AEPhi Photo

The new members of UCF Alpha Epsilon Phi come together in front of the sorority's new home on Greek Park Drive.

The old Theta Chi house may have spent the past two semesters empty and lifeless, but now the sisters of Alpha Epsilon Phi have taken over and brought it back to life.

AEPhi, a Jewish-based sorority chartered in 2006, was one of the many Greek organizations that filed an application to be the new residents when the previous fraternity’s lease was terminated. After what the sisters agreed was a long and nerve-racking process, they were finally able to say the house was theirs in late June.

“Our sisterhood was already strong but now, there is people that you wouldn’t see every single day and I’m learning so much more about one another because I’m having so many more opportunities to sit down with people I wouldn’t normally sit down with,” said Ashleigh Taylor, senior communication major. 

The sisters are still trying to get completely settled in, but they’ve already managed to decorate the house with over 30 awards and trophies, making sure not to leave out paintings and sculptures of the sorority mascot—the giraffe.

Michelle Weisz, junior psychology major and vice president of New Member Education, said their hand sign is a heart and the giraffe is the animal with the biggest heart. She also said their tagline is 'Above all else,' a nod to the height of a giraffe.

Before having a house, the sorority was very active, as evidenced by the many awards in the home. Many of the sisters are part of SGA this semester, including SGA Vice President Rachel Altfield. AEPhi has been the top fundraiser at Knight Thon for the past four years.

Taylor said they raised $51,000 last year.           

When it comes to having a house, Weisz said she appreciates the little things even more. 

“One thing I didn’t think would be such a change is the behind the scenes,” Weisz said. “Now for executive board meetings, we meet here. When we needed shirts to be shipped, they’re no longer coming to my apartment.”

Through this long process, they’ve managed to stick to their pillars, especially unconditional sisterhood. Weisz said that a few of the sisters didn’t even bother renewing their leases because they trusted in the other sisters’ ability to get the house. And now that they have it, things are still the same.

“Rather than just saying sisterhood, we always include the word unconditional because it’s not just about when things are great,” Taylor said. “Obviously the community, the university, our personal lives change as time goes on and there are some parts where we are on a sorority high and everything is great. Then there’s times where your morale is low and just being there for each other no matter what is what keeps us as Alpha Epsilon Phi.” 

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