Greetings and Welcome to the 2019 - 2020 Sorority Year! We are so excited to see all the events and work that you are doing in your respective chapters. As the year begins to make some headway, we want to remind you of the importance of Sigma Image. A big part of your responsibility as a member of this illustrious organization is representing your chapter. Tabling is a great way to draw in interests and here are some ways that the Illustrious Lambda Epsilon chapter at the University of West Georgia sets up our table.
First, you should find a great location on your yard. Think about the traffic that walks in certain areas and who you are trying to attract.
Second, if you have nothing else, your chapter should invest in a nice cotton tablecloth. This has the potential to last your chapter for years and elevate your image on your campus.
Next, Visuals are so important. Your chapter should develop a trifold or poster of sorts to display for any events. This is a great stand alone setup if your budget is smaller.
Lastly, you can really attract more people to the table by adding flourishes!
Include a place to get information for a future email list or a list of interest.
Highlight Mary Lou and the crew.
Add cute decor items. In the past we have had flowers and fairy lights. This year our graduate chapter donated a table mannequin decorated with a tulle dress.
We know that ballin’ on a budget is an undergrad’s motto. So use some of the resources you have already been given like regional conference booklets or the pillow you made during T.O.R.C.H.
Finally, we are the last created, best designed! Which means we bring the creativity.
“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.” Robert Frost
The art of communication by its definition is the "imparting or exchanging of information or news. In that form, it is a simple one, easy to understand, but the usage of communication is difficult. It is a line of sharing information that could easily go wrong at any point.
The best thing about communication is that it is two-folded, speaking (or typing) and active listening (or reading). Anything that has to be done takes the art of communicating through verbal expression, body language or electronic passways.
Communication is essential in everyday life, especially in an effective chapter. Here are 5 steps to effective communication.
Clarity and Completeness: It is essential to know who you are talking to and why. What are you trying to communicate? Put some thought into your message before you speak.
Delivery: Understanding who you are talking to will help you understand how the message may be received and therefore, determine which communication channel is most effective. Rather the communication happens through a phone call, text message, email, or face-to-face communication.
Gestures & Tone: Most people take into consideration your body language and the inflection in your voice Speak to others how you would want to be spoken too.
Active Listening: Pay attention to what is being said, show that you are comprehending, provide feedback, defer judgment, and respond appropriately - not quickly.
Life doesn’t revolve around us: When we are communicating it is important to understand that people perceive messages differently and it is important that we allow people time to interpret and process information.
The Power of Self Reflection
A lot of times, as leaders we’re expected to always have our lives and affairs in order 100% of the time. It is rare for people to check on leaders just randomly because we’re leaders and in a perfect world, we’d always have it together, but this is not a perfect world. Everyone needs help. I was raised to believe that helping yourself is more powerful than we may realize. So much can happen in a day, and there may not always be time to sit down and process emotions, tasks, and other various happenings in your life. It is important to set aside a time of the day to think about your life and what is going on in it. I take this time to:
Write down tasks need to be completed,
Meditate and Pray, and
Self-reflection is the action of holding yourself accountable and taking the time needed to take care of yourself. I believe that accountability and being present goes beyond the base view. Most people hold others accountable, but what they don't do is hold themselves accountable. I think that holding yourself accountable is one of the best traits to possess. Being present not only means being somewhere physically but also mentally. "Being where your feet are," can take you places. Living in the moment is so important because it is a moment never seen and a moment we'll never see again.
Traveling to a new city or meeting a bunch of new people can be overwhelming, but attending Regional conference will be one of your favorite memories in Sigma. I know that can seem like, “an easier said than done” situation, but I have 22 ways to make the most out of your weekend in Montgomery!
Wear Comfortable Shoes: It’s great to be cute, but your feet will thank you later if you pack your flats in your purse.
Bring a business appropriate sweater or cardigan: Plenary sessions are NOT the time to rock your custom line jacket or that new bomber jacket you just got in the vendor booth.
Arrive early: Wherever you go there will be a line. You are apart of the largest region in Sigma Gamma Rho! So avoid it as much as possible. Also, Soror Beluah Walker does not play about tardiness.
Be patient: Plenary sessions generally take a good bit of time and you are attending to handle Sigma business. So keep that in mind.
Document your experience: You probably spent a pretty penny on this trip. We want to see you remember it. Post and use the conference hashtags.
Set a budget before you leave: We all got bills to pay. Don’t spend your water bill on nalia.
Don’t forget any medications.
Pack snacks: Again plenary sessions can be long.
