The Alpha chapter was established at DePauw University by our seven Founders in 1885. Now, 135 years later, we ask our oldest chapter’s current president, Akane Inoue, to share what the Real. Strong. Women.® Experience looks like for Founders’ Day 2020.
- Tell us about your chapter today. What are your chapter sisters like? What things are they interested in? What things do they enjoy?
Today, our chapter is home to women with many varied interests who are all strong leaders on campus. It is so special to see each and every one of our sisters be involved in something they are passionate about and to see other sisters support them, whether it’s research presentations or events they planned. While not everyone is currently on campus, our time in our chapter house is usually filled with laughs and hugs (while wearing masks). Some of our favorite things are prank wars or talking about how our Founder Nellie haunts our house. We also write lots of notes to each other and get really excited dancing to “Every Time We Touch,” which has a special place in our hearts.
- What impact has Alpha Chi Omega had on your life, especially in 2020?
Alpha Chi Omega has given me both challenges and valuable experiences that have allowed me to grow into the person I am today, especially this year. Taking on the role of chapter president as an international student and as a sophomore was very challenging, especially trying to navigate the pandemic. It has been a very difficult year, but I have a lot more confidence and am so much stronger because of it. Most importantly, however, this sisterhood has given me some of the most incredible people who were there for me through it all and who have become my family away from home.
- With all the changes to your chapter experience this year, how has the mission of Alpha Chi Omega continued to provide meaning to you and to your sisters? The mission states: “Through the Real. Strong. Women. Experience, Alpha Chi Omega cultivates impactful communities where women are inspired to connect, lead, grow and serve.”
Despite the challenges distance brings, sisters in my chapter have found creative ways to stay connected and support each other. Through our weekly Lyre Ups, we uplift our sisters who have accomplished things both big and small, as well as recognize those who we miss and bring a smile to our faces. Another important change to our chapter experience this year is the addition of the new VP DEI executive board position. While conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion have been a part of our chapter experience in the past, we recognize that there is a significant amount of work to do. Continuing those conversations and including them in all aspects of our membership is important for us to continue growing and leading.