Joining Chi Omega in the Time of COVID-19

In this uncertain time, Chi Omega recognizes that many students are understandably concerned about what joining a sorority could look like for them. Below are some questions you may have regarding the sorority membership experience and what Chi Omega is doing to ensure the welfare of every Sister is ‘ever at heart’.

What does the Chi Omega membership experience look like in light of social distancing? Are members still connected?

Since 1895, Chi Omega has been providing a deeply impactful experience for our Sisters, giving them authentic friendships and helping one another cultivate a lifetime of purpose. Our commitment remains the same today as it has over the past 125 years – even during the pandemic.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, chapters have seamlessly transitioned to virtual membership experience. With the support of local alumnae advisors and Regional Directors at the Executive Headquarters, every chapter developed a plan to promote virtual connection. Chapters have been utilizing creative ideas and technology to still provide a Sisterhood based on authentic connections and friendships. Some examples include the following:

  • Hosting virtual chapter meetings with an emphasis on fun and friendship
  • Establishing pen pals within the chapter
  • Organizing career panels hosted by alumnae
  • Holding workshops to help members adjust and succeed in online school
  • Celebrating milestones including birthdays, graduations, and engagements
  • Offering optional growth opportunities where Sisters share skills and hobbies and learn from one another

What will the Chi Omega membership experience look like if campuses aren’t open in the fall?

Chi Omega will continue to provide an engaging membership experience virtually, just as we are now. The Executive Headquarters, along with national experts and volunteers on the ground, are further enhancing plans/resources for any and all scenarios at our 181 chapters across the country.

What about fall recruitment?

There will still be opportunities for women to join Chi Omega chapters in the fall. We encourage you to reach out to the Office of Student Life or the Office of Fraternity and Sorority life on your campus to learn how to register for sorority recruitment.

The Chi Omega Executive Headquarters is working extensively with the National Panhellenic Conference and campus partners to determine what recruitment will look like on each of our campuses. Our priority will be providing a welcoming and safe environment for Potential New Members to experience how Chi Omega can change their lives for the better, even if the experiences looks different from the outside – the heart of our Sisterhood will remain the same.

Should I just wait until schools return to “normal” to join?

In this rapidly-changing time, sorority life has more value now than ever before as it provides opportunities you may not have access to elsewhere due to limitations placed on Universities and other organizations. In Chi Omega you will find lifelong friendships to support your growth and transition to college, leadership opportunities that allow you to learn new skills, and mentors that will champion you to be your best self.

How will joining Chi Omega help my college experience now?

Normalcy has been taken away from incoming college students, as many had the celebrations associated with the end of one’s high school career taken away. Now, with the transition to college already overwhelming, we know you’re facing the challenge of navigating an altered college experience.

Chi Omega can provide structure and opportunities for New Members to get plugged into a values-based community right away, despite the changes to the traditional college experience.

Our Sisterhood can ease the scary and overwhelming transition into college, give members a support system to help them grow and find true belonging, and help them find their passions through well rounded experiences.

Further, Chi Omega will provide you with a strong connection to your University and college life, especially with members who have had years already on campus. This experience can be translated and replicated by older Chi Omega Sisters in a way first year students without the network Chi Omega provides will not have.

What is Chi Omega doing to keep its members safe during this time?

Nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of our members. Chi Omega has been consulting with mental health and public health professionals, as well as our national insurance provider to determine best practices and guidelines for all local collegiate and alumnae chapters.

Members have been instructed to follow all CDC guidelines, as well as those of their local and state governments. Collegiate chapters have been instructed to comply with all University regulations regarding COVID-19 and to take an abundance of precaution.

All Chi Omega chapter facilities have been following University standards on sanitation – and will continue to do so. It is our perspective that chapter facilities offer a transformative group-living experience which is arguably just as safe, if not safer, than a typical residential dorm experience, given that members develop personal relationships with those they live with and have relatively similar lifestyles. In Chi Omega facilities, all members will be provided with the same set of rules, guidelines, resources, and accountability measures to promote health and overall wellness.

What is the return on investment for sorority life now?

Sorority membership provides an opportunity for members to reach their fullest potentials and gain access to a supportive network of women that will help them grow far beyond their college days. Membership in fraternal organizations have been linked to higher well-being for college graduates

In a 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Study, it was found that college graduates who were in fraternities and sororities were more likely to be thriving in all five critical elements of well-being (purpose, social, financial, physical and community). Subjects were found to have:

  • Felt more motivated to achieve goals
  • Had stronger emotional support systems
  • Been more effective at managing economic life and increased financial security
  • Been more likely to be engaged in the community
  • Higher rates of physical wellbeing
  • Fraternity and sorority members were also found to be more engaged in the workplace and invested in experiential learning opportunities.

Why is Chi Omega the right choice?

Chi Omega is the largest sorority in the National Panhellenic Conference, with the most members and the most collegiate chapters. While we are proud of being the largest fraternal network for women, we are even more proud of the values each of our Sisters exhibits every day.

Rather than focusing on “fitting in,” Chi Omega provides a space for our members to BELONG… a place for Sisters to connect with like-hearted friends who live authentically and who are there for one another when it matters.

A Chi Omega’s collegiate years are just the beginning. Sisters will find lifelong support systems and meaningful connections through the largest alumnae network of any sorority. No matter your location, career, or interest, you will always find a Sister to connect with – even if it’s through Zoom.

Katherine Mendieta Photography