Eta Mu Chapter was founded at University of California, Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California in April 29, 2007.
469 initiates (as of June 2018)
The University of California, Santa Cruz (also known as UC Santa Cruz or UCSC) is a public university, one of 10 campuses in the University of California system. Located 80 miles south of San Francisco at the edge of the coastal community of Santa Cruz, the campus lies on 2,001 acres of rolling, forested hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay.
The University of California, Santa Cruz opened in 1965 and had grown to an enrollment of approximately 16,000 students at the time the chapter was founded. Undergraduates pursue more than 60 majors in the humanities, physical and biological sciences, social sciences and arts. Graduate students work toward graduate certificates, master’s degrees or doctoral degrees in more than 30 academic fields.
UC Santa Cruz began as a showcase for progressive, cross-disciplinary undergraduate education, innovative teaching methods and contemporary architecture. Since then, it has evolved into a modern research university with a wide variety of both undergraduate and graduate programs, while retaining its reputation for strong undergraduate support and student political activism. The residential college system, which consists of ten small colleges, is intended to combine the student support of a small college with the resources of a major university.
Although some of the original founders outlined plans for an institution like UCSC as early as the 1930s, the opportunity to realize their vision did not present itself until the City of Santa Cruz made a bid to the University of California Regents in the mid-1950s to build a campus just outside town, in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Santa Cruz site was selected over a competing proposal to build the campus closer to the population center of San Jose. Santa Cruz was selected for the beauty, rather than the practicality, of its location, however, and its remoteness led to the decision to develop the residential college system that would house most of the students on campus. Construction started by 1964, and classes began in 1965. Roads on campus were named after UC Regents who voted in favor of building the campus. (If you have chapter alumnae who have received recognition in any of these three categories, please list them with the date(s) of recognition.)
Members of a local sorority named Alpha Sigma Delta at UC Santa Cruz who met with the Kappa extension team determined that Kappa would be the complement to their ideals of academic excellence, service, friendship and leadership. These women had made a positive impact on the university’s campus, and the extension team agreed the women would make a strong chapter and a pioneer in the establishment of campus Panhellenic with Gamma Phi Beta.
Members of the colonization team were Fraternity Extension Chairman Joanie Cook Cohen, Colorado; Pi Province Director of Chapters Felicity Meu, UC Berkeley; Coordinator of Chapter Development Mary Sue Hogan Babb, William & Mary and Chapter Consultant Angie Bloyer, Oregon State. The members of the UC Berkeley chapter served as big sisters for the new members.
Eta Mu new members attended the Pi Province Meeting at UC Berkeley in April. They participated in two days of workshops prior to the chapter’s installation on April 29, 2007. on.
Members of the installation team were Extension Chairman Joanie Cook Cohen, Colorado, who served as Installation Chairman; Fraternity President Denise Rugani, UC Davis; Former Fraternity President Marian Klingbeil Williams, Missouri; Director of Chapters Carolyn Byrd Simpson, Texas Tech; Regional Director of Chapters Lori McDonald, Utah; Regional Director of Alumnae Logan Krogh Tootell, UCLA; Pi Province Directors of Chapters Felicity Meu, UC Berkeley; Pi Province Director of Chapters Tanya Muirbrook, Idaho; Pi Province Director of Alumnae Amanda Brown, Puget Sound; Pi Province Director of Alumnae Amanda Compton Ruffo, UC Irvine; Leadership Consultant Katti Bowling, Kentucky.
The Eta Mu installation, scheduled during the UC Berkeley spring break when the members weren’t in residence, was held in the chapter house and culminated the Pi Province Meeting. This made it possible for the 18 charter members to spend the weekend nights in the chapter house and experience living in a Kappa house even though they slept in sleeping bags. Many visiting chapter members shared this slumber party experience, and all Pi Province chapters and associations participated in this unique celebration of Eta Mu’s installation.
The Province Meeting Candlelight Banquet was held Saturday evening, followed by the Fireside at the chapter house, conducted by Director of Chapters Carolyn Simpson. Following the Fireside, the gifts from alumnae associations and chapters were presented to the new chapter. The Denver Alumnae Association presented a special badge to be worn by the Philanthropy Chairman, and Fraternity Vice President, Carol George Sanders, Cal State Northridge, presented a dangle to be worn by the chapter’s Vice President for Academic Excellence.
The installation ceremony was held Sunday morning followed by a celebratory brunch at the gorgeous, airy Clark Kerr Hall dining room and patio. Extension Chairman Joanie Cohen spoke about the importance and coincidences of the many shades of blue.
