Beta Psi Chapter was founded at Victoria College in Toronto, Ontario on May 24, 1911, and transferred to University of Toronto in May 1925.
1,223 initiates (as of June 2018)
The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, 1870 - 1930, describes “...a frail wisp of sunny youth, courageous though wracked with pain, smiling always even in the face of discouragement, Rose fought with determination to regain the health that the doctors had long since despaired of.”
Said to have a carefree manner and given to making witty remarks, “Rose was very pretty, with lovely coloring, and though she never looked very strong she had an unlimited amount of energy - energy she should have conserved.”
A 1934 issue of The Key carried a detailed story about Rose. “The youngest of three children, Rose was about 13 when her mother died, followed two years later by her father. She was sent to boarding school and during her last year there her brother, the only remaining family member she could depend on, died suddenly. Another detailed article about Rose appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of The Key. Click to read.
The University of Toronto was founded as King’s College in 1827 and is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Canada. Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed its present name in the 1850s upon becoming a secular institution. Toronto has evolved into a large and complex public institution occupying three campuses: Scarborough, Erindale and the historic downtown St. George campus. It is federated with three smaller universities which are on the St. George campus, and is affiliated with several colleges and institutes. Ten teaching hospitals in metropolitan Toronto are affiliated fully with the university.
The university is Canada’s most important research institution and has gained an international reputation for its research. It enrolls more students, employs more faculty members and offers a greater range of courses than any other Canadian university. As of 2010, the enrollment on the downtown campus exceeded 45,000 students.
The university’s insistence on the importance of research in all disciplines has made it the major center for graduate education in Canada. In many fields, it produces a majority of Canada’s doctoral candidates. The quality and range of the programs - undergraduate, graduate and professional - attract students from all parts of the province, from around the country and from abroad.
To support its work of teaching and research, the university has collected a library that is the largest in Canada and among the best in the world. The University of Toronto Press is the chief institution of its kind in Canada and one of the most important scholarly publishers in North America.
The University of Toronto is home to the first men’s fraternity in Canada, Zeta Psi, whose Toronto chapter has been active since 1879. Because few other Canadian universities in the 19th century were deemed comparable to their American counterparts, most early American fraternities and sororities chose to open their first international chapter at Toronto.
If there is certain fervor in the voices of the members of Beta Psi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Toronto when they repeat the ritual words “I will support my chapter in prosperity and peril” there is good reason. Indeed, looking back it is difficult not to see that history as a kind of continuing “Perils of Pauline”* with a new crisis arising in every episode and periods of prosperity all too frequently interrupted by setbacks and threats to the chapter’s continued existence.
To understand many of Beta Psi’s problems, it is necessary to understand the history and structure of the University of Toronto itself. This first university in Ontario, then “Upper Canada,” was chartered in 1827 under the name of King’s College and with a formal affiliation with the Church of England or Anglican Church. This affiliation continued until 1857 when a new charter was issued providing for a nonsectarian university under the name of the University of Toronto expanded to include all the professional and other faculties found in a modern university with the original arts and humanities core becoming University College of the University of Toronto. Eventually, as expansion continued, the university entered into federation with a number of church affiliated universities. Trinity College (Anglican), Victoria College (Methodist from Coburg, Ontario) and St. Michael’s College (Roman Catholic) all moved to the University of Toronto campus. This federated structure has proved to be a great source of strength and diversity in the university, but because the present university is a federation rather than an amalgamation, each college maintains considerable independence in the setting of policy.
Although international women’s fraternities were established in the University of Toronto early in the 20th century, they operated only at University College. In 1906, a group of undergraduates at Victoria College decided to form a local sorority, Xi Zeta Gamma. As a private and unofficial club, the group flourished until in 1909 several members met a group of Kappas at a YWCA Convention. Fired with enthusiasm for the international fraternity movement, Xi Zeta Gamma petitioned to become a chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. After an inspection by Florence Burton Roth, Michigan, Grand President, Mrs. Roth and members of Beta Tau, Psi and Gamma Rho installed the fledgling chapter on May 24, 1911.
The situation of Beta Psi Chapter in those early years was enviable. As the only women’s fraternity at Victoria College, it had no need of Panhellenic, no formal rushing, no rushing rules and no competition. The only restriction on its membership policies was an informal arrangement with the dean of women who adopted the principle of sophomore pledging. Beta Psi did not have a chapter house, and meetings were held in the homes of members and alumnae who lived in the city.
This halcyon period was short-lived. Anti-fraternity feeling, which began smoldering on the campus in 1913, flared up during the term 1914-15, and it appeared that the senate of Victoria College would legislate the group out of existence. Only through the intervention of alumnae who worked tirelessly to influence husbands, fathers and friends on the senate was it possible for Beta Psi to continue.
Canada was already heavily involved in the Great War, and members directed all their energies to combining academic excellence with a heavy commitment to “war work.” In the chaos of world conflict, fraternity took on a new meaning and so, in 1916, the chapter decided it should establish its first independent home, one room in a picturesque old house close to the Victoria campus.
In 1925, chapter membership had passed the 100 mark with 70 enthusiastic alumnae offering their support from the four corners of the globe and 30 actives continuing to attract outstanding new members. It was an appropriate time for a memorable event—the first General Convention of Kappa to be held in Canada. The location was Bigwin Inn in Ontario’s Lake of Bays resort area, and Beta Psis were overjoyed to welcome their sisters from the United States.
A more somber event with far-reaching effects grew out of the illness of a much-loved young chapter member, Rose McGill. Rose joined Beta Psi in her freshman year in 1920. As she was an orphan, she was forced to withdraw after her first year because of financial difficulties. Nevertheless, her fraternity ties remained strong, and it was a blow to the entire chapter when she suffered an attack of pleurisy, which quickly developed into tuberculosis. In the early years of Rose’s illness, chapter members and their families attempted to supply the personal and financial support she so desperately needed. Although their love and attention continued until her death in 1927, it was only through the prompt action of the Fraternity in establishing the Rose McGill Fund that adequate money was available. Small wonder that even years later, support of the Rose McGill Fund has a very high priority with all Beta Psi members. It is a matter of pride for Toronto alumnae that they have led consistently in the magazine sales which support the Rose McGill Fund. This private tragedy coincided with a new threat to the chapter. During 1925, another local sorority was established at Victoria, and all the anti-fraternity feeling of 1915 revived. By the end of the year, it became apparent that a victory would split the college and result in damage to Victoria that could not easily be repaired. An unselfish but extremely difficult decision was made. Beta Psi decided to withdraw from Victoria College where, from a modest base in the apartment of four of its members it would attempt to rush in competition with six strongly entrenched international groups. This abrupt upheaval was made particularly difficult because all but four of the actives remained Victoria College students with little opportunity to know, much less attract, potential members in University College.
