By Maree Magliocchetti, Traveling Chapter Consultant
(Alpha Tau, University of New Hampshire)
I love fall for a variety of reasons, the brisk weather, the foliage, the pumpkin spiced everything, and the opportunity to celebrate both Founders’ Day and the anniversary of what I define as the best decision I ever made, to accept a bid to Alpha Chi Omega. Luckily I can keep celebrating into December, as that is the anniversary of the second best decision I have every made, to apply to be a chapter consultant. I could write a novel filled with all of the reasons why I have the greatest job in the world, but for the sake of time I have created the top ten reasons to be a chapter consultant!
10. Networking: With more than 200,000 members in Alpha Chi Omega, networking is something sisters in our organization are able to benefit from. As a chapter consultant you are able to network with sisters all across the country and from a variety of different ages and disciplines. As a consultant, networking is not limited to the incredible women in our organization. I have a collection of business cards and LinkedIn connects from administrators at different academic institutions as well as from the people who I have had the pleasure of sitting next to on airplanes and in airports. This position has brought about opportunities for my professional future I could have never dreamed of.
9. Sightseeing: As an undergrad I did not participate in any travel abroad programs. I was always envious of my peers who were able to independently travel to foreign places and try different foods and cultures for the first time. In serving as a chapter consultant I have been able to truly sightsee all over one of the most beautiful countries in the world, America. From the mystic evergreens of Oregon and the palm trees of California, to the skyscrapers of Philadelphia and New York, I have taken advantage of the food, cultures and sites that did not define my collegiate experience and I got paid to do it.
8. Travel skills: Before I took the position of chapter consultant, I traveled maybe once or twice a year. A year and half later I have racked up quite a few frequent flyer miles. I cannot help but brag to my friends and family about my “travel expertise.” I almost cried tears of joy when my sister asked if I was like George Clooney in “Up in the Air” when his travel skills lead him to know which line to wait in to get in and out of airport security as efficiently as possible. While I am not sure I would go as far as being compared to George himself, I am proud to say at my age that I am more than comfortable finding my way around an airport, train station, bus station, etc. In fact, I am even proficient at renting a car, something I assumed was only reserved for the population of adults twenty-five or above. At the pace I travel, I would say my skills are in line with professionals who have traveled for quite some time, which allows me to stand out amongst my peers in the professional sector.
7. Travel benefits: In addition to meeting new people, sightseeing, travel savvy, and exposure to different regions of America, as a chapter consultant you even get to reap travel benefits such as earning frequent flyer miles. The fun doesn’t just stop there, hotel points, status on travel booking sites (I am officially a Expedia gold card member, cough cough), rental car upgrades, etc. I have even been upgraded to first class and let me tell you, the legroom is totally worth it. So, yes, I actually feel like George Clooney more often than I let on.
6. Save, save, save: I graduated in 2013 with student loans galore like many other college graduates. I could not be more grateful that being a chapter consultant has enabled me to save money. I am able to save and pay back loans with my salary thanks to not having to dispose the money I make on my room and board. Thus, shopping seems to be the only expense that tempts my bank account, but what is wrong with that right?
5. To give back: Alpha Chi Omega granted me a lifetime of skills and opportunities to which I am forever thankful. As a chapter consultant I am able to wake up every day and give back to the organization that gave me so much. I cannot help but marvel in the idea that I am able to help enrich the lives of collegiate women through an organization I adore. Thus work never really feels like work as a chapter consultant.
4. Hard skills: As a chapter consultant you acquire skills that are applicable to any discipline or profession. Some of these resumé building ”hard skills” include public speaking, corporate reporting, small and large group facilitation, marketing, event planning, project and budget management and much more.
3. Soft skills: In addition to the variety of “hard skills,” chapter consultants are trained on and acquire soft skills as well. Some of these include conflict resolution, relation-ship building, cross-generational communication, interpersonal communication techniques, creative and analytical problem solving and you guessed it—much more.
