Happy Founders’ Day, Sigma K!

sk_founders_lg142 years, almost a century and a half ago, Sigma Kappa was founded at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.  Mary Caffery Low, the first female student admitted into Colby, Elizabeth Gorham Hoag, Ida Fuller Pierce, Frances Mann Hall, and Louise Helen Coburn started a literary and social society that has morphed itself into a nationwide organization.

November 9, 1874: the official founding of Sigma Kappa.  Every year, on it’s anniversary, we celebrate the start of the sorority that brought us our best friends and sisters. This year, we celebrated at the Peachtree event center with a luncheon.  Girls celebrated individually by posting pictures of the friends they’ve made in Sigma Kappa.

A huge thank you to Mary, Elizabeth, Ida, Frances, and Louise for bringing Sigma Kappa into our lives!

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Go Greek – Go Sigma Kappa

Formal Registration has officially opened for potential new members this fall! We encourage everyone to sign up so that you may find a home just like the one we’ve found in Sigma Kappa!

From Vice President of Membership Rachel Szopa:

We are excited for new members because they are our future best friends, our future roommates, our future littles, and our future chapter leaders. When I am with my sisters, I can look around the room and see incredibly strong women doing amazing things with their lives, and I am so eager to add more women to that group.

Recruitment is a time when our entire chapter comes together to find our new sisters. It’s a time for us to bond, have fun and find women who we believe in and want to become the future of Sigma Kappa. During recruitment and work week before it, we truly get to open up and talk about our values of personal growth, loyalty, friendship, and service. We think about how we live those values in our daily lives and how we can share those values with the women going through recruitment.

As Vice President of Membership, I am most looking forward to seeing the connections made among my sisters during work week. I have a lot of fun activities and bonding games planned, and I hope the chapter loves them.
And of course, I can’t wait to see all the wonderful women who will run home to 908 Curtis Avenue on Bid Day!
Sign up for recruitment here.  We can’t wait to see you all in the fall!
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Not Just 4 Years, But For Life

This last week has been full of tears, see-ya-laters, laughs, and hugs. Soon, the seniors will be leaving us, and because of that, we look back to where it all began.

2012 was the year that President Obama was reelected, the world was supposed to end, and the Epsilon Mu chapter of Sigma Kappa was recolonized at the University of Missouri. Now, four years later, those colony class members are preparing to graduate and leave behind their legacy.

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“It has been inspiring and incredibly moving to see how Sigma Kappa has developed and transformed into the amazing sorority that it is. It has taught me a lot about life and how young women can make a difference,” Nikki Raaf said.

The first women that joined this chapter built the foundation to allow it to grow.

“Sometimes the path less traveled is the best path. I want girls to know that everything happens for a reason, and the most diverse girls can coexist and grow together through Sigma Kappa,” Olivia Dobard said.

Although they didn’t know how successful the recolonizing would be, they decided to give it a try and found that it is the best place to be able to grow while in college.

“I met amazing girls during the process and was so excited to start a new chapter that we could claim as our own. It was inspiring to see all of these women stand up to the challenge of colonizing and making Sigma Kappa the incredible sorority that it is,” Raaf said.

Over the last four years, the Epsilon Mu chapter has grown to 300 members, placed in Greek Week and Homecoming events, and become the #1 fundraising Sigma Kappa chapter in the nation for the Alzheimer’s Association.

“We have this great house, we’ve won awards, and we’ve raised over $60,000 for Alzheimer’s this year alone. We’ve become so strong, and it makes me proud to know I’m a part of it,” Madeline Davis said.

Those achievements are only a part of what the senior class hopes will be the legacy they leave behind.

“I hope we inspired those to follow that they can do anything they set their minds to, and their sisters will always be there to support them,” Haley Hughes said.

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Thank you, seniors, for everything you did for our amazing chapter! You will be missed!

Check out the slideshow of memories from the last four years:

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Why Sigma Kappa?

