SFA’s Catholic women’s sorority, Kappa Upsilon Sigma, welcomed twelve new pledges to their organization this fall semester.
Kappa Upsilon Sigma is a spiritual, service and social sorority. The sorority is made up of twenty-three members and two SFA faculty advisers.
Throughout the semester the ladies of Kappa plan social events with other organizations at SFA’s St. Mary’s Catholic Campus ministry, participate in spiritual activities and spend time working with their philanthropy, Heartbeat Pregnancy Center of Nacogdoches.
Each semester the active members of the sorority vote on a pledge master for the next semester. This semester Kappa had two pledge masters, sophomores Sara Matassa and Mikayla Mock. This is the first time that the sorority has had two pledge masters.
“Having two pledge masters has been a great idea, you have to find a balance and communicate well with one another,” co-pledge master Mikayla Mock said. “We both contribute in ideas and it especially helps to have two people when you have a busy schedule.”
The pledge masters are in charge of recruiting new girls, organizing the activities for rush week. They also plan other activities for the pledges throughout the semester.
“As a pledge master, my job is to motivate girls to join Kappa Upsilon Sigma,” Mock said. “I have to promote to girls that our sorority is a welcoming organization founded on a strong sisterhood bond and on the Catholic faith.”
The pledge masters developed the theme “Faith Strong, Kappa Strong” which they incorporated throughout their rush week which took place the second week of September.
“We wanted this theme to not only apply to the week, but possibly throughout the whole semester,” Mock said. “Our mission was to uplift girls and remind them of their strength as women in their faith and how they can find strength in a sorority.”
The process to joining Kappa is different from the process that girls go through to join Panhellenic sororities. The process to joining the sorority is different than that of Panhellenic sororities. The difference is that Kappa does not choose the girls they want in their sorority. They allow any girls attending SFA to join their organization.
Kappa uses different methods to recruit girls. During the second week of school, active Kappa members set up a table inside the student center and pass out informational flyers. The girls also have a table set up during all of the summer freshman orientations and during SFA’s Involvement fair.
Girls who are interested in becoming a part of Kappa are invited to attend the interest meeting. Potential members attend the interest meeting where they meet the officers and current members of Kappa and are given a brief history of the sorority.
Rush week takes place a week after the interest meeting. Rush consists of a week full of social and spiritual activities that give potential members an opportunity to get to know the active Kappa members and to learn more about the sorority. This week also gives the potential members an opportunity to interact and bond with each other.
During rush week this semester, the pledge masters put together a “Meet and Eat” dinner, a movie night and a Mary Kay make-up session given by one of the advisers. The spiritual activities included praise and worship, attending weekday mass and praying the rosary. Each of the pledges was given a hair bow and a rosary that the pledge masters made themselves.
Rush week ends with a “pledge ceremony” where girls pledge the sorority, after this the pledge semester officially begins. During the pledge semester the pledges attend all of the Kappa events and meetings with active members and also have their own “pledge outings.”
“We plan on taking the pledges on “pledge outings” such as going to the movies, bowling, playing mini golf, going to the park, having sleepovers and going shopping,” Mock said.
Pledges also attend their own meetings conducted by the pledge masters, during their pledge meetings they learn more about the history of the sorority, the Kappa prayer and the sorority symbols. During the pledge semester, the pledges are also required to interview each active member separately. This gives the pledges an opportunity to learn more about the actives.
Like panhellenic sororities, Kappa also carries out the “big sis” and “little sis” tradition. The pledges are considered “littles” and the actives are called “bigs.” Each pledge has a big, which is kept a secret until later in the semester. Throughout the pledge semester the pledges receive different secret gifts from their big.
The pledges find out who their “big” is during Induction. Induction is the final step to officially becoming a member of the sorority, this is an over-night event also hosted by the pledge masters. Induction always takes place towards the end of the semester.
Kappa has other traditions similar to those of some Panhellenic sororities. During home football games, Kappa puts out their wooden letters and the girls all sit together by them. Another tradition they carry out are paddles. Both the “littles” and “bigs” decorate paddles for each other; these are typically exchanged in December during the Kappa formal.
