Interviews with Kianu Alumnae from the 1990s (August/September 2008)
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The Mace Club was suspended from campus for several years
in the early 1990s and reinstated on campus during spring rush 1995.
What are your memories of either the old Mace, new Mace, or how this
change affected their club?
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: From day one the girls were warned about Mace men.
Holly (True) Shaver '93: I remember them losing their charter and I remember that the Mace House was turned into honors housing for awhile. I also remember that students were reluctant to live there when it was honors housing because of animosity that Mace had because people were living in their house. Rocks were thrown through windows, etc.
My dad was a Mace in the late 50's and he has some good stories...
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: When I came to campus as a freshman there was talk of how the MACE has lost their charter and all of the crazy things they used to do. When the new MACE were allowed back on campus it seemed uneventful to me. I think they were just beginning to grow as I was graduated from Muskingum.
Misty Smith '96: I arrived after the original Mace club had already disbanded on campus, so I defer to the Kianus before me to recollect those stories, but I do recall a general consensus that the "New" Mace club was very unique from the group that had preceded them on campus.
Amy (Harris) Yamokoski '99: I remember them coming to the XAN house on Pledge Day in 1996 and singing to us in the front yard. They were a very small group (maybe 6), but they were nice and fun and they were proud to be our “brother” club. We had heard a lot of crazy stories about the Mace of old, so the new guys seemed different than their legacy. We had fun with them throughout the time I was at MC.
Hayley Hook '99: The MACE were given their house back during the 1996 -1997 School Year and because the MACE membership numbers were still down from the suspension, they were allowed to choose who they wanted to live on the second floor, filling the house. Several Kianus were chosen to live there that year and the next.
My best memories of MACE were the new MACE. These guys, though often very quiet (unlike the old Mace), were really nice guys and were always willing to help out or just hang out. Amber Wallace '99 (my best friend and fellow Kianu), Colleen Thompson aka Cat (a Theta), and I lived upstairs on the second floor our junior year (1997-98). It was great being up on Frat Circle, in the middle of it all. It also didn't hurt that the football team ran by our window twice a day :o)
What were your impressions of the other Greek clubs while
you were at MC?
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: Kianu was Koolest. The Thetas and FAD were nice.
Holly (True) Shaver '93: Kianus and Deltas were rivals, although my roommate for 2 years was a Delta.
FAD club was perceived as struggling at times; Theta Phi Alpha had just started and it was kind of "unknown territory" although it turned out to be a pretty good club.
Stags were cool; Ulsters were tough guys; Phi Taus were kind of slick; Kappa Sigs were good guys (I married one); Mace were really tough. We also had a group of guys who started the TKE fraternity but I think it died out while I was in school, 1989-1993.
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: I have to say that I was pretty wrapped up with Kianus and didn’t associate with many people from other sororities. I had a couple of associates that were Thetas, but that was the extent. We were fierce rivals with the Deltas. As for the fraternities, the stereotypes were that the Sigs were “brainy,” the Phi Tau’s were “athletic,” and the other men’s clubs fell somewhere in between.
Misty Smith '96: When I came to Muskingum, I felt very strongly that each of the clubs were very different. As time passed, the actions of the people within each of these groups either reinforced some of these stereotypes or dismissed them as being unjustified. More than 10 years after graduation, I can say in hindsight that in every group you will find individuals that could fit the modus operandi of any of the other groups. What truly defines the groups in the end is what they devote their collective efforts towards.
Amy (Harris) Yamokoski '99: The FADs were such a small group that they were in danger of extinction at the time. As for the guys, the Kappa Sigs were OK for the first couple of years I was there, the Phi Taus tended to be the ones we partied with most (at least my group of close friends)…they were a lot of the jocks, the Mace were fun and liked to party, the Stags were always really cool, mellow guys who took in all the foreign exchange students, the Ulsters were the wild, dirty boys who got into a lot of trouble. Did I forget anybody?