By 1927, the chapter was strong enough to rent an apartment of its own, and by 1928 was ranked the highest in scholarship among the nine women’s fraternities at University College. In addition, Beta Psis found time to work at the University Settlement House, to work as volunteers in a local hospital and to mount successful fundraising projects for both the Endowment Fund and the Women’s Building Fund of University College. Highlights of the 1930s
The 1930s might be described as Beta Psi’s nomadic period. In the space of a decade, the chapter occupied five separate off-campus apartments. This was an inevitable consequence of the fact that fraternities had never been recognized at the university, so that on-campus housing was not available and, at that period, neither the chapter nor its members were able to afford permanent quarters.
Far from recalling those Depression days as hard times, members of the 1930s remember their various homes with a good deal of affection. With budgets stretched to the breaking point, “gourmet” dinners, featuring sausages and mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese, were greeted with enthusiasm. A flourishing mothers club earned everyone’s gratitude for the help it provided when each temporary home had to be furnished.
The grimness of the economic climate was certainly not reflected in chapter life where creativity was substituted for cash. Social events included formal rushing parties, progressive dinners and scrip dances after football games. The chapter used the scrip dances to raise money for its philanthropies. When engagements were announced and fiancés were expected to honor the Beta Psi custom of presenting the chapter with five pounds of chocolates (then about $2.50), it was often the chapter member who slipped her hard-pressed future husband the necessary cash.
In 1936, another General Convention brought the start of World War II, and campus life was soon a far cry from the innocent good times of the thirties. Both men and women left their university to enlist. All intercollegiate sports were suspended. Men remaining on the campus spent their leisure hours drilling with the Canadian Officers’ Training Corps, and female students were required to complete 100 hours a year of voluntary service as nurses or food service aides, Red Cross volunteers or day nursery assistants. Many members of Beta Psi continued at college while their fiancés and husbands left for overseas. The chapter rooms resounded to the scratch of pens on overseas mail forms and the click of knitting needles creating not only much-needed comforts for Canadian servicemen, but also producing the first of a veritable mountain of baby clothes for Nora Waln’s and the Fraternity’s magnificent efforts on behalf of European children.**
Since all expenses of the chapter were borne by actives, financial disaster was always just around the corner. Ingenious cost-cutting measures were undertaken. These included not only subletting the chapter apartment for the summer but doing most of the maintenance and repair work for which workmen, now in the armed forces, and money were unavailable. The shortage of domestic help was overcome by ordering daily boxed lunches from local department stores for the sum of 25 cents.
Fraternity life was not made easier by the dean of women at the University College who was militantly anti-fraternity. In these days when in loco parentis sounds like an archaic Victorian disease, it is hard to remember that, even though fraternities were not recognized, it was possible for an unsympathetic dean to forbid female undergraduates the right to live in their fraternity houses and, in addition, to exercise a great deal of control over the timing, form and content of rushing.
As is often the case in difficult times, the warmth and support of fraternity life were important to college women of the 1940s, and the fraternity system flourished. By the spring of 1943, when a house became vacant on the university’s unofficial fraternity row, it was finally possible for Beta Psi to acquire a home of its own. Kappa Kappa Gamma House Corporation was formed and, by means of donations, the selling of shares and a much-appreciated loan from the Fraternity, 134 St. George Street became Kappa’s address. During the summer of 1943, members acquired a virtually lifelong aversion to painting, wallpapering and rubbish removal. By fall, 12 alumnae and other boarders, the first house mother and a wildly enthusiastic active chapter were settled and ready for bigger and better things.
By the end of the decade, campus life was again in full swing. The university had successfully managed an expansion from about 10,000 to more than 28,000 students to accommodate those returning from the services.
In the 1950s, Canadian Kappas enjoyed almost an embarrassment of riches with two General Conventions—1950 at Murray Bay, Quebec, and 1954 at Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta’s beautiful Rockies.
In the relative calm of this period, scholarship, always a major concern of Beta Psi became a positive passion. Study charts were kept and conscientiously filled in. Informal tutoring of lagging sisters was encouraged, and the scholastic achievements of members were reflected in a gratifying number of college, university, national and international awards. Chapter officers were required to maintain a better-than-average standing to retain their positions. During the year, two full meetings were devoted to scholarship and four more to cultural enrichment. In 1956, a theatre night raised money for three scholarships at University College and two in physical and occupational therapy. Throughout the decade, Beta Psi retained its standing at or near the top in scholarship standing.
However, members were not one-sided drones. They also increased their participation in college organizations and university athletics and awards for achievement were a continuing source of pride.
Social service was also emphasized and through a variety of fundraising activities, including a mammoth bazaar opened by alumna Maryon Moody Pearson, Beta Psi, wife of Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, and volunteer work through which the chapter gave substantial support to the Interfraternity Cerebral Palsy Clinic. Social activities flourished, and there were frequent exchange parties with men’s fraternities, chapter formals and end-of-year house parties. In 1957, the chapter won the snow sculpture contest during Winter Carnival.
In spite of this record of achievement, certain disquieting trends were beginning to be felt. Although the Beta Psi alumnae were honored at the Alpha Province Convention in 1955, active chapter records show a declining performance in administration. Reports were often late, parliamentary procedure grew sloppy, so that by the late fifties a determined effort was required to bring the chapter back to its former efficiency. More alarming was a small but steady annual decrease in the number of women electing to go through rushing. Both Panhellenic and Beta Psi itself made a determined effort to eliminate some of the rushing abuses, which were providing ammunition for anti-fraternity feeling, but the decline in membership in women’s fraternities continued. Finally, in spite of considerable opposition from official quarters, it was decided to extend rushing beyond University College, and relief was felt when no issue was made of the expansion. In spite of, or perhaps partly because of this extended community, numbers continued to decline.
Although women’s fraternities had once supplied a high percentage of college and university leaders, by the end of the fifties, students in general and even some Beta Psis were perceiving fraternity life as interfering with participation in the wider university community.
These small but disquieting clouds on the fraternity horizon seemed to diminish in the early sixties. Although official recognition was still withheld, professors accepted invitations to dinner and discussion. The chapter and other fraternities gave substantial support to the newly formed Varsity (Alumni) Fund and other university fundraising activities, and it appeared that fraternities had finally been accepted as a valid part of the university life.
The year 1961 was particularly happy since Beta Psi celebrated its golden anniversary by welcoming a most successful Alpha Province Convention to Toronto in September. This happy year proved to be the calm before the storm. By the mid-sixties, the University of Toronto had become a strong link in what one harassed official described as “a radical chain stretching from Berkeley to Chicago to Toronto to Columbia to Harvard.” Student agitation for greater participation in university government, the student peace movement, a drive for relevance in courses and radical social action resulted in a sharp drop in interest in fraternities, and the suspicion of elitism created a wave of anti-fraternity agitation.
