Hello sisters, 

In June 2022, I shared that the sorority made great strides to grow our membership, strengthen our sisterhood, and increase our service impact throughout the Spring 2022 semester. We continue to focus on all of that and have increased our focus specifically on service and chapter health. 

As our chapters return to “normal” life following the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that many of our collegiate members were not members in the “before times.” Many of them never participated in a service project before there were restrictions and limitations in place. 

New Resources

Our team of volunteers on the Operational Leadership Team decreased in size this semester, but not in effort! Our team worked to improve or create the following resources:

  • New Alumni Workshop 
  • Updated Standard Operating Procedures
  • Chapter Budget Template
  • CSB/Risk Management Workshop

Our Chapter Health team also worked to create new processes and resources for chapters. 

A new email series called “What’s New in HQ” goes out to chapter leaders on the 1st of each month. This email contains upcoming deadlines, important information, upcoming events, and relevant tips and advice. 

Each month, the Chapter Health Manager or another team member creates a monthly lesson for continuous leadership development. Lessons have included officer transitions, successful semester toolkit, recruitment and maintaining your members, risk management, and more. This leadership series is called “Healthy Hives: A Guide to Building Strong Chapters.” Each lesson is published on YouTube and OPAportal for members to access. 

There are two new ways for chapters and members to provide feedback to the national organization and seek direct support:

  • Anonymous Feedback Form 
  • Tea Time with Taylor  

The anonymous feedback form is available on OPAportal for any member to share an anonymous complaint or celebration. Chapter Health Manager Taylor Outler has regularly scheduled office hours – Tea Time with Taylor – that members can attend to get one on one assistance or feedback. In addition to this regularly scheduled time, the chapter health team held recruitment specific office hours for officers responsible for recruitment activities to get advice or ideas. After recruitment, a member of the team set up a 1-on-1 call with each chapter membership director to review how their recruitment went, what was challenging, and what they want to improve moving forward. 

Another way for officers to provide feedback or seek support specific to their role is through Monthly Chapter Officer Reports. Officers complete this online form by the 15th of each month. Reports are reviewed by many national team members and we follow up with officers as requested. 

As part of the chapter health budget this year, we sent gifts to each chapter based on their requests. These gifts are all items that will be useful to chapters throughout the year during service projects, recruitment, etc. Chapters received branded banners, branded flags, speakers, wagons for supplies, and so forth. 

The chapter health team has also created an abundance of other resource guides for chapters (all accessed on OPAportal) including: 

  • Executive Board Retreat Planning Guide
  • National Team Guide 
  • Founder’s Day Celebration Guide
  • Alumni Engagement Guide
  • Bid Day Planning Guide
  • Formal Planning Guide 
  • Officer Transition Guide
  • Best Practices for Electing Officers 
  • Constitution Cheat Sheet 
  • Preparing For a New Semester Guide
  • What Does it Mean To Be On Exec Workshop
  • Standard Operating Procedures for Nationals required Officer Positions 
  • List of Potential Officer Positions
  • Welcome To EB Video 

The chapter health team has also planned a semester-long Officer Leadership Academy workshop series for chapter executive board officers that will launch this month (January 2023)! Officer-specific training workshops were a goal of the sorority that came to fruition last August. After receiving feedback from attendees, we decided to modify the structure and offer shorter workshops throughout the semester. We’ve also added workshops for all members including Resume Writing and Interview Skills. 

We are very excited to offer continued leadership and personal development opportunities to our members. If you have an area of expertise that you’d like to share with our members (Teach-a-Sister national project, maybe?), please reach out to Taylor Outler at chapterhealth@omegaphialpha.org.  

Our Service Impact

Our collegiate members completed more than 20,370 hours of service last semester. This equates to $305,550 of potential labor costs at a living wage of $15 per hour. The chapter with the highest number of service hours was Alpha Rho at Virginia Tech with almost 1,900 hours of service. We had 7 other chapters complete over 1,000 hours of service. 

28 members completed over 40 service hours from chapter-planned service projects:

Jenna Mangen

Jordan Foster

Kylee Miller

McKenna Garland

Ally Gee

Hallie Davis-Proctor

Naomi Bouedo

Ella Donohue

Mailys Angibaud

Avery Yearout

Kayla Wagner

Abby Stevens

Allyson Norwinski

Shannon Doyle

Whitney DAttilio

Lindsey LePere

Yasmen Balogun

Ariel Denning

Emily Blevins

Emily Sorrow

Janis Osbrink

Jenn Elliott

Lila Naugle

Mary Grace Brewer

Stephenie Tucker

Grace Mather

Bethenie Penna

Rowan Bradley

Chapters are seeing more participation in service projects post pandemic and our national service team is preparing resources for chapters to transition from virtual and donation based projects back to hands-on service. 

Membership Growth

It was very exciting to see many of our chapters have great success with recruitment this semester, returning to numbers we haven’t seen in several semesters! 

Our chapters extended bids to 379 potential new members and we welcomed 319 of those into Omega Phi Alpha this Fall. This number was a slight decrease from Fall 2021, but still very close to on-trend with our pre-pandemic levels. 

While we have seen Leave of Absence numbers decrease over the past two semesters, we unfortunately saw that number increase again in Fall 2022. We are taking steps to understand the reasons for LOA status and to determine how we can provide support to members so that they do not have to take LOA status. This includes encouraging chapters to re-evaluate their local requirements for service, sisterhood, and local dues. 

Year of Expansion

The year of expansion was a success! Summer Ray (Alpha Pi) and Corey Goodburn (Alpha Kappa), along with many other vital partners, worked to induct THREE new chapters of Omega Phi Alpha in Fall 2022. 

  • Auburn University (re-founding of Omicron)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Alpha Tau)
  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville (Alpha Upsilon)

Our previous interest groups are officially prospective new chapters. We anticipate inducting at least one of these groups in Spring 2023. More details to come! 

  • Binghamton University
  • Marshall University

If you are interested in serving as a mentor and big sister to any of these founding members, please complete this form. Your experience and guidance to these members as they complete this difficult process is so important! As more information becomes available about dates of inductions, we will share with all members. All members are encouraged to attend the induction ceremony and help us celebrate our new chapters and members! 

Progressing Forward

We plan to continue to focus on growing our collegiate membership and improving chapter health through the expanded chapter health support team. Chapters will continue to receive in-depth assistance, training, and engagement to improve chapter operations and member satisfaction. 

The Diversity and Inclusion team will be offering many development opportunities for both collegiate and alumni members in the upcoming year including a Queer Inclusivity Training and a Disability Ally Training. 

Stay tuned to social media and your email to get updates from the sorority!