Gamma Upsilon Chapter was founded at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on May 11, 1929.
1,378 initiates (as of June 2018)
“We, at the University of British Columbia, are proud and happy to be part of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity. We are not so well known as some of the American chapters, but we have been going strong since 1929.” So writes the research historian for Gamma Upsilon Chapter.
The University of British Columbia opened in September, 1915, “cradled in wartime,” with few buildings and very little equipment. The relationship of the faculty and students contributed in no small measure to the development of the university on the edge of the Empire in Vancouver, Canada. The faculty helped formulate student policies and stood loyally by student government through all its vicissitudes.
The part which seven women students had in the evolution of student government led, through this by-path, to the founding of Delta Phi, a local sorority, in the spring of 1919. Its purpose was “to bind together in friendship, a group of graduates and undergraduates of the university in a closer way than may be accomplished in the alumni association.”
The year following the founding of Delta Phi two more sororities appeared on the campus. Two years later, at the call of the Delta Phi president, representatives of the three sororities organized the Inter-Sorority Board. This step led to official recognition of sororities by Student Council, and later by the University Senate. From that time on more groups appeared and became increasingly interested in linking themselves with international fraternities and sororities. A summary of Delta Phi meetings for a number of years might have been, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”
The year 1925 was an important one in the history of the university. It was then that the big switch-over was made to the permanent site at Point Grey.
Delta Phi became Gamma Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma May 11, 1929, after the long debate over the question of affiliation ended. The chapter was installed by Georgia Hayden Lloyd-Jones, Wisconsin, and Beta Pi Chapter, University of Washington. Actives and alumnae were initiated together in an impressive ceremony.
Gamma Upsilon, following the tradition established by the local sorority, continued to take a leading role in university life, as well as carrying on projects away from the campus.
During World War II, the girls took part in money-raising events for the Canadian Red Cross. Mary Frances Trumbull (Tuck), Panhellenic president, was “convenor” or chairman of the 1945 Red Cross Ball, which netted $4,000. Members of Gamma Upsilon made up 20 percent of the university’s Red Cross Corps. They also paid regular visits to military hospitals and provided Christmas gifts and music for pensioners in an old people’s home.
One of these wartime members was Audrey Reifel, who demonstrated outstanding leadership and gave unselfishly to Gamma Upsilon until her sudden death. In 1950, the chapter established the Reifel Award, to be presented to an active making outstanding contributions to the well-being of the chapter. The Reifel family generously donated to the chapter three paintings by two of Canada’s foremost artists, in memory of their daughter.
The Kappas have always been involved in many activities. Two members were championship tennis players in the 1930s. Another received one of the most prestigious University of British Columbia athletic awards for two consecutive years.
Although a woman becoming a minister is not unusual today, the chapter is especially proud of a member who was one of the best known ministers in Vancouver. She brought up three children before she entered this profession.
Katherine Avis Pumphrey, a social worker, received the 1964 Kappa Alumnae Achievement Award, and a 50-year pin.
Until 1952, except for a brief period in the late 1920s when an unsuccessful attempt was made to maintain a house, the Kappas on the University of British Columbia campus had been meeting in private homes. In that year, a cooperative effort on the part of nine sororities and their alumnae built a Panhellenic House which continues today as the campus center for the women’s fraternities.
Among the most popular campus activities are Mardi Gras and Songfest. Mardi Gras formerly combined carnival, pep meets and raffle. It generated wide excitement and involvement. Ending three gala days was a costume ball with a floor show. Today Mardi Gras is a campus game night, and all proceeds, up to $10,000 a year, are given to charity. Songfest seems to grow every year, with sororities and fraternities competing in song and dance for the prized Songfest Cup. Although Kappas have not been successful in winning this cup, we have great fun presenting our show.
Recruitment was hosted for the first time in the brand new Panhellenic House, a project for Panhellenic and the Vancouver Alumnae Association. Alumnae donated both their time and funds towards the construction of the facility. Located on campus, Panhellenic House is home to 64 women students in “quads” located on the top three floors. Gamma Upsilon occupies an entire quad, known as Kappa Quad. The facility is shared with group, including Kappa Alpha Theta and Gamma Phi Beta. Panhellenic House has eight chapter rooms, and Kappa was assigned one of the largest ones at the front of the building. Loyal alumnae raised funds to provide the Kappa chapter room with tasteful interior decoration, and the chapter was pleased to have a place to finally call “home.”
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 members 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.
From 1985 to 1995, UBC was ranked as one of the top 50 universities in the world. This brought increased enrollment and expansion to the campus. UBC purchased Pacific Spirit Park during the expansion phase as part of the UBC Endowment Lands. Due to the increase in the university, Gamma Upsilon was also able to expand. The downside to expansion was the crowding of the Panhellenic House (built in 1958). In an effort to find a solution, Kappa’s actively helped in the planning of the Forever Friends Campaign in 1994. This campaign helped to raise more than $4,000,000 to put towards a new Panhellenic House to help overcome the constraints of limited space.