Eta Mu had a very busy 2006-2007. The fall and spring Recruitments were very successful, and the chapter size approximately doubled. With the influx of new members, the chapter enjoyed some creative socials such as a date night, a cookie exchange and a Kappa Karaoke Night where the members were able to show off their singing and dancing skills.
In the winter of 2007, the chapter raised $1,500 for one of its philanthropies, the Invisible Children. The chapter also strove to help the local family shelter by performing several clean-ups, raising money for the children for Christmas and also reading to the children several times a month.
The chapter was installed, and 18 new members were initiated at the Pi Province Meeting in Berkeley on April 29, 2007. The members were excited to have so many alumnae at the installation to support them. At the time of the installation, there were 17 sororities and fraternities on the campus with only two that were National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) groups and five that were North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) members.
During its first year, the chapter was able to overcome the many challenges involved in being a new chapter on campus such as learning the new council positions. It was a challenge to get the campus to warm up to a new sorority, but once the students understood that Kappa was about philanthropy and sisterhood there was overwhelming student support for the chapter.
The biggest challenge for the chapter, besides becoming part of an international sorority, was having its first fall Recruitment without any sisters who had experience doing so. All the members grew closer knowing that everyone was going through the same thing. The chapter was fortunate to have the help and support of its Chapter Consultant, two Leadership Consultants and the Berkeley and Stanford chapters.
Another challenge for the chapter members was to learn the Fraternity’s rituals and traditions, but they knew the hard work was worth it when they saw the expressions on their new members’ faces during the beautiful initiation.
During 2006-2007, UC Santa Cruz had an enrollment of approximately 15,000 students. By the end of spring quarter, the chapter had grown to 39 members.
The 2007-2008 year found that Eta Mu had not only grown and expanded in numerous ways but also had grown in its involvement in the community. It sponsored another Invisible Children event on campus to promote awareness of the children and the war in Uganda, held numerous successful clean-ups at the local community homeless shelter and participated in the first Relay for Life on campus. The chapter strengthened its bonds with the other Greek organizations on campus through its enthusiastic participation in Greek Week, through picnics/potlucks and other events with the other organizations. The chapter grew together in its bonds with each other by working together, its sisterhoods, the first-ever formal and various other fun activities with each other. This year was one of many new endeavors, not without challenge but with overwhelming success.
The chapter received honorable mention recognition for philanthropy at the Fraternity’s 2008 General Convention.
The UC Santa Cruz campus is large and diverse with a small Greek community. Eta Mu is a small but rapidly growing chapter which is young and diverse.
The chapter’s primary challenge was related to its growth even though it had increased in size during the past year. One of the limitations was having only a small number of members to get acquainted with the interested women. The members overcame this challenge by putting forth their best effort to get to know the potential new members and recruiting members who would best represent Kappa’s ideals. The members continued to gain knowledge, experience and organizational skills led by numerous strong leaders who helped guide and lead the members to become a successful chapter.
During 2009-2010, the chapter held several notable events including chapter dinners with themes such as country-western and Thanksgiving dinner. It also held many sisterhoods, including movie nights and sleepover parties. Eta Mu also held an etiquette dinner.
An exciting time in the chapter’s history occurred during Greek Week. This week was a great opportunity for the members of the chapter to get involved and get to know all of the other sorority and fraternity members on campus. The Standards Committee planned a Greek Week poster-making party with pillow-talk afterwards. The highlight of this Greek Week for Eta Mu was when it won third place.
Academics were of great importance to the chapter. The Vice President of Academic Excellence and her committee held library hours every day, offering the members a chance to study together in a productive environment and encourage each other to succeed. Sisters who did well on a test or a paper received smart cookies and were recognized at the weekly chapter meeting. Members who maintained good academic standing received Kappa Kash.
Greek life at UC Santa Cruz was not very large as there were still only two NPC sororities on campus. However, this small community promoted close friendships among the groups. Despite the small size of the Greek community on campus, Eta Mu had a very successful year. In the fall Recruitment, the chapter extended 23 bids. During the winter, it extended 11 bids. These new members helped encourage participation in the chapter and the campus to raise awareness of Eta Mu on campus.
Because the chapter was still growing and learning, it faced a few challenges this year. Attendance became something with which the chapter struggled. However, the Standards Committee did a fabulous job in working with those who had attendance issues to come to an agreement. The President, Recording Secretary and Marshal worked together to increase attendance.
Eta Mu went through a wave of change that ultimately helped the chapter become more unified and committed. In fall Recruitment the chapter welcomed 25 new members, one of its largest pledge classes. In the winter, Eta Mu welcomed an additional 10 women into the chapter.
In the spring, Eta Mu hosted its first Presents Brunch at which each sister invited a special woman in her life to accompany her to a brunch where the newest pledge classes were formally presented to the entire chapter.
