phi Sigma Pi has brought me close friends and some of the best memories of my college experience. It gave me the courage to run for a position, helping me to find confidence and a voice within our chapter. Meeting and talking with so many brothers, unique in their own ways and passionate about a number of causes, has inspired me, challenged me, and opened my mind to many different things.
But most of all, I have found brothers who have loved and encouraged me through my college experience. As we approach the holiday season (and the impending graduation of many of our brothers), I cannot help but stop and reflect on the people I have met, opportunities I have been awarded, and many wonderful memories I have made through this organization. And be so thankful.
It’s that time of year again….
Finals are approaching, stress levels are at an all time high, and brotherhood is needed more than ever. A lot of time being a part of a fraternity means social gatherings, chapter meetings, and events of all kinds, but the emotional support of your brothers is what gets over looked.
Joining PSP wasn’t just something to put on a resume, but was a place to make friends and become part of a family. Over the past two years, I have seen the ups and the downs of members in this chapter, but most importantly I have seen brothers supporting brothers. I have seen members of this fraternity drop everything for a brother in need. I have seen the constant love and support given to one another. I have seen acceptance far beyond what I ever thought was possible.
As this is my last semester as an active brother, I have the privilege to say that I found my place at ISU with PSP. With that said, here are my top five memories that I will always hold close to me.
For Phi Sigma Pi, leadership is an important aspect. It is so important that it is one third of what our founders based this fraternity (the other two being fellowship and scholarship) on. A quote that summarizes PSP’s ideal of leadership is, “The application of professional skills and the fostering of leadership qualities by promoting and advancing the welfare of humanity.” With that quote and from my own personal experiences, leadership is my favorite leg of the PSP tripod because it was the main aspect that drew me to PSP. I was looking for an organization that was as passionate about leadership as I was, and I believe I found it through this organization.
I joined Phi Sigma Pi the fall semester of my sophomore year. Since then, I have held three different positions, which include Leadership Chair, Public Relations Chair, and currently Vice President. With each position not only have I learned new things, but I have also grown as a person as well, especially the multiple times I have had to step outside of my comfort zone. I have also had leadership roles outside of PSP, each one bringing a new perspective and meaning to my life. I have learned that leadership roles should not just be about adding items to a resume, but instead they should be opportunities to work on skills and guide both yourself and others to a better place.
Being a leader does not mean you have to hold a position. There are brothers that do not take leadership positions, but that does not mean they are not leaders. They lead by being a supportive friend, helping others with or without being asked, or even taking part in a cause in which they believe in.The leadership events we plan range from volunteering at community events to learning about different personality traits, even to perfecting our resumes. Personally, I am absolutely amazed at how many hours some of the brothers of our fraternity commit to volunteering and community service. As stated earlier, leadership is advancing the welfare of humanity, and I see many examples of my brothers doing that daily.
My parting words for this post is this: My brothers, you all are leaders, and you probably have more supporters than you think you do.
Right now at PSP ILSTU, we’re all going through the initiation process, brothers and initiates. As a brother, it’s a time of meeting new people that we hope will continue their journey and become a brother. As an initiate, it’s a time where prospective members can meet brothers, schedule interviews, and get to know what life is like as a brother. And each semester, I think back to when I was an initiate, how it seemed overwhelming and stressful, with interviews and studying for the national exam. But I also remember that first feeling of comradery, finding “my people.”
When I was little, I was always told that I would find “my people,” people that thought and acted in similar ways as me. And thanks to Phi Sigma Pi, I did find these like-minded people. While not everyone acts the same or has a similar mentality as me, I still feel like this was the group of people that I was meant to find in college. Plus with every brother that I talk to, all of these different ideas and personalities, have helped me gain new perspectives. So many brothers have taught me about their lives, what they’re going through, how they’re dealing with it all. (Talk about gaining some major life skills!) And whenever people give me a weird look for saying that I’m in an honors fraternity, I can’t help but roll my eyes.
Some people only see the people in PSP as a bunch of nerds, especially due to the word “honors.” But what they fail to realize is that this is far, far more than just scholarship and studying. And while that is important and I have gained some awesome leadership experiences throughout my four semesters in PSP, I feel like I’ve gained much more fellowship experiences. With all of these people and their ginormous hearts, I’ve gained a support system that seems so large that it’s beyond belief. I know that if I were to need help changing a tire, a friend to walk home with, an ear to listen, or even a hug, I have a group of people standing behind me (and me, them!) who are willing to lend a hand.
