Tag Archives: college life

What I Learned During my Freshman Year at K-State

Like many college freshman, college was a whole new territory for me. In high school, I graduated at the top of my class, knew everyone in my school, and never really had to spend time outside of school studying; however, college is the exact opposite for me. College definitely took some time to get used to and find my place among the 24,000 other students. Below are the top 5 things I learned during my freshman year at K-State.

It’s okay to not know anyone the first day!

When I first moved into my dorm room at the beginning of the fall semester, I knew very few people at K-State. Of course I knew of some people through FFA and the few kids from my high school that attend here, but as far as close friends, I had none. College is a completely new chapter in my life, a new start. It’s exciting to be able to start over and create a whole new path for yourself. So many new friends to be made. While in college, I was able to find friends that were interested in the same things I was and find my lifelong friends.

Try new things!

College is a time to branch out and try things you never thought of or had the chance to do back home. Don’t be afraid to go and sign up for that club or take that class that is outside your comfort zone. You never know what you might learn, and who knows you might end up loving it. For me, joining Sigma Alpha was something that I’d never thought I’d join. Because I decided to branch out and try something new, I have had so many great opportunities and met so many great women in the agricultural field.

Don’t bring all your clothes!

As much as I wanted to bring every article of clothing and every pair of shoes, my small dorm room wouldn’t allow it. When I moved into my dorm room in the fall, I brought way too much stuff. The dorm rooms are small, but when you over pack and bring to much stuff, you room seems even smaller. I promise you can live without the sandals that you haven’t worn since two summers ago.

Your GPA doesn’t depict your future!

All through high school I easily got straight As, but that’s not as easy to do in college. Don’t let grades define your self-worth. Of course we all want a 4.0, but it’s okay if we don’t achieve that goal. There are going to be some classes where you struggle a little more and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get an A. Your experiences, study abroad, internships, and connections made is what is really going to make you stand out to an employer, not just the high GPA.

Have fun!

Everyone says the college years are some of the best years of your life, and I truly believe that. This is where you make life long memories and friendships. You get to explore things you never knew existed and finally become the person you want to be when you grow up. Don’t just spend your days away studying for every class, set time aside to have fun and make those lasting memories, because on day you’ll graduate and your college years will be over.

In Sisterhood,

Mallory Meek

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Filed under Agriculture, College Life, Kansas State University, livestock, Our Sisters in Agriculture, Uncategorized

Lessons from the Corn Field

The last two summers, I’ve had the pleasure of working at AgReliant Genetics in Mt. Hope, Kansas. Essentially, me and 25 other people ranging in ages from 14 to 60 got to hand pollinate corn for seed increase. I was initially drawn to it because I wanted to learn more about the genetics side of the agronomy industry. My first summer, I had so much fun that I decided to come back for more. That’s when my boss offered me a Group Leader position, so not only would I be helping with pollination, but also supervising a group of about 10 people. I was a little intimidated at first, but I ended up really enjoying it. Not only did I learn a lot about corn and its genetics, but I also learned a little bit about life. I wanted to share the lessons that I learned by describing some of the people I worked with this summer and how their unique personalities apply to me as a student in the College of Agriculture.

**Following characters inspired by real people I worked with this summer.**

Talkative Tyler – There’s always that one person that loves to talk to everyone about everything. Even though this can be annoying, it really is important. Its crucial to ask questions and communicate with your coworkers or classmates.

Tami Teamwork – Just like communication is important, it’s equally important to be able to work in a team. At some point in college or in our career we will have to work with others to accomplish some kind of common goal.

Paul Perseverance – This summer we had a couple older gentleman on our team. Even though certain tasks might have been more difficult for them, they always stuck it out and ended up becoming some of the best workers. That just shows you that if you stick with something even though it’s hard at times, it will pay off eventually.

Natalie Knowledge – My boss this summer loved to tell me random facts about what we were working on. Sometimes I just dismissed it, but other times he taught me something very interesting. I wasn’t looking for it, but I was always learning something new. We should always be eager and open to learning new things about our industry, even after we are out of college.