In 1985, Dr. David W. Strangway was named University President. Computerized telephone registration was introduced in 1988. This new registration method put an end to students having to physically walk across campus from department to department to register for classes.
UBC celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1990 with a series of special events, which included the largest open house in the university’s history. U.S. President, Bill Clinton visited UBC in 1993 which drew publicity to the campus and Professor Michael Smith received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering work in the development of “site directed mutagenesis”.
One of the chapter’s greatest challenges was welcoming large classes of new members into the chapter. With so many new members coming, it was necessary to assure that everyone was given the opportunity to get to know each other well. This challenge was met by holding many sisterhood events, such as spa nights and picture frame decorating. This way, new members and active members alike were able to bond and feel comfortable with their new sisters.
Another challenge was getting everyone involved. The way that the chapter overcame this challenge was to introduce “Kappa Kore Groups.” Each member of the chapter was assigned to one of the Kore Groups, and each group was assigned to another fraternity and sorority in the Greek system. Members were expected to attend the events of their respective fraternities and sororities, and were given extra Kore Group points for attending events outside of their assigned group. This was a fun way to get everyone involved, and to stir up a little competition!
Throughout this decade, UBC continued to be an active campus. Focus remained on promoting a sustainable lifestyle on and off campus. Excitement for the Winter Olympic Games in 2010 was apparent on campus. Movies and television shows were filmed around the campus. Throughout the years, the chapter also participated in numerous league sports and other sporting events, including Storm the Wall, winning Water Wars, and coming in third in Day of the Longboat.
Gamma Upsilon also continued its tradition of Reading Buddies with a third grade class at University Hill Elementary school every Friday and won a number of awards from Panhellenic including third place Philanthropy Award, third place Sports Award, and third place Top All Around Sorority. Six members were also recognized for achieving outstanding academic averages and five were recognized for achieving an outstanding number of sports points. Charlotte Paterson was honored with winning the Panhellenic Top Individual Athlete Award and Magee Walker won the Panhellenic All-Around Woman Award.
The members participated in a number of other Greek events during Greek Week and held its annual Sapphire Ball at the Four Seasons Resort and Spa in Whistler, BC. Gamma Upsilon also held an annual Parent/Alumni Tea. During the summer, members stayed in contact with each other and some attended a "Kamp Kappa" camping trip near a lake in B.C. Several members also attended Kappa Convention, where the chapter received recognition with Honorable Mentions in New Member Program, Recruitment, and Chapter Management.
The school year begins annually with a chapter recruitment retreat in August, leading up to successful recruitment result. New members were presented at the Pride of Panhellenic luncheon. Bid Day celebration was themed the "Miss Kappa Pageant" during which each Key Sister was revealed by the "judges". Gamma Upsilon celebrated the founding of Kappa with events featuring many of its own alumnae. The social committee organized a great Date Dash surprise event prior to Inspiration Week and Initiation, at which the Leadership Consultant assisted. The chapter conducted its annual Kappa Book Drive and celebrated the chapter’s 80th birthday with a special event. The chapter also participated in and won Order of Omega's Songfest competition with a selection from Across the Universe and enjoyed an "Ugly Christmas Sweater" themed meeting during the holidays.
Gamma Upsilon held its first Kite and Key semi-formal dance in conjunction with Kappa Alpha Theta at the Vancouver Aquarium, where everyone enjoyed dancing with the belugas and admiring the sea lions. The chapter proved to be outstanding in athletics, finishing off the term in second place in the all-sorority division. Its basketball team came in first in the league. Other highlights included victory in the Great Trek, involvement in a number of UBC Legacy Game events such as broomball, day of the long boat, winter fest, and more. Members also excelled in academics, with many members receiving GPA scores well above the all-sorority averages.
The chapter consistently placed well in the Panhellenic Awards for scholarship, encouraged because of a Kappa Mentor program pairing older girls with newer members in the same field of study and with the Smart Cookie Program and The No-"Skippy" Jar.
Gamma Upsilon annually raised more than $2,000 annually during its philanthropy week. Proceeds went to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Events included Gamma Upsilon’s annual Desserts for a Cure, an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet with a minimum $5 donation. During the week, the chapter sold pink ribbons, had a pink raffle (with donated prizes from sponsors such as Starbucks) and had a 50/50 raffle during Desserts for a Cure.
Other chapter philanthropic activities included helping at a soup kitchen downtown weekly and volunteering weekly as reading buddies with children at an elementary school. At the end of March, the chapter hosted a Greek vs. Greek event where the chapter pairs up with other sororities and fraternities to play a week-and-a-half-long game of tag.
