to d ay ’ s F r i e n d s , To m o r row ’ s L e a d e r s , F o r e v e r i n s e rv i c e
al p ha
nati o nal
s o r o rit y
w w w . o mega p hial p ha . o rg
The founding members and big sisters of Alpha Omicron Chapter together at their induction at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
OPA Inducts Two New Chapters Alpha Pi Chapter’s new sisters receive the charter from VP Expansions Jessica Toms (center) at West Virginia University in Morgantown.
ne w s
VOLUME 47 | 002 The Chevron is a quarterly newsletter produced for Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority alumnae and active sisters. National Executive Board Members President / Heather Pritchard VP Business Operations / Kasey Stevens VP Programs / Brittany Thornton VP Communications / Thea Moritz VP Finance / Leann Williams VP Expansions / Jessica Toms VP Chapter Support / Rachel Whitten VP Alumnae Relations / Ginger McGarity VP Administration / Trista Guzman VP Membership / Megan Johnston Past President / Andie Bowman Hixon Chevron Editors Editor / Thea Moritz Copy Editor / Donna Pintek Writer / Kathy Andrusisin Writer / Brooke Cancilliari Layout Editor / Shelley Lai Distribution The Chevron is mailed out four times a year to all alumnae and active OPA chapters. Distribution dates are as follows: October 1, January 1, April 1 and July 1. Submissions Articles for the Chevron are written by active sisters and alumnae. If you would like to submit a feature story about an alumnae or a special project happening at your chapter, please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org Photos may also be submitted in jpg format. National Office Mailing Address Omega Phi Alpha National Office PO Box 955 East Lyme, CT 06333 Official National Website www.omegaphialpha.org Complete Sorority Contact List To request a complete contact list of all sorority officers, appointments and chapter
by Heather Pritchard (Nu), National President
Welcome to a new year and a new semester! I hope this Chevron finds you well. Many of you will be making some New Year’s resolutions. If you’re making resolutions related to physical fitness or healthy living—great! Here are some quick tips that helped me in reaching my goals: • Start small. I guarantee you will not conquer all of your goals on January 1. The key is to make goals that are big enough to make a difference, but small enough to tackle. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, make a goal to lose 5. Instead of saying you’ll go to the gym every day, make a goal to go twice a week. Then, you can build up to the larger goal. • Don’t beat yourself up. You will have an “off day.” It happens. The best way to recover from an off day—whether it’s overeating or not making it to the gym—is to hit the reset button the next day and refocus your attention on your goals. Minor missteps are completely normal. • Share your goals. Make your friends and family aware of the goals you’re trying to reach. They’ll keep you accountable! As you have success with your goals, don’t forget to share them with your sisters! Tag OPA and use the hashtag #ophiafit on any of our social media outlets. Some great events are coming up that you’ll read about in this issue. Most districts will be holding their District Summits in the spring, where they’ll meet for leadership workshops and sisterhood. Alumnae are welcome and encouraged to attend. If you’re interested in giving a workshop, volunteering or simply attending, contact Rachel Whitten at support@ omegaphialpha.org. Additionally, we’ll be holding our third annual Digging for Diamonds event. This year, D4D moves to Nashville, TN. At Digging for
Diamonds, alumnae are eligible to be inducted into one of three alumnae societies. Contact Ginger McGarity at alumnae@omegaphialpha. org if you’d like to join in the fun. We recently welcomed two new OPA chapters—Alpha Omicron at the University of Florida and Alpha Pi at West Virginia University. This spring, we’ll welcome an inactive chapter back, as the recolonization of Omega Chapter at Rutgers University will be complete. The ceremony will be held in March or April in New Brunswick, NJ. Contact Jessica Toms at email@example.com if you’re interested in attending. As event dates are finalized, they will be posted to OPA’s social media. If you’re not following OPA, check out the links below. Lastly, our National Convention is this summer from July 16 to 19 in Chattanooga, TN. A schedule and details will be released in early spring, and registration will open on March 15. All lifetime members are encouraged to attend! So with that, go out, do good things and make Ophia proud. OPA love, Heather Pritchard
addresses, please email VPadmin@omegaphialpha.org Update Your Contact Information members.omegaphialpha.org
/OmegaPhiAlphaNationalServiceSorority @OmegaPhiAlpha @ophia67 Join our group on LinkedIn: Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority
In the News —Brooke Cancilliari (Gamma), Chevron writer
Rho Chapter’s “Shenanigans”
If you hear or read of any active or alum OPA sister “in the news,” please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in the next Chevron.
Ellie Eastes, Alpha Kappa Chapter Ellie Eastes of Alpha Kappa was one of two Kansas University seniors to receive the 24th annual Excellence in the Community, Education and Leadership Award (ExCEL). The award is given to two students based on leadership, effective communication skills, involvement at KU and the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations. The recipients then plan the Blueprints Leadership Conference, in conjunction with KU’s Student Involvement and Leadership Center. Ellie was also an orientation coordinator and assistant for KU’s Office of First-Year Experience and vice president of Best Buddies. She has participated in the University Honors Program and has served as a site leader for Alternative Breaks. (Lawrence Journal–World, Kansas)
In a packed-at-capacity auditorium at WKU, the women of Rho Chapter participated in Kappa Delta’s 24th annual “Shenanigans” philanthropy event, which benefits the Family Enrichment Center and the Prevent Child Abuse America organization. The event pairs sororities with fraternities by random drawing, and the two groups work together to collaborate a dance routine. The chapter was paired with Sigma Phi Epsilon, and placed second in the competition. (Bowling Green Daily News)
dye selection,” she said. “Our goal was to show support on the NC State campus and let fellow peers know that this violence is happening every day in ways most people don’t even consider; bruises aren’t the only thing that signify abuse.” In addition to the hair dye, the chapter also had a board for people to write what they felt like love was to them. “It was really great spreading awareness, and I hope the message that domestic violence isn’t always just bruises got around to our community.” (The Technician Online, Raleigh)
Omega Phi Alpha sorority at WKU puts on sunglasses while dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” in Kappa Delta-Delta Gamma’s 24th annual “Shenanigans” philanthropy event benefiting Prevent Child Abuse America and the Family Enrichment Center.