Tired Tanner – There was this one kid who I always found laying down in the middle of the corn field when we were supposed to be working. He just needed a break you know? Sometimes you just have to put your to-do list aside and take a break, whether that’s watching a Netflix episode, going on a walk, or taking a nap. It’s important to remember your needs even though you may feel overwhelmed with responsibilites.

Hyped Harold – I had a boy who walked around yelling “IT’S LIT” everywhere we went. Sometimes I just wanted him to shut it, but other times he made me laugh. Life gets stressful and you have to remember to lighten up every once in awhile. He reminded me that even though we were at work, I was allowed to have fun, too.

Group Momma – This is what my group members called me all summer. But really, I had to be their mom out in the field. I learned a lot about what it meant to be a leader and have people depend on you in a work environment. I had to call the shots, and sometimes I messed up, but I realized that that was okay. I will fail from time to time, but it will be alright. Being a leader means accepting that and doing the absolute best you can for the good of the group. My leadership skills greatly improved because of this position.

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to work for AgReliant again. No matter where life takes me, I will remember this summer for a very long time and everything it taught me. I’ve tried to take all of these lessons to heart and I hope you will, too.

In Sisterhood,

Alex Tuttle

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Respect is the outcome of integrity and generosity of spirit in personal as well as public life. Both are important.

Respect of others is a critical measure of the significance of your own life. Have you noticed as people grow older, how important being respected becomes to them? As life plays itself out and the end seems near, the only things that seem important are love and a healthy regard by those who matter to us. Respect is a measure of a life well spent, a life that was useful to others.

Men had it easy in earlier times. Regardless of his position outside, a man was the king in his own home, with wife and children pandering to every wish, tiptoeing around him and creating a respectable aura for him. Remember how Grandma treated Grandpa? Or, how our parents barely spoke with their own Dads out of a respectful fear and a distant regard? Grandma made sure to create a respectful aura around the man of the house, and he reveled in that feeling of regard.

Such respectful pandering creates an aura around a person, which forces others to look at him in a new light, a rub off from the regard of others. Those men earned that respect merely by being the providers and protectors.  As roles diffused, the man’s aura diminished and he came to be treated as less God-like. Now he had to earn that respect by other means. Some accepted this easier than others.

Respect does have a ripple effect. You tend to respect those who are respected by others. And so, it becomes important to be respected by those immediately around you. Certainly there is a regard you gain by sheer dint of your position or your relationship to someone. But far more precious is the regard you earn through who you are, how you conduct yourself, and how you interact with others.

The first step towards gaining respect of others is to be able to respect your own self. The confidence and aura that a healthy self-respect gives is unmatchable. It serves as a magnet that attracts the regard of others. In order to respect yourself, you have to live and conduct life on your own terms, in a sincere and honest fashion. Understand what you value most, and then live by your values. Curiously, self-respect increases further when you see others respecting you for your qualities or contributions. And so it becomes a golden circle – self-respect arouses respect in others, which further enhances self-respect!

The second step is to respect others. When you do that, you attract respect back. Respecting another means to treat all as equals, make time for them, and appreciate them. It means lending an ear and letting them know they are important to you. Inculcate the belief that in some way everyone is better than you at something or the other. This nurtures humility, which is an attractive, respected quality.

Living by your values ensures that you are consistent and dependable. People appreciate dependability. It is a virtue that earns you a reputation like nothing else.  So, always keep your word and do what you promise if you wish to earn people’s respect. Say what you mean and do what you say.

Sticking to the truth no matter what the provocation or outcome is a laudable quality that earns you high regard from all. Always doing what is right earns you lasting respect. Don’t just do what is expected of you – everyone does that anyway. Step up to participate in causes you believe in, and to speak up for what is right.

Respect is the outcome of integrity and generosity of spirit in personal as well as public life. Both are important. One at the cost of the other exposes your underbelly and leads to loss of reputation. Inculcating a passion and pursuing excellence in public life, and ensuring a good character in personal life, are the keys to earning respect all round.  It is when you are above reproach in both that you gain lasting respect and love from those around you. Respect cannot be taken from someone you bully, it’s earned from a life-time of self-respect and integrity.

In Sisterhood,

Dandi Thomas.

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Filed under Agriculture, College Life, Fellowship, Kansas State University, Leadership, Our Sisters in Agriculture, Professional, Sigma Alpha, Uncategorized

Recruitment Review-Costume/Game Night

On the second day of recruitment, the girls met in the leadership studies building for games——wearing costumes!

