Chi Omega president accepts challenge to build new chapter on UM campus

Posted December 6, 2013


With only seven sororities on campus and 500 girls rushing each year, not everyone can get a bid.

However, with the introduction of a new chapter on campus for Fall 2013, Chi Omega and its president Morgan Chicchelly are working with Panhellenic to change this.

Morgan Chicchelly, president of Chi Omega.

Morgan Chicchelly, president of Chi Omega.

Founded in 1895 at the University of Arkansas, Chi Omega is one of the largest women’s fraternal organizations in the world, according to its website.

Since its founding, Chi Omega has sought national growth through a process called “extension,” which is the addition of a National Panhellenic Conference chapter on a college or university campus.

Chicchelly, an Iowa native, and as a junior, is the integral sister to extension on the University of Miami campus.

Chicchelly became involved in the new sorority, because she felt she did not belong at the University of Miami and had trouble fitting in with a group of friends.

“To be honest, I struggled for the first two years for various reasons,” Chicchelly shared. “I clung to certain people who I shouldn’t, and then Chi O came along and really changed my outlook on what this university can do for you.”

Although she had prior leadership experience as the manager of the Public Relations Experience Program, the public relations representative on Hecht Executive Board, and the leader of a high school trip to El Salvador, nothing could prepare her for the challenges she would face as the president of a new chapter.

She attended a Chi Omega information session in April 2013 and then was called back for an interview, but Chicchelly had no idea what she was signing up for; however, she’s never been happier – and never slept less.

“I feel like I haven’t slept for two months, but at the same time, it’s the best kind of challenge. I wouldn’t want it any other way,” she said.

When asked about how she feels about established sorority’s presidents’ jobs versus her own, she said, “I’m learning everything as I go and as I lead versus the Delta Gamma or Delta Phi Epsilon president, who already knows the job.”

Delta Phi Epsilon president, junior Danielle Poreh, said she admired the new president, but agreed that Chicchelly’s job will present more of a challenge than her own.

“I am sure that being president of a new sorority comes with many different responsibilities compared to being president of an established one. Chi O has been really fortunate to work with several advisors throughout their time here, which I am sure helped ease the transition process for Morgan. For me, having the past president as a mentor helps to learn the ropes and work on ways to grow our organization,” said Poreh.

After speaking to senior Erika Glass, a new member of Chi Omega, she described Chicchelly in three words: strong, kind and respectful.

“She’s very poised and put together and she’s always looking out for what’s best for the girls in the chapter. She never looks like she’s stressed out or overworked, and she always has a smile on her face. She is truly an inspiration,” Glass said.

Glass disclosed that Chicchelly is one of the best leaders she has ever come across, and she will be sad to say goodbye after graduation.

Chi Omega Panhellenic delegate at Arizona State University, junior Mia Frenkel, shared her happiness for the sorority’s expanding.

Although she has had no personal contact with Chicchelly, she has been in contact with Chi Omega nationals, who are directly involved in every move of the new Miami chapter.

“My sorority president, Kelsey Brockmeyer, lives and breaths Chi Omega. She is one of my good friends, but is also someone that I look up to and could go to for advice. She has been on the E-board every year she has been at ASU and knows the house better than anyone else. I don’t know Morgan personally, but, from what I’ve heard from nationals, she could very well be the next Kelsey Brockmeyer,” Frenkel said.

In terms of member recruitment, which begins January 2014, Chicchelly said she is not scared.

“I’m excited for recruitment. I never went through formal recruitment myself, but I think it’ll be really unique and exhausting at the same time,” Chicchelly said.

Now entrenched with her sorority, Chicchelly is overjoyed.

“A sorority is just a group of women that you may never understand why you’re bonded, but you are, and you always know that you have each other’s backs – not matter what,” Chicchelly said.

According to Chicchelly, by standing on Chi Omega’s founding purposes since 1895, “Friendship, personal integrity, service to others, academic excellence and intellectual pursuits, community and campus involvement, and personal and career development,” she will apply Chi Omega’s principles every day for the rest of her life.

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