Epsilon Phi Chapter was founded at University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida on March 4, 1978.
2,092 initiates (as of June 2018)
On January 6, 1853, Florida Governor Thomas Brown signed the bill that provided public support to higher education. East Florida Seminary in Ocala was one of the first schools to use this funding, but it soon closed due the Civil War. In 1866, EFS reopened in Gainesville, beginning a journey to become one of the largest, most prestigious schools in the world.
The University of Florida (commonly referred to as Florida, UF or U of F) is an American public land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant research university located on a 2,000-acre campus in Gainesville, Florida. The university has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906. It is regarded as a “Public Ivy” university—a category of the top public universities in the United States.
The bright yellow posters proclaiming Colonization Rush Week for Epsilon Phi at the University of Florida said, “We need a special kind of girl!”
And the colonization team found 40 very special young women….each one enthusiastic, outstanding and eager to be a part of the colonization of a Kappa chapter. “Excitement” was the key word for the week. Excitement shared by the chapters from Rollins and Florida State and the alumnae from Gainesville, Tallahassee, Winter Park and Tampa.
Additional members of the colonization team were Barbara Laitner, Colorado, graduate counselor for the chapter; Gayle Gianniny, Allegheny, field secretary; Marsha Scheipbach Lowe, Iowa State, colonization chairman and Dorothy Colvin Harvey, Pittsburgh, membership chairman; Province officers Carolyn Jones Laure, Ohio Wesleyan, and Juli Warner Deeds, Ohio State; Rush Team Captain, Sally Moore Nitschke, Ohio State, director of membership; Colonization/installation Chairman, Caroline Cole Tolle, Miami, director of personnel.
Parties were held at the Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma and Alpha Delta Pi chapter houses. Epsilon Phi’s colonization rush was truly a Panhellenic affair.
Kappa Kappa Gamma and Greek Week arrived on the Florida campus the same weekend. March 3-5, 1978, was a weekend long-remembered for Epsilon Phi chapter which was installed with the love and support of so many alumnae, actives and parents and then the chapter went on to win a second place trophy for Field Day and a first place trophy for their participation in the blood drive. The activities began Friday evening with the Fireside being held at Bellamy Forge in Gainesville. The unique feature was the round, free-form fireplace which lent itself to a very warm, intimate service. Gail Burgess Zavelson, Duke, planned a lovely reception following Fireside. It gave the alumnae coming from all across Florida and the actives from Mu Province chapters an opportunity to become acquainted with the members of the colony, a lovely way to start the weekend.
Registration was held throughout the weekend at the Holiday Inn across from the campus. The warm and friendly greeting showed the feelings of the Gainesville Alumnae Club which was formed 30 years ago for the express purpose of establishing a Kappa chapter on the campus and their enthusiasm hadn’t waned. The happiness was clearly reflected in the faces of the new chapter members who dearly loved their alumna.
Trinity Methodist Church was the perfect setting for Installation. The installing officers were Jean Hess Wells, Georgia, Fraternity president, and Caroline Cole Tolle, Miami. Approximately 200 people attended the Installation Banquet held in the Holiday Inn. Votive candles flickered on the tables and lent a festive air to the occasion. For the first time parents were invited to attend the banquet and the turnout of parents and grandparents was impressive and thrilling. The room was alive with joy and excitement.
Carol Engles Harmon, Miami, delighted everyone as the Toastmistress. The program included a welcome from the Gainesville Alumnae Club, a toast from the Florida State chapter president and the response from the new chapter’s president. Tom Dougan, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, welcomed the new chapter on behalf of the University with an original poem which included the name of each chapter member and the Fraternity officers present. An unusual and creative presentation enjoyed by everyone. Jean Hess Wells delivered the banquet address.
The first official chapter meeting was held on March 5th and a campus reception was held that afternoon at the Gainesville Garden Center, a lovely setting on a sunny afternoon, the perfect ending of a memorable weekend.
In 1979 the lot for the future Kappa house was purchased. Fall rush and Family Weekend took place there. Though not ideal, Kappas, of course, made the most of it, while they waited for a house.
Epsilon Phi faced the obvious challenges of a newly chartered chapter: growing numbers, fostering sisterhood, and increasing campus involvement. Impressively, in just the first two years on campus, Epsilon Phi's numbers swelled to 134 women. Although rush and numbers were not a huge issue for this newly formed chapter, they faced some issues: fostering sisterhood, increasing campus and chapter involvement, and getting all budgets in check. Remarkably, they were able to get involved in various campus organizations and even had a few members accepted into Order of Omega.
Gator Growl, an annual homecoming pep rally was hosted by Robbin Williams in 1982 and by Bill Cosby in 1984.
On April 12, 1981, the Space Shuttle Columbia took flight from Cape Canaveral’s Kennedy Space Center and becomes the first reusable shuttle to successfully orbit the earth and return back to earth in a traditional touchdown just two days later.