This year, Eta Mu implemented the Fraternity’s Philanthropy 1-2-3 program. Philanthropy 1 supported the Kappa family. The chapter fulfilled this by holding a Rose McGill Magazine Drive in which members went to family and friends to encourage them to buy magazines and raised up to $100.
Philanthropy 2 was getting involved in the local community. Eta Mu hosted a fundraiser at Woodstock’s Pizza where all proceeds went to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This event raised $200.
The chapter also held an Easter egg decorating party for children from the Boys and Girls Club in Santa Cruz. Each Kappa worked with a group of 15 girls ranging from 5 to 9 years old. After the girls finished decorating their baskets, they were sent outside while members hid eggs around the room. The girls were then let back into the room, and the Easter egg hunt began.
Another opportunity the chapter took to support local organizations was participating in Santa Cruz’s 30th Annual Human Race. This is a walk/run-a-thon that raises money for local non-profit organizations. The members chose to support Kidpower whose goal is to teach people of all ages how to use their own power to stay safe, think wisely and believe in themselves. Members reached out to their family and friends to collect pledges for Kidpower.
Lastly, Kappa held a cleanup at Seabright Beach. The sisters collected trash while enjoying the sunny day.
Philanthropy 3 is supporting the Fraternity’s philanthropy, Reading is Fundamental (RIF). In order to support RIF, the chapter hosted a fundraiser at Coldstone Creamery in Santa Cruz where it raised $150.
In the spring, Eta Mu held its first Faculty Tea where the members invited professors from all majors and mingled with them to let the professors get to know the Kappas and vice-versa.
The chapter members held several social events during the year to surround them with sisters and good company. These social events created a fun and festive atmosphere in which the members were able to celebrate the bonds of sisterhood.
In January 2011, the chapter held informal Recruitment and pledged eight new members. Later that month, the chapter organized Kappa Kick-Off, a flag football tournament which involved teams of students from across campus. Each team donated books for RIF. The books were donated to the Boys and Girls Club at the chapter’s Reading is Key event during which the members and children played games, did face-painting and read books.
In February, 15 Eta Mu members attended the Pi Province Meeting at which the chapter received the Ritual Award which was a significant source of pride. For Easter, the chapter joined with Gamma Phi Beta to sponsor the Panhellenic Egg Hunt for children of UCSC students living in family student housing.
In May, Eta Mu participated in Greek Week, a campus-wide competition for sororities and fraternities. Members spent several weeks preparing a lip-sync dance number with a California road trip theme. The chapter finished in fourth place overall for Greek Week, including second place in powder-puff football and third place in lip-sync.
This spring, the chapter held its second-annual Presents Brunch at the Cocoanut Grove, a venue on the beach boardwalk.
In the fall, the chapter had its most successful Panhellenic Recruitment to date with 40 new members initiated in November. The chapter’s bowling philanthropy “Spare the Hooters” raised approximately $1,000 to fight breast cancer. Throughout the year, the chapter hosted and participated in several philanthropic activities such as a local beach clean-up and held events such as the semi-formal dance and Sapphire Ball.
UCSC faced severe budget cuts in 2011. Class sizes continued to grow while tuition continued to rise. Students responded by protesting with classroom walk-ins and interruptions. Although Greek life is small on our campus, involvement has been growing steadily.
This year for our chapter has been very successful. In Winter quarter, we did not have recruitment as we normally do due to the great recruitment we had the previous year, but we still did tabling to keep up our public appearance. Our main philanthropy for this quarter was our second annual "Kappa Kickoff", which donated books for Reading Is Fundamental. We had a great turnout with support from other greek organizations on campus along with students not involved in greek organizations. We also had our semi-formal this quarter with a "Great Gatsby" theme.
In Spring quarter we participated in Greek Week involving various activities, such as futsol, powderpuff and lipsync, that many greek organizations on campus participate in. We had a joint philanthropy this quarter with Gamma Phi Beta for a Panhellenic Blood Drive. Sapphire Ball was during this quarter, as well, and turned out beautifully. Our chapter was able to host a lovely etiquette dinner with members of various different fraternitys that everyone enjoyed. Marshal also held a Senior Red Room since we did not have a winter initiation for them to go through it. Over Summer, we were able to send our President, Membership Chairman and Marshal to Convention in Florida and sent one girl to Leadership Academy, all of which brought lots of great tools and skills to the chapter.