The philanthropy chairmen did a great job organizing events, and encouraging girls to participate in other philanthropy events throughout the Greek system. Some events that Gamma Upsilon participated in included Run for the Cure, Halloween for Hunger, and weekly visits to the Soup Kitchen and Reading Buddies at U-Hill Elementary School. Philanthropy week is always a success, with much money raised through ribbon sales and the renowned Desserts for the Cure. The enthusiasm for philanthropy was recognized throughout the Greek system, as Kappas were the winners of fraternity Sigma Chi’s annual “Derby Days” and sorority Alpha Phi’s “Alphatraz” philanthropy events. As a result of their hard work, the members of Gamma Upsilon placed third in the Ann McMutcheon Memorial Philanthropy Cup.
Chapter Convention Awards:
2010 Convention, Gamma Upsilon received Honorable Mention Awards for its New Member Program, Recruitment, and Chapter Management.
Gamma Upsilon had a great 2011. Sisterhood blossomed during Recruitment through the forming and strengthening of new and unexpected friendships. Founders Day this year the chapter decided to try something new and hosted a brunch. It was a wonderful morning of interaction between alumna members, actives and new members.
The University introduced a new grading system in 2011 which allowed students to take classes outside their major on a pass/fail format.
The annual philanthropy Desserts for a Cure was a huge success in 2011 with the highest attendance in the chapter history.
The year 2012 has been a successful and memorable year for the Gamma Upsilon chapter at UBC. We were delighted to receive multiple awards at Convention, such as runner up for our excellence in Standards; runner up for the Philanthropy Award, runner up for Reading is Fundamental, as well as receiving the Legacy Award.
Our Philanthropy Week was a great success thanks to the hard work and commitment of the women in our chapter. Our annual Desserts-For-A-Cure was extremely popular, featuring all-you-can-eat desserts for a $5 donation to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. In addition, we raised money by selling candy and flower grams which were distributed in time for Valentine's Day. It was wonderful to experience such support from fellow Greek members and it allowed to raise around $1,500 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. On a weekly basis Gamma Upsilon members volunteer at First Baptist Church, where we participate in soup kitchen. In addition, we work with the local elementary school and have created the reading buddy program, where we assist young children with their literacy development.
Within the chapter, our Standards Committee encourages spirit and morale whilst educating the chapter on Kappa values. The committee always maintains high excellence, which was recognized at Convention. We achieved our recruitment goals this year, initiating 29 New Members, many of whom now hold positions on Chapter Council and are showing exceptional involvement in the chapter. This years Founders Day was a fantastic event that displayed Kappa's passion and interest in learning more about our history and maintaining ties with the Vancouver Alumni. We experienced great support from many older alumni as they shared their experiences and stories to inspire the active members of Kappa.
One challenge that we faced this past year was the vandalism of our Chapter Room. It took tremendous teamwork and cooperation to put the room back together in a timely and cost efficient manner. Alumni and active members were extremely generous in donating time and effort to restore the chapter and create an even more beautiful space. While this was an unfortunate incident, it highlighted the commitment we have to the chapter and each other.
One of our main goals has been to increase the use of social media to promote Kappa on campus. Our PR chairman has been actively using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to highlight the involvement of Kappa within the Greek and UBC community. Overall, 2012 was a positive year for Gamma Upsilon as we continued to grow and improve our chapter in all areas.
One of the largest changes happening on the UBC campus is the construction of our new Student Union Building, due to be completed in 2014. It is intended to be a gathering place where students can interact in order to expand and strengthen our student community. The project is an estimated 103 million dollars and is aiming to receive LEED platinum+, the highest green building rating in North America. Not only is UBC inventive in developing new real estate but we are also leading the $11 million construction of Canada’s largest radio telescope – the first research telescope to be built in the country in more than 30 years. One of UBC’s creative students has produced a film titled When I Walk and it is to be featured in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. In this film, the director Jason DaSilva portrays his personal experiences living with Multiple Sclerosis and the grueling journey this disease took him on.
The overall nature of our chapter is one of true sisterhood, respect and enthusiasm for Kappa Kappa Gamma. This year we have seen a visible increase in attendance to meetings and strengthened enthusiasm for philanthropy and sisterhood events. Chapter Council has done an amazing job of coming up with innovative ideas on how to further improve aspects of the chapter, such as chapter history and our public image.
The year 2013 has been one of the most exciting and influential years for the Gamma Upsilon chapter at UBC. The year started off with a bang with our Philanthropy week and Kappa Kappa Gamma’s annual Desserts for a Cure. We were able to create friendly competition at our hot cocoa stand for people to increase their donations by creating Greek and non-Greek donation jars, which proved to be a great success.
