Alpha Chi Omega - Starting Conversations

The official blog of Alpha Chi Omega

What Does “Real” Mean To You?


by Cherí O’Neill, Executive Director
(Gamma Mu, Ball State University)

Last year, we introduced a new brand. You’ve seen the words: Real. Strong. Women. You’ve probably seen the video, too—the one that asks: “What is real? What is strong?” The one that says: “We’re changing the conversation.”

Well, we’re serious about those questions. And we’re serious about changing the conversation. I, for one, would simply like to see our organization have more conversations—rather than merely sending messages at people.

So as we launch a new blog designed to trigger conversation, I’d like to ask you the first question on that video. What is real?

To get you started, I’ll give you my take. To me, “real” means genuine. Not phony. Not feigned. Not façade. But rather, “what you see is what you get.”

Part of my reality is spontaneity.

Two years ago, I was working on a graduate degree in social work. I wanted to be a therapist, helping women realize their full potential.

One day, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity to supplement my classroom learning. I went to the Alpha Chi Omega website. The executive directorship was posted. And I figured as a therapist, I could help one woman at a time. Or as CEO, I could help lots of women at a time. I applied, and got the job.

So here I am, asking “What does ‘real’ mean to you?” And how do we, as an organization, recruit “real” women, and help develop “real” women?

There, the conversation’s started. Now it’s your turn. Tell me: What is real?


  1. Bonnie B. Weaver |

    Real is knowing that a friendship and trust is an asset, not a liability. It is that special someone in a lifetime who will tell you the truth and will empower you to do your best.

  2. eric brody |

    Congratulations on your new brand, and for the courage to “change the conversation”. Think this is a wonderful and aspirational message, for the organization, and for your members. In a world in which trust will be a strong barometer of future success for organizations, these ideals (and particularly “real”) have never been more relevant.