“This semester I am most looking forward to the transformation of Kappa,” says Mock, “The new pledges have such great personalities; I cannot wait to watch them grow and blossom through our sorority.”
Currently Kappa is holding a “diaper drive” for their philanthropy. The sorority is asking for donations of baby items, they have boxes set up at various churches around town as well as at the Catholic student center. Later in the semester they will also be working with Habitat for Humanity and are planning a purity retreat for young girls at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Although Kappa Upsilon Sigma is a Catholic based sorority, members are not required to be Catholic. Kappa welcomes girls from all different backgrounds. The next rush week will be held at the beginning of the spring semester. For more information on Kappa or other organizations at St. Mary’s Campus Ministry visit www.sfacatholic.net.
This past Friday, April 20, 2012, the office of multi-cultural affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University put on the 3rd annual project unity step show for the student body. It brought out a crowd of about 1000 people from many different Greek and non-Greek backgrounds.
The show consisted of 3 teams composed of mixed Greek organizations. These organizations were Alpha Phi Alpha and Alpha Chi Omega, Omega Delta Phi and Delta Delta Delta, and Sigma Lambda Beta and Zeta Tau Alpha. Each team worked together to promote greek unity across the SFA campus. The teams practiced for months at a time to put on the performance of their lives in front of a panel of judges that consisted of members of SFA faculty and staff, but the real judges were the people sitting out in the stands.
To start off the show, SFA student, Virginia Durham, sung the national anthem and then the main part of the show began. Alpha Phi Alpha and Alpha Chi Omega started off the show with a performance that was themed Mafia. They began their performance breaking into the bank and stealing the money. Then they were trying to figure out how they were going to get out of the bank without getting caught. Alpha Phi Alpha showed Alpha Chi Omega their way of getting out then Alpha Chi Omega did the reverse. If they were to get caught they had to come up with a way to persuade the cop to let them off. If it was to be a girl cop the boys would serenate them with some risqué dance moves to persuade the woman cop while Alpha Chi Omega chose to seduce the male cop.
Next up to perform was Omega Delta Phi and Delta Delta Delta; they did not have a theme to their performance. So to wow the judges they stepped hard and danced harder. Their steps were together and even the girls from Delta Delta Delta were getting down and stepping just as hard as they boys. Of course they could not leave the stage without wooing the crowd; they put on a tasteful sexual dance that was a crowd pleaser for some.
Last but not least was Sigma Lamda Beta and Zeta Tau Alpha with a theme titled “Stomp the Yard 11.” They were trying out to be in the movie Stomp the Yard in New York City. To show they deserved to be in the movie they stomped their hearts out. Once they made past their audition and they found out they got the part in the movie they went to New York and stepped and of course they could not be left out with the sexual dances.
In between the performance to give the judges a chance to tally up their points and collect their thoughts of each performance they had intermission. During the intermissions there were different performances, Kierra Dixon did her own rendition of Alicia Keys Unthinkable; she had the crowd standing with applause. Then Krumping Slow Dance Organization did a dance routine that had the crowd watching in amazement.
After the deliberation the teams were brought back out and the winners were announced. In second place was Sigma Lambda Beta and Zeta Tau Alpha. They received a trophy as their prize for their performance, in first place was Alpha Phi Alpha and Alpha Chi Omega. They received a larger trophy and a grand prize of $5000 to split between the two organizations equally. Alpha Phi Alpha is now on a 2 year win streak and have hopes of continuing to win for years to come.
“I look forward to this time of the spring semester every year. Stepping is what I live for. Its how i clear my head.” He went on to say,” This unfortunately will be my last stepshow. I am going to retire as step master and pass the torch to one of my younger neophytes. I think I’ve prepared them to bring home another trophy without me,” said Step master, Mario Perez.
Below is a video link of the winning teams step.
