The ladies at the University of Georgia’s chapter of Phi Mu encourage sisterhood, leadership and philanthropy.
Emily Burgett, a sophomore communication sciences and disorders major from Marietta and the philanthropy chair for the women's fraternity, said being in Phi Mu and living in the house makes the organization different because the sisters get to know each other more.
“We have our doors open all the time, people in and out of rooms all day, every day and I’ve become close with girls that I would have never thought I would become close with,” Burgett said.
Abbie Frye, a sophomore pre-public relations and Spanish major from Atlanta and the vice president for public relations, said she and her sisters are close and do anything from eating together to catching up on TV series. She said she likes how close she and her sisters are both at their house and on campus.
“When you live with someone, you certainly do a lot of different things with them,” Frye said. “I think you’re life and your paths kind of interact a lot. But outside of just living in Phi Mu, I have found that because the relationships in this sorority are so strong, girls encourage each other to get involved in UGA’s community.”
Frye said the sisters are involved in many organizations on campus and the representation makes the group stand out.
“We have girls who are in leadership roles with, like, Franklin College senators,” Frye said. “We have girls that are involved in [the UGA Student Government Association], in political organizations, in different philanthropic organizations. We have girls who are on club teams for different athletic, you know, sports and all sorts of things.”
Burgett said the Alpha Alpha chapter of Phi Mu fosters the kind of environment where the 239 sisters strive for leadership.
“We have a ton of girls who stand up and it’s not necessarily like, ‘You need to be a leader,’ it’s like one girl stands up and says she’s a leader in this organization and it’ll cause girls to want to sign up for that organization and then eventually they become leaders,” Burgett said.
Burgett said one of the organizations Phi Mu is most heavily involved with is UGA Miracle. She said since Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is Phi Mu’s national philanthropy, the organization partners with UGA Miracle as a liaison for their fundraising.
“All of our money goes directly to [UGA Miracle] but then that in turn goes to Children’s Miracle Network,” Burgett said. “So it’s kind of like a chain reaction.”
Burgett said Phi Mu holds a spring fundraiser every year to raise money for UGA Miracle. She said she wanted to do something different this year so she reached out to the men at Alpha Tau Omega to have a Mardi Gras Meal on the Lawn.
The Meal on the Lawn is on Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the ATO house. Phi Mu and ATO will have gumbo catered by the Big Easy Café, a restaurant in Watkinsville that serves Louisiana cuisine. All of the profits go to UGA Miracle.
Burgett said she is excited to try something new for this year’s fundraiser.
“I mean, you don’t really hear about too many meals on the lawns with a sorority and fraternity kind of joining together so I think that was a big deal,” she said.
Phi Mu was founded in 1852 at Wesleyan College in Macon. Its foundation is an organization which provides women with personal and academic development, philanthropy, excellence and life-long friendships, according to the Phi Mu website.
Frye said Phi Mu has given her a chance to grow as a person.
“To me, Phi Mu, in my personal experience, has been an opportunity to grow as an individual, to grow as a friend and to grow as a professional,” said Frye.
Burgett said Phi Mu has taught her she can be a leader and have an effect on campus.
“For me, again, it’s just been kind of like a learning and growing experience and proved to me that I can do things even though it may seem like I can’t,” Burgett said.