The gender barrier was crossed on September 21,1981, when Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female Supreme Court Associate Justice in history. There was another first for women on June 18, 1983 when Sally Ride became the first American woman to travel into space. As Epsilon Phi continued to grow and learn as a chapter, the rest of the world was in an amazing time for exploration and discovery
Although still a fairly new chapter, the women of Epsilon Phi showed the University of Florida that they were there and ready to be seen. They were recognized on campus when several chapter members were named students with outstanding leadership on campus, winning the Intramural Championship for Softball and members slated with the USA party. Kappa also represented itself in the Panhellenic community when chapter women held Panhellenic rush positions, Kappas served on every committee in Panhellenic and a member was elected secretary of Panhellenic council. The chapter also showed its support for theie sisters when they congratulated a Kappa who was accepted into medical school at the University of Miami.
1985: Panhellenic Most Improved Chapter; Monika Nevergold elected to student senate in college of business; Melissa Parker elected to student senate college of education; 1986: Second place in overall GPA in Panhellenic; Laureen Trussler was chief justice of student traffic court; 1987: Won Social Graciousness Award at Mu Province Meeting; 1988: National Personnel Award; Panhellenic Sorority Personal Relations Award; First in Scholarship for fall semester; 1989: Panhellenic Program of the Month Award (October); Angie Effinger Hall of Fame
Epsilon Phi was still a fairly new chapter at the University of Florida during the years of 1985 to 1995. It did not face challenges of increasing chapter numbers, but increasing campus involvement seemed to be a continuing challenge. To improve this situation, the members started to be involved socially which in turn helped them to move up the scale to become more well known and offered more opportunities of involvement. Additionally, the chapter faced the challenge to raise its overall grade point average, which in turn improved each year.
During this time period, many olympic records were broken as well as many new technological advances developed. The 1990's brought many things such as the first satellite Skyphone. The University improved in all aspects and became a well known state university based on academics. The chapter increased its overall grade point average, thus contributing to the university's success and continued to improve its overall functioning within the modern society.
1990: Received the Panhellenic award for Most Outstanding Sorority for Community Service and for Most Outstanding Sorority in Campus Involvement; Kappa National Convention Honorable Mention for Outstanding Chapter/Advisory Board Relations. Greek Week- 4th place; Pledge Olympics- 3rd place; UF Panhellenic Francis Reitz Community Service Award; 1991: Intermural Champions in football and tennis, Third place in track; UF Francis Reirz Award for Fraternal Excellence; Outstanding Achievement in Gracious Living at the Mu Province meeting; Dottie Harvey Award for High Chapter Standards at the Mu Province Meeting; 1992: Most Improved Scholarship at General Convention; Outstanding Advisory Board at General Convention; Outstanding Pledge Program-UF; Most Improved Chapter-UF; Runner-Up for Fraternal Excellence-UF; Stacy Parks won Phi Sigma Service Award; President, Juliet Stroud won Outstanding Greek Woman; 1993: President’s Cup-First place overall in intermurals; Kara Thompson won Panhellenic Best Sorority President; Panhellenic Best Programming Award; Jane Hamper won Communications Award; 1994: Epsilon Phi Sister was producer of Gator Growl; 1995: First place in Dance Marathon
The chapter goal in 1995 was USA (Unity, Scholarship, Attitude) with the hope of strengthening bonds and promoting a great image on campus. The chapter continued with the goal to increase its scholarship ranking on campus. It was fourth in the spring out of all sororities based on grade point average.
Due to extenuating circumstances initiation was held after only eight weeks but all turned out well. The new members learned as much about Kappa as the members who had a longer pledge periods.
Chapter members participated in many different events on campus. There was an Easter party for the Boy's Club, Bi-weekly volunteering at a Nursing Care Center, a Halloween party for the Girl‘s Club and visitation with 50-year old Kappas in Gainesville. Members were also involved in many philanthropies on campus including Chi Omega's Sandblast, AD Spies, Phi Sig Slam, and University of Florida’s first ever Dance Marathon with Epsilon Phi. The chapter took first-place.
Within the community the chapter donated funds to the American Cancer Society and the Gainesville Police Department. Many members were involved with various organizations on campus, including Student Government, Celebration, and many other Directors and Assistant Directors for various events on campus. The member’s were proud to say that the Producer of Gator Growl, the largest student run pep-rally, was a Kappa. Chapter members volunteered throughout the community, working everywhere from hospitals to elementary schools.
The biggest challenge in 1995 was initiating after only eight weeks. Many were afraid that the new members would not learn all there was to learn within this time frame. There was a big sister workshop to educate the big sisters of how to help the new members. The other big challenge faced was that of the much needed house renovation. Several attempts to raise funds were unsuccessful which left the chapter without an addition.
