Phi Sigma Rho Engineering Sorority: Who We Are and What We Do By: Samantha LuberWhile Phi Sigma Rho has been a member of the Panhellenic Council at the University ofMichigan for several years now, many Greeks don’t quite understand our sisterhood andour contributions to the Greek community at Michigan!In order to set the record straight,I’m here toshare with you whatPhi Sigma Rho is all about and what we have to offer!Who We Are:Founded in 1984 at Purdue University, Phi Sigma Rho is a national sorority for women inengineering and technical science majors. Our chapter, the Eta chapter of Phi Sigma Rho,has been at Michigan for ten years and has grown in the past year to be a chapter of overfifty women!As an associate member of the Panhellenic Council, Phi Sigma Rhoparticipates in the same events as all of the other sororities on campus, such as GreekService Day and Greek Week,with the exception of formal recruitment.Why Phi Rho?
Regardless of the chapter, every woman joins a sorority for a different reason. KaraStoltze, the VP of Communications Internal of Phi Sigma Rho, shares her reasons forjoining Phi Sigma Rho. “I joined Phi Sigma Rho my freshman year because I knew Iwanted to be involved with Greek Life but wouldnt have the time to devote to atraditional sorority and I wanted to meet other women in engineering,” she explains.Oftenreferred to as a sorority equivalent of the Triangle Fraternity, our sorority was founded onthe ideals of creating a friendship group and support network for women in technicalmajors. Our sorority understands the time commitment of engineering majors andencourages sisters to participate in events only when their academic schedules allow themto do so. As engineering remains a male-dominated field, Phi Sigma Rho sistersencourage and inspire one another to be successful as women in their respectivetechnicalmajors – and it’s also great to see sisters around North Campus! “I reallyappreciate being able to turn to older sisters in the sorority for advice about classes orschool in general because most of them have been in my shoes and understand what Imgoing through!” says Holly Steinberger, a freshman sister.Figure 1: Winter 2012 Pledge ClassPhi Sigma Rho also has a unique recruitment and pledging process.Our recruitmentconsists of relaxed and fun events that allow us to get to knowpotential new members andshare our ideals. During the pledging process, associate members are required toindividually interview each active sister. We really value these interviews because itallows our new members to easily transition into being active sisters that are involved and
already know everyone! One of the advantages of being a small sorority is that everyonein the sorority more than just knows one another – we’re all good friends! SreeAddepalli,a junior member, adds, “I never find myself without a sister to study or go out with!”Figure 2: Fall 2011 Pledge ClassWhat We Do:Phi Sigma Rho strives to maintain a balance of social, academic, and philanthropicactivities. We facilitate varioussocial events, such as football tailgates, barn dance,mixers, date parties, and formal. While Phi Sigma Rho doesn’t currently have an officialhouse on campus, we still spend a lot of time together at weekly sister bonding activities,such as sister dinners and sister sleepovers! To encourage academic success throughoutthe year, Phi Sigma Rho holds study tables and recognizes sisters with exceptionalacademic achievement each semester. As many of our alumnae work in the industry,many sisters utilize our alumnae network for resume critiquing, career advising, andobtaining internship and full time work opportunities. In conjunction with our national’sphilanthropic partnerships, our chapter’s philanthropy includes Explore Engineeringworkshops with the Girl Scouts of America, projects through the Ginsberg Center, andRelay for Life. We also support other Greek chapters through participation in theirphilanthropy events.
Figure 3: Sisters before a football gameAs Phi Sigma Rho is still a relatively young sorority, we love being able to greatly impactand shape the future of the sorority, both at Michigan and nationally! Our nationals workclosely with their chapters and alumnae groups to keep our sisters engaged andcontributing to the growth of our organization. After all, sisterhood is for life!Figure 4: Sisters at bid acceptance dinner
As the Phi Sigma Rho Eta chapter continues to grow, we are excited and motivated tostaying involved on campus whilecontributing to the ideals and growth of the MichiganGreek Community!Phi Sigma Rho Info:Phi Sigma Rho Sororitywww.umich.edu/~phisigmawww.phisigmarho.org