By Jessi “mae” Xi, Contributing Writer

Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., kicked off August with its annual national convention in St. Louis from Aug. 3 to 6. Over 120 sisters attended, from newly-inducted undergraduates to alumnae who have served as chapter advisers as soon as they graduated from their university.

The Board of Directors reunites at the national convention.

The Board of Directors reunites at the national convention.

Mariah “Amara” Sampsel and Jennifer “elysium” Jang both serve as presidents of their chapters this upcoming school year, Sampsel of Loyola University Chicago and Jang of University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Both sisters fondly recalled their evening spent at the City Museum in downtown St. Louis, a huge, interactive playground designed for all ages. Sampsel said she loved that it was a “night full of sister bonding and laughter.” Jang said she enjoyed bonding with sisters she had never been able to interact with or get to know more, which brought her closer to the sorority itself and her national sisters. Both Friday and Saturday nights the sisters went in large groups, but the City Museum was so large and crowded that it was easy to split up into groups and only see sisters after they identified their location by doing our national call.

“Convention,” Jang shared, was a great opportunity to speak to the other chapter presidents about the upcoming year.”

When asked about a sister that inspires her, Jang shared the love she has for the sorority’s national president, Jaleesa Reed, who was also the assistant affiliate member educator to her line. Recognizing her as “empowering and inspiring,” Jang shared that Reed’s “inner light” inspired her own to keep shining.

Sisters socialize in downtown St. Louis.

Sisters socialize in downtown St. Louis.

Jessica “Continuum” Tang, alumna of Clemson University and chapter adviser, also enjoyed the ability to meet and get to know sisters from around the country. Clemson University has the only Delta Phi Lambda chapter in South Carolina, so she feels that her chapter’s location makes it difficult for them to see sisters from other chapters in person. Although Tang enjoyed the City Museum, she said that her favorite locations in St. Louis were the amazing restaurants she went to in the city, such as The Shaved Duck. Florie ‘Fable’ Santos also really enjoyed the restaurant scene of St. Louis, although her preferred location was Fitz’s Root Beer.

Convention also brought about reunions. Sampsel was wearing her line jacket in the St. Louis airport and ran into Quinn “Exodus” Vo from the University of Central Florida, and they discovered they shared the same hometown, although both chose to leave it to attend college. Santos has attended all the conventions since she crossed and feels that the ability to room with sisters from different chapters encourages sisters to go above and beyond in getting to know each other. Many sisters know each other through social media, and sisters shared that convention provided a perfect opportunity to put a face to the social media handle.

Kelly Tsai shares her experiences as an Asian American woman growing up near Chicago.

Kelly Tsai shares her experiences as an Asian American woman growing up near Chicago.

Kelly Tsai is known across the United States for her spoken word poetry, and she enthralled the crowd of sisters at her keynote address with a mix of media, spoken word poetry, and passionate speaking about her experiences growing up as an Asian American woman near Chicago. She was engaging, inspiring, and connected with sisters because of her honesty and personality. She shared pieces about appearance, family connection, and contributing in a positive manner to American society by doing what you love, emphasizing that one need not become a doctor or a lawyer to help the world.

Whether a new member, a president, an alumna, or a seasoned convention-goer, St. Louis was full of positive experiences and happy memories. Sampsel, Jang, Santos and Tang said that they are all looking forward to next year’s convention for the 20th anniversary of the sorority.


Featured and Article Images: Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.