In Fall we had a great recruitment with 43 girls receiving bids and 35 girls being initiated later that quarter. One of our big philanthropies this quarter was "Spare the Hooters", in other words bowling for breast cancer, which received a great turnout with lots of greek life, family and friend support. Our other big philanthropy was going to the local Boys and Girls Club to donate our books we received from "Kappa Kickoff" and also spending some time with the kids there. We even held another philanthropy where we ended up donating to Hurricane Sandy victims. We had many other events and philanthropies throughout the year along with having a wonderful visit from a Leadership Consultant and a Kappa Trainer, that were all equally as amazing.
Campus: Our campus has continued to suffer from budget cuts with continuous protesting all around, but will hopefully turn around soon with the new laws passed. Greek life has been growing nonstop on our campus, as well, with now about ten percent of the student population being apart of greek life. Since greek life is starting to grow so much, many greek organizations have been trying to find ways to fit their chapters on campus. Everyone has been looking into ways to possibly expand the University in some way to make space for Greek life.
Chapter: Our chapter has been doing well with attendance to all events and has been continuing to bring in our newest classes with lots of support. Between sisterhoods and Greek week our chapter has had many opportunities for chapter unity, which has been very helpful with the amazing growth our chapter has had.
This year was very successful for our chapter. We did not have a Winter recruitment again due to the large recruitment the previous quarter. We had our semi-formal dance Winter quarter with a “Flashback to the 50’s” theme. Spring quarter was very busy for our chapter starting off with sending many sisters to Pi Province and won Most Improved Chapter and continuing with great philanthropies, recruitment and events. We had our annual “Kappa Kickoff” donating books to the local boys and girls club, which was a very well attended event among both Greek life and Campus life.
We also joined with our Panhellenic sisters, Gamma Phi Beta, to put on a blood drive for the whole campus. We had continuous open bidding this quarter and ended up gaining 4 new members and then sisters. We had a small philanthropy that involved sending personalized letters to soldiers in the Army. Another prominent event we had was Sapphire Ball in a different location than we have had previously at the Hilton in Scotts Valley. It was a success and everyone enjoyed themselves.
Eta Mu hosted another event which was our annual Etiquette dinner with a few select gentlemen from each Fraternity on campus, who were impressed and responded positively to the event. Eta Mu was ecstatic to be removed from a focus letter this year after working hard to adhere to the focus areas specified by Headquarters, such as having two Leadership Consultants visit Eta Mu. Our chapter participated in Greek Week again this year, in events such as futsol, powderpuff, pizza eating, puzzles relay and lip sync. We came in first for powderpuff, third in lipsync and fourth overall. Our Education Chairman organized many useful and informative senior programs, and she and Marshal put on a lovely banquet and Red Room ceremony giving our seniors a well deserved send off into becoming Alumna.
The Vice President of Academic Excellence held an Academic Banquet at the end of the school year to commend women of the chapter for their hard work on their academics. Six large perpetual plaques were awarded for Highest GPA, Most Improved GPA, Most Hours in the Library, Most Sisterly, Most Study Hours and Best Class Attendance. Fall quarter started off with another very successful recruitment with 51 girls receiving bids and 48 becoming sisters. We had an amazing leadership consultant help us in this recruitment to improve it and make everything run more efficiently. Vice President of Standards organized a very fun and positive camping sisterhood. We also had our annual “Spare the Hooters” philanthropy with Sigma Pi Fraternity generating a very generous amount to donate to support breast cancer research. One of our sisters also helped in creating a Cold Stone philanthropy for those affected by the unfortunate loss of firefighters in the Arizona fires. We had an “Opposites Attract” themed date event in the fall that the girls in the Chapter and their dates really enjoyed.
Nominations and elections for officers for the 2014 calendar year went smoothly. Our Vice President of Standards and Vice President of Academic Excellence put on a holiday themed joint sisterhood and academic dinner prior to finals. Multiple study rooms were booked for girls to utilize during dead week and finals week at the library to help them study for finals.
Campus: Our campus is coming of age and thriving with new changes, such as a shuttle system to help students go to and from the San Jose airport. Class sizes are still large and classes are sometimes difficult for some to get into, but our sisters still find ways to do well in their classes while still finding time to do various other campus activities.
Chapter: Our chapter has still been doing well in bringing in the new classes with lots of support and sending out our seniors with the great congratulations they deserve. Our chapter has continued to diversify with each sister being greatly involved in a wide range of events and activities on campus and off campus. Women Behind
This year Eta Mu chapter saw a lot of growth, both in size and character. During our Winter quarter, we did not have a recruitment yet again due to the large recruitment the previous quarter. We had our semi-formal dance with a “Masquerade” theme, where girls and their dates were encouraged to dress very classy and wear tons of fun masks.