The year 1967 was one of celebration for all Canadians as the country marked the centennial of its Confederation, but with this celebration came a much more vocal and emotional commitment to nationalism. A French table, where only French was spoken, was a feature of chapter dinners. Traditional skits and songs were played down in rushing, and national and cultural themes of a more serious nature took their place. Unfortunately, this overdue coming of age for Canadians was accompanied by a backlash of student feeling against what was perceived as American imperialism operating in Canadian cultural and economic life, and international fraternities fell into further disrepute.
To add to Beta Psi’s problems, Kappa’s permanent home and a number of other fraternity houses were expropriated for university expansion. Fraternity row became a thing of the past, and new houses had to be purchased at a much greater distance from the center of campus. With strong alumnae support, Beta Psi was able to buy a fine old house on Madison Avenue, and both actives and alumnae took considerable pride in the renovations planned by a local architect and Beta Psi alumna.
Of course, the news was not all bad. Those who did elect to join fraternities found welcome friendship and strength in a university community that was suffering acutely from depersonalization, which seems to be an inevitable part of the modern multiversity. In addition, a new spirit of community responsibility resulted in an upsurge of philanthropic activity centering on such community services as St. Christopher House, a multinational settlement house, and work with underprivileged children. An annual alumnae project was the Christmas decoration of the Thistletown Hospital for emotionally disturbed children.
For Beta Psi, as for all chapters, 1970 was a special time of celebration—Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Centennial celebration! Beta Psis enjoyed a formal banquet at the Granite Club in Toronto. The ballroom overflowed, and everyone, from beloved founding sisters to greenest pledges, renewed the bonds that had become so precious. Although the virulence of the opposition decreased, membership decline continued to plague Toronto fraternities in the early 1970s. Beta Psi reached its lowest ebb in the rushing season of 1973. Common sense dictated that the trend to apartment living for students, which made it difficult to finance the house, a failure to attract new members in sufficient numbers for a healthy chapter and a hostile attitude on campus should mark the end of Beta Psi Chapter at the University of Toronto. Fortunately, common sense did not prevail.
The alumnae group remained strong and supportive, and the small active membership proved once again that quality can surmount difficulties even though quantity declined. Alumnae agreed to increase their financial support of the house, the house board made heroic and successful efforts to fill rooms with paying boarders and enthusiasm and hard work were substituted for numbers in the 1974 rush season. It was heartening to report that the pledge class of 1974 was more than four times the size of the class of 1973.
This is only one step in what promises to be a difficult uphill climb. The chapter’s future is brighter but far from secure. If enthusiasm, determination and mutual affection between actives and alumnae are the prerequisites for a resurgence of fraternity strength, then it is fair to hope that Beta Psi has come through another period of peril, and that prosperity lies ahead.
*The Perils of Pauline (1914), Pathe’s silent film episodic serial, is considered the most famous suspense serial in cinema history.
*The Nora Waln Fund for Refugee Children began in 1940, at the suggestion of The Key Editor Helen Bower, Michigan, when she learned that well-known author and Kappa Nora Waln, Swarthmore, would not be permitted to leave war-torn England to speak at Kappa’s 1940 General Convention.
Helen proposed that the money budgeted to bring Nora to America be used instead as the start of a fund, to be distributed by Nora to children and others in England who had been bombed out of their homes. Donations poured in as the project became a Fraternity-wide cause. After the war, Nora learned while on an assignment for the Atlantic Monthly that many Norwegian babies had only newspapers for swaddling clothes, and immediately promised that Kappa Kappa Gamma would create and send 5,000 layettes.
The previous information was excerpted from The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, 1870-1976. The information that follows has been gleaned from available resources including Chapter History Reports, chapter meeting minutes, letters and comments from chapter member and alumnae, the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Archives, and The Key. Each chapter is expected to update its history record annually. Contact Fraternity Headquarters at [email protected] with questions.
In 1990, the chapter hosted a Monmouth Duo event with Pi Beta Phi. It was very proud to have Sabrina Mitchel recognized by the university as its outstanding graduate.
The initiation banquet was held at the Park Plaza Hotel, and the Sapphire Ball was held at the Toronto Women’s Club. The actives held a retreat at a fraternity house where the chapter goal was set, Kappa Konsideration. In the fall, Greek Week was held, and Beta Psi raised money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Eight new women pledged Kappa. The pledges created a Kappa flag as their class project, held a semi-formal at Trish Rorison’s home and enjoyed a pledge breakfast.
The alumnae and active members got together for the annual Taste of Christmas party, and the active chapter members held its Christmas dinner and Kris Kringle gift exchange.
In 1991, Beta Psi celebrated the Monmouth Duo with Pi Beta Phi with an evening dessert night. The graduate banquet was held at Mr. Greenjeans. At this banquet, the following awards were presented: outstanding graduate, president’s award, outstanding pledge, contribution pin, scholarship pin, scholarship cup and the K.B. Dignan award.
The chapter was busy with numerous activities including the annual initiation banquet which was held at the Park Plaza Hotel, Sapphire Ball held at the Hilton International Hotel, its first Kappa Krush and the active retreat where the chapter goal, Kappa Kommitment, was set.
Three women pledged Kappa during fall rush. The pledge semi-formal was held at Kellie Broderick’s house, and a pledge breakfast was held. The Kappas-only event was a group outing to see Les Misérables.
The secret sister program was part of the fun during 1991. It was where each active was assigned another sister to whom she would anonymously give a gift during a gift exchange and send positive messages during the year. In December, the annual Taste of Christmas alumnae and active Christmas party was held.
The 1994 year was satisfying and exciting for all the members of the chapter. The members were proud to record perfect attendance for the last term, and during Greek Week the chapter won the volleyball tournament. Due to the hard work and dedication by the chapter members, fall rush succeeded in increasing the chapter numbers by more than 100 percent.
Since the chapter hadn’t fulfilled its requirements in the past, the chapter received a Letter of Concern from the Fraternity Council. This motivated the six actives to work hard to show that they were capable of leading the chapter in an efficient manner. These members were happy to discover that most of the challenges had been met, and the Letter of Concern was removed.
This year was very eventful. In July, the chapter sponsored a philanthropy car wash event. At Christmas time, the chapter held its annual alumnae event where everyone had a lot of fun. In October, the Kappa Krush formal was held, and everyone had a great time. Everyone will always remember these events.
During formal rush in 1995, the chapter had the pleasure of getting to know the Fraternity Director of Membership who visited. In November, the members were surprised to learn that the chapter had won the Founders Circle Award. We were excited and proud that the chapter had moved from being on a Fraternity Letter of Concern to receiving this great award in such a short time. It was a big accomplishment! Another significant source of pride for the chapter was the fact that the chapter’s GPA increased from 2.4 to 2.74.
The challenge for the chapter in 1995 was to increase its membership. The chapter pulled together, and under the guidance and supervision of the membership chairmen rush went smoothly. All of the actives knew their jobs and places in the rush process. Two new members were pledged and initiated. To meet its goal of increasing chapter membership, the members decided to hold informal rush throughout the year.