In 1996 the goals of focusing on academics, community and campus relations and a positive attitude, the chapter strengthened its bonds and its status on campus through participating in many activities. The chapter was involved in much philanthropy that year winning or placing in many of them.
Chapter members were involved in different organizations on campus from student government to the Miss University of Florida pageant where Kappas placed first and second. In spite of all the renovations going on at the Epsilon Phi house during fall formal rush, making it all the more hectic than usual, the chapter prevailed and pledged a terrific class to show for their efforts. Epsilon Phi was able to maintain the “pie-a-la-mode” category with a grade point average above the required 3.14 both fall and spring semesters.
The year of 1997 was an exceptional one for Epsilon Phi chapter. The chapter set goals that included more involvement on the campus and in the community. Kappa started off the year celebrating by winning Greek Week for the second year in a row, showing the rest of the Greek community that the Kappa spirit remains the best again. The chapter also participated and placed in several philanthropies during the year. Through all the fun and excitement, scholarship made an amazing jump up seven positions between spring and fall to become above the all-sorority average.
Epsilon Phi put forth tremendous effort in achieving high campus involvement. The chapter hosted an Easter and a Halloween party to benefit children from the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County, as well as participated in Jail and Bail for The American Cancer Society as well as many others. Many members were involved in various campus organizations such as Senate, Dance Marathon, and ACCENT and also held various leadership positions on the Gator Growl/Homecoming staff and Panhellenic
One of the biggest challenges for Epsilon Phi chapter this year was the change from tradition and adapting ourselves to the “New member Program.” The chapter participated in piloting this program that was proposed at the 1998 General Convention. The New member Program promotes involvement and interaction between the new members and the sisters from day one. The new members were invited to participate in all chapter activities except for those that used ritual. In addition, there were changes that came from Panhellenic regarding rush.
During this year, the Regional Directors presented the Challenge to Excellence to Epsilon Phi. The Challenge to Excellence set guidelines concerning several areas of chapter operation. Each chapter evaluated its own performance in fulfilling these guidelines, finding its strengths and weaknesses. Epsilon Phi ranked very well in many categories and areas in need of improvement were noted and stressed. The chapter continues to Strive for Pi surpassing this goal both in the spring and the fall, receiving the Pie-a-la-mode Award in Mu Province.
In 1998, members were involved in many activities and leadership positions on campus, showing the chapter’s dedication to the university community. This involvement promoted the chapter goal of 100% participation in all campus and community activities.
Within the Greek community, Epsilon Phi demonstrated its dedication by winning Greek Week for the third consecutive year. The chapter held its own philanthropic event, the Kappa Klassic in partnership with the fraternity men of Kappa Alpha. The chapter also supported the philanthropies sponsored by the other sororities and fraternities on campus. Many members were involved in various organizations including ACCENT, Dance Marathon, Student Senate, Cicerones and Order of Omega. Members also served as Directors or Assistant Directors of Panhellenic Council and Gator Growl.
While maintaining leadership, involvement on campus and in the community, the chapter sustained academic excellence with a grade point average of 3.265.
The women continued to participate in all areas of campus and community in 1999. The chapter continued to hold Kappa Klassic, its own philanthropy fund raiser. It also supported all the other Greek organizations philanthropic efforts. Through all this involvement, academic excellence remained a priority. The chapter grade point average rose to a 3.305, well above the All University GPA.
A main focus for the chapter this year was sisterhood. Increasing sisterhood and participation of sisters at events was promoted by holding monthly sisterhood events. These events resulted in spending more time together and creating closer relationships with each other.
The women were proud of the many accomplishments the chapter achieved in 2005. The chapter goal of increasing its level of service was accomplished. Epsilon Phi won the Panhellenic Service Award and participated in service on and off campus. The chapter had the record of winning the Blood Bowls for the past four years consecutively.
Epsilon Phi continually participated in the philanthropies campus-wide but in 2005 the chapter increased its level of participation. Kappa Kappa Gamma had a strong showing at the University of Florida’s annual Dance Marathon benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network. The majority of the Fall 2004 member class and some older members represented Kappa at Dance Marathon. Kappa raised money for Dance Marathon by pairing with Pi Lambda Phi.
The members were involved in several university organizations such as: Student Senate, Florida Cicerones, Savant UF, various honor societies, University of Florida’s Housing Staff and Homecoming Week Staff.
As a chapter, the women decided to improve the level of service to the University of Florida and the Gainesville community. A philanthropic event, Too Hot to Handle, benefitting Reading is Fundamental was held. Epsilon Phi’s members increased participation in various fraternity and sorority philanthropies this year. Kappa’s dedication to service did not go unnoticed. Kappa won the Panhellenic Service Award for 2005.
