Alpha Chi Omega not losing it’s chapter house

by Shara Tibken

For nearly 100 years, the women of Alpha Chi Omega exerted avisual presence on the Simpson College campus, but some changes arein store for Alpha Chi Omega for the 2004-2005 school year.

According to a press release issued on March 19 by the Alpha ChiOmega headquarters, the sorority will experience a largereorganization.

“Many current members will take early alumna status at the endof the 2003-2004 academic year. A few others will remain ascollegiate members and will be instrumental in the reorganizationprocess,” said Holly Flynn, member services director at the AlphaChi Omega Headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Alpha Chi Omega headquarters reached this decision followingrecruitment efforts made by the chapter at Simpson this year.

In the fall, only four new members joined Alpha Chi Omega.

“They did not recruit any in the spring,” said Nicole ModianosStumo, Simpson College Greek life coordinator.

The total number of members in the house at this time is only19, whereas capacity for the house is 37, according to the AlphaChi Omega Web site.

According to the press release, over 1,220 women have beenmembers of the sorority at Simpson over the years, and it has onlybeen in recent years that the number of members has fallen.

“Over the past five to seven years, they have seen a decline inmembership, but that has not always been the case,” said Stumo.

Rumors have spread that the women will be losing their housebecause of the low number of members, but according to Stumo, thisis not true.

“As far as we know right now, as far as I’m aware, they’re notlosing their chapter house,” said Stumo. “They definitely intend tobe here as a chapter on campus next year, and I think that we’llcontinue to work with them during the challenges and throughout thechallenges that they face. Certainly, they have some challengeswith membership numbers, but we’ll continue to work with both thelocal chapter leadership and local alumni and their national officeto work through that.”

The sorority will still participate in recruitment in the fall,but the situation for the sorority differs from past years.

“They will participate in the first round of recruitment whichis typically more of an open house round or just kind of aget-to-know-you round,” said Stumo.

Alpha Chi Omega will still work to gain new members though.

“Alpha Chi Omega will be holding information sessions in thefall for women who are interested in the new Alpha Chi Omegachapter experience,” said Flynn. “Alpha Chi Omega will participatein the first round of formal recruitment. National representativesand Simpson alumnae will host these rounds. Actual recruitment willbegin shortly after fall recruitment is complete.”

The alumni of Alpha Chi Omega have been actively trying to helpthe chapter.

“I know that there has been a lot of support from local alumniof Simpson to the Alpha Chi Omega chapter,” said Stumo. “Alums havemet with chapter members. Alums from different sororities anddifferent fraternities have met with alums of Alpha Chi Omega.Different fraternity and sorority alums have met with consultantsand national people that have been here from Alpha Chi Omega andhave tried to give some insight into a little more history aboutGreek life at Simpson and have tried to offer support orencouragement.”

Alpha Chi Omega has received support from the other sororitiesand fraternities as well.

“The Greek community has just tried to be supportive of theirchapter in such ways as showing up and providing support at theiropen houses and chapters showing up and helping at the spaghettidinner that they hosted last spring,” said Stumo.

The women of Alpha Chi Omega were unable to comment at this timeabout the situation.

“I think this whole situation makes our Greek community awarethat all organizations face challenges and go through restructuringphases and have times where things are going really well and havetimes where things aren’t going so well,” said Stumo. “I hope thatin addition to just creating that awareness that all organizationsgo through things like that, it also brings an awareness that weall need to support each other and really come together in Greekunity to assist a chapter that is struggling.”