Spring quarter, we continued participating in and hosting great philanthropies and events. Our philanthropy chairmen, Judy Kim and Megan Heynen, had our annual “Kappa Kickoff” donating books to the local boys and girls club, which was a very well attended event among both Greek life and Campus life. Another prominent event we held was Sapphire Ball. We returned to the location where it was held two years ago, Cocoanut Grove. This time, however, it was held in the main ballroom instead of the sunroom, which allowed for more room for tables, dancing and a nice stage for the DJ and to give out awards. Our Event Chairwomen, Gabby Desio and Charlotte Byrn-Bailey, did fabulous jobs in hosting this event and everyone had a great time.
Eta Mu hosted another event, which was our annual Etiquette dinner with a few select gentlemen from each Fraternity on campus. They were impressed, and responded positively to the event. We continued to stay off the focus letter this year, which we were very excited about. Our chapter participated in Greek Week again this year, in events such as futsol, powderpuff, pizza eating, puzzles relay and lip sync. We came in first for powderpuff for the second year in a row, second in pizza eating, third in lipsync, and fourth overall.
Our Education Chairman, Ruby Lynch, organized many useful and informative senior programs, and she and Marshal, Lauren Porter, put on a lovely Senior Banquet and Red Room ceremony, giving our seniors a well deserved send off into becoming Alumna. The Vice President of Academic Excellence held an Academic Banquet at the end of the school year to commend women of the chapter for their hard work on their academics.
Over the summer we were fortunate enough to send out President Lauren Wurst, Vice President-Organization Sanaz Batmanghilich and Risk Management Chair Amelia Lawrence to Convention in Texas. They all returned with great tips for running the chapter more efficiently and we won an Award for Recruitment and got Honorable Mention for Ritual, Risk Management and Advisor-Officer Relations. Fall quarter started off with another very successful recruitment with 59 girls receiving bids and 57 becoming sisters. Marshal and Education chairman had a successful Kappa “Birthday Party,” which was well attended, especially by the new members. In late October, we had a wonderful Leadership Consultant, Whitney Cross, come visit our chapter for a week. She gave our CC many helpful tips on how to run our CC positions. We held our annual “Spare the Hooters” bowling philanthropy with Sigma Pi Fraternity, which raised a very generous amount to donate to support breast cancer research.
Towards the end of that quarter, we had a Red Carpet themed date event called “Kappa Krush.” The girls in the chapter and their dates had a lot of fun attending and dressing up as celebrity couples. Nominations and elections for officers for the 2015 calendar year went smoothly and resulted in a new, cohesive chapter council. Multiple study rooms were booked for girls to utilize during dead week and finals week at the library to help them study, along with a study break with snacks all put on by the VPAE, Laura Morales. Eta Mu had a wonderfully productive year!
Campus: Our campus is constantly bettering itself. There is new construction going on to create more dormitories and facilities for our ever expanding student population. Class sizes are as large as ever, making the enrollment process a little more difficult. However, our sisters always manage to do their best. We joke around about large classes, saying in large classes there will always be at least one kappa to study with.
Chapter: Our chapter has been doing very well, especially at handling a constantly growing chapter. We have grown so big that we have been finding it difficult to find spaces large enough to host all of us! Luckily, our campus has some pretty huge lecture halls. Our chapter is very diverse in every way, but we all still love and support each other always. Each sister brings something unique to our chapter, helping us grow and develop all the time. We sent out our graduating seniors with congratulations, love, and support, and we welcomed in the new classes similarly.
We do not have on campus housing, or a place only for ourselves at all. Because of this, we reserve a room every week to have meetings in. If we have sisterhoods, we either reserve a room on campus or rent one off. Our meetings are generally in the science building, which is owned by the university.
We do not have on campus housing, nor have we ever. Sometimes a few girls live together on or off campus, but they're always fairly small houses, and they often live with students from different campus organizations or non-Greek students. We have an off campus storage unit to hold all of our belongings. Informally, we have been thinking about different ways to accommodate Kappa living arrangements, but it is very difficult.
This year, Eta Mu consistently grew bigger and better than ever. During Winter quarter, we had our new officer installments. The new CC was very dedicated, and had many plans for the year. A leadership consultant visited and gave us wonderful tips on how to be the best leaders we could be. To start us off, the Vice President of Standards, Christine Charitar, hosted a fun sisterhood that many girls attended. It was a movie and candy night, which was desperately needed amongst the craziness of midterms. The Event chairwoman, Sophia Brinton, then hosted an amazing Semi-Formal at the Coconut Grove, with lots of dancing, fun photo props, and, of course, yummy food. The last event of Winter quarter was a tie-dying sisterhood on campus. We were given t-shirts, and we were also allowed to bring things we wanted to tie-dye from our homes.
