Alpha Epsilon Phi
|Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups|
|Alpha Epsilon Phi|
|Beta Epsilon Chapter|
|Motto:||Many hearts, one purpose.|
Alpha Epsilon Phi is one of MIT's six sororities. More information about Alpha Epsilon Phi can be found at aephi.scripts.mit.edu.
Alpha Epsilon Phi was founded on October 24, 1909 by seven Jewish women at Barnard College. Our founding sisters—Ida Beck, Lee Reiss, Helen Phillips, Rose Gerstein, Rose Salmowitz, Stella Strauss, and Augustina "Tina" Hess—sought to create a sorority focused on lifelong friendship, academics, social involvement, and community service that would provide a home away from home for its members.
These women chose the Greek letters Alpha Epsilon Phi to represent their sorority, which come from the Greek phrase Aei Esto Philia meaning May Friendship Be Everlasting. They also chose AEPhi's colors—green for growth and white for fellowship—and the open motto Multa Corda, Una Causa (Many hearts, one purpose).
Over a century later, AEPhi sisters across the country continue to embody the ideals of our founding sisters as members of nearly fifty active chapters. Just as our founders were when they set out to create our sorority, today's AEPhis are united in our goal to inspire and support each other as friends and as exemplary women.
More information can be found on the national Alpha Epsilon Phi website.
Beta Epsilon Chapter
In 1993, seven MIT women sought to bring a new national sorority to our campus, Alpha Epsilon Phi. When their initial request to the campus Panhellenic was denied, the group was not discouraged, but decided to form a local sorority, Sigma Iota Phi.
When Sigma Iota Phi was granted permission to go national in 1995, the sisters chose to become part of AEPhi, adopting the national ritual and symbols while maintaining their traditions of strength, sisterhood, and dedication. The first ever AEPhi initiation on MIT's campus was held on April 9, 1995, and in the Fall of 1995, the sisters of the MIT colony signed the charter for the Beta Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Phi.
Today Beta Epsilon Chapter comprises an outstanding group of women who are involved across campus through numerous extracurricular activities and areas of study. Our sisters continually strive to uphold both our local chapter's traditions and ideals and those of the national sorority.
Instead of having a house, the sisters of Alpha Epsilon Phi live all over campus in dorms from Burton Conner to East Campus, and even off campus. This setup gives the chapter diversity and encourages sisters to be part of multiple social circles. Sisters enjoy the chance to meet each others’ roommates and floormates.
The MIT chapter of Alpha Epsilon Phi is dedicated to aiding the efforts of its two national philanthropies: Sharsheret, an organization that supports young, Jewish women with breast cancer, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, which funds basic pediatric HIV/AIDS research. Alpha Epsilon Phi holds a large fundraising event for these philanthropies every semester. In the fall, it is traditionally a large Italian dinner open to the MIT and Cambridge area community with food, entertainment, and raffle prizes donated by local businesses. In the spring, the event varies, but is typically more low key than in the fall. In the past, fundraisers have included a balloon animal sale and the hockey tournament Phi Cup.
AEPhi typically performs community service together as part of sisterhood bonding in activities organized by the Community Service Chair. One organization sisters have volunteered at is the Margaret Fuller House, assisting with the food pantry or offering visiting children homework help. Other activities AEPhi has participated in include making thank-you cards for breast cancer survivors as part of Relay for Life’s efforts and donating home made winter garments.
Alpha Epsilon Phi participates in the first two days of MIT's fall formal recruitment, but primarily conducts informal recruitment at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. The informal recruitment consists of several low key, casual events where interested women can get to know sisters and judge if they have a good fit with the sorority. After coming to a few events, potential new members receive a bid for membership, and upon signing, begin the six week process of New Member Education. New Member Education allows the future sisters to form a cohesive group, learn about the history and traditions of AEPhi, and meet sisters. It also usually includes planning a large event for the sorority, which is often a blind date event in which new members find dates for sisters.
Learn more about sorority recruitment at MIT.
Alpha Epsilon Phi has a wide variety of events during the semester. Some of these are large and involve many people outside the sorority, while others are small events with our sisters.
Formal and Mixers
AEPhi has a formal each semester, which tends to be a somewhat non-standard sort of event — past formals have included a ride through Boston on a party trolley, a formal night at the Improv Asylum, an AEPhi-themed tri-wizard tournament, and a murder mystery dinner. Sisters may bring dates to the formal if they so desire. Additionally, we have semesterly mixers with other fraternities and sororities at MIT to get to know and spend time with other people in the MIT Greek community.
AEPhi also has many smaller events where we get to spend quality time with our sisters. We have some scholarship and academic enrichment events, but the core of these events lies in our sisterhood events. Each semester, we have a retreat where we go somewhere off-campus for the day and do something different. Recent retreats have included trips to Walden Pond, to the beach, to the Franklin Zoo, and kayaking. In addition, we have small weekly on-campus activities like watching Glee, baking, and playing Mafia while eating Italian food.