As we prepare to welcome a new group of wonderful women into our sisterhood this week, three sisters look back on the reasons why they have found Sigma Kappa to be their home.  Here’s what they have to say:

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Haley (left) and her big, Alli!

I chose Sigma Kappa because it helped me feel as though I was a part of something bigger than myself. I have always felt the desire to be involved and I enjoy meeting people so I thought that joining a sorority would be a great opportunity for me. Through joining Sigma Kappa, I feel as though I have already become more of the individual I want to be due to the friendship and advice of the fabulous women in this sorority. During recruitment, I looked forward to coming to Sigma Kappa because each day when girls would ask me about my interests and involvement in high school, each individual I spoke to would have a recommendation for which organizations I should join on campus and what activities I could participate in to help me find my niche at Mizzou. These little snippets of advice from these women had such a positive influence on my recruitment and college experience right from the start. I was touched by the fact that these girls that I would have 10-20 minute conversations with were so compassionate and eager to help me feel comfortable and accepted on campus before I even was invited to join their sisterhood. I am so happy I did choose to join this sisterhood because through it I have met so many beautiful people, both inside and out, and have already learned so much that I know will stick with me forever.

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Haley and her sister, Rachel!

My older sister is also a Sigma Kappa here at Mizzou and getting to share in this experience with her has meant so much to me.  Immediately after accepting my bid, I met my 3 wonderful roommates for next year (hi Sam, Lexi and Kaitlyn!) who are all so incredible each in their own way and who have taught me so much about life, friendship and following my passions. I could not be more grateful for their presence in my life or for my gem of a big. Even on my first heart sister date with Alli before she was my big she was encouraging me to get involved and push my comfort zone. She’s an amazing motivator and an even better friend and I know I can turn to her for advice on just about anything. These

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Haley and her future roommates, Kaitlyn, Sam, and Lexi!

people are just a few examples of the amazing women that are Sigma Kappa at Mizzou. I honestly can’t imagine my college experience without them, nor would I want to. If you’re looking for genuine, kind-hearted, fun-loving friends and sisters alike, look no further because Sigma Kappa is everything a girl could ever hope for in a sorority.

-Haley Rost, Fall 2015 Pledge Class

 

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Alex (left) and her sister, Georgi!

Coming to Mizzou from San Diego, I had no idea what Greek life was about. I wasn’t sure whether joining a sorority was right for me, so I waited a semester, and I got to know amazing girls in each of the houses on campus. When I went through informal recruitment, how did I know which house was right for me?

I tell this story a lot, because it’s the best way to explain that feeling of “These are my people!” that I got from Sigma Kappa. I was visiting friends in another dorm, and in the elevator I saw a girl wearing a sweatshirt with SK letters on it. I couldn’t help but ask- “Hey! You’re in Sigma Kappa? I’m really interested in joining this spring if you’re doing informal recruitment!” And she gave me huge, genuine smile and starting talking excitedly about how much she loves her sisters and service, and helped me find out how to attend the recruitment events. She treated me like a sister before she even knew whether I would be. That was the sisterhood I wanted.

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The Spring 2014 COB pledge class!

Fast forward a few weeks, and suddenly I there I was, surrounded by women I clicked with right away and a house that was excited to welcome me into everything. It was unbelievable. Within a week I was dancing on the RAMS dance team (they made a space for me even though tryouts had already taken place before I joined), signed up for the Sigma Kappa team for Dance Marathon, involved in the philanthropy committee, and going to Dobbs for all-you-can-eat T-ravs with my pledge class. I have never met a more genuine, supportive, beautiful, hilarious, inspiring group of women, and I would do it all over again (and I wish I could, because I still can’t accept that I’m almost a senior).

-Alex Gnibus, Spring 2014 Pledge Class

 

Over the last two years, Sigma Kappa has given me many things to be thankful for: great friends, service opportunities, leadership opportunities, and a family.

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Rylee and her aunt, Kelly!