The chapter also worked to improve relations with the house board and to make improvements to the chapter house. Through this effort items were purchased such as a new couch for the informal room, new wooden flooring in the informal and formal living rooms, lighting fixtures, redecorated the study room and formal and informal living rooms. These improvements were completed before Recruitment 2005 to show Kappa at its best. Epsilon Phi active members worked with the house board to prepare for the Spring 2006 renovation of the house. Chapter members moved from the house into the vacant Kappa Alpha Order house on campus and returned to the newly renovated Kappa house by Fall Recruitment 2006.
Chapter Honors: Panhellenic Service Award, 1st place in Junior Panhellenic’s Ghouls, Goblins and Greeks, First Place in Blood Bowl, Basketball Intramural Champions
Epsilon Phi had a very successful 2006. The chapter raised $2,500 from Too Hot to Handle, our annual philanthropy. The women also participated in a number of other service events, like the Greek Blood Drive, the Lymphoma Awareness Committee Date Auction, Relay For Life, and Greek Service Day. Smaller service projects included assisting the Ronald McDonald House with its holiday luminary project, and sorting clothes for a clothing drive at a hospice. On October 14, the chapter initiated a fantastic and promising new member class.
Epsilon Phi sisters were very active around campus. New members and upper class members alike did an excellent job representing Kappa at the University of Florida's annual Dance Marathon benefiting Children's Miracle Network. The chapter raised money for Dance Marathon by pairing up with Lambda Chi Alpha. Other Greek philanthropies that the women took part in include: Phi Sigma Kappa Spike, Phi Kappa Tau Midnight Madness, Sigma Phi Epsilon Surf Frenzy, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Cajun Cookout, Zeta Beta Tau Kickball, and Alpha Gamma Rho Buckoff. Chapter women were active throughout campus, participating in university organizations such as Florida Cicerones, Pi Chi, ACCENT Speaker's Bureau, and various honor societies.
In 2006, Epsilon Phi was challenged to maintain an active and cohesive sisterhood without living together in its house. During the Spring semester, chapter members moved into the vacant Kappa Alpha order house. Upon returning from summer vacation, they learned that there had been some unexpected delays with the construction of the Kappa house. The women really put a lot of effort into keeping the sisterhood together. Members made an effort to gather for dinner or just spend time with each other. Council worked with the University of Florida to find alternate locations for chapter and New member meetings.
Epsilon Phi's chapter had a wonderfully successful 2007 year. The chapter goal of increasing sisterhood and campus involvement was a success. The spring sisterhood retreat helped the chapter hold true to the meaning of Kappa by allowing the women to grow closer in the bonds of sisterhood through various games and bonding activities.
Epsilon Phi increased involvement in campus organizations such as Student Government, Panhellenic, and the Harn Museum. The chapter won the fall Blood Bowl in order to keep Epsilon Phi's tradition of winning the past five years alive. However, the greatest accomplishment was the initiation of the 2007 New member class in October.
With the introduction of a new Epsilon Phi program, "Owls, Keys, and Fleur-de-lis", Epsilon Phi found a new and fun way for the chapter to increase participation in Philantropies campus-wide. The women participated in Sigma Phi Epsilon's Surf Frenzy, Pi Kappa Phi's Linedance, Phi Kappa Tau Midnight Madness, Delta Tau Delta's Miss Greek, Theta Chi kickball, Delta Chi Earthball, Sigma Alpha Epsilon's Cajun Cookout, Alpha Gamma Rho's Buck-off, Alpha Omicron Pi's Mr. UF, and Alpha Epsilon Phi's basketball
The chapter faced a lack of participation, whether it be playing or spectating, in various philanthropies and events on campus and in the Greek community. Two very successful campaigns in the chapter were implemented to increase attendance. During the Spring semester, "Owls, Keys, and Fleur-de-lis" was put into place.
Towards the end of the Spring 2007 semester, Chapter Council created "Project Blue" to be voted on by the chapter, and was enacted with an overwhelming majority. The program was strictly rewards based, and no penalty was assessed if a goal was not met. Rewards such as parking spots and a pizza party were just a few of the incentives for members to get out there and support their sisters. Project Blue also helped to foster a greater sense of sisterhood and helped the chapter as a whole.
The women wanted to raise the level of campus involvement, and Project Blue helped to achieve this goal. Project Blue, in addition to giving points for event attendance, also gave points for becoming more involved on campus, whether it be in Student Government, Panhellenic Council, The Leukemia society, etc. Sisters found this to be an effective as well as enjoyable solution to raise involvement, and it showed tangible results with the result of two new student Senators and various other positions on campus. A Campus Involvement book was created and put in the TV room to help the members see who was involved in organizations on campus. It was hoped the book would be a useful tool for the members and a means of helping them find members who were involved in organization in which they were interested. They could then ask questions of those members.
Chapter Honors: Best Off Row House for Ghouls, Goblins, and Greeks and First Place in Blood Bowl.