In addition to these events, we continue to practice our weekly philanthropies. On Wednesdays we serve food in the soup kitchen at First Baptist Church and on Fridays we work to develop children’s literacy with our reading buddy program at University Hill Elementary School. Our Chapters success continued into March as we made it a priority to participate in other Greek philanthropy events after the victory of our own. We were very proud to win Diamond ball, a baseball tournament put on by Alpha Delta Pi that raises money for the Ronald McDonald House. In addition, we also came in third place with Phi Gamma Delta during Greek week.
In September, UBC Sororities completed the largest recruitment in Canada, which was a considerable achievement not only for Panhellenic, but for the Gamma Upsilon chapter as well. We initiated 26 new members in November and they have been enthusiastic about becoming involved. Currently 7 of the newly initiated members hold positions on Chapter Council. We honored the founding of Kappa Kappa Gamma at the our founders day brunch, where one active member, who has now gone on to become our President, and two alumnae spoke about the effect that Kappa Kappa Gamma has had on their lives.
An important priority for the Gamma Upsilon chapter this fall semester was increasing academic achievement. Although it has always been a major priority for the chapter, we came to the realization that we could be doing more to support and encourage our sisters in achieving academic success. The Academic Council was formed in order to assist girls who may be struggling. This council has been crucial in the improvement of academics because it allows for more individual time to be allocated to sisters who need it instead of having just the Vice President Academic Excellence dealing with issues. As incentive to aim high, cookies are distributed weekly to girls who have achieved 80% or higher on an exam or an assignment. Through the implementation of the council and academic incentives we saw the overall chapter average rise just over 3% from the Spring 2013 to the Fall 2013 semester. We hope to continue our success in both the academic and philanthropic arena’s as we continue into the New Year.
The University of British Columbia continues to be an innovative campus that is focused equally on the well being of its students as well as the well being of the Earth and environment. In the spring of 2013 UBC announced that the creation of a smart-grid energy storage system that integrates one megawatt hour of stored energy enough to power an average home for 1,000 hours into a power grid that supports three major campus facilities. In September, The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) and UBC was awarded LEED Platinum certification, the highest designation in green building performance from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system. UBC has also made a considerable effort in bettering the lives of its student as well as the environment. The UBC bookstore reduced the cost of course packs, which allowed students to save a average of 33% on their course materials.
The fall semester was a stressful and frightening time on the UBC campus. At the end of September and throughout October there was a string of 6 sexual assaults that occurred on the UBC campus. These events were extremely concerning for our Chapter and the UBC population as a whole. However, in this time of fear the Chapter became closer in attempts to protect one another at all costs. Our Risk Management chairman gave multiple presentations on how we can protect ourselves in times where we find ourselves alone in the evening. She also gave out whistles and contact cards with UBC Securities information. Sisters that lived on campus offered to walk girls home should they ever find themselves alone. It was in this time of stress and uncertainty that brought our chapter closer together and gave us a true understanding of sisterhood. The campus has sense returned to the safe learning environment it always has been, but the increased support for one another within the chapter has remained.
The year 2014 has been a very successful and exciting year for the Gamma Upsilon chapter at UBC. The year started off well with philanthropy week in which we raised money and support through our candy grams and hot chocolate booths in the SUB. Again we found success in instilling some friendly competition with the Greek and non-Greek donation jars. In addition to these events, we continue to practice our weekly philanthropies of Tuesday night soup kitchen at First Baptist Church and Friday afternoon reading buddies at University Hill Elementary School. Our Chapters success continued into March where we ended the month off by introducing our new main philanthropy event Kappa Kourtside featuring Kappa Kappa Gamma’s annual Desserts for a Cure, which proved to be a success. Many teams came out to support our philanthropy and we raised $1600. Our chapter also took part in many Greek philanthropy events such as Diamond ball, put on my Alpha Delta Pi raising money for the Ronald McDonald House. In addition our chapter also attended and volunteered for other charities such as F Cancer (started by one of our very own Yael Cohen) and Women for Women in Afghanistan. To continue our philanthropic year we raised $2025 at the CIBC run for a cure this fall and $1300 at our November Desserts for a Cure. In January we also put on a fantastic rendition of the Lion King for Songfest, hosted by Order of Omega, which included almost every member of our chapter. We initiated 34 enthusiastic new members in November, with seven currently holding Chapter Council positions. This years Founder Day was an amazing event, hosted at Dockside Restaurant in Granville Island. Girls had the chance to connect with Vancouver alumni and learn about our history as well as form connections through the dream wall.
