Two very different students groups doing ‘something extraordinary’

By Ariel Crawford
November 21, 2010

Two of Cabrini College’s diverse student organizations are embodying their school’s motto and mission by truly trying to do something extraordinary. Psi Chi, the international honor society for the study of psychology and Delta Xi Phi, Cabrini’s first and only sorority are two different groups who have, in their own way, changed the campus for the better.

Professors Tomasco and Sicoli founded Cabrini’s chapter of Psi Chi, the international honor society in the study of Psychology, in 1982. Although professor Melissa Terlecki is now the offical Psi Chi faculty sponsor the psychology department still inducts new members in the mansion every April.

In order to be inducted members must have at least nine credits in psychology, be in the 60th percentile or above in their overall GPA and having a GPA of 3.3 or higher within the psychology field.

Being in an honors society benefits students on and off paper. Terlecki says it’s something valuable for students to put on their resume and a good opportunity to network with established alumni. Psi Chi is an international organization that holds conferences and conventions nationwide where students have the opportunity to present papers and research findings as well as to research graduate programs.

Students in Psi Chi don’t do all the work off campus though. They are very much so a student run organization and assume the majority of responsible for event planning. Psi Chi’s biggest event is the annual Relay for Life, for which they formed their own team.

They also plan events like guest speakers and panels. A ‘careers in psychology panel’ was held this October. Psi Chi is nationally known for their work with cancer charities, as cancer is the society’s official charitable issue. They hold charity drives, which in the past have ranged from collecting things like winter clothing, to money to toys for children.

Psi Chi also aims to enrich learning and take it outside the classroom. So, they often will sponsor or co-sponsor social events that include trips to other campuses or things like museum exhibits.

Psi Chi is open to both majors and minors in the field. Many of their members are either double or even triple majors and students need not be upperclassmen to apply. They often partner up with Cabrini’s psychology club in sponsor social events, bringing speakers to campus and holding charity drives. Terlecki wants to express that “anybody can be involved with either Psi Chi or the Psychology club.”

Find out more about Psi Chi on their official website  Links to other psychology websites as well as information about Cabrini’s psychology program can be found on the department’s official website

This is the second official year for Cabrini’s chapter of Delta Xi Phi. They join Cabrini’s newly formed fraternity as the only Greek life on campus. Delta Xi Phi is a national multi-cultural sorority committed to the promotion of women through higher education and community service. The first chapter was formed in 1992 at the University of Illinois by a group of 15 young women. These young women formed Delta Xi Phi after exhausting their search for a sorority that fit their values and beliefs. Delta Xi Phi’s philosophy is structured upon five pillars.

Delta Xi Phi President and senior Cate Schaffer believes the pillars are of the upmost importance to the Sorority being a success and being a part of Cabrini’s culture of social justice. “Delta Xi Phi emphasizes the importance of higher education, community service, multicultural awareness, sisterhood, and friendship, all five pillars are items we are proud to represent and Cabrini supports as well,” Schaffer said.

The girls are well aware of the negative reputations that surround Greek life on college campuses but are quick to differentiate Delta Xi Phi from the rest. “Delta Xi Phi is not the typical sorority that people see on tv shows and in movies. We don’t focus on alcohol, sex and drugs. Our sorority is about putting women in a positive light. DXP is about supporting higher education, embracing different cultures, giving back to the community, and making long lasting friendships and sisterhood. This is what makes us a “special” sorority, “ said Delta Xi Phi Vice President Maya Cheeks.

Creating life long friendships through sisterhood may come later on Delta Xi Phi’s list of formal goals but it certainly seems to be the most popular. All the young ladies spoke about their relationships enthusiastically at a Delta Xi Phi movie night.

Events are held all year round and are open to all female Cabrini students regardless of whether it is pledge time or not. Some of these are social outings, others are academic in nature and the rest are charity events.

However, all of them are very diverse. Currently, the girls are knitting blankets to donate to multiple charities. They engaged in a lively debate over what colors the blankets should be. During a giving month sorority activities might range from a mixer one weekend to a community service project next week followed by a movie night and rounded off by a series of study sessions so that all the sisters can keep their grades up.

Academics are an important part of college and unlike with other sororities Delta Xi Phi sisters are required to maintain a certain GPA. One of the Vice President’s duties is to make sure all the sister’s grades are meeting requirements and to help any sisters who are under academic probation.

Helping and supporting their fellow sisters is a big part of Delta Xi Phi. “With Delta Xi Phi we emphasize the importance of academics,” said Schaffer. “We all participate in study hours and work together to make sure that all sisters are keeping up with their grades and enjoying their classes.”

It is important that sorority sisters are not only active in their chapter but also involved members on the Cabrini campus in general. Many of the sisters are also student leaders. They occupy many diverse leaderships positions including resident advisors, tutors, athletes and officers of honor societies.

The official name of Cabrini College’s chapter is Delta Xi Phi X associate chapter. Being an associate chapter means that they must wait one complete year before taking new members. So, while Delta Xi Phi held recruiting events this fall for anyone interested in possibly joining the official pledge period does not begin until the Spring 2011 semester.

Delta Xi Phi has done its best to separate from the stereotypical sorority but they are still an organization steeped in tradition and pageantry. Their official colors are Navy and Maroon. The mascot is a White Bengal Tiger. The stone is a white diamond and their flower is the Yellow Rose of Texas.

All the Delta Xi Phi officers welcome any women interested in becoming members this coming spring. For more information on Delta Xi Phi visit or check them out on Facebook at

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Ariel Crawford

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