Where it all began for Theta Chapter…
It all began in the spring of 1997…
Some of us first heard about Alpha Omega Epsilon from Dana Stodgel who gathered information from the Alpha chapter’s web page. She then publicized in North of Green that she would be having a meeting and anyone was welcomed to attend. From there we grew by word of mouth, and at one point had eighteen women (mostly juniors and seniors and one graduate student) interested. The semester came to a close so we went our separate ways for the summer.
Upon returning to campus, we continued working on our petition and organization. Most of the work involved jumping through hoops with the Registered Students’ Organization (RSO) office: In order to remain a single-sexed organization, i.e. sorority or fraternity, the organization needed to belong to either Panhellenic Council or Interfraternity Council. However, we were unaware of the guidelines when we submitted our first application and therefore denied. Thus we contacted the Office of Greek Affairs who told us that in order to become a part of Panhellenic Council we had to become a registered organization first!
Our other problem concerned picking a temporary name which had never been used at the University. We tried the name Lambda Epsilon (a.k.a. “Lady Engineers”), but it was rejected by the RSO. Afterwards we settled on Omega Epsilon in hopes to soon add the Alpha.
By this time we had most of our paperwork done, not to mention an approved name. Unfortunately, we lost both our president and vice president due to personal reasons. As a result we were left without a leader. But by the second meeting after losing both officers, we elected Amy Devine as president and Triny Benavidez as vice president. From there we spent our time working on completing and submitting our petition for Colony status.
We were initiated as a colony on January 31, 1998. There were eight women who took the vow (on an interesting note, we had all the seven chapters represented at our initiation). Although we were still small, we had heart! With the beginning of a new semester, everyone was motivated to complete the colony requirements: We worked on professional development during our resume workshop and graduate school information night, while we worked on our scholastic standards during our weekly study hours.
That summer we attended our first national convention held in Raleigh, North Carolina. We also prepared for the upcoming fall rush with Panhellenic Council- recruitment was one of our goals that we had to achieve as a Colony. We participated in the first 2 days of formal rush before dropping out to do our own activities. We realized it was going to be a huge endeavor for seven (one had graduated) to take on.
We ended up with a Beta class of five dedicated women whose ideals were in sync with those of the sorority: “to promote friendship, leadership, and professionalism” with female engineers. Together, Alpha and Beta classes were initiated as Chapter founders on February 27, 1999, by alumnae Michelle Troy, Expansion Representative, and Mary Anne Moore, Interchapter Relations.
A little over five years later, we have nearly five times as many members and continue to grow in friendship, leadership, professionalism, and (of course) sisterhood.
~Adapted from our application for chapter status by Amy Devine