Chi Omega’s Newest Colony

Photo Credit: Coastal Carolina University

In January 2017, Chi Omega’s National Extension Team received information that Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC was looking to add another sorority to their Panhellenic Council. Chi Omega has been interested in extension efforts at Coastal Carolina for the past decade, so Chi Omega’s Director of Extension, Payton Gartman, visited campus and met with Coastal representatives on January 18th. Upon learning more about Coastal’s outstanding Greek community, impressive support from the administration and faculty, and the dynamic student type that attends the university during this visit, Chi Omega was thrilled to move forward with submitting an official extension application on January 27th.

Chi Omega Presentation Team throwing the Chanticleer sign

Out of 9 national organizations that submitted an extension application to Coastal, Chi Omega was honored to be one of the 3 groups asked to make a campus presentation. A team of national representatives, including Shelley Potter (National President), Laura Miller (National Vice-President), Gena Runnion (National Secretary), Jaime Phipps (National Volunteer), Payton Gartman (Director of Extension), Allie Olson (Marketing Manager), Megan Palik (Regional Director), Christina George (Regional Director), Brooke Adams (Chapter Development Specialist), and Temperance Russell (Collegiate Representative), visited campus in March to meet with local alumnae, connect with Panhellenic community members, and present to over 170 campus representatives about how Chi Omega would be a purposeful partner with Coastal.

One week after the campus presentation visit on March 27th, the National Extension Team was ecstatic to receive a call from Coastal Carolina’s Panhellenic Council that Chi Omega was ultimately the group selected to colonize! We would personally like to thank some of the campus representatives who were involved in the extension process and dedicated so much time and energy into this thoughtful decision: Dr. Debbie Conner (Vice-President of Student Life and Campus Engagement), Whitney Comer (Executive Director of Student Life), Brittany Bowles (Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life), Tearah Burden (2017 Panhellenic President), the other Extension Committee members, and the Panhellenic Council.

Chi Omega is thrilled to accept an invitation from Coastal to establish a new chapter this Fall 2017! The beautiful campus and student body reflect Chi Omega’s values and we are very excited to partner with this university to help hundreds of women cultivate a lifetime of purpose through our Sisterhood. We are excited to join the ranks of 6 other sororities currently on campus, including Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Xi Delta, Gamma Phi Beta, Phi Sigma Sigma, Sigma Kappa, and Sigma Sigma Sigma. Additionally, the new chapter at Coastal Carolina will be the 6th chapter in the state of South Carolina, the 31st chapter in the Southeast Atlantic Region, and the 181st collegiate chapter in the country!

Prior to the colonization in September, the National Extension Team is working to conduct a pre-marketing visit on campus, select and train Advisors and House Corporation Board members, prepare for the colony support team, and continue building upon our purposeful partnership with Coastal’s Panhellenic Council. During the colonization process this fall, Chi Omega will be recruiting over 100 women to be a part of the charter class, which will include freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. If you know of any young women who currently attend Coastal Carolina and are unaffiliated with another sorority OR any young women who will be enrolled at Coastal this fall, please encourage them to look into the opportunity, follow us on social media, and email ccu@chiomega.com with any questions! Additionally, we will be accepting recommendations for young women throughout the fall recruitment process, and those will be used by our extension team during the colonization period. Any recommendations can be sent directly to Chi Omega’s Director of Extension, Payton Gartman, at pgartman@chiomega.com by August 31st.

Meredith Trank Resident National Consultant

The Resident National Consultant that will be living with the new chapter and leading them through their New Member period this fall is Meredith Trank, an initiate of the Rho Epsilon chapter at Texas Christian University. Meredith has experience with extension, as she served on the recolonization and reinstallation teams for the Nu Kappa chapter at Georgia Southern University in Fall 2016, and will bring the perfect balance of Sisterly leadership, thoughtful organization, and FUN to the establishment efforts.

Once the New Member period is complete in November, a team of national representatives will fly-in to conduct Initiation and the Installation ceremony. From then on, the new chapter will officially be recognized as the Gamma Mu chapter of Chi Omega and will receive their charter at Convention 2018 in Phoenix, AZ!

We would love for YOU to keep up with our establishment efforts at Coastal by following Chi Omega at Coastal Carolina University on Facebook and @ccu_chiomega on Twitter and Instagram! These social mediums will be managed by Chi Omega’s Marketing Department through the fall until the chapter officers are selected and trained. Thank you for support and we cannot wait to welcome more Sisters into our beloved Fraternity!