Eta Rho Chapter was founded at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California on March 2, 2013.
530 Initiates (as of June 2018)
California Polytechnic State University or California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, also known as Cal Poly San Luis Obispohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Polytechnic_State_University - cite_note-CSU_styleguide-6 or Cal Poly, is a public university located in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Founded in 1901 as a vocational high school, it’s currently one of only two polytechnic universities in the 23-member California State University system.
Comprising six distinct colleges, the university offers 147 bachelor’s degrees, 49 master’s degrees and seven teaching credentials. The university does not confer doctoral degrees. The university is one among a small group of polytechnic universities in the United States which tend to be primarily devoted to the instruction of technical arts and applied sciences. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Polytechnic_State_University - cite_note-11.
Cal Poly is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. Cal Poly is known for its “learn by doing” educational philosophy that encourages students to solve real-world problems by combining classroom theory with experiential laboratory exercise. Cal Poly is one of four California State Universities that participate in the Big West Conference in athletics.
Colonization: In March 2012, Extension Chairman Barbara Adams Goettleman, Syracuse, visited the San Luis Obispo campus to explore the possibility of establishing a Kappa chapter. She met with Renoda Campbell, Cal Poly coordinator of multi-cultural programs and services, to learn about the Greek community at Cal Poly which includes Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta and Sigma Kappa. Renoda gave her a tour of the campus and the town. She pointed out homes that might be rented or leased to buy. To be competitive, Eta Rho will need some type of housing.
The Fraternity and two other women's fraternities were invited to make presentations May 3, 2012. These presentations were open to the entire campus community although the Panhellenic Council decided who to invite to colonize.
Kappa Kappa Gamma accepted the invitation to colonize at Cal Poly on May 8, 2012, and planning began for the colonization recruitment to be held January 10-13, 2013. During the fall former Leadership Consultant Haley Smith, William & Mary, visited the campus to raise Kappa’s visibility on the campus and raise the momentum Colonization Chairman Emily Langdon, UC Davis, planned Kappa’s colonization recruitment to coincide with Cal Poly’s January recruitment schedule. She was assisted by Eta Rho Chapter Consultant Sarah Ford, Central Florida, and Leadership Consultants Jessie Pereira, Santa Clara, and Rebecca Shaw, Virginia Tech, who staffed an on-campus information booth. They told interested students about Kappa and encouraged the women to attend the Kappa Kasual information sessions which were held the next two evenings. Kappa alumnae participated in interviews held on Friday and Saturday.
On Saturday, the UC Santa Barbara undergraduates assisted with an evening party. They sang Kappa songs, visited with the potential new members and closed the evening with a preference-type ceremony. Sunday was a busy day for the colonization team. It included a brunch with a lovely preference-type closing. The potential new members signed bid cards after which the pledge ceremony was conducted for 126 pledges. A celebration of the culmination of this exciting colonization recruitment was held at a bowling and pizza party. Everyone was thrilled to welcome Eta Rho’s new members and looked ahead to installing the chapter in March.
The colonization team was composed of Fraternity History Chairman and 2006-2010 Fraternity President Denise Rugani, UC Davis; Installation Chairman Carol George Sanders, Cal State Northridge; Regional Director of Chapters (RDC) Region 7 Hannah Meehan Spector, Utah; Pi South Province Director of Alumnae (PDA) Nancy Vandenburg Westcott, Idaho; Pi North Province Director of Chapters (PDC) Amanda Compton Ruffo, UC Irvine; Kappa North PDC Lauren Nogy, UC San Diego; Pi South PDC of Chapters Diane Jones, Fresno State; Pi North PDA Nicole Carvalho, Central Florida; Coordinator of Chapter Development Laurie Hollinger, Arizona State; Molly Bechtel, UC Davis; Joan Minneman Cannon, Kansas State; Sea Gill, UC Merced; Kristin Hlubik, San Diego; Meredith Radke, British Columbia; and Headquarters staff members Extension Coordinator, Lisa Lunney Thomson, Bowling Green; and Fraternity Social Media & Communications Specialist Claire Davis, Auburn. This colonization was the first time the Fraternity’s new colonization marketing plan Be Kappa was rolled out. It included a Facebook page where potential new members could access recruitment information and schedule times for alumnae interviews.
Fraternity Installation Chairman Carol George Sanders oversaw the details for the installation with assistance from Chapter Consultant Sarah Ford and Coordinator of Chapter Development Laurie Hollinger. The Fireside was held Friday, March 1, and the Installation Service was conducted Saturday, March 2, at the Embassy Suites San Luis Obispo. Presidents of four Kappa chapters and active members from Cal State Northridge, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Merced and Santa Clara took part in the Installation Service. A beautiful installation luncheon was held at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. Extension Chairman Barb Adams Goettelman was the speaker. University representative Renoda Campbell welcomed Kappa to the campus and spoke about how the Fraternity fits into the Cal Poly Greek system. Also attending the luncheon was Cal Poly Panhellenic President Anca Todor.
Central Coast Alumnae Association President Stevia Wilson Shaw, New Mexico, presented the President’s Badge to Eta Rho president Jenna Stack at the luncheon.
The members of the installation team were led by Installation Chairman Carol George Sanders, and included Fraternity President Julie Marine Leshay; Director of Chapters Collett Beers Rangitsch, Wyoming; RDC Region 7 Hannah Meehan Spector; History Chairman and 2006-2010 Fraternity President, Denise Rugani; Extension Chairman Barbara Adams Goettleman; Ritual Chairman Susanne Wolff Vander Heyden, Washington State; Pi Central PDC Yvonne Kim UC Riverside; 1998 Loyalty Award Recipient Vera Lewis Marine, Colorado College; Colonization Chairman Emily Langdon; Pi North PDA Nicole Carvalho; Pi North PDC Amanda Compton Ruffo; Pi South PDC Diane Jones, Fresno State; Assistant to the Director of Chapters Reece Lofty Juelch, UC Irvine; Leadership Consultants Jessie Pereira, Santa Clara; Becca Shaw, Virginia Tech; Whitney Anderson, Oklahoma State; and Chelsea Dyer, Oklahoma State and Headquarters staff members: Extension Coordinator Lisa Lunney Thomson and Executive Director Kari Kittrell.
The model chapter meeting followed at the Embassy Suites with Fraternity President Julie Marine Leshay presiding. Following her installation as Eta Rho’s president, Jenna Stack presided and closed the meeting Alumna’s thoughts about being a part of the new Eta Rho Chapter: “Twenty or so alumnae were called together by Fraternity President, Julie Marine Leshay to help to establish a Kappa chapter on the campus of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Most of us did not know each other, and yet the bond was there right away: the trust, the support, the friendship and the fun. We worked and planned and hoped that the dream of a new chapter would become a reality. We held our collective breaths as recruitment took place, and then, the magic moment of the pledge ceremony for 111 new members for a brand-new chapter! Now we work even harder to make sure Eta Rho will be the same wonderful experience we each had, and are now having again. Full circle—Kappa keeps its promise.” Judith Goins Carleson, Oregon State
Charter members’ thoughts about becoming Kappas: One-hundred-eleven female students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo have had the incredible opportunity to be a part of something extremely unique…being a charter member of a new Kappa chapter. The Eta Rho Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma began with the process of recruiting girls in January 2013. Our current members found out about Kappa’s arrival in many different ways. Some of the girls read about the arrival in our school newspaper, and others saw flyers in our University Union. Personally, I found out about Kappa while being handed a hair tie with KAPPA written on it. That little green hair tie which seemed so insignificant at the time would turn out to be something unexpected and special. My best friend, Kelsey Suggs, is a Kappa at Stanford University. Whenever I would visit her, her sisters always welcomed me with open arms. Because of the wonderful experiences I had with the Stanford Kappas, I knew that this was an organization that I wanted to be a part of. After attending the informational meetings and deciding to pledge, I knew this would be one of the best decisions I’ve made. I wanted to be the involved in the start of something new and special at Cal Poly.