2. Independence: I, like many other women, have always fantasized of living the i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t life that Beyoncé has promised us. As a chapter consultant you have the freedom to create your own schedule, one that works with you. I feel empowered every day knowing that I create my own schedule, book my own travel accommodations, and am my own roommate. So, yes, in addition to feeling like George Clooney, I also feel like Beyoncé on a regular basis. What more could you ask for?
1.The opportunity to inspire and be inspired: As you can see there are many reasons that I could not be happier to serve as chapter consultant. That said, the opportunity to inspire and be inspired by sisters from across the country stands above the rest and is why I have the greatest job in the world. Alpha Chi Omega women are incredible. As members, we are devoted to embodying the well-rounded Renaissance woman mantra that our founders imagined. We are kind-hearted, creative, caring, poised, role-models leaders, philanthropists and much more, doing amazing things for each other and the world. To say that I am inspired by fellow consultants, headquarters staff, alumnae and collegians on a regular basis is an understatement. I could not be more humbled to know that as a chapter consultant I can help to enrich the experience of Alpha Chi Omega women nationwide.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so what are you waiting for? Apply today!
By Alexa Gates & Lindsay Lausten
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Though it is not a Fraternity-sanctioned holiday, bid day is often greeted by undergraduate Alpha Chi Omegas with incredible enthusiasm and excitement. And why not? Seeing the culmination of hours of preparation and planning – designing bid-day shirts, stuffing bid-day bags, crafting name tags, sealing bid-card envelopes and taking all those extra steps making sure each and every new member is welcomed with open arms – is a reason to celebrate!
Part of what makes the bid-day celebration so meaningful is how hard chapter members work to get there. Recruitment is tough; it requires long days and longer nights (and lots of late-night Jimmy John’s orders!), lots of togetherness and plenty of moments of exhaustion. In the end, the result of all the hard work is welcoming the chapter’s newest members on bid day.
Lots of things about bid day have changed since 1885, but one thing always stays the same: it is the first day of many great days to come for Alpha Chi Omega’s newest members. Bid day marks their first day of sisterhood, and it is a great way to mark the progress of the Fraternity. From one chapter to almost 140, Alpha Chi Omega continues to grow in strength and unity. That message is especially clear on a chapter’s bid day, and maybe even clearer at a new colony.
At a new colony, it is especially gratifying to look out over the crowd to see a whole chapter’s worth of fresh faces who know they are a part of something special and unique. To go from a colony to a chapter, full of members, in one day is an unexplainable feeling. The new members are filled with excitement and have no idea what the next few years have in store for them, nor how being founding members of a new chapter will profoundly impact their lives.
That excitement will soon turn into passion unique to the real, strong women who are part of our organization. That passion will come from sisterhood events, chapter meetings, mixers and date parties, late-night chats and learning Ritual.
After all is said and done, the best part about bid day isn’t the T-shirts or the decorations. It’s you. It’s our collegiate members and our alumnae who have come before and who have made it possible for these new members to better themselves and become Alpha Chi Omegas.
This is my second year on the road as a consultant and most people ask, “how do you like it?” I love what I do. Now, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but those not-so-great days are far outweighed by the incredible experiences I get to have everyday with sisters of mine! So I thought I would create a “nectar list”- inspired by a blog that a friend recommended to me. It’s different from the usual bucket list because it reflects on all of the amazing things that life has given someone. I decided to provide my own “consultant nectar list” to highlight some of my favorite memories from my time as a consultant.
- I’ve laughed so hard that I’ve cried about the most bizarre topics. And sometimes I’ve laughed that hard because it was recruitment and those late nights and early mornings make everything hilarious.
- I’ve bought a magnet from every campus I’ve visited, just so I can show them all off on a fridge of mine someday.
- I’ve been there to welcome new members on bid day for chapters so excited to make quota after they had worked so hard to do so.
- And I’ve done the wobble at bid days too. Many, many bid days feature this song. I don’t understand the trend, but have surely embraced it.
- I’ve been embraced for my North Dakota roots, though many members have thought that the state itself is a conspiracy theory.
- I’ve pushed executive board members to aspire to their potential and lead with great confidence, poise and grace.
