Eta Omega Chapter was founded at Binghamton University in Johnson City, New York on April 20, 2018.
129 initiates (as of July 2018)
Binghamton University was establishment as Triple Cities College in 1946, the school has evolved from a small liberal arts college to a large doctoral-granting institution. Presently consisting of eight colleges and schools, it is now home to more than 17,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Binghamton is one of the four university centers in the State University of New York (SUNY) system.
During the New Member period the chapter was mentored by two Kappa Leadership Consultants: Catie Ross and Meghan Agras. They were involved in the initial marketing of the Kappa Chapter that would be forming and later conducted Kappa Conversations to get to know the potential new members. The women who were interested had their questions answered during these conversations. At the end of this period there was a Bid Day to invite them to membership.
On March 11, 2018 the initial class of women pledged their name in interest to the Colony of Kappa Kappa Gamma known as Eta Omega. Pat Murphy Coulter, Ritual and History Specialist, conducted the Formal Pledging Ceremony. About 20 women from the Cornell Chapter traveled to assist with the Formal Pledging.
On April 20, 2018 the women of Binghamton began their membership journey with the Fireside Ceremony held at the Terra Cotta at 8pm. The ceremony was led by Fraternity Vice President Nancy Eyermann Foland. A light desert and time to visit followed the ceremony.
On April 21, 2018 at the Binghamton Club the chapter was installed by Beth Uphoff Black, Fraternity President. Assisting with the installation was Denise Rugani, Ritual and History Director and Nancy Eyermann Foland, Vice President. One Hundred and Twenty One women were initiated into the Eta Omega Chapter.
Sisters from Syracuse University, Colgate University and Marist University traveled up to 3 hours to participate in the installation and to welcome the new sisters into the Eta Omega Chapter.
The founding members of the chapter are: Heather Abraham, Claire Alston, Nida Anwar, Amulya Aramalla, Autumn Baker, Hannah Bander, Kaitlyn Bartholomew, Alaina Belrose, Daniela Benzaquen, Lindsay Blank, Alison Bowers, Julia Bradley, Anna Braz, Jamie Carroll, Jaycee Cartolano, Katherine Changtroraleke, Angelique Chatpar, Naomi Chen, Amanda Choy, Mia Cohen, Cathrena Collins, Eleanore Colton, Tyler Conzone, Kayla Cooper, Lauren Cruz, Emily Danielson, Isabel DeLuca, Lauren Duffy, Lynn Edwards, Madison Einhorn, Alexis Fassenfeld, Jessica Ferrar, Josephine Galeotafiore, Taylor Geen, Brianna Genova, Emily Gerbavsits, Ewa Gerlak, Olivia Graffeo, Mikayla Guida, Grace Hahn, Nicole Hecker, Zoe Heiderstadt, Lucy Hoffman, Nusrat Hossain, Yanah Hossain, Emily Howe, Julianne Hynes, Hope Jackman Pryor, Jamie Jacobson, Tisnue Jean-Baptiste, Erin Jedd, Erin Kagel, Mehr Kaur, Grace Kent, Gail Kheyman, Isha Kumar, Natalie Laino, Emily Lakic, Lauren Lester, Sylvana Levine, Lianna Liu, Marisa Madonna, Alanna Mahon, Meneka Makhijani, Jillian Marchese-Schmitt, Kate Maretsky, Kylie Mawn, Kelsey McCarthy, Olivia McColgan, Sophia Mele, Samantha Mizrahi, Dominique Morales, Jane Mundadan, Kaleigh Murphy, Moira Murphy, Angelika Narewski, Amanda Nelson, Christina Nonnenmacher, Wen Chi Ouyang, Samantha Palladino, Amanda Patenaude, Sarah Pender, Lyndsey Petrofsky, Victoria Pirrera, Ashra Piterman, Arianna Ramdass, Abigail Rinere, Leisa Rockelein, Alejandra Rodas, Linda Sabbagh, Alejandra Salinas, Shelby Schaefer, Samantha Scocozza, Danielle Sconzo, Justyna Seager-Parulski, Jordana Simon, Katie Smith, Emily Sobel, Gina Spigonardo, Begona Spina, Sara Stanziani, Stephany Starzyk, Mia Stewart, Jessica Storozum, Lisa Strumpf, Whitney Tam, Kayla Tarolli, Eileen Taveras, Anna Timmins, Sarah Tkatsenko, Hilal Uyanik, Kennedy VanBrunt, Leslie Velasco, Paola Velazquez, Elizabeth Voroshylo, Mia Weeks, Liana Weitzman, Meghan Whitehead, Sarah Wierzbicki, Dora Ylli, Ella Zalewski, Sarah Zolty.
This was our first year as a chapter, it was wonderful and we became very involved on campus. We attended all Panhellenic philanthropy events and held our first one¨ The Very Hungry Kappapillar¨ supporting Reading is fundamental. Our chapter also took part in Sigma Chi Derby Days. Some of our sisters were involved in both the Claudia Tenney and Anthony Brindisi congressional campaigns. One of our sister’s¨ Amanda Nelson¨ was sworn into the National Guard this year. Being added to the Panhellenic community this past year has been a change on campus. We have a positive and accepting nature and I personally as well as all my sisters feel proud to wear their letters. We’ve become much closer this semester and feel like a real family.
