Sigma Iota Phi Will Soon Become AEPhiBy Angela Liao
Sigma Iota Phi, which is currently a local sorority, will become a chapter of the national sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi by the beginning of February, according to SIP president Deena S. Disraelly '96.
Although the sorority will initially be granted colony status, it will become a fully recognized chapter when its membership reaches 25 sisters.
"We are very excited to get involved in a national sorority and we hope to be a great asset" to the Panhellenic Association, said SIP Vice President Ophira J. Segal '96.
"We look forward to being part of something larger," said Naomi S. Korn '96. A "national [organization] can give us more focus and a lot of support, especially during rush."
SIP came into existence as a local MIT sorority in the spring of 1993 and has been an associate member of Panhellenic since then.
Panhel approved SIP's request for national chartership in November 1993. The national AEPhi organization will help by sending a representative to aid the group during the transitional period, Disraelly said.
"We look forward to the spring rush and we will continue go give continuous open bids," Segal said. "We are looking for motivated, dynamic people with leadership abilities and an interest in becoming involved."
Panhel President A. Rebecca Mallin '95 foresees a lot of restructuring for the sorority. Joining a "national means extra support and a chance for [Sigma Iota Phi] to get stronger," Mallin said. "I am nervous for them, and I hope things go smoothly for the sisters of SigIPhi."
SIP, AEPhi share common values
The decision to obtain chartership from AEPhi was reached by the sisters of Sigma Iota Phi and the Panhellenic Association, after AEPhi representatives visited the sorority.
"It was an easy decision for most of the sisters," Disraelly said. "AEPhi came in, answered our questions, and talked to us. I think that they impressed people with their openness and their willingness to answer questions," she said.
The two sororities also have similar histories. Before becoming a national sorority, AEPhi started out locally at Barnard College with a sisterhood of seven Jewish women. SIP was started at MIT by seven women.
SIP chose to affiliate with AEPhi because it was "founded on Jewish values, principles, and morals which are similar to ours," Segal said. "However, we are not any more Jewish than other [sororities] are Christian. AEPhi does not discriminate, and it has an open policy."
"I got involved in Sigma Iota Phi because of the people, and becoming part of AEPhi excites me because it will give us a more recognizable name and another way to attract great people," Disraelly said.
"It's a great opportunity for first-year students to become involved with a national sorority," Segal said.