We started out  passing the “question ball” around, answering the question our right thumb landed on. “What is your favorite feature on someone of the opposite sex?” Yep, we learned even more about each other with this game!

"Right hand blue!"

Business in front

A really bad unibrow....

The 60's child

Shake it!


Something the nerd doesn't know?---Doubt it!

 Recruitment Day 2=Success!



Beth Holz

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Filed under College Life, Kansas State University, MCs, Recruitment, Sigma Alpha, Sisterhood, Social

Kansas to Connecticut

Greetings everyone! For those of you who don’t know I accepted a 6 month internship with Pepperidge Farm. I am a product developer on the fresh bakery side, which covers all of the bread products. With Pepperidge’s corporate office located in Norwalk, Connecticut I had to pack up and move to the east coast. Since I was born in Kansas and have only left for a short time to go on vacation, I have been going through what some would call a culture shock. I thought I would share with you some of the major differences between Norwalk, CT and Manhattan KS.

Cost of living here is crazy high: My one bedroom apartment that I am temporarily calling home during this adventure costs me $1250 in rent a month. I am sure I could rent the exact same apartment in Manhattan for $500 dollars. Housing isn’t the only thing that is high, so is food. The other day I went to the ever so famous McDonald’s and ordered my favorite value menu.  I had to fork over an extra $2 then I was used to paying in Kansas!

Traffic: I am convinced that all 84,000 people that reside in Norwalk choose to get on the road at the same time! Because of this it makes going anywhere a huge effort. It takes me roughly 10 minutes or more to drive 3 miles. I have also enjoyed the wonderful experience of being stuck in traffic for a long period of time. On my way back from a business trip to took me 5 hours to get home when it should have taken me 3. When I was learning to drive when I was younger I was taught that you should merge to the left lane if someone is merging on to the highway. Apparently that memo didn’t make it out here. People don’t merge over even if there is room for them. This causes the person trying to get on the highway have to come to a complete stop until the driver passes.

Fast pace way of life: Everyone here is in a hurry! I have a story that describes this best. I went to the grocery store for the very first time here. As we all know no grocery store is laid out the same or carries the exact same products. I was browsing the dairy section of the store more specifically the yogurts. When a lady “eh hemmed” me until I moved so she could get her yogurt. I first thought she was not in the happiest of moods.  Until 3 other people did the same thing to me. Another example of this would be the ever so famous car horn. If you do not pull forward the second the light turns green the person behind you is honking. Also, people honk if traffic isn’t moving. As if that will do anything to help.

In spite all of these culture differences I love every minute out here. I plan to keep you all updated on my experiences throughout these next few months.

Until next time!

Kayla Dinkel

By Kayla Dinkel

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Filed under Agriculture, College Life, Kansas State University, Sigma Alpha

Beth’s Internships

I am entering my senior year atKansasStateUniversity, and here in a few months, I am going to be starting the job search. Ask me if I am scared?! I am beyond nervous, there are so many questions–Will I find a job? What kind of job will I enjoy? Will they pay me well? What kind of pay would I accept? Where do I want to live?—the list continues to grow as each day passes.

 Despite my nervousness, I have been lucky to have several internships to help me get my foot in the door, and to give me experience in a professional environment. I would recommend that a college student participates in  as many internships and jobs in the industry as they can. I know that the experience and networking I have gained from these opportunities will help with the job search.

 I would love to share with all of you what I spent the last three summers doing:

Summer 2009: AIB International

 AIB International is located inManhattan,Kansas, and they are an organization that serves the baking industry in four different sectors. They do food safety audits, research and engineering projects food safety education, and they have a baking school. As their summer intern, I worked in the research department. I would run multiple tests on wheat and flour. I learned a lot about the baking industry and the variety of jobs that one can perform. We had “big name” clients, so being able to see the research involved in food I buy at the grocery store or at a restaurant was very interesting.

Summer 2010: Kansas Soybean Commission

 The Kansas Soybean Commission is located inTopeka,Kansas, and they are a check-off funded organization with a mission to promote and support all aspects of the soybean industry. As their communications intern, I attended meetings across theU.S.with other commodity groups from different states. I assisted with the planning and coordinating of promotional events, while also getting the opportunity to discuss soybeans with the public.  Furthermore I was able to write and help develop promotional materials about the many different uses of soybeans.

