Sorority aims to break negative stereotypes

Rachel Makar (left), Mackenzie Blue, Lauren Ravitch and Tori Cuccurullo display a poster detailing Phi Sigma Sigma’s philanthropy events for Oct. 5-8. | Joshua Dicker TTN
Rachel Makar (left), Mackenzie Blue, Lauren Ravitch and Tori Cuccurullo display a poster detailing Phi Sigma Sigma’s philanthropy events for Oct. 5-8. | Joshua Dicker TTN

As one of the oldest sororities on campus with more than 120 sisters, Phi Sigma Sigma wants to prove its sisterhood is more than what the media has portrayed them to be.

From Oct. 5-8, Phi Sigma Sigma is having a charitable fundraising week where the sisters plan to raise money for a different cause each day.

Monday will be for breast cancer, Tuesday for the annual dance marathon HootaThon, Wednesday for autism and Thursday for Phi Sigma Sigma’s own charity, which is for school and college readiness. The week will finish with a grilled cheese event Thursday night.

The sorority aims to help many charities, whether it’s an organization that is dear to them as a whole or personally to a sister who is going through a struggle.

Members of Phi Sigma Sigma hold their Greek letters outside a house on Broad Street. | Joshua Dicker TTN
Members of Phi Sigma Sigma hold their Greek letters outside a house on Broad Street. | Joshua Dicker TTN

“I think that a lot of the good that Greeks do, whether related to Temple or Phi Sig, isn’t recognized as much as one single chapter that commits a bad thing in the media,” said Hannah Casciole, a sophomore media studies and production and public relations double major who is in charge of philanthropy for Phi Sigma Sigma.

“Phi Sig means sisterhood,” she added. “I met some of my best friends in Phi Sig and if I did not go out for recruitment I would have never met them.”

The sorority strives to live by its motto, “Aim High,” and last year, it was recognized as the sorority with the highest cumulative GPA on campus, and accepted the Collegiate Chapter Award, Collegiate Chapter Sisterhood Award and Collegiate Leadership through Service Award.

Phi Sigma Sigma emphasizes leadership hosts other charity events, ranging from “can shakes” to charity walks, like their Light the Night Walk in Center City for leukemia and lymphoma. The sorority’s foundation also gives out merit- and need-based grants, which go to Phi Sig alumna who want to work in leadership and education.

To further dispel Greek stereotypes, Casciole and two sisters from Phi Sigma Sigma created a video last semester about the reality of Greek life called “Greek Spectacle,” in which members of sororities and fraternities from Temple raised awareness regarding the amount of work and unity that is involved in joining a Greek organization.

“Personally, I know that Phi Sigma Sigma is my home, and plenty of other people found homes in other Greek organizations,” Casciole said. “That’s why I think you should get to know the organization before judging it.”

Gabby Procacci, a sophomore biology major and the head of fundraising for Phi Sigma Sigma, also brought up how these groups are there for each other academically.

“We have study groups amongst the sisters and if you ever need help, there’s always someone who is in your major or who could at least attempt to help you,” Procacci said.

Casciole understood being part of a sorority is more than just making friends and volunteering, especially when she was consoled by her friends from Phi Sig on the anniversary of her aunt’s death from breast cancer.

“Three of my friends from Phi Sig surprised me with two teddy bears and two cards and they were like ‘We got this for you because we were thinking about you.’ … That’s not sisterhood, that’s genuine friendship and I would have not found that if it was not for Phi Sig,” Casciole said.

Gail Vivar can be reached at gail.vivar@temple.edu.

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