Beta Sigma Phi Program Ideas

Discuss novels and nonfiction books about sisterhood.
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Beta Sigma Phi is an international Greek letter organization for women that offers a friendship network. Unlike a college sorority, women of all ages and educational backgrounds can join and experience sisterhood. Members meet regularly to acquire new knowledge, polish leadership skills, socialize and enjoy cultural programs. Philanthropy and social causes are other activities central to the group’s mission. There are many enjoyable and intellectually stimulating activities you can plan around these themes. For added fun, serve tasty desserts.

1 International Friendship Dinner

According to the Beta Sigma Phi website, members like to travel, and every year the organization sponsors international cruises. Learn more about the world and travel destinations by inviting international students from local high schools or colleges to join your group for a homemade dinner. Schools, such as Rutgers, have International Friendship Programs that connect international students with community members to help students enhance English-speaking skills and deepen understanding of American culture. Encourage your guests to bring photos and talk about their countries. Answer questions the students may have about American customs and explain the goals of Beta Sigma Phi.

2 Leadership Training

Many women join Beta Sigma Phi to increase assertiveness and self-confidence. Offer leadership training to help women identify their skills and set future goals. Kick off the program with a speaker, such as a member of the organization who manages a large business. Ask the speaker to share her philosophy of leadership. Next assign the women to small groups. Instruct each group to develop a “Hall of Fame” list of important women leaders in history. Afterward, have the groups compare their lists and discuss what made these leaders effective. Ask the women to write down three of their leadership accomplishments, three of their leadership skills and three professional skills they would like to acquire. Share and discuss the ideas.

3 Service-Learning

Beta Sigma Phi has a tradition of doing charitable work dating to the Great Depression. Combine members’ commitment to service with their love of learning by organizing a service-learning project. Service learning goes beyond volunteerism by incorporating a learning-and-reflection component. For instance, your project might involve inviting staff from a battered women’s shelter to discuss the problem of family violence and the need for emergency housing. Next, your group could organize a fundraiser for the shelter. Afterward, share personal reflections on the experience and how working to raise money together strengthened the bonds of sisterhood.

4 Women's History Project

Celebrating the accomplishments of great women could be a program theme anytime, but especially in March during National Women’s History Month. Ask each member to research the achievements of a famous woman in history who exemplified the values of Beta Sigma Phi, such as sisterhood and community service. For example, former first ladies Barbara Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton were honorary members of Beta Sigma Phi. Alternatively, members may research notable alumnae, such as the women who worked with founder, Walter W. Ross, to establish and grow the organization. At a later meeting, members can share interesting facts about the woman they chose to study.

Dr. Mary Dowd is a dean of students whose job includes student conduct, leading the behavioral consultation team, crisis response, retention and the working with the veterans resource center. She enjoys helping parents and students solve problems through advising, teaching and writing online articles that appear on many sites. Dr. Dowd also contributes to scholarly books and journal articles.