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New semester, New(s) Letter! It's exciting to be seniors, but we miss all of our recent graduates a ton. This edition of our monthly newsletter includes advice from older alumnae to make leaving Columbia hurt a bit less and a sign-up link for three free days at equinox to make your workout hurt a little bit more
ITBetterComeBacktoVisit,
Lacey and Aly

TEA WITH DG

By Isabelle Pride

We in DG Zeta Theta are starting an initiative called Alumni Tea with DG. Our chapter is interested in connecting with and learning from alumni. Through Tea with DG, we will host alumni at our brownstone on 113th and Broadway to give current members the opportunity to learn about different fields and professional paths. The first Tea with DG, which will be held between October 3rd and 9th, depending on alumni availability, will highlight alumni working in the legal industry. 

If you are a DG alum working in law or in law school, Zeta Theta would love to invite you to the first-ever Tea with DG event. If you are interested in attending, please email DG Zeta Theta’s Director of External Events, Isabelle Pride, at isabelle.pride@columbia.edu 

There will be more Tea with DG events in the coming months that will highlight alumni working in finance, tech, the arts, and more! Please stay tuned for more information. 

Back from abroad feature

By Zehra Naqvi

We're so excited to welcome our sisters back from a spring semester abroad. I sat down with Rebecca Siqueiros, an Urban Studies major, who studied abroad in Copenhagen to ask about her time there. 


Why did you choose to study abroad in Copenhagen?

The city and country as a whole are very progressive in their planning/adaption for climate change. And being on such proximity to water, Copenhagen has been implementing various strategies to deal with added water specifically.

What did you study? 

I primarily focused on urban design, designing for climate change, and finding ways to utilize old buildings/parts of cities in the design of the future
 

What was your favorite experience from being abroad? 

It's cliche but I loved living abroad and seeing how a different culture lives beyond just visiting for a short period of time. I loved being put outside of my comfort zone and making new friends I would have never met. The biking culture in Copenhagen was also fantastic, I don’t think in my entire time abroad I used a taxi there. But one of my absolute favorite moments was when Aly and Nathalie came to visit me during spring break. Nat is not fully comfortable on a bike, so we tried to find a tandem bike for her and Aly. There was legit only one tandem bike in all of Cope and we snagged it after going to 2 or 3 bike rental stores. The only issue with the bike was the front handbags did not go up and were quite honestly made for a 5-year-old child, so Nathalie was hunched in the front with her huge winter coat riding around the streets of Copenhagen praying that none of us would get hit by a car. It was fantastic!

BioCitizen

By Aly Hudson

This summer Ursa Heidinger, CC Class of 2020, spearheaded the first New York City Chapter of Biocitizen, a field environmental philosophy organization that teaches students about the place they live in, for when they know what their place is, they take care of it. 

 The NY-based school launched with the Our Place Summer School, for which Ursa took 16 students around NYC to teach biocultural history during the month of July and into the beginning of August. Ursa began her work with Biocitizen when it was incorporated in 2009 and worked with the HQ to create the new school. Her work consisted of teaching students, developing curriculum, fundraising and managing her own budget, leading a team of two interns and volunteers, and basically anything else that’s involved with opening a small business! It was, of course, an intense project to take on in one summer, but we're so proud of what resulted and can't wait to support Ursa as she helps encourage progress in the years to come!

What I wish i knew...

By Aly Hudson

This piece is specifically for our recent grads. I reached out to a few alumni who are a few years out of school, and here is what they had to say:

1. Give yourself time to settle into your new life. Graduating college is a huge change, so don’t be disappointed or frustrated if you haven’t settled into your new routine in a matter of days or even weeks. 

2. Make an effort to maintain the relationships that matter to you. With everyone living in different parts of the city and country, seeing friends definitely takes more planning, but make it happen. You’ll be happier.

3. Try new things! Explore new places, sign up for an intramural team, or pick up something you always wanted to do in college. Take advantage of not being tied to your seat in Butler!

4.  You can get the best career advice in the world, but none of it will beat listening to your own heart. 

5. Never pay full price. AptDeco for decorating an apartment, Poshmark and the RealReal for professional attire, Ugly Fruit for groceries

6. When you're looking for an apartment in NYC think outside of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island City are closer commutes to downtown than anything above Midtown. 

DG X equinox

Click here to sign-up for a free three day pass Friday, September 20 - Sunday, September 22 at the 76th and 92nd Street locations

Musical Theater

By Isabelle Pride

Our Zeta Theta sisters are taking "center stage" this semester. Both of the Columbia Musical Theatre Society’s fall musicals are being directed by Delta Gamma women. Sophia Houdaigui, who also serves as president of the musical theatre society, will direct Pippin, and Ilana Woldenberg will direct Legally Blonde: The Musical! Further, sister Jordynn Lurie will play Fastrada in Sophia’s production. We can't wait to fill the audiences with DG women, and we hope you will join us October 24-26 in the Minor Latham Playhouse for Pippin, and November 21-23 in Roone Arledge Auditorium for Legally Blonde. Follow @cmtspippin and @cmtslegallyblonde for more information! 