People always tell you that life is all about timing. “It’ll happen at the right time. Just wait.” And I can say that I full-heartedly agree with that statement. It took me 19 years and a long first semester freshman year, but that second semester I gained a group of people that I can full-heartedly say that I wouldn’t trade at all.
Hello all! The school year has started once again and so has a new year for Phi Sigma Pi Delta Eta’s Chapter!
Brothers of the Delta Eta Chapter have returned to Normal, IL and are ready to get back to business. Some quick updates of our semester so far are:
-Our Rush Week theme was "Dancing Through the Decades", and rush week for new brothers began on 9/13/15 (Sunday), with two informational sessions being held on 9/13 and 9/14 and the rest of the week contained rush events correlating to the three legs of our tripod (Fellowship, Leadership, and Scholarship).
"I feel that rush week went really well. We were able to have a lot of fun throughout the week with different events, all while getting to know the new Rushees! It was really great to meet all the new prospective members and to be able to share our fraternity with them. We have an awesome rush class, and I can't wait to see where they fit in our chapter!” - Sydney Early (2015-2016 Rush Advisor)
-We inducted 11 brand new brothers, thus beginning their 6 week initiation process (pictured below)!
-On top of that, Delta Eta’s committees have formulated and planned multiple events throughout the semester to not only bring current brother’s together, but to also exemplify the three pillars of our fraternity as well.
Stay tuned right here on our blog for updates on what’s to come!
Now that the semester is coming to a close, it's easy to look back past the stress of finals and appreciate our Brotherhood! The end of the semester is always a bitter-sweet time of year--bitter because we say goodbye to graduating seniors, and sweet because we welcome in new brothers.
This semester, Delta Eta welcomed 16 new brothers into our chapter! They are already wonderful brothers and they will make a great impact on our fraternity.
This semester we also said goodbye to four seniors that are graduating PSP. Emily Blankenberger, Kyle DaVault, Kelly Conley, and Victoria Parra. Kyle and Kelly are going on to student teach, Emily is graduating in December, and Victoria is transferring to a new school. Good luck to all the graduating seniors! You are going to do great things and make an incredible impact on the world, and all the Brothers thank you for everything you've done for our chapter.
To all the Brothers, alumni, and prospective members: Have a great, relaxing break! Here's to another wonderful semester.
On October 2nd, Phi Sigma Pi Delta Eta hosted an event with Be The Match, an amazing organization that works to create a bone marrow registry (learn more by going here). The entire chapter came together to ensure the success of the event, either through baking goods for the bake sale, chalking the quad to advertise, going to local businesses and churches, and fundraising to meet our goal. While the entire chapter worked as one to put on the event, there were a few brothers that took on leadership roles and helped us meet all of our goals for the event.
The Beginning: How PSP Met Be the Match
Our chapter learned about Be The Match when a newly inducted brother, Taylor Genseal, talked about her experiences with the organization at chapter. Taylor first learned about Be the Match through her mom's work: "My mom works for Celgene, which is a pharmaceutical company that sells blood cancer medication. I attended a marrow registry drive at a meeting her company held. My parents and I all registered together. My mom's company is also a financial supporter of be the match."
A year later, our Leadership Chair Savannah Little contacted Be The Match in hopes of putting on an event.
From Idea to Reality
The process of planning an event as large scale as this one is long, and Savannah started planning the event in July when she contacted Be the Match to begin brainstorming a date and location. Throughout the months leading to the event on October 2nd, Savannah created fliers, reserved the space, and advertised using a variety of means. Of course, there were some rough points along the way: "I think the biggest obstacles were trying to gain community involvement. Everyone can agree that BTM is a wonderful organization that helps literally save lives, but when asking businesses to get involved with us, I was really disappointed in the lack of community response. I had my hopes up, but also figured that since an event at ISU would have the potential to impact so many students/introduce them to a brand, that more corporations would be interested in assisting."
Of course, planning the event was not the only work put in! Our fundraising chair, Lena Alcozer, worked double time raising money for Be the Match! She says that the key to PSP's fundraising success was the GoFundMe page that brothers promoted, and through advertising that page we were able to get halfway to our goal. We also raised money by doing a quad clean up and through a bake sale on the day of the event. Another great contributor was Alyssa's Army, who donated $200 to the cause and helped us significantly in reaching our goal.
