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University of New Haven Greek Life Grows with the Installation of Alpha Sigma Alpha

Karina Krul

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On Saturday, Feb. 13, the University of New Haven Alpha Sigma Alpha Colony was installed as the Theta Omega Chapter, officially ending their “start-up” phase.

The sisters of Alpha Sigma Alpha after their Installation  (Alpha Simga Alpha Sorority Facebook photo)

The sisters of Alpha Sigma Alpha after their Installation
(Alpha Simga Alpha Sorority Facebook photo)

The events spanned the entire day, beginning with a white breakfast at Amarante’s Sea Cliff for all members, alumnae initiates, visiting members, national volunteers, and headquarters staff.

Members wore all white and enjoyed breakfast together as Communications Committee Chairman Monica Kowalski read aloud notes of congratulations from other Alpha Sigma Alpha chapters across the country, the National Headquarters, and the Leadership Consultants.

“It was very uplifting to hear their kind words,” Kowalski said.

After the breakfast, members went to New Haven’s Masonic Temple for the initiation and installation ceremonies.

“Walking out of the white breakfast, we all knew it was the last time we would be considered new members, so it was really exciting, but also super nerve racking,” said junior Julie Schneidenbach.

The Sanctuary Degree, an initiation ceremony for the colony members who joined in September, began the ceremonies, making those members fully active. After this exclusive ceremony, all members went through the installation ceremony, and the colony was officially recognized as the newly installed Theta Omega Chapter. Members were presented with pins given exclusively to founding members to commemorate their hard work and dedication.

“It was such a monumental and special occasion to us and many tears of joy were shed,” said new member Stephanie Pratt.

Later in the evening, a formal celebratory banquet took place at Amarante’s Sea Cliff. Members were joined by fellow sisters as well as their invited guests to recognize and celebrated their achievements.

The Mistress of Ceremonies was Kelly Taveras, the leadership consultant that had been with the chapter for this semester. She spoke of the women’s progress this semester and their success through recruitment.

“We’re very proud of everything they’ve accomplished,” said Leadership Consultant Aubrey Winn, who had been with the women from the information sessions in September.

“Aubrey brought us all together, so hearing her say that she is proud of us meant a lot,” said member Christine Battle.

Keynote speaker for the banquet was Dean Johnson, who spoke on the core values of Alpha Sigma Alpha and how they all apply to life both in college and beyond.

“Hearing someone speak with such understanding on how our values can be applied to a professional life meant so much, especially coming from someone who isn’t a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha and is also so important to the UNH community,” said senior Sami Higgins.

Other speakers included Alpha Sigma Alpha’s National President, Melissa Koch Merriam, and Winn.

Member Emily Weschler puts her experience into words. “It was so incredible meeting our national president Melissa Koch Merriam,” she said. Kowalski describes the entire day as “simply incredible.”

The Alpha Sigma Alpha Leadership Consultants pose with the Theta Omega charter From left to right, Kelly Taveras, Abby Somers and Aubrey Winn  (Photo provided by Abby Somers via Facebook)

The Alpha Sigma Alpha Leadership Consultants pose with the Theta Omega charter
From left to right, Kelly Taveras, Abby Somers and Aubrey Winn
(Photo provided by Abby Somers via Facebook)

As the day’s events came to an end, each member left with a smile on their face and pride in their heart.

“It was and is such an exciting time and I am so beyond proud that I could be a part of it!” said Pratt.

A strong sense of unity was also prevalent. “I feel so honored and privileged to call all 93 of these women my sisters,” Kowalski.

Members were free to take photos with each other, as well as with guests, the leadership consultants who had helped them from the start, such as Winn, Taveras and Abby Somers, and other staff who came to celebrate with them, in front of a backdrop that had the date and props that read “Theta Omega.”

The day was a huge success for all involved and ended with UNH’s Alpha Sigma Alpha colony finally being installed as the Theta Omega Chapter, as all the members watched their hard work pay off.

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
University of New Haven Greek Life Grows with the Installation of Alpha Sigma Alpha