Sorority takes pride in friendships, new house

By Grant Miller

The paint is still drying and the front lawn is still growing at the new Alpha Sigma Alpha house on Ridge Drive. Throughout this time of change, the sorority has remained active. This activity has taken them to the position of House of the Week.

The sorority, which has been at NIU since Nov. 1, 1947, was founded nationally at Longwood College in Farmsville, Va. on Nov. 15, 1901. The sorority recently moved into its third house at NIU and has a current membership of 95 women.

The new house on Ridge Drive is designed by the same architects who designed the new Delta Phi Epsilon house on Annie Glidden Road. Last year, the sorority was located in the current Phi Kappa Theta house on Greenbrier Drive.

Sorority members said they are thankful for the alumni support that made the new house possible. “Without the support of our alumni, this house wouldn’t have been built,” said house Membership and Rush Adviser Anastasia Criscione. “They’ve been pivotal in the development of this house, especially within the past two years.”

The sorority held a housewarming party in September and invited past members to tour the new house. Among the 250 people in attendance were founding house members from 1947 as well as the sorority’s national president.

Sorority President Kim Wilson said she was very excited to be living in the new house. “We have had all these new experiences in this house,” she said. “We were glad that we had so much visible support from not only the greek community, but the whole NIU community as well.”

Sorority members said they feel living in the new house has been an educational experience. “You really learn about life living in a sorority,” philanthropy director Jen Vince said. “You learn a lot about time management and responsibility.”

House members said time management plays an important role in their academic lives. Sorority members said they pride themselves on high academic standards they set for themselves along with other standards set by the university.

House members said they also pride themselves on their successful philanthropy program for the Special Olympics, “Do it to the Crowd.” The event is a dance contest held at The Jungle between other sororities and fraternities. Sorority members said the competition is taken pretty seriously.

“I know a lot of the houses practice dance routines for as much as a month in advance,” Vince said. “We’ve always sold out all our tickets for the event, and it’s always a lot of fun for everybody involved.”

House members said they feel all of these activities help bring the house together. “I think we have a lot of diversity in the personalities in this house,” Wilson said. “We stay away from cliques really well I think, but we are all very close and we all feel as though we know one another.”

Sorority members said they feel the friendships they have made in the sorority are important to the life of the house. “Friends make Alpha Sigma Alpha what it is, not the other way around.” Criscione said. “People can see why we would be friends even without the sorority.”

Wilson said new members need to just be themselves to fit into Alpha Sigma Alpha. “We don’t really have any standards for new members except they be in good academic standing with the university,” she said. “Besides, it not so much what we see in them, it’s what they see in us also.”

Weekends also play an important part in the life of the house according to sorority members. “On Friday nights we might go out dancing or go to a mixer or something,” Vince said. “Saturday nights then might be spent relaxing or just sitting home and watching a movie or something.”