By Matthew Dutton
The Greek life presence on Flagler College’s campus is growing thanks to the introduction of a nationally recognized sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha (ASA).
The addition of a national chapter started as a simple idea and was turned into reality by Flagler’s Director of Student Activities, Krissy Lombardo.
“What really started it all was that student who came into my office with the idea of creating the new organization on campus,” Lombardo said.
Flagler’s emphasis on their core values was also a major factor in deciding which organization would be brought to campus.
“We had a number of organizations pitched to Flagler and making sure that the organization aligned with our core values was important,” said Dr. Sandra Miles, Vice President of Student Affairs.
Alongside the two standing Greek organizations, ASA will help bring something new to campus for students.
“The students were looking for the opportunity to make a different mark on campus and bring a different type of student engagement,” Miles said.
Involvement is something students look forward to as part of the college experience and new members are excited for this opportunity.
“I knew that I wanted to be a part of something on campus that also introduces me to other people and opportunities. ASA is a very diverse group of women, so it brings a lot of different things to the table,” said Elle Meeuwsen, a freshman recruit.
Other organizations that operate similarly to ASA are also excited about the expanding Greek life.
The members of Phi Alpha Omega, a local community service chapter at Flagler, see this new addition as a step toward the future.
“Seeing Flagler grow is only showing that there is more interest and that Flagler cares about our interests,” said Amber Palermo, president of Phi Alpha Omega.
Lombardo now believes that the two organizations will bring even more benefits to campus.
“ASA is interested in working with Phi Alpha Omega to help with a connection of coexisting,” Lombardo said.
Now that ASA is in the process of formal establishment, many of the women are learning and growing at the same pace together.
“It’s really cool because everyone is in the same position of learning. It makes us closer because we are all going into this new program and growing together,” said Allision Kindley, another freshman recruit.
The growing potential of ASA gives insight to the benefits and experiences that will come in the future.
“ASA will help me grow into a more confident person in school and out of school,” Meeuwsen said.
Kindley is also looking at the long-term benefits of being in this type of organization.
“I hope to get lifelong connections knowing that I have people that went through the same experience as I did,” Kindley said.
Miles and Lombardo are now focused on the impact that ASA will have on the Flagler and St. Augustine community.
“Having an organization like this can help the community because of service projects and making relationships with others,” Lombardo said.
Miles looks at the impact from the student’s perspective.
“My hope is that they will create some enthusiasm for students who haven’t gotten involved,” said Miles. “Assuming all goes well, I only see positive elements that they can bring to campus.”
The addition of a national chapter brings change and opportunities to campus as students and faculty are optimistic for the future of Alpha Sigma Alpha.
“I think that ASA will represent Flagler College very well,” Meeuwsen said. “One of our goals is to develop women of poise and purpose and ASA will put this goal into real life situations by going out and supporting the community surrounding Flagler College while also providing a welcoming environment for women here on campus.”