By Stephanie “Dilemma” Pham, Contributing Writer

It’s that time of the year again. Spring has arrived, flowers are blooming, and that means the annual APIA Unity Mixer is here.

Founded in 2005 at the University of Georgia, Unity Mixer is a regional conference held specifically for Southeast Asian Greek-lettered organizations.

The purpose of the conference is to help attending organizations understand the history behind APIA Greeks and allows them to gather and discuss issues relevant to APIA Greek Life. The mixer also assists attendees in creating networks and connections between various organizations.

This year, Unity Mixer was held at the University of Florida during the weekend of April 13-14. Activities included a leadership conference, unity games, a stroll competition and a banquet. The theme for this year, “7 Deadly Sins,” is a testament to the fact that the mixer is in its seventh year.

For sisters of Delta Phi Lambda, being on executive board for the mixer is nothing new. Alpha chapter’s Pamela “Heiress” Pettus, who crossed fall 2007, was Logistics Chair last year and returned this year to take on the role of Finance Chair. For her, it’s a great opportunity to work with a diverse group of people and gain networks with Greeks throughout the southeast.

Serving on the executive board for the first time is Epsilon chapter’s Shehani “Trésor” Ranadewa, who crossed fall 2008. As the Programming Chair, she is responsible for coordinating the stroll competition and morning activities on the day of the mixer.

Although the format of Unity Mixer was mostly the same as previous years, Pettus said there was more interaction with the participants this year.

“We have some fun ice breakers this year, like a creative handshake and a unity stroll,” she said.

Even after six years, the spirit of Unity Mixer remains the same: it’s all about the connections.

“My favorite part about it is meeting people I have not seen in a while and new people also,” Ranadewa said.

For most APIA Greeks, attending the Unity Mixer is the highlight of their year, and sisters are encouraged to remain involved in its planning and implementation.

“It’s a great experience for any sister who is interested in holding a position because it allows you to work with a wide range of people and gives you the chance to be a part of a large regional event,” Pettus said.

Every year, the executive board is chosen by the previous year’s executive board.

For those interested in serving on the board for next year, be on the lookout for an application in the fall.