by Jennifer Daurora
(Delta chapter, Allegheny College)
Throughout my personal journey as an Alpha Chi Omega, different areas of the Ritual have resonated with me at different times in my life. I have to believe this type of experience is exactly what our seven founders envisioned all those years ago. In my opinion, the meaning of the Ritual of Alpha Chi Omega grows with us as we grow as individuals.
As a collegian, when the secrets of our bond were finally revealed in the initiation ceremony, I was so excited that the entire ceremony flew by in a flash. Even at the post-initiation review, I was so overwhelmed that I hardly comprehended the meaning. By the time I was getting ready to graduate, I started to pick up on certain sections of the ceremonies that stood out to me in one way or another. By participating in the Hall of Commitment, I realized that my journey as an Alpha Chi Omega was really just beginning.
As a young alumna—when I began my volunteer career with Alpha Chi Omega—I tried my best to participate in what I call ‘official Ritual activities’. From participating in the formal opening at an alumnae chapter meeting to supporting collegiate sisters during the new member ceremony, I was there listening. As I started spending time with our Ritual, I began to better understand what our founders had wished for Alpha Chi Omega and each of us.
I know the collegians I advised wanted to know what I was doing with the ceremony book on the couch. I am sure they were surprised to hear me say that our ceremonies are available to lifetime members at any time—as long as we are in a safe place, of course. If we only listen to the words or experience the meaning of our Ritual once or twice a year, how could any of us really hope to understand what it means to be an Alpha Chi Omega? Just like other healthy habits, I make it a priority to spend time with our Ritual and to live the values explained. To make this personal plan of improvement more manageable, I concentrate on a section of the Ritual that calls to me at the time. As if Estelle, Nellie, Bertha, Anna, Bessie, Amy and Olive had it all planned out, most often the section of the Ritual that is calling to me contains the exact life lesson that I need at that very moment!
The best part of this entire journey is that, within our Ritual, I keep discovering powerful inspiration to become a better person; a better sister; and a real, strong woman.
Today, as a current National Vice President and having served in numerous Alpha Chi Omega alumna roles, I understand that our Ritual is much more than the words contained in an open or closed ceremony. It is much more than the experience of initiation.
The Ritual of Alpha Chi Omega is the road map that I look to for guidance as I strive to seek the heights.
by Audra Sinclair
(Delta, Allegheny College)
Fifteen months is not a very long period of time. It’s a little over one year and a little less than 500 days. Most people can count on one hand the places they have traveled in fifteen months but I can’t even on two. Most people have the opportunity to meet a bunch of acquaintances in that amount of time, I have met thousands. Most people have had relatively similar day to day experiences in only fifteen months, my life have changed more dramatically than I ever could have dreamed.
A little over a year ago I was living in Indianapolis, training to become an Alpha Chi Omega chapter consultant. I was confused 22 year old who had no idea what she wanted to do with her life. My degree is in biochemistry, and I was taking a year off to decide if medical school was the best next step in my life, or if it was something else I had yet to discover. I say now, fifteen months later, with absolute confidence, I have discovered more than I ever thought possible.
Being a chapter consultant isn’t all risk management and leadership development meetings with executive boards, even though you do those things. Being a Chapter Consultant is gaining your first real professional experiences that are relatable to any and every occupation; it’s learning how to be more independent than you ever thought you could be; it teaches you discipline; it’s personal development; it’s skills training; it’s a stepping stone; and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Not only was I able to travel and help develop young women in Alpha Chi Omega, all over the country, I was able to develop myself into a true young professional.