In November, the members participated in the Lambda Chi Alpha food drive. Beta Psi donated a total of 3,691 pounds of non-perishable food – 3,000 pounds more than the second-place group. Considering the number of Beta Psi members compared to the membership of the other six chapters, this was a great accomplishment. In December, the chapter held a clothing and toy drive and donated the items to the Salvation Army. The Alpha Gamma Delta, Kappa Alpha and Sigma Nu chapters helped Beta Psi with this drive.
The 1997 year can be summarized in one word: membership. Beta Psi was a small chapter of 12 members which was its greatest concern. Therefore the members were extremely happy to welcome 10 new members during informal Rush in the spring, bringing the chapter total to 22 members. The fall of 1997 began with a successful fall rush. The chapter again grew from 22 to 31 members as it pledged nine women who embodied the ideals of the Fraternity. The chapter was proud that it improved its GPA from 2.5 to 2.8 this year. The chapter was sorry to say good-bye to nine graduating seniors.
The chapter goal in 1997 was sisterhood. All the chapter committees coordinated sisterhood events which were held once a month. Some of these included big/little sister bowling night, a potluck dinner and a clothes swap. These activities brought the chapter members closer together.
The standards committee took an active an active role in creating and promoting a positive atmosphere by presenting SEEK workshops, fun games at dinner and a chapter retreat which was a good tool in fostering sisterhood and cohesiveness. Everyone enjoyed themselves during these activities.
Another concern the chapter addressed in 1997 was efficiency. The corresponding secretary developed a useful way of reminding the officers when reports were due, or if they were overdue. She reminded everyone of reports using a cookie system. Each time a report turned in to her, the officer received a box of cookies. This was extremely helpful in overcoming the challenge.
Kappa Krush was very successful this year. The sisters and their guests had a wonderful time mingling, writing messages to each other and dancing. It was a very popular event for the chapter, and everyone looked great, as usual.
Beta Psi held its annual winter clothing and toy drive in December with the items donated to a women’s shelter in Toronto. Another philanthropic event was the chapter’s Christmas dinner with the alumnae. The event raised approximately $300 which was donated to the Toronto SickKids Hospital.
The initiation banquet was held at the University of Toronto Women’s Club. This was a great opportunity for the initiates and the alumnae to get better acquainted with each other. The evening included speeches, pledge song presentations by both active and alumnae members and an exquisite dinner.
In 1997 the chapter members were actively involved in campus life. One member served on the student Governing Council at Victoria College. One of the initiates was involved in numerous campus theater productions. She is studying theater and hopes to be a successful actress one day. Beta Psi sisters supported the university’s annual clothing drive, raising material goods and money which it donated to a homeless shelter. The chapter members also participated in the Panhellenic Row Boat Races and won first prize. The $1,000 prize money was donated to a women’s shelter in the greater metropolitan Toronto area in the name of Beta Psi. Once of the graduating members underwent a selection process hoping to join the Peel Police Force during the summer. The 1999 year was one of turn-around for Beta Psi. Although it isn’t a large chapter, the members worked efficiently together. One of its philanthropic events in the spring was selling daffodils on behalf of the cancer society. Not only did the chapter raise money for this important cause, but it also strengthened the members’ communication skills.
During the summer, the members worked hard to clean up the chapter house, and cleared out the back yard to make it a pleasant little area. Cleaning the interior and outside gave the house a fresh look. Working together made the jobs go quickly.
Many of the chapter’s seniors graduated in May. Once again, the members had to work hard to recruit new members. The chapter maintained a high academic standard, and the new members were very dedicated. The chapter’s challenge this year was to improve participation at its events. The chapter met this challenge in various ways and participation improved immensely as a result, strengthening the chapter.
In addition to the daffodil philanthropy event, the Taste of the Holidays event when parents came to meet the members and see the house was lots of fun. Everyone brought goodies, and it was a nice chance to meet everyone’s family. In addition, the members took part in small chapter events such as movie and pizza night where everyone could get together at the house and have a sleepover, another way our sisterhood was strengthened.
Since Beta Psi is a Canadian chapter, the tragedy of September 11, 2001, had a different impact on it than its American counterparts. Emotion and sympathy for the lost lives came from people around the world and similarly from we Canadians. Canada, like America, is a country which stands for peace and freedom.
The 9/11 attacks occurred right before the chapter held its Recruitment in 2001. The members really didn’t know how it should go about everything because some people were highly emotional and others seemed unaffected by the event.
The chapter placed a bouquet of flowers by the chapter’s front entrance with a framed message: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the sisters of Kappa, friends and families of those affected by the recent tragedies in the United States. Let us stand united.”
In November 2004, the chapter registrar arranged a display of historical material from the chapter’s archives including the cipher, scrapbooks, Bylaws and Standing Rules, Book of Ritual and song booklets. This was the new members’ first introduction to the chapter and Fraternity history, and the actives came together to teach and explain the different elements of the archive and their purpose within the Fraternity.
This year began with the annual initiation banquet at the University of Toronto Women’s Club. This evening was full of good food, friends and conversation. It was a great chance for all the new members to meet the alumnae and share a wonderful and inspirational Kappa experience.
In the fall, the chapter held several philanthropic events. It organized a food drive for Caribbean hurricane victims and added the local food bank as one of the agencies to receive the food. In October, a group of members went to the Daily Bread Food Bank to volunteer for a day. In December, Beta Psi sponsored an underprivileged family and helped them during the Christmas season. Each member was responsible for purchasing one item for someone in the family such as socks or toys.
Recruitment in 2004 incorporated a breast cancer charity by making and selling faux pearl bracelets. The chapter was proud to raise more than $500 for cancer research.
The social events were as fabulous as ever this year. In April, the members celebrated the Sapphire Ball at Marlowe Lounge in Toronto for a fun night of dinner and dancing. In November, the actives and 11 new members enjoyed the evening at Beba Lounge in the heart of Little Italy downtown. This event was our semi-formal and a celebration of the successful Recruitment.
In October, Beta Psi was proud to send one active and one alumna to the Fraternity’s Leadership Academy in Indianapolis. The active made a presentation to the chapter about her experiences and the opportunities she had at the academy that weekend. This information proved to be helpful for the whole chapter.
Beta Psi’s lovely house at 32 Madison Avenue went through a major beautification process in 2004. The house received several much-needed renovations, such as new carpeting, fixing the basement leak, fully updating the fire system and an overall cleaning of the house and the archives. The members were very proud of the hard work they put into improving the chapter house and appreciated the alumnae sponsors who made it possible. This year, the chapter started a new initiative, Kappa Kore Groups. These were small groups made up of actives and one new member. The goal of the groups was to introduce the new initiates to Kappa history, traditions and ritual as well as promote Kappa awareness and sisterhood.
