Thankful November

Thankful November

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You may have noticed on your Facebook or Twitter news feed that many are taking part in “Thankful November.” It’s pretty self-explanatory … you just make a status/tweet about what you’re thankful for on each day in November. I think it’s really important in such a busy world to remember to stop and think about all the things that make you fortunate. Some of my friends have posted about their parents, friends, siblings, boyfriends, girlfriends, hardships, happiness, education and sorority … so many things!

I’m taking part in this challenge and sometimes it’s a little difficult to sit down and actually think about your life. I mean, there are so many things to be thankful for each day, little things and big things too, but it’s almost harder to narrow it down to just one. I’m going to leave you with a few examples of what myself and/or my friends have been thankful for in the past two weeks or so.

  • Today I’m thankful for my education. So many people in this country don’t finish high school, much less finish college or plan to go to graduate school. I’m thankful that my family is fortunate enough to be able to send me to Mount Union. I’m also thankful for the professors here that have pushed me to do my best in all my classes.
  • I’m thankful for the opportunities that have been given to me ♥ … I have the ability to travel and live in some of the most beautiful places, attend a variety of schools and experience a lifestyle not many will ever get the chance to. ♥
  • I’m thankful for all the troops fighting for our country’s safety.
  • Today, I’m thankful for the beautiful sunshine. It’s not often that we’re able to drive with the windows down well into November in Ohio, so I’m appreciating it today.
  • Today I’m thankful for sorority. Never have I met another more wonderful group of women who genuinely care for each other as these women do. Every time I walk into that house, I feel a warmth wash over me and I know that I’m home. I love knowing that around every turn on campus, I’ll have a friendly face to say hi to. These women accept everyone for who they are with no questions asked, no judgments made.
  • I’m thankful for my parents and all they have done/given up for me. I know everyday that I am number one in their lives and that means the world to me. I love you, mom and dad!

Who’s that New Girl?

Who’s that New Girl?

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Hello everyone! My name is Alyssa Greenwell.  I am so glad that you decided to read my blog as I think that overtime it will provide you with a pretty good picture of what it is like here at the wonderful place called Mount Union.  But first, I think I should tell you a little bit about myself, so you can hopefully come to understand my love for Mount and true pride of being a Purple Raider.

I am from Canton, which is pretty much Alliance’s neighbor as Canton is only about 20 minutes away.  I graduated from GlenOak High School at the top of my class, taking part in varsity volleyball as well as many extracurricular activities.  I have one younger brother who is a senior this year and is currently in the process of making one of the most difficult decisions in the early years of life – where to go to college.  Like him, many of you reading this blog, are facing that choice as well.  I only hope this blog will play a role in your decision.  In my spare time I enjoy spending time with friends and family, being active, watching movies, reading and volunteering.

Getting involved and helping others has been two major standards in my life.  I enjoy taking part in all sorts of volunteer activities, helping out whenever needed and giving back to the community in any way possible.  I believe that kindness and a helping hand are two of the greatest gifts you can give to another.  I love to know that I am making a difference.

Here at Mount Union, I am currently a sophomore majoring in biochemistry with a minor in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience.  Since stepping foot on campus, I have involved myself in many different clubs and organizations on campus including Delta Sigma Tau sorority, Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed service fraternity), American Chemical Society, Sophomore Service Honorary, Alpha Lambda Delta, student worker in the Office of the President and I most recently joined the Relay for Life executive committee. I am sure there will be many blogs to come about the organizations I am involved in!

I have met many new people here on campus as well as developed good relationships with faculty and staff members.  In my opinion, Mount Union is the best place to spend your college experience.  I truly love it here, as you will see in my future blogs, so stay tuned for more!  I only hope you will continue to read as I will be writing on a variety of topics which I am sure will catch your interest.

New Kid on the Block

New Kid on the Block

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Hello! My name is Kaitlin Jeffreys and I’d like to introduce myself so you can get to know who’s helping you get to know the world of Mount Union! Before we get to where I am now, let’s start with from where I’m from.

