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True Greek Leadership is About "Living Our Values"

Seven Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation 2013 UIFI Scholarship Applications are available. Scholarships include registration and travel for one 2013 UIFI session. E-mail foundation@phisigmasigma.org for your application packet. Deadline to apply is March 31, 2013.

In 2012, seven Phi Sigma Sigma sisters received UIFI scholarships. Because of your chapters' donations and alumnae contributions to the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation, UIFI Scholarships are just one of the many programs we have been able to support.

One of Foundation's 2012 UIFI scholarship recipients, Marissa Colon (Iota Mu Chapter at the University of New Haven) shares her conference experience

FOR ANYONE WHO IS TRULY PASSIONATE ABOUT GREEK LIFE, the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI) is a place where you can network and learn how other Greek communities across North America operate. Thanks to a Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation scholarship, I was fortunate to attend the conference earlier this year – and I am happy to share some of the interesting things I learned there so sisters who care deeply about our sorority and the future of Greek life can also benefit!

It’s what you do,” these four words were essential to every lesson I learned at UIFI this summer. As Greeks, we have accepted that all of our actions represent not only us, but our organization. We never take off our letters and UIFI taught us the how to live our values and ritual in everything we do. More importantly, UIFI gave me the tools to take what I learned, change myself and begin the change in my own community as well. 

The first day we had to deal with the harsh reality of society’s view of Greek life. Pete Smithhisler, CEO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, made sure we knew exactly what we needed to fix within the Greek Community.  It is very important we continue to educate non-Greeks with all the positive things we do. I constantly thought about my personal plans to implement change or create ways to manage issues in my own community.

On Service Day, my group went to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank farm to plant seeds and harvest and wash crops for the community food bank. We managed to get DAYS of work done in a few hours; which gave the other employees time to work on more important projects..

On Ritual Day, we learned how to “Live Our Ritual,” turning our big R (ritual ceremonies) into a little r (living the lessons of our ritual in our daily lives). We learned how to take our values and make sure we live them in everything we do, so that we can be an example to our chapters and communities, and make our organizations proud.

As amazing as the UIFI experience was in leadership training, it made me realize something else about myself. I not only want to support my chapter and community, I want to make a difference in the Greek community. I am not sure yet where that may take me, but I know it’s where my professional career is headed. Thanks to the amazing network and support system I have gained this summer from UIFI, I know I have endless resources to help me along that journey.

My absolute favorite part of this experience was getting to know so many different people from different organizations. “No matter the letter, we are all Greek together” now has much more meaning to me. Our rituals define us, but our choice to join a sorority or fraternity has brought us all together. It has been over three months since I left the Alpha Omicron Pi house at Indiana University (where we stayed) and although we are scattered across the country, the members of my group still frequently talk to each other.

I could not be more grateful to the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation for giving me this unforgettable opportunity. If it were not for the scholarships given to sisters to attend UIFI, I would never have met so many amazing people. More importantly, I was able to obtain the tools needed to take my ideas for change back to my own chapter, community and Greek life.  Pete said at the end of each day, “The worst thing you can possibly do, is leave here this week, and do nothing.” I know I will do something!

Thank you for your support!