College is a transitioning time for most students who are not use to having to be independent and manage their time. When you live on campus you no longer have your parents waking you up for class and telling you to do your chores and homework.
It can be rough adjusting to a new lifestyle but, Lillieanna Young, SFA junior music major, has a busy life and manages it by planning ahead.
She is no stranger to a busy schedule, Young has been in Band since 8th grade. She started marching band in high school and has been in love with music ever since. Her primary instrument is the euphonium.
Being a music major alone is a tough school load. She knew before attending SFA that she would be in college for at least five years. As a music major Young is required to attend an exact number of concerts per semester. She attends practice daily and during Marching season attends outside rehearsals. She attends private lessons with Dr. J.D. Salas.
“I like how private lessons gives you one-on-one time, it helps me (to) know how I’m progressing.” She would like to be able to practice more and is currently finding small ways to squeeze in time between work and classes.
While focusing primarily on her studies, Young also is a Community Assistant at Hall 20. She has been working since her second semester of freshman year. Her Community Assistant duties are getting to know her residents, building a community, program planning and execution, working the Hall Desk and doing administrative task. She has weekly night duty where she is on call from 6 p.m.- 6 a.m. to assure the safety of her residents.
Young is also the president of Sigma Kappa Omega. She is responsible for looking over the Sorority and making sure it runs smoothly. She runs all of the meetings every Monday from 7 – 8:30 p.m. Before meetings, Young sits down and writes an agenda out to be properly prepared before every meeting.
Young also works part-time at the Music Building during concerts. She has a strong work ethic and manages
In her free time Young likes watching TV and hanging out with friends.
“You have to make time to do things you like. It’s difficult sometimes but I try to stay positive,” Young said.
“I have to write out a list of things I need to do in a day. I hardly use my planner, as I never look at it. You should do whatever works for you,” Young said.
There are several different items you can use to prioritize your life such as, a planner, Dry erase boards and Post it notes. Look online to find articles for help on balancing your schedule.
The number one thing is to get a good nights rest. The recommended length is 7-8 hours. When your body and mind are rested you are able to get up the next day and be more productive. Drink plenty of water. A healthy body can help ease tension.
Make sure to take time out for yourself during the day just to breathe. It can help keep stress levels stay low. Sometimes saying no to things that are not a priority is necessary. Plan ahead and write out all the things you have to do in advance to have time to prepare.
Young looks forward to being in the Wind Symphony next semester. She plans on graduating spring 2013 and teaching music or doing audio production.
Young playing, An Die Musik D.547 by Franz Schubert.
Growing up it is common to hear stories about what people did in college. Some are crazy stories, and some are things about what people wish they would have done. There are a lot of new and exciting things to be experienced along the rough road that leads to graduation. For some people it is easy to dive into all of the new things that the college lifestyle throws at them, and for some it may take a little pushing to get them to come out of their shell.
Here is a list of things to maximize the college experience:
College is all about “doing something stupid” and learning from mistakes. So stay up late watching movies with some friends, pull an all-nighter and remember to make some memories along the way. Do not be afraid to be yourself… wear a funky t-shirt of the band you secretly love, and do not be afraid to state your opinion in class…part of college is learning not to care so much about what other people think – it builds confidence and character, which is a necessary part of growing up.
The Sigmas Give Back
Sigma Kappa Omega is helping an organization called Headstart. Headstart is a school for primarily underprivileged children. Headstart supports children by preparing them for kindergarten and helping them receive the supplies they need to be successful. The Sigmas are helping Headstart by holding programs and donating to the children. “I really have a soft spot for underprivileged children because I was considered to have an underprivileged childhood,” said Jordanne Nemons, the Vice President of Sigma Kappa Omega. “I really wanted to get involved and show those children attention.”
Nemons and the Director of Headstart, Mr. Beard, are collaborating together to do a few activities to benefit the children. The first activity is Oct.25, and the sorority is participating in a family game night. It will take place in the back parking lot of the Headstart School from 3-7 p.m.“It will consist of different booths that will have specific activities for family members of all ages to participate in,” Nemons said. “The main focus of the event is to give families the opportunity to interact with each other.”