I’m from Amherst, a pretty small city (about half the size of Alliance) just west of Cleveland. I’ve lived there my entire life and if you ask my mom, she’ll tell you that I’ll live there the rest of my life (which may or may not be true). It’s as close to Utopia as I’ve ever found. My family is a major part of my life. My brother is in the Air Force, so it’s just my mom, dad and me, and it has been that way for quite a few years now. In high school … well, all throughout my life for that matter, I was a swimmer. I lived, breathed, ate and drank swimming. If you had told me that I would go to college and NOT continue to swim, I would’ve told you that you were crazy.

I came to Mount Union on a rainy fall day during my junior year because I was looking at the swim team. Instead of falling for swimming, as I had planned, I fell for the beauty of this campus. The way it made me feel was like I’d lived here for years, but it was the first time I had set foot on the campus. I was weak in the knees for Chapman Hall. I was left fluttering over the quad and my heart beat faster when I first glanced at the Campus Lakes. Since then, my relationship with the campus has only grown.

Now, a little bit about myself and my life at this beautiful place… I’m a psychology major and have minors in intervention specialist (which I know, doesn’t sound like proper English, but it is) and sociology. I actually just switched most of that around last year as I previously was majoring in intervention specialist (special education) and had just one minor in psychology. I realized having a psychology degree would open up more doors into the field I actually want to pursue. Off of that, you should know that I have a deep passion for working with individuals with autism. I had an internship at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism the summer after my freshman year and my interest has continued to grow. I’ll talk more about that in a future blog, so stay tuned.

I’m also involved in a few organizations on campus. Alpha Phi Omega (which we call APO) was my first love when I came here. APO is a co-ed service fraternity that offers wonderful opportunities to serve the campus, community and even wider areas. I’m also a member of Delta Sigma Tau, one of the sororities on campus, and have found yet another family. The final major thing I do, aside from going to class of course, is help with planning Relay for Life on campus. I served on the planning committee as the team development co-chair. I’m sure there will be a blog in the future about this too!

I think that’s it for me. I hope that you will come back and read again in the future and get to know me better. I’ll be writing about a wide range of things that hopefully you will find interesting!

Circle of Sisterhood

Circle of Sisterhood

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This past Monday, all sorority women on campus had the pleasure of going to listen to a very special someone speak. Michelle Marchand Rebholz , an alumnus of Mount Union and member of Alpha Xi Delta, spoke about something very special she is doing now with her life. She’s a Greek life coordinator at Lehigh University. Michelle dedicates her time and talents to being a fraternity and sorority professional who has a passion for traveling, food, running and advocating for those in need.

Michelle came to Mount Union to introduce us to something called the “Circle of Sisterhood Foundation.” The Circle of Sisterhood Foundation was founded by a lady named Jennie Caroll. Jennie wanted to start this organization to bring all sorority women all over the world together in an effort to “pay it forward” and help the less fortunate and uneducated women of the world. Sororities help women every day by supporting their educational experiences and teaching them to give back to the campus and community through service and philanthropy. When Jennie started this foundation nearly a year ago (April 19, 2010), she had no idea how it would take off. “Educating girls is one of the most effective ways to get rid of poverty,” Michelle stated. Through this foundation, sorority women from all over are given the chance to make a difference in the lives of all women. Michelle told a story of a young girl names Sri Raff, who is a confident Cambodian teenager who was handed over to gangsters and sold into a brothel. A social worker eventually helped to save Sri and helped to give her an education so she could start her life over. If every sorority women contributes and does something, we could do things like that for women who suffer from oppression and poverty all over the world. After almost year of assistance, the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation has raised $20,000 and already approved several grants.Learn more about Michelle and what she is doing to support to the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation. As Michelle wrapped up her speech to the sorority women of Mount Union, all she asked was that we try and do something and pay it forward. So as a sister of one the sororities here on campus, I know I will continue to give back and try and make a difference however I can because that’s what being in a sorority is all about. Michelle ended with a very famous quote and statement for all of us to reflect on: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” So I say to anyone, in sorority or not, make a change and pay it forward somehow.

