Cypress College Mortuary Science Club: Sigma Phi Sigma
This month we are proud to highlight one of our newest OCFDA members and Cypress College Mortuary Science Club: Sigma Phi Sigma. We interviewed club president Jasmine Berrios to learn more about this exciting new organization.
What inspired your cohort to start a mortuary club?
What inspired us was the change we wanted to see, we wanted more of our classmates to stay in the program.
Who are your officers?
The officers are in this order: Jasmine Berrios (President), Amanda Yekel (Secretary), Samantha Jelletich (Treasurer), Genesis Niño Hernandez (Inter Club Council Representative), Savannah Turhan (Mentor Coordinator, and Public Relations officer)
How many members do you have?
We currently have 45 members.
What is the goal/mission of your club?
The goals of our club can be broken down in four main points;
1. To promote the mortuary science program and the educational benefits
2. Educate the public on the many opportunities the industry has to offer
3. Raise money to pay for our student's graduation regalia, professional development, as well as hopefully raising enough to subsidize the cost of the national board exams for our members
4. Help create comradery between our classmates in hopes to decrease the percentage of students that drop out of the program.
What are the benefits do students experience by joining Sigma Phi Sigma?
One of the benefits to joining the club is the exposure to funeral industry events. Students have the opportunity to create professional relationships with many people in the industry, as well as having a mentor. We have incorporated a mentor/mentee program to help one another stay focused. We will also be inviting guest speakers at our meetings to give lessons on specific religious funeral rituals, in depth pre-need, etc. Another main benefit will be having the national boards subsidized in cost, as they are very expensive, and a requirement of the mortuary science program.
How does your organization impact the Cypress College Student body?
Our organization impacts the Cypress College student body by spreading awareness of our program across campus and helps to give other students a realistic view of the mortuary science program experience. Professor Grande stated that over 100 students claim mortuary science as their major but are not in the program.
What other organizations is your group involved with?
We are involved with OCFDA, LACFDA, CFDA (Soon!), As well as mortuaries in the Los Angeles/Ventura County.
Does your organization do any community outreach?
Our organization started an Instagram page in hopes to educate the public and let the community know who we are and what we do. We also attend events hosted by LACFDA and OCFDA to gain professional relationships and to better our club's outreach. Eventually we would like to volunteer with hospice and surrounding highschools and colleges to give presentations on the options of job careers in the death care industry.
What are your organizations future goals?
Our future goals are to be able to subsidize all active sigma members national board exams, to further promote the Cypress College mortuary science program and spread knowledge of what it means to be in the death care industry. We are currently working on planning future community outreach events.
How does your organization induct new members?
We started a mentor program for incoming students and paired them with students further in the program. We do not currently have a special method of inducting new members other than helping them to feel welcome and like they have someone to lean on. This year we attended the new student orientations and gave a short talk on who we are and what we do.
Are you working towards becoming an official fraternity?
Yes! We have turned in bylaws and a constitution last year to gain an official charter letter to the co-ed fraternity Sigma Phi Sigma. Currently we are a mortuary science club on campus named Sigma Phi Sigma. We are waiting on our official charter letter!! After we receive that charter letter I believe we'll be able to accept alumni into the fraternity as well.
Is Sigma Phi Sigma on social media? If so, where can we follow?
Absolutely! We're on Instagram @cypresssigmaphisigma and we'll be promoting future events and educational posts regarding the field in general.
Thank you Sigma Phi Sigma for joining the OCFDA and sharing with us about your great organization!
Fairhaven Memorial Park and Mortuary
We are proud to highlight our long-time OCFDA member Fairhaven Memorial Park and Mortuary. Founded in 1911 by Oliver Halsell, Fairhaven Memorial Park has been serving its community for over a century.
Many families come to enjoy the park daily whether it is to visit a loved one, take a stroll through the grounds, or attend one of their cornerstone events Fairhaven organizes each year.
Some of the key events include the Easter Sunrise Service, Memorial Day, Dia de los Muertos, and the "Always in Our Hearts" service of remembrance.
Fairhaven wants everyone to feel welcomed and confident that their staff is just a call away when they are needed most or when the neighborhood wants to gather and enjoy a fun event.
The community is encouraged to attend free movie screenings, car shows, and concerts throughout the summer months.
Additionally, their funeral directors and staff focus on the needs of their families long after disposition. Fairhaven along with Harbor Lawn-Mt Olive,
Pacific View, Westminster Memorial and Dimond & Shannon sponsor LIFT O.C. a social support program exclusively for seniors. They organize outings to museums, botanical gardens and paint nights to name a few.
At LIFT events, Orange County seniors can socialize with others who share similar experiences. Fairhaven's monthly Support Group and Pet Loss Support Group are also available to anyone who wants to participate.
Last, but certainly not least, Fairhaven is a faithful supporter of the Cypress College Mortuary Science program. Each semester Fairhaven selects and hosts future funeral service practitioners
so they can complete their funeral directing practicums required for graduation.
Thank you Fairhaven for being an outstanding OCFDA member and for serving our community!