Four months ago I started my dream job with a pharmaceutical company as a territory sales manager (which is just a fancy title for pharmaceutical representative). Halfway through my year of traveling with Alpha Chi, I traveled to Indianapolis for some more training in personal and professional development. This training didn’t revolve around risk management or executive board responsibilities, it focused on how our experiences were helping us to move forward in our lives professionally. I found out what my strengths are, I worked with my supervisor on how to work on my weaknesses and how to capitalize on each. As a collective group of consultants, we talked about how all of our experiences and skills we had gained could be relatable to every field we could come up with… literally everything. Through this training, I was able to discover exactly where my career path was heading and I relied on it heavily while I was applying for and interviewing for positions as a pharmaceutical representative. Without this training or the experiences I gained in ten short months working for this organization, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Fifteen months ago, I was a college graduate about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. Five months ago I was a scared, unemployed, previous Alpha Chi Omega chapter consultant. Four months ago, I became a confident, young professional and the newest territory sales manager for a pharmaceutical company. Whether it was during my interview for my position as a pharmaceutical rep, or everyday on the job as a pharmaceutical rep, or even in my personal life, I am always pulling from the experiences I had while traveling for Alpha Chi Omega.
Most people maybe have one life changing moment in only fifteen months, I have had countless.
We are now accepting applications for 2012-13 chapter consultants. If you are interested, visit our website for more information.
by Audra Sinclair
(Delta, Allegheny College)
Through my years in Alpha Chi at Allegheny College, we had some pretty catchy bid day shirts. My freshman year, the lifetime members shirts read, “Take one look and suddenly you’ll know why…,” and the new members shirts read, “…Baby, I was born to be an Alpha Chi.” My junior year, we had baseball t-shirts that said “Alpha Chi Omega” across the front and on the back there was the silhouette of a baseball player diving for the ball. Underneath the silhouette it read, “The perfect catch.” My senior year, we had long sleeved t-shirts that had block letters on the front and the back said, “One Love,” and the “V” was the lyre from our new logo. You may wonder why I skipped our sophomore year? Did we have a lame slogan year? Not at all. I was just saving the best for last.
Sophomore year, the front of our shirts had a red car silhouette and etched out of the car it read, “Alpha Chi” shaped like the famous logo from the famous classic Grease. On the back of the new members’ shirts it said, “You’re the One that I Want,” and the lifetime members shirts said, “Hopelessly Devoted.”
Maybe I’m biased because Grease is my favorite movie of all time, but I absolutely loved these shirts. They spoke volumes to me about the meaning of Alpha Chi Omega and what our new members should be feeling versus what our lifetime members should be feeling. As lifetime members, we should be “Hopelessly Devoted” to this organization and everything it stands for. As new members, Alpha Chi Omega should be “The One That [They] Want” because of how hopelessly devoted our members are to the organization. For the three and a half years that I was a collegiate member of Alpha Chi Omega, I truly was hopelessly devoted. You could easily argue I still am. Back then, I was devoted to both our organization and the Panhellenic Community at Allegheny College. As an alumna, I’m devoted to the betterment of this organization as whole, every chapter, every girl.
Being a chapter consultant has brought so many new people and experiences into my life. It is not easy to be in a new city every four to five days, live out of a suitcase, be away from your friends and family constantly and work seven days a week. People I meet in airports or on college campuses ask me how it is even bearable. But meeting new people and getting the opportunity to shape lives every few days is worth every minute of every delayed flight. And what others might not understand, while I may be away from biological family, I’m constantly surrounded by my sisters. Lucky for me, we’re hopelessly devoted to each other. And they call this work? My favorite t-shirts came into my life halfway through my collegiate experience, and I’m writing this to you halfway through my days as a consultant. What I didn’t know then is it only gets better. My time as a chapter consultant isn’t half over, I still have half to go.
I have realized along the way that a new side to sisterhood comes from the alumna perspective. I have never given so much and received so much loyalty in my life, other than within my family. What I have found during my travels is that everyone has their own way of showing their devotion to Alpha Chi Omega. You don’t have to be president of your chapter, the most active alumna, work for headquarters, give the biggest donation or volunteer the most amount of your time to be devoted to Alpha Chi Omega. These women I have encountered who have changed my life and this organization are finding ways to give their time, love, effort and loyalty in their own ways. They are the women that are making this organization great. However, I believe that what makes Alpha Chi Omega the best is our unique ways of expressing our devotion. And for me, for life, mine just might be hopeless. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.