The main focus for the chapter in 2004 was sisterhood, and new aspects of sisterhood were introduced to the chapter. The Support Award was decided upon by the whole and presented to the member who showed exemplary sisterhood or helpfulness. The Owl of the Week Award was presented at Monday meetings. In November, two chapter members who did not regularly spend time together were paired up. Additionally, this was an exemplary year for the weekly Monday night dinners. Working together to prepare and serve a delicious dinner to hungry Kappas proved to be a great time for Kappas to bond, build friendships and share experiences. These many sisterhood events increased the members’ Kappa spirit. It was decided that sisterhood would continue to be a point of focus for the chapter as it continued to grow.
This year began with the 2005 initiation banquet which was held at the University of Toronto’s Women’s Club. Actives and alumnae Kappas of all ages gathered for a lovely evening together.
Recruitment was very successful, and the chapter received great reviews about its excellent theme night, Aladdin/Arabian Nights. It was that event, as well as the chapter’s welcoming and friendly attitudes, that made Beta Psi one of the most eye-catching fraternities.
Beta Psi was always known for its philanthropic efforts. The members gave to charities every chance they could, and this year was no exception. Several wonderful events were organized. In January, the members had an amazing event at which the participants could pay a small fee and tie-dye their white shirts. A great time was had by all.
In September, the chapter’s annual bake sale was held. All proceeds were sent to a fund for cancer research. In December, each member bought a Christmas gift which was sent to children living overseas who normally received very little or nothing at all during the holidays. Also this month the chapter held a clothing drive to support the Ingles Rehabilitation Center. The chapter’s philanthropic year also included a successful trip to the local food bank.
In April 2005, several members attend the Alpha Province Meeting. A lovely dinner was held, and the Beta Psis were excited and proud to receive the award for the best website in the province.
The social events for the year couldn’t have had better attendance. At each event, the Kappas were ready and willing to welcome friends and have a wonderful time. The chapter held its annual Sapphire Ball in April at the wonderful Plaza Flamingo where everyone had a great time eating and dancing the night away. During the evening, awards were presented to some of the members such as the best new member award. In November, the semi-formal Kappa Crush was held at a large, beautiful venue: Up Lounge.
The chapter house at 32 Madison Avenue underwent some much-needed renovations. A group of members worked together to redecorate the house and, with the arrival of new sofas, made the house look better and more attractive than ever before.
One of the Fraternity’s Traveling Consultants visited the chapter in January. Her visit was great, and she complimented many of the chapter members on their hospitality skills and welcoming ways. She pointed out some of the chapter’s challenges such as attendance at meetings and events, and cooperation with one another. She suggested great ways to improve many of the areas of the chapter and observed that if everyone worked together as true friends more could be accomplished. In her letter back to the chapter, she wrote that Beta Psi has a great reputation within the community as individuals and a group. We lead with kindness and integrity. Throughout the chapter house, there were numerous archive displays that were constantly being added to or improved in 2008. These displays contained many pictures of former members of Beta Psi, awards won, Fraternity facts and information.
This year was quite successful for the chapter. Although experiencing ups and downs, the chapter truly prospered. It received the Panhellenic award for the highest GPA of all the Toronto chapters. This was a real accomplishment, and receiving this award became an annual occurrence. This award was an example of the chapter’s academic values and separated it from the other chapters on the campus.
The chapter held its first chicken wing-eating philanthropy event which was a huge success and demonstrated the members’ creativity and ability to be original.
Beta Psi had a strong formal Recruitment and pledged many new members to build the chapter and add to its group of strong members. This year’s academics and philanthropy emphasis was applauded and remembered for its high degree of originality.
The Toronto campus is very academic, highly populated and in the downtown core of Toronto. The chapter in 2008 was composed of academic and responsible women. However, it was smaller in numbers compared to the other sororities on campus.
Though accomplishing a lot during the year, the chapter faced several challenges, the biggest being informal Recruitment which was not very successful. Therefore, Beta Psi was smaller in numbers. Better organization and more time and effort were going to be put into Recruitment to increase the chapter membership in 2009.
It is amazing the amount of effort that goes into running a chapter each year, and how so much can happen in eight months! Our chapter experienced some growing pains, as we expanded from a chapter of 9 to 23. This year our chapter won Most Improved Chapter in the Panhellenic Sorority Awards. This was a big award for our chapter for the past two years because we have improved so much; in our retention, our spirit, our community involvement, and our academic achievement in particular. Our president Vanja organized a Sexual Health Workshop for all fraternities and sororities on campus; it was well attended and very informative! This year was the first year we began to have Monday Night dinners each month, which was the highlight of formal meeting night and ensured that everyone was on time (what can I say, Kappa's love food!). We hosted a Halloween party for the children of the Toronto St. Felix Centre and visited them during their after school program to play games, paint faces, and have fun. We also partnered with the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity to host a Christmas party for the same children from the St. Felix Centre, where we decorated gingerbread houses and played games. It was nice to be reminded how to play like a youngster! Overall, most of our work was directed internally, as we wanted to build our chapter in a way that facilitates personal and chapter growth, individuality, community service, and sisterhood.
There have been no large changes on our campus this year. We are trying to mix more with other sororities on campus because it is so meaningful to have friends in other houses. Our chapter is a mix of different women from different backgrounds, countries, and cultures. We feel we are the easygoing sorority on campus, putting a real effort into true friendships. It has been an experience to meet other Kappa chapters from the states; they feel so different from our own. I think it is our uniqueness that lends us the ability to try new things and learn from each others' experiences.
We have a chapter- owned house, that holds 10 women. In 1965 we moved to our current location because our university kindly offered us $45,000 to vacate so they could build our present-day library. We bought our house in 1945 and have been here ever since. If you would like more information on this transaction, I have preserved the letters pertaining to this transaction with the university.
Information about the previous calendar year, scholarship, group honors/awards, Province awards, traditions, special events, philanthropic involvement, chapter goals, challenges and how they were overcome, world/local events that you participated in or helped with – Presidential campaigns, natural disasters, etc. In January, we had an amazing sisterhood retreat to one of our sister’s farm houses in the beautiful Ontario countryside. We had a successful philanthropy event, Kappanda (Kappa Canada) in March where we raised almost $1000. We won three awards at the Panhellenic awards night in March - Most Improved, Alumna Appreciation, and Outstanding President awards. In September we had a successful recruitment in which we recruited 14 amazing sisters who have already shown their dedication to Beta Psi and Kappa. We had another great fall philanthropy event - Kappa Kantina - in November and raised $1300. We used the money for our annual holiday party with children from the St. Felix Centre in December. Beta Psi’s Initiation in November was the best it has been in years and we are so excited to welcome our new actives into sisterhood! Over the year we had an outstanding increase in GPA and now have the second highest GPA of all the sororities on campus. Over the summer we lost a few officers, but girls graciously stepped up to take their places in September and overall our officers had a very productive year. We couldn’t be more proud of our now-full chapter! No recent changes on campus that I can think of. Our chapter prides itself on our close friendships and genuine sisterhood. While we have a relaxed and flexible attitude, we do not let this get in the way of performing our sisterly duties to the best of our abilities.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community? We most often raise money for the St. Felix Centre in downtown Toronto, a local organization with an after-school program for children. At the end of each fall semester, we host a holiday party with the children and use the money we raise to buy gifts for the children. This past spring semester, we donated to an organization on campus that one of our sisters is a part of that builds bridges in third world areas.