Now, Eta Rho is a fully established and chartered chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. While we are officially recognized by campus as a part of the Greek system, we still have a lot of work to do. Our amazing chapter council works hard every week to ensure that we make our chapter the best that it can possibly be. Being a charter member of a chapter involves a lot of hard work. Each member of Eta Rho is embracing this once-in-a-lifetime journey that we are all a part of.
Many of our sisters are very vocal about what Kappa has done for us. Karen Nakaki said, “I have always admired Greek women, but had not found a group I felt was right for me at Cal Poly. So when the opportunity to be a charter member of Kappa Kappa Gamma came up, I knew I had to go for it. I knew Kappa to be a strong national organization, so I knew that as a new chapter, we would have so much support from the alumnae and other chapters at nearby schools. I truly feel as though we've been welcomed into the Kappa family with open arms, and for that I am so grateful and proud to wear the golden key.”
Nina Reyes shares similar feelings. “I wanted to join Kappa because I wanted to be a part of starting an organization that promotes leadership and friendship! I’ve always been interested in joining Greek life, but the timing had never been right. Once I heard about Kappa, I just had this gut feeling that this is it. This is the organization I am meant to be in. I love Kappa!”
Chelsea French expressed her joy of being a new member. “My feelings now for Kappa are something almost indescribable. At first I joined for community, but I have been given something even greater. I have received a knowledge and appreciation for leadership that I could not compare. I have learned commitment, loyalty, and friendship that could only have happened through Kappa.”
Overall, each of us has been touched by Kappa in a different way. Personally, I feel that by being a founding member of Eta Rho, I know I’m leaving behind a legacy at my university that will grow and prosper as the years go on. Katie Ryan, Public Relations Chairman
Preceding information provided by 2010-2014 Fraternity Extension Chairman Barb Adams Goettelman, Syracuse. Fraternity Announcement:
Kappa Kappa Gamma has announced the official installation of its 139th collegiate chapter, located at California Polytechnic State University, in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
As one of the largest fraternities for women, Kappa welcomed 111 young women as they became charter members of the Eta Rho Chapter on March 2, 2013. More than 150 active and alumna women took part in this momentous occasion.
“Installing the Eta Rho Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was a special honor,” said Julie Leshay, Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity President. “The charter members are poised and ready to write their page of Kappa history, and all of us are thrilled to welcome these incredible new sisters.”
Kappa’s chapter at Cal Poly is the eighth National Panhellenic Conference group on campus and proudly, joins Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta and Sigma Kappa.
Community service, collaboration and unity are strengths of Cal Poly, and these attributes encourage students to provide service to their campus and community and develop leadership skills while experiencing an excellent education.
“These strengths complement the values that Kappa stands for,” added Leshay. Our already outstanding Cal Poly chapter is a wonderful addition to our organization!”
Prior to the beginning of the new school year, Eta Rho’s Charter class enjoyed an exciting sisterhood retreat at Disneyland on September 12, 2013. Following that, the chapter prepared for our first formal recruitment with a spirit week from September 15-21. Each day of spirit week, sisters spent hours practicing how to recruit potential new members, learning new songs, practicing a recruitment performance, and most importantly, bonding. Once school officially began, Eta Rho participated in its first formal Panhellenic recruitment. It was a long and stressful process for the chapter but also a rewarding and successful one. By the end of the weekend, the charter class extended bids to 76 lovely potential new members. Eta Rho’s Charter class welcomed the Beta Class with an exciting “Kappily Ever After” themed Bid Day on October 1, 2013.
Throughout October, the Beta Class went through their new member period with tons of sisterhood events such as Kappa Kappacino hours, farmers markets, sisterhood studies, and shopping at a sorority vendor. The chapter also had fun with other Greek organizations with exchanges and sister twisters. Sisters got a chance to hang out with their families and support Cal Poly football during Parent’s weekend from October 25-27.
November was another packed month for Eta Rho. On the first, there was a fun Disney themed exchange with Delta Chi. On the following day, Eta Rho put on it’s first big philanthropy event, Kappa Kickball. Twelve of Cal Poly’s IFC fraternities participated in the event with us to support RIF. It was an exciting event with Delta Sigma Phi taking first in the tournament. On November 15, 2013, the Beta class had their new member retreat at Ludwick Community Center and was surprised with a Big/Little reveal. The next night, November 16th, was the first annual Kappa Krush date party. After that exciting weekend, the Beta Class continued having sisterhood bonding with I-week events. Their week consisted of a movie night, line dancing, scrapbooking, and a potluck. The week was topped off with their Fireside ceremony on November 22, 2013.
Finally, the new members became an active Beta Class with an early morning initiation on November 23, 2013. The Charter class welcomed 65 lovely newly initiated actives to the Eta Rho family. The eventful month of November was ended with a formal meeting on November 24, 2013, where the new 2013-2014 Chapter Council was elected.
Cal Poly’s Greek Life is alive more now than ever. The Greek Community continues to thrive, grow, and collaborate together through events, philanthropy, and building a strong relationship between chapters. The same sort of community can be seen in our new chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Together as a sorority, we make up a very diverse group of women, making the chapter a place where unexpected paths can merge. All members contribute to the dynamic of our chapter in which we all play a role in building an organization based on the Kappa ideals. We all love one another and genuinely care about the well being of our sisters. We are proud to be building “our dear Kappa days”.
Kappa Kappa Gamma Eta Rho Chapter spent their second year at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo making strides to develop the new chapter and build a sisterly bond with one another. 2014 marked a time of great growth of the chapter, furthering the chapter in new and exciting ways, and making a difference within the San Luis Obispo County.
The year started off in full force as we elected our second wave of council women to help lead the chapter on January 12, 2014. Within the first few weeks of our Winter Quarter, we began tabling and spreading the word that Kappa was looking for a new Gamma class to call Kappa their home. After a week of tabling in the University Union, Kappa held Informal Recruitment at the House for three days of parties to get to know the girls. On January 18th, we welcomed 29 New Members to become a Kappa and hosted Bid Day at our home. During the New Member period, Eta Rho welcomed the new members with several sisterhood events including Sisterhood Studies, a visit to In-N-Out Burger in Arroyo Grande, a Taco Tuesday Dinner, a Girls’ Night In Event where we painted nails, danced, and had pizza, and much more. During the New Member Period, Owl Pals were set up, which is when Active members were paired with New Members to meet up one-on-one and get to know each other better. As time passed and sister bonding strengthened, it was soon time for Big and Little Pairings to happen! To surprise the soon-to-be Littles, the Bigs made a maze of string for their Littles to trace back to them. The entangled string sent the littles all around the house, but ultimately led to their Big! The event was an exciting and fun way for the Bigs and Littles to revealed to one another. After a week of I-Week activities including yoga, trips to SLO DO CO, Tie-Dying, and a fun Kappa themed Girls’ Night, the chapter was officially ready to welcome in the Gamma Class. A wonderful Initiation took place March 7th and 8th on Cal Poly’s Campus, where we officially welcomed 29 Gammas into our growing chapter.
During the first quarter of 2014, the chapter participated in several Philanthropy events. Eta Rho participated in Lambda Chi Alpha’s Watermelon Bust, Write the Night Philanthropy held in Chumash Auditorium, Sorority’s Best Dance Crew hosted by Theta Chi, Phi Sigma’s Bocce Ball Tournament, a clean up of a local San Luis Obispo street, Hathway, with Sigma Pi, and donated our handmade Alphabet cards to local preschools for children to use. Together, our acts of philanthropy united the chapter while having fun and supporting many important local and National philanthropies and causes.
