Zeta Tau Alpha Places in Pike Halftime Competition

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Crowns to our talented sisters for placing third among all 16 sororities in the 2014 Pike Halftime Competition!

After many hours of practicing, they were finally ready to go out on stage and perform their hearts out.

Pi Kappa Alpha’s event raised over $83,000 for two great causes. The Florida Diabetes Camp is a three-day summer camp for students who have been diagnosed with Type I diabetes, and Riqui V’s Chomp Cancer Foundation supports children at Shand’s hospital who are battling cancer.

We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to participate in this incredible philanthropy!

Jenna Ladd Becomes Editor-In-Chief for The Odyssey

We are so proud of our sister Jenna who has been chosen as the Editor-In-Chief for The Odyssey newspaper for the 2015-2016 school year! The former Editor-In-Chief, Emily Born, recently graduated and was also a Zeta. Several of our sisters are writers for The Odyssey as well.

Jenna is an upcoming senior sports broadcasting major with a minor in mass communication. After college, she hopes to land a job with the NFL working in fan relations/communications.

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“I’m excited to be the new EIC because it’s a great learning experience for me, and I have the opportunity to help writers have their voice heard on campus,” she said.

Congrats, Jenna!

Helping Others Make a Difference

On March 18, Zeta Tau Alpha helped the brothers of Sigma Chi put on a fitness carnival for children in an effort to promote physical activity and nutritional eating in Gainesville’s youth.

The event took place at the Boys and Girls Club and about 65 children attended. The carnival consisted of several activities, including an inflatable Slip ‘N Slide and obstacle course, field games and a station where children could eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. With help from our sisters, Sigma Chi assisted and cheered on children as they participated in these activities.

“It was great to see the kids being active and having fun at the same time,” said Evyn Flaherty, a member of Zeta. “The event was awesome all around.”

Our Philanthropy: Zeta Linedance

“To prepare for service and learn the nobility of serving, thereby earning the right to be served…” 

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Each October, Zeta Tau Alpha holds a linedance competition in which members of our sorority pair with members from each fraternity on campus, divide into teams and choreograph dances to perform live.  Zeta Linedance raises money to promote our philanthropy, breast cancer awareness and education. This past year, we held our 30th annual line dance competition and raised $38,000!

“I think it’s amazing that as an organization of over 200 women, we can work year-round to raise money and awareness for a disease that affects one out of every eight women,” Rachel Hart, one of the 2014 Linedance Chairmen said.

We’re looking forward to our next linedance competition this fall!

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Home Away From Home

One of our sisters, Iva Domljan, is an international student from Mostar, Bosnia! We love having such a diverse group of girls in our sisterhood, and we’re excited that Iva has shared a little about her experience as an international student, a UF student and a Zeta.

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Where are you from?

I am Croatian, but I’ve lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

What other languages do you speak?

Croatian, French and Italian.

What is it like being an international student?

Being an international student is exciting! Being thrown into a new culture away from the comfort of home is certainly challenging at times, but it’s an amazing experience and I could not be more grateful to be here. Moving so often allowed me to develop a passion for traveling and meeting new people. Fitting my life into a suitcase every few months has taught me to embrace every moment and treasure every memory.

What is something that people might not know about international students?

International students are different in the ways that they stay in touch with their culture once they move to another country. While some come to learn, others come to teach. Though I love sharing my culture and heritage, I came here to learn about a new one. I love adapting to new lifestyles!

Why did you decide to rush when you came to the University of Florida?

When I first came to America two years ago, I had no idea what sororities were. When I learned a little more about them, I knew I had to rush! I was drawn by the idea of a support system, lifelong friendship and the commitment to a shared set of values.

What has your experience as a UF Zeta been like?

I feel so much more comfortable. Now, Gainesville feels like home to me. Zeta has become the definition of my life overseas.

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Sweet Life on Deck

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Caroline Stocks spent this past spring semester traveling the world and taking classes aboard a ship. She traveled to many cities including Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Morocco.

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Her journey started in San Diego, from there she traveled to Hawaii and then to Japan. Caroline’s sixteen week trip ended in England. While in each country, Caroline was able to visit anywhere within the country the ship docked. Caroline was asked what her favorite memory was from the trip and said, “One day in India my friends and I didn’t have any plans, so we asked the concierge at our hotel what he thought we should do. He called a driver for us to take us to his hometown of Haridwar, India, which has a religious ceremony every night on the Ganges River”. Caroline then explained she and her friends explored this town, which rarely receives tourists. When dusk came, Caroline and her friends were able to participate in the religious ceremony that night. She describes the ceremony as “one of the most moving spiritual ceremony you could ever imagine”. The ceremony included music, fire, dancing, and singing.

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Caroline explained, “I learned so much and I’ve changed immensely and I know my lifestyle and life plans have been altered so much for the better since this voyage of a lifetime.”

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Trav·el: Verb; To make a journey, typically of some length or abroad.

summer travel

Who wouldn’t want to travel abroad with your best friends who are also your sisters? This is what Allie Mangan, Hannah Carr, Delaney Cooksey, Amy Barrett, and Kaitlin Foshee did after they finished their spring semester at the University of Florida. Starting their journey in Florence, Italy, they are enjoying the magnificent sights in the historic city.

Not only is their trip filled with sightseeing, these girls are getting the chance to eat authentic Italian food! From pizza to paninis, these girls are having the times of their lives.

Be safe and we can’t wait to hear all about your journey!

Ciao! Ciao!

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When Two Families Collide

Girls join sororities for many different reasons. Reasons range from finding a sisterhood to having an opportunity to show their commitment to the community. While all the reasons vary, every girl wants the chance to combine their family here at the University of Florida with their families from home.

Thanks to EmilyGrace Brandes, this year’s Family Weekend was a complete success! On Friday February 20, families and sisters gathered at The Swamp Restaurant, a favorite spot for sisters to hang out. Saturday started out with a family BBQ on the front lawn. Guests were able to walk through the house and receive tours given by sisters. That evening the sisters and their families cheered on the baseball team as they played University of Miami. The weekend finished out with a brunch on Sunday at Touchdown Terrace in the Swamp. Families enjoyed breakfast while they watched this past year’s recruitment video. Awards were given to sisters who were voted on prior to the weekend. Congratulations to the following sisters:

Outstanding Out of House Sister: Jessica Alvarez

Outstanding In House Sister: Kiera Keesecker

Outstanding PC14: Megan Trepper

Outstanding PC13: Julia Stevens

Outstanding PC12: Nikki Cardoso

Outstanding PC11: Gigi Pena

White Violet Sister: Leah Miller

Not only were our sisters having fun all weekend, but they raised money for our philanthropy, Zeta Linedance. By raffling off beautifully made baskets and unique donations, we were able to raise about $2,100. One unique donation was an 80lb gator head one sister’s uncle caught.

Overall, our sisters had a wonderful time and created so many memories in just a few short days. Ricki Hemstreet ecstatically said, “Introducing my family to my sorority sisters sort of felt like showing them a huge part of my life, and cheering on the Gator baseball team together was so much fun. I already can’t wait for family weekend next year.2IMG_1746

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