Snapchat Selfie Campaign
Our chapter president, Kevin Mell, told brothers that he would donate $1 for every snapchat of a brother wearing letters on the day of the event. By the end of the day, Kevin had to donate $25!
Results by the End of the Event
At the end of the day, we were able to add 94 people to the registry! We surpassed our goal of 50 people by 188%. We also raised a total of $1070 thanks to the combination of fundraising efforts mentioned above.
When thinking back on the event, Savannah said, "This event really just showed me - for what feels like the 100th time - how amazing our Chapter is. Everyone's enthusiasm from Day 1 was a huge motivator for the success of this event. The fact that alumni, parents, families, and friends donated to our cause to help us meet our Fundraising goal is amazing. This event in its entirety showed me just how large our impact on the community, the U.S., and the world can be. Being a Brother of PSP gives me constant motivation to be a better person and strive for success in all areas of my life, and this event just served to re-instill that motivation."
Our Philanthropy Advisor, Sarah Uftring, was very pleased by the outcome of the event and hopes that we will be able to recreate the event again in years to come. "Community involvement is extremely important to me and I feel that it is very important to our chapter as well. The Be the Match event was a great way to become involved with the local community. We were able to educate the ISU campus about an important cause and helped others join the registry. Maintaining this relationship with Be the Match will provide us with many more opportunities to continue building community relationships. I am very proud of all the hard work that we all put into this event and the amazing results."
Congratulations to the whole brotherhood for the success of Be The Match!
Now that Recruitment is over, we thought it would only be best to recognize Leann Risten, our Recruitment Advisor, for all the great work she did for rush week this semester. Planning all the events for recruitment can be extremely stressful, but Leann pulled it off wonderfully. We asked her some questions about her position and how she was able to get everything done in time.
Q: What were the first steps you took in planning Rush Week?
LR: The first step I took in planning Rush Week was thinking of a theme that could have events relative to our tripod of fellowship, leadership, and scholarship. My committee and I brainstormed ideas for themes that could have activities based around the tripod. Once we did that, we presented those ideas to the chapter and voted on the theme. After we picked the theme, we had to plan the details of the events and make sure that all of the activities promoted some sort of brotherhood bonding so the brothers and the rushees could get to know each other in an easy-going, fun environment.
Q: How much work went into planning each event?
LR: Planning any sort of event where you want to do fun activities while also promoting social interactions is challenging. There are a lot of things to take into consideration therefore there is a lot of work that goes into planning each event. My committee and I had to make sure that the activities we were planning were feasible. We actually did a few trial runs to make sure the activities in the event would run smoothly. It was pretty tough to think of all the possible ways that the event could be successful or unsuccessful but the amount of work in planning it was absolutely worth it.
Q: Where did you get ideas for events?
LR: As many people do, to get the creative juices flowing, I started thinking about events by going on Pinterest. When I had a few baseline ideas of some themes and events that would be possible, I met with my committee. The members of my committee were the most helpful and useful tools I have used in planning rush week. We thought of the ideas by basically talking through them aloud and figuring out the details of what would work and what wouldn’t. The members of my committee were very creative and had great input and ideas. Without them, I would not have been able to create the fun events that we did.
Q: Why did you want to be Recruitment Advisor?
LR: When I rushed Phi Sigma Pi I wasn’t able to attend a lot of the rush events because of my busy schedule. However, the following semester I attended every single event and fell in love with the rush process, which is why I ran for the Recruitment Advisor position. During rush, I created relationships with people that I never would have known otherwise and now I cannot picture my life without. Rush is such a unique experience; it essentially is the process that turns complete strangers into family. The events during the week exemplify who we are as people, what we do as an organization, and how strong our brother bond is. Rush allows the prospective members to start building relationships and experience what it’s like to be a Phi Sigma Pi Brother.
Congratulations to Leann on her success this week! But there's no rest for Recruitment Advisor! Leann and her committee are starting to plan for next semester right away to ensure that everything goes out without a hitch. We all look forward to finding out what you come up with for next semester!
In honor of recruitment this week, we decided to ask our Brothers and Alumni to get a little introspective by asking them three questions. The responses we got speak for themselves.