Spring quarter was jam packed with fun Kappa activities. Presents brunch on April 19th was absolutely beautiful. We had a large new member class, so there were a lot of speeches, ranging from completely emotional and adorable to absolutely hysterical. About a week later, it was Eta Mu’s birthday! Our House chairwoman, Paula Pastuskovas, held an adorable birthday party on campus, with good food and games- it was a lot of fun. May 1st was our Sapphire Ball, which was an absolute success. It was held at Hotel Paradox, and there was a photobooth and a yummy sit down meal. There were also awards given out, which were voted on by our chapter, from things like Kappa Klassy (congrats to our President Sanaz Batmanghilich) to Kappa Krazy (congrats to Registrar Ruby Lynch). The next day was the start of Greek Week. As two-time reigning champions at powderpuff, our girls worked very hard and won it all again! We also won 3rd place in lipsync, which was the first time we have placed in many years, and we won 4th place in pizza eating. It was a great week for us. The next event was Kappa Karnival, thrown by our philanthropy chairwoman Roxanne Leon, which was new this year. There were games set up all over the lower field, and sisters were the game organizers and coaches. Students came in groups and played against each other. We successfully collected books and raised money for our national charity, Reading Is Fundamental. The etiquette dinner was held on campus in the Kresge Town Hall, and it went very well. We provided yummy Italian food, and hosted the charming men from the other greek organizations on campus. They were impressed, and responded positively to the event. Finally, it was senior appreciation time. The senior banquet was a success- it was very emotional and full of love. Seniors passed down gifts and their friends gave speeches. It really was lovely, all thanks to Kira Aarvig, the Education chairwoman. At the final meeting of the year, the seniors each gave their “last words” to the chapter. It was very sentimental, and we sent them off with much love.
Fall quarter was full of exciting events, especially with all the new members we got. Before recruitment began, we had another leadership consultant visit, and she helped us a lot when it came to running our recruitment. Recruitment went very well, thanks to Rachel Du and Yaritza Rodriguez, and we ended up with 52 new members who became sisters. Bid day was so much fun, as the New Member chair, Amanda Merrifield, welcomed the new members to Kappa. The event was sports themed, and was held at a gym on campus. We had a sisterhood at a pumpkin patch, to get in the mood for fall. Next up was our Date Dash event, which was country themed, and everyone enjoyed themselves. Spare the Hooters, our annual bowling for cancer philanthropy which we co-host with Sigma Pi, was a huge success as always. The bowling alley also contributed so that if we brought in cans of food to donate to a charity organization, they gave us free bowling shoes. Eventually, it was that amazing time of the year: Big Little week! The clues were a pin box, a mason jar, a picture frame, a CD, and special socks. For the reveal, we had the bigs wear matching socks that they gave to their littles, and they found their bigs like that. It was absolutely adorable, and everyone was very happy. Then it was I-week. Our Marshal, Magali Ceballos, hosted two wonderful nights of crafting preceding the initiation. We held initiation at the Veterans Memorial Building, and it went very smoothly. Nominations and elections for officers for the 2016 calendar year also went very well. At our last meeting of the quarter, our Vice President of Academic Excellence, Taylor Tibbs, gave everyone goodie bags of school supplies that we would need for the upcoming finals week. Eta Mu had a productive and positive year!
The campus of UC Santa Cruz is constantly evolving. The incoming classes continue growing bigger and bigger, and our campus has to account for this. Our chapter has grown so large that it has been hard finding places off campus to accommodate our size. We have been lucky to fit into the same room for the past few years, but we will have to update our room soon because we are so large now. We are one of the largest greek chapters at our school, and as diverse as possible. All of our girls come from many different backgrounds, and are learning many different things at school. However, we are united by our love of food and our love of each other.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community?
Our chapter continues to raise money for breast cancer research every year with our annual Spare the Hooters event. We also consistently volunteer with the boys and girls club in downtown Santa Cruz.
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support?
We chose to raise money for breast cancer for many reasons, but mainly because it is such an important cause that has impacted many of our sisters and their families lives. We help the boys and girls club because the children of our community need our attention, and we love to give it to them. We have built a great reputation in our community.
This year was another exciting year for Kappa Kappa Gamma at Santa Cruz. In the winter of 2016 we were involved in clothing drives to help donate clothes to the homeless shelter. We also had a magical night at semi-formal where we dressed up and danced the night away. This same theme was continued into spring with our formal dance which was a throw-back to the 90’s. We had fun dressing up for this blast to the past! We also took time to honor our graduating sisters and celebrate their time as Kappa and undergraduate students at UCSC. There was a senior tea and special meeting where they gave our chapter advice for the future. At the end of the year we watched so many amazing sisters graduate and wished them well as they start their next chapter in life.
