Alpha Chi Omega
|Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups|
|Alpha Chi Omega|
|Theta Omicron Chapter|
The Theta Omicron chapter of Alpha Chi Omega (AXΩ, also known as A-Chi-O) is one of the six sororities at MIT. It was the second sorority to join MIT's campus and is one of the four sororities with a house, located in Kenmore Square in Boston.
AXΩ National History
Alpha Chi Omega was founded on October 15, 1885, at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Professor James Hamilton Howe, Dean of the Music School, had approached seven young women from the school to help them form a society as they sought "friendship, artistic society and advancement of the ‘principles of true womanhood.’” The seven founders — Anna Allen, Olive Burnett, Bertha Deniston, Amy DuBois, Nellie Gamble, Bessie Grooms, and Estelle Leonard — were gifted musicians, reflecting the original purpose of the society as read in the original constitution: "To attain the highest musical culture and to cultivate those principles that embody true womanhood." At a student convocation held in the DePauw University Meharry Hall, the seven founders announced their presence wearing scarlet and olive-green ribbon streamers attached to their dresses to commemorate the fraternity's fall founding.
With the help of Professor Howe and James G. Campbell, the fraternity adopted a constitution and bylaws and chose symbols, colors, a motto, and a badge. The founders chose the name Alpha Chi Omega. As the first fraternity formed in the school of music and presumably the last, they chose their name by using the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet — Alpha and Omega. Kai, meaning "and," was used to connect the words but was letter changed to the Greek letter Chi.
For more about the history of the national sorority, visit the national Alpha Chi Omega website.
AXΩ Theta Omicron (MIT Chapter) History
In 1985 a group of 28 MIT women, originally known as the "Thalians," began a search to affiliate with a national fraternity. After exploring 26 different sororities, the women finally chose to affiliate with Alpha Chi Omega. These women saw the strength and support a national sorority would offer and chose Alpha Chi Omega because of the level of individuality the organization offered the MIT chapter. On November 26 of that year, the national organization officially formed a colony at MIT.
After a colonization period, the chapter became the second National Panhellenic to come to MIT, signing the charter on April 26, 1986.
More about the chapter founding is described in an article from The Tech.
In 1994 MIT bought a mansion on Commonwealth Avenue for the chapter, and sisters have been living there ever since. Learn more about the house here.
The AXΩ Mansion is located in Kenmore Square, nearby numerous other MIT sororities and fraternities as well as restaurants, a movie theater, and Fenway Park. Twenty five AXΩ sisters inhabit the house, but it is always filled with sisters who live on campus but visit to meet up with friends, eat, do problem sets, or just relax.
There is a Safe Ride stop directly in front of the house, making it easy and convenient for sisters to get to and from campus. The house serves dinner five nights per week, which is prepared by the excellent chef, David.
The sisters of Alpha Chi are very devoted to philanthropy and community service. Many sisters pursue their own philanthropic interests by volunteering for organizations like MIT's Camp Kesem, Habitat for Humanity, and many other organizations. The Community Service Chairs also organize regular commnunity service outings for sisters. In the past, sisters have volunteered together for the Boston Marathon, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Haley House of Boston, and many other organizations.
Domestic violence awareness is Alpha Chi Omega's primary philanthropy. The chapter is a strong supporter of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC). The sisters volunteer for BARCC's annual Walk and Gala. And through several annual events like LipSync and Domestic Violence Awareness Week, the chapter raises money on campus that is sent directly to BARCC.
Each year as part of the new member education process and to encourage sisters to bond while giving back to the community, the newest members organize a community service project. Check out what the 2010 pledge class did!
Like the other members of MIT's Panhellenic Association, AXΩ participates in Fall Recruitment.
Immediately following Freshmen Orientation, interested MIT women are invited to participate in the multiday recruitment process. Interested women are guided by Pi Rho Chis (Panhellenic Recruitment Counselors) — temporarily disaffiliated and unbiased sorority women — and meet sorority women to learn about each sorority's values, philanthropies, and houses.
At the end of recruitment, after a mutual selection process, potential new members receive a bid for membership. Following Bid Night, potential new members of AXΩ go through a several-month education period before becoming fully initiated into the sorority. There is absolutely no hazing permitted. Like all of the other sororities, AXΩ takes hazing policies and laws very seriously and never asks members or potential new members to do anything that makes them uncomfortable.
Each year the chapter holds Fondue at its mansion and invites the MIT community — including professors, TAs, coaches, and friends — to attend.
Every year the sophomore class plans a fun fall semi-formal for the entire sorority to attend. Traditionally a blind-date event, the semi-formal is held in a different location around Boston each year. Whether attending a comedy show at the Boston Improv Asylum or learning the Cha-Cha with MIT's Ballroom Dance Team, sisters have a great time getting to know each other and their dates!
In the spring, the chapter holds a formal, Carnation Ball. This event is a great break from stressful classes and a chance for the classy sisters to get dressed up for a night of fun, dancing, and hors d'œuvres!
The social chairs organize several mixers each semester so that sisters can get to know other MIT fraternities and sororities. Past mixers have included activities such as bowling, pumpkin carving, murder mysteries, barbecues, and cooking. Mixers are a great way for sisters to bond with each other and to get to know the rest of the MIT community.