Going Greek was one of the best decisions that I’ve made so far at Mizzou.  I’ve grown closer to my mom, who was in another Greek chapter, and my aunt, who was also a Sigma Kappa.  Although it may seem cliche, it gives us a different type of bond since we can share in the sisterhood together.

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Rylee and her friends, Sabrina, Marin, and Hannah!

I’ve met my best friends through this chapter.  Even though we’ve only known each other for a year and a half, I feel like I’ve known them my whole life.  We love to dance and laugh around our room, eat lots of Chick-fil-A, and watch Horrible Bosses until we know each line by heart.  Sigma Kappa is filled with such a diverse group of girls, and in my opinion, that’s what makes it so welcoming.  Everyone can find a friend here at SK.

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Rylee with her big, Claire, and little, Kaitlin!

And I can’t forget my big and my little.  These two have given me more than a friendship.  We’re family.  From hanging out and watching movies to getting swiped into the dining halls, these two are the two most amazing people I’ve met so far.  I couldn’t imagine my experience in Sigma Kappa or at Mizzou without these two!  They help to make this place my home away from home!

-Rylee Stoulil, Fall 2014 Pledge Class

 

Welcome to the SKouse!

908 Curtis Ave is much more than a place to live for the ladies of Sigma Kappa.  It’s home: a place to laugh, relax, and spend time with each other.

Every single day, a sister can be found on the couch, in the dining room, or in the study room.  There’s never a shortage of fun things to do at the SKouse!

“I’ve really enjoyed getting closer to the women in my pledge class,” Emily Keys said.

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There’s great food, and out of house women can even come to enjoy a meal.

“I love that I can come and eat and I can go up for as many rounds of food as I want.  I also like that I can come here to take a nap, but there’s also always someone around to talk to,” Lily Gorman said.

66 women live in the Sigma Kappa house.  Each room is home to four sisters, except for the Presidential Suite, where only two women live.  The rooms line the halls, making it easy to go from room to room.

“I like that I can always borrow someone else’s clothes,” Claire Chisholm said.

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Taking Back Beauty Week

In honor of Taking Back Beauty Week, we have a guest post from our Public Relations Chair, Alex Gnibus, about getting inspired by Sigma Kappa and the Mizzou PHA community to be more confident about self-image! For more information about Taking Back Beauty Week, visit greeklife.missouri.edu/pha.


When I was in sixth grade, a guy told me that girls couldn’t be both smart and beautiful.

You’re probably thinking I was like, “Lol no.” You’re probably thinking, “Wow, Alex, why would you even let that punk say such an astronomically idiotic thing?” But the truth is that it was middle school, and middle school tends to do things to a girl’s confidence. So what that guy said stuck with me, and it even made sense to me, just like those triangle diagrams you’ve totally seen before:

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By the time I got to high school, I was fully convinced in my head that girls truly couldn’t be everything, that if you wanted people to see you as beautiful, you had to be a certain personality and wear a certain amount of makeup and dress a certain way. My world had somehow planted in my brain the stupid concept that girls had to fit into either the “intelligent” category or the “beautiful” category, and that it was impossible to be everything that you wanted to be– you had to pick and choose. I cannot describe how confusing it was going through middle school and high school wondering why we even had to deal with these perceptions. Why did girls give anyone the right to make them feel less than beautiful?

Then came college, and with it, Sigma Kappa.

Greek life has a stereotype of objectifying women, of placing too much emphasis on looks and superficiality. I’m not going to lie and say that these things don’t happen in Greek systems, and even in the one I am a part of. But I’m here to tell you that the Panhellenic community here at Mizzou goes beyond the stereotypical. Way beyond.

Throughout my time in Sigma Kappa, I have met members of the PHA community both inside and outside of my chapter, and I am humbled by what these women do. They have shown me that a girl can be intelligent and kind and and loving and caring and loyal and ambitious and selfless, and beautiful. A girl can go on international service trips and build schools and be on dance teams and raise money for important causes and pursue every kind of dream, from nursing to advertising, and be beautiful. A girl can be anything and everything, and be beautiful. Categories don’t exist. Everyone is beautiful. 