At NC State’s Homecoming Week, a waitress from Sammy’s Tap & Grill, gives OPA sister Tiffany Russ free food as part of Wear Red, Get Fed in November. In participating in this event, Tiffany is supporting Omega Phi Alpha by earning points promoting school spirit. (The Technician Online, Raleigh)
Rachel Peterson, Alpha Lambda Chapter October marked the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which advocates the end of domestic abuse and heightens awareness with various events and activities across the nation. The Alpha Lambda Chapter at North Carolina State University participated in the campus-wide event called These Hands Don’t Hurt by offering to dye attendees’ hair purple, which is the color of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Rachel Peterson, the service director for the chapter, hoped people would see the purple hair around campus and take note of the deeper meaning behind it. The chapter dyed the locks of more than 40 people. “I bought three types of dye—one lasting only a day, one lasting 3–5 days, and one lasting 4 weeks—and by the end of the event, we had run out of the entire
Sign up for OPA’s 50th Anniversary Planning Committee OPA’s 50th anniversary celebration will be held in Bowling Green, OH, in 2017. A great amount of work must be done to make it the event it deserves to be. There are many ways for you to get involved. Visit VolunteerSpot.com to sign up. Check out our group page at http://vols.pt/4GJtA8 to see current needs. Please sign up for no more than two interest areas. These activities can be done online or remotely. Contact Andie Hixson at email@example.com if you have any questions or suggestions or want information on how to organize a chapter project for this event. —Andie (Bowman) Hixson (Epsilon), Past President
National Serve-a-Thon National Service Week, November 2–8, provided an ideal opportunity for Omega Phi Alpha members to plan and participate in the National Serve-a-thon, in which actives and alumnae partner on projects, not only in support of their own chapter but also to promote sisterhood within OPA nationally. Chapters research and select service projects, then reach out to alumnae, parents, businesses and others to seek sponsors for sisters participating in the project. The monies raised go into the chapter’s national savings account to use as needed, or assist with funding delegates’ travel to Convention.
Ashley Jennings, Nu Chapter For Serve-a-Thon, Nu Chapter sisters volunteered at ToolBank’s Tool Rush Sale on Nov. 8. They had seven sponsors and raised $254. For one day only, the warehouse doors are opened to the general public who are invited to shop thousands of new tools and supplies priced 50 percent or more off retail. All the money spent directly and immediately helps to keep local volunteers equipped to serve across Georgia. The woman in charge of the volunteers asked several sisters to check on the snack stand set up for the workers and to make more coffee if needed. They investigated only to find that the coffee maker was not a standard drip machine, but a percolator. No one had any experience with a percolator, but they were determined to figure it out to make more coffee. After fussing with it and pouring several bottles of water into it, like magic, it began to bubble and hiss. Encouraged, they continued to pour water into it, but then, water started shooting out of the top! Panic ensued, and the sisters watched in horror as weak coffee water sprayed on the table and surrounding area. After a few seconds, one of them decided to put the top back on the pot to keep the geyser from emptying the contents onto the floor. They were relieved that it wasn’t broken—but it was hilarious trying to learn a new way to make coffee!
Sigma Participates in “30 Hour Famine” Event Sigma Chapter at the University of Chattanooga in Tennessee participated in the “30 Hour Famine” for its Nations of the World project. Not only did they raise awareness for world hunger, but the sisters also participated in the actual fast and created fundraisers to support World Vision, the organization in charge. They provide food and shelter for children in nearly 100 countries and provide the tools and resources for them to feed themselves year-round. The chapter placed signs all over the UTC campus with facts about world hunger, and information about the chapter’s fundraisers, which included a car wash and a trivia night. During the fast, the sisters packed 54 sack lunches and hand delivered them to homeless people in downtown Chattanooga as another service project. It was amazing to see all the smiling faces when they received their lunches! By chewing gum and drinking juice, the sisters stayed active throughout the 30 hours. It was definitely a way to experience hunger in order to understand what some people go through every day.
Alpha Keeps Busy with Service Projects Boo at the Zoo: Some of the Alpha Zeta sisters gathered in the tent along with the Columbus State (GA) Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega! It’s awesome to run into our brother fraternity and have a great time.
Allison DeVore, Alpha Zeta Chapter A favorite annual event for Alpha Zeta is helping Zoo Atlanta put on an event called Boo at the Zoo. Boo at the Zoo is a Halloween-themed festival, which takes place at the zoo. Children, volunteers and staff members dress up in costumes and visit various stations all around the zoo, where volunteers pass out candy and entertain the kids. There is also a big tent filled with activities, an inflatable maze and live performers. The OPA sisters love this project, especially because of how happy the kids are when they see the sisters dressed up as recognizable characters, or when they get a cool prize! For this project, a limited number of volunteers are allowed, and the alums will try also to squeeze in and fill any open spots. —compiled by Emily Haar (Nu), Service Program Director
chevron vol 47 / 002
Alpha Chapter at Bowling Green State University in Ohio continues to hold its Bingo at the Home and Dinner on the House events along with Friday Night Lights, which involves going around campus and turning off lights for the weekend. On Oct. 25–26, they spent up to 6 hours with Project H.O.P.E., volunteering at an equine assisted therapy center Halloween event. They passed out candy to the kids who visited the center and played games. Another favorite service event took place on Nov. 15 when the sisters participated in BGSU’s Relay for Life, with some sisters walking for 12 hours straight! Other recent service events included a park clean-up and the donation and packaging of items for a local women’s shelter. (See Chapter Report on page 13.)
