In the spring of 2014, Temple welcomed Alpha Xi Delta to its campus.
Alpha Xi Delta is a sorority founded on the principles of sisterhood, leadership, knowledge and service to the community in 1893 at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois. 122 years later, Temple’s chapter of the organization began.
Alpha Xi Delta president Meera Ruparelia was one of the founding sisters of the sorority’s chapter at Temple. She worked with other founding sisters to create a new sisterhood to work alongside the four existing PanHellenic sororities on campus.
“I actually went through formal recruitment freshman year and realized at the time being in a sorority wasn’t for me,” Ruparelia said. “I’ve always been the person who wants to be a leader of an organization so being able to found a new sorority was very appealing.”
Alpha Xi Delta’s main fundraising efforts benefit the organization Autism Speaks, which is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. The sisters of Alpha Xi Delta raise awareness and funds for Autism Speaks through planning events like bake sales and can shakes on campus, participating in walks at Citizens Bank Park and working with children in the area.
“We work mainly to advocate for research,” Ruparelia said. “We donate money that goes towards research as well.”
Sophomore sorority sister Abigail Pierce was in the first new member class initiated into Alpha Xi Delta in the fall of 2014, and said the experience was something she will always remember.
“Being in the first new member class of Alpha Xi Delta was a very special feeling because we were making history,” Pierce said. “Years from now we will know that we helped start our sorority, and not many other girls can say that.”
Ruparelia also remembers how she felt during the initiation of the fall 2014 new member class.
“When the founding sisters were initiated into the chapter we were all really excited, mainly because we had put so much work in throughout the semester,” Ruparelia said. “We were also excited when the first new member class was initiated because it was something that we got to do on our own and see it through.”
Both Ruparelia and Pierce agree that being in Alpha Xi Delta has made them well-rounded individuals. While Ruparelia was able to sharpen her leadership skills, Pierce said the organization helped her gain more focus and drive.
“The sorority has made me a better person,” Pierce said. “I don’t know if I would be focusing on my grades and giving back as much if I wasn’t a member of something that focuses on those ideals like my sorority does.”
As all of the PanHellenic sororities on Temple’s campus prepare for formal recruitment in the spring, Alpha Xi Delta is eager to demonstrate their presence on campus as a diverse sisterhood.
“Since we are so new on campus, we don’t have an image and I think that is really special,” Ruparelia said. “There is a place for everyone.”
Written by Hannah McComsey
Photographed by Jademan Baker