Take Pictures with Affiliates & People you don’t know: This conference is not just made up of SGRho members alone. Several businesses and organizations will be present.
Have an open mind.
Network: Branch outside of your chapter. You see those members all the time. Meet someone new.
Utilize the Network you just made: Networking does not end after an interaction. Stay in contact with everyone you meet.
Take Naps: You’ll understand later.
Bring Cash: If you don’t wake up on time, like ever, just go ahead and pack some dollar bills or head to an ATM.
Attend as many Workshops as possible: This is an opportunity to learn so much and bring it back to your city or university.
Be Kind: We have lots of cultured pearls and older sorors attending so let them go first on elevators or help them get to their destinations. It pays to be kind.
Eat & Drink Responsibly: Y’all know how to act. Remember Sigma Image is EVERYTHING!!
Remember Sigma Image: See below for appropriate attire. (Please don’t get sigma tapped. Bring pantyhose and all necessary undergarments.)
Carry a copy of the conference schedule with you at all times.
Bring a portable charger and or extension cords.
The best and most important tip I can give you is have fun. Let’s paint the city of Montgomery blue and gold and show them how the poodles of SGRho roll! Special thanks to all the members of the Southeastern Region Board of Directors for their tips and suggestions. I hope you all have a beautiful conference!
This year, I was chosen as one of the two AFLV scholarship recipients for the Sophisticated Southeastern Region of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. I am so grateful to our Sorority for this experience. Sigma Chi is an international undergraduate chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., so my eyes were opened to how diverse Greek lettered organizations truly are. Here are several highlights from my trip:
Tour of Butler University It was so exciting to visit the institution where our organization was founded with UCC LaVan, UCC Sellers, my roommate Kayla from the Tau Xi Chapter and several other undergraduate Sorors.
Homecoming is all about having a good time with alumni and undergraduate students. This year’s homecoming took place on a warm Saturday, where many gathered at Florida Memorial University for the annual tailgate. All the Greek organizations had the opportunity to socialize and celebrate under their own tent. The event was well put together by the school’s Alumni Affairs.
The Gamma Xi Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was swarmed with love near and far from sorors. It was a pleasure celebrating with members from our graduate chapter, Gamma Delta Sigma. The experience was great and a memorable moment to meet new sorors, especially the ones that traveled far for this event.
Our tent was filled with food and drinks, which was free of charge to all, not just our sorors. In addition, we gave away goodie bags at our tent. We were blessed with swag bags filled with hair product samples of Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils and Originals by Africa’s Best through one of our sorors.
We surely had a great time amongst the other Greek organizations and of course the student body. It wouldn’t have been a great night without strolling to our very own “PYT” and “Shake that Monkey”! On behalf of the Gamma Xi chapter, we would like to thank everyone that donated and celebrated with us!
Hello Soror..., pull up a seat..., and let's talk about something serious! How is your visibility? When was the last time you tabled on campus? What are your chapter members involved in outside of the chapter? How many panels have you been on collectively? What competitions have your members participated in? Pageants! How many Pageants?
Having well-planned events, having quality marketing, are only a part of the picture. Representation is how you get interest who have never heard about our illustrious organization! Representation is how you get the word out about events to people who may have not heard about them. It is so easy to get caught in what I like to call the Greek bubble. The Greek bubble is the comfortability of being in the Greek world where you are already known and respected. Even though it is easy to discuss our organization with people who have prior knowledge of our org but what about all of the amazing people who don’t? I will discuss in this article three main ways to increase visibility on campus.
At Georgia State, we have events where everyone comes out on the yard to stroll, play music, etc. On most campuses there is something similar whether it be in the dining hall, in the library or wherever there is a lot of traffic repeatedly every week. To increase visibility, you should table and be present at this time on campus. This will develop a subconscious reminder in students that they can count on your chapter to be there. This will also allow you to develop a relationship with students that can be fun loving approachable and will allow students to feel more comfortable to attend events. You want a presence on campus that is dependable, caring and student approved. We NEVER want to be the unapproachable organization on campus!
Panels and competitions
Let’s be honest. There are some organizations on campus that will always get a turnout. They will always attract people and they will always have a connection with students. When you participate in panels and competitions, this opportunity allows you the chance to steal the spotlight and attract people without having to put on your own events. It’s like a cheat code, they tag you in their page, put your logo on their flyer and give you an audience to show your best light. To use this in the most beneficial way, present these events with your social, fun and appealing sorors in colors/ letters. You want someone who will steal the crowd’s hearts and bring attention to Sigma Gamma Rho. Make sure you take pictures and post the involvement.
Pageants are the easiest way to get publicity for your organization with very minimal work for the chapter. I would say if you can be a queen, be a queen , because Sorors we all are queens without a crown anyway. As a pageant queen, you gain access to create collaborations, attract people to your background, and be able to share the impact a woman of Sigma Gamma Rho has on the community. The visibility options are endless. Even if you do not win, everyone at the pageant has been exposed to you and our organization. The biggest part to make pageants successful is to ensure the chapter is there to help the competitor and support her. When competing, sorors should attend the pageant in colors to show support for the competitor.
Currently, I am running for Miss Kappa Alpha Psi; so help with exposure for my chapter as well as the organization. If you would like to assist me with this goal please donate or share my GoFundMe https://www.gofundme.com/miss-kapsi-7-mychael-holmes
Tips to soror running or thinking about running for pageants –
Do the pageant and don’t give up
Ask for help if you need it
You got this, Queen
Visibility is so important to help sustain and grow the goals of your chapter, for not only interest but to inform people of what Sigma Gamma Rho is and what we are doing for our community.
“It’s when things go wrong, we must not quit!”
We have an exceptional sisterhood! That is common knowledge. However, one thing we do not have is a perfect sisterhood… mainly because it does not exist. Whether it’s dealing executing a program, resolving a conflict, or even making a display, it can all get overwhelming at times and not everything you do, or plan will go right. So, what do you do?
First and foremost, REMAIN CALM. It can be easier said than done, but still try your best to remain calm.
Two reasons for remaining calm are:
Hasty decisions, or decisions made out of frustration, will fail due to improper planning.
If you are unable to calmly communicate the problem, situation or your needs, then your peers cannot offer assistance.
Suggestions to staying or regaining your calmness:
Take a deep breath
Take a break
Walk away from the task for a few hours/days to clear your mind
Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, HIIT workouts, running… anything that calms you
Find your “happy place”
the Mall, the park, climbing a wall, the gym, or a fancy restaurant, etc.
Secondly, seek out help. Sometimes, we may want to do everything on our own; however, that is not always possible. I’ve found that one of the hardest traits of a leader is not leading but learning to reach out and ask for help when needed. The sorority has a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips; members of our sponsoring graduate chapters, nearby undergraduate chapters, sorors in our regions, to sorors across the world. All it takes is just reaching out for help.
Finally, remember why you started your Sigma journey and let that be your driving force. This spell of things going left, instead of right, is only temporary. Take a break to sit down and write out your reason for choosing this task. On top of that, write out the problem(s) you are experiencing. Brainstorm 3-4 possible solutions to overcome this hurdle. Some problems are easier to solve than we think when we see them on paper.
Yes, things will go wrong! Hurdles and curveballs come when we are least expecting them. Following these tips, you are now able to not only move forward, but also to use these experiences to make your chapter, region and the sorority better in the long run.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Week
Normally, our focus is placed on both the pre-natal and post-natal care of newborns and their mothers, but what about those mothers that lost their child? No one really pays attention to or speaks about Pregnancy and Infant Loss because it is a touchy topic. However, the Sigma Chi Chapter found a unique way to bring awareness to it. Our chapter celebrated Pregnancy and Infant Loss Week which consisted of a series of events.
The college community gathered and decorated the side walk with “Angel Art".
Break the Silence
A forum focused on bringing awareness to pregnancy and infant loss and ways it can be avoided. A young couple came in and gave a testimony on their long journey to having a child.
Wave of Light
Candles were lit in honor of all babies who passed away.
This is a great event chapters can execute under our women's wellness initiative. It also brings awareness to an issue we no one discusses.
Purses with a Purpose:
Purses with purpose is an annual service project hosted by the Alpha Beta Chapter. The Chapter started this service project four (4) years ago, where we collect both purses, toiletries, and feminine hygiene products over the course of the month. At the end of the month, the Chapter sorts the collected items and pack the purses with the products.
The key to getting donations is to reach out and collect from different people and organizations. As a chapter, we reached out to all campus organizations and community groups. The bulk of our donations came from other sorors from surrounding areas. Since the project took place over the course of November, Thanksgiving break fell during this time. Instead of allowing this to slow down donations, we instead reached out to sorors and chapters in our hometowns and asked for donations. In total, the Chapter collected about 100 purses and enough toiletries to fill each purse. After the purses were packed, the Chapter donated them to surrounding homeless and domestic violence shelters.