An important priority for the Gamma Upsilon chapter this fall semester was increasing chapter involvement and achievements in the Greek community. This has always been a goal of ours but we wanted to emphasize it this year as many girls graduated resulting in a smaller sorority with many new members. We were able to do this by encouraging participation in all Greek events. We had girls volunteer to make teams for almost every sorority and fraternities philanthropy event, such as DG’s anchor splash. Our chapter also had many successful rec sports teams throughout the year, including: two volleyball teams, a soccer team and a dodge ball team last term. We also won the UBC rec softball tournament at the beginning of this year. On top of this participation and success in sports, we had three girls take home top Panhellenic awards. Katie Sherlock won Top Panhellenic Athlete, Amanda Woodland won Top Panhellenic Scholar, and Abby Perehudoff won Top Individual Philanthropist. As well, multiple girls also won accreditation certificate awards. The Academic Council has encouraged academic success in the chapter, as well as incentives such as smart cookies, and library raids. Kappa Kash also encourages girls to participate in our many philanthropic opportunities. Overall morale and sisterhood has been increased and that’s what encourages girls to participate more. We truly hope to continue this successful involvement and overall achievements into the New Year.
The University of British Columbia is a large dynamic campus located in the heart of Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Park; with over 60,000 students the campus is always changing. UBC offers both a diverse academic and athletic program. In the past year the University’s athletic program has come under review. Some of UBC’s athletic programs, like it’s Swimming, Field Hockey, Volleyball, Rowing, and Soccer teams, are held along side some of the best in Canada and North America. Unfortunately programs like its Football, Skiing, and Softball’s continued inability to prove successful has brought attention to the structure of UBC’s athletic program. In 2013 The University announced a review of the athletic program’s structure, promising a more focused and successful program; changing certain team’s privileges from ‘varsity’ to club status, the first steps of which to be put into affect at the beginning of the 2014/2015 academic year. Prior to talks of Athletic reformation the UBC student population has been relatively indifferent with regards to support for it’s varsity programs. The recent attention drawn to the athletic program has caused an influx of school spirit. The Times Higher Education World University Ranking ranked UBC 23rd in the world, and 2nd in Canada. The 2013/2014 average admittance GPA was 89.5%, an increase of .02% from the previous year. The University continues to commit itself to not only educating students to the highest degree, but doing so in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. The University leads the way with sustainable buildings, having built fourteen buildings that adhere to the highest sustainable standards, and is currently in the process of completing five more. The University’s embrace for innovative policies and building begin in what has been publicly recognized by many as "North America's Greenest Building” and one of the greenest buildings in the world.
The fall semester at UBC was exciting and ground breaking. Our Chapter saw one of the busiest rush periods ever. Not only is the campus’ Greek life thriving, but extra curricular involvement at UBC outside of the Greek life is at an all time high. With UBC Sororities at the forefront of involvement of the Alma Mater Society’s 370 recognized clubs, it is a wonderful time to be in the Greek system. Kappa Kappa Gamma hosts the most diverse group of members of any Greek organization at UBC. With members from various parts of the world such as the US, Great Britain, and Thailand, our members are very well rounded. The bonds of sisterhood created prove to be stronger than ever as sisters frequently make plans to visit our sisters from abroad.
Our chapter holds meetings in our Chapter room located in the Panhellenic House. The Chapter room is rented and has a comfy classroom setup. We do not have housing at the Gamma Upsilon Chapter in UBC.
2015 has been a very exciting year, very focused on making changes to better our chapter as well as forming stronger bonds within our sisterhood. In March we welcomed six new and amazing girls through our COB recruitment. To start off March we had the annual Parent Tea in the chapter room, which was a great way to meet some parents and in turn let them have a glimpse into what Kappa means to each member. At our Panhellenic awards ceremony at the end of March we had five girls receive academic accreditation, our chapter was accredited for sports, philanthropy, and leadership and activities, our very own Katie Sherlock was accredited for a top athlete, two of our members were accredited with leadership and top philanthropists, and finally another two of our members were accredited with the all greek women of the year award.
We also had a beautiful formal at the Arbutus Club at the end of March, which was a fun way to close up the year for our sisterhood. Kappa Kourtside in the second week of April brought out a huge crowd right before exams. And we were able to raise $4891. We also were able to raise $1089 through our Kappa Kandy Grams, and $1745 at our annual Desserts for a Cure. By the end of the term we also had eleven girls with an over 80 average. We are so proud of them and their accomplishments, and hope to inspire the rest of the chapter to keep up this push towards academics!
At the start of September we attended our retreat at our very own Kristin Short’s house in Shuswap Lake, where we had the opportunity to bond with our sisters at a beautiful location for three days. At retreat we rehearsed all things recruitment, which was very helpful for our newest pledge class. As well, we decorated our new floral letters, and had multiple photo shoots to share on social media as well as for our recruitment video. It was the highlight of the year, and everyone had so much fun.