During Winter Quarter, Kappa Kappa Gamma hosted a Semi-Formal on February 26th at the Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo. The girls loved getting dolled up to dance the night away with their sisters and dates! Eta Rho also had a “Cats and Lumberjacks” themed exchange with ZBT and Theta Chi at Dairy Creek on February 21st. As an Academic Excellence party, the chapter and AE committee celebrated the women that earned a spot on the Dean’s List for the quarter prior, with a delicious Ice Cream Party hosted at the house. On March 2nd, Eta Rho hosted our fist ever House Dedication Ceremony on our First Birthday! The party was called “Day at the Derby”, so we all dressed up in sundresses and big hats to celebrate all of Eta Rho’s accomplishments. There was a photo booth, a southern style meal prepared by our Alumna, Madonna Inn Cake, and a ceremony in which the President and the House Chair unveiled the KKG letters on our beautiful, new home. We also joined the men from DSP for a dinner on March 13th. Kappa participated in Panhellenic Intramural Soccer, and we came out victorious, placing first among all other sororities. We ended the quarter with several events to ease ourselves and our Cal Poly peers into week ten and the following finals week. We had a Kappa Kappachino station set up on Dexter Lawn on Campus in which we served free Starbucks Coffee to brighten finals week for our fellow Mustangs. Also, thanks to our terrific Parent and Alumna Association, the entire chapter was given a bag of goodies to endure the upcoming Finals week.
Once we all returned from Spring Break, the chapter was ready to start off another quarter and ready to be with their sisters again! During our first week of school, we began our calendar with an exchange with Phi Kappa Psi with an American themed party. On April 10th through the 12th, new students flocked Cal Poly’s campus to preview the school, and to welcome the prospective students, Eta Rho set up tables to talk to parents and new students interested in going Greek. On May 3rd, Kappa hosted our second ever Sapphire Ball at Avlia Beach Golf Resort. The venue was outside right on the edge of the ocean, dinner was provided, and we danced and socialized under the stars! During May 12th through the 18th, all of the Cal Poly Greek Community came together to compete in Greek Week! Kappa Kappa Gamma was a part of Team Green, in a Hunger Games themed competition. Events ranged from Penny Wars to Dodge ball to Lip Synch to participating in blood drives and fundraisers at local eateries. A favorite day during Greek Week is Beach Day, taking place at Pismo Beach where there are Limbo games, relay races, and Hamster Ball races! As the school year came to a close, we hosted a Senior Sendoff Event on June 7th to celebrate our graduating seniors. Seniors gave speeches and the chapter shared fond memories.
During Spring Quarter, Kappa Kappa Gamma continued to partake in philanthropies across campus. On April 5th, three Kappas competed in Iron Chef with Delta Chi, where the sisters worked together to create a Hawaiian themed meal. The chapter formed a beach volleyball team to compete in Lambda Chi Alpha’s Lambda Cabana to raise money. We participated in Gamma Phi Beta’s philanthropy Flags for Frances on April 13th, NAK’s Miss Greek Universe, Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, AEPi’s Dodge ball Tournament, Sigma Nu’s Ducky Derby, Cal Poly’s Relay for Life supporting cancer research, and a carnival entitled ZBT Tahiti hosted by ZBT. During this quarter, the chapter earned their SAFER certification title from the University. By attending educational and fun events, our chapter learned how to live and promote a safe lifestyle. Members of the chapter participated in a Reading is Key events on April 19th and 26th at the Prado Day Center, a community center helping the homeless in San Luis Obispo. Together, we read books aloud, donated books, crafted, and helped kids get excited about reading!
As Summer break drew to a close, the women of Eta Rho met up to reconnect, bond, and prepare for Recruitment by gathering at the Kappa House for Spirit Week. During this time, we talked about why we love Kappa, the special ethics that connect us all, and preparing for Recruitment! During the middle of the week, we were surprised with a Sisterhood retreat to Disneyland on September 16th. Once our week of preparation was complete, we were ready and eager to talk to the girls interested in going Greek! All parties were held at the Kappa House, where we gave the girls tours of our home and shared why Kappa is important to us through conversation, pictures, and videos. At the end of Recruitment, we gave over eighty girls bids, and we celebrated their arrival into the chapter with a “Sweet Home Kappa Gamma” themed bid day! The following days, we had several sisterhood events including another trip to In-N-Out, a sisterhood BBQ, Pumpkin decorating for Halloween, Line Dancing Lessons, a shopping day at a local boutique, and a whole lot of sister bonding!
This Fall quarter was our time to shine and promote our philanthropies with the Cal Poly Community. On November 8th, we hosted our first ever Kappa Karaoke Philanthropy in Chumash Auditorium. Several groups signed up to participate and belt it out on stage. All proceeds of the event supported Kids’ Cancer Research Fund, a non-profit that was established in our very own San Luis Obispo. There was a raffle, a photo booth, games, and entertainment. The event was open to the general public, and several guest speakers spoke, including the founders of Kids’ Cancer Research Foundation! Kappa Kappa Gamma also contributed community service during Cal Poly’s Make a Difference Day. We went to Growing Grounds, a local non-profit whole-sale nursery where we helped in the garden and clean up their land.
On October 13th, Eta Rho celebrated Founder’s Day at the Sea Cliffs Resort on the edge of the ocean! We all gathered for brunch and speeches commemorating our Founding Sisters of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity. The first Owl Award was presented to a sister of impressive academic devotion. As fall quarter continued, we had an exchange themed “SLO-Chella” in which we wore our flower crowns and dressed up as if we were attending the famous music festival. On October 23rd, we had a Taco Night Dinner with Sigma Pi at our house. And to conclude our socials, we ended the quarter with Kappa Krush, on November 7th at Petra Mediterranean Pizza and Grill, where we dressed up as the “perfect pair” with our dates.
After getting to know our new Delta New Member Class, Big and Little Reveal was here. After surprising the Littles at Avila Beach during their New Member Retreat, the Littles ran to go find their Big by matching their key to their Big’s lock. Big and Little reveal was followed by I-Week activities including donuts and coffee, a movie night and crafting, which were the final events before the Delta Class was initiated. Initiation of the Delta class took place at the Embassy Suites on November 21 and 22nd. During Finals Week, the AE Committee held a pizza party at the house in which we were divided up by college to allow us to get to know our like-minded peers and sisters a little bit better. The year concluded with nominations for the new 2015 council positions and a chapter-wide gift of a Alex and Ani Bracelet with a Fleur-de-Lis charm!
Eta Rho has had such a fantastic third year on Cal Poly’s campus. Through philanthropy events, sisterhood events, a new chapter council and many other fun activities, we are starting to really make a name for ourselves as the newest sorority at Cal Poly.
2015 started out with a bang when the new chapter council was installed on January 4th. It was a beautiful ceremony during our weekly Sunday chapter meeting that we welcomed 18 fresh faced and motivated woman to lead Eta Rho chapter. We are so appreciative of the work that was done by the outgoing officers, and were lucky to have Leadership Day with them along with the wonderful Barb Goettelman just a few days later on January 10th on Cal Poly’s campus. On this day, Barb did some motivational speaking to the outgoing and incoming officers, along with several advisors. We did a lot of ice breakers and the outgoing officers shared tips for the incoming officers.
On January 11th, the Academic Excellence Committee held a banquet at the Kappa house that was catered by Chipotle. At this event, there were tons of prizes given away such as Victoria’s Secret gift cards for those Kappa smarties who received a GPA of 4.0 for the previous quarter.