Summer 2011: The Scoular Company

 The Scoular Company is located inOverland Park,Kansasand is a grain and agricultural marketing company. I work in the renewable fuels sector, with the distiller grain group as a merchandising intern. With this internship, I have been able to be submersed in the trading process by being included in the domestic, exports, rail, and logistics aspects of our group . My main responsibility is helping logistics to our clients inArkansas,Oklahoma, andMissouri. Furthermore, I help with information communication by updating spreadsheets that the traders use on a regular basis. Being on the trade floor has taught me so much about how a job such as merchandising works, and the skill sets needed to succeed in that type of business.

If anyone has any questions about these internships, please feel free to get in touch with me.


Beth Holz

By Beth Holz

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Filed under Agriculture, College Life, Sigma Alpha

Going to be a freshman in college? My two-cents based on trial and error…..

Welcome to Campus!

As a senior, I am entering my final year of a great adventure called college. College is an opportunity to gain independence and learn about life through trial and error. Boy, have I learned! A few tips no one tells you before your freshman year at college:

 You don’t really need a printer. Mine is under my bed. It has been for three years. The ink is very costly and it takes room up on your desk. And trust me, in dorm living, you need all the room you can find. Something as large as a printer, takes up valuable space. At Kansas State, there are plenty of places to get cheap or free printing. I made friends with people in the engineering library; they pay for 80 pages a week. If they don’t use them, they loose them. You can also get a guest pass to use their computers, printers, and awesome study rooms. Furthermore, the university gives you $10 free dollars at the beginning of every semester. If you are really in a desperate bind (three minutes before class and a paper is due at the beginning of the period and you planned ahead but your zip drive doesn’t work) the IT people in most of the buildings are very kind and they will help you out, and give you a “pass” for being in class late. If this happens, I recommend a thank you note.

 Get involved, get involved, get involved! They tell you this at freshman orientation, and they repeat it in your seminar classes. Do you know why? It is so important.  They aren’t kidding. Join clubs. Join lots of clubs your freshman year, and if you decide that club isn’t for you, you can drop it in the future. Go to the meetings and get involved in what they are doing. This is how you make friends in college, find your passions, and network for your future. Furthermore, take advantage of conferences; you get to know your peers so much better this way. Let me tell you a story: My freshman year, there was a girl, let’s call her Jane. We were in a lot of the same clubs, had a lot of the same friends, we were both out of state-ers, and we didn’t really like each other. We really had no reason to dislike each other, but we did. We spent our whole freshman year being friend-enemies. We ended up going to a conference together…….Now, I don’t go a day without talking to her. She has become one of my closest friends while at college; we have been very close friends since that trip. A person really gets to know someone while driving on trips and exploring a new city. Another reason you should take advantage of these conferences—they are a lot cheaper than if you were to go on your own.

 Be direct with your roommate. I am lucky. I have an awesome roommate. We didn’t know each other before college, and we randomly got assigned to live in the dorms together freshman year. I swear, K-State could be a dating service; they could not have matched us up better. We are complete opposites (I lied on my housing contract. I said I listened to classical music, woke up early, like to read and spend time alone…I wanted to try to prevent having to live with someone who would disrupt my studying.) I guess it worked. Despite how well we get along, we still have roommate fights from time to time. When you live in a dorm room with someone, there will be conflict at some point. My advice, be direct about it. If there is an issue, talk it out before it builds up. Otherwise, you will find yourself getting angry at issues completely unrelated to the reason you were intially upset. If you don’t deal with it head-on, you will both be miserable. Because of our open communication and direct attitude, my roommate and I will be living together for our forth year.

Take initiative. “What will they say, no?” This is a quote I live by. Take initiative! If you want to do something, ask. The company doesn’t have an internship program–send in your cover letter and resume and see what happens. A professor doesn’t usually hire freshman for a research project–apply anyway. The worst they will say is no, but they will remember that you made an effort for something you wanted. Intiative is something that is looked very highly upon in the business world. Intiative–It works—two of the three internships I’ve had don’t have a formal internship program. If I wouldn’t have sent in a resume and made a few phone calls, I wouldn’t have had them.