Many of our primary goals were achieved in 2008, including increasing pledge class bonding as well as sisterhood as a whole. At the spring sisterhood retreat at Ginnie Springs, quality time was spent as a chapter participating in activities which allowed us to grow and deepen the bonds of sisterhood to unite every Kappa. The chapter also proceeded to fulfill its goals of increasing scholarship and involvement on campus.
A Kore Groups Study Challenge was implemented to enable sisters to meet other sisters that they might not know as well, while positively competing against other groups to log the most study hours.
In both the spring and fall the chapter won first place in the campus-wide Greek Blood Bowl, continuing Epsilon Phi's tradition as champion for the past six years. Additionally, the chapter participated in two of the university’s largest philanthropic events: the March for Dimes Gator Walk and the Children's Miracle Network's Dance Marathon. During the Gator Walk March for Babies 2008, not only did Epsilon Phi have a large number of sisters participate, but the chapter received the award for Top Fundraising Sorority. Dance Marathon paired the chapter with Pi Lambda Phi fraternity to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network benefiting Shands Hospital at the University of Florida. The 2009 Dance Marathon Captains were chosen in fall 2008, and Kappa has the most captains from any single chapter of the Greek community. The chapter women were particularly proud to initiate the spring 2008 pledge class in March and the fall new member class in October.
While continuing to be challenged with chapter and campus involvement, Epsilon Phi Kappas further enhanced the chapter’s campus presence by becoming involved in many of the campus organizations and Greek philanthropies. They continued to implement their Project Blue which has helped with increases involvement of chapter members. In addition to extracurricular accomplishments, thirty chapter women earned 4.0 grade point averages for spring 2008.
• Delta Tau Delta’s Miss Greek – Event Winner • Phi Delta Theta/Kappa Alpha Theta’s Dodgeball – 3rd Place • Theta Chi’s Kickball – 3rd Place • Alpha Gamma Rho’s Buck-Off – Event Winner • Spring and Fall Blood Bowl – Event Winner • Gator Walk – Top Fundraising Sorority
Epsilon Phi achieved many of our primary goals in 2009, including increasing pledge class bonding as well sisterhood as a whole. The chapter also proceeded to accomplish the goals of increasing scholarship and involvement on our campus. The GPA was raised to 3.45, and continued to set high goals for academics. In both the spring and fall the chapter continued its involvement in Greek and campus philanthropies. While supporting another Greek council, the Multicultural Greek Council, the chapter participated and won first place in Stroll Off, winning $1,400 for Kappa's philanthropic beneficiary, Reading is Fundamental.
The chapter women were particularly proud to initiate the spring 2009 new member class in March and the fall new member class in October, which is an exciting and diverse group of women who promise to continue Kappa's successes in involvement on campus and in the community. Epsilon Phi again had thirty women earn 4.0 grade point averages for spring 2009.
Chapter Honors: • Sigma Lambda Beta's Stroll Off – 1st Place • Chi Phi Capture - 3rd Place • Delta Tau Delta's Miss Greek - 2nd Runner Up • Alpha Gamma Rho’s Buck-Off – Event Winner • Spring and Fall Blood Bowl – Event Winner
The chapter worked on and achieved many of its primary goals in 2010. This was accomplished by spending quality time as a chapter participating in activities which allowed the women to grow and deepen the bonds of sisterhood which unite every Kappa. Epsilon Phi also fulfilled the goal of improved scholarship and involvement on campus. They continued to hold the study groups Study Challenge, which allowed sisters meet others members they may not know very closely, while positively competing against other groups to log the most study hours. The fruits of our goal of increasing campus involvement are clearly seen in 2010. Kappas further enhanced our campus presence by becoming involved in many other Greek and campus organizations.
Epsilon Phi was proud to initiate the spring 2010 new member class in March and and the fall new member class in October, which was once again an exciting and diverse group of women who promised to continue Kappa's successes in involvement on campus and in the community. In addition to these extracurricular accomplishments, seventy-two Epsilon Phi women earned a 3.5 grade point averages or higher for spring 2010.
• Lambda Chi Watermellon Bust – Event Winner • Alpha Gamma Rho’s Buck-Off – Event Runner-Up and Best Banner Award • Spring Blood Bowl – Event Winner • Fall Blood Bowl – Event Runner-Up • Phi Kappa Tau Midnight Madness – Best Attendance Award • Sigma Lambda Beta Stroll Off– 3rd Overall
The year 2011 brought a rebuilding year to the history of Epsilon Phi chapter. The members achieved many of its primary goals, including increasing new member class bonding as well sisterhood as a whole. At the fall rock climbing event, quality chapter time was spent participating in activities which allowed everyone to grow and deepen the bonds of sisterhood which unite every Kappa. New members met and began to build relationships with older members as well as members within their new member class. Epsilon Phi also proceeded to fulfill its goals of increasing scholarship and involvement on our campus.
