Thursday, October 31, 2013

ELC's - Courtney Lynch

It's officially my favorite season of the year - fall! Though the warm sunshine that summer brings is a treat, the fall brings some of my most favorites things. I smile thinking about cozy sweaters and scarves, boots, football season, colorful trees, crispy crunching leaves, brisk air, candy corn, Halloween, and of course, the pumpkin spice latte.

However, it's not just my seasonal favorites that fall brings; just as the leaves change, I realize how my own life is changing too. Looking back to one year ago, I'm attending Miami University where I spent the semester student teaching and pursuing a degree in special education. I was wrapping up my term as Chief Executive Officer of the Gamma Upsilon chapter and anxiously waiting for our alumnae members to return for Homecoming weekend. Flash forward to today, and I'm walking in completely different shoes. I'm still serving the Fraternity, but in a much different context, currently not using my teaching degree and this time, it's me who is returning to Miami for Homecoming weekend. Change happens fast. But as I look forward to the leaves turning and watching the skyline light up with the brilliance of fall, I'm ready to turn the pages in my book of life and embrace this change. This semester, I'm looking forward to exploring the abundance of parks around Winston-Salem, cheering on the Demon Deacons at Wake-Forest University football games and watching the Zeta Omicron chapter evolve and grow. I'm reminded to spend some time reflecting on the changes occurring in my life and as the leaves fall, I know, everything is falling into place. Happy fall, y'all!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Little Something About the New Members - Jihae

Seriously, I love every single one of them. I know many of you may not have had the chance to get to know the girls, but as New Member Director, I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with them every week since Bid Day (although they really have no other choice…). I promise you, if you go out of your way to get to know Alexa, Brooke, Emma, Tori, and Twiggs, you’ll see what I’m always raving about.
Alexa is one of the most diligent but fun-loving girls I know. This girl knows what she wants, and I know that she will become one of the most successful women after college.

At first, I thought that Brooke was super quiet and super sweet. I got the sweet part right, but once you get to know her, she is probably one of the funniest, most sarcastic girls I know and I love it!

Emma very well might be one of the most hard-working, most dedicated girls at Wake. She is always running from soccer to chapter, even with the butt-ton of work she always seems to have.

Tori? She is literally one of the sweetest girls I know, and no matter what she can put a smile on your face. (She even let me borrow her car to run Inspiration Week errands! …except I didn’t know how to pump gas… #jerseygirlprobs).

Twiggs is one of the most loved and loving girls I’ve met so far at Wake. Everyone always tells me, “Twiggs?! OMG I LOVE HER!” I’m not kidding.

I want to thank them (and Kate!) for being so patient with me these past couple of weeks. They’ve had to deal with my dysfunctional self, from my awkwardness to my over-enthusiasm, they’ve seen it all. Hopefully I haven’t scared them off… but in the end, all I have been trying to do is tell them just how much Theta means to me, and how much it will mean to them soon enough.

Each of these women contribute something so different to Theta, and we are so incredibly lucky to have each of them join our sisterhood. This just means that Theta is becoming even more perfect, one new member at a time. J


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wake is "Thinking Theta" - Ashley Hamati

Here's Ashley Hamati's full response (the OGB only used a snippet) about how she believe Wake is "Thinking Theta."

A Theta is a leader. A Theta is someone who always goes above and beyond the expectation, whether it's in studies or in being a friend. A Theta helps others and causes positive change. She is the same person Saturday night as she is Tuesday morning. A Theta keeps it classy. She exudes passion in everything she does. A Theta is confident. 
Theta is assimilating at Wake wonderfully. Everyone has been extremely supportive and sometimes even more excited than we are! We have a very diverse group of girls, which I believe is an advantage. Thetas come from all different walks of life, but we have become a well-knit group of girls; unity in diversity is a sign of true leadership, and diversity is the spice of life.
Fall Recruitment was also a huge success-- we took five fantastic girls. I asked one of our new members on Bid Day why she thought Theta and she responded, "Everyone I talked to was so nice and genuine, and fun. I felt like I was being welcomed into a family. Those were the girls I wanted in a sorority." On campus, I see Theta's as cool, down-to-earth girls-- girls who have a positive presence on campus and that people say "She's awesome. She's such a good friend to everyone and is very genuine. Get to know her! She's in Theta."  Thetas are sincere girls who are involved both on campus and in the Winston-Salem community. 

