Monday, March 16, 2015

Meet Kellie Herrington

“People live in each other’s shelter.”

This is one of my most favorite quotes of all time, mostly because of the striking truth that it contains. What does it mean to be a person’s shelter? What does it mean to be sheltered by another person? I am so glad you asked.

For the past four years, I have lived in the shelter of a particular group of others, a group that has changed the course of my life forever.  You see, during my freshman year of college my roommate encouraged me to go through the CPC Greek Life recruitment process. She told me how much I could benefit from finding a group of strong women to surround myself with. Boy, was she right!

There is not a day that has gone by in the past four years that I have not been pushed and encouraged by this special group of women, these Chi Omega ladies. But not only pushed and encouraged, but sheltered as well. Those are very different things. Anybody can tell someone else that this bad day is going to get better and give them encouragement. To shelter someone requires maximum effort. It means stopping what you’re doing to be the one person in someone else’s life that gives undivided attention. To allow someone else to live off your happiness and your strength for a little while. To offer protection from a storm brewing outside.

I chose Chi Omega four years ago for many reasons. I chose a group of strong women who represented the ideals that I believe in. I chose an organization who 120 years ago were thinking of the future of women in society and who continue to cultivate the spirit of women everywhere. Yet, I did not realize that I was also choosing a group to shelter me. Choosing Chi Omega four years ago was easy for me and every day since, it has been easy to choose to love Chi Omega. People live in each other's shelter and I am eternally grateful for the shelter I have found in Chi Omega.

Kellie Herrington 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Meet Logan Venus, PC'11

I came to USM not wanting to join a sorority because of all the negative stereotypes that I have heard about and witnessed throughout the years, but my mom encouraged me (strongly) to go through recruitment. She had been in a sorority while in college at Southern. This was where she made some of her closest friends to this day, and she wanted me to have the same opportunity. I kept an open mind while going through recruitment, but I knew several older Chi Omegas that went to my high school. I thought that if they picked Chi Omega then there had to be something special about that sorority. So when preference night rolled around, I knew where I wanted and needed to be. I chose Chi Omega on preference night, and I continue to choose Chi Omega every day.
            Being an Epsilon Delta has been one of the most worthwhile experiences. I have made some awesome memories throughout the past four years, many of which have been made on the dance floor. But some of my favorite memories have been made (and will be made) my senior year #seniorstatus, while others have been made while serving my chapter, especially as Songfest Director and as a Gamma Rho Chi. As Songfest Director, I was able to plan an event for an entire year (nitpicking every detail) to raise $50,000 for The Make-A-Wish Foundation. I absolutely love our charity and how it serves and grants wishes to some of the kindest and most deserving kids. It was an experience I was extremely nervous to take on, but I look back now and think about how amazing it was to be able to help grant 6 wishes for these children and their families to escape their medical conditions for a little while. Another amazing experience, with a ton of memories and people I will never forget, was serving Chi Omega as a Gamma Rho Chi recruitment counselor. It was simply INCREDIBLE. I was able to help hundreds of girls find their home, being truly happy for each of them, and I saw Chi Omega and my chapter in a whole new light. Disaffiliating from my chapter, especially my senior year was difficult but completely worth it in the end when preference night finally came around. I was able to sneak in the back for the last preference party, and I saw the girls that mean so much to me, and heard the lines of the symphony and songs that made my choice so easy four years ago.
            We have been told that you come into Chi Omega receiving and leave Chi Omega giving. Chi Omega has given me sisters that have become dear friends, bonds in the Greek Life community, a foundation to hold close to heart, and higher standards that have given me opportunities to succeed in every aspect of life. One of the many words I associate with Chi Omega is flourish. Chi Omega has helped me flourish in more ways than I can count, and I hope to help Chi Omega continue to flourish. I think every senior can agree that it feels like yesterday that we were standing at the gate anxiously waiting to run to our new home, and the experiences, memories, and friends made between being a Baby Hootie to becoming an Old Hoot are priceless (the super cute t-shirts that go along with the experiences and memories may hurt the bank account, but it’s worth it, always).