Coming into the school year our chapter was extremely busy with planning and preparing for recruitment. We also revamped our website, adding photos from retreat and stepped up our presence and activity on social media. Our house chairman took to decorating our chapter room with some homey pieces, such as polaroid pictures, lights, flowers, pillows and a couple ottomans. Recruitment was a busy time for public relations and our activity on social media. It really paid off however as our new members were able to follow posts during that time and so it was quite effective.
Recruitment was the most successful its been in years, we were all so pumped and welcome in 34 new and amazing members. We have carried this excitement throughout the term. We raised $427.70 during our philanthropy weeks cocoa for a cure in the UBC Nest, and $6380 from our participating team in the annual CIBC Run for a Cure. In the first week of November our chapter submitted a video for Gamma Phi Betas philanthropy event, The Gammies. We didn’t win, but our own sister Rebcca Moug took home best actress!
I-week and initiation took place in the second week of November, and it ran smoothly as well as fun. We even got to have a sisterhood event at Spin Society, where a Kappa alumni generously offered her time to hold. At the end of November we will be hosting what should be an amazing semi formal at the Traditional Chinese Gardens, which our new members are very excited for.
Following this on November 22nd we are having someone from headquarters hold a ritual workshop for our chapter. Throughout the year our chapter has taken part in a number of philanthropy events within the Greek community. To list a few, the chapter took part in Sigma Chi’s Derby Days in support of the Shinerama UBC campaign raising money for Cystic Fibrosis research, and AOPi’s Score Out Arthritis which is a indoor soccer tournament. This coming year we are planning on fully using the GIN system for a more concise and official way to keep track with events for the month and year.
This fall our campus finally opened its long anticipated new student union building, the Nest. This has been a seven year process, but has been well worth the wait. It is a beautiful LEED platinum certified building (highest green building rating in North America), and has room for the huge growth in students at UBC. It is located right next to the old SUB, and maintains its hub of activity offering a place for students to shop, study, eat and socialize. The building itself is five stories and 250,000 square feet (50% larger than the old SUB), and cost $107 million. The NEST contains eight AMS run food and drink eateries, nine AMS services, as well as a three-storey rock climbing wall. Not only is the building itself sustainable – solar powered cooling, radian hearing/cooling of floors, solar water heaters, cerified wood products, in vessel compositing, storm water management/retention, roof top garden, water efficient landscaping using grey water, but their food is as well – 100% ocean wise certified, local produce, dry food purchased from local companies, and all coffees are certified organic, shade grown, and fair trade.
This year our overall chapters nature has been focused on sisterhood. We started out the year as one of the smallest sororities on campus, but through teamwork we have grown to almost the same size as everyone else. This year as been extremely busy, and we have faced times of difficulty, but we have all really stuck together and helped each other. We have held multiple sisterhood events this year, and chapter council members took to using their committees for help a lot more. As well our chapter has shown a lot of initiative to help each other, and spend time with each other. On top of fun sisterhood events we have also had many study nights, with amazing turn outs. Its so special to see our sisters encouraging and helping each other push for better academics, which has been a struggle for us in the past. Within the first two months of school our chapter had hosted three study nights, one was also with Delta Gamma. Not only have our members pushed to attend all of our own meetings and events but our participation within the Greek community has also increased substantially.
What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community? Reading is fundamental, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, First Baptist Church soup kitchen
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support? Reading is fundamental is the national Kappa Kappa Gamma philanthropy. Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is our local chapter philanthropy which was started due to an alumni. We hold this philanthropy very close to all our hearts, and one of our alumni, Yael Cohen, actually started the philanthropy Fuck Cancer. First Baptist Church – weekly volunteering at soup kitchen.
As a whole chapter, we were able to accomplish the Anna Kianna Panhellenic Award and Ann McCucheon Philanthropy Award, as well as two individual awards, Top Panhellenic Scholar and Top Individual Philanthropist, at this past Panhellenic Spring Awards. Many have also won individual awards and scholarships such as Just Desserts (recognizes members of UBC community with outstanding contribution), Dean’s Honour List (for those with grades within the top 10%), Major Entrance Scholarship, Chancellor’s Scholar Award, Outstanding International Scholarship and initiation to Gamma Sigma Alpha (for members of the Greek system with +77% average). Our members were able to get involved with other UBC organizations such as the Alma Mater Society, various faculties and different clubs as executive members or as volunteers; Delegate, Promotional Team, RC and VP Recruitment for Panhellenic, Vice President for POITS, Dean’s Student Advisory Council, House President of Salish House of Totem Park Residence, General Volunteer for UBC Hospital, InterClub Executive at Blood for Life, VP Student Life at Arts Undergraduate Society, VP UBC Thunderbird Dance Team and Volunteer Avenue Coordinator of AMS to name just a few.
