Alpha Chi Omega sorority will soon become a part of the Greek Life community at The University of Southern Mississippi. Alpha Chi Omega will join seven other sororities as part of the College Panhellenic Council.
The extension process began in Spring 2013 when the Exploratory Committee was formed. The committee had one advisor and undergraduate representatives from each of the seven CPC chapters.
The committee reviewed statistics, such as overflow of sorority housing and the increase in women going through formal recruitment at USM. From there, the Exploratory Committee recommended that CPC open for extension, and an Extension Committee was formed. A bulletin was then submitted to the National Panhellenic Conference, which is the council for 27 different sororities, including the seven CPC sororities on campus.
This bulletin stated that USM was open for extension.
CPC President, Serena Williams, said the Extension Committee went through a lengthy review process.
“This committee reviewed packets from the chapters that applied to be a part of USM. The Extension Committee chose three out of all that applied, and invited each of the national organizations to meet our campus,” Williams said.
“After multiple interviews and presentations, the Extension Committee recommended that we invite Alpha Chi Omega to the USM community,” she added.
The University of Southern Mississippi and CPC approved this recommendation and Alpha Chi Omega accepted the invitation.
Kiffani Zackery, a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, said the addition of a new sorority is much needed.
“Greek Life as a whole is growing rapidly here at USM and adding another sorority to campus will definitely give potential new members more opportunities to become a part of this wonderful community,” Zackery said.
Brooke McCray, a member of Phi Mu sorority, agreed that the expansion of the Greek Life community is necessary.
“When recruitment moved from August to September in 2010, CPC Recruitment had record-breaking numbers and pledge classes for all houses almost doubled in size,” McCray said. “Since then, chapters have only been getting bigger and I think adding another sorority will not only help to balance out numbers, but also bring more variety in the Greek system.
“With Kappa Alpha Theta leaving in 2008, I think that it is important to bring back an eighth house and strive to make Greek Life bigger and better every year,” she added.
McCray has been an active part of the expansion process, attending two of three presentations about the potential new sororities. She feels Alpha Chi Omega was the best choice for Southern Miss.
“I think that Alpha Chi Omega can bring something different to the table and easily transition into the CPC system. They have a very strong national system and are present at many large universities nationwide,” McCray said.
“I was concerned that we would add a chapter that would simply imitate another,” she added. “But with Alpha Chi Omega, I feel they will have the ability to be characterized by their own strong qualities and bring freshness to the CPC community.”
Alpha Chi Omega will begin colonizing at Southern Miss during fall 2014.
Colonization is the process in which a sorority recruits members in a process separate from formal recruitment.
“During this process, the current Panhellenic will support Alpha Chi Omega in every way possible to ensure they successfully recruit member up to average chapter size, which is now 145. They will join the formal recruitment process in fall 2015,” Williams said.
“I am excited that Alpha Chi Omega is coming to campus. They will bring so much to our existing community. They are a great fit with the seven existing organizations, but will also bring something new to the table that no one else has before,” said President of Pi Beta Phi sorority Ruthanne Jose.
She said that during the colonization of Alpha Chi Omega, they will target women on campus who aren’t Greek.
“If women aren’t Greek now, they obviously haven’t found their home with the existing organizations,” Jose said. “Something I would love for Alpha Chi Omega is to find their home at USM, but also help women on campus who aren’t Greek find their home too.”
Williams said Alpha Chi Omega is a unique, thriving national organization that will bring something new to USM’s CPC community.
“It’s motto, ‘Real. Strong. Women.’ signifies its focus on member development, and its charity towards victims of domestic violence will grant more diversity to Southern Miss community service,” Williams said.
For more information about Alpha Chi Omega, visit their website at www.alphachiomega.org or contact the Greek Life Office at 601.266.4823.