Friday, February 27, 2015

Meet Terrie Jackson, PC' 14

Less than six months ago, I ripped open one of the most life-changing envelopes of all time… my invitation to be a member of the Chi Omega Fraternity.  At the time, it seemed as though it was only a little slip of fancy paper that needed my signature, but I have come to realize that it was so much more.  Signing my name to become a new member did not include just crossing my T’s and dotting my I’s, but rather memories made with sisters whom I would share an unbreakable bond with. 
Although eagerly running home to Chi Omega on Bid Day was definitely a stand out moment in my time as a new member, there were many other instances when I realized the strength and perseverance of the women who called themselves Chi Omegas.  One of these realizations came as I was walking in unison with the rest of my sisters down the stairs of Reed Green Coliseum during our annual Philanthropy event, Songfest.  All eyes were on the ladies in red as we held the hand of a fellow sister with heels on and a lit candle.  The lights were dimmed and the room was crowded with our peers, families, and members of the community.  However, for just a moment, it seemed as though it was only my sisters and I present.  Each of us had the fear of falling in our eyes, but stayed upright with the steady hand of a reassuring sister.  This simple, but significant moment reminded me of the purpose of what it meant to be a true Chi Omega lady.  The warmness that flooded the room made me understand that with the help of all of these unique and loving sisters, I really would be discouraged never for a lifetime.
Even though my time as a new member has quickly come to a close, I could not be more thrilled to officially start my journey as an initiated member of the Epsilon Delta Chapter of Chi Omega.  In just a few short months, Chi Omega has become more than just the Greek Organization I am involved with.  It has become home, and for that, I am forever grateful.
XΩ Love and All of Mine,

Terrie Jackson

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Meet Model Initiate, Allie Mclain

Ever since I got a bid from Chi Omega my life hasn’t been the same.  In the short few months of being a new member I have grown into a person that I am proud of.  So when I was chosen to be model initiate I was overwhelmed with joy and disbelief because there were so many more capable people of that title in my pledge class. In saying that, I was so honored when I was chosen.  The Chi Omega symphony is so beautiful and everything that I want to uphold. Being recognized by the chapter as someone that fully embodies that symphony was so incredible that words can hardly describe how I felt on the day they presented it to me and still feel to this day.
Throughout the new member process, I loved learning about the fraternity that I love so dearly. As initiation day was getting closer, I became more and more excited to officially be apart of Chi Omega. I am a curious person so not knowing what to expect during initiation made me a little anxious. However, the ladies of Chi Omega calmed my nerves with their genuine love and care in making each and every one of us comfortable. Initiation was everything I wanted and more. My sister and cousin were both members of Chi Omega at Southern Mississippi; so experiencing this tradition with them was very special. The whole process was so beautiful and elegant that I couldn’t possibly think of anything more perfect. Chi Omega has given me more than I could have ever imagined in such a short time that I hope I can give back to this fraternity in the same way.

XOXO, Allie

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Member of the Week: Meet Maddi Cox!

            Hey y’all! My name is Madeleine Cox but everyone calls me Maddi.  I am a junior at the University of Southern Mississippi and a member of the pledge class of 2012. I decided to pledge Chi Omega as a freshman for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I wanted to be surrounded by a group of girls that I knew would share my morals, and secondly, because I knew that it would make me a better person. There has never been a day that I have regretted this life-changing decision.
            Currently, I serve as Chi Omega’s recruitment chair. This position requires me to prepare the chapter to recruit new members.  In doing so, I have come to know and appreciate Chi Omega and it’s heritage much more deeply than before.  I have also been encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and grow in ways that I never dreamed possible.  This leadership position has definitely been a positive experience for me and has prepared me to handle life after college.
            On campus, I am also involved in areas outside of Greek life.  One of my favorite extracurricular activities on campus is participating as a USM Eagle Ambassador where I help in recruiting for the Southern Miss football team. This involves conducting campus tours, answering questions for prospective players and their parents, promoting USM and the football program, and working closely with the Office of Admissions for USM.  I am also a member of several academic honor societies and enjoy attending sporting events on campus with my friends.  Off campus, I enjoy trips to Conni Cones (so much so that they are about to name a new flavor after me) and spur of the moment trips to New Orleans with my friends.  I also work part-time at a local jewelry store. To potential new members, my biggest advice would be to get involved! Get involved in Greek Life, get involved on campus and get involved in the community.  In so doing, your life will be positively impacted as well as those around you.
            My favorite memory so far at USM is probably living in Wilber Hall my freshman year (yes, seriously). I know what you are all thinking…gross… but honestly, it was the best thing ever coming into college. Those community restrooms that everyone dreads are the perfect place to meet new people. You’d be surprised at the conversations that took place while brushing my teeth.  And, for those of you who are fortunate enough to live in Wilber, watch out for Pam.  She roams the halls at night. Scaaaary!
            If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be dedicated. I take a tremendous amount of pride in everything that I do.  It might take me a little longer to get something done, but when I am finished, I can rest assured knowing a put forth my best effort. As this year’s Recruitment Chair, I am dedicated to making our recruiting process one of the best!
            My favorite hobby would be just hanging out with friends and doing something totally random…like going to NOLA at midnight with a group of girls to get beignets. I cherish every chance I can with my sweet friends, because one day, we will actually have to grow up, get a big girl job, be a wife and tend to children, and those midnight trips to NOLA will be just a sweet memory.
            Weird Talents.  Well, where do I begin? Ha ha. My weirdest talent would be that I actually like to clean house.  I mean, I really like it. I would rather clean house than watch TV. As far as my idea of happiness, I would have to say it is dinner around the table with my family.  There is nothing better than an evening of creamed corn, black eyed peas, okra (my Nana’s is my favorite), sweet potatoes, cornbread and crazy Cox family conversation.  And, believe me when I say the conversation is crazy! But I really love this time with my family and don’t want it to end.
            Recruitment is all about finding your home away from home.  Your family away from family.  Your sisters away from sisters. I found my home in Chi Omega and know that you can find yours too. And, as always, Greek life TTT. 