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support?
Our chapter has supported the St. Felix Centre for the past few years and hopes to continue our relationship with the Centre for years to come. Beta Psi believes it is important to actively support our local community rather than blindly donate money, and spending time with the children of the St. Felix Centre is a great way to do so.
This has been another amazing year at Beta Psi! In January, our joint chapter council and officer transitions went smoothly, all officers adapted to their new positions very quickly. At the end of the month we went on our annual sisterhood retreat to our sisters’ farm house in the country side. In February, we hosted our second annual Canadian themed philanthropy, Kappanada. Our Philanthropy Chairman, Jessica Maitland, introduced online donations which enabled our families and friends from far away to also contribute. We raised just over $2000 for The Red Door Shelter, an emergency shelter that offers aid for individuals in danger. We donated specifically to their children’s program that offers a comforting environment where they can feel safe. In March, we attended the Panhellenic Awards Ceremony where we were presented with 3 awards; Most Improved Chapter, Most Outstanding COB, and Most Outstanding President. Also, our Education Chairman and Chapter Registrar organized a trivia night to improve the chapter’s understanding and knowledge of Kappa history. On May 24th of this year, Beta Psi celebrated its 105th anniversary!
The house was empty in the summer as our House Board worked hard to complete several renovations, including a new window seat in the chapter room and cabinets in the dining room. Active members of Beta Psi moved in in August, filling the house once again. In September we recruited 15 wonderful new members into our chapter, surpassing Panhellenic quota. Beta Psi also won the Greek Week trophy this year, another great achievement for our chapter.
Furthermore, in October we held our first philanthropy of the academic year, Kappa Karnival. We raised over $3000 for the St Felix Centre, a local community centre that provides a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for the children in the community. We donated a portion of the proceeds directly to the organization, and used the remaining donations to host our annual Christmas party for the children of the St Felix Centre. We bought them presents, decorated gingerbread houses, and invited Santa Clause to distribute the gifts. This is a chapter favourite event and it is a great way to contribute in our community.
Finally, a huge congratulations to our marshal, Kristen Sevick, for organizing the initiation of our 15 new members in November. It was the best initiation Beta Psi has organized in years and we are so excited to officially welcome them into our sisterhood.
Beta Psi had an exciting year in 2017! Officer transitions in January went smoothly with officers adapting to their roles well. In January, we held our sisterhood retreat at our former President Hunter Sleeth's farm. In February, we held our annual Kappanada philanthropy for the charities Beautiful World and Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. We raised money through our event and online donations from friends and family members. In March, Beta Psi won 4 Panhellenic awards, Panhellenic Spirit, Most Outstanding Chapter, Most Improved Chapter, and Outstanding Recruitment. In April, we held a exciting Sapphire Formal, organized by our Event Chair Lauren Goncalves at the end of the term where the women and their dates had dinner and danced at Lisbon by Night. With the beginning of school again we held a successful formal recruitment and COB, who were initiated on November 18th, 2017 thanks to the hard work of our Marshall Nicolette Zukowski and the whole chapter. In October, we held our first philanthropy of the 2017-2018 academic year. It was called Kappas in Wonderland, with an Alice in Wonderland theme and supported a University of Toronto-based group called Silence is Violence, which works to support sexual assault survivors and advocate for better policies. We also donated half of our proceeds to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. We concluded the year with elections and officer transitions, readying Kappa for 2018.
Beta Psi is a lively chapter and the 2017 Pledge Class added more energy and excitement to the chapter, especially as many will take on Chapter Council positions in 2018. The University opened the law school's new library which has become a favorite study spot of many women in the chapter.
We continued to volunteer with the organization, Out in the Cold, which provides shelter and warm meals for those without a place live during the winter months in Toronto. We also held our annual Reading is Key event in December, where we host a Christmas Party for children from a local community centre. We supported both organizations because they help empower women. Beautiful World helps girls in developing countries be able to afford to go to school (from elementary to post-secondary) by providing supplies, transportation and other types of assistance. Silence is Violence is a survivor-driven that advocates for better policies, provides educational workshops and helps surivivors by providing resouces.
Beta Psi continues to meet in our chapter house at 32 Madison Avenue. During the summer it underwent some aesthetic renovations including a new cushion for the window seat and a reorganization of the basement to include two beds and make it a more functional study space.
It was another great year for the Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Beta Psi Chapter! Officer transitions in January went smoothly and the first Chapter Council meeting was a good start for Kappa in 2018. Our new member retreat at the end of January, held at 32 Madison Ave for the newly initiated members, made for some additional sisterhood bonding time. Kappanada (Kappa Canada), our annual philanthropy took place in February. After lots of hard work on the part of the chapter and the Philanthropy Chairman; we raised money for the charities: Beautiful World and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. In addition, our chapter won a few Panhellenic awards such as 'Best New Member Programming', a member won 'Best Panhellenic Officer' and multiple women won awards for 'Outstanding GPA'. In April, after a touching Senior Send-Off, we attended our Sapphire Formal at the restaurant Lisbon by Night where we announced prizes, ate lots of food and danced with our dates. After the well-deserved summer break, our chapter regrouped in September to take part in a beautiful and well-organized recruitment and COB, orchestrated by Shyanne Cole-Denault. In October, the new members got to experience their first Kappa Philanthropy called Kappa Koachella (named after Coachella; the flowery Californian music festival). Half of the proceeds went to the Children’s Aid Foundation and the other half to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. November was a busy month for Kappa; Marshal Jessica Meszaros went above and beyond to organize an Inspiration Period and Initiation that was conducted by the book and with grace. Later in the month the Chapter headed out for a weekend to our Sisterhood retreat in Richmond Hill thanks to Nadian Shaban that welcomed us into her home. The year was concluded with Chapter elections and our annual Reading is Key Christmas party, where we host children and their families from a nearby school, to end off a great year!
This year the University of Toronto decided to revoke the Panhellenic Council's ULife recognition. However, efforts are being made on the part of Panhel and the seven sororities to try to restore these ties. For Beta Psi, 2018 has been a year of growth. Not only has the chapter gotten closer but many members have put extra time and effort into having more sisterhood events, volunteering opportunities, and much more.