Membership Update With the end of the year approaching, OPA is excited to welcome nearly 530 new sisters into our national organization during the Fall 2014 semester! Additionally, OPA active sisterhood is almost 1,000 members within 30 chapters. With three new chapters inducted over the past year (Alpha Xi, Alpha Omicron, Alpha Pi), OPA saw nearly 7 percent growth in chapter sizes across the country from Fall 2013 to Fall 2015. Chapters saw an average of 33 interested students attending rush on their campuses, resulting in an average pledge class size of 21. OPA is proud to include all these new sisters who joined the sorority. Contact your local chapter to attend their next activation ceremony. VP Programs Brittany Thornton, left, and VP Business Operations Kasey Stevens deliberate at the fall meeting.
During the Founding District Summit, the sisters volunteered at Arbor Dog Day Care.
Founding District Summit Highlights Alpha Chapter’s annual District Summit with Gamma Chapter from Eastern Michigan University was one of the most successful ones to date! As an added bonus, colonists from the West Virginia University Colony also attended. Held in October, sisters and colonists spent the day in Ann Arbor, MI, volunteering at Arbor Dog Day Care in honor of Gamma sister, Brittany Disney, who passed away from cancer this past summer. They washed the dogs, took them for walks, and played with them. They had lots of fun bonding and getting to know each other. It was such a great atmosphere, and they all look forward to the next summit!
Fall Meeting Held in Dallas The National Executive Board traveled to Dallas, TX, in September for the annual fall meeting. The officers finalized the national appointments. See www.omegaphialpha.org for complete list under the Actives tab, then click on Leadership. Vision 2015 performance metrics were reviewed and goals set for next year, such as appointment process, voting process, leadership program, membership status and expansions updates. The timeline for new branding and website was determined as well as Convention 2016 location options. The weekend was made complete with awesome Texas BBQ and steak!
Photos Wanted for New OPA Website The new website is underway, and we need to show the world how great we are! Please email photos of your service projects and special events to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos should be clear and sharp with good contrast, preferably at 300dpi, but all will be considered.
NEB Positions Open for Election at Convention 2015 At Convention 2015, the National Executive Board positions listed below will be elected by the delegation. Eligible candidates must be an active or alumna member in good standing for at least one year. Terms last two years (Summer 2015 to Summer 2017) and require a weekly time commitment of 5–15 hours. NEB members submit monthly reports, vote in online motions, participate in online discussions and attend fall and mid-year meetings, as well as Convention. Vice President of Business Operations Oversees all major business functions, including: • secure bids and negotiate contracts for insurance policies and Convention expenditures • create, review and present Convention budget and oversee all Convention activities • oversee, approve and make insignia purchases • chair the financial review committee
Vice President of Membership Oversees the sorority’s membership programs and requirements including: • supervise membership issues and requirements on local levels • handle changes in statuses of members needing national level attention (except alumnae) • oversee the National Standards Board
For more information, please contact the Nomination Committee at email@example.com or visit www.omegaphialpha.org for a petition for office under Quick Links > Elections. Questions about a specific role can be directed to the NEB member currently in that position.
Alpha Omicron Chapter Inducted at UF Twenty-two colonists from the University of Florida Colony in Gainesville, FL, became the founding members and active sisters of Alpha Omicron Chapter. The new chapter was inducted on Oct. 25, 2014. The ceremony was conducted by Heather Pritchard, national president, and Jessica Toms, VP expansions, along with a few of the colonists’ big sisters and other local alumnae. The weekend began on Friday night with OPA sisters and colonists gathering at a fundraiser at Rice Thai, a local restaurant. On Saturday morning, the colonists and other sisters attended the Greater Duval Neighborhood Clean-up, a service project that was done in collaboration with Keep Alachua County Beautiful’s year-long Great American Cleanup. Following the service project and lunch, all induction attendees, the colonists and some of the colony’s pledges met on campus and divided into their OPA families for a UF campus Instagram photo scavenger hunt. Required photo ops included doing the gator chomp in the football stadium, getting pictures taken with the “French fries” sculpture, and other landmarks on campus. To see photos taken during the scavenger hunt, check out #ophiauf on Instagram. Later on that evening, colonists, their pledges and big sisters in attendance had their photographs taken by a professional photographer in front of and around the Baughman Center, an elegant contemplation space in the heart of the UF campus. After the pledges departed, the chapter induction ceremony took place in the Baughman Center, where Alpha Omicron Chapter was born, and the colonists became active sisters! The chapter then received gifts from other OPA chapters and alumnae. Sisters from six dif-
chevron vol 47 / 002
Left to right, Neeka Simpson, Olivia Phillips, VP Expansions Jessica Toms, Teagan Corrigan, National President Heather Pritchard, Cassandra Paniagua and Molly Betterton. The new sisters pictured are members of the induction committee.
ferent chapters were present at the ceremony. To end the induction festivities, everyone met for dinner at Steak ’n Shake to celebrate and spend time together before traveling home. Congratulations to the new Omega Phi Alpha sisters and founding members of the Alpha Omicron Chapter at the University of Florida: • Molly Betterton • Nichole Manosh • Neeka Simpson • Megan Brewster • Maria Mejia • Dixie Smith • Teagan Corrigan • Melanie Moore • Suzanne Trick • Abbie Dorwart • Kristen Oliff • Brianna Tringali • Emma Gregory • Cassandra Paniagua • Corey Wolfe • Jessica Gunson • Olivia Phillips • Devyn Woolsey • Gemma Horn • Alison Ray • Mariah Ide • Danielle Roberts by Jessica Toms (Phi), VP Expansions
OPA Welcomes Alpha Pi Chapter at WVU On Nov. 15, 2014, in Morgantown, WV, 22 colonists from the West Virginia University Colony were inducted as the founding members and active sisters of the brand new Alpha Pi Chapter. Heather Pritchard, national president, led the ceremony together with Jessica Toms, VP expansions, and assisted by some of colonists’ big sisters and other alumnae. On that Friday, the colonists chose Cardboard Box City as their service project. Cardboard Box is a campus-wide effort to bring awareness to homelessness in the community. Colonists braved the cold and took turns staying in a cardboard box decorated with facts and statistics related to the growing homeless population, while also raising money for the Bartlett House, a shelter in Morgantown. Saturday began with brunch at Panera Bread located near the WVU campus. Following brunch, everyone headed over to the Mountainlair, the university’s student center. The colonists, their pledges, big sisters and attendees formed groups and went on a photo scavenger hunt throughout the campus and downtown Morgantown. Requirements included getting photos taken with the Mountaineer statue (WVU mascot), having a team member dress like the ultimate WVU fan, acting like bees in front of the library, and more. Later that evening, the colony hosted a reception dinner in the student center for the colonists, their pledges, their parents and families, and other OPA sisters and alumnae in attendance. Some of the colonists spoke about their experience in creating the chapter and what they learned, and accomplished from OPA. Krystin Bourdua, Chi Chapter alumna and WVU
The founding sisters of Alpha Pi Chapter at West Virginia University.