One of our favorite events that we hold every year is our Parents Weekend at the historic Madonna Inn in SLO. On February 7th, we invited our parents to enjoy the weekend with us starting out with a fabulous brunch the infamous Madonna cake. The following day we held house tours at our spectacular house and showed it off to our loved ones. There was hot chocolate and pastries that were paired perfectly with the Fall weather! This event is held every year and is put on by our Public Relations chairman who always do a fabulous job. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, our philanthropy chairman had a fun idea of holding a Galentine’s Day at the Kappa house. We laughed the night away with our sisters while eating all kinds of desserts and making crafts. We also wrote Valentine’s Day cards to give to a Senior Living home in SLO and hand delivered them to the residents. It really made their day to have a handwritten note given to them from complete strangers! It’s little philanthropic acts like this that we pride ourselves in.
Before we knew it, it was Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and with Reading is Fundamental as our main philanthropy, it was only fitting that we celebrated it to the fullest! On February 27th, some of the Eta Rho sisters went to the SLO Boys and Girls Club and spent the day reading to the kids and doing crafts with them like making paper Dr. Seuss hats. We had so much fun bringing joy to these children on this day and love all of the connections we have with local elementary schools as well. We hope to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday every year and support Reading is Fundamental in every way that we can.
Happy birthday to Eta Rho! On March 7th, 2015, we celebrated the installation of Eta Rho on Cal Poly’s campus for our second birthday (although our actual birthday is March 2nd). We rented out the roller blading rink in Santa Maria and skated the day away with our sisters! There was a delicious cake there to help us celebrate our special day that was put on by Danielle Van Skike, our chapter Education Chairman. Each academic class dressed up in generations, from rocking the ‘90’s with overalls to fun neon patterns and jackets for the ‘80’s. Today we reflected on how far Eta Rho has come and all that we have accomplished.
Every year during finals week we try the brighten the days of our fellow student body by putting on Kappa Kappachino. For this event, we set a booth up on Dexter Lawn at Cal Poly and give out free Starbucks coffee and scantrons to students! It’s always a huge hit and is great PR for our chapter. We held this event on March 12th as well as March 13th giving students two days to enjoy everything that we give out!
Our first exchange of the year was a night to remember. On April 25th, we danced the night away with the men of Delta Tau Delta and Theta Chi at a Petra restaurant in SLO. With “when I grow up” as our theme, our girls created hilarious, creative costumes from a chef to a rock star! Our favorite part about exchanges is getting ready with our sisters and letting off school stress on the dance floor!
In addition to this exchange, we also had exchanges with Beta, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Pi and a fraternity dinner with Sigma Pi. One of our sisters, Bibi, is the sweetheart for Sigma Pi fraternity, so it is always fun to hold events with them. At our fraternity dinner with Sigma Pi, we held it at our house and ate yummy Mexican food. Complete with a pinata and a few games of corn hole, it was a night to remember.
One of our favorite things about being a Kappa is the bond we have with our sisters. We love looking back on all of the sisterhood events that are put on by our Standards and Sisterhood chairmen. A few of these events include International Night at the Kappa house with activities originating from different countries, spa sisterhood days at the house with facials and nail painting, a hypnotist sisterhood on campus and renting out movie theatres to watch premiers with our sisters. This year we watched the new Hunger Games movie as well as Pitch Perfect 2.
Our biggest philanthropy of the year was on May 2nd, Kappa Kickball. We hold this event every year to support Reading is Fundamental. There is a kickball tournament put on where all of Cal Poly’s fraternities are invited to come out and play in a single elimination tournament. This year, it was a red, white and blue theme and trophies were given to the winning team! We raised a lot of money for this organization that is near and dear to our heart. This was a huge week for us, because just the day after was the start of Greek Week! We had so much fun with our Greek Week partners playing fun sports games all week and ending it with Lip Sync, where our team did an awesome memoir to the Breakfast Club. This is such a fun week for all of Cal Poly’s greek life and thousands of dollars are raised every year for various philanthropies.
On May 30th, we had our annual Senior Sendoff at the Kappa house. This day is as equally joyful as it is sad, as we say goodbye to our seniors. We hold “roasts and toasts” and tell embarrassing stories of our sisters and reminisce on the year we all had together. There are also senior wills which are items given from the graduating senior to any sister they feel should be given that item. Examples of this are Kappa shirts, inside joke gifts and small things they’ve collected from Kappa events throughout the year. The seniors then receive a stein that has Kappa’s crest on it that is filled with little goodies. This is another event that is put on by the Education chairman and it is always such a sentimental event!
Not only do we love putting on our own philanthropies to support the organizations that we love, but we also love attending philanthropy events from other sororities and fraternities. We participated in a ton this year, and had so much fun doing it. A few of these include Lambda Chi Alpha’s Watermelon Bust supporting the SLO Food Bank, TKE’s flag football, Delta Chi’s pumpkin carving event that “carved out cancer”, Phi Kappa Psi’s Sorority Soccer Cup supporting the SLO Boys and Girls Club, and also attended sorority events like Chi Omega’s ChiO Casino and Alpha Omicron Pi’s Mr. Fraternity which supported Alzheimer’s research. We are so proud of the greek community as a whole and all the hard work that goes into a successful philanthropy event.
It wasn’t long until school was out for the Summer! Our sisters had a blast spending a few months off from school together and traveling. We got some much needed rest, and knew that recruitment was right around the corner! Spirit Week was from September 7th to September 18th. During these two weeks, our Recruitment Chairman was hard at work raising morale and teaching all of us the ins and outs of recruitment that was right around the corner. We learned our Door Song, which was to the infamous Kappa Rap, played ice breakers with our sisters and bonded before the stressful week that was ahead. Recruitment ran from September 24th 29th. After a long week, we were so excited to welcome our Epsilon class of 2015 at our baseball themed, “Sweet Home Kappa Gamma” Bid Day. We love our 88 new members! They were initiated on November 21st at a beautiful ceremony that they will remember forever. We now have five smart, classy, beautiful pledge classes at Cal Poly!
On November 14th, we held our annual Kappa Krush date party at Spencer Makenzie’s in SLO. The theme every year is “perfect pair” and the girls had so much fun dressing up with dates. This is one of our favorite events of the year because we get to be creative and shake off some stress before finals.
We have had another successful year at Cal Poly overcoming obstacles that inevitably come with being a new chapter. We hope to improve our retention rates and also improve our chapter involvement amongst our members. We do pride ourselves in the awards that we have been granted such as Cal Poly’s Outstanding Greek Council Member of the Year given to Megan Minahan and Cal Poly’s Panhellenic President of the Year given to Hannah Heitzig. Our sister Kelsy Koenig was also crowned Homecoming Queen at Cal Poly representing the college of Liberal Arts, and we could not be more proud of her!
Organizations that we have raised money for include Jack’s Helping Hand, Reading is Fundamental and Together We Rise. Jack’s Helping Hand is an organization in SLO that helps children and their families if they are diagnosed with cancer or a rare disability. We held a Kappa 5k Run and invited the community to run with us and raise money for this organization. We held Kappa Kickball in the Spring that raised money for Reading is Fundamental. We also decorated “Sweet Cases” for Together We Rise, a nonprofit that helps youth navigate through America’s foster care system. Sweet Cases are duffel bags that are stocked with hygiene products, coloring books, crayons and more comforting items.
The 2016 Executive Board will be officially installed into office on January 9th on Leadership day. Advisors, ingoing and outgoing officers will be present to send the new council on their way. We are so proud of all of the accomplishments that Eta Rho had in 2015 and are so excited to watch the new council flourish and make Kappa the best house that it can be.