Epsilon Phi continued to be proud of the new member class which was initiated in October. Recruitment was newly tailored to meet the needs of chapter quota requirements and the chapter successfully met the University quota, becoming one of the largest Panhellenic chapters on the University of Florida'a campus.
The fruits of the goal of increasing campus involvement were clearly seen in 2011. Epsilon Phi participated in numerous campus-wide and Greek philanthropies. In addition to extracurricular accomplishments, Epsilon Phi earned a 3.3 grade point average for spring 2011.
Chapter Honors: Delta Chi Earth Ball- First Place Sigma Lambda Beta Stroll Off- First Place Alpha Gamma Rho Buck Off- Runner Up Junior Panhellenic Ghouls, Goblins and Greeks- Best Banner Pi Lambda Phi Flag Football- Second Place 2011 Blood Bowl- First Place
The year of 2012 was another successful year for Epsilon Phi Chapter. We achieved many of our primary goals by creating more sisterhood events as well as new member class bonding experiences through a New Member Retreat off –campus. New Member bonding immediately started on Bid Day and our retreat, which was that very same weekend. Our main Fall Sisterhood event was a trip to SeaWorld where everyone really bonded with their families, since Big/Little Reveal had recently taken place. Our time on the buses getting to know other sisters we may not have encountered before was an unforgettable experience, and there is nothing quite like sitting in the Splash Zone of Shamu with your sisters! Other goals that we achieved include being more involved on campus and scholarship.
For Academics, we continued our tradition with New Member Study Hours as well as Geek of the Week and Smarty Pants, which allows sisters to shine by logging study hours and recent A’s on exams.
We also participated in two of the biggest philanthropic events at the University of Florida, March of Dimes’ Gators March for Babies and Children’s Miracle Network’s Dance Marathon. In Dance Marathon 2012, many older sisters held captain positions while younger members stood for 26.2 hours for the kids. At this event, we paired with Phi Sigma Pi to raise money for our very own Shands’ Children’s Hospital. Overall, we placed 3rd and raised over $26,000. This philanthropy let sisters bond in an unusual way because of aching feet and tired eyes with dancer buddies and piggy back rides.
Above all else, we were extremely proud to initiate our Fall 2012 new member class in October on the same weekend of Founder’s Day. These new members are a very diverse, yet close group of women who will surely continue Kappa’s success in the years to come through involvement not only on campus, but also in the community. In the Fall of 2011, it came to our attention that Epsilon Phi had fallen below the standards of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity. Since then, newly elected council members and all members have been working to increase sisterhood and return to higher standards that the Fraternity deserves. Even though we are still on the Focus Letter, we are working hard to increase unity and sisterhood through more meaningful and frequent events. Throughout these past years, we have continued to rise to the occasion, and we hope to get off the Focus Letter by Spring 2013. The implementations that we have made have only made us stronger, and we will continue to complete these tasks in the future. Epsilon Phi Chapter is on its way to maintaining positive, ethical principles and consisting of members who are both womanly and true.
The challenges of 2012 have left Epsilon Phi with the responsibility of improving many aspects of our chapter. Some of these challenges include Philanthropy involvement and sisterhood support. As a whole, not many members are willing to give up their free time to participate in philanthropies, and as a result, not many of our members are willing to support the women who do participate. This challenge has been overcome by the installation of our “Chapter +1” system that was implemented in 2010 as well as a very willing and enthusiastic Fall 2012 New Member Class. Now, we see that many women are actually going above and beyond and participating in multiple “+1” events throughout the week. Another challenge that we have faced is exposure of Epsilon Phi to the University of Florida campus. We want to create a positive image of our chapter and our members, so we continue to wear our badges on Mondays and our letters on Wednesdays. We are still facing the challenge of the Focus Letter that was brought to our attention in October 2011. Meredith Hardage visited us Fall 2012, and she is extremely impressed with how far we have come, and we are working towards being taken off the letter by Spring 2013. All in all, the letter has made us reevaluate some of our systems, but in the end, it has made us stronger in sisterhood through bonds of friendship and teamwork.
Our goal of increasing campus involvement throughout 2012 is clearly seen. Kappa’s further enhanced our campus presence by becoming involved in the following organizations: Florida Cicerones, CRU, Doulos, Navigators, Panhellenic Executive Council, Junior Panhellenic Council, University of Florida Women’s Water Polo, Dean’s List, Teaching Assistants, Florida Bright Futures Scholars, Women’s Student Association, Florida Equestrian Team, ACCENT, AWARE, FLA, AMSA, UF Women’s Chorale, Model UN, College Youth in Government, Campus Diplomats, Warrington College of Business Diplomats, Dance Marathon, Floridance, Danza, Student Government Senate, Action Student Government, Gators March for Babies, honor societies, and many more. In addition to these extracurricular accomplishments, Epsilon Phi earned a 3.498 grade point average in the spring of 2012, which ranks fourth among all sixteen Panhellenic chapters.