- I’ve traveled to states I never thought I would visit.
- I’ve enjoyed the local cuisines with sisters dying to have me try their favorite things on the menu.
- I’ve enjoyed sisterhood events with chapters like ice-skating, spa nights, craft nights and movie nights.
- I’ve gotten my nails done with a chapter president so that we could talk about the chapter, but more importantly life in general.
- I’ve had members I least expected thank me for my work with the chapter and for serving Alpha Chi Omega.
- I’ve met chapter members who have started their own non-profits for incredible causes.
- I’ve been amazed by the members I’ve met who will be future politicians, CEOs, astronauts, lawyers, doctors and teachers and these women will change the world.
- I was stranded with chapter members in the middle of nowhere with a broken down car. Later it became the funniest story.
- I’ve felt like another roommate in chapter houses, which feels so great to have a home, even if it’s a new one every week.
- I’ve been there to boost members’ confidence, to let them know how great they are and how much their hard work paid off.
- I’ve met many women who I knew would have been best friends of mine if my college experience had led me to universities I’ve worked with.
- In fact, I’ve been asked if I could be friends in real life with members and advisors that I had wanted to be besties with too.
- I’ve had the opportunity to work for my favorite organization in the world. A job that is my dream job.
- I’ve gotten to work with countless women as collegians, advisors, headquarters staff and my dearest consultants. These women inspire me everyday and make being a chapter consultant so incredibly worth it.
Faith, hope and love are three values Alpha Chi Omega has instilled within me. To a person unfamiliar with this special bond it might just be three words, but to a sister, it means much more.
When I watched the women of the Beta Lambda chapter at the University of Arizona come together during their first formal recruitment, I realized these values live within each member of the Alpha Chi Omega sisterhood.
Faith is vital in a new chapter. Women have to have faith in the recruitment process and in their sisters. I was able to experience firsthand how continuous faith in this amazing sisterhood undoubtedly makes a positive impact. Working with a new chapter going through their first year of formal recruitment, their expectations of recruitment were unlimited and they had no preconceived notions of the process. Their faith in Alpha Chi Omega and their sisterhood grew deeper. As a new chapter, they understood the big picture of recruitment, but when it came to learning the smaller details, their faith in each other brought success.
At times, during the countless hours of recruitment preparation and rounds, hope can begin to dwindle as exhaustion and overwhelming emotions develop. At other times, hope surges as members build relationships with potential new members, who might one day become their sisters. Seeing hope in a member’s eyes as she expresses her love for a potential new member who, “has to be my sister” or “has to be my little,” because the connection between the two of them was incredible. For any member, this is a memorable experience, but for a new chapter experiencing this magical and intense hope for the first time is unforgettable.
While working with a new chapter, I was given the opportunity to experience unconditional love. Unconditional love is “caring about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves.” The women of Beta Lambda demonstrated unconditional love for each other. They were constantly motivating, cheering and supporting each other when the process began to get tough. The chapter bonded together through the roller coaster ride of recruitment by always remembering their end goal. The chapter allowed each individual member to shape their own first recruitment experience. They did this by supporting and growing as individuals and sisters within our amazing, one of a kind sisterhood.
Through this rare experience my own faith, hope and love for Alpha Chi Omega has strengthened. I have learned how a new chapter’s faith intensifies throughout the recruitment experience. I saw the unforgettable hope in a member’s eyes as she met her first “rush crush.” I experienced how powerful an impact unconditional love has on a sisterhood and an end goal.
This has been a life-changing experience and I’m proud of the chapter I had the opportunity to work with. They successfully recruited 108 new members to welcome to this incredible sisterhood. The roller coaster ride of recruitment might have ended, but the ride of a lifelong sisterhood has just begun.
“To see beauty even in the common things of life.” As I reflect on my experiences from my first three weeks of traveling as a chapter consultant, the opening line of our Symphony is the first thing that comes to mind. When I took this position, I knew it would be an experience of a lifetime. I knew that I would come across chapters with different personalities and traditions. I knew that I would be exposed to several parts of the country that had once been unknown. I did not realize, however, how quickly my life would be changed by these experiences.