graduate student, introduced each colonist to the audience. The chapter induction ceremony followed dinner, with gifts given to the chapter and to individual colonists from their bigs. Sisters from 11 different chapters attended the evening festivities. On Sunday, the weekend ended with a visit to the beautiful overlook at Coopers Rock State Forest, located about 30 minutes north of Morgantown. Congratulations to the new Omega Phi Alpha sisters and founding members of the Alpha Pi Chapter at West Virginia University: • Kathryn Alder • Mary Cate Hicks • Megan Stout • Crystal Alderman • Chelsea Lewis • Kassandra Taylor • Nicole Alessio • Shannon McKenna • Lindsy Thomas • Shelby Bell • Olivia Morrison • Emily Tolan • Natalie Byrne • Renee Phillips • Alexis Wheeler • Heather Carlisle • Summer Ray • Inna Zudilina • Callie Goodwin • Claire Reece • Amy Hamilton • Lauren Simpson by Jessica Toms (Phi), VP Expansions
Rutgers Colony Participates in Retreat With the goal of bringing OPA back to the Garden State, the Rutgers University Colony is bringing friendship, leadership and service to the forefront with a dedicated group of 27 colonists. To fulfill one of its colonization requirements, the Rutgers Colony held its retreat on Oct. 18 and 19, 2014. Jessica Toms, vice president of expansions, and Amanda Lowry, Nu Chapter alumna and Rutgers graduate student, attended the retreat, which was held at the Somerset Hills Learning Institute in Bedminster, NJ. The event began with the colonists taking their sixth and final quiz. Afterward, they completed an icebreaker, where everyone became linked together with things they had in common. To review for the national test, they transitioned into teams to play a round of OPA jeopardy. Following the national test, the colonists completed a service project to benefit Somerset Hills Learning Institute, the retreat site. They cleaned the toys the students at the school use. The institute considered hiring professionals to clean the toys, but the colonists’ efforts saved both time and money by doing this for them.
chevron vol 47 / 002
After the service project, the colonists worked on some teambuilding and leadership activities, including putting themselves in order by their birthdays without talking; assembling puzzles in two groups in which one group couldn’t talk but could use the picture, and the other could talk but not use the picture; standing in a circle around the room and stepping forward if certain statements applied to them; and getting into groups and finding at least five things they all had in common. In two days, the colonists completed a recruitment workshop, learned about Robert’s Rules, how to transition into an active chapter, how Chapter Standards Board functions, and learned about OPA ceremonies and songs. At a surprise pledge pinning ceremony, they received their pledge pins. The colonists also wanted to focus on sisterhood and getting to know each other. They created their families and embraced some friendly family competition in a few “Minute to Win It” games. They also completed an activity called “Memento,” in which each colonist brought an
Rutgers University colonists with VP Expansions Jessica Toms and Nu alumna Amanda Lowry at their retreat held in Bedminster Township, NJ, in October.
item of particular significance and stood up to explain its importance. This helped everyone get to know each other on a deeper level and didn’t leave many dry eyes in the group. Another surprise the colonists received was letters and cards from their big sisters. The sense of sisterhood and OPA pride was definitely on a high note at the end of the retreat. The group is now completing the rest of its colonization requirements and eagerly awaits its induction as an active chapter in Spring 2015. by Jessica Toms (Phi), VP Expansions
Exploring Life as a Global Citizen The daily fog appears outside of my bungalow’s kitchen window. I hear the vegetable “wallah” calling out for orders. Stray dogs are barking as they come alive from their roadside slumber. The lizard that has occupied our living room pokes its head above our framed photograph of Ghandi Ji (in Hindi, “Ji” is put after any respectable person’s name). It is now morning in Delhi. I graduated from Pennsylvania State University in May 2014, where I pledged Omega Phi Alpha (Alpha Theta Chapter) during the Spring 2010 semester. On paper, I had accomplished everything necessary to make a “good life for myself ”: Laureate status in my major, three minors and numerous university awards. Yet that phrase, “good life for myself,” always haunted me. I did not want to immediately go to graduate school, or to settle into a corporate career. I wanted to continue learning about life, but in a more unconventional way, and discover ways to bring natural positivity into a world increasingly bogged down with materialistic values. How could one possibly do that? Throughout my senior year, I was trying to figure that out. In April 2014, one month before graduation, I got an email that I had received a FulbrightNehru English Teaching Assistantship Award to India. I was overjoyed; this was an opportunity that focused on cultural immersion rather than monetary earnings. I believe this desire to stray from the common capitalistic path is correlated with my time as a sister in Omega Phi Alpha, where service became instilled into my habits. As a one-term service director and two-term philanthropy chair for my chapter, I was able to fully grasp the greatness of service, and how it leads to happiness. I quickly accepted the Fulbright offer, and in June 2014, moved to New Delhi. Through my award, I teach conversational English to grades 6–9 at a mixed-income school. My students are fascinated by my presence, as I am usually the first Westerner that they have actually met. Their only exposure to Westerners is through the television, in which they see a very pigeonhole view that is quite negative but alluring because of the portrayed glitz and glamour. I have the rare opportunity to alter that viewpoint, by showing my genuine interest in their daily lives. For everything I teach my students, I ask them to teach me something too. I teach them a bit of English grammar, and they tell me a Hindi word. I tell them about an American holiday, and they tell me about different aspects of their
