By Skylar McAuliffe and Madison Williamson (Kappa Nu, Carnegie Mellon University)
When you walk in the doors of the Kappa Nu chapter at Carnegie Mellon University, you are immediately welcomed into a loving and safe environment. As Alpha Chi Omegas who support domestic violence awareness, it is important to us to have the ability to recognize unhealthy behaviors in relationships, whether that be with a partner, with a friend or chapter member, or even with oneself.
From the moment a new member joins our chapter on Bid Day, our chapter’s executive board is working to ensure that they are joining a safe sorority – one that they will feel comfortable calling their home.
From the start, our new members are connecting with older sisters to find friends, meet people and get involved. These Carnation, Alpha, Chi and Omega sisters check in with their new members to make sure that they are comfortable with each step of the new member process, from Bid Day to initiation. Our VP new member education continuously works with these sisters to address issues and foster conversations on hazing as a means to prevent it.
Once new members have been initiated into active membership, the safe and welcoming environment continues throughout their collegiate experience. Our chapter’s committees work throughout the year to encourage members to maintain healthy habits, creating challenges where teams can score points by taking time for their mental, physical or emotional health. Each semester, our executive board hosts a sisterhood retreat for members to come together and have difficult, but important, conversations about mental health, stress, DEI or risk management.
The academic rigor of Carnegie Mellon often puts members of our chapter under immense pressure. Most Alpha Chis are involved in a full course load, research, internships and other organizations. Throughout the past few years, it has been a priority for the CRSB and risk committee to do individual check-ins with sisters. By reaching out to someone one-on-one, we are better able to recognize when someone is struggling and understand the steps we can take to help.
Kappa Nu wants to be a part of the change in making the Greek community as safe and welcoming as possible, and with our emphasis on safe, positive relationships, we help to do just that.