The event at Headstart went smoothly. The Sigmas came ready to entertain and give the children and wonderful evening of fun. Two guys were dressed as clowns who took pictures with the children. There was a DJ who played songs like ‘Move It’ from the children’s movie Madagascar. The volunteer SFA 101 students also came to help. There was a good turn out of parents and their children.
The Sigmas had three booths set up. They had a balloon animal/hat station worked by three girls. There was a high demand for balloon hats and the Sigmas enjoyed seeing the majority of children wearing their hats. “I’ve never made one before, it was hard but cool seeing the kids wearing the hats, “said Lillieanna Young the Sigma Kappa Omega President.
A baby pool full of water with toy fishes inside it so that the children could fish and win prizes. Some children came back to play in the water several times through the evening. The prizes ran from mermaid and fairy wands to army soldiers and action figures. They spent their own money and time on the event.
The last booth was face painting. The sky was the limit for designs, the Sigmas were willing to try and paint whatever the children wanted. They received request of everything from pumpkins to butterflies. With three packs of face paint the Sigmas were prepared for the mass of children the rushed the table.
This December, the Sigmas, will be putting on an Angels program at the Village as a joint event for Nemons, who is also a community assistant. “The angel tree program is designed to get the local SFA Community involved in the Nacogdoches community through Headstart,” said Nemons. The students will get an angel off the tree, which represents a child from Headstart, and purchase a few gifts as Christmas presents.
In addition to contributing to the Headstart program, the Sorority also has events for their philanthropy, which is Alzheimer’s. Every October the Sigmas do a walk for the cure in which they invite the Beta Chapter at SHSU, family, friends and members of the community to come support their philanthropy. The Sigmas also put on various fundraisers to support their cause like bake sales, trash pickups and raffles.
This years walk, the Sigmas were joined by their sorority advisor Jill Milem, Asst. Dir. Counseling services. They wore their new Alzheimer’s shirt proudly and even got a few request to purchase. The Sigmas were not allowed to sell shirts at the walk due to the other official shirts being sold.
Alzheimer’s’ is a progressive form of prehensile dementia that is similar to senile dementia except it usually starts in the 40s or 50s; first symptoms are impaired memory which is followed by impaired thought and speech and finally complete helplessness.
This year they want to try something new that could potentially bring in a lot of donations. The philanthropy and fundraising chair, Nyeisha Anderson, came up with the idea to have a t-shirt sale during the first meeting of the semester. For the first time the Sigmas will be doing a campus wide t-shirt sale. They are gathering sponsors for the sale for the fight against Alzheimer’s.
The Sigmas are asking organizations and businesses around Nacogdoches to help them support their cause and donate. Driving Jacks, Chilly Fillmore’s, Brookshire Brothers, and Old Town Store are a few of organizations who have signed on to sponsor the T-shirt sale. All of the proceeds will be going to towards the fight for Alzheimer’s. All of the sponsors who have been asked to participate will be giving their donations by Friday, Sept.23.
The Alzheimer’s shirt sale was from 11 a.m.-2p.m. The week of Oct.17, in front of the BPSC. The shirts are $8 and have the Alzheimer’s symbol in the front with the words “Support Alzheimers.” On the back is their organizations name and all the sponsors. They also sold shirts outside of Brookshire brothers that Friday. They will be selling the shirts again this semester and it will be more geared towards the organizations that supported the Sigmas. Any left over shirts will be sold the following year.
The Sigma Kappa Omega sorority is a small social sorority founded in November 2001, at Stephen F. Austin State University. The Sigma sisters hold socials within themselves and their Beta Chapter at Sam Houston State University. Their goal is to support local communities and help the Alzheimer’s Association whose mission is, ”To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.” They also participate in Adopt-A-Highway. This consists of cleaning up their highway, located on Austin Street, twice a semester.
While relatively new, the Sigmas are starting to make a name for themselves in their community by helping organizations on and off-campus.