religions. All the while, I partake in after-school Hindi classes, so I can interact with more than just the expat community. .......................................................................... Seventeen-year-old Pooja dances with the ease of waves moving in the ocean. She can fill a kitchen with glorious smells in minutes. Her Mehendi (henna) skills are impeccable. She heads home on winding pathways of uneven stone slabs; on her left are high-rise condominiums, and to her right is an open field of trash, where she must openly defecate at night when the communal toilet is closed (harsh realities call for blunt descriptions). She climbs a ladder to her single room home and sits down on the bed she shares with her four brothers and sisters, and her single mother. Despite her talents, she is ignored by the government and by society in general. She is what Americans call a “slumdog.” Most days after school, I travel from South Delhi to West Delhi to meet my best friends. Pooja, one of them, is a member of My Angels Academy, a grassroots organization that works to bring hope and dignity to slum children and young adults by providing love, daily life structure and academic/sport instruction that they might otherwise not receive. The bond that Angels (called that for their sweet dispositions) and I created was automatic. I never imagined I could develop such deep feelings for people I’d studied in my human geography textbooks. Angels and I bond over our love of football
(soccer). We eat and cook meals together, dance together, celebrate birthdays, sing songs, play games and teach each other language or just hang out. Angels value all religions, and I have come to learn about and celebrate Muslim, Hindu and Christian holidays with them. I came to Angels as a volunteer, but instead, found brothers and sisters that teach me more than I teach them. I am not a volunteer; I am a family member. I encourage all sisters to increasingly interact with others out of their natural comfort zone— those of different wealth status, race, ethnicity, etc. Only when more people realize the inherent value of every human life will Angels and other people born into similar living situations, receive the opportunity to become recognized, valued members of society. On June 11, 2015, I will be moving to the Eastern Caribbean as a Peace Corps volunteer. I am happy to continue exploring life as a growing global citizen. Embrace every moment! •K eep in contact with Rachel via email: firstname.lastname@example.org •L earn more about My Angels Academy at: www.myangelsacademy.org and www.facebook.com/MyAngelsAcademy •A pply to be a Fulbright scholar at: http://us.fulbrightonline.org •A pply to be a Peace Corps volunteer: http://www.peacecorps.gov by Rachel Passmore (Alpha Theta)
Delta siblings Sarah (left) and Meagan Eckels at Meagan’s pledge initiation during Fall 2014.
Legacies, mothers and Alpha Zeta alum Ellen (Willis) Ward (left) and her sister Virginia Willis.
Delta active Brooke Burgess (left) and her mother, Charleene (Ward) Burgess (right), attended the Texas A&M vs. LouisianaMonroe football game on Nov. 1. Charleene wore her old shirt 10 anchevron vol 47 marathon. / 002 advertising OPA-sponsored dance
A bond between sorority sisters can only be made more special when those sisters come from the same biological family. A sorority legacy is a woman whose close relative, like a mother or a sister, is also a member of the same sorority. Like all sororities, Omega Phi Alpha has its fair share of legacies. Over the years, women have seen their sisters go off to college and join OPA, or they’ve heard their mothers tell stories of their days back in college when they were part of the sisterhood. While each legacy has her own reason for coming to OPA recruitment, she soon finds that special bond. Amanda, Sydney and Emily Rubenstein are siblings. Sydney and Amanda are twins and decided to attend Kennesaw State University and pledge OPA in Fall 2012. In their first semester, Sydney met a woman in her anatomy and physiology class who happened to be in OPA. Sydney knew she wanted to find a strong foundation of friends and quickly realized the sorority would be a good fit. After two years of hearing her older sisters talk about service projects and sisterhood activities, Emily decided to give it a try when she got to KSU. “OPA has had such a positive impact on my college experience, so I was really excited when Emily decided to come out to recruitment. I couldn’t wait to see how her decision to join the sisterhood would mold her as a person,” Sydney said. Amanda added, “I believe that being in a sorority has strengthened our relationship because we have the same foundation, and by participating in our service projects and events we grow together.” The icing on the cake? Emily is now Amanda’s grand little. As mother and daughter, Charleene and Brooke Burgess are two sisters of OPA who graduated 37 years apart. Charleene graduated from Texas A&M in 1980. Her daughter Brooke will graduate from the same university in 2017. Charleene is very proud of her daughter’s decision to join OPA. She said, “Brooke made her own decision to be involved on campus and to do so with a group dedicated to service work. I was very excited to hear that she was accepted as a pledge.” Brooke decided to pledge OPA in the fall of her sophomore year because her mother had always spoken so highly of it and told her of all the great times she had. Brooke added, “One of my favorite parts of being involved in OPA is seeing how proud my mom is of me. It’s one more thing that we can bond over. I always look forward to calling my mom to tell her about the service projects I’ve done that week or about how much I love my sisters and my wonderful big.” Ellen Ward and Virginia Willis are two siblings whose love of service has brought them together in OPA. Ellen graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2012 with a degree in early childhood education. Her sister Virginia will graduate with the same degree in 2017.
Aspyn (left) and Johrie Fishe Alpha Alpha Chap r of ter.
sisters grow closer through OPA “I chose to participate in recruitment, because I wanted to meet women with a heart for serving others and the community, just like me. My sister’s involvement with OPA influenced my decision to join, because she made so many awesome friends and had so many amazing opportunities helping the community and doing various service projects,” Virginia said. Part of the reason Ellen joined OPA in Fall 2008 was to find a solid group of girlfriends, and that’s what she found. Virginia shared a special moment she witnessed at Ellen’s wedding a few years later. “At her wedding some sisters circled around her during the wedding reception and sang. I really thought that was sweet to have girls travel almost an hour away just to support her and honor her.” Johrie and Aspyn Fisher are two other sisters who found their relationship strengthened by joining OPA. The girls are two years apart, but it wasn’t until Johrie went off to college that their relationship grew stronger. “I think OPA was the cherry on top. Now we’re closer than ever!” Johrie said. As a junior at Northern Arizona University, Johrie loves helping people, and that’s why OPA was such a perfect fit. It’s also the reason she chose social work as her major.