Hayley Hook '99: Back then, there were so many different opinions of each club and what they each represented. My personal opinions were that Kianus = the Good Girls (the Jennifer Anistons), Deltas = the Angelina Jolies, Thetas = Fun, but could be feisty (the Minnie Driver or Juliette Lewis). FAD = Were a nice group of girls, but usually kept to themselves and I didn't see them much except at Homecoming on their float (the America Ferreras). As for the men, I am very partial to the STAG Club, just a good group of guys. Before I was a student at Muskingum, I would frequent the Ulster House and loved their version of the Wizard of Oz. The Phi Tau and Kappa Sigma were fun to hang, party, and dance with (especially on that Phi Tau pool table). I am surprised that the floor in their meeting room hasn't caved in.
Before the beginning of the 1996-1997 school year, MC moved
all of the sororities out of their individual houses on Lakeside and
into the Patton dorm. What do you remember about this?
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: Kianu didn’t leave their property and that was a strong stance against Muskingum….now the college is moving the clubs back out into houses. Way to go XAN!
Holly (True) Shaver '93: I remember a lot about this. I remember going to a meeting with all of the sorority presidents and advisers, student life, etc. Student life presented a rosy picture of the whole thing and promised that all the sororities would have a new building behind Kelley Hall, etc. I felt that it would be a bad move for Kianus since we owned our house and I felt like the administration was trying to control the sororities. I felt it was sexist. So, we told them we were not interested and we hoped that however it worked out for the other sororities they would be ok with it.
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: I remember that vividly.
There was anxiety over whether we would be forced out of our house,
etc. We were offered a spot at Patton. This was allegedly the college’s
attempt to give us “college housing” similar to fraternity
circle. Thankfully we own our house and we’re off campus, so
we couldn’t have our college lease pulled. I know that the Alumnae
Officers sent a mailing to all Alumnae asking for their opinions about
the move and whether we’d want to sell the house and take the
college up on our offer. We received a resounding “NO”
to that and thus, kept our house. This decision has made it even more
important for all alumnae to send financial support to the club. We
now foot every bill and are not subsidized by the college in any way.
Misty Smith '96: This was quite a social experiment for the campus and a difficult time for many of the women's social groups on campus. The XAN club was very blessed to have the ability to stand independent in their own house and to maintain their self sufficiency in this capacity. I think the other women's clubs deserve some credit for helping to make this work. I think that the main driving force for the relocation was economic. The poor condition of the housing the other groups had been living in made it necessary for the college's administrators to take drastic steps to provide safer housing conditions for them. I also believe if the college could have legally justified moving all the Greeks (male and female) into residence halls, they would have. The general consensus amongst the students was that the college administration felt it would make them a lot less liable in the future.
Amy (Harris) Yamokoski '99: I remember that everyone was ticked off about it. The clubs who had to move were, justifiably, worried about what kind of new “big brother” control the college was going to have over them. We were concerned, too, but once we realized that the college couldn’t force us to move there because of us owning our house, we knew we could use our “off campus” status to our advantage. The groups who went to Patton were especially irritated when the college decided to turn the houses that had been theirs over to other smaller groups and clubs on campus. That was like a slap in the face, I think, which MC tried to justify by saying something about the fewer number of people living in the houses being safer.
Hayley Hook '99: I think at first everyone was scared. No one wanted to leave their beloved homes behind and all the memories, especially the Kianu Club. However, once they had finished the suites in Patton, they were gorgeous and many of the other clubs didn't mind so much. I was just glad Kianu was fortunate enough to have our own house and we were able to keep it.
The following excert was taken from an October 14, 1994 Black and
Magenta article entitled, "F-Permits and Future of Student Union
Clarified at Open Forum" by Kelley Moody (the article is long
and the scan did not turn out well):
... Senior Nick Stock asked if the women's clubs are being forced into Patton Hall.
"No one is forcing them to move into Patton. In the long run, it would not be possible to keep them where they are," said [MC President Samuel] Speck.
If club membership rates rise or fall, "the beauties of the Patton Hall option are in the privacy and flexibility with the women's clubs, " said Speck.
If the women's clubs did move into Patton hall, their houses could be used as rental property posted for sale, used as parking, or made into green space.
