Last month, over 100 sisters gathered together for Omega Phi Alpha’s first-ever virtual Convention. Elections for the 5 Board of Directors positions were held July 10, and the remainder of Convention programming was held July 22-25.

Keynote Address from Bonny Shade

Convention kicked off with an amazing keynote address from Bonny Shade who shared about creating belonging and relationships that matter in OPhiA, and how the blending of our individual differences creates a unique experience for our communities and our sisterhood.

“More Love Letters” Service Project

On Friday, July 23, sisters participated in a virtual service opportunity called “More Love Letters”, which was focused on supporting our permanent project, Mental Health. Event coordinators Megan Sheppard (Alpha Iota) and Crystal Genter (Alpha) shared the stories of two individuals struggling with depression and anxiety and sisters took time to write them personal “love letters” to provide advice and let them know they are not alone and supported.

Social Hours and Coffee Connections

Throughout Convention, sisters had the chance to meet up socially with sisters across the country through social hours and coffee connections. The Alumni Membership Team also hosted a trivia game for general attendees which was exciting and well-received.

State of the Sorority

During the state of the sorority, the Operational Leadership Team provided updates and data in regards to each area of our operations. All attendees received a full recap of the last two years of operations including what the focus is for this year. 

Constitution & Bylaws Updates

One of the main focuses of Convention is the consideration and approval of legislation by voting delegates. Below is a short, high-level summary of the Constitution and Bylaws updates delegates approved. For more info, feel free to watch this video.

  • Terminology Updates
    • Alumnae → Alumni
    • Alumna → Alum
    • Colony → Prospective Chapter
    • Colonist → Prospective Chapter Member
    • Colonization → Expansion
  • Membership Updates
    • First semester LOA → First active semester LOA
    • Clarification of what LOA is and who approves LOA statuses
    • Elimination of option to petition NSB for “early alum” status 
  • New Member Process Updates
    • Chapters no longer vote on new members at the mid semester check point or at the end of the new member period
  • Diversity and Inclusion Updates
    • ADA requirements for national meetings and national events (including district summit)
    • ADA requirements for chapter meetings, service projects, activities, etc. 
    • Accommodations must be made for members with disabilities when requested including alternate projects
  • Cardinal Principles Updates
    • Elimination of LEAD Team
    • Addition of mental health and president’s project to the service program description and requirements
    • Clarifications about service requirements

An updated Constitution and Bylaws document is now available on OPAportal.

2020-2021 Awards

Saturday’s awards presentation featured service, chapter, individual and officer awards and a video honoring award recipients was shared. Additionally, the Susan Terzian Award was presented to Cheryl Roberts (Beta) for her commitment to and embodiment of Omega Phi Alpha’s cardinal principles, dedication to the Omega Phi Alpha Foundation, and her community involvement.

Convention 2022

Sunday’s closing session ended with a spotlight on next year’s in-person Convention. Convention 2022 will be held at the Springhill Suites by Marriott Historic Stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas from July 14-17, 2022. More in-depth information will be communicated in the coming months.