Real. Strong. Women. Sisterhood

AXΩ and ROTC: Embodying “Real. Strong. Women.”

By Anelise Allen (Lambda Nu, Northeastern University)

Alex in her uniform

New York native Alex Haskins joined the Northeastern community in a majority-remote capacity in the fall of 2020. However, this did not deter her from taking advantage of any and all opportunities that came her way. Alex is currently a member of the Army ROTC program, a member of the Criminology F.A.N. Club and a sister of Alpha Chi Omega.

Alex was drawn to Alpha Chi after meeting two sisters who were also ROTC members, admiring them for their leadership, strength, encouragement and support. “I immediately felt welcomed the moment I met them and thought it was a positive reflection of who Alpha Chi girls are,” Alex says. Coming from a military family, she has always admired the profession, particularly the women soldiers who have demonstrated that the military is not just a man’s battlefield. Her admiration and respect for the military is what motivated Alex to join ROTC.

Alex (right) with her big Katherine Giglio

Last semester, Alex had the opportunity to participate in an in-person capacity for ROTC and met many close friends through the program, including her big and grandbig. “The first time I met my big I was actually taking a physical fitness test, but I had injured myself two days before and was having trouble running with a leg injury. Kat ran over to me and actually ran the rest of the 2-mile with me, just to make sure I got through it,” Alex recalls. “I think this is the true meaning of the Army. People often think military personnel are harsh and demanding, when the reality is, yes, we push ourselves and each other because we know we are capable, but we are also very supportive during the process.”

Our sorority’s tagline is “Real. Strong. Women.,” which Alex embodies in all of her involvement with Northeastern and outside organizations. While this tagline has many unique and personal meanings among our sisters, to Alex, it means using her voice for good.

“Real strength comes from the ability to be a support for others in different ways, maybe standing up for another person, offering advice or even just listening to them,” Alex explains. “I absolutely love that we are able to stand up for what is right even if it means holding our sisters accountable. I appreciate that we also do not hold others accountable with hate but from a place of compassion and care, and we prioritize solving the problem rather than putting a Band-Aid over it. I love that we do not prioritize our appearance to others and popularity, but that we take the time to recognize and remedy when we and others have made mistakes.”

For Alex, a real, strong woman supports others whenever possible, whether it be messaging a fellow classmate she notices is struggling with material, creating Kahoot! games for class or providing emotional support whenever she is able. “I want to be an open door for anyone to come to me and confide in me in a healthy manner, whether it is a surface-level conversation or a more serious discussion,” Alex says.  “I always open my heart and mind to others.”

Alex recently had the unique opportunity to perform in Sigmapalooza, a virtual fundraising concert that sisters from Northeastern’s Tri Sigma chapter put on to raise money for their philanthropy, and she is grateful to all the Alpha Chi Omegas who purchased a ticket to see her perform. Although she experienced some pre-show jitters, she was pleased with the evening because she gave it her all and enjoyed herself. She recalls a now-funny moment when singing an Ed Sheeran song accidentally activated Siri on her iPad. Despite her attempts to sing through, the song stopped, and she got ahead. Alex laughed it off and attributed it to another live performance story!

Even though Alex has fully immersed herself into our chapter, it wasn’t too long ago that she was a potential new member (PNM), and she has some advice for prospective sisters! She encourages all PNMs to put themselves out there as much as possible.

“We are all here for each other and there is not a single one of your sisters who will say no to getting to know you or hanging out with you,” Alex explains. “Maybe that one sister you saw on Zoom wearing a funky shirt turns out to be your best friend by the end of college. You never know until you try. I think right now Zoom has really compartmentalized everyone’s social skills, so it is important to remember that one day we are all going to be able to be in a room during meetings and be physically with each other during events, and when that time comes, you may want to know the name of the person you sit next to.”

In anticipation of an in-person semester at Northeastern, Alex is excited to meet Alpha Chi Omega sisters in person and experience unmodified versions of recruitment and initiation. Alex plans to use her ROTC experiences to the fullest extent post-college by commissioning as an officer in the Army and applying all the leadership skills she has learned.

When thinking about Alpha Chi Omega, Alex swears by the idea, “Once a sister, always a sister.” She shares, “I know I will continue to reach out to my girls and do my best to stay as connected as possible with the sorority, especially with my big and grandbig.”

We are so happy Alex chose us and consider ourselves the lucky ones!