I wanted to write this post to tell everyone about my experience at Convention last week in Salt Lake City, Utah. Salt Lake City is a beautiful place! I really enjoyed visiting this city. Temple Square and all of the buildings within it were beautiful, City Creek Mall was unique, and the Family Search Family History Library was educational! I was able to trace my family line back to 1797.

Caroline, Jessica B., and I had a great time at Convention, but it was not all fun and games. We learned a lot about our sorority on a national level and how to lead our sisters on a local level. This experience has prepared us for the coming year in many ways, and we cannot wait to share what we learned with the EB at our EB Retreat and with all of our active sisters at Fall Retreat!

Throughout Convention, Caroline and I attended several workshops. These included workshops on parliamentary procedure, communication, preserving OPA’s history, planning meaningful service projects, constitution clean up, and songs. We learned some awesome new OPA songs that we cannot wait to share with our other sisters!

The first thing on our business agenda at Convention was the National EB’s review of OPhiA Vision 2015 plan for Year 2. One of the bigger projects involved in the Vision plan is to employ a person to design and create a national database to better organize all OPhiA information. There is also a new OPhiA website in progress as we work to rebrand our image and recruit new members. There is work to raise money for our sorority on a national level as the NEB has piloted a Chapter Booster Club at three different chapters, and plans to expand the program soon. In the near future, OPhiA nationals will be sending letters to active sisters’ parents encouraging them to donate to the sorority of their assets and abilities as they see fit. The VP of Advancement Planning, Pamela McEwen is staring a donation program called “Friends of OPhiA.” Through this program, sisters make an annual donation of $5 to support member services, chapter support, sorority publications, and OPA’s leadership programs. Your gift will help OPA to grow and develop their programs and services. For more information on this program, please contact Pamela McEwen at advance@omegaphialpha.org

Then, we voted on the amendments to our national constitution. The first amendment, attempting to change the name of our active pin to “lifetime member badge,” failed. The active pin will still be referred to as an active pin. The second amendment, which passed, refers to our alcohol and illegal drug policy. This section states that there shall be no use, possession, or distribution of alcohol or illegal drugs of any kind at an OPA event. It goes on to define an OPA event as an event, project, meeting, or gathering that has been officially coordinated, sponsored, or promoted by any member of the sorority as part of sorority activities. An OPA event is also defined as any outing, meeting, or gathering that is discussed or planned at another OPA project, meeting, or gathering or through official means of sorority communication including sorority email or social media groups. The next amendment, which also passed, outlines the repercussions to a violation of our alcohol and illegal drug policy.

The rest of the constitutional amendments also passed, but they were not as exciting as they did not cause such heated debate as the first amendments did. They were mostly formalities moving various issues to the decision of the National Standards Board. Then, we passed a substantive proposal regarding the NEB’s Convention Registration Fees stating that the sorority will cover the Convention registration fee for all NEB members who complete at least 75% of their monthly reports and online voting as well as attend 75% of convention activities. Finally, we passed an Omega Phi Alpha Privacy Policy.

Next up we held elections for positions on the NEB. Megan Johnston, our District 3 TLC, was elected VP of Membership, Aly Inglish for VP of Business Operations, and Heather Pritchard, a Nu chapter alumna from Georgia Tech, for President Elect.

We participated in an awesome service project with TreeUtah to clean up a community garden in Salt Lake City.

At the end of business, the location for Convention 2013 was announced…. Pittsburgh!

The last event of Convention was Banquet where our chapter received numerous awards! Every 2011-2012 Alpha Zeta EB officer won the Outstanding Officer award. Then, Alpha Zeta won the Chapter Development Award as well as the Chapter Excellence Program Gold Seal for the fifth year in a row! An incredible eighteen sisters won awards for Individual Achievement in Service, and we had three sisters in the top ten for Individual Achievement in Service- Thi Nguyen, Jessica Bowron, and me, Teigan McIntosh! What a huge honor!

Convention 2012 was a great success, and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to represent our Alpha Zeta chapter. I know that Caroline and Jessica feel the same way. I am excited to share all of this new information with you, and I cannot wait for all of the great things that I know we will accomplish this semester.