This year the Chapter has supported Out in the Cold, which provides shelter and warm meals for those without a place to live during the winter months in Toronto. In December, our women host a Christmas party for children at a nearby school, this is the annual event for Reading is Key. Furthermore, our philanthropies have allowed us to donate to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, Beautiful World and Children’s Aid Canada.
Beta Psi Chapter had a great 2019! We had successful officer transitions and soon after conducted Winter Continuous Open Bidding for the first time in five years, welcoming four new lovely members into our chapter. In January, we conducted our fifth annual Canadian-themed philanthropy, Kappanada, which was extremely successful in attendance and enthusiasm! We later had a registered nurse come to our house to talk to and inform us about women's reproductive health. Senior send off consisted of a lovely chapter dinner to recognize the seniors and all of their achievements. Additionally, a number of our wonderful members were awarded Alpha Awards, being recognized for a 3.5+ GPA. We also had a study date with one of our sorority neighbours, Alpha Gamma Delta, and in April, we hosted our Sapphire formal social event. Senior Send off noted a close to our semester at our last meeting until September.
In September, we had a successful Fall formal recruitment where we recruited an amazing new pledge class. Bigs and littles took part in activities to then be paired together. In October we had our sisterhood retreat at our home, at 32 Madison Ave., and then at the "Rec Room", a fun arcade located in downtown Toronto. In October we then had our second philanthropy, Scream Kweens, an exciting Halloween themed event with fabulous attendance and donations.
Our annual Founders Day brunch was hosted on October 20th which had a great turn out and where an abundace of Kappa Kappa Gamma alumni were awarded for their contributions and involvement over the years!
In November we conducted initiation, and in December we underwent our election process, passing on roles to a group of extremely motivated girls who will continue the legacy of Beta Psi!
Kappa Kappa Gamma and other sororities on the University of Toronto Campus are still not recognized, and have had a continuous challenge with the city trying to licence us as a rooming house. Despite these challenges, our Chapter has had great growth within the past year. We have bonded and embraced our sisterhood through events and strive to always provide support and care to one another.
At our first philanthropy of the year, Kappanada, all of our collected proceeds were donated to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, Canada. The donations of our following philanthropy, Scream Kweens, were given to the Canada Cancer Society. For our first philanthropy event, Kappanada, our chapter wanted to support the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation in its efforts to support women in scholarships. As for our Scream Kweens philanthropy, we donated to the Canada Cancer Society, as mulitple of our members and families in our community were directly affected by it around the time and we wanted to work together to support them.
2020 was a whirlwind of a year, but in full Beta Psi spirit we continued to have an exciting and eventful year! In March, chapter operations came to a halt when COVID-19 forced classes to be moved online. Our composite photoshoot and Sapphire formal were postponed to the Fall term. Due to the unique challenges faced this year, the date and time of chapter meetings and chapter council meetings for the Fall term were rescheduled to accommodate time zone differences for our members, and extra consideration was taken when planning chapter events to ensure inclusivity of international members.
Beta Psi turned 109 this year, and our chapter was honoured to be recognized for our many achievements through both the Fraternity and our campus Panhellenic Association. We are proud to have received the Gracious Living Award, and an honourable mention for the Ritual Award for 2018-2020 at convention. Additionally, our chapter was voted Most Outstanding Chapter, Best Panhellenic Spirit, and Panhellenic Council Officer of the Year for 2019 by the University of Toronto Panhellenic Association.
Recruitment this year was fully virtual. Beta Psi welcomed 20 new members to our chapter, doubling our chapter size from the beginning of September, growing from 23 members to 43.
With respect to the Panhellenic Delegate role, due to the spread of COVID-19 in early March, it was decided to cancel the in-person all-sorority social that was to be hosted by Kappa Kappa Gamma (a self-serve sundae bar to encourage bonding and sharing amongst sororities); the decision was made to prioritize the health and safety of everyone in the Greek community.
We welcomed the best pledge class that gradually grew to become a headstrong group of 20 ladies. With that, our first challenge was determining an appropriate time to hold our New Member meetings given how international our pledge class was. We were able to sort this out to accommodate most time zone differences. New Member Chair held Office Hours or anyone to ask any questions or even to provide a platform for anyone to simply hangout. In addition, given that it was a fully virtual year, we had to overcome the logistics of planning online events for a Chapter of over 40 ladies.
We had our two formal pinning ceremonies on October 4th and 25th. Then we had our first ever online “House of Blues” themed BID day on October 10th. That was followed by several Big/Little Speed Dating Events and Coffee Dates where the bigs and littles got to know each other. Despite some initial logistical issues, we were able to figure out a set up that worked really well.
Another challenge faced was the distance that made sending our newest members their Bid day and Big/Little welcome gifts a bit more complicated. However, we managed to overcome that obstacle as well! This all lead up to our Big/Little Reveal on November 7th and given our extra-large pledge class we ended up with 5 pairs of twins! For the reveal, we also had many guest appearances from alumna members. One thing that was nice about having online events was that it allowed more flexibility for alumni to join. Lastly, we ended with Initiation on November 21st. It was an amazing year, but we are most grateful for the very tight knit pledge class that was so understanding and positive despite all the challenges and delays that we faced as we tried to sort out these new circumstances we found ourselves in.
In regards to Academic Excellence, Beta Psi still continued to do monthly KKGenius, hosted a few drop-in study days and also an academic panel!
In regards to Beta Psi Vice President of Organization, we worked on reinstating committees, we did not get a LC visit during the Spring and fall semester, due to COVID, but we are working to find options to hold the visit virtually in the future.
We are very proud of the chapter for pulling off a great recruitment and particularly proud of the transparency with which we presented finances to potential new members. Our treasurer and financial advisors have also met every couple of weeks during the 2020 year to revisit the budget according to changing government guidelines, to issue credits to members for events that weren't held, and kept members updated throughout the process to promote transparency as well.
Public Relations was more crucial than ever in 2020 with all operations shifted online. 2020 was a year that came with multiple challenges for the entire chapter. PR was especially important this year for the chapter as it is the main channel where people would receive the latest updates on important matters such as recruitment, philanthropy, sisterhood activities and more. In the summer of 2020, PR had to step up to post the chapter's stance on BLM and COVID safety-related topics. Moreover, PR was one of the most integral parts of the chapter's success in recruitment as it was the main form of communication between the chapter and PNMs. To have the chapter to be as involved as possible, our PR efforts also included weekly takeovers by chapter members from all across the world including, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Latvia, South Africa and more! 2020 also welcomed new segments in our chapter's PR such as showcasing the house with a house tour video during recruitment, a Founders' Day video, a short house tour of our Christmas decor, featuring the sister of the week and Kappa's values on our Instagram. Beta Psi also followed a thorough PR plan release by Kappa HQ for our recruitment promotional materials. In terms of philanthropy, as everything is held online this year, PR was crucial in spreading the word out to the public. We have posted daily Instagram posts, stories and videos highlighting our philanthropy drive. We have also asked chapter members to repost promotional material for the drive daily too. All in all, 2020 was made easier through the chapter's collective effort of taking over Kappa's Instagram to showcase individuality and where our members are located as well as in keeping the chapter connected to the public.
