Campus sorority no longer affiliated with national chapter

by Allison UllmannStaff Writer

Alpha Chi Omega, a presence on Simpson’s campus for a century, was informed in July that their national charter had been revoked by the sorority’s national office due to low membership for the past few years.

According to Lindsey Hunzelman, greek advisor and assistant director of student activities, the reasons behind Alpha Chi Omega’s closure stemmed from the fact that they hadn’t reached the membership capacity set for them in the past few years. Members from their national office came to campus this summer and met with the current members and alumni to inform them that the chapter would be closing immediately.

“This is not something that we’ve ever wanted to see happen,” Hunzelman said. “It’s a really unfortunate situation. These women worked extremely hard for the success of this chapter and we were really disappointed by [the decision].”

Junior Shateau Hartney, former president of Alpha Chi Omega, said the national office’s decision came as a shock to the house. Alpha Chi Omega knew their house was up for review but they thought they had done all they needed to improve themselves.

“In the beginning we were hurt and bitter, but at some point, you have to accept it and move on,” Hartney said. “This experience has made us stronger – they took our charter but not our bond. Our alumni are behind us 110 percent and it’s gratifying to know that Alpha Chi Omega was so important on campus and to know that people still support us.”

Former members of Alpha Chi still live in the chapter house, which the alumni own. These members will be able to live in the house for the rest of this year and a formal decision concerning the future years will be made next semester.

Hartney said the group is working on establishing a new chapter and in the future will recruit new members and will hopefully continue to live in the house.

“We are working on establishing a local chapter and we now know our strengths and weaknesses that can be applied to the new chapter,” Hartney said.

According to Hunzelman, there are certain criteria that need to be met in order to become a recognized sorority by the Panhellenic Council, which is made up of delegates from each of the three sororities on campus along with an elected executive board.

“We’re in the process of developing more or less a list of criteria that they would need to meet in order for Panhellenic to recognize them again and they will actually petition Panhellenic to be recognized and to become a full-fledged member of the Greek community,” Hunzelman said. “The basic criteria would include what are their plans, what is their identity, what are their values, what they could add to the Simpson Greek community, what kind of support do they have, etcetera. They would present this information to the Panhellenic Council, who would vote on whether or not they would like to recognize them as a local sorority on their council.”

Hartney said they are working on creating a local chapter and on developing their identity and values along with the rest of the criteria to become a recognized member of the Greek community.

“Even though our charter was taken away, we haven’t given up on ourselves,” Hartney said. “We know we have what it takes to be successful and we are excited to be able to start a local chapter. It’s an honor to say that this is what we built and that we were the founding members.”

According to Hartney, even though Alpha Chi Omega’s closing was a negative experience, it has also included some positives.

Sophomore Whitney Bryant, former vice president of intellectual development, Panhellenic delegate and Jr. Greek delegate for Alpha Chi Omega, agrees wholeheartedly.

“Alpha Chi closing was, of course, very hard on all of the girls, but I think that we are coming to terms with it, and are now looking to the future, and what else Simpson can bring to our college experience,” Bryant said.