History at MIT
Seven women founded AEPhi, so it is fitting that seven women at MIT sought to bring a chapter to this campus. These women petitioned the campus Panhellenic on March 31, 1993 for permission to bring a new national sorority to MIT - AEPhi. The request was denied, but the group's spirit was not extinguished. They formed a local sorority, Sigma Iota Phi, and made it flourish as a sorority with its own ritual, symbols, and ideals.
Under the green and purple of their new banner, these sisters held their first rush in the Fall of 1993, and four enthusiastic new women joined the sisterhood. Together they hosted the first annual "Night at the Improv" on April 23, 1994. The fundraiser raised a lot of money for the local sorority's philanthropy, the General Israel Orphans' Home for Girls. By the end of the year, the sorority had its first alumna.
In 1995, Sigma Iota Phi was finally granted permission to go national. The sisters chose to become part of the sorority that the founders had wanted from the beginning - AEPhi. As the MIT colony, they adopted AEPhi's ritual and symbols, but kept their same traditions of sisterhood, strength, and dedication. Their second annual "Night at the Improv" raised money for both the local philanthropy and the new national one, the Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel. Their initiation, the first AEPhi initiation held on the MIT campus, was conducted on April 9, 1995. By the end of the semester two more members had joined the group.
A successful rush in the Fall of 1995 brought ten new sisters, eager to become involved in every aspect of the young colony. Together with their older sisters, they signed the charter for the Beta Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Phi, and continued to strengthen the chapter and support its goals and ideals.
Today, the chapter is comprised of an outstanding group of women involved in various extracurricular activities and fields of study. Because of our founder’s beliefs, our group believes in fostering a strong sisterhood of unconditional friendship of extraordinary women from all walks of life.
While our philanthropies have changed - Sharsheret and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation - our dedication to hold events each semester to support them has not. We continue to serve at community service events, work together at weekly pset parties, and host sisterhood events and retreats to strengthen our bonds of sisterhood. We continue to support the ideals and traditions of both the national sorority and our local chapter.
We were historically founded as a culturally Jewish sorority. We hold Bread Bash at the end of Passover, hold events that celebrate our Jewish heritage, and recognize other Jewish holidays. You definitely do not need to be Jewish to join AEPhi, you just need to be accepting and respectful of people with different beliefs.