At Spring Retreat this year, I am going to propose an amendment to our local constitution. This is the same amendment that has been proposed in the past, most recently by Jessica F. last year, so I asked her if she could help me with it. Here is my amendment:

“Amendment 

 Currently Reads

Article V. Membership

Section 1) A. Requirements

e. Participate in 20 hours of service per semester. These hours shall be earned through planned chapter service projects. It is required that a sister attends in a minimum of three service projects. Participation in an event shall include any or all of the following: project planning, project publicity, project attendance, post-project work, and contribution of necessary items to conduct the project. Service hours can not be used for reasons outside of Omega Phi Alpha until the required minimum hours have been met. Once the required hours have been met any hours exceeding the minimum required hours can be used for non- OPA reasons and will not be included in total OPA hours.

Clause 1. Full hour credit for physically involved service projects will be awarded at the discretion of the Service Director and a second Executive Board member. To earn full credit a sister must not only be physically present at the project, she must also be actively involved. In the event of the service director’s absence, she shall appoint two (2) sisters from the service committee to serve in her stead, one of whom (if possible) should be another officer (EB, CSB, etc.). Any extenuating circumstance causing a sister to not be physically able to fully participate (injury, illness, etc.) must be discussed with the Service Director prior to arrival at the project.

a. The sister can request a meeting with the CSB to discuss docked hours based on the decision of the service director and second executive board member.

Clause 2. If a sister votes “Yes” to a service project, the sister is obligated to actively participate. She will be allowed one fault per semester, after which she will be called to CSB.

Change to Read

Article V. Membership

Section 1) A. Requirements

e. Participate in 30 hours of service per semester. These hours shall be earned through planned chapter service projects. It is required that a sister attends in a minimum of three service projects. Participation in an event shall include any or all of the following: project planning, project publicity, project attendance, post-project work, and contribution of necessary items to conduct the project. Service hours can not be used for reasons outside of Omega Phi Alpha until the required minimum hours have been met. Once the required hours have been met any hours exceeding the minimum required hours can be used for non- OPA reasons and will not be included in total OPA hours.

Clause 1. Full hour credit for physically involved service projects will be awarded at the discretion of the Service Director and a second Executive Board member. To earn full credit a sister must not only be physically present at the project, she must also be actively involved. In the event of the service director’s absence, she shall appoint two (2) sisters from the service committee to serve in her stead, one of whom (if possible) should be another officer (EB, CSB, etc.). Any extenuating circumstance causing a sister to not be physically able to fully participate (injury, illness, etc.) must be discussed with the Service Director prior to arrival at the project.

a. The sister can request a meeting with the CSB to discuss docked hours based on the decision of the service director and second executive board member.

Clause 2. If a sister votes “Yes” to a service project, the sister is obligated to actively participate. She will be allowed one fault per semester, after which she will be called to CSB.

Rationale: This amendment is based on actual research that I collected from last semester. On average, each sister completed 34.7 hours of service. 91% of active sisters met the proposed requirement or were within 5 hours of reaching 30. 69% completed 30 service hours or more, and 48% completed 35 hours or more. Most of us are already meeting the 30 hour mark, and by increasing our minimum requirement, we will be showing the world our great work. Alpha Zeta is one of the chapters that requires the smallest amount of hours; most chapters of Omega Phi Alpha already require 30. Social sororities, such as Delta Phi Epsilon, require 15 hours, and Human Services majors are required to complete 20 hours. We are a service sorority!!! Let’s reflect our passion in our requirements.

Author: Teigan McIntosh”

As you can see in my rationale, most of us are already completing 30 hours of service! Personally, I take a full load of classes, I work two jobs, I have a life outside of Omega Phi Alpha, and I still complete all of my requirements. For the past two semesters, I have completed more than 30 hours of service, and it has not been hard. Because of the nature of many of our service projects, I am able to complete more than enough service hours. For example, longer projects such as Boo at the Zoo and Light the Night allow sisters to acquire multiple hours at a time. All sisters should be able to complete at least 30 hours per semester. I think that this is a very reasonable number. After all, we are a SERVICE sorority! I am not proposing this amendment or pointing any of this out because I think anyone individually has done anything wrong, I just think  that as an organization, we should step it up especially since most other chapters already require 30 hours. It is time for us to increase our minimum requirements!!

Also, after working on the archiving OPA project this year, I would like to propose that we include information from the local history of the Alpha Zeta chapter in the pledge quizzes. I believe that it is important for the sisters to know their local history. Here is the email that I sent to our president, Tegan, asking her what she thinks about this idea:

“Hi, Tegan.

For the archiving OPA project, I have been collecting information about how our families began. I have spoken with Liz New, Amy M., Ashley G., and Erica F. Each of these sisters has given me great information about the family traditions, and I have really enjoyed collecting the information.
After speaking with Erica F., specifically, I have realized that, as active sisters, we do not know as much as we could about our local history. As pledges, we learn all about the sorority at a national level, but we do not spend as much time learning about the local history of the Alpha Zeta chapter. For instance, I bet that most sisters do not know how many founding mothers we had, our chapter’s founding date, why some did not originally believe that KSU would work for OPA, what schools are in our district, and random facts about families. I think that knowledge such as this is important for our sisters to be aware of and celebrate.
Therefore, I would like to propose that we add some of this content to the pledge quizzes. To do this, I think that we should either add some local information to the test which covers national statistics, or create an entirely new quiz for pledges to complete. I would like to volunteer to create a typed up page or two about our local history and some outline questions for a quiz, and the actual quiz itself. Erica F. has volunteered to help me with this project, and I am sure that I can get some other alums and founding mothers, like Liz, to help me as well.
I would like to ask you what you think about this idea, and if you think it could be something that I could present to the sisters at Spring retreat. To present the information to them, I could have them take the quiz first to see how much they know to kind of prove that this info needs to be in the pledge book because I bet a bunch of girls don’t pass.
Please let me know what you think!
Thanks!!
-Teigan”
Hopefully I will hear back from her soon. 🙂

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