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Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

A second chance
May 7, 2024

Small sororities provide big help


by Rose Fennessy and Makayla Leitten

Wild parties, beer pong, excessive drinking, and hazing are just some of the stereotypes associated with Greek Life. But, beyond those stereotypical images are young people doing good work. SUNY Brockport is home to chapters of the sororities Phi Sigma Sigma and Delta Phi Epsilon. Both sororities emphasize philanthropy and community service.

Rylee Francis is a member of the Phi Sigma Sigma chapter at SUNY Brockport and the head of philanthropy. In her position, Francis has been able to develop relationships with many community organizations and arrange for Phi Sigma Sigma to provide any needed help. The main organization Phi Sigma Sigma supports is the Bivona Child Advocacy Center in Rochester. It provides support and resources for those affected by child abuse.  

“Our whole kind of thing is child welfare… if you don’t have the resources to get better you can’t really advance,” Francis said.  

In recent years, Phi Sigma Sigma has been able to branch out to help and work with many other local organizations. They volunteer with Jubilee Church in Brockport running a hygiene bank every year, which provides hygiene products for those in need. This year, Phi Sigma Sigma had the opportunity to help families at the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester by making a dinner. 

“We’re really into the advancement of womanhood. Having resources for people that need it is really important,” Francis said. 

One of the unique organizations Phi Sigma Sigma is able to work with is Worth More Nation. They are an “everyone wins” pageant for young children in foster care. 

“The kids are able to gain confidence by meeting other girls that are also going through what they went through,” Francis said.  

Members of Phi Sigma Sigma at a Worth More Nation Show (Photo Credit: Rylee Francis
Members of Phi Sigma Sigma at a Worth More Nation show. (Photo Credit: Rylee Francis)

The members of Phi Sigma Sigma are committed to making a positive impact in the community.

“We aren’t doing the big raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. But we’re putting ourselves into small little things that help advance the community in small little ways,” said Francis. 

One of Phi Sigma Sigma’s fellow sororities, Delta Phi Epsilon, also does a fair share of community service work. Anna Sheehan is Vice President of Programming and Nina Shanley is chair of philanthropy. 

Delta Phi Epsilon has supported the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) since 1954. Delta Phi Epsilon sister Phyllis Kossof asked her sorority sisters to help raise awareness for cystic fibrosis after her daughter who had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, according to Shanley. Every year they collaborate with Club Ice Hockey to raise money for CFF. This year, they raised around $600.  

Members of Delta Phi Epsilon at the Club Hockey game to raise money for CFF (Photo Credit: Nina Shanley)

The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) is another organization that Delta Phi Epsilon supports. During ANAD week they set up a table in SUNY Brockport’s Seymour College Union, an area where lots of students go to eat and study.  

“So many people come through the Union, and even if they just looked at it, it’s a good way to spread that positivity and awareness,” Sheehan said. 

“Better Than Barbie” box to raise awareness for ANAD week in the Union. (Photo Credit: Nina Shanley)

Delta Phi Epsilon also helps run blood drives in collaboration with the Public Health Club. Sorority sisters also volunteer at community events such as Beautify Brockport where volunteers pick up trash and recycling.   

“I think it’s very important not only to get our name out there, but we want to see good in the community,” Sheehan said. 

Shanley hopes the spirit of volunteerism is contagious.

“When we are doing community service, not only can Delta Phi Epsilon participate with us. We want others in the Brockport community to do service as well,” said Shanley. “There’s not that many opportunities in college and a sorority helps us find those opportunities,” 

SUNY Brockport’s sororities are working to help better the community and break stereotypes.

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