 Write thank you notes. You will need help in college. When someone helps you out, takes leadership in a club, works hard, helps you study, helps you move, lets you borrow a pickup, changes your oil—the list goes on and on—let them know you appreciate it. Being away from family is tough, and sometimes you will need to ask for help from your peers and university employees. I have found that writing a simple thank-you note will help your relationships with others. When I changed my major, my new advisor spent over an hour helping me with my schedule , reassuring me about choices, and answering all the questions I had. I wrote him a thank-you note, because I appreciated his attentiveness. I found out later in my college career, that he saved the note I sent, and he has always remembered me for that. He told me that when he would get down about his job, he would read the thank-you note as a reminder of why he went into that profession in the first place. They make a huge difference, write them.

Get off Facebook. When you have things you need to do, don’t open it. Don’t have it open and minimize it. Close it. It will distract you. Close it. Don’t think you can take a 20 minute facebook study break. Close it. Yes, those song lyrics are worthy of sharing, but do not open it. Never open it when you have things to do. Period. However, make sure you have a facebook account.  Facebook is essential to meeting new people in college. If you don’t have one, you could get left out on events organized through facebook. I’ve even had group projects that were organized mainly through facebook groups.

Dont worry about not finding classes. I’m a senior, I still don’t know how to get to all my classes at the beginning of the semester. You will figure it out in a few days. I remember panicing about this my freshman year, it’s the last thing you should worry about. Someone on campus will help you get around. Just ask. I make it my goal to help someone once a day the first week of classes. I know, all the buildings at the K-State campus look a lot alike, but in a few days, you should have no issues getting to your class. My freshman year, I took a map out and just walked around campus. At first I was worried I looked like a silly freshman, but it eased a lot of anxiety on the first day of classes.

Don’t worry about looking like a “stupid freshman”. Everyone there had a first day. Everyone knows exactly what it is like, because all of the nervousness you feel, we all felt. We aren’t judging you, in fact, we want to help you, because after you get over being nervous, you see how fun college can be. Put yourself out there, go to meetings/events alone, pull out your map, sit by a stranger, and don’t worry about what everyone else on campus thinks.

Ask questions. There are people on campus that want to answer them. “Upperclassmen” want to pass on their advice to you. Professors want to teach you. Advisors want to help you. No one will think you are stupid. I remember being freaked out to get food at the dining complex because I didn’t want people to know I didn’t know “how it worked” (for those that don’t know me, very simple things like ordering ice cream can stress me out, yet I have no problems going to a new city, in a country where they don’t speak english, and try to get around—it really is a mystery to everyone, including myself.) Nonetheless, I knew I had to eat. I asked my roommate to help me. She didn’t think I was being ridiculous in asking the questions I did, because she had some of the same reservations. We still ask each other questions about “college life”. For example, I just learned how to get the free newspapers in the library with my student ID. Someone was getting one, and I finally asked, ” Excuse me, I’ve been looking at these machines for three years and everytime I try to get a paper I fail. How do you do it?” I enjoy the Wallstreet Journal every morning before class now.

Learn. Seems obvious right? You are going to college to get a higher education. Go to class, yes, this is important. However, the kind of education I am talking about goes beyond that. Kansas State offers free workshops, lectures, and guest speakers on almost a daily basis. Take advantage of these opportunities. It is going to be one of the only opportunities in your life that there are this many free resources to gain knowledge. Furthermore, you don’t have to have $$$ to have fun. UPC offers comedians, movies, workshops, dances, and lots of other activities for either free or really cheap. Take advantage of all the extra stuff happening on campus.

I hope these tips are helpful, and readers, please feel free to leave comments with your suggestions for college freshman.


Beth Holz

By Beth Holz


Filed under College Life, Kansas State University, Sigma Alpha

Deep Thoughts

deep thoughts.

 Greetings everyone! This summer has given me a lot of time for some “deep thinking” and “Robin-Time.” So when one of my housemates wrote this quote on her wipe-off board, I couldn’t help but think about what I’m doing to act in my own best interests and fulfill all my curiosities.