"The women's clubs were not meant to have many people live in them," said Speck.
President Speck told all in attendance that the men have strong, big houses because of many reasons.
Their houses were built having given the money up front before the actual building occurred.
The men's houses had forts, or dining halls, built in the house for them to eat their meals which gave them income.
The interest available at the time of building was lower than it is right now, so the cost of paying off the houses was lower.
Alumni from the women's clubs expressed that they could not come up with the money to build new houses for the women's clubs...
The Muskingum College Library graciously provided us with Black and Magenta articles about Kianu and MC Greek Life from the 1990s. To read these articles, click on the links below. Note: the B&M articles are in pdf format and require Adobe Acrobat.
What changes did you notice at MC during your time there
(rules, regulations, Greek life, etc.)?
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: Things were a little less “legal” than now. MC really didn’t get into what happened during the evening and weekend hours. That was good as an active but now that I am an alumnus (and all grown up) I am glad they are keeping a closer eye on the happenings.
Holly (True) Shaver '93: The parties really changed. When I was a freshman, there were open parties all the time at the fraternity houses. Then student life cracked down on underage drinking; we had to register kegs; have wristbands; then I think it switched to canned beer only. It was so confusing! Anyway, things changed a lot with the alcohol policy while I was there. Kianus and Deltas were still very strong clubs while I was there. There was also a crack down on hazing.
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: Well, Greek Life started to garner more attention from administration and faculty. Restrictions for pledging started to surface. It seemed like the administration was becoming more involved in Greek Life, but not necessarily in a positive or nurturing way. Things began to seem unnecessarily restrictive. The alcohol policy, which is ever-changing, was being enforced differently and more widely in 1995-1996. We were forced to post signs that read “No Alcohol for Anyone Under 21” at all parties. Around this time the “Locker Room” was open. It was a combo bar/dance club for several years that served alcohol. The late 90s was also the beginning of the building boom on campus. I remember the townhouses were being built and the parking lot between the Stag House and Ulster House was to be paved. It was only a gravel and mud pit when I was on campus.
Misty Smith '96: I think in general the rules and regulations reflected the events that were taking place on campus at the time. I think that all of the rules and regulations had the safety of the students in mind and that (while not always popular) they were necessary for everyone's safety and well-being. I think that that social consciousness of the Greek community as a whole on campus was strengthened when they began changing the housing and some of the rules and regulations on campus. It was very nice to see the various groups work together towards common goals.
Amy (Harris) Yamokoski '99: It seemed like Greek Life changed its philosophy every year, both administratively and by way of personnel. We kept getting new Directors of Greek Life (remember Rich D.?) and mixed messages from the college about our role on campus. If I recall correctly, Muskingum itself was just starting to branch out and grow with more emphasis on master’s level courses for education and things like that.
Hayley Hook '99: Authority figures began to add more and more rules and regulations each year, as well as strictly enforcing them. All campus parties were more closely watched and regulated by staff. They made their presence known.
Which Kianu sister has had the biggest impact on you? Why?
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: Amy Schell Krupp
and I met day one and had great times on campus. Our friendship grew
through our experiences at MC and being Kianus, and roommates. After
college we saw each other as much a possible but it was hard when
we both were teaching. We met nice boys and got married 14 days apart.
Our children have become great friends and our husbands can both put
away a few brews talking sports. Over the 4th of July we celebrated
12 years of marriage and 14 years of being with our husbands. The
biggest accomplishment is it that we have been friends since 1988
making it 20 years this fall. Whenever we are together it makes me
Holly (True) Shaver '93: That is a difficult question. Amanda Cook was my big sis and one of the reasons I chose Kianu is that I heard that she wanted to be my big sis. She was, and still is, a really cool woman and friend. We just hit it off instantly.
Amy Guckian also comes to mind because we were co-pledge presidents. She was a hoot and I enjoyed our time together.
There are other sisters I really admired for one reason or another: Missy Lainhart and Marjie Burlingame from the class of 1991 in particular.
