Alpha Phi welcomes their founding members

Story by Madalyn Watson | Staff Writer, Video by Sarah Gill | Broadcast Reporter

Alpha Phi, Baylor’s newest Panhellenic sorority, welcomed 169 founding members to their first bid day on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Bid day encompassed new members receiving an invitation to join the chapter. In Alpha Phi’s case, these new members will also become the founding members, as they are the first member class at Baylor.

According to Alpha Phi Educational Leadership Consultant Becky Carpenter, the members were chosen from over 300 applicants. Way more than the expected 200, allowing the sorority to be more selective in who was in the founding class.

The Alpha Phi extension team head, Deana Gage, said that Alpha Phi has wanted to start a chapter on Baylor’s campus for many years.

“We are so pleased to be at Baylor. We are very proud to say that we are part of the Baylor community,” Gage said.

Gage leads a team of Alpha Phi international staff members and volunteers who helped guide the new members through the recruitment process.

“We do have some local alumni that will be involved with the chapter and, of course, we have a faculty advisor, but they are not the initial people working with the chapter,” Gage said.

Gage said that her team will over time transition to more passive roles, more like advisors, in the Alpha Phi chapter at Baylor.

“It’s almost like a growing process with a child. They take a lot of supervision when they’re new, and they are very young,” Gage said.

Unlike Baylor’s formal Panhellenic recruitment, that occurred during winter break, Alpha Phi’s recruitment week began on Jan. 29 because the National Panhellenic Conference requires new sororities to host their own recruitment week, separate from returning sororities.

Alpha Phi’s recruitment process consisted of two open days and two invitation only events, as well as interviews with prospective members that were completed on Saturday, Feb. 3.

Houston sophomore Sadie Rodriguez is one of the new members of Alpha Phi and talked about how the recruitment process for Alpha Phi was much different than normal Panhellenic recruitment that took place a month ago. Rodriguez said that she liked how all of the other women in Alpha Phi will be starting fresh.

“I did the first day or two of [formal] recruitment, and then I started this process and it was way different from all the hundreds of girls in the same building,” Rodriguez said.

According to the official Baylor Alpha Phi website their philanthropy, the Alpha Phi Foundation, supports women’s heart health and aims towards helping women as leaders. Unlike how other chapters present their philanthropy and what their chapter has done for that cause, Alpha Phi wanted to see how the potential founding members could plan new events unique to Baylor.

“For the philanthropy day, we were in different groups, and we planned different events and then presented it,” Rodriguez said.

Gage said that her team was looking for women who would be good representatives for Alpha Phi.

“We want to be a contributing member of this Panhellenic community,” Gage said.

Gage said that her team was mirroring their recruitment process after the successes of other Alpha Phi chapters, as well as the other Panhellenic sororities at Baylor.

“[The other chapter’s] here have been successful, the women have had a good experience, and the women remain loyal not only to Baylor but to their fraternities,” Gage said.