It was like glass walls had been built up in my mind my whole life, and my fellow sorority women were running at those walls and shattering them every day (with perfectly manicured, flash-tattoed hands, no less).

At the huge risk of sounding corny, it’s because of Sigma Kappa that I found the confidence and self-image to reach for bigger, and to reach beyond myself. My Sigma Kappa sisters have encouraged me to try everything — I auditioned to dance in RAMS, and I have danced for every RAMS, Homecoming, and Greek Week ever since. I set (and reached!) my goal of getting a 4.0 GPA. I ran for an officer position and became more of a leader than I ever thought myself capable of. I got a grand-big, a big, a little, and now a grand-little, all of whom have taught me everything imaginable about the unconditional love and support you can have for others. I participated in Mizzou Alternative Breaks, Dance Marathon, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and endless other service opportunities that my sorority values so much.

From the moment I accepted my bid to Sigma Kappa, I was literally dancing through every day, feeling more like myself and more proud to be a woman than ever. And beautiful.

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I did mean dancing literally!

It’s been said that you are who you surround yourself with, and I am so grateful to be surrounded by some of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met. Because of Sigma Kappa, I found the confidence to become who I want to become, and I no longer worry about what I should and shouldn’t do just because I’m a woman. We’re all beautiful and intelligent and emotionally stable (for the most part, at least, until homecoming rolls around!) We are more than categories and more than triangle diagrams that try to tell us we have to be anything other than ourselves in order to be beautiful. We have the potential to change the world in so many more ways than we think possible, if we only just break through the noise around us telling us any differently. And if all women support each other the way my sorority has supported me, we can all take back the confidence to be everything. Because we are everything. And beautiful.

Xoxo,

Alex

Our Core Values: Personal Growth

Emily Chu talks about our third core value, Personal Growth.


It is difficult to put  all of the experiences I have had in only two years of being a Sigma Kappa into words. I have been privileged to be a part of a variety of volunteer and fundraising opportunities, socials, Mizzou homecoming, and so much more. I have had to learn a lot of time-management in my time at Mizzou. I am proud to be a Sigma Kappa and to be one of the three hundred women working hard to reach our goals. As the chapter has grown in members and accomplishments, I have also felt a change in my own personal growth. I feel a part of something larger than myself, which has given me responsibilities to become a better person, not just for myself, but for the girls I call sisters.

Throughout my life, personal growth has been very important to me. I have always held myself to high personal standards and have strived to become a well-rounded individual. Before college, I had no close connections to Greek life and I was unsure if sorority life would be for me. However, I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. Even though I came from an all-girl high school where I felt I had learned to become independent and outgoing, Sigma Kappa instilled these qualities within me even more. After joining Sigma Kappa, I realize how vital active participation and giving back to the community is. The intelligent and driven girls around me are always so busy doing everything it takes to accomplish their goals. It inspires me to work harder and do more for others.

I have also learned that Sigma Kappa is much more than a resume builder or an extracurricular activity. Sigma Kappa teaches me to take a break and recognize how lucky I am to be around so many amazing people. I get so wrapped up in my own world of school and planning out my future, I forget how much I should be enjoying the here and now. When I look back, I won’t remember the projects and assignments, but I will remember the sisterhood retreat where we all got covered in paint in the middle of a sunny park. I came home with my white Sigma Kappa t-shirt soaked in color and a smile on my face. It was one of my favorite college memories because I felt surrounded by people who cared about each other. I’ve learned to focus on what is important. Sigma Kappa reminds me that even when I feel too stressed or too busy to meet up with my sorority family or run and grab coffee with a sister, I must make time for the people who matter.

Being surround by three hundred girls has taught me to not only focus on myself but to focus on those around me. Even when I feel like college and life can be overwhelming, I am reminded by my sisters that others understand the same battles and struggles. It’s not easy figuring out who you are or who you want to be in life, but through Sigma Kappa I am learning how to handle these responsibilities and grow as a person.