A Q&A with AEPhi Wisconsin

This month, we spotlight the AEPhi Sigma chapter at the University of Wisconsin, where Elizabeth Glaser was a sister.

AEPhi Sigma

As we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) wants to acknowledge an important UP 4 THE FIGHT partner that has stood by our side since 2000: Alpha Epsilon Phi (AEPhi). As AEPhi sisters themselves, Elizabeth Glaser and Susie Zeegen would have been proud of our partnership with this amazing sisterly organization.

There are 50 active AEPhi chapters at universities across the United States that fundraise for EGPAF annually. We have the privilege of spotlighting three of these chapters for the months of September, October, and November to commemorate our anniversary.

Our second spotlight is on the AEPhi Sigma chapter at the University of Wisconsin — where Elizabeth Glaser was a sister. This inspiring group of women raises funds for EGPAF in order to reach mothers and children in need of lifesaving HIV treatment worldwide and spread awareness about pediatric HIV and prevention of mother-to-child transmission here in the United States.

Get to know this AEPhi chapter through our question and answer session with its Vice Presidents of Philanthropy, Aliza Goldberg and Carly Schlecker:

Tell us, what’s unique about your chapter?

• The women in our chapter strive to embody our school’s mission: the Wisconsin Idea. The Wisconsin Idea says those attending the University of Wisconsin should improve people’s lives beyond the classroom. While AEPhi Sigma Chapter has put a strong emphasis on academics, we understand that being in a sorority gives us the opportunity to make an impact on the lives of others. Almost all our women are a part of at least one outside organization, in addition to putting in time to our chapter’s philanthropies and supporting EGPAF.

What motivates your chapter to fundraise and support EGPAF?

• While EGPAF is the national philanthropy for all 50 AEPhi chapters, it is especially close to our hearts because Elizabeth was a member of the Sigma chapter during her time here at the University of Wisconsin. We are honored to have had such an inspiring role model come from our chapter, and it has had a strong influence on our support for EGPAF. Those in our chapter feel a connection with the organization and strive to give back as much as Elizabeth did.

What has been a favorite moment throughout your AEPhi career associated with EGPAF?

• Our favorite moment throughout our AEPhi career was our annual powderpuff football game in 2012. Players from the Wisconsin football team came to help coach teams and referee the games. It was great having them participate in our philanthropy, as well as having them get everyone excited to play. It really brought out the fun element of competition, and it was great seeing everyone having fun while raising money for an important cause.

What fundraising events has your chapter planned throughout the years?

• Each year, we host our annual powderpuff football game to raise money for EGPAF. We try to get the entire Greek community involved by having different sororities and fraternities form teams and come out to play. Another big part of our powderpuff event is our raffle. Our philanthropy assistants ask local businesses to sponsor us by donating to our raffle, and in return, they are represented on the back of our jersey. It was a great way to give back to those that attended the powderpuff football game, as well as getting more of the Madison, Wi. community involved with EGPAF.

What will you take away from being a member and sister of AEPhi?

• Being a member and a sister of AEPhi has given us more than we ever expected to take away from a sorority. Not only will we leave with a fantastic group of friends upon graduation, but with a passion for philanthropy, leadership and community.

Thank you to the sisters of the Alpha Epsilon Phi Sigma chapter at the University of Wisconsin for their continued support of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation! We look forward to their next event as they help us to continue the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS.

Stay tuned for our final November featured AEPhi chapter! If you missed September’s Q&A with Tulane, check that out here.

For more information about Alpha Epsilon Phi and the UP 4 THE FIGHT program, please contact Sydney Van Horn at up4thefight@pedaids.org.