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: Jen Schultice Bronner ‘97- She is an amazing person and role model. She is the embodiment of true sisterhood and friendship. She taught me what it was like to be loved unconditionally. She has also been true to her friends and to Kianu but has always made it a point to be friends with anyone and everyone by finding the good in them. She is the glue that holds our group of friends together. She is an inspiration.
Misty Smith '96: It is impossible for me to pick one. Different sisters brought out the best in me in different ways: My big sis, Katina, taught me to not take myself too seriously... and that to be happy you have to be happy with yourself first, Chris Crkvenac inspired me to always give 110% to anything I did... she was one of the smartest and most talented students I have met to this day, Beatty Rogers was one of the absolute kindest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing, My first little sis (and to this day one of my dearest friends) Ellie Johns, has always strengthened my faith (including my faith in God, my faith in myself, and my faith in others) through some of the best and the worst times of my life. There are many others I should mention, but I can't in the space and time we have here. Suffice to say that I am a much better person today from all the wonderful things I have learned from my sisters in XAN. I hope that I have given as much as I have gained from these friendships.
Amy (Harris) Yamokoski '99: I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one person. I am grateful for the influences of many girls, some of whom I remain the best of friends with and others with whom I never speak today.
Hayley Hook '99: It was actually a group of Kianus... Erin Craven, Kristie Bonnot, Shannon Sowers, Nicole Wilcox, Jen Strayer, Chelsey Fletcher, and to-be Kianu sophomore Angie Knisley. My first year (before pledging) my best friend Amber and I joined the first women's rugby club on campus. It just happened that the above mentioned ladies (already active Kianus) were also playing on the team. These girls took Amber and me in, like they had known us for years. This was my first impression of Kianu and I have some of the best memories with these girls, this is something I will always cherish and never forget.
What made you want to pledge Kianu?
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: Carrie (Creager) Stephens ‘89 and the seniors that lived in the house were soooooo cool. I felt welcomed when Kim (King) Jeren ‘90 brought some Mem girls to a “closed” party three days into our freshman year. We danced to some good 80’s music and had lovely refreshments. I felt honored.
Holly (True) Shaver '93: I was really torn between Kianu and Delta. My mom was a Kianu (Peggie Duncan True ‘61) but my sister was an independent and all of her roommates were Deltas. Even the night before pledge day I was torn. I guess I just followed my heart. I'm glad I did.
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: Because I was a sophomore I had the chance to get to know girls from each sorority and I just seemed to click with the Kianus. Jen [Bronner] and I were pretty much inseparable and we decided that Kianu was the best club for us.
Misty Smith '96: I had a great deal of respect for the club's goals, the members, and I believed in what XAN stood for. If I was going to be a part of any social group, I wanted to be a part of a group with the highest of ideals. It challenged me to be the best I could be.
Amy (Harris) Yamokoski '99: It was that “feeling” I got when I would be around Kianus versus any other sorority group members. They had a positive energy about them. I saw the Kianus as the intelligent, pretty girls who knew how to treat people the way they would want to be treated…but still could throw one hell of a party, too!
When did you decide you wanted to become a Kianu?
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: I knew where I wanted to be after round one of the rush parties in Jan 1989.
Holly (True) Shaver '93: Pretty much the night before pledge day.
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: Early in my sophomore year.
Misty Smith '96: After my first semester at Muskingum.
Amy (Harris) Yamokoski '99: Almost immediately. I rushed knowing that I wanted to be a Kianu. I was asked back to all the clubs’ final rush parties, but when it came time to decide at the TOC that day, I “suicided” Kianu. If I couldn’t get in there, I would not be in a sorority or I would try again the next year.
Hayley Hook '99: The moment I decided to pledge.
What activities and parties did the club have while you were
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: I was favor chairwomen 1990-91 and I ordered beach towels with XAN and initials of each sister/date got spring formal. I still have mine and bought one for my husband at a “fire” sale the club had at a Homecoming. We went to Atwood Lake in Cleveland.
Holly (True) Shaver '93: Disco party, formals, community service, student and faculty tea; etc.
