After sharing the screen with Matt Lauer on “The Today Show” in support of autism awareness, new sorority Alpha Xi Delta was named the top donor in Temple Greek life’s Relay for Life competition. It also won the “Greek Sing” event during Greek Week, commemorating a highly active first semester.
With 115 new members, AXiD has spent this semester pursuing support for its cause, Autism Speaks. Members said they bonded during the group’s first colony retreat. They have been preparing for the solidification of AXiD’s status as a Temple Panhellenic association.
In support of Autism Speaks, the AXiD sisters traveled to New York City last Wednesday to promote the organization’s “Light it Up Blue” campaign on “The Today Show.” The appearance took place on World Autism Awareness Day, which encourages education, tolerance and support for those with the developmental disorder. The Light it Up Blue campaign is a national organization of supporters who illuminate prominent buildings in blue to recognize the disorder and the ongoing search for a cure.
“Whether it’s showing support for our philanthropic partner on ‘The Today Show’ or lighting a chapter house or campus monument with blue lights, Alpha Xi Deltas are dedicated to raising awareness of autism,” said Jaclyn Dziepak, educational leadership consultant for Alpha Xi Delta.
AXiD nationwide has supported autism research and the Autism Speaks organization since 2009. On Main Campus, AXiD sisters have spent April – Autism Awareness Month – promoting their cause, notably at a Phillies game using fliers on Monday. On April 22, they will be can shaking for Autism Speaks.
“Alpha Xi Delta is an amazing and soul enriching organization that has taught me how to be a better person and better friend,” sophomore strategic communications major Kate Patterson said. “My goal is to show Temple’s campus how awesome Alpha Xi Delta is and how rewarding it is to be a sister of such a beloved organization.”
Along with what members called a successful semester of establishing their philanthropic efforts, the sister said they’ve become close as a group already. The first sorority retreat, held in March, was the moment members drafted goals for successful integration into university Greek life.
“I finally understood the meaning to the saying ‘individually unique but together complete,’” sophomore public health major Meera Ruparelia said. “Our retreat was the moment I realized I made the best decision in joining Alpha Xi Delta.”
AXiD opted for a “Twin Reveal,” an adapted version of many sororities’ Big/Little event. In the traditional event, a veteran member of a Greek organization assumes mentorship as the “Big” to a newer member, or the “Little.” The mentor remains anonymous, sending gifts and favors in secret to their younger sister until the big reveal event.
AXiD, whose recent establishment on Main Campus meant there were no more seasoned members, instead paired each member with another to provide the same support and friendship. The identity of each person’s “twin” was also anonymous until the reveal during the retreat.
“It was an exciting day for the women to start building their Alpha Xi Delta families and creating traditions,” Dziepak said.
During Greek Week, which ran through Saturday, the sisters participated in a series of games and fundraising events to promote Greek unity and raise money for several philanthropic causes. The sisters raised $3,211.96 for Relay for Life, all proceeds from which benefit the American Cancer Society.
While they’ve had success integrating into Main Campus Greek life, the sisters of AXiD said they still have several inter-sorority goals to complete.
The executive board committee has yet to be established, something sisters expect to happen within the next week. Sorority members can either apply to be on the many councils that sustain the sorority or to officer positions that will oversee programming, chapter operations, recruitment, philanthropy, academics and finance for the organization. Executive board members will serve until the end of the next fall semester.
“Alpha Xi Delta is excited to be on Temple University’s campus,” Dziepak said. “We have enjoyed getting to know the other chapters over the past few weeks and we are thankful to them for welcoming us with open arms. As this school year is coming to an end, Alpha Xi Delta is looking forward to next year when we will be hosting our first philanthropy event and preparing for fall formal recruitment.”
Lora Strum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.