This year marked a pivotal transition year for Eta Rho. The remainder of our beloved Alpha class graduated in spring quarter, leaving us (and one remaining Alpha who is staying for fall quarter) to forge our own path in our fourth year on Cal Poly’s campus.
We started off our year with one of our favorite sisterhood activities--a movie night at the house hosted in the backyard complete with popcorn and candy. We bundled up and welcomed each other back from Winter Break. The next day our new Chapter Council dove right in with Leadership Day, where new officers were transitioned with the help of outgoing council as well as some of our advisors.
On January 10th we hosted our annual catered Academic Excellence banquet to honor the women in our chapter who received a 4.0, Dean’s List, and achieved their academic goals they set for themselves. This year was the second year we have done winter recruitment. However, this year we took a more casual approach and got coffee with women that our chapter recommended. We got to know them one-on-one rather than doing an entire mini-recruitment at our house. We welcomed our Zeta class of 13 women with a baseball-themed bid day at the house. February started off with Parents Weekend. Friday, February 5th, we opened our house to show our parents and loved ones. The following day we ate brunch at the Madonna Inn and got to hear about how Kappa has affected women in our chapter and alumni. That Sunday we hosted a hike for all sisters and parents to join. The next weekend was filled with just as much fun for us. The following Thursday, we had a dinner with Delta Upsilon at their new house. The next day we celebrated Valentine’s day with a “Galentine’s Day” complete with cookies and note-writing. On Saturday we participated in Sigma Pi’s Home Run Derby philanthropy, where our sister Sarah took home first place!
The fun continued through the rest of February with fun social events. We had a librarians and barbarians themed exchange with the men of Delta Tau Delta and Phi Sigma Kappa. We also had our semi-formal, hosted at the Old Port Inn in Avila. We honored our seniors with a senior wine-tasting trip, hopefully a new tradition that the rest of the chapter can look forward to one day.
We celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a trip to C.L. Smith Elementary School to do a Reading is Key event. Our sisters love interacting with the children and seeing how reading is impacting children first-hand. Our philanthropic spirit continued into March when we participated in a beach clean up with the men of Zeta Beta Tau. March 2nd fell on a Saturday, which meant we got to celebrate Eta Rho’s third birthday party on the actual day! Because Eta Rho was turning three, we found it appropriate to throw ourselves a third birthday party at our house--complete with party hats, face-paint, balloons, streamers, and other fun childhood games and activities. It was fun to let loose and celebrate our chapter and how much we have grown.
The quarter was almost over, which meant that it was time to participate in our quarterly Kappa Kappacino event. We hand out free coffee, donuts, and scantrons to the students struggling to get through Dead Week. So many of our sisters love this event because it really does brighten up students’ days and we love how thankful students are. But before we knew it, Winter Quarter was over and it was Spring Quarter, which meant it was time to initiate our Zetas. We got to bond during I-week with Zeta Zumba and a sisterhood trip to the weekly Farmer’s Market. Our Zetas were initiated on April 2nd. We got to celebrate with something a bit unorthodox--a British acapella band made a stop in SLO, coordinated by one of our sisters and her mom. They came to the Kappa house and serenaded us with a beautiful performance! It was so fun (and higher quality than a normal fraternity serenade). On April 23, we had an exchange with Theta Chi and Zeta Beta Tau. The theme was jerseys and jorts (jean shorts) and it was great to see all of our sisters go all out for the theme. Throughout the year, we also had an exchange with Kappa Sigma and Sigma Pi as well as a dinner with Cal Poly’s men’s lacrosse and rugby teams and another one with Zeta Beta Tau.
The weekend of April 30th, our sisters started a new tradition with participating in Wildflower. Many other Greek organizations pair up and help to volunteer at the marathon, so we joined in on the fun with the men of Beta Theta Pi. In addition to this, we continued serving our community throughout Spring Quarter. The next weekend we helped out with a water station outside of our house for the SLO Marathon. Another fun service and fundraising opportunity, Greek Week, was the following week. May 2nd through 9th was filled with fun activities that we got to enjoy with our partners, Sigma Nu, Alpha Epsilon Phi, and Lambda Phi Epsilon. Greek Week activities were not only fun competition but also raised money for Jack’s Helping Hand, a local charity that our chapter also supports. Philanthropy efforts from our chapter continued on May 14th when we hosted Kappa Splash. We swapped out our usual spring philanthropy of a kickball tournament for something more unique and interactive. We hosted an innertube water polo tournament between fraternities and it was a roaring success. We had a great fraternity turnout and both the participants and women in our chapter were having fun tanning by the pool, splashing around, watching games, and taking pictures. We even heard participants talking after the event about their excitement for next year’s tournament. We hope that we have started a new era for philanthropy and can continue this positive energy and love for this event! On June 3rd we hosted our senior sendoff ceremony. This bittersweet time is always hard for our chapter, but this year it was particularly hard to say goodbye to the women in the Alpha (and some Beta) class who were so influential in making our chapter what it is today. We thanked them for their courage to start a new chapter and we promised we would carry on their legacy.
Because we were so busy during spring quarter, we held our formal on June 4th. It was at the Avila Beach Golf Resort and made for beautiful pictures. We danced the night away under a beautiful tent with string lights that overlooked the beach. But, formal was bittersweet because it was the last time a majority of our chapter was together before school was out for summer!
Before we knew it, it was time to pack our bags and come back for Spirit Week. We went over logistics like how to line up, how to do pickups, how to introduce yourself, and how to walk down our front steps without looking down and without tripping. But Spirit Week is so much more than logistics. We held workshops where we got to bond with our sisters and get to know more about each other. Spirit Week is a time to come closer together and learn more about each other as well as yourself. Ice breakers, emotional note-writing, and silly activities helped to strengthen our sisterhood and ensure that we were ready to welcome new women into our chapter. And, of course, Spirit Week means our sisterhood trip to Disneyland!
Recruitment started on September 28th and proved to be the long hours we anticipated. However, all of the time and sleepless nights were worth it when we welcomed home our beloved Eta class with a Vegas themed bid day at La Cuesta Ranch on October 5th.
The Etas kicked off their new member period right away with a sisterhood trip to farmer’s, a fraternity dinner, and an In-n-Out takeover. Our chapter was kept busy with many sisterhoods as well as our annual Founder’s Day celebration, this year held at the Madonna Inn with a theme of “something blue.” Once again, our Philanthropy Chairman blew us away with our fall philanthropy. Last year we decided to do a “Kappa Kostume Run” and we decided to take it on again this year, except we wanted to go much bigger and improve turnout. We could have never expected the turnout we got--over 300 people participated and we raised over $4,000 for Jack’s Helping Hand (to put that in perspective, that’s about as much as all of Greek life raised during Greek Week). The fun continued with our annual Kappa Krush date party was held on November 11th at the Embassy Suites this year. We stuck with our theme of “perfect pair” but tried to do the dates differently this year--we suggested that our members ask a date for their buddy.
Finally, we held a very successful I-week the week before dead week of fall quarter. We watched our women win the championship of soccer intramurals on our team with Beta Theta Pi, watched Moana at the drive-in, and held our first ever senior/new member night where the seniors got to pass on words of wisdom and advice to our chapter’s future. We initiated our Eta class on December 3rd.
Although we faced challenges this year, we are so proud of how far we have come. We received the President’s Community Service Award for an on-campus organization that does outstanding service. This was a big year for our philanthropy and we have finally started to establish ourselves on campus. We take pride in our strong sisterhood and the genuine women we have in this chapter. We have worked on improving our retention rate and are working on using our committees to improve chapter involvement. Council meetings have had almost every seat filled because of members coming to actively participate. We are so excited for our next executive board to take on leadership. We can’t wait to see what they have in store and how they will help us continue to grow!