New Members!

New Members!

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Last week was super busy for the new sisters of Alpha Chi Omega who received open bids from the chapter this semester. Last week was “Initiation Week,” which consists of a number of different ceremonies, ending with the initiation of the new members. While last week was chaotic and very busy, it was also really fun. The new girls finally got their bigs, which is one of the most exciting things about being in a sorority! A big is a kind of like your “mom” in the sorority. The new girls get to preference girls who they might want to have as their bigs. And, the older girls who want to be a big, preference girls they might want as their littles. Once they are matched up, there is a reveal night for the bigs and littles. This was an awesome thing for me last semester when I received my big.

The week before you find out who your big is, she will send you clues and leave fun stuff in your mailbox to try and give you a hint on who your big might be. But, in most cases, they just trick you more than actually helping you figure out who it is. That is exactly what my big did. She had me thinking she got another girl for her little, and was giving me all of this false information that really led me to believe it wasn’t her. So, on my big/little reveal night, when I found out it was her, I was really shocked and it was awesome! Big/ little reveal is a great night! It’s really something special for the new girls, because they are finally a part of the “family,” and it’s the start of great friendships!

Congratulations to Jenna Balasz, Casey Bauman, Ashlee Brim, Gina Bonnett, Megan Saunders and Lauren Zimmerman, who finally received their bigs this week and are officially members of Alpha Chi Omega!

A night to remember

A night to remember

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What was even better about initiation week was what happened at the very end of the week. Last night, Alpha Chi Omega hosted their formal at the Quarry, a golf course in Canton, Ohio. Since my big is the social chair and was in charge of planning this event, I got to see exactly what all goes into planning an event like this. A formal event for a sorority is similar to a prom in high school. Preparation for something like this happens months before the event. The social chair is in charge of finding and reserving the location to host the event, booking the DJ, figuring out the means of transportation, planning meals, decorations, etc. As you can imagine, there is a lot of hard work and time that is put into making something like this run smoothly. After last night, seeing how it all came together, I don’t think that it could have been any better than it was.  I would like to make a shout out to my big, miss Carolyn Bondra, for all of her hard work, time and dedication that she put into making formal for the sisters of Alpha Chi Omega amazing! This was the last formal for 19 of our sisters who will be graduating in almost one month, and I know they would all agree with me in saying that it was definitely a night to remember!

“It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life.” ~Green Day

Letters Today… Leaders Tomorrow

Letters Today… Leaders Tomorrow

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Being a part of a sorority is something that you can never understand until you are a part of it. I am so proud to be a sister of Alpha Chi Omega here at Mount Union. Tonight, all the Greeks in the Mount Union community came together to celebrate the 18th Annual Greek Awards in the Mount Union Theatre, which was put on by the Order of Omega. The sister’s of Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Xi Delta and Delta Sigma Tau were all in attendance along with the brothers of Alpha Tau Omega, Phi Kappa Tau, Sigma Nu and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

The Greek Awards were developed in honor of all accomplishments the fraternity men and women have made here on Mount Union’s campus in the past year, whether it be for their own philanthropy, the community or the campus in general.

Chapter awards included:

  • -Highest New Member Class GPA
  • -Highest Chapter GPA
  • -Most Improved GPA
  • -Excellence in Scholarship Programming
  • -Excellence in Campus and Community Service
  • -Excellence in Campus Involvement and Leadership
  • -Excellence in Chapter Programs
  • -Excellence in Recruitment
  • -Improvement in Risk Management
  • -Excellence in Alumni/ae and Parent Relations
  • -Most Improved Chapter
  • -Chapter of Excellence Awards

There were also several other awards that were presented to Greeks involved in different organizations such as Infraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, recruitment counselors, GAMMA, Up ’til Dawn, New Member Academy and Order of Omega.