Members have also volunteered with organizations outside the UBC community: BC Women and Children’s Hospital, VGH Renal Dialysis Unit, Strathcona Clinic, Kiwanis Club, Women for Women, Junior Achievement, BC SPCA and Burnaby Hospital of Mental Health.
Describe the recent changes on your campus and describe the overall nature of your chapter. On campus, there is a newly open first year residence, Orchard Commons, which has greatly improved housing and expanded capacity for first years to be guaranteed housing. A lot of our new members have the privilege of living in this new building.
Our chapter's nature in 2016 has once again been one of loyalty, community and sisterhood. We have gained 35 wonderful new members who have each been an extraordinary addition to our chapter. Many of the new members have taken positions on Chapter Council as well as been appointed significant leadership roles assisting some of the Chapter Council Executives. In addition, two of our members have been chosen for executive positions on Panhellenic Council. We are all very proud of these girls and especially excited for our chapter to have great representation on Panhel's board.
Chapter Philanthropy: What organization(s) has your chapter historically/traditionally raised money for, or donated hours to, in your community?
-Reading is Fundamental (international) -Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation (international) -The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (national) -Soup Kitchen Tuesdays at First Baptist Church, Reading Buddy Fridays at University Hill Elementary (local)
Why did your chapter choose this organization(s) to support? The members of our chapter hold the causes of both our national and local philanthropies dear to our hearts. Like most people, we have been affected one way or another by breast cancer, which is why we find it important to raise awareness and funds to support the research and survivors of this disease. As for our two local philanthropies, Soup Kitchen Tuesdays and Reading Buddy Fridays, our chapter wanted a way to give back to our community not just through organizing internal events, but also by participating in charitable activities every week. Reading Buddy Fridays is a program that also helps us show our support towards the Reading is Fundamental organization consistently throughout the year.
Chapter Facility: In what kind of a facility does your chapter meet? Please attach a clear photo of where you typically hold chapter meetings – whether in a classroom, chapter house or elsewhere.
With the exception of few formal meetings, most of our chapter meetings were previously held in the chapter room in the Panhellenic house. However, starting this October, we have been meeting in a class room in the IONA building on campus, as it provides more space for all of the members.
In January, the Gamma Upsilon chapter set out to strive towards a year of building a stronger sisterhood through strengthening the bond between sisters, and overall solidifying our community involvement and empowerment. We plan on improving our sisterhood by creating and planning g sisterhood events throughout each month to encourage sister-bonding and active participation within the chapter. We welcomed 2 new members in our January COB, who became a part of the 2016 pledge class. Throughout January-April, the Chapter focused on our sisterhood through attending sisterhood events and ensuring our sisters maintained academic excellence, great presence at Greek events and philanthropies, and good relations and communication with each other in the chapter.
For the January-April semester, Gamma Upsilon chapter had the highest academic average of any sorority chapter at UBC this past semester with a 74.48%. At the Panhellenic Spring Awards, our chapter received two individual awards for Top Philanthropy, received by Farrah Bui-Turcotte, who is extremely involved with philanthropies and volunteering; Along with Top Leadership, received by Elise Mance, who maintained a double presidency being president of Kappa and president of the AUS (Arts Undergraduate Society). Two of our sisters were recently initiated into Gamma Sigma Alpha, which is a Greek organization for Greek members with averages of above 76%. We have a sister who was granted a UBC Excellence Scholarship for being within the top 10% in her faculty, undergraduate year, and program. We have sisters who are on the Deans Honour Roll, and who have been granted BC Achievement Scholarship awards, the District Authority Scholarship award, and the Maili Wong Award in Finance, to name a few.
Five of our Chapter Council officers were able to attend the Kappa Leadership Conference where they learned skills to implement within our chapter and within council so that the officers are able to be greater leaders, and a newest member of PC16 attended the Kappa Leadership Academy. In September, we welcomed 40 new members into our Chapter, 38 of which were part of Formal Recruitment and 2 of which we welcomed through COB. For Formal Recruitment, we received a 97.5% retention rate after tours, and became the top recruiting sorority of 2017. Our President implemented ‘President’s Key’, which is a member spotlight for two girls who have gone above and beyond in the Chapter and who will be presented with this award at Chapter meeting and will be talked about in a little blurb highlighting the things they are doing for the Chapter, in which they will also receive a little care package. She also implemented ‘Accountabili-KEYS’, which is to maintain commitment and presence at other Greek philanthropies, where girls are in groups of 3, and 1/3 girls must attend and participate in each event.