Why I Joined Phi Sigma Pi
"I joined PSP is because when I first came to ISU I didn't know many people here, many of my high school friends moved or went to school elsewhere. I really wanted to be involved in something as well as make some friends. && now some of me best friends are from PSP!" -Jessica Bychowski (Brother)
"I joined PSP my junior year because I felt that I was missing a sense of community at ISU. I had always wanted to join a greek organization, but I was unsure about social sororities because of the cost and because I was afraid I wouldn't fit in. When I decided to rush, I was extremely nervous. I'm a quiet person by nature, and I was worried that I wouldn't fit in. But soon the nerves faded away as I realized that this was a group of people a lot like me. I felt so comfortable and happy that I decided to take myself out of my comfort zone."- Sam Hennessy (Brother)
"The people! Everyone was so nice and welcoming!" -Ellie Seitzinger (Brother)
"I joined PSP because I wanted to get more involved at ISU. I wasn't really interested in the social sororities/fraternities but I liked the idea of having a close knit group and the fact that it was a social, academic, and service organization all in one." -Leann Risten (Brother)
"Joining PSP was the greatest decision I made here at ISU. I was a middle of the year transfer student so it was very difficult for me to make friends. I heard about PSP from a friend that is in it at Eastern Illinois University and she told me I should rush. I am so happy that I did! What I think is great about PSP is that since we are all from different majors you are meeting people that you might not have met without PSP... and I can’t imagine not having this group of people in my life because everyone in PSP is amazing and I have made so many great friends!" -Katelyn Baker (Brother)
"I joined PSP to meet new people/friends. I transferred to ISU and only new a few people. I received an email about PSP and thought it was something I might be interested in. I went to the info night and the rest is history. I met so many new people who became life long friends. Even after graduating, I keep in contact with some of the people from PSP." -Allie Nixon (Alumni)
"I joined PSP because I wanted to make ISU feel more like home. I rushed the Spring of my freshman year. During that year, I lived on the science floor of Hewett and met a lot of great people in my major, but I wanted to make even more friends."- Brittany Herzovi (Alumni)
What is your favorite memory in PSP so far?
"Interviewing with all the brothers during rush was fun, and that's one of my favorite memories." -Michael Crawford (Brother)
"Favorite memory is meeting my girlfriend for the first time" -Kyle DeVault (Brother)
"Laser tag!! That was the most fun event I'm ever been to" -Heather Sells (Brother)
"Once I rushed, I started seeing Brothers everywhere. It was an awesome feeling and as a freshman, I think it's really important to meet as many people as possible so that ISU doesn't feel so huge. But overall, I think my favorite memories are just the lifelong friendships. I've met so many amazing people through this organization and so many of them have enhanced my life for the better. I really can't imagine the last four years of my life without PSP" -Brittany Herzovi (Alumni)
What do you like most about PSP?
"What I like most about PSP are the people. Everyone I have met, in our own chapter and nationally, inspires me to be a better person. Brothers give me ideas for our chapter and also just for my daily life. Everyone is so passionate and dedicated that it makes me want to do more and be a better person. I actually realized just last week that everyone I am currently friends with at ISU is the product of a PSP relationship." -Savannah Little (Brother)
"The thing I like most about PSP is how no matter what major someone is or where they are from, we all come together as one fraternity and family that is there for one another. I love this Greek organization so much!" -Mike Miletich (Brother)
"I like that there is always something happening, people want to do good things and I like that we can all come together and make improvements in ourselves/each other/the community" -Brieda Hill (Brother)
"The thing I like most about PSP is my brothers. I couldn't have asked to be surrounded by a more caring and motivated group of individuals, each with unique personalities." Kelly Bernt (Brother)
"I like the tripod the most. We get a good balance of a social, service, and leadership fraternity all rolled into one!" -Ellen Schumacher (Brother)
"With PSP, you can truly be yourself and no one cares. We are all "goofy" in our own ways, and that is what makes PSP--PSP. We all add/have added a small touch of ourselves to create a family that will last a life time. When in need, you always will have a "brother" to talk to!" -Allie Nixon (Alumni)
"I am an only child so having 40some brothers is a dream come true. Being trans I never really feel comfortable in groups, I feel judged and discarded. But PSP really is a family, and no matter your background, race, beliefs, gender, sexuality, ideals you ARE going to be welcomed with open arms. PSP is a family, and it's a good one."- Aaron Edwards (Brother)