I am not sure when it finally hit me. Maybe, it was hearing the same preference song sung at each chapter, though with a slightly different twist. Maybe, it was seeing the same skit performed by different chapters, though performed with different jokes and a different interpretation. Or maybe, it was seeing the overwhelming support and investment of alumnae at each chapter, though given in various ways. Although it has been a subtle realization, I do know that I have truly seen first-hand the power of our sisterhood and how sisterhood in Alpha Chi Omega truly connects us all around the nation. In this short amount of time, I have learned that it is truly the little things that we continue to cherish and hold on to and pass down from one generation to the next.
So often, it is easy to focus on the big picture and forget to savor and appreciate the smaller details; the common things of life, if you will. I see beauty in the power of alumnae support and how impactful that can be for a chapter. I see beauty in the consistency of singing a preference song and how moving it can be when members from a chapter can sing the same song, regardless of their initiation year. Most importantly, though, I see beauty in both the commonalities and subtle differences of our sisterhood in chapters all around the nation. It is not our alma mater, our big sister, or our stitch letter t-shirt that defines our Alpha Chi Omega experience. It is those less identifiable, more important moments, which truly brings us all together.
One chapter member said it best by stating, “We may all be different as individuals, but when we come together, we form one sisterhood that is like no other.” My first three weeks of a traveling chapter consultant have taught me many things, but it has definitely taught me to stop and appreciate every little thing along the way.
By Shannon Higgins, Alpha Nu chapter, University of Missouri
I distinctly remember the first time I met a chapter consultant. As a newly initiated member, I didn’t quite understand who she was or why she was visiting, but I looked up to her. I wanted to be her. Throughout my time as a collegiate Alpha Chi Omega, I met more women like her. Each one encouraged and inspired me to apply to become a consultant, and I started realizing that I really could be one of them. And now here I am.
Although my journey as a chapter consultant is just starting, I’m awed and humbled by the experiences I’m about to have. I’ll travel to the University of Connecticut and help start a brand new Alpha Chi Omega chapter there. I’ll visit chapters for recruitment and share in their joy as they welcome their new members home on Bid Day. I’ll work with the women who are leaders and the women who will become leaders.
Family, friends, and the people sitting next to me on the airplane may not understand what I do, but I’m excited to explain it to them. I’m excited to travel across the country working for an organization that I am passionate about. Most of all, I’m excited to meet and continue to be inspired by the real, strong women that make Alpha Chi Omega so amazing. I feel like I’m living the dream.
by Maree Magliocchetti
(Alpha Tau, University of New Hampshire)
The month of May in an even numbered year can only mean one thing… Alpha Chi Omega’s national convention is just around the corner! Yes, in just a couple short months, July 11-14, Alpha Chi Omega women from across the country will gather in Palm Desert, California, to celebrate our heritage and future.
I, for one, am incredibly excited to attend this “Symphony in the Desert.” This will be my second time at a convention. As chapter president of the Alpha Tau Chapter at the University of New Hampshire, I was lucky enough to serve as a delegate in St. Louis at the 2012 National Convention. I can remember feeling excited, anxious and nervous as I boarded the plane for a trip for the furthest west I had ever been. I had no idea what to expect, the only conventions I knew of were hosted by political parties, and I knew that we were definitely not electing the next candidate for United States President (although, that would have been awesome). What I found would change my Alpha Chi Omega experience forever.
During the 2012 National Convention, Diane Blackwelder, Alpha Chi Omega’s National President, said, “It is my wish that every member of Alpha Chi Omega might attend at least one national convention during her lifetime.” I could not agree more. So, what is all the hype about, and what should you expect to experience during the 2014 National Convention?
Ritual like you have never experienced it. Imagine the excitement of the first chapter meeting of the school year, then multiply it by a thousand, and you get Ritual convention style. I witnessed Alpha Chi Omega women from across the nation circle up to embark in the largest performance of our Ritual I had ever seen. Everything you love about our Ritual is exaggerated when at convention. You are linked hand-in-hand with sisters of all ages from all parts of our country. Not to mention, I was able to witness 50- and 75-year pinning ceremonies! I know that myself and many of my sisters would love to receive a 75-year pin from the Alpha Chi Omega National President someday!