Approved by the Eta Rho Chapter on 12/4/2016
Eta Rho has reached its fifth year at Cal Poly with an exciting and successful year! Our chapter continues to grow and evolve as we establish ourselves and make our presence known on campus. Our philanthropy events—Kappa Splash and the Kappa 5k run—have raised thousands of dollars for Reading is Fundamental and Jack’s Helping Hands. We hope to continue raising more money every year to help make a difference in the San Luis Obispo Community and the whole country!
We started off 2017 with our new council members and the excitement of Winter Recruitment. We invited amazing women to our preference night at the house after meeting them for a coffee date earlier in the week. Informal recruitment was a success with our newly recruited eight wonderful Thetas that have shown to be an amazing addition to our chapter. We celebrated our new members with a fun bid day at the house with desserts, snacks, and sisters! Our first event with the new members was a dinner with the men of Beta Theta Pi. The rain did not stop us from having a great time and we always enjoy spending time with their fraternity! Our first sisterhood event with our Theta class was a space themed bowling night with pizza at Mustang Lanes. We had such a great time meeting our great new additions to the chapter at both the dinner and sisterhood!
As February approached, so did Parents Weekend! We kicked off the weekend by hosting an open house at the Kappa house where families were able to tour the house and meet the ladies that live in. We hoped the parents would now understand why we love our house so much after seeing it for themselves! We finished off the weekend with brunch at the Madonna Inn. Our families arrived with hundreds of books to donate to Reading is Fundamental and it was great that we could get our parents involved in our national philanthropy and show them how much it means to our chapter! During the meal, we introduced our chapters council members and sang for our families. We loved being able to introduce our families to each other and be able to show them what Kappa is all about!
Before we knew it, semi-formal season was upon us! The theme was Kappa Kappa Gatsby and it was at the Marriott. We danced the night away with our dates and sisters, and had an awesome time. On March 3rd, we celebrated Eta Rho’s fifth birthday with an event at Suspended Aerial Motion. We split up into two groups and had the opportunity to climb, flip, and twist on silks. It was an amazing experience that most of our sisters had never even heard of before, let alone attempted!
Winter quarter sped by and before we knew it, it was initiation week! We kicked off I-Week with a Zumba class at the Rec Center, an In-n-Out takeover the following night, and finished the week with a movie night watching Neighbors 2. Fireside and Initiation were beautiful and the Thetas were finally initiated into our amazing sisterhood. As winter quarter came to an end, we hosted our quarterly Senior Sendoff at our chapter meeting. It was bittersweet because we are going to miss our sisters so much but we know they are going to do amazing in the next chapter of their lives. We finished off the quarter with a day of service with the men of Zeta Beta Tau at Growing Grounds in San Luis Obispo. We were split up into different groups to perform different tasks for two hours. They are always very gracious when we go to volunteer and our sisters always work hard at these events!
Spring quarter finally arrived and we jumped right back into Kappa! We attended Farmers Market on the Thursday before the Cal Poly Open House in our cute Kappa tanks to show the Potential New Members how strong the Kappa sisterhood is. The following Saturday we joined the rest of Greek Life at the club showcase for open house where we setup our booth and chatted with PNMs and their families. We encouraged women to consider Greek Life because of the amazing opportunities that we are given with meeting new people, getting involved with community service, and being able to make the large Cal Poly campus seem a bit smaller.
Our busy spring quarter continued with a sisterhood event at the movies to see Beauty and The Beast. We then hosted our annual Kappa Splash Tournament, with proceeds going to Reading is Fundamental. The event went very smoothly and the men of Zeta Beta Tau won for the second year in a row! All of the participants loved the event and are looking forward to next year. After our philanthropy, we hopped right into competitive mode for the start of Greek Week. Our team was “Back to the Future” and the theme of the week was “Battle of the Classics.” We did an amazing job, winning many of the sports including bowling, basketball and flag football. Unfortunately, our team came in second place, but we improved greatly from last year and there is always next year to take home the victory! Our busy quarter did not slow down even when we neared the end. We hosted a Jolyn trunk Show, which was a huge success and girls really enjoyed it!
We also had a movie night at the house with In-N-Out and Magic Mike, followed by senior sendoff the next morning. Many girls came to “Roast and Toast” our seniors and it was a great sendoff. We are so proud of the amazing women who graduated and are excited to see what the future has in store for them!
Formal came the weekend before finals and it was well worth the wait. It was at Edna Valley Vineyards and catered by Taqueria Santa Cruz. The food was amazing and the venue was absolutely stunning with rolling green hills in the background, a perfect backdrop for pictures! It was a great event, just like all the other ones we had so far this year! We reached finals and had to part our ways from our sisters for summer, already anticipating the reunion in fall for recruitment!
Over summer, our sisters went off and did some amazing things! Some ladies were studying abroad, others were traveling, a lot of women had amazing internships, and many stayed in SLO and were able to be together all summer. As much fun as we had this summer, we were eager to come back and begin recruitment! We started off the school year with spirit week! We trained for the various days of recruitment, bonded with different activities, and even made time to take a trip to Disneyland. Recruitment was long and tiring, but completely worth it. We recruited some amazing women that are going to be great additions to Eta Rho and keep the chapter moving in the right direction! We hosted our fall bid night on a ranch with ice cream, donuts, dancing and lots of pictures. It was a great night and a great introduction to Kappa for our New Members!
For the Iota’s new member period, we planned as many events as possible in order to make them feel comfortable and welcome in Kappa. Our first event with our New Members was going downtown for Farmers Market. Actives drove our new sisters downtown to eat food and mingle with the new members. Our next event was a fun beach day, where we really got to know our new members a little bit better. We also had a bonfire on Grover Beach a few days later where we roasted s’mores, watched the sunset, and got to know the new members even more! At our chapter meeting on the following Monday, we had formal pledging for our Iota class. They were given their New Member pin that they are to keep until the new member period is over in November. The following weekend we celebrated Kappa Kappa Gamma’s founders day at the Madonna Inn. It even featured a Kappa rap from our advisor Judith! To finish off October, Kappa volunteered for Cal Poly’s “Make a Difference Day” where we helped clean the kitchen of a summer camp called Granite Ridge in Creston with the ladies of Chi Omega. One of our most anticipated events of the quarter finally arrived, Kappa Krush! Everyone dressed up in “Dynamic Duo” costumes and had a great time chatting, dancing, and eating at SLO Brew at the Rock. The new members loved being apart of the event and are so excited for next year!
Initiation week was finally upon us! We kicked off I-week with the Senior/New Member spa night and continued the week with our popular In-N-Out takeover and going to the drive-in theatre at Sunset Drive-In where we watched Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy from the comfort of our cars! The week ended with Fireside and afterwards the New Members went to the Kappa house for a sleepover. This year, we decided to also have an active sleepover in order for the actives to also bond during this special week of the quarter. It was a great time and have now decided to make it into a tradition. On Saturday November 11, the Iota class was initiated and they could not be more excited. Girls went to brunch after initiation with their Kappa families to celebrate being an active member of Kappa! With initiation behind us, the quarter is coming to an end.
We can't wait to install our new executive board and ready ourselves for another exciting year in KKG! Our fraternity had great success this year with our recruitment, philanthropies, and events. We cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store for us and the excitement that’s yet to come!
Approved by Eta Rho on 11/13/2017
Eta Rho’s 6th year on Cal Poly’s campus started out strong. The start of a new year came with the training of our new council at the annual Leadership Day where each council member got to learn from their predecessor and bond with the other girls who will be beside them every step of the way for the next year. All our members couldn’t be more excited to get the new year rolling.