Over the summer a few of our sisters were able to attend convention down in San Diego. They came back with a wealth of new knowledge that they shared with all of us through stories and a presentation during meeting. The Fall was an exciting season for our chapter. We welcomed a new Panhellenic sorority to our campus as well as went through our own rush events. Many of our sisters were involved in the selection, and establishment of Kappa Alpha Theta and our sisters were excited to expand Greek life at Santa Cruz. Our own Fall rush went extremely well. We welcomed 60 new sisters to our chapter. Through the remainder of the year we have been involved in teaching our new sisters kappa history and values. This class has eagerly learned and embraced Kappa which makes our members excited for their contribution in the years to come. We also put on a breast cancer bowling philanthropy that we do yearly with the men of Sigma Pi and our annual fall date dash event. Overall this year has been a year of growth and strengthen for our chapter.
2017 was an awesome year for Kappa Kappa Gamma's Eta Mu Chapter here at Santa Cruz. To kick off 2017, we had the transition of our old Chapter Council to our new Chapter Council. February was a busy and exciting month for Kappa. We held our annual Presents Brunch to have bigs show some of the most important women in our lives their littles. During this month we also had an LC (Leadership Consultant) come and visit, and our sisters got the chance to show her what Eta Mu chapter and Santa Cruz is all about. Semi-formal was also in the month of February. The theme was Valentine's Masqureade and the chapter and their dates had fun dancing the night away. In March, some of our sisters participated in the Polar Plunge that was a philanthropy opportunity in which we raised money for the Special Olympics. April was another jam-packed month for Eta Mu as we started our spring quarter.
We had our 1st annual Kappa Kickball Event, which was a kickball tournament where other fraternities and sororities on campus competed to help us raise money for Reading is Key. We had our annual etiquette dinner in April as well and celebrated Eta Mu chapter's 10th birthday party where our active and alumni members got together for a nice lunch to celebrate this milestone. Our Reading is Key event took place in April too, where a couple of our sisters got to volunteer their time at the Santa Cruz Boys and Girls club reading, playing, and facepainting with the kids. May was a spirited month for Eta Mu as UC Santa Cruz held its annual Greek Week competition. During this week, all of the Greek organizations got to participate in fun events led by our Inter-Greek Council. Kappa participated in events like lipsync, a pizza eating contest, and Powederpuff. For Powderpuff we won for our 5th straight year in a row. During this month we also had our formal which took place at the Gilroy Gardens. It was a beautiful venue and our sisters and their dates got to dance under the lights for our last formal event of the school year. Towards the end of the 2016-2017 school year, we got to honor our graduating Kappa sisters.
We had a senior tea held for these sisters and at one of our final meetings had a special moment in which they shared some advice with the chapter as they continue their undergraduate careers. In June, we watched and supported all of our graduating seniors and wished them well on the next chapter of their lives.
Over the summer, many of our sisters got the chance to travel around the United States and the world and partake in awesome jobs and internships. Fall was an exciting part of the year for our chapter. In September we prepared for recruitment and in October we welcomed 50 new members into our chapter. Our recruitment went extremely well this year and Eta Mu has been very involved in teaching our new sisters about Kappa's history and rituals. Rho class has eagerly learned and embraced Kappa, which makes our sisters excited for their contributions in the years to come as they will become our future leaders. In November, we finally initiated our 50 new members into our chapter. Also in this month we held our annual Spare the Hooters philanthropy event in which we teamed up with Sigma Pi to raise money for a local breast cancer awareness organization here in Santa Cruz and had an amazing Thanksgiving Dinner with all of our sisters.
Overall, this year has been a year of growth and learning for Eta Mu chapter. Our Chapter Council did an amazing job working together and putting on events for our chapter to enjoy. Despite some minor setbacks, Chapter Council worked seamlessly together in order to overcome the hurdles with the support of the chapter and our advisor. As a chapter, we have come together and participated in many philanthropic events and have enjoyed the events put on by our hardworking officers and their committees.
Last year, we welcomed a new Panhellenic organization onto campus, Kappa Alpha Theta. This year for recruitment, it was awesome getting to work with another Panhellenic organization and recruit more girls for not only Kappa but also for Gamma Phi Beta and Kappa Alpha Theta. As for our Santa Cruz campus, there has been continued political movement and mobilization in response to the decisions President Trump and his administration are making. There has been growing solidarity and collaboration between different organizations to make Santa Cruz a safe community and environment for all of our students. As for Eta Mu chapter, we have been been continuing to improve our participation in Kappa events that we hold as well as share new ideas that the chapter can implement in order to improve this aspect of our chapter. Many of our sisters have also had amazing ideas that have promoted more sisterhood. Eta Mu has been expanding, improving, promoting participation and sisterhood, and informing the newer classes about Kappa's history and rituals.