Epsilon Phi participated in the following campus-wide Greek philanthropies: Beta Bring It On, SigEp Surf Frenzy, AEPi Bake-Off, Kappa Sig Black Top Beach, PIKE Carnival, Theta Chi Kickball, ATO Build-a-Bear, KA’s Rock, Paper, Scissors, Chi Phi’s Chi Phactor, Phi Tau's Safe Sets, Delta Tau Delta's Miss Greek, Lambda Chi Alpha's Watermelon Bust, Alpha Gamma Rho's Buck-Off
Chapter Goals 2012: Increase sisterhood and new member class bonding events; Increase lettering throughout campus; Improve relations with Alumni and Advisory Board; Increase the number of Ritual Reviews; Increase Education Programming at Chapter; Uphold established GPA goal; Unite the chapter and improve standards of Epsilon Phi to match accordingly with Fraternity Bylaws while improving and maintaining the overall positive morale of our members; Utilize committees more effectively and regularly hold committee chapters; Increase campus and Greek-community involvement
Chapter Philanthropies: Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon, March of Dimes’ Gators March for Babies, Kappa Kasino benefiting Reading is Fundamental
Socials: Throughout the year, we had various socials with Phi Kappa Tau, Alpha Gamma Rho, Kappa Sigma, Delta Chi, and Delta Tau Delta
Date Functions: Bowling Grab-a-date, Formal, Semi-Formal, Harry Potter World
Dinner Events: Epsilon Phi Birthday, Founder’s Day Brunch, Senior Dinner
Other Events: Father-Daughter Weekend: Baseball Game, Sisterhood Event at SeaWorld, Fall Family Weekend, Senior Programming
Chapter Honors: Lambda Chi Alpha Watermelon Bust – First Place Alpha Gamma Rho Buck-Off – Second Place Miss Greek: Shelbi Steers – 2nd Runner-Up Kappa Alpha Order Rock Paper Scissors – Third Place Chi Phi Chi Phactor: Alice Sykes – Top Five University of Florida Homecoming Pageant: Victoria Hunter – Top Six
The year of 2013 was another successful one for Epsilon Phi Chapter. We achieved many of our primary goals by creating more sisterhood events as well as new member class bonding experiences through a New Member Retreat off –campus. New Member bonding immediately started on Bid Day and continued to Initiation. We were extremely happy to welcome our Fall 2013 new member class into Epsilon Phi. These new members are a great group of girls eager to get involved and represent our chapter in the upmost fashion on campus and within the community.
Other goals we achieved were being more involved on campus and scholarship. For academics, Epsilon Phi’s GPA average dropped a minuscule amount, but here at the University of Florida, the GPA is already so high because of the selectivity of the school.
Spring 2013, we maintained a 3.42 GPA, but we strive to improve that number in years to come. We hold study hours and make challenges such as Geek of The Week and Smarty Pants to encourage academic achievement.
We participated in Dance Marathon again, the largest philanthropy on campus where you stand for 26.2 hours in place of the kids that can’t. We raised about $27,000 which contributed to the total of $1.1 million raised. All of our sisters participated whether it be by donations, holding staff positions, or dancing on the floor. We bonded in so many ways throughout those 26.2 hours and we placed in fundraising and spirit points.
In the Fall of 2011, it came to our attention that Epsilon Phi had fallen below the standards of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity. Since then, newly elected council members and all members have been working to increase sisterhood and return to higher standards that the Fraternity deserves. In Spring 2013, Epsilon Phi was taken off the focus letter. Since then, a challenge in our chapter was how to run things smoothly with our new freedom of being on our own again but while also still implementing many things that we started as a result of the focus letter. Even though we were initially upset about the focus letter, it actually proved to provide much more help than hurt. After its removal, we continued to implement things like more sisterhood bonding events and much better chapter/adviser communication through round robins and visits.
Only with the help of all these changes within our chapter were we able to attain Panhellenic Chapter of the Year at the University of Florida; an accomplishment we are most proud of. Epsilon Phi Chapter certainly has improved in many ways and strives to maintain positive and ethical principals and continue to initiate members who are uphold these standards and are womanly and true. Though we have done an excellent job of improvement, there is room to grow and we still face challenges.
Philanthropy involvement and overall sister support have been two struggles that we try to overcome. Last year we added a “+1 system” which proved to be a hindrance to our chapter because we have extremely busy girls who have many commitments and focuses. Forcing them to attend something during particularly busy weeks resulted in tension. Now girls can choose to attend as many or as few events as their schedules allow and they will actually want to attend these events because they are free and not being forced.