We started off the quarter enjoying a dinner with the men of Sigma Pi. The next weekend in February we hosted our annual Kappa Parent’s weekend where girls get to show their parents around our beautiful home and introduce them to some of their Kappa sisters. The main event for this weekend is the brunch we host for all the families. In the past we have had the brunch at Madonna Inn, but this year we decided to switch it up and have the brunch at Slow Brew Rock, which was an absolute hit and might just become our new tradition.
The month of February had many more fun events that followed. We had a dinner with Theta Chi that was “Jarty in the USA” theme, our annual sisterhood movie in Atascadero where our sisters gathered to watch Fifty Shades Freed, and a sisterhood event where we volunteered at Growing Grounds to help our community. Then we moved into the first weekend of March, which was filled with Kappa everything. We started out the weekend with our Reading is Key event at CL Smith Elementary. The kids love when we come in to read and do crafts with them, and we also donate books that they get to keep and take home. That same day we had Eta Rho’s 6th birthday party at Central Coast Sports Arena in Santa Maria, where we dressed up in our best 70’s decade’s outfits, ate our weight in Buffalo Wild Wings, and roller bladed with our sisters. The following day we had our Semi formal at embassy suites. We finished out the month of March with another dinner, but this time with the men of Beta Theta Pi.
April was just as exciting and filled with a variety of events. We had an impromptu acai sisterhood, a senior spa day at Sycamore Hot Springs, and a Lulu sisterhood. The seniors raved about how amazing their spa day was and loved the chance to get to bond with their fellow seniors, as well as be provided with a nice get away where they could relax and forget about the stress of graduating and entering the real world in a few short months. Whereas, the Lulu sisterhood was a hit because we could all bond over our obsession for cute workout clothes and get a huge discount on many of our favorite items.
The rest of spring quarter we had the opportunity to really reflect on what Kappa means to us and why we chose to join this amazing organization. We were able to reflect on ourselves, take the time to be with our sisters and focus on our relationships and giving back to our community, not just our social events that often become our sole focus at times.
We had a few more events to finish out the school year. The seniors had a senior day where they got food at Libertine, bonded, and finished out their day with senior pictures with the lovely Matthew Lalanne. We also had a big sisterhood event in place of our usual Spring formal at Santa Margarita Ranch. The event was carnival themed including face paint, glitter tattoos, cotton candy, tacos and our senior sendoff “Roast and Toast.” Lastly, we finished the quarter with our annual philanthropy Kappa Splash. The men of Zeta Beta Tau won for the third year in a row, and we were able to raise over $1,500 for Reading is Fundamental. Everyone loved spending the day at the pool, tanning, hanging out with friends, competing, and most importantly raising money for a great cause.
It was now the bitter sweet time of summer break where everyone is excited to be on break from school, but sad to be separated from their sisters for 3 months. Girls went in all directions for summer break. Some stayed in SLO, some went abroad, some had amazing internships, and others just had a nice relaxing summer at home. No matter where everyone ended up, we all couldn’t be more excited to be reunited in the fall.
Two weeks before the start of school in the fall, our sisters returned to SLO to attend our annual fall sisterhood retreat. We usually make this trip to Disneyland, but this year we decided to switch it up and do a cabin retreat at Big Bear Lake. Girls got to stay in cabins and have sleepovers just like when we were younger, have bonfires where everyone told stories or played games to get to know each other better. There was a plethora of fun activities to participate in each day. Some of the activities offered were archery, a high ropes course, and a rock climbing wall. In addition to an impromptu soccer game and yoga with one of our sisters leading the class.
When everyone returned from the retreat it was time to jump right into Spirit Week. The Iota class had a few days of practice just for them to go over the basics of recruitment and offer them time to ask any specific questions they may have, but more importantly a time to bond with the members of their pledge class before we welcomed our new Kappa class. Then, a few days later, the entire chapter joined the Iotas and we all practiced for the much anticipated and biggest event of fall quarter. Although the week was spent practicing for recruitment in order to best prepare us to recruit the most amazing and genuine girls we can, we also had mini sisterhoods every day after training to allow for us all to get to know every single girl and become closer as an entire chapter. This year’s Spirit Week was one for the books and definitely something to be emulated in the future.
The first week of school we kicked off our annual fall photo off with Asia Croson. She always takes amazing photos for us and all the girls that were able to attend the photoshoot were so excited to receive her pictures. Recruitment this year was split into two separate weekends in order to minimize class conflicts and hopefully help manage people’s stress with balancing school and recruitment right at the start of the new school year. The first weekend of recruitment went so well we couldn’t wait to get the next weekend started, but we were also happy to have a break during the week to be able to catch up on sleep, schoolwork, and give us the energy and motivation we needed to finish out the second weekend strong and recruit some amazing new girls into this sorority. Bid Day finally came around on October 8. It was blue and blue themed at Higuera Ranch, and we were so thrilled to finally welcome home our new Kappa pledge class! The theme and decorations were such a hit that this might just be a recurring theme in the future. Everyone came decked out in anything blue they could find. Some girls even wore blue wigs to show their dedication and love for our new Kappas.
The new members had so many events to go to during their first few weeks that gave us the opportunity to show them how great Kappa is and teach them to love it just as much as we all do. Their first event was Founder’s Day at Madonna Inn on October 13th, followed by our new fall philanthropy, Kappa Karnival, and a dinner with Zeta Beta Tau and Kappa Sigma the next two weeks.
In the past we have done a 5K run for our big fall philanthropy that benefits Jack’s Helping Hand, but this year we wanted to do something new. We decided to put on a carnival for other Greek Life to compete in games against each other, and then after the competition open it to the public to provide fun games and prizes for our community to participate in. All proceeds from the carnival were donated to the Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center, and we raised over $7,000 in our first year! We have high hopes for this philanthropy to expand even more in the future and get more of the SLO community involved in such a great cause.
We finished off October by volunteering at Growing Grounds once more because they are always very accommodating of our large number of girls wanting to help and we love giving back to them in any way we can. The next month was packed full of even more fun events for the new members including two more dinners with California Philanthropy Group and Tau Kappa Epsilon, as well as our date party Kappa Krush and the much anticipated Big/Little Reveal!
Big/Little reveal is usually every girl’s favorite part of fall quarter because the new members find out who their big is, the actives get their littles, and everyone’s family grows a little bigger. This year the new members were at their new member retreat at the Kappa House and were told they were going to Mitchell Park down the street for a bonding activity, but little did they know their bigs were patiently awaiting in their boxes they decorated, ready to jump out and surprise them! The Kappas were all so amazed when they walked up and saw all the boxes, making Big/Little Reveal a huge success. After the event, everyone went out with their new families to bond and get some food.
Later that same night was Kappa Krush. Kappa Krush this year was at Grillhouse, but we switched up the theme a little from the past two years. In the past we had everyone dress up with their dates as a dynamic duo or perfect pair, but this year we thought it would be fun to dress up with our dates as a rhyme without reason. The best part of the night was trying to figure out how everyone’s’ costumes fit together and rhymed. This was our last event before we left for Thanksgiving break, and when we came back from break we jumped right into I-week and the initiation process for the Kappas.
I-week began with the returning of the new member pins where we catered Buffalo Wild Wings for the whole chapter to celebrate the start of the initiation process for our soon to be new actives. The week continued with a bowling night at mustang lanes for the entire chapter, a Zumba class at the rec center, and finally a movie night in downtown SLO to watch the new Grinch. Fireside was finally here, and we held this at The Guild Hall on Friday November 30th. All of the Kappas and New Member Chairman had a sleepover at the Kappa House after Fireside and couldn’t be more excited to finish out initiation Saturday morning. We continued with the initiation of the Kappas on Saturday December 1st in the Performing Arts Center on campus; they were no longer new members and officially become active members of Eta Rho. This year we even had a few family members of the new members drive to SLO to help initiate their sister, which was very special for those girls. The Kappas were all so excited to finally be active members of Kappa Kappa Gamma and celebrated by going out to brunch with their families.