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: Wow, this is a hard question. I was the Social Chair my junior year, so you’d think I could remember. I know we had a winter and spring/pledge formal. We had a Heaven and Hell Party in 1996, Hawaiian Party, Barn Bash, Toga Party, Margaritaville, Halloween and then several parties with various fraternities.
Misty Smith '96: The most memorable parties for me were the Disco parties and cave parties at the Kappa Sigma House. We also had Beach Parties at the Phi Tau house and any time more than 3 people assembled at the Ulster house it turned into a party. We tried to get the most out of every activity: that was the great thing about XAN activities. Even house clean up days were a blast because you had a reason to just get together and do some good.
Amy (Harris) Yamokoski '99: We the Toga party, a
really funny “opposite gender” party with the Sigs one
year, Heaven & Hell, open parties for the whole campus…so
many others. We had our formals, of course, which were always fun.
One year, we had a party with all of the other women’s clubs
on campus at a place off campus. That was a riot! I was actually one
of the Social Chairs my junior year, so I got to help plan the parties
that year. We also had Faculty Tea, where we invited faculty &
staff to the XAN house for refreshments. Then we had our Rush parties
with funny skits and all of the pledging activities.
Hayley Hook '99: We had our faculty Tea Party each year, The Barn Bash with Ulsters, Pig Roast with the Phi Taus, and the Tie Die Party with the Sigs. The Ulster Ox Roast was one of the biggest bashes of the year, plenty of food, beer, and live music. That was good times.
How many girls were in your pledge class? Which pledge sister
was the most memorable?
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: We had 31 in Spring of 1989. The Erler sisters were a lot of fun. The twins had beautiful red hair and a cool older brother that was a Sig.
Holly (True) Shaver '93: 31- we had a huge pledge class. We had a lot of memorable sisters. Amy Guckian and Brooke Richardson stand out.
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: 29 pledges- Ellie Johns
Ellie and I were pledge presidents together. I enjoyed getting to know her and learning with her. She was a positive role model with a strong sense of self.
Misty Smith '96: I want to say 19, but I am honestly not sure. Again, I drew a lot of inspiration for both Chris Crkvenac and Heidi Auman... two women I have a great deal of respect for to this day.
Amy (Harris) Yamokoski '99: I believe we started off on Pledge Day with 21. That number changed within days to 19. We had a crazy mix of people from all places on campus and from all years in school. The most memorable pledge sister for me was probably Becky!
Hayley Hook '99: That has been soooo long ago, but for some reason I think we started with 21 and ended up with 19? Not sure? Most memorable pledge sister would be a toss up between Neely Reed and Amy Harris. Amy because she was so strong, bold, and determined (I thought she was going to kick my butt).
What was the relationship between Kianu or Greek life as
a whole and MC's administration?
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: The professors really didn’t say much to me. I worked hard during the week and played hard on the weekend. My studies didn’t suffer during pledging.
Holly (True) Shaver '93: We had a good relationship although we had a misunderstanding about being allowed to access the school phone system. It seemed like the administration treated us as "on campus" and "off campus" when it suited them. But we probably did the same thing.
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: I believe Kianu had a good relationship all around. Of course, depending on who was president of the club things might have been more or less turbulent. I know that my senior year things ran very smoothly under Katie Bell’s leadership. I believe Kianu was well regarded in the Greek Community, and with Greek Life.
Misty Smith '96: The administration responded to situations sort of like a parent would… They would monitor the Greeks from a distance at first, but if they felt the need to intervene they had little patience for foolishness. Again, I believe they had everyone's best interests and safety in mind.
Amy (Harris) Yamokoski '99: I think it has been the same kind of relationship through time, based on the Kianu reputation…our reputation of being intelligent, classy, community-minded, involved young women preceded us then as it does now for the next generation of Kianus. This means that, for good or bad, the college (Greek Life and as a whole) holds our members to a higher standard because they know that that is what Kianus are capable of.
