Sorority celebrates lost sister

The sisters of Phi Sigma Sigma made one thing certain at Cristina El Shahawi’s memorial Wednesday: they would not focus on her death, but her life.

Phi Sigma Sigma sisters remember the times the had with Christina El Shawahi at her memorial service.

Phi Sigma Sigma sisters remember the times they had with Christina El Shahawi at her memorial service.

“Christina always had a smile on her face,” said Kelsey Marino, President of Phi Sigma Sigma. “There should be more people in the world like her.”

El Shahawi, a recent Hofstra graduate and Phi Sigma Sigma sister, was killed in a car accident on Feb. 6.  But that was far from the focus. Close to 150 students and faculty members gathered at the Cultural Center theater to remember El Shahawi. While many tears were shed, El Shahawi was ultimately remembered by her sisters, family and friends as “a happy-go-lucky” girl.

El Shahawi’s sorority sisters shared the experiences they had with her at Hofstra.

“Christina could completely turn your life around,” said Caitlin Sawyer, one of El Shahawi’s little sisters. “She encouraged people to do things that they normally wouldn’t do.”

The night ended with the members of Phi Sigma Sigma signing a song in remembrance of El Shahawi and a video slideshow that fully showcased El Shahawi’s famous smile.

Mario Bolanos, Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Activities, echoed the sentiment that El Shahawi should be remembered for what she did with her life to affect others.

“[Students] should remember and reflect on all of the great times she shared with them,” said Bolanos.  “It’s a tragedy that this happened to Phi Sigma Sigma and the Greek community, but it’s great that the Greeks have really come together and shown their support during this time.”

Marino was also very thankful to the Hofstra community for showing its support in this delicate time.

“Thank you so much for everything,” said Marino. “[The community] has been such a big support for us, we couldn’t have gotten through this without them.”

Originally Published: (March 7th, 2013)


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