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.
Seven Ways to Get the Most out of Sigma
New Year’s is right around the corner! If upon reflection of this year, you found yourself wanting to get more out of our amazing sorority, I’ve made a list of seven easy steps to start you off.
Whether it’s an event hosted by an undergraduate chapter, a graduate chapter, the state, and beyond, attend as many events as possible! Sorority events are a great way to meet Sorors, new and seasoned. If you are unaware of sorority events in your area, be sure to reach out to nearby chapters.
Our sorority has by far the most inspirational members I have ever met, but you would never know that if you do not reach out to your Sorors. Active or inactive, we are still your Sorors. Lunch invitations, inquiries about future events, or just sisterly conversations can go very far.
If you know one of your sisters is an athlete, has a talent, or is a business owner, support her whenever possible! Whether it be physical, mental, emotional, financial, or spiritual, support your sisters. Our sisterhood is truly unique, and one of the ways we are able to continue to excel in sisterhood is by supporting each other.
A wise person once told me, “If you’re not networking, you’re not working.” NETWORK! We have Sorors that are very influential in their professions and/or knows someone influential in another profession. So many of our Sorors would love to help connect you to your dream career, but that opportunity cannot happen if you have not networked, followed up, and shown your best qualities.
If a leadership opportunity arises in your locally, regionally, or for nationally, definitely jump on it. Leadership opportunities help stimulate inner growth and can re-spark a passion. If you find yourself feeling like you are not getting the most out of our sorority, definitely seek out a leadership position.
Every once in a while, emails are sent out in a search for volunteers. If you are able, volunteer! This is an opportunity to not only build your resume, but to serve your sorority and meet new Sorors.
International Headquarters send emails often about webinars and training sessions. If you are available, I highly encourage you to take advantage of them. We have a history book and our Sigma Bible. If you haven’t read them yet, I highly encourage you to read them. Never stop learning!
These steps are just a start, but a surefire way to help rekindle or spark involvement in our sorority. I hope everything works out for the best and don’t forget to reach out if you need any help!
Thinking Outside the Box: Holiday Themed Informal Rush
Table covers (blue or gold)
Blue or Gold cups
Blue and Gold napkins
Keurig or hot water boiler
Chocolate & Caramel syrup
Chocolate chip cookies ( Chapter baked personally)
Water bottles (displayed like a Sigma)
This year the Alpha Beta Chapter decided to think outside the box and go with a themed informational. The Chapter decided that it wanted to make the informational not only informative but fun for all who attended. The Chapter wanted to fill the hearts of each and every interest with the holiday spirit. Our informational date was set for December 2, 2018, just in time for the holidays. We thought this was the perfect time to decorate the informational with a festive holiday theme.
The Chapter started its informational giving our guests a chance to grab snacks and hot cocoa. Introductions were given from our advisor, and each Alpha Beta member was given the opportunity to introduce themselves and how they serve the chapter. The Chapter then engaged in an ice breaker called “IntRHOduce Your Neighbor.” Our guests were able to socialize for about 3-5 minutes to get to know the person next to them. After time was called all attendees and chapter members had the opportunity to introduce the person to the left of them. This not only let us get to know those in attendance but allowed them get to know each other, as well.
After the ice breaker we got right down to business. The Anti-Basileus created a PowerPoint including information about our chapter and the Sorority as a whole. Each member of our chapter shared stories on why we chose Sigma and how it has changed and enlightened us as individuals.
The Chapter then concluded the PowerPoint and socialized with each our guests. As we were socializing, everyone was given the opportunity to be able to decorate their own christmas cookies. We provided blue and gold icing and enjoyed the delicious treats at the end of our informational.
Something that the Alpha Beta Chapter tries to uphold, is to make people feel welcomed. We wanted everyone who attended our informational to feel comfortable. A holiday themed informational brought nothing but holiday cheer to all that attended. During this holiday, we are encouraged to be joyful, charitable, generous, and kind. We wanted our informational to exhibit these characteristics. The holiday spirit invoked positive energy, good vibes, and happiness and it is our desire that it will be exploited throughout all levels of our lives.
Enjoy some our pictures!!!
Three Things to Remember When Initiating TORCH
This fall, the Tau Xi Chapter completed their first membership intake process, since its chartering. Naturally, this process had its ups and downs, and through it I gained 3 pieces of advice to keep with me.
Failure to plan is planning to fail.
The TORCH process is something that requires an intense amount of dedication and preparation. With national mandated deadlines about when certain materials are due and need to be ordered, a precise timeline of your intended TORCH process will save you headaches in the future. This timeline should include the specified dates of the mandated 42-day TORCH calendar, as well as more informal dates, such as when food for informal/formal rush should be ordered, deadlines to make decisions on venues, and get appropriate paperwork signed by your advisor or Greek Life office (if undergrad), and securing necessary personnel, like DJs and caterers.
To accompany the timeline an itemized budget should be created outlining all expected costs for the duration of the TORCH process. Some costs to include on this document are food, venues, A/V technology (if applicable), and decor. Should your chapter decide to have a neophyte presentation, this is an added expense that should be outlined as well, including costs for presentation outfits, masks , DJ’s and other items that your chapter elects to include. This itemized budget should be as specific as possible, meaning that anyone in your chapter should be able to take this list, go shopping and get everything on your list without asking many questions. Include item brand names and stores along with company names, contact info and prices. You want to make this process as easy as possible!
Remember that lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency for others.. Be as proactive as possible when initiating a TORCH process. Do not wait until the last minute to throw a plan together. Take time to thoroughly design the best plan of action that will benefit your aspirants and chapter members. Be courteous to your chapter members by giving them adequate time to gather resources to support this TORCH process.
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
The TORCH process isn’t just the membership committee’s duty. It requires active participation from most chapter committees. As the membership chair, you should actively consult multiple committees like the finance, fundraising, publicity and social event committees.
Have your finance and fundraising committees help you develop your itemized budget based on your set allotment of funds and any money you plan to bring in from fundraising. Consult you social event committee to plan membership based events to gauge interest as well as to best prevent any conflicting dates between the TORCH calendar and general social events. You don’t want chapter members to be overwhelmed with too many large events to plan in a short time span. Be sure to inform your publicity committee about any pictures/videos you’d like to be taken (like at induction and neophyte presentations) as well as any publicity you’d like to curate about the TORCH process. Some of this publicity may look like a social media post inviting aspirants to informal rush or a news article highlighting the impactful community service the newly inducted sorors completed following induction.
Communication is an active act. Don’t hesitate to ask others suggestions or advice on topics you are not confident in or want more knowledge on. Your chapter is here to support you and your TORCH process. Let them.
Your children will become who you are, so be who you want them to be.