Hayley Hook '99: Kianu had one of the best relationships with faculty, staff, and the Heater-Bass cronies. I feel it had a lot to do with our club... the females who were in charge, our alumnae, and our overall reputation that we have carried so well over the years.
How has being a Kianu alum affected your life after college?
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: I have been secretary and now VP. I am still active and have gotten to know the new Kianus along the way. It is fun to observe them and find the personalities of fellow club mates.
Holly (True) Shaver '93: I have a circle of Kianu
friends in Columbus and we still get together about once or twice
a year for dinner. We still look at old photo albums. I have a vision
that we may be like the "Golden Girls" once we all retire
and our husband die. I haven't shared that thought with anyone until
now, but it would be really easy for me to move to Florida with them
and pretend we still lived in the Kianu house!
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: It’s kept me involved with campus and in tune with what is going on with the actives. It’s also kept me in touch with people that I might have otherwise not ever seen or spoken to again. It’s also given me the opportunity to be a leader and visionary for a Club that means so much to me.
Misty Smith '96: I still believe in doing my best in all that I do. I have very good friends that thanks to Kianu I consider sisters. These friends have stood by me in some really tough times and I am very, very thankful for them.
Amy (Harris) Yamokoski '99: It has kept me connected to Muskingum in a way that I probably wouldn’t be otherwise…coming back for Homecoming, keeping up with what’s happening on campus, etc. More importantly, Kianu has provided me with several true friendships that I cherish so very much. These are the people who were at my wedding, who I have introduced my children to, the ones I call for advice, travel to visit, and want to remain close with until the bitter end!
Hayley Hook '99: It really helped me develop into the person I am today.
Kianu showed me that I had more to give than I ever thought I could and that you can accomplish so much, if you simply put your mind to it.
When you come back to visit the Kianu club in 20 years, what
do you hope to find?
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: I hope the house is still standing!
Holly (True) Shaver '93: I hope to find a thriving club of young women who care about each other and the community. I hope that the house is still in good repair. I hope that the Kianus are still the best club on campus.
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: I hope to find a solid group of actives who are still leaders on campus and in the community as well as a strong Alumna Organization. I also hope to find a well-kept house in the same location.
Misty Smith '96: Everyone happy, healthy, and doing well.
Amy (Harris) Yamokoski '99: I hope that MC isn’t all virtual learning and that there is still a campus environment! I hope that the Kianu house still remains an off-campus fixture. I hope that the Kianus of the future are the same kinds of classy, fun-loving, independent, strong-willed women that I know existed before I came to the college in the mid-90s, had the pleasure of attending college with during my 4 years on campus, and have since been introduced to post-college as an alum.
Hayley Hook '99:
#1 - That the house is still there and it is still being occupied by Kianus.
#2 - That everyone is still as friendly as they were when I graduated - The Muskie Hello.
Are there any other stories you'd like to share?
Rebecca (O'Keefe) Shorter '92: During pledging Betsy (Coyle) Borling ‘89 sent Amy Schell, Sarah Mitchell, and me to sing to her boyfriend. She let us use her car because it was cold. She gave me the keys since she said I was the most responsible out of the three. I got us over there and back. When I grabbed the keys they wouldn’t come out of the ignition. It turns out I drove back with a Kianu house key in the ignition… boy did I hear about that for months.
Kelli (Coleman) DelGuzzo '96: I have so many fond memories from college; the majority of my closest friends I met while at Muskingum or through Kianu. When I reflect on my time at Muskingum I always smile. I have no regrets because I learned from all of my experiences. I just hope that the current actives will carry on the strong Kianu tradition and will become involved as Alumna.
Hayley Hook '99: Only that my elementary school teacher happened to be a Kianu and she kept a wood XAN craving as a paperweight on her desk. I remember all of us asking her what it was and what XAN meant. All she would tell us was that it signified all of her friendships she had made while at college. What a small world.
We would like to offer a big thank you to the Muskingum College Library and Andrew Whitis copying many Black and Magenta articles from the 1990s and sending them to use for this project.
Thanks too to all the participants! Check back next summer for the interview with Kianus from the 2000s.
To see other honorees, click on month: