There are new Greek letters for Belmont students to learn–Makka Sakka Pi, a fake sorority that bakes pies, gives them away to men and builds community among its members.
“Everyone needs some love; everyone needs some pie,” said co-founder Sarai Gal-Chis.
For co-founders and juniors Gal-Chis and Marci Greene, the idea for Makka Sakka Pi originated when their roommates joined sororities. Initially, Makka Sakka Pi was a simple joke between friends, Greene said.
A friend suggested that the co-founders use “Mu” for Greene’s first name Marci and “Sigma” for Gal-Chis’s first name Sarai. But, the co-founders chose to keep the Greek letters for “M” and “S” but change the name to “Makka” and “Sakka.” Pi, naturally, was for the pie, Greene said.
“We thought it was hysterical. It looked like you spelled out ‘men’,” Greene said in reference to the Greek symbols for “M,” “S” and “P.”
“And our mission was winning the hearts of men by making pies,” she said.
Now, the joke has evolved into a group with approximately 50 members outfitted with T-shirts with their corresponding Greek letters and unique sorority hand symbols. Makka Sakka Pi hosts social events such as semi-formal, Galentine’s Day, sponsoring the Orchardist’s album release party and pie-making nights, Greene said.
“It’s different from any kind of gathering I’ve ever been to before,” sophomore Makka Sakka Pi member Frances Praet said. “There’s an air of seriousness, like we really need to make these pies delicious for these people, but it’s also playful. It’s very joyful.”
On an average pie-making night, about 15 to 20 women will meet and choose a man deemed deserving of a pie. Then, the girls deliver the pies along with a certificate. Makka Sakka Pi posts photos of the pie recipients on its Facebook wall and also on a physical wall called the “Hall of Fame” in the co-founders’ apartment, Gal-Chis said.
“Boys only receive pies from mothers or grandmothers or their significant others. But this is 20 girls spending multiple hours plus for them because we think they’re great,” Greene said.
Recipients of the pies have included an RA, members of the Belmont band Orchardist and a random man doing his grocery shopping at a local Wal-Mart, she said.
“The authenticity in their reactions of sincere gratitude and, honestly, disbelief is remarkable,” Greene said. “And I think that’s what increases our retention, because you don’t receive that just going to classes and in monotonous routine. You can receive beautiful satisfaction and fulfillment.”
For Makka Sakka Pi’s semi-formal, each member baked a miniature pie to give to a stranger in downtown Nashville and then swapped stories about their recipients over dinner, Gal-Chis said.
“I gave my pie to a street performer named Ken who plays trumpet and sings. He got me to sing with him,” she said. “He was so touched.”
Makka Sakka Pi not only offers a social time for women to build relationships and community, but the group offers an outlet for love and service, Greene said.
“My main goal is instilling this sense of boldness within the girls to do crazy acts of kindness,” she said. “I love making people feel uncomfortable for a good cause.”
Praet gave her first pie away after the Galentine’s Day event to YouTube channel founders of We Are Pancake and it impacted her personally, she said.
“We all love to give, but I don’t think we do it in such a way that we get to be vulnerable to strangers,” she said. “We are affecting members of the community with it in such a small, subtle way.”
Although Makka Sakka Pi is a fake sorority, the members are not critical of sororities, Greene said.
“We’re not trying to mock sororities, we’re just choosing what parts we love,” she said. “Girls love female community. Girls love dressing up. It’s just picking those things that they might feel excluded from and that they might not get to experience in college otherwise and offering that in a fun, less official way.”
For Makka Sakka Pi members who also belong to an official sorority, the pie making and friendships only add to each member’s experience, Praet said.
“We want to include everybody because of the experience not because of the title,” she said. “I don’t think we’re trying to take away from their idea of sisterhood in their sorority. It’s not exclusive to people who aren’t in sororities.”
Greene echoed that message of inclusivity to prospective members.
“Maybe you’re not an expert pie baker but you’re looking to be loved on and love others, and we offer that,” Greene said.
Makka Sakka Pi continues to grow and hopes to see expansion across the country on other campuses in the future, Praet said.