Greek life welcomed a ninth panhellenic conference organization to its community this semester with the return of Pi Beta Phi to Quinnipiac University campus after two years of inactivity. The sisterhood will be recruiting new members this coming weekend from Sept. 24-26.
“We are excited to be in the Quinnipiac community and are thrilled to recruit new members into the Pi Beta Phi chapter this fall,” said TG Livak, marketing and communications director of the sorority. “These members will form a sisterhood grounded in Pi Phi’s core values and be servant leaders in their chapter, on campus, and across the entire Hamden community.”
Pi Beta Phi made the decision in communication with fraternity and sorority leaders to reorganize its chapter at Quinnipiac, the Connecticut Gamma Chapter, in spring 2019. This led to their hiatus at the university, Livak said.
“With support from the panhellenic chapters on campus, Pi Beta Phi developed a reorganization plan for fall 2021,” Livak said.
Founded in 1867 and described as a “fraternity for women,” the organization’s mission statement highlights friendship, intellect, integrity and leadership, values that former members spoke about.
The sisterhood has had over 300,000 members, including Myriam Slattery, an alumnus of Pi Phi, who said that the camaraderie of the organization was a memorable part of her Quinnipiac experience.
“I had such an amazing time in Pi Phi. One of the sorority’s biggest values is sincere friendship, and I couldn’t agree more with that,” said Slattery, who graduated with a bachelor’s in health science in 2020. “The bonds that I was able to make with all the girls in my chapter were definitely forever.”
When it comes to joining Pi Beta Phi, Slattery encouraged students to “go for it.”
“I wouldn’t have traded my experience for the world,” Slattery said.
Cassidy Spencer, a 2020 health sciences graduate and the former chapter president of Pi Beta Phi from December 2018 through its disbanding in spring 2019, agreed that some of her best college experiences were through the sorority.
“I joined Pi Phi because I didn’t feel like I needed to fit into a stereotypical role of being in a sorority, or to look or act a certain way,” Spencer said.
Spencer shared that the sorority gave her the chance to travel and participate in several conventions and organizations, such as the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute in Indiana, Pi Beta Phi college weekend in Missouri and the sorority’s own convention in Washington, D.C., which she described as, “one of the best experiences a member could ask for.”
She said that these experiences allowed her to improve her leadership skills and leave an impact on her chapter and the greater organization.
Prospective members like Victoria Russell, a sophomore microbiology and immunology major, hope to have similar positive experiences.
Russell is most looking forward to “meeting new people, joining a community, and helping others that are in need” through the sorority.
Spencer’s advice to hopeful new members is to be their “true, authentic selves.”
“(New members) will get so much out of this organization in terms of personal growth, leadership opportunities and lifelong friendship as long as they stay open, and put themselves out there and get involved,” Spencer said.
Livak said that resident leadership development consultants from the organization are in the process of meeting students to recruit potential new members. They have been hosting events such as virtual and in-person information sessions and an ice cream social, held outside the Center of Communications and Engineering last week.
Students are encouraged to visit @pibetaphi on Instagram to learn more about the organization and upcoming events.
Liana DiMitri, an alumnus of the sorority who graduated in 2020, said that some of her favorite memories included these events.
“Some of the most memorable experiences I have were events that Pi Phi hosted and the time when we were trying to recruit new members,” DiMitri said. “We went apple picking and hosted a game night which were both super fun ways to get to know more people and bond as students at Quinnipiac.”
DiMitri encouraged potential members to talk to members of the sorority to get a feel for the community.
“You may make some lifelong friends and experience unforgettable adventures,” DiMitri said.
The new generation of Pi Beta Phi members at Quinnipiac will go on to make their own traditions and experiences, Livak noted.
“New leaders will create a strong chapter for future members of Pi Beta Phi and will contribute to the Panhellenic community,” Livak said.
Victoria Piszel, a member of Tri Delta, said she was excited to have a new addition to the Greek community.
“I think they’re a great addition to Greek life, and I can’t wait for them to be involved and make new friends because they all seem super nice and friendly,” said Piszel, a first-year business major.
President of the Panhellenic Council Sarah Johnson agreed that the new sorority will contribute much to sorority life on campus.
“I am so glad the decision to bring the chapter back to campus was made,” Johnson, who is a senior occupational therapy major, said. “At many schools, Pi Phi is known for its strong sense of sisterhood and dedication to philanthropy.”
When it comes to Pi Beta Phi’s philanthropy, the greek organization’s effort is “read, lead, achieve,” an initiative that works with students from pre-kindergarten through third grade on reading enrichment, distributes books to children in need and advocates for greater literacy.
“We believe that when one out of four children grows up unable to read, that’s one child too many,” the organization’s website states.
“Pi Beta Phi’s ‘read, lead, achieve’ philanthropy provides the chapter with so many opportunities to do good within the Hamden community, as so many potential local partners exist in the area,” Johnson said.