With COVID, all in-person events were either cancelled and/or scaled down for Beta Psi in 2020. In a regular year, our chapter would usually have Sapphire, our year-end dinner in April. As everything was closed then, our chapter voted to postpone Sapphire to September. Due to safety concerns and to adhere to local guidelines and regulations, we had a smaller scale Sapphire in 2020. Sapphire was held on September 6th 2020 and it was a hybrid event. We had the option to call into the event and/or to join in-person for members who were in town and/or are comfortable with an in-person event. We only had chapter members attending Sapphire this year rather than the regular attendance of both chapter members and a plus one. It was an extremely successful event in terms of sisterhood as it was the first and only in-person event that we had in 2020 and it was held the week before school commenced. Over the semester, we had multiple online events that members could join. Some of them included an online social with UofT's Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity and another online social with Kappa's Zeta Omega chapter. We also had optional sisterhood events such as Zumba and yoga classes. We will be ending the year with another online event where we will be having a movie night along with Kahoot.
On February 3rd Beta Psi held its first fundraiser of 2020 with its 6th annual all Canadian-themed philanthropy, Kappanada. All proceeds of this event were donated to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation for its efforts to support collegiate women through scholarship programs. The COVID-19 pandemic presented real challenges to executing philanthropic activities for Beta Psi, as most service efforts are reliant on in-person engagement. Aside from supporting the philanthropies of fellow Greek organizations on campus, Beta Psi held their Keep6ixwarm Give-back in December as a way to provide care packages to the city’s local vulnerable people experiencing homelessness, particularly as COVID exacerbated Toronto’s already precarious housing situation. Through a high social media presence the chapter was able to raise many donations in order to support this project.
Beta Psi celebrated Founder’s Day virtually with the Toronto Alumni Association on October 18th. The Education Chairman held a programming event to go over the history of Kappa and Beta Psi.
This has been a memorable year at Beta Psi! 2022 marked our first opportunity to gather in-person regularly. We have been able to grow in our sisterhood and revive so much that makes our chapter special!
This year, we were once again honoured to be recognized by our campus Panhellenic with two awards: Outstanding Recruitment and Panhellenic Spirit.
Our year began with a successful winter COB recruitment. Our membership chairman, Caro Nunez, was able to lead our chapter to recruiting six new members. On January 30th, new member chairman, Melanie Ly hosted an online bid day, where the new members had the opportunity to do fun zoom activities and meet active members. They were pledged on January 31st in an in-person ceremony at our chapter house. Following four weeks of new member meetings, our new members were initiated at our house on March 19th, 2022. This initiation was a special combined service, as active members worked hard to memorise the entire ceremony.
On March 14th, Beta Psi hosted our first philanthropy of the year. This St. Patty’s day themed philanthropy was in support of Holland Bloorview, a children’s rehabilitation hospital which was chosen by our chapter. Members enjoyed running games like cornhole, mini-putt, and guess how many candies, but the most popular events were the Raptor’s jersey raffle and 50/50 draw.
Our chapter was led to success by philanthropy chair, Katie Ireland, raising over $2300 and hosting over 190 people that night. On March 30th, the philanthropy committee was invited to present the cheque to the hospital, and learn more about the organization.
Fall formal recruitment was a hybrid style this year, with Round 1A and 1B taking place online, over zoom on September 14th and 15th. As a result of new panhellenic rules, all chapters had standardized shirts for these rounds and we enjoyed standing out and being memorable in bright mint green! Rounds 2 and 3 took place in-person, making this our first in-person recruitment in over two years. The chapter participated in 6 hours of workshops and over 10 hours of training on DEI, technical systems, and recognizing sapphire girls. Preference round was a beautiful Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed brunch, enjoyed by PNMs and active members alike. At the end of this weekend, we were excited to welcome 14 new members; the largest recruitment on campus!
Bid Day took place on September 18th at the house and was Kappa Koachella themed. The chapter enjoyed the taco bar, and bracelet making! The following day on September 19th new members participated in formal pledging and their first Beta Psi chapter meeting! They went on to participate in new member education meetings, every Tuesday at the house.
As COVID restrictions lifted, Beta Psi was able to enjoy many more sisterhood events this year. This began on March 20th, as members joined at the house for an afternoon filled with games, pizza, and karaoke. On March 23rd we enjoyed a combined painting and donuts sisterhood event with Pi Beta Phi. Vice-President Standards Mariam Dhanani continued to prioritize sisterhood into the fall semester, hosting a welcome back BBQ, games night, and PowerPoint night through September and October. These were excellent opportunities for our active members and new members to bond in a fun setting with lots of snacks.
Our chapter has also maintained our connections in the wider Greek-letter community, having socials with UofT’s Phi Kappa Sigma, Zeta Psi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Phi Gamma Delta, and Alpha Delta Phi.
Beta Psi also enjoyed connecting with our larger organisation this year. This began with winter leadership academy at Heartland Conference Centre in Ohio, where our chapter was represented by 8 members. Although it was an exceptionally chilly weekend, members participated in team building games and hikes, and especially enjoyed volleyball and the T-shirt exchange.
Our chapter was also represented at KKG General Convention in Palm Springs on
June 23-26th by president; Jasmin Umana, new member chair; Melanie Ly, and house chair; Phoebe Allen-Cheng.
The Academic Excellence Committee held its annual Academic Brunch over Zoom on Sunday, March 27th at 12:00pm. Selene Hur presented scholarships to the two recipients of the Kay Dignan Prize: Emma Belhadfa and Anna Zarina. Lara Ground made a presentation about each pearl dangle recipient, who were Lian Alqayem, Emma Belhadfa, Kiana Dewji, SY Kim, Marisa Klassen, Emma Linklater, Caro Nunez, Jasmin Umana, and Anna Zarina. The Academic Excellence Committee then presented additional Academic Brunch awards and read out quotes from sisters about the recipients. Katherine Hartig presented the award for Most Hardworking
Sister to Emma Belhadfa, Emily Painter presented the award for Most Talented Sister to Carly Sutherland, Vanessa Liu presented the award for Most Academically Supportive Sister to Katherine Hartig, and Sophie Wong presented the award for Most Resilient Sister, which went to Emily Painter.
Beta Psi was also excited to bring back Sapphire formal this year! The event was hosted on April 8th, the last day of classes, at Second Floor Events. It was a fun night celebrating all our achievements this year. We were also able to recognize our chapter award winners; Anna Zarina, officer of the year; Mariam Dhanani, sister of the year, and Katie Ireland, new member of the year.