There are a multitude of organizations that our chapter has traditionally raised money for and have donated our time to. One of the organizations that we primarily focus on giving back to is Reading is Fundamental. We also raise money for local breast cancer awareness organizations in Santa Cruz and donate our time to homeless shelters to help out our community. Numerous of our sisters are also involved in Camp Kesem, which is a non-profit organization that raises money to send kids whose parents have been affected by cancer to camp for a week during the summer.
RIF is a nationally recognized organization that is working to improve literacy in kids by providing them with access to books of their very own through community involvement and donations. Kappa Kappa Gamma has been a long time partner with RIF and our chapter wants to help raise money for this amazing organization. We held our Kappa Kickball tournament and have given our time to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz as our Reading is Key events in order to raise money for RIF. We also choose to support local breast cancer awareness organizations, homeless shelters, and Camp Kesem because the missions of these organizations are close to many of our sisters' hearts.
2018 proved to be another lovely year with another lovely bunch of Eta Mu Kappa women. To kick off the year, we had a smooth transition of chapter council, sworn in by last year’s president, Kamille. Meetings were filled with an unparalleled amount of gifs and memes in officer reports -- always a pleasure to see. On the philanthropy side of things, we’ve continued bringing in money for Kappa Kickball, a kickball fundraiser for the Santa Cruz animal shelter. This year at Spare The Hooters, we raised over $1100 for breast cancer research with help from the gentlemen of Sigma Pi, a new record for money raised at the event! Our Reading is Key events went well per usual and many books were collected for the Boys & Girls Club at Sapphires on Skates, a new and popular Kappa fundraiser taking place at the Santa Cruz Roller Rink. May was filled with events like our annual Greek Week in which most Greek organizations participate in a bit of friendly competition. Our ladies participated in basketball, game night, and of course, pizza eating. We had a beautiful Formal at Coconut Grove on Cinco de Mayo where one of our very own, Nicole S., drew the design for our shirts. Our girls got closer with events like sorority powderpuff, where many of our members practiced for months, which is what this chapter is all about: getting closer to an stronger with our Kappa sisters. The event brought in over $300 to Camp Kesem, a national nonprofit with a chapter at UC Santa Cruz dedicated to giving children whose parents have or have had cancer a free week of summer camp. In June we watched and honored our 2017-2018 class of Kappa girls graduate. Our seniors shared a special last year together with events like Senior Tea and Senior Send-off. It was our first year with an informal spring recruitment which brought our lovely Sigma class to us. Fall recruitment was stunning and organized as Kappas talked, sang, and smiled our hearts out to our new Tau class women. We’ve had some wonderful sisterhoods put on by both Standards and Ritual committees. From voting on our favorite Halloween costumes to watching “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” we’ve laughed our heads off considerably in each other's company. The always delicious Thanksgiving dinner at Terra Fresca was a success, leaving members more stuffed than the turkeys we ate.
This year has been a year of growth, laughter and learning for our Kappa chapter. Chapter Council came together to work though any and all issues and provide support to neighboring officers. This chapter as a whole is a group of beautiful, empowering, and always compassionate young women and we are sure to see next year bring even more progress.
Describe the recent changes on campus and describe the chapter’s overall nature.
This was our first year in Panhellenic recruitment that our chapter participated in informal spring recruitment. Officers who were a part of the initiation and new member process preformed most of their tasks twice, a change that was smoothly carried out by the designated officers.
Chapter Philanthropy What organization does the chapter support? This chapter has provided ongoing support to RIF and the Kappa Foundation, but outside of KKG Sanctioned organizations, we have provided donations and support to the Walnut Ave Family & Women's Center and Camp Kesem at UC Santa Cruz.
Why did the chapter choose this organization?
Kappa Kappa Gamma has been a long-time partner with RIF, an organization that promotes literacy in children by providing them with access to books of their own through community involvment and donations. We have also worked with the Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center which provides resources for women, children, and families in Santa Cruz County and has done so for over 80 years. Camp Kesem at UC Santa Cruz is a student-run, national nonprofit that provides an entirely free week of camp and year-long support to children who have been affected by a parent's cancer. At UC Santa Cruz, theCamp Kesem chapter has lots of Greek involvment, but the highest percentage of Greek life affiliates are Kappa women.
Where does the chapter meet? Our Meetings are traditionally at the Jack Baskin Engineering on campus at UC Santa Cruz. For specil occasions and bigger events, we may meet at Kresge Town Hall which is also on campus, like we do for sisterhoods and Founder's Day.