If you haven’t heard about the new sisterhood in town, you must have been living under a rock this semester.
The introduction of Chi Omega to UM has left our campus seeing red and yellow, the chapter’s colors, on the shirts, bags and Facebook pages of the 109 new members who joined the sorority earlier this semester.
Chi-O accepted UM’s offer to re-colonize in October 2012 and began informal recruitment. The week-long process included tabling in the breezeway, meet-and-greets between Chi-O representatives and potential new members and an invite-only party, all leading up to Bid Day celebrations when the new Chi-O members were revealed.
This semester, Chi-O is officially considered a “colony” and members will focus on educating themselves about its history, electing officers and beginning to create the traditions that will later come to define them on campus.
“Colonizing a new sorority is no easy feat,” said UM’s Panhellenic Association president, Michaela Hennessy. “The women who make up their colony class are taking on a unique challenge in completely starting from scratch.”
But that’s what made joining the sisterhood so appealing for many of its new members. These women have the opportunity to mold Chi-O into whatever they want it to be. Some of them had gone through formal recruitment in the past and didn’t find a good fit with any of the other sororities. Others simply were not interested in joining Greek life until Chi-O came into the picture.
While the GDIs on campus may be paying no mind to Chi-O’s arrival, the sororities and fraternities have been showing major love to the new Greek organization. Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity extended an invitation to Chi-O to be partners during UM’s Homecoming festivities, and sisters from both Alpha Delta Pi and Delta Gamma brought sweet treats and words of welcome to Chi-O’s first colony meeting.
“It’s awesome that we gained a new Greek organization,” said junior Keenan Ade who is also a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. “My brothers and I are really looking forward to getting to know them during Homecoming.”
Even more Panhellenic love came on October 22, when UM’s Panhellenic Association revealed “Panhellenic Bigs.” Each new member of Chi-O was paired up with a woman in another sorority in order to establish inter-sorority friendships and allow the “bigs” to guide the Chi-O women through their new member process.
“Being in charge of Panhell Big/Little, I’ve noticed tons of girls sending in emails, excited about requesting their Chi-O friends as their littles,” said Eryn Davis, a sophomore Panhellenic Coordinator. “[Not only is Chi-O] getting more girls involved in Greek life, welcoming them in is bringing us together as a Panhellenic community.”
words_alexis williams. photos_courtesy of lisa kaplowitz photography.