We've been participating in other Greek organizations' philanthropy events, such as Sigma Chi's Derby Days, Lambda Chi's Watermelon Bash, Delta Zeta's Color Run and Turtle Tug, as well as campus-wide events, like Hit the Bricks, DESK, Project Pumpkin, and Wake N' Shake. Our Spring philanthropy event, CASA ROYALE, had a great turnout and support from the students and faculty, and we raised over $8,000  for Kappa Alpha Theta's national philanthropy, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). The women in Theta are also extremely involved on campus as well in other organizations, such as Volunteer Service Corps, WakeRadio, Campus Kitchen, volunteering at El  Buen Pastor tutoring underprivileged children, The Lilting Banshees, RAs, club & intramural sports, Habitat for Humanity, a capella groups, etc. With our success right now, I feel like it's all uphill from here. 
When spring rush had rolled around, many of us hadn't seen ourselves as perfect fits for a specific sorority-- we each embodied qualities that craved somewhere or something else. That "something else" became Theta. I know for me, personally, Theta had always been in the back of my mind since I heard about it last Fall. I had an inexplicable feeling that it would pay off.  It was an almost-too-huge leap, but aren't all the things that make life worth living are thrilling? I knew it was going to be hard, but it was going to be worth it. My friend always says, "I wanted to define a sorority, not have a sorority define me," and Theta has absolutely been that. It has given me girls I am proud to call my sorority sisters. It's given me a place to call home on this campus. It's given me some of my best friends. Theta inspires me to be the best version of myself.  Joining Theta has been one of the best decisions by far. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

iOS7 Theta Style - Victoria Elliott

             Just like most of you, I recently downloaded Apple’s new iOS7 update. And I couldn’t help but compare this operating system to our Zeta Omicron Chapter. I know it’s silly, but hear me out:
The update has several amazing new features – or as we call them in ZO, new members. It took a lot of work from programmers, designers, and executives to create a functioning operating system, just like it took Headquarters, Alyssa, Joni, and now Courtney to build up our Wake Chapter. And just like iOS7, now we’re out. Anyone could choose to download us – or not. And that is an exciting, albeit nerve-wracking experience. But just because one recruitment season was successful doesn’t mean we can relax. Apple employees are already at work on iOS8, just as we now turn to Spring Recruitment. And we need to advertise. Our letters are the same as the logo on the back of an iPhone. And every little bug we have affects how people view our brand.
I personally love Apple advertisements. They are simple and elegant, displaying the positives of purchasing their product, rather than tearing down another company. I’ve never seen an Apple-produced attack ad. But I’m sure you have all seen the ads for the Windows tablet, where Siri wails pathetically about how she can’t do anything compared to her competitor. To me, the commercial seems like a petty attack. We, as the classy women we are, need to shy away from comparing ourselves to other sororities. Let’s look at our own wonderful qualities and show them to the world!
But what is advertising without execution? If all Apple did was spend billions on ads about how wonderful their products were without working to improve themselves, people would catch on quickly and stop buying. The same is true for us. We can advertise love and Theta sisterhood all we want, but if no one attends sisterhood events, or spends time with each other, everyone will notice. Maintaining infrastructure is just as important as branding.  
Just like your updated home screen, Zeta Omicron looks beautiful and fresh. Everyone scrambled to download iOS7 because it was new and frequently talked about. But after long, the update won’t be new anymore. It will come standard on later phones, and even later something else will come along. Theta won’t be new soon. We will need a different adjective to describe ourselves. And it’s up to all of us to define what that adjective is.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Pursuit of Happiness - Ashley Hamati

Happiness. We've all heard it, we've all experienced it at one point in our lives (and hopefully, that's the bare minimum). We're told constantly that either it's the meaning of life or it's what we should all strive to achieve on a day-to-day basis. 

That is absolutely true.

It's your life, so why would you want to rob anyone of your happiness? Ever heard the quote, "Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game"? Or "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"? If you read into them, they're pretty mind-boggling. When you succumb to the demons each of these quotes directly (or indirectly) imposes, you rob yourself of your own happiness. Yep, you read that correctly. YOU rob YOUR OWN SELF out of YOUR OWN happiness. Why would you ever cheat yourself of living a joyous life? You deserve it. You're a hardworking and brilliant individual. We all are, so we should at least do ourselves the justice of making our lives worth living. My advice and thought for tonight, as well as for the rest of your time here, goes as this: Be fearless. Be confident. Do something that surprises you. For example, I draw from my own experience. I used to dance when I was younger (didn't we all?) and I enjoy dancing. Am I Karina Smirnoff or Julianne Hough or the next winner on So You Think You Can Dance? Or am I the star Radio City Rockette? I'm none of the above, but that didn't stop me from trying out for Dance Team this year. Did I make it? Nope. But I'm glad I did it. It showed me a new level of confidence that surprised me of my own abilities. 

When you're confident in yourself, you are happy. Your actions speak equally with your words and are taken in like the rays of the sun on a hot summer afternoon by everyone around you. You, in fact, have conquered this pursuit of happiness. That being said, only you can rob yourself of your happiness. No one has the power to do that. So try out for the Lilting Banshees. Try to find a silver lining each and every day. Have an excuse to be grateful and never stop giving. Even with schoolwork, pour your heart into it-- you'll rob yourself of happiness if you get a less-than-satisfactory grade when you know you could have studied just a little more. Going the extra mile is challenging and scary, but if it weren't scary or challenging, it would be simple. However, it is the very complexities of life that make it worth living, as well as the thrill of the pursuit of happiness.