We continue to push involvement on campus, in the community, and within our chapter as well. Especially now we are off the focus letter, we are striving to create a positive image of our chapter and members. We wear our letters proudly, increase our exposure to the greek and Florida communities, and we have plans to expand our house and improve its presentation in the coming year. Epsilon Phi has faced, and overcome, many challenges and we are all excited about our new changes and additions. This year was a building year and the years to come should be a success as a result of that. Through teamwork, friendship, and mutual goals Epsilon Phi has become a stronger chapter and our sisterhood is thriving.
Our goal of increasing campus involvement throughout 2013 is clearly seen. Kappa’s further enhanced our campus presence by becoming involved in the following organizations: Florida Cicerones, CRU, Doulos, Navigators, Panhellenic Executive Council, Junior Panhellenic Council, University of Florida Women’s Crew Team, UF Water Polo Team, Dean’s List, Teaching Assistants, Florida Bright Futures Scholars, Women’s Student Association, Florida Equestrian Team, ACCENT, AWARE, FLA, AMSA, UF Women’s Chorale, Model UN, College Youth in Government, Volunteering at Shands Hospital Campus Diplomats, Warrington College of Business Diplomats, Dance Marathon, Floridance, Danza, Student Government Senate, Action Student Government, Gators March for Babies, honor societies, and many more. In addition to these extracurricular accomplishments, Epsilon Phi earned a 3.498 grade point average in the spring of 2012, which ranks fourth among all sixteen Panhellenic chapters.
Epsilon Phi participated in the following campus-wide Greek Philanthropies: Beta Theta Pi Bring It On, Sigma Lambda Beta Stroll Off, Alpha Epsilon Pi’s Bake –Off, Sigma Chi’s Derby Days, Delta Zeta’s Turtle Tug, Phi Tau Safe Sets, Pi Kappa Alpha/Theta Carnival, Pi Kappa Phi’s Tour de UF, Delta Chi’s Earthball, Kappa Sigma’s Blacktop Beach, Theta Chi Kickball, Pike Halftime, Zeta Beta Tau Kickball, Kappa Alpha Order Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lambda Chi Alpha’s Watermelon Bust, Alpha Gamma Rho’s Buck-off.
Chapter: Chapter Goals 2013: -Increase sisterhood and new member class bonding events -Increase lettering throughout campus -Improve relations with Alumni and Advisory Board -Increase the number of Ritual Reviews -Increase Education Programming at Chapter -Uphold established GPA goal -Unite the chapter and improve standards of Epsilon Phi to match accordingly with Fraternity Bylaws while improving and maintaining the overall positive morale of our members -Utilize committees more effectively and regularly hold committee chapters -Increase campus and Greek-community involvement -To increase morale and enthusiasm to do service for others by encouraging the chapter and giving them an incentive for participating in so many events
Chapter Philanthropies: Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon with Zeta Beta Tau, Kappa Kasino benefitting Reading is Fundamental, Reading Is Key Event at Terwilliger Elementary School with Pi Kappa Phi, , Lambda Chi Alpha’s Santa’s Visit for the Boys and Girls Club.
Socials: Phi Kappa Tau Mad for Plaid, Kappa Sig Mardi Gras, Pi Kappa Alpha Letter of Your First Name, Alpha Gamma Rho Kentucky Derby, Kappa Sig Redneck Yacht Club, Phi Tau British Invasion Social, Pi Kappa Phi Bayou Best/Mardi Gras Mess, Delta Tau Delta 7 Deadly Sins.
Date Functions: Busch Garden’s Grab-a-date, Formal, Bucs/Saints Game Grab-a-Date, Semi-Formal Kappa Cabaret.
Dinner Events: Sigma Nu Exchange Dinner, Alpha Gamma Rho Exchange Dinner
Events With Sister Chapters: Kappa Delta exchange movie night, Alpha Chi Omega exchange dinner, Alpha Delta Pi ice cream float/cookie night.
Other events: Mother-Daughter Tea, Alachua County Sorority Water Challenge, Sisterhood Trip to Aquatica, Fall Family Weekend, Founder’s Day Brunch, Senior Dinner, Professor Dinner.
Chapter Honors: Mu Province Convention: Jan Stamper Communications Award Improvement in Standards Performance Felice Wood Pralle House Board Relations Award – Honorable Mention Robert Lee Nowell Award for Scholastic Improvement – Honorable Mention Jean Hess Wells Heritage Award – Honorable Mention PIKE/Theta Carinval – 1st place Sorority, won $250 towards our philanthropy, Reading is Fundamental Pi Kappa Phi’s Tour de UF – 2nd place Dance Marathon – 2nd in spirit points overall, 3rd in fundraising in Green Bracket Going Going Greek Baseball Competition – 2nd place Dance Marathon Greek Blood Drive – 3rd place Sorority Lambda Chi Alpha Watermelon Bust – 1st place Alpha Gamma Rho’s Buck-Off – 1st place Alpha Tau Omega’s Build a Better Holiday – 3rd place bear Homecoming Cup with Pi Kappa Phi Panhellenic Council Chapter of the Year