I’m Leilani, President of the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority at MIT. I am a junior majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and I have been in DPhiE since the beginning of my freshman year.

I’ll be honest: I never thought I’d join a sorority when I arrived to MIT as a freshman. I didn’t really know what sororities actually did and my only impression had been from movies and pop culture. On a whim, I decided to attend formal recruitment to see what it was like, and I went through the first few days feeling like all the sororities blurred together. On the last day when I had to decide which sorority to choose, I found myself having a hard time making a decision. That is, until I was prompted with an unusual question: where would I feel most comfortable puking? It seemed to be an odd question at first but it ended up giving me substantial clarity. I realized that DPhiE was the place where I felt like I could be myself absolutely – the place where I could literally throw up in front of everyone right in the middle of recruitment and I would still be accepted and loved.

Delta Phi Epsilon’s motto is esse quam videri or to be rather than to seem to be. I have found this phrase to shine through in all my interactions with my sisters in DPhiE. They’re not just words on a crest; these words are represented in all the times when I’ve felt like the world outside was beating me down and my sisters were there to take me as I was and help me get back on my feet.

My DPhiE sisters and I go glamping, watch movies at the house, hunt for pastries in Boston, drive to Sonic at midnight, travel together during spring break, pset with each other, and so much more. However, what I’ve treasured the most since joining is the total embodiment of our values of Justice, Sisterhood, and Love within every member and the way we all help each other to be the best versions of ourselves.

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be apart of the DPhiE community here at MIT. I know the bonds I’ve made with my sisters will always be an important part of my life, and if I ever need to puke, I know they’ll be there.


Leilani Trautman

Zeta Delta Chapter President