For Aspyn it took more than hearing about her older sister’s fond memories for her to join. Aspyn wasn’t sure that she wanted to join, but once she came to recruitment, she fell in love with the sorority. “She didn’t force me to join. She let me try it out on my own, and decide for myself. I really appreciated that,” Aspyn said. As the sorority gets older, more and more legacies will find their way to OPA. Because of this, certain guidelines have been put in place to ensure that bids are given out to the best and brightest potential new members in the fairest way possible. While some OPA chapters have nonselective recruitment, the majority of chapters now have selective recruitment. In the Fall 2014 semester, Alpha Theta was the most selective, giving bids to 37 percent of the girls who attended recruitment. Some chapters take large pledge classes, while others take small pledge classes, depending on the current size of the chapter. The average number of potential new members that attended recruitment in the fall semester was 33, while the average number of bids extended was 22. Chapters are now required to set a maximum pledge class size
Alpha Zeta member Amanda Rubenstein (left) with sisters Emily (center) and Sydney at Big/Little Reveal in October.
Rho Chapter legacy sisters Bailee (left) and Madison Correro.
prior to recruitment. This, in addition to other guidelines, was set up to make sure that OPA chapters were all holding their recruitment events to the highest standards. It’s important for a legacy to make the chapter aware of her legacy standing prior to recruitment. While OPA legacies are very likely to get a bid, potential new members still have to show their sincere desire to join the sisterhood and must follow all the same requirements as other pledges once they have been given a bid. In the Fall 2014 semester, 10 women decided to continue on their family legacies in OPA. If you were an OPA legacy, we’d love to hear from you. Please email email@example.com to share your story. by Kathy Andrusisin, (Alpha Theta), Chevron writer
Seeking OPA’s Largest Alumnae Voting Delegation, EVER
Alumnae delegates at Convention 2014 in Indianapolis.
Calling all alumnae to join our Omega Phi Alpha sisters in the Scenic City July 15–19. Convention 2015 will be held in Chattanooga, TN, and is a great opportunity to have fun while putting your love for OPA to action by serving as an alumna voting delegate. Whether you’ve been an alumna for 40 years or 40 days, we invite you to celebrate another year of service and sisterhood in OPA this summer. Convention offers a chance to learn about the current projects and operations of Omega Phi Alpha, but it’s so much more than that. Make new friends, learn from sisters from across the country, and celebrate the successes of our beloved sorority over the past year. Sisters from
every generation enjoy the Convention—but after your first Convention, you’ll be hooked and want to come back again and again! Because of our recent growth in collegiate chapters, we will have more alumnae voting delegates (20) than ever before. This is an invaluable opportunity to help guide and influence national policy, select national leaders and experience professional development and networking. Your vote as a delegate helps to continue the longstanding excellence and sister-centered experience of OPA for pledge generations to come! Any alumna sister in good standing can apply. A panel of sisters across the country evaluates all applications and strives to select a cross-section
of delegates who represent our alumnae community across all generations, regions and collegiate chapters. Alumnae voting delegates are responsible for paying their lodging and convention registration fees, but the national organization will reimburse half of their transportation (flight or mileage) expenses. OPA is grateful for our alumnae sisters for taking time out of their busy lives to help lead OPA forward in this role. Watch for an application in January, and apply to be an alumnae voting delegate by March 1. We hope to see you in Tennessee in July! by Suzy Sweeney McTaggart (Gamma), Alumnae Convention Coordinator
In Memory of Mu Alum Karen (Wallace) Musgrove 1964-2014
Through the years with Mu alums Karen (Wallace) Musgrove and Susie (Pack) Larson.
chevron vol 47 / 002
Karen (Wallace) Musgrove pledged Mu Chapter at Middle Tennessee State University in 1986. While at MTSU, she met her future husband, Russell Musgrove. Karen and Russ married in 1988. Fellow OPA sister and dear friend, Susie (Pack) Larson, served as maid of honor. They were the devoted and proud parents of three grown children. Sadly, on Oct. 30, 2014, both Karen and Russ passed away as a result of an auto accident outside of Atlanta, GA. Karen touched the lives of everyone she met. She had a passion for music and tennis and loved her family and friends. Her legacy of kindness, friendship, loyalty and an infectious laugh will live on through cherished memories of all who knew her. A memorial service took place on Nov. 5 to honor Karen and Russ. Donations can be made in their memory to Hillside United Methodist Church, 4474 Towne Lake Parkway, Woodstock, GA 30188. Karen’s OPA sister and best friend Susie shares the following tribute:
“People change, places change, and times are changing too. But nothing will ever stop the love and the friendship I have with you. Karen Wallace Musgrove pledged Omega Phi Alpha in 1984. Shortly after, a lasting and loving friendship began. Karen was my second little sister. I had to ask her why she wanted me to go places and do things with her. She replied, ‘Because I like you.’ She had all the cardinal principles down when she became a sister. She was a true friend, and later a leader in her church, book club and family. She was forever in service to her friends and community. I was honored to be Karen’s maid of honor at her wedding. And she was my matron of honor at my wedding. Karen and Russ lived life to the fullest! They were just beginning to be empty nesters. I am so glad they had their dream anniversary trip to Italy. Karen and her husband, Russ, were true friends of mine. I will miss my sister and my friend.”