A time to learn. The keynote speakers featured at convention are inspirational, entertaining and empowering. In St. Louis, I absolutely loved listening to incredible Alpha Chi Omega alumnae, such as Melissa d’Arabian, speak about her fascinating career and experience on Food Network Star. Luckily, she will be back again this year! In addition, I loved seeing the film Miss Representation. Not only was the film inspiring, but the discussion afterward was as well. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn from all the keynote speakers, as well as the breakout sessions. I still remember the session I saw regarding recruitment. It was lovely to discuss, brainstorm and engage in recruitment conversations with other collegiate representatives and headquarters staff. I could not wait to bring home to all of my Alpha Tau sisters the incredible knowledge I had learned.
A chance to give back. I’d say it is safe to say that Alpha Chi Omega women love to give back to the world in anyway possible. At the 2012 National Convention, I noticed many ways sisters could give back. One way was through the Star booth.
Quoting fellow chapter consultant Kristen Donnell, “I love that whether or not you are physically present [at convention], the Star Booth provides the opportunity to honor sisters that have made an impact in each of our lives, all the while contributing to the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation!”
Another way sisters were able to give back was through the Domestic Violence Awareness (DVA) walk. Sisters of all ages from different chapters and states around the country gathered the Sunday morning of convention weekend to walk for our national philanthropy. I cannot think of a better way to bond with sisters than through a philanthropic initiative such as the DVA walk.
Amazing meals. It is not just the delicious food that makes a meal at convention so amazing. Along with dessert served at every meal, I fondly remember engaging in conversation and laughter with collegiate and alumnae members alike! A favorite of many attendees is the reunion night, where collegiate and alumnae members from the same chapter of initiation gather for dinner.
Quoting fellow chapter consultant Alaina Cardwell, “I loved the reunion night dinner! My favorite part of convention was just spending time with alumnae from my chapter! Looking back on it now, convention was one of the few times as a collegiate member where I was able to spend quality time with alumnae for several days at a time.”
Many of the friendships I made, to which I still hold dear, started while passing the salad dressing around the dinner table.
Souvenirs. No, I’m not just talking about the swanky toiletries provided by the JW Marriott (although, who can complain about those, right?). It was a good thing I left space in my suitcase, as I flew back to Boston with my bags a bit heavier than when I left. One of my favorite souvenirs was the beautiful tote bag with a lyre on the side that all attendees got to use during convention, and, of course, got to bring home. I still use mine every time I go to the beach! I know what you are thinking, “That bag sounds great, but what about my big and little sisters? I promised I would bring them back some Alpha Chi Omega swag!” In addition, there were so many venders selling everything any Alpha Chi Omega woman could ever want. So, not to fret, there are plenty of opportunities for you to pick out the perfect gift for your big or little sister.
Some of my fondest memories during my Alpha Chi Omega collegiate career were from my time “under the arch” at the 2012 National Convention. I expect this and so much more from the 2014 Alpha Chi Omega National Convention! May 9 is the registration deadline, so sign up if you have not already. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest computer/smartphone/tablet to register for an experience like no other!
I look forward to seeing you in the desert! California, here we come!
Learn more about the 2014 National Convention >
by Nicole Del Mauro
(Iota Phi, Quinnipiac University)
“To shed the light of love and friendship round me”
This line of the Symphony has been the quote I have lived by throughout my year as a consultant. Being a consultant, I have had the privilege of meeting so many Alpha Chi Omega sisters all around the country. I have seen parts of the country that I never thought this small town, Jersey girl would ever get to see. I have gained life skills; made amazing memories; and, most importantly, I have gotten the opportunity to share my love for this amazing organization.
I wanted to be a chapter consultant because I wanted the opportunity to impact my sisters in a positive way. I wanted to have sisters fall in love with Alpha Chi as much as I am. I wanted them to be proud of being a part of such an amazing organization.