Organizations like Sigma Alpha help me to NEVER ask myself … “what if ___?”

Through this group of outstanding women, I’ve had the opportunity to travel. Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Indianapolis and Ft. Worth  … and *HOPEFULLY* Virginia in the fall for my 2nd ever National Convention. I’ve also traveled internationally and got involved in activities across the K-State campus,  because I wanted that experience during my college career … I’m also teaching a class in the Fall — more on that later, I promise.

 Another thing that’s great is that Sigma Alpha offers so much more than just camaraderie during school, I’ve had real educational opportunities and probably more professional opportunities to interact with those in the agriculture industry.

 I’m not trying to brag, but I’ve now got friends all across the agriculture industry and contacts across the nation. These aforementioned people have helped me land 3 internships and numerous scholarships … and one day, I’m positive these people will help me land a real world job! J I sincerely thank this organization for what they’ve given me … and I encourage all of you to fully take advantage.  So pay attention to emails and things, that’s how you get involved and get noticed!

 Do what George Elliot says and remember — “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”



By Robin Kleine



Filed under Agriculture, Kansas State University, Sigma Alpha

School’s Out For Summer……NOT!

I'm taking summer classes, to get that hat----and diploma!

Who would want to give up their fun in the sun or choose not to spend their summer with an exciting internship to take summer classes? THIS GIRL —I have graduation on my mind! Which is why I am taking summer classes. I have learned plenty already from this experience, and I still get to enjoy most of summer after they are over.

How? Well summer session offers various classes. They are between 2 and 8 weeks long. This summer I chose to take two – four week classes and one – two week class … all at the same time! My life lesson, it is hard work, plus I worked during this time!

Here are my tips if you are considering this option in the future.

2 Week classes (also known, as an Intersession Class):

       -They are 4 hours long! Every day! That’s right, 20 hours of the same class a week! That is a long time to sit and concentrate; luckily you get a few breaks to stretch!
       -There is an abundant amount of information taught each day, usually multiple chapters wrapped up into one day.
       -If you have a good teacher, (I did!) he/she will make jokes and tell stories, anything to help pass the time.
       My Tip: If you want to take this type of a fast paced class, prepare to give up hours each night to do projects/readings/study. Also, you should have the ability to focus for long times and sit still.

4 Week classes:

       -Only 2 hour class period, everyday.
       -While there are still multiple chapters covered each week, there is more time for homework and/or questions during class.
       -Prepare yourself to do some kind of homework or reading every night. Also, allow time to study for the tests, you have one once a week.
       -Easier to maintain other activities and/or work.
       My Tip: If you want to take this type of summer class, I would highly recommend it! You don’t have to sit in classes you need out of the way for 8 or 16 weeks, and you still have a lot of the summer left for other fun activities. Also, if you are not good at retaining information or test taking, this is mighty helpful because you have a test once a week and it is over the information you just covered without the gaps in the school year for you to forget.

I may have rushed through my classes and still maintained a job to get done, BUT I get to enjoy the rest of summer, I am glad I took summer classes.

My suggestion if you want to work or do some kind of other summer activity is take a 4 week class. I encourage those who are “discouraged” to take summer classes … they really aren’t that bad! And remember there are always classes offered online if you are trying to manage classes while doing that internship or any other busy summer fun!

Until next time—Keep Smiling!  


By Deanna Patterson

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Filed under College Life, Kansas State University, Sigma Alpha

Say Cheese……

Sigma Alpha's show off the Tough Enough to Wear Pink shirts from the 2009 campaign. Every year, Sigma Alpha and Collegiate Cattle women sell these t-shirts to raise beaucoup bucks for the Susan G. Komen foundation.

Sigma Alpha's, Robin Kleine and Kaylonni Williams participate in the showmanship contest, The Little American Royal. Students across the K-State College of Agriculture put in many hours working with animals to prepare for the show.

Girls get together for a picture up on the giant "A" overlooking Manhattan, Kansas in 2008. Super Sisterhood Day, is a day for the girls of Sigma Alpha to spend quality time, just getting to know each other better and have fun as friends. It is a tradition to gather here for a picture. Does anyone know who started this tradition? A power clap at chapter for whoever can answer that question, a second for the person who thought of the idea.

By Beth Holz

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