We finished out Winter quarter by electing our new council, and we couldn’t be more excited to see where they lead Eta Rho next. We have high hopes for their success and know they are all so eager to take on their new roles. We can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for us!
In 2022, the Eta Rho Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma had an enriching, stirring, and dynamic year. With navigating the ever-changing pandemic, Eta Rho made the most of our opportunities to connect with our sisters in-person when possible and grow our forever present sisterhood. On January 9th, we started off 2022 by transitioning our new chapter council at Leadership Day through virtual bonding and planning. During this zoom event, we discussed our council commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion by forming initiatives to apply to our 2022 programming. With a sudden surge of COVID-19 cases, we remained engaged through our continuous open bidding operations and began meeting potential new members through virtual coffee dates. On Saturday, January 15th, we held a virtual Candyland-themed Bid Night to welcome the Rho class. To our members' excitement, our formal dance happened in-person on February 4th; it was a true winter wonderland with members dressed in all shades of blue and snowflakes hanging throughout the venue. Then—through a perfectly executed surprise—the Rho class unexpectedly met their bigs on February 10th. The next weekend was Supporter’s Weekend where our guardians were invited to come explore San Luis Obispo with an Open House night and Brewery event. Inspiration period began on February 14th with a bowling sisterhood and jewelry-making evening. The Rho Class was initiated as active Kappa Kappa Gamma members on February 19th and afterwards they went out to brunch with their Kappa families. Our chapter participated in so many fun philanthropic events with Cal Poly fraternity organizations throughout the quarter. Our sisters never fail to show their athletic capabilities in these philanthropic games such as flag football, bootcamp, and so on. The special events did not stop as an Eta Rho birthday party was celebrated at our chapter house on March 2nd with delicious cake from the Madonna Inn and other sweet treats. Kappaccino is a tradition the Eta Rho chapter hosts the week before final exams where we hand out coffee, donuts, and scantrons to our fellow students. This quarter our DEI officer continued to create a monthly calendar for our members with information regarding BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and mental health resources on-campus. We also made continuous efforts to provide DEI education to the entire chapter with presentations on inclusive language and healthy boundaries from Cal Poly Safer. Slowly, winter quarter came to an end, and our sisters headed off to a much-needed spring break. Some sisters went across the globe, while some went home to relax with their families and friends for the week.
After returning from break, an egg hunt and bouquet-making sisterhood was held on March 31st at our house where we all relished in the springtime weather. April came around and we attended Cal Poly’s Open House for prospective incoming students to come ask questions about Kappa and panhellenic. At the iconic Madonna Inn, our 2022 chapter council had a photoshoot together with everyone dressed in blue and blue to show our KKG pride. On April 22nd, Kappa Kappa Glamma, our semi-formal dance, occurred at a stunning vineyard and barn venue where we all danced the night away under twinkling lights on a red carpet. From May 1st to 6th, our chapter was visited by a Kappa Leadership Consultant, Megan; we learned so much about Kappa’s history and new council leadership skills from Megan and got to share some of SLO’s famous sights with her. We absolutely loved having Megan as a guest. Taking advantage of central California’s enjoyable weather, our spring philanthropic event, Kappa Splash, happened on May 14th at an on-campus pool where we raised over $3,000. Teams from various fraternities competed in games of innertube water polo raising money for Kappa’s new national philanthropy: mental health and wellbeing. Last year, we voted and chose Active Minds (a national leader for young adult mental health advocacy and suicide prevention) as our nonprofit organization. On May 18th, the Cal Poly Fraternity and Sorority Life organization held the annual Standards of Excellence (SOE) Award Ceremony; Eta Rho is so honored to report that we won the SOE award for our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and performance as a chapter. Continuing our philanthropic involvement, some of our sisters competed in SBDC—a sorority dance competition—where they choreographed and performed a hip-hop routine. Throughout this quarter on our chapter social media, a weekly post called mental health Monday occured on Instagram with positive quotes regarding wellbeing in order to reduce stigma around mental health. On June 4th, we held a senior sendoff event for our graduating sisters. We are always so proud of our older sisters’ achievements and thrilled to see their future endeavors. We then wrapped up the spring quarter with final exams, saying final goodbyes to our sisters who graduated, and headed into an active summer. Lots of our sisters packed their bags and flew across the world to study abroad, many landed impressive internships, some worked across the country, many spent their summer nights relaxing at home with family, and most stayed connected by seeing their sisters whenever possible over the break.
Reuniting after summer break is always so special for Eta Rho. As all our sisters eagerly return to SLO, the chapter house is filled with friendly faces again and spirit week begins. Spirit week is a thoughtful preparation for formal recruitment, but Eta Rho always balances the practice with play. The first day of spirit week was pajama themed where we all dressed in our comfiest sleepwear and our new recruiters learned the initial ropes of recruiting. The second day’s theme was Candyland where we dressed in our cutest colors with lots of colors and hints of sweet treats. The third day’s theme was inspired by the show Gossip Girl; our members definitely looked “Kappa Klassy” in plaid skirts and knee-high socks. The next day our members dressed in their cutest cowgirl clothes with boots, denim shorts, and hats. Brotherhood day was next where we all dressed in caps and dress shirts to show off the Eta Rho chapter’s humor. The following day was actually our break day, but our membership chairman planned such a special sisterhood event for our chapter: a trip down to Santa Barbara. On this trip we had the pleasure to meet and hang out with our neighboring Kappa sisters at University of California, Santa Barbara. We absolutely loved seeing our sisters from another university and plan to do more with them in the near future! We ended spirit week by having a Kappa Spirit Day dressed in blue and blue. Spirit week was successful, fun, and full of sisterly bonds new and old!
September 19th was the first day of school where all members represented Kappa by wearing our new PR shirt. We always love to see friendly faces walking around campus. Only a few days later on September 24th, we met hundreds of potential new members during formal recruitment. We were so lucky as a panhellenic community to host a fully in-person recruitment with house tours, sisterhood day, philanthropy day, and preference night. Recruitment was so rewarding. We had the pleasure to welcome the Sigma Class to our chapter with a Doja Cat-themed bid night on October 3rd. On October 30th, we celebrated Kappa Kappa Gamma’s 152th anniversary with a Founder’s Day brunch at the historic Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. We discussed history about the founding women of Kappa and awarded two of our sisters with scholarships for their dedication to academic achievements and assistance with the Houseboard. We ended the Halloween season with Kappa Krush, our fall dance, where our members dressed in masquerade costumes. The very next morning we had our Fall philanthropic event: Kappa Karnival. We raised money for our local philanthropy, the Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center, with various carnival games, treats, and fun!
The guidance of a Big Sister is one of the most special parts of being in a sorority. The Sigma Class members were given three baskets from their Bigs filled with all of their favorite treats and tons of Kappa merchandise. To start the Inspiration Period for the Sigma Class, our I-Week was full of sisterhoods with a holiday-themed bowling night at Mustang Lanes, Jeopardy game night at the house, and a trip to the Thursday night SLO farmer’s market. On November 11th, a surprise Big and Little reveal was held at the house with lots of pleasantly shocked faces and hugs. To follow, we held Fireside at our house the night of November 11th. The next morning, November 12th, the Sigma Class became initiated members of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Our sisters traveled home for Thanksgiving break, but eagerly returned to SLO after a week to wrap-up the quarter with some studying and some fun. Eta Rho had a memorable year and we look forward to seeing our sisters again in 2023!