What I ended up learning throughout the year is that not only did I help other sisters fall even more in love with Alpha Chi Omega, but my love for this amazing sisterhood grew. I wouldn’t trade the stress, the tears, the lack of sleep, the late night In-N-Out runs, and the constant emails for the world. All of those things allowed me to bond with my sisters, and each of them allowed me to see the love I have for this sisterhood.
I am proud of all the chapters I have had the opportunity to work with this year. They have each impacted me in so many ways. They have helped me see how sisterhood truly is forever and how it is a bond we are all lucky to share.
However, one chapter stands out in my mind for helping me love this sisterhood even more. Helping to recolonize our Beta Lambda chapter at the University of Arizona was by far my favorite memory throughout this year’s journey. Watching these women build a bond with each other and fall in love with Alpha Chi was an experience I will never forget. There was no prouder moment for me as a consultant than watching each of those women become initiated members of Alpha Chi Omega.
When I think about the lifelong friendships I have made and the confidence I developed throughout my collegiate years and my first alumna year, I owe it all to Alpha Chi Omega. I was always proud to be a member of this strong organization, but now a year after starting this incredible journey, I am even prouder. I am proud of the service work we do as an organization. I am proud of the real, strong leaders we empower our members to be. I am proud of the genuine sisterhood we build within each of our chapters.
I am a proud member, a proud sister, of Alpha Chi Omega.
by Maree Magliocchetti
(Alpha Tau, University of New Hampshire)
Spring is here! The harsh weather is starting to calm down, I hope, and the flowers have begun to bloom. So, let me ask you, when was the last time you went outside and smelled the red carnations? Whatever corner of the United States you currently reside, it has a unique charm of its own. I have learned something wonderful by traveling this great nation these past nine months: America is all kinds of beautiful. No matter what part of our country from which you hail, there is beauty in your backyard. I must admit that I have taken for granted the wonders of New England—the corner of the country I call home. I have learned throughout my journey as a traveling chapter consultant to notice and appreciate the beauty in the people, history, landscapes, culinary treasures and favorite pastimes found in every region or state in America. When was the last time you saw beauty even in the common things of life?
I love history. This is of no surprise to anyone who has spent more than five minutes with me. What can I say; I am from the birthplace of the American Revolution. Thanks to Alpha Chi Omega and the chapter consultant position, I have been able to cross many historical landmarks off my bucket list. While visiting the Beta Delta chapter, College of William and Mary, I explored colonial Williamsburg—making sure to say “hi” to some personal heroes, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. At the Zeta Lambda chapter, University of Virginia, I received a personal tour of one of Thomas Jefferson’s greatest legacies, the university campus, making sure to stop by Monticello before leaving Charlottesville. On route to the Beta Mu chapter, Pennsylvania State University, I made a pit stop at Gettysburg. As if visiting the spot where my favorite president of all time, Abraham Lincoln, made one of the greatest speeches of all time wasn’t enough, it also happened to be the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address! This year, I also stopped by my future residence, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, during my first-time-ever to Washington D.C. I have enjoyed the local history of countless college towns, museums, parks and much more. I am forever in debt to Alpha Chi Omega and the amazing sisters across the country who have helped me experience my dreams this past year.
One of the greatest things about visiting chapters on different campuses around the country is that every place has their quintessential food item that you cannot leave without trying. Luckily, Alpha Chi Omega sisters, nationwide, have been wonderful hostesses and made sure I got my fill of their local must-try grub. While in Oklahoma, I let it slip that I had never tried Chick-fil-a; the lovely ladies of the Psi chapter, University of Oklahoma, ensured I did so before leaving the state. In Toledo, I saw more hotdog places than I could ever imagine. The ladies of the Beta Omega chapter, University of Toledo, brought me to the very famous Rudy’s for the full hotdog experience. Thanks to the women of Gamma Phi, Lamar University, I tasted authentic Tex-Mex in Houston, and the women of Beta Lambda, University of Arizona, made sure I had In-and-Out Burger while in Arizona. I’d love to return the favor if any sisters ever find themselves in New England, I know the best place to get a lobsta’ roll and clam chowda’.