Our Registrar implemented ‘Owl Bet’cha Didn’t Know’, which is a monthly newsletter presented at Chapter meeting, where information taken from the Chapter History Nuggets are translated into a cute newsletter format highlighting certain historical or ongoing events, and also includes fun facts, and a sister shout out. The goal of this newsletter is to maintain awareness of Kappa history in a fun format. Furthermore, our sister Kennedy Gagnon, just recently became the president of UBC sororities, and will lead our community for the upcoming year.
In the spring, a new aquatic centre opened up for students and faculty members of UBC and the community. There has also been ongoing construction as a new bus-loop is being built alongside another new residence for students.
Overall, the Gamma Upsilon chapter has implemented monthly sisterhood events that have increased both active participation in the chapter, alongside establishing greater closeness among our sisters. We find that recruitment and initiation are always special for members, as these events remind us why we hold Kappa so close to our hearts, and it shows us the unification and the support systems amongst members. This past year, Gamma Upsilon has accomplished our goals and have done so with great pride, and we feel that our Chapter will continue to improve throughout the 2017-2018 year.
Soup Kitchen at the First Baptist Church (Local), every Tuesday night with Phi Delta Theta.
Reading Buddies at University Hill Elementary (Local), every Friday afternoon with Beta Theta Pi.
Reading is Fundamental (International)
The Canadian Brest Cancer Foundation (National)
Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation (International)
Reading is Fundamental is the international organization that all Kappa chapters support, therefore we show support by our weekly local philanthropy at Reading Buddies. We also choose to support the First Baptist Church weekly because it enables members to get out weekly to give back to our community. Our Chapter supports the Canadian Brest Cancer Foundation (CBBF) because as a large group of women, we have all been or known somebody who has been affected by breast cancer, and cancer in general. We choose to support this organization because the money we raised goes towards finding a cure, and supports and brings awareness to each woman affected by breast cancer in their courageous battles in fighting cancer.
Most of chapter meetings are held within our Chapter room, as it was renovated and painted throughout the summer. We find that our Chapter room provides us with enough room and enables us to maintain focus throughout our meetings. We also tend to hold sisterhood events immediately after Chapter meetings every couple of weeks, so it is easy for girls to participate and attend these events as they are in our Chapter room. There are certain occasions we hold our meetings in classrooms across campus, and this is generally for Formal Meetings as this allows more space to perform ritual.
This year the chapter has seen growth in our sisterhood, increased engagement in our philanthropy events, and has initiated an incredible new member class. In January 2018 we successfully transitioned a brand new chapter council. Our VPOrganization arranged our Leadership Consultant visit who was able to further aid in transitions. The 2018 Chapter Council is responsible for implementing the Owl, Keys, and Fleur-de-lis groups to increase accountability for internal and external philanthropic events. The Academic Council maintained communication with members to ensure they were meeting their academic goals that our VPAcademic Excellence had encouraged us to set for ourselves. The standards committee worked closely with VPStandards to organize and host a variety of sisterhood events that we put on throughout the year. Some members belong to the Gamma Sigma Alpha fraternity which is a Greek organization that celebrates scholarly achievement by taking members with an academic average above 76%. Many of the women in our chapter hold volunteer positions on campus with organizations like Best Buddies and are also involved with the Alma Mater Society of UBC and other academic pursuits. During our January - April semester we were able to celebrate our senior members with a Panhellenic Senior Send Off and our Sapphire Ball was organized by our Events Chair a beautiful formal event for us. Our PR Chair did an incredible job in highlighting our chapter values on social media by focusing on our sisterhood, self love, and mental health awareness.
During the summer our Recruitment Chair started work on creating a strong recruitment. Due to the hard work she and her committee put in we welcomed 30 beautiful new members in September. Our President attended the Leadership Conference in June where she shared leadership skills, ideas, and stories to strengthen our sisterhood. Our Philanthropy assistant attended the Kappa Leadership Academy.
Our Risk Chairman along with our Education Chairman organized many education meetings for us that pertained to mental and physical health as well as self care. Our Marshal arranged a lovely initiation for everyone in November and saw 30 women initiated into Kappa Kappa Gamma.
We have continued the tradition of supporting the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation through our bake sale event Desserts for a Cure where the proceeds all go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. Our Philanthropy Chair also attended our weekly philanthropic events such as our Tuesday night Soup Kitchen with Phi Delta Theta and Reading Buddies on Friday afternoons with Beta Theta Pi. These volunteer events give our women a chance to give back to the community that fits with their schedules. Our chapter showed support for Reading is Fundamental through a book drive and barbecue called Kappa Kookout and through our continued involvement in Reading Buddies. Our chapter takes great pride in helping the communities of the Vancouver area.
Our chapter room is where we host our meetings, along with an occasional meeting in the Woodward Building on campus to hold elections and educational meetings. Our chapter room was renovated in the summer to update the decor. Our chapter room is one of 8 rooms within the Panhellenic House building that hosts all of the UBC sorority chapters.