One particular award that was very meaningful to a lot of the brothers and sisters was the brotherhood and sisterhood awards that were given to one person in each chapter. This award is given to a brother and sister who has shown years of dedication, participation, involvement and commitment to their respective chapters, while taking on many different leadership roles and positions and constantly showing what it means to be a sister and a brother.

The awards did not stop there though. Other individual awards included Outstanding Faculty Award, Advisor of the Year, Outstanding Governing Board Officer, Outstanding Chapter President, Fraternal Values Award, Outstanding Senior Sorority Woman and Outstanding Senior Fraternity Man. All of these awards were given to the best of the best in the Greek community here on campus. These amazing young men and women are great examples of the leaders that every student should aspire to be. I have been in Alpha Chi Omega for almost two semesters now, and I have already learned so much about myself and the kind of person that I want to be. Being a part of Alpha Chi has guided me through many obstacles and struggles, while teaching me what it means to be a sister and a leader. The Greek community here at Mount Union is truly amazing and an honor to be a part of!

From the outside looking in, you can never understand it. From the inside looking out, you can never explain it.”

Greek Unity

Greek Unity

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The Alpha Chi Omega sorority that I am a member of is just one of four different sororities here on Mount Union’s campus. Each sorority on campus has a different philanthropy, and Alpha Chi’s is Woman’s Domestic Violence Shelter in Alliance. The main fundraiser that Alpha Chi has to support our philanthropy is the wings of Alpha Chi event. This event was held this past Wednesday, March 2, in Campus Grounds of the Hoover-Price Campus Center. The event lasted from 4-7 p.m., and was open to anyone who was hungry for wings! For the small price of only $7, your wing ticket gave you access to 12 barbecue and/or hot wings, an unlimited drink and a raffle ticket.

Some of the members of Alpha Chi Omega went around to local businesses here in Alliance and received donations to auction off in the raffle. Some of the great raffle prizes included Sun Beam Tanning gift certificates, movie/ date night basket with a Texas Roadhouse gift card and lots of Cleveland Browns sports goodies! Some of my fellow sisters also made cupcakes and other baked goods for the event. These sweets were sold for only .50 cents each and helped raise a lot of money for our philanthropy. Overall, the event turned out great! It was nice to see people from all the different sororities and fraternities there to support us! It is great when the Greek community can really come together and support each other!

The Wings of Alpha Chi Event was not the only time this week that the Greek community came together to support one another! On Monday March 1, the sisters of Alpha Xi Delta put on an event at the local Applebee’s here in Alliance, called “Dine and Donate.” This event helped support the Alpha Xi Delta chapter here at Mount Union! And, all you had to do was go to Applebee between 4-9 p.m. and order your favorite Applebee’s dish, show the Dine to Donate flyer to your server, and automatically 15% of each check went to their chapter! This event brought in a lot of other men and women from the Greek community, and really showed how well the Greek Community can come together to support one another. The event received a wonderful turn out by not only the Greek Community, but the whole Mount Union community as well! That is just one of many ways the University of Mount Union shows support and unity throughout our campus.

Who is Alexa?

Who is Alexa?

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Hello! My name is Alexa Rae Farmerie, and I am currently a sophomore here at the University of Mount Union majoring in early childhood education and minoring in psychology. I am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and am the oldest of three children. I have been a cheerleader for a good portion of my life and still continue to cheer on the Purple Raiders here at Mount Union! I am also a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, Preview and Orientation staff, Student Nation Education Association (SNEA), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol. I love to hang out with my family and friends, workout, play sports and participate in all kinds of campus activities! I am in love with country music and would one day love to meet Kenny Chesney!

Here is a quote from one of my idols, Audrey Hepburn, which really inspires me:

“I believe to not to live for the day, that would be materialistic — but to treasure the day. I realize that most of us live on the skin — on the surface — without appreciating just how wonderful it is simply to be alive at all.”

Audrey Hepburn ♥