Zeta becomes Alpha Chi Omega
Add another item to the list of changes taking place on Carnegie Mellon’s campus this year: Local sorority Zeta Psi Sigma is no longer. The letters adorning the house have been removed and are soon to be replaced by three new ones: AXΩ.
On February 1, Zeta Psi Sigma officially asked national sorority Alpha Chi Omega to become part of the Greek community on Carnegie Mellon’s campus. After 12 years as part of the University, the local sorority has been adopted by a national organization. Following much deliberation on behalf of the 28 sisters of Zeta Psi Sigma, the women
of Carnegie Mellon’s Panhellenic Council, the dean of Student Affairs, and the coordinators of Greek Affairs, Alpha Chi Omega was chosen as the best fit.
Previously known as Chi Omega, Zeta Psi Sigma was formed when Chi Omega’s national charter was revoked for financial reasons in 1992. This marks the second change in affiliation during the sisterhood’s history.
“It was a hard decision. A lot of the sisters didn’t want to give up Zeta. But we knew if we didn’t do it now, Zeta would die,” said former Zeta Psi Sigma president Jamie Moroco, now president of Alpha Chi Omega.
“You want something to come back to in five years,” Moroco said, noting that the choice to be adopted by a national sorority was a long time in coming.
“It was hard to hang with the other nationals here without the support of a national organization,” she added.
Emerging empty-handed from this fall’s Formal Membership Recruitment session, Zeta welcomed four new members following an additional week of Informal Membership Recruitment. Comparatively, nationally sponsored sororities like Delta Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta welcomed 27 new sisters into each respective house.
“As a local sorority, Zeta didn’t have the resources available to them to help them be successful,” said Monica Bebie, coordinator for Greek Affairs.
In October, following the disappointing rush, Zeta Psi Sigma issued a letter that announced the decision to open the Greek community here for expansion to the 22 national sororities available for colonization on Carnegie Mellon’s campus.
To aid them in making their final choice, Zeta invited four of the 22 national sororities to visit campus during the first two weeks of the spring semester.
“After spending time with most of the women in the chapter, we left campus knowing we would be proud to affiliate with them and establish a new Alpha Chi Omega chapter at Carnegie Mellon University,” stated Alpha Chi Omega’s executive director Suzette Bewley Mathis in a press release issued from the sorority’s Indianapolis headquarters.
Bebie, who was heavily involved in the process, concurs. “We were focused on helping these women transition from being a local organization to a national organization. Alpha Chi Omega is a perfect fit for the Greek community here at Carnegie Mellon University,” she said.
Zeta Psi Sigma is now recognized as the Kappa Nu Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega, and colonization will begin March 1. Now, five of the 26 national sororities that are governed by the National Panhellenic Council are represented at Carnegie Mellon: Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Alpha Chi Omega.
Alpha Chi Omega will incorporate Zeta’s history and current sisters into the new sorority as it begins its own history here on Margaret Morrison Street. During fall of next year, AXΩ will open bids to new sisters, but Moroco points out, “[Zeta’s] rituals and tradition will cease to exist.”
Zeta will adopt AXΩ’s colors, motto, emblems, and traditions along with a number of other rituals as dictated by the national organization.
The sorority must also choose a new charitable organization and cause to which to donate. As opposed to Zeta’s freedom as a local sorority to choose a new cause each year, AXΩ as a national organization works to eliminate domestic violence in the United States.
Though some practices will be lost, much can be gained in this change.
“Traditionally, when you add another [national organization to the Greek community], it sparks interest in Greek life,” Bebie said. “The other four organizations have been extremely, extremely supportive in the process. It was difficult for them to see Zeta struggle.”