Chapter Reports Alpha
Bowling Green State University— Bowling Green, OH Founded in 1967 Service projects: clean-up/weeding at local park; donation/packaging of items for women’s shelter; weekly bingo events at a nursing home. Other projects: New academic chair is doing a great job. Many sisters already completed 20–30 study hours midway through the semester. Sober Sister was extremely fun! It consisted of paint day and a glow-in-the-dark scavenger hunt. During paint day, we dressed up in white T-shirts and hand-printed each other when the statement applied to that sister. For example, “Touch someone who makes you laugh,” and then we would touch a sister who makes us laugh. We quickly became covered from head to toe in paint. After all the paint was gone, we broke out the spray paint and painted our school’s spirit rock.
Eastern Michigan University—Ypsilanti, MI Founded in 1967 Service projects: Volunteered at the Ann Arbor Recycle Drop-off Station, the Washtenaw Area Council for Children Party, raised awareness for breast cancer, participated in Trick or Treat for UNICEF, participated in Shoe Box Ministry, supported numerous organizations on campus, street clean-ups, just to name a few.
sisters at Delta Chapter are all about. Other projects: Kyle Field clean-up, Chalkboards for Children in developing countries, adopt-a-street, Pulsera Project, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and many more. Fact: Omega Phi Alpha was the first women’s organization on the Texas A&M campus.
the Zoo, Cafe 458, Taste of Atlanta, Piedmont Park Conservancy Green Market, Trees Atlanta, Books for Africa, Medshare. Fact: We got 2nd place in Homecoming and 3rd place for the women’s division in the Mini 500 Annual Homecoming Tricycle Race. Omicron
Auburn University—Auburn, AL Founded in 1992 Service projects: Save the Elephants adoption benefit, Swing Dance to prevent domestic violence
Tennessee Tech University—Cookeville, TN 36 Actives / 42 Pledges Rush theme: NFL President’s Project: Intramurals, working out with sisters. Fall/winter service projects: Ghouls at Grassmere, Morningside Nursing Home, Susan G. Komen race, Freerice.
Western Kentucky University— Bowling Green, KY Founded in 1993
Middle Tennessee State University— Murfreesboro, TN Founded in 1983 21 Actives / 16 Pledges Rush theme: OPhiA and Co. President’s Project: fitness challenge Fall/winter service projects: canned food drive, domestic violence forum, DIY night, blood drive, finals care package, cards and care packages for soldiers. Fact: We have four families—penguins, owls, robots and pandas.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga— Chattanooga, TN Founded in 1993 24 Actives / 22 Pledges President’s Project: Participated with Student Veteran’s Organization 5K color run. Spent the day helping with sign-ups, advertising and throwing color at the runners. All the funds raised with the $25 running fee went to local veterans. Service projects: Participated in 30 Hour Famine to raise money and awareness about world hunger. (See page 4.) Fundraiser activities included a car wash at Krystal restaurant, which raised $772; and a trivia night for students, which raised $100 and featured some awesome donated prizes including movie passes, a Wii game console and more! Played “tribe games” and spent the night in “The Hub,” where we bonded and tried not to get too “hangry.” It was an awesome experience, especially since it was our first big project as a chapter, and we learned a lot about putting our hearts (and stomachs) into service.
Texas A&M University—College Station, TX Founded in 1970 75 Actives / 19 Pledges President’s Project: Our Fitness and Heathy Living is a semester-long project. Shared photos of sisters working out on social media (#deltadoesfitness) which just amps up the fun! Getting to bond while doing service is what the
Georgia Institute of Technology—Atlanta, GA Founded in 1988 55 Actives / 30 Pledges Rush theme: Service, Southern Style President’s Project: Miss Nu Booty—Personal fitness goals, Workout Buddies, Fitness Classes Fall/winter service projects: Furkids Cat Shelter, Toolbank, MOVE for Moms, Freerice, Atlanta 10-Miler, Halloween Hikes, Boo at
University of Texas at Austin—Austin, TX Founded in 1994 12 Actives / 11 Pledges
CHAPTER REPORTS Service projects: Continued to build our relationship with Caritas soup kitchen as well as visited Boys and Girls Club. Focus for service week was Physical Fitness and Healthy Living. We hosted a kickoff rally, profit share, movie night and game night all benefiting the It’s Your Life Foundation to promote healthy living and education for children. Psi Upsilon
University of Louisiana at Lafayette— Lafayette, LA Founded in 1997 9 Actives / 3 Pledges Rush theme: lipstick President’s Project: physical education jeopardy at the boys & girls club, Zumba with fellow sisters Fall/winter service projects: Study bag for the university community, an obstacle cores to the members of the sorority, food drive to community dinner for the homeless, donated to the save Liberia needs drive, suicide prevention flyers, and bingo at Amelia manor retirement home. Phi
Arizona State University—Tempe, AZ Founded in 1998
Texas A&M at Corpus Christi—Corpus Christi, TX Founded in 1998
traveled to nearby cities to greet and hand out food to all those participating. For our university project, we sponsored a speaker from Wings of Hope to speak to students about recognizing abusive relationships. Raised more than $1,500 to send to Days for Girls for our nations project. Fact: The women of the Alpha Gamma chapter paired with the men of Alpha Sigma Phi for Homecoming and took home the first place sweepstakes award.
Northern Arizona University—Flagstaff, AZ Founded in 2000 President’s Project: Fitness Fun with the Boys and Girls Club. Many sisters had a great time teaching the kids who really enjoyed it! Wrapping up a successful semester of meaningful projects. Alpha Beta
University of Mississippi—Oxford, MS Founded in 2003
Georgia Southern University—Statesboro, GA Founded in 2006 41 Actives / 15 Pledges Rush theme: Ophia in the city President’s Project: true blue 5K, zombie run, after-school programs Fall/winter service projects: Threads of Hope, Walk to end Alzheimer’s, Puzzle for Patients, Green Fest, Toys for Tots, harvest ball, breast cancer awareness week. Fact: We just had our sisterhood retreat at Lake Oconee. We had so much fun bonding up in the mountains!