See below for their Interviews

          Sophia Houdaigui

                   by Isobel Miles

How did you get into musical theatre? 
I started musical theatre at a young age - around 6 years old. I performed with different musical theatre organizations in the Washington, DC area and attended Stagedoor Manor, a performing arts camp in the Catskills during my summers. I love the fact the musical theatre has the capacity to challenge every single person involved - if you’re primarily a dancer you’re going to be challenged to sing while dancing, while if you’re primarily a singer you’re going to have to learn to dance. I additionally love the fact that theatre, in general, can make individuals truly think and feel. 

What can you tell us about Pippin?
Pippin is a show that challenges those in it, and watching it, to think. It’s a story about a young man figuring out what he wants to do in life, and how to find meaning in what he does - a perfect show for college students contemplating their futures. I chose Pippin because of the incredible story, and its capacity to show off a multitude of performers. Additionally, we are placing Pippin in a new context, one that allows me to utilize my History degree, which I’m extremely excited about.

What is your favorite thing about Pippin?

My favorite thing about Pippin is the fact that while it is a parable, it doesn’t tell you how to feel at the end. You can live an extraordinary life by committing your life to service, your family, or something completely different - it’s just up to you. I will also say one of my new favorite things about our production of Pippin is that Jordynn Lurie, a fellow DG, is playing Fastrada in our show. Please come and have her crack you up. 

Can you explain your role as director?
My role as a director is to set the tone for the production and act as a guide for each element of the show - design, choreography, music, aesthetic, etc. It additionally means blocking scenes and working with actors to sift through the text and understand not only their characters but the show overall. The crew is structured that each individual on the main creative team (Director, choreographer, music director, producer, stage manager) has 1-2 assistants that they train to do their job in the future, and there is a full production team with lead designers (particularly lighting, sound, costumes, set). 

What does it mean to you to be directing at the same time as fellow DG Ilana?
I am so incredibly happy and honored to have the opportunity to direct at the same time as Ilana. Ilana and I met my first week at Columbia at callbacks for shows, and we’ve gotten to perform in a multitude of shows together. We’ve gone through just about every performance opportunity at CU together, so it only seems fitting that we direct for CMTS at the same time. We are both so happy that DG is a sisterhood that celebrates its sisters in all leadership positions and backgrounds on campus.

        Ilana Waldenberg
                                    by Isobel Miles

Ilana Waldenberg is a senior member of Delta Gamma Zeta Theta studying film. On-campus Ilana is involved with DKA (a cinematic professional society), the Varsity Show and the Columbia Musical Theatre Society. This year she was selected to direct Legally Blonde, one of the two shows that the Columbia Musical Theatre Society is putting on this semester. I sat down with her to get the scoop. 

How did you get involved in CMTS? 
Growing up I always did theatre in school and loved it. My first show was Alladin when I was in fourth grade and I was Merchant #4. When I came to Columbia I auditioned for everything Sophomore year and just kept on auditioning.

What was the process of becoming a director?  I had the seed of an idea that I thought it would be really fun to direct. Then, to become a director you need to assemble a team. I had built a network of people that I would really like to work with and so the whole thing came together really serendipitously. Then I had to pitch to the board which chooses two shows to produce. The pitch involves a breakdown of your team and your collective vision for the show. Then each member of the team has to do a practical. For example, as a director, I was given random actors and a random scene and I had to block it and work with the actors etc.

Why Legally Blonde? 
There were a couple of reasons. First, we wanted a huge cast because we wanted to make theatre more accessible to people. A large cast means that non-soloists can be learning and then when they are seniors they can become the stars. Second, I believe theatre should be an escape from stress and this is a super fun show. It’s a nice stress relief for the performers and the crew to come into the room after a heavy day of course load and sing “oh my god you guys…” Lastly, I love the sorority aspect and the way that the story is propelled by the power of female friendship. The beginning of the show is so absurd but by the end, the premise has crept into your heart and you can understand and empathize with these women. I think it shows really well that just because women can be sassy and fun doesn’t mean they aren’t smart and capable and can’t kick ass. 

How has DG influenced your directing? 
Well first of all Delta Nu is based on DG their colors are pink and blue and it was filmed in the DG house in UCLA or USC. If you try to approach Legally Blonde without a place in your heart for something like Delta Nu then it can become too satirical and over the top without empathy. I love sororities and think they are great and want that to be showcased in my show. Delta Nu reminds of DG in the sense that its all about supporting each other. You wanna go to law school? Okay, well this sister will help you study for your LSAT and another will help you prepare your application.

How can DG sisters support you?
Well, there will be tons of fundraisers for the show. Also, theatre and sports games are the only times you physically can clap for your sisters. So come out to the show!