The fact of the matter is that when you have my job, it is very easy to see the beauty in the common things of life. How many people get to wake up in the beautiful Allegheny Mountains and end their day sunbathing under the palm trees of Arizona? I have been able to start a month in New York City, spend some time on the seaport of Maryland, and end it in the mountains of Pennsylvania or West Virginia. Traveling from quaint college towns to big cities has been great; exploring these places with sisters by my side has made it even better.
I have loved seeing, smelling and tasting the unique attributes that every region, state and campus has had to offer. That said, the greatest beauty I have witnessed is the kindness, sincerity and grace that Alpha Chi Omega women offer to one another. I will be forever inspired by the sisters I have had the pleasure of meeting. Of all the souvenirs I will bring home as my time as the region 1 chapter consultant grows short, the one that I hold most dear, luckily, weighs nothing. I will return to New England with even more pride and love for Alpha Chi Omega then when I left, which, quite frankly, I did not think was possible! I am eternally grateful to Alpha Chi Omega for this amazing experience. This year will be a hard one to beat. I will continue to challenge myself, as well as my sisters, to see and appreciate the beauty in our backyards; in each other; in our chapter; and to, every so often, be sure to stop and smell the red carnations.
by Emeline Hansen
(Alpha, DePauw University)
Earlier this month, when National Ritual Celebration Week was celebrated across the country, I thought back to my first experience with our Ritual. It’s hard to believe that just four years ago, I was initiated into our wonderful sisterhood. At my initiation, I learned the meaning behind our core values and standards. I learned what our founders saw and hoped our fraternity would become. And at that moment, where I was welcomed into lifetime membership in Alpha Chi Omega, all I knew was that I was ready to become the best member I could be.
Throughout my collegiate experience, I had some of the greatest opportunities thanks to my membership. I was able to serve in leadership positions on both the Alpha Chi and Panhellenic executive boards. I saw my chapter celebrate 125 years of sisterhood. I watched my chapter grow and flourish. And as I look back now, as an alumna, I stop and think maybe I had something to do with that—maybe we had something to do with that. Did I leave a positive legacy? Did we?
As a chapter consultant, I constantly think about the best ways to motivate and improve a chapter. Ideas of improving sisterhood, or working on retention, or being more competitive at recruitment are always quick to jump out at me. But under all of those specific areas, for chapters to make improvements, is one general goal—leave a positive legacy.
We’ve always been told to leave something better than when we found out, but do we ever follow through?
When chapters face tough decisions or are at a crossroad to direct the chapter one way or another, members and officers should stop and think how their decisions will affect the legacy of the chapter. Officers can remember our BACKSTOPS while planning safe events. Seniors can commit to remaining active and supportive. The chapter can strategically plan to improve overall chapter academics or sisterhood. The crucial aspect is that we always have the opportunity to leave a positive legacy, and we should follow through with that commitment.
The majority of your time as an Alpha Chi Omega is as an alumna member. It is not just a four-year commitment. Your experience as a collegian is just a small part of the long journey in membership. Alumnae are vital to our chapters and to our organization. Another way to leave a positive legacy at your chapter, and with the organization, is to volunteer as an alumna. For graduating seniors, there is no better way to set a good example of leaving a positive legacy than by volunteering for Alpha Chi at the chapter and/or national level.
Remember your initiation and the legacy passed on to us in Ritual, and now look at the legacy you are leaving or have left with your chapter. Is it one you are proud of?
Standing in our chapter room four years ago at initiation, I heard the legacy of Alpha Chi Omega and the expectations our founders set for my chapter and our organization to follow. As we are charged to live our Ritual every day, as individual members and chapters, we are expected to leave a positive legacy for Alpha Chi. Continually, as I work with chapters, and volunteer in the future, I look forward to being able to ask myself, am I leaving a positive legacy?
So, I pose the same question to all of our chapters and members. Are you leaving a positive legacy?