Madeleine Cox & the Epsilon Delta Chapter of Chi Omega

Monday, August 4, 2014

Member of the Week: Meet Jamie Jackson!

Hey everyone! My name is Jamie Jackson, and I will be a senior in the fall. I seriously can’t believe it’s already my last year! It’s crazy how time flies.  During the fall of 2011, I went through recruitment as a freshman, and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t just a little nervous about it.  There I was, at a completely new school, where only about ten people from my graduating high school class had decided to go.  Although I was nervous, I knew one thing was for sure, I was ready to find a home away from home!  After a week of meeting some of the friendliest, most outgoing people, hearing about numerous philanthropic causes, watching the talent of so many girls displayed in high-energy skits, and making connections with people I had met just a few days before, I ran home to Chi Omega!
            During my freshmen year, I served as one of Chi Omega’s cheerleading captains, where we created a cheer competition routine with stunts and tumbling to be performed at Tri Delta Triple Play, one of the many philanthropy events on campus! As a former high school cheerleader and a current Southern Miss cheerleader at the time, this positon was right up my alley! It was so much fun being able to create a routine and relive the old high school cheerleading days with all my sisters! I absolutely loved it!  During the end of my sophomore year, I served as Vice-President of Chi Omega.  Because being Vice-President requires you to make sure everyone is succeeding in their classes and making good grades, it allowed me to give back to the chapter in way that I was truly passionate about.  Working hard and doing well in school is something I’ve cared about all through grade school and high school, so being able to help people reach their academic goals was something I really enjoyed.  It was definitely one of the most fulfilling experiences I have had while being a member of Chi Omega.
            At the end of my junior year, I was excited to be chosen to serve as the President of our chapter! While I was a little nervous at first, and wondering how I would balance school and the duties of presidency, it has seriously been an experience I would not trade for anything.  Just three years ago, I would have never thought that my naturally shy self would be capable of being in this position and leading our chapter, but through Chi Omega I have gained more confidence in myself which has helped me during my time as President! 
            Crazily enough Chi Omega is not the only thing that has kept me busy throughout my time at Southern Miss.  I was also a member of the co-ed cheerleading squad, and I am currently in the Honors College, Eagle Connection, Alpha Epsilon Delta, a pre-professional honor society, and Southern Style!  Being a part of these organizations has allowed me to grow closer to people who are not only in Chi Omega, but other Greek organizations as well, and that I am truly thankful for.  Whenever the going gets tough with school, I can always count on these organizations and the friendships I’ve made through them, to take my mind off of school and turn my day around! 

            When I think about one word that describes me, it’s actually more of a phrase…  Type-A.  I love being organized and staying on top of everything that I have to get done.  I hate to admit it, but I have an unhealthy obsession with my Erin Condren planner, and I don’t think I would be able to survive a week…okay maybe not even a day without that thing.  To-do lists tend to run my life, until my friends pull me back to reality and tell me that it really will all be okay!  Thank goodness for them!  Getting ready for social events in the house and Olive Garden dates after a long week are two things that make me happy.  I really enjoy spending time with my family, trying new things, reading Glamour magazine (typical I know), and running.  Oh, and I have a new found love for airports.  I can’t explain it really.  I think it’s because if you’re at the airport, that means your most likely traveling somewhere, and the excitement of going to a new place, no matter how far away, will get me every time.  Rant over. 
Goodness gracious.  All of this reflecting has gotten me emotional! All I can say is that being a part of Greek Life and being involved in college have made the last couple of years ones I’ll never forget, and definitely ones I would experience over if given the chance.  Here’s to a great last year at my home away from home!


Jamie Jackson & the Epsilon Delta Chapter of Chi Omega