by Veronica L. McClendon
What was once a local sorority named Phi Theta Chi founded in 1992 will soon be a chapter of the international sorority Phi Sigma Sigma, founded in 1913.
Phi Theta Chi was founded by seven women with a belief in creating something positive within a group, and also a Greek system.
Phi Sigma Sigma began when 10 women who were best friends wanted to be sisters as well. The problem with the other sororities was all the women were from different religious backgrounds and were not allowed to all be in the same sorority.
Phi Theta Chi has been reviewing their options and investigating national sororities for about a year. “The Baird’s Manual,” which is a book that has the 26 National Panhellenic sororities listed was used by the members during the investigation process, said Christina Tejeda president of the Phi Sigma Sigma.
Sigma Kappa was eliminated because there is already a chapter on the ULV campus, and Alpha Delta Pi was eliminated because there was a chapter on campus in the past.
The women of Phi Theta Chi then did research on the remaining 24 national sororities and then narrowed it down to 10 choices. Letters were sent to the remaining sororities and in return they received about five responses. From this point they narrowed it down to two sororities, Phi Sigma Sigma and Alpha Sigma Tau.
Both of these sororities came to the University of La Verne and presented what they had to offer to the members of Phi Theta Chi. Greek presidents, Greek advisers, President Stephen Morgan and other administrators were invited by Phi Theta Chi to attend the presentations.
After reviewing both sororities the women then took a vote and Phi Sigma Sigma was selected.
“This was a very long process, but we wanted to be very careful that who we picked is right for us,” said Tejeda of what the process of going international entailed.
Alma Barrera, a Phi Theta Chi member for the past year and a half, said, “I am very optimistic about the growth and the new changes that they will soon undergo.”
The sorority undergoes many changes including accepting a new color, letter and flower. They also have to change their Constitution because they can no longer abide by their local constitution.
A few things did not change at all. “We are still going to be the same group of women around campus. Our beliefs, values and morals are still the same,” said Tejeda. “We even have one of the same mottos, ‘Aim High.’ How ironic.”
The Phi Sigma Sigma colony has a new philanthropy – the National Kidney Foundation which supports kidney treatment and research. Kidney disease was the leading killer of women when Phi Sigma Sigma was founded. The Phi Sigma Sigma colony will be able to keep their local philanthropy by working with all children. They allowed them to keep a lot of their local traditions which are important to them.
Now that Phi Theta Chi is going national, there will be tremendous benefits. The group will have a strong alumnae foundation as well as more direction.
Junior Veronica Mendez, a sorority member, said, “I think it is great that we are going international because we are expanding ourselves.”
At the present time, the sorority is still colony that will have to develop into a successful colony before it becomes a initiated as a chapter.
Kenia Mangallanes, a sophomore member of the Phi Sigma Sigma colony, who pledged last semester said, “I am very excited about going national. I will have sisters not only nationwide but internationally. We have some chapters in Canada also.”
She went on to say that she is going to like the benefits that the alumnae receive. “My sisterhood will not end once I graduate; I will go on and participate in the alumnae chapters,” said Mangallanes.
Members of the Phi Sigma Sigma colony said they owe their success to all of the Greeks organizations on campus.