University of South Carolina—Columbia, SC Founded in 1998 47 Actives / 18 Pledges Rush theme: Up and Away with O-Phi-A! Inspired by the Disney movie “Up” President’s Project: Compiled a recipe/ workout “book.” Each sister creates her own recipe/workout with nutrition facts and calorie information attached. Fall/winter service projects: Participated in Hall of Horrors. Sisters were the “actors” inside the haunted house, where all proceeds went directly to a charity. Another great event is a Polar Run 5K planned completely by two active sisters. In this event, runners shed six extra articles of clothing along the course to donate to the Salvation Army. Fact: Chi Chapter traveled all the way to Gatlinburg, TN, for our sisterhood retreat!
chevron vol 47 / 002
Oklahoma State University—Stillwater, OK Founded in 2004 56 Actives / 21 Pledges President’s Project: We put on a field day at a local daycare center. Other service projects: Members Project, where we built up other sisters by stating qualities we loved about each other in an event called Beauty Marks. For the Permanent Project, paired up with the university chapter of To Write Love on Her Arms to raise awareness about suicide prevention. Spent a Saturday volunteering at Bike MS, in which sisters
Southeastern Louisiana University— Hammond, LA Founded in 1967, Chartered 2006 7 Actives President’s Project: World-wide Day of Play and Fitness Class (Kicking and Sweating) Fall/winter service project: Mocktails is where all the organizations have to create non-alcoholic beverages according to a theme to promote awareness for improper alcohol consumption. Overall theme was National Holidays, and our theme was 4th of July. Had fun promoting awareness.
CHAPTER REPORTS page 9). We’re helping her students practice English by being pen pals. Participated in a Thanksgiving basket drive to send to a shelter. Participated in Mental Health Awareness Week by doing a different activity each day. Fact: Each member is required to have a minimum of 50 service hours per semester in each of the areas. A sister went to the Army’s Basic Training in South Carolina until April, and another sister is in ROTC.
Fall/winter service: Red Cross food pantry, Boston Public Health Commission, McClean Hospital toy drive, blood cancer bone marrow drive, BU staff thank you cards, Room to Grow, Beads for Life party, Community Servings, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Light the Night for Leukemia Walk, and American Cancer Society Coaches versus Cancer 5K.
Kennesaw State University—Kennesaw, GA Founded in 2006 25 Actives / 28 Pledges Rush theme: Carnival President’s Project: Teach a Sister program to review how to eat healthy and do simple exercises during the coldest months of the year, which is very helpful during the holidays. Fall/winter service: The Linus Blanket project was really fun, as we made no-sew fleece blankets for children in the hospital. They ranged from solid color fleece to fun flowers, animals, monsters or symbol-printed fleece. Kori Wright taught us how to properly measure out the square spaces. We also participated in Boo at the Zoo event at Zoo Atlanta. Fact: Our pledges are doing a great job. Alpha Eta
University of South Carolina at Aiken— Aiken, SC Founded in 2009
University of Kansas—Lawrence, KS Founded in 2012 37 Actives / 26 Pledges President’s Project: Zumba as a chapter Fall/winter service projects: Packaged more than 7,000 meals with Something to Eat for crisis victims. Setting up and acting in the Tunnel of Oppression to help people of privilege understand oppression, and putting together birthday bags for children in the community who have a court appointed special advocate. Fact: Won 2nd place in the “Moving Parts” category of Homecoming, and first place in the sign competition.
Texas State University—San Marcos, TX Founded in 2013
The Pennsylvania State University—State College, PA Founded in 2006 54 Actives / 15 New Members President’s Project: Sorority-wide Fit Club where sisters get inspiration for healthy recipes, as well as work out in groups. Sisters participated in various local 5Ks. Conducted a nutrition workshop sponsored by University Health Services. Fall/winter service projects: Writing letters to a school in India, where a recent OPA grad is working as a Fulbright Scholar (see article
North Carolina State University—Raleigh, NC Founded in 2010 25 Actives / 13 Pledges President’s Project: Attended group fitness classes, participated in 5K walks/runs, kept each other accountable to practice physical fitness and healthy living. Other service projects: Habitat for Humanity, campus clean-ups, Interact Fall Festival, visits to the nursing home, helping out at the AgroEcology farm. Fact: Successfully participated in all events for our school’s Homecoming Spirit competition this fall. Alpha Mu
Boston University—Boston, MA Founded in 2011 54 Actives Rush theme: Around the World with OPhiA President’s Project: Yoga Days, one of our sisters is a certified yoga instructor is holding classes for the sorority during the semester.
University of Central Florida—Orlando, FL Founded in 2014 Alpha Omicron
University of Florida—Gainesville, FL Founded in 2014 Inducted 22 sisters as founding members. Fall/winter service: Yogurtology fundraiser, game night American Cancer Society Faces of Hope Lodge where we played bingo with patients. Alpha Pi
West Virginia University—Morgantown, WV Founded in 2014 Inducted 22 sisters as founding members. Fall/winter service: Fundraiser for Relay for Life, clean-up Morgantown.
omega phi alpha national serviCe sorority National Office PO Box 955 East Lyme, CT 06333 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
Save the Dates
Dec. 15 Chapter mid-year report due to firstname.lastname@example.org Mid-year service project report form due to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org Jan. 17–18 March TBD March 1
NEB Mid-year Meeting, Austin, TX
Digging for Diamonds, Nashville, TN Scholarship applications due (visit www.omegaphialpha.org for application)
March 15 Alumnae Convention delegate applications due Pledge rosters and membership status reports due to national office Convention registration begins (Look for registration announcements via social media and in the spring Chevron) April 1
Active and pledge fees due to national office
Alumnae Service Award nominations due to VP Alumnae Affairs Chapter annual reports due to national office Service project report forms due to national office
National Convention, Chattanooga, TN
Spring District Summits For details, contact Rachel Whitten, VP Chapter Support Bluegrass March 20–21 Cookeville, TN Lonestar January 30–31 San Marcos, TX Cactus Pine March 28–29 NAU, Flagstaff, AZ Carolina February 8 NC State, Raleigh, NC Heartland February 7 Stillwater, OK Peaches & Beaches February 21–22 Orlando, FL