NSU Native American sorority named undergraduate chapter of year

Image of sorority memebers of alpha pi omega.Members of NSU’s Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Theta Chapter include: (front row sitting left to right): Holly Noe, Brooke Seawright and (back row standing left to right): Haley Noe, Sheena Winlock, Crystal Perry.

(Tahlequah, Okla.)—As part of its annual national convention in Wilmington, N.C., Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc., recognized the Theta Chapter at Northeastern State University as its Undergraduate Chapter of the Year for the 2010-11 school year.

For consideration, chapters submitted a portfolio covering academics, community service, campus involvement, outside recognition and a creative component. NSU’s Theta Chapter has six members: Peta James and Sheena Winlock (Choctaw) of Tahlequah, twins Haley and Holly Noe (Cherokee) of Oaks, Crystal Perry (Pawnee, Navajo, Iowa, Potowatomi) of Pawnee, and Brooke Seawright (Chickasaw) of Grove serves as president.

“These students do a lot for a small organization,” said Asa Lewis, faculty adviser for the APiO chapter. “They care about their community personally and collectively. They’ve shown what they can do in the community and it is nice to see them win this award.”

During the 2010-11 academic year, Theta Chapter’s six members participated in group service projects including The Big Event, The Small Event, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and a trash pick-up along Grand Lake with sisters from Oklahoma State University, Haskell Indian Nations University and the graduate chapter in Payne County. Members also assisted the Center for Tribal Studies during the annual Symposium on the American Indian.

Seawright said APiO’s membership numbers are not unusual.

“We are a Native American sorority based on Native American culture,” she said. “We would rather have five or six outstanding women than 20 or 30 joining for the wrong reasons. These women strive to do so much for the campus and the community. It might be nice to have more members. Our problem, if it can be called that, is that our members keep graduating.”

The NSU chapter was also represented on four national committees, more than any other undergraduate chapter in the U.S. Theta served on the awards committee, which reviews applications for the annual Pi Awards banquet, and the service committee, which ensures that chapters are meeting their community service goals each month. Theta was also on the expansion and Honey Process committee.

“The Honey Process is the name for APiO’s admission procedure,” Seawright said. “The expansion committee is responsible for recruiting and organizing Honey Processes at chapters. Theta participated in the expansion activities and also served as Honey Bees, or big sisters, to Honey Combs or little sisters. On the Honey Process committee, deans vote on the process of each chapter, ensure all are accountable for chapter process requirements and implement any changes set forth by the committee.”

Theta Chapter is also making plans to co-host the state’s first national APiO convention in Oklahoma City from July 13-15, 2012. Also hosting are the undergraduate Gamma chapter of Oklahoma State University and the graduate Delta Pi chapter of Payne County.

“We will be reserving space, making the agenda, implementing workshops, handling registration and deciding on a community service project,” Seawright said. "All tasks associated with hosting the convention will be delegated amongst the three chapters."

APiO was founded in 1994 at the University of North Carolina. With more than 400 women representing 70 tribes, it is the largest Native American Greek-letter organization in the U.S. with 14 chapters and interest groups. The sorority expanded to NSU in May 2006.

“Our process is held during the spring semester, but women thinking of joining APiO must attend an interest meeting during the fall term,” she said.

For more information about the Theta chapter of APiO at NSU call Lewis at (918) 444-4353. 

Published: 9/1/2011 9:14:48 AM

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