In February we participated in formal recruitment for the first time. We were so excited to receive our Alpha new member class on Bid Day! We were even happier to initiate 48 women into our chapter in April.
This fall brought many sisterhood events, with activities like group fitness events, apple picking, tie-dying and a "Secret-Santa" gift-exchange. While we didn't welcome a new member class this semester, we are grateful for these activities that helped us grow together as a chapter. We were also proud to volunteer in the greater Binghamton community throughout the year.
We had sisters complete hours by volunteering in a non-profit coffee shop, soup kitchen, participating in Dance Marathon and much more. Each of our sisters completes 10 hours of community service per semester. On October 9 we had our Reading Is Key event. Our sisters went to Horace Mann Elementary School and painted pumpkins, read books and made sure every student who participated went home with a book.
For our 149th Founders Day, we celebrated the history of Kappa. We did this by playing Kahoot to test Kappa Knowledge and by having our chapter members give speeches about what Kappa has meant to them. We also purchased cupcakes and cookies that were blue, to represent Kappas colors. Members were also given the option to purchase Founder's Day t-shirts, which was another way for our members to show their Kappa pride.
In November, we formed a nomination committee and installed our new Chapter Council on November 24th.
The chapter support The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, because one of our sisters suffered from cancer and wasn't able to be at Binghamton for the 2018-2019 school year. This was our way of letting her know that we support her and were thinking of her all last year. We were so happy to have her back this semester and were grateful to be able to show our support this way.
Our chapter started off strong this year. Many sisters came back to campus early in order to shoot footage for our recruitment video. As a part of this, our recruitment chair organized a collaboration with Canon, the camera company, where we had fun playing with polaroid cameras and took pictures that ended up in our recruitment room.
Recruitment in the spring gave us 52 members of our Beta class. At first, we had in person new member meetings and had a “paint-n-sip” new member retreat. Our VPS had a bunch of fun sisterhood events planned for the semester, from fitness events to crafting. One that did take place was Cocoa and Crafting!
However, we would be forced to go online on March 11th, and most members returned home. Although most organizations on the Binghamton campus were forced to initiate in person during the three-day period following the announcement, we were thankfully able to perform an online initiation. Doing so allowed us to protect the health and wellbeing of our members, which this pandemic has proven to be more precious than ever. Instead, we held a virtual initiation with the Ritual and History Director on May 3rd. We were so happy to finally welcome the Beta class into the chapter after months of uncertainty.
At Convention this year, we had honorable mentions for finance and academic excellence and also won the panhellenic award.
When we came back in the Fall, we decided to hold almost all our meetings and events over zoom. This means that we have held all of our chapter meetings over zoom. As a chapter, we have one meeting every Sunday, with about 2 formal chapter meetings a month. One of the only events we held in person was one of our recruitment events, where we tie-dyed masks with potential new members. The event was a success and all COVID guidelines were followed.
Other recruitment activities were held online, like a pajama party, meet the E-board and a game night. From this, we were able to welcome 10 amazing Gammas into our class. All new member education meetings would take place over zoom. We would initiate these women into our chapter on October 24th. We were so happy to welcome them into the chapter over zoom, and with the entire chapter in attendance.
Although we were largely over zoom, we were able to hold several successful sisterhood events. We had a Virtual Jackbox Games event where lineages were able to compete for gift cards to local restaurants. Another event was doing Halloween Crafts and even having a costume contest with fun prizes. Although we went online in March, we did see our sisters hard work in school pay off. Our chapter GPA improved by .17 from Fall 2019 to Spring 2020! In November, we held elections and swore our 2021 Chapter Council in on Nov 15th.
We support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, because one of our founding members was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and is thankfully in remission. Choosing this organization was one of the ways we let her know that she was always in our thoughts and she had our continuous support.
Organizing philanthropy events was difficult this year due to the lack of in person events, but our philanthropy chairman organized a successful Chipotle fundraiser in October that to safely raised $288.52. In order to support the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, we had a Blaze Pizza Fundraiser. We also held a Charleston Wrap fundraiser to support Reading is Fundamental. Thanks to the hard work of our philanthropy chairman, we were able to support all three of the organizations we fundraise for.
Diversity and inclusion
Our chapter was able to incorporate several initiatives to support diversity, equity and inclusion in the chapter. The most notable and important step was nominating a DEI Chairman to the chapter council. She actively provides the chapter with resources to be antiracist, provides educational programming to the entire chapter and serves to make the chapter more welcoming to sisters of all ethnicities, races, religions and sexual orientations. She also serves on the standards committee in order to deal with these sensitive topics in a confidential manner. However, this was not the only DEI initiative we took this year.
Over the summer as we watched Black Lives Matter protests across the nation, we decided to hold Netflix parties where we would watch important documentaries, like 13th, to help make sisters more understanding and knowledgeable about systemic racism in America. These would be followed by productive zoom discussions. One other step that is not explicitly a DEI initiative, was our VPAE started a chapter book club this semester. The first book they are reading is “How to Be Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi. One thing this chapter has taken to heart is that it is not enough to simply not be racist, instead we are all learning and taking the steps necessary to be anti-racist. In doing so we become better allies to our sisters.
For our 150th Anniversary, we held events over zoom. As a chapter we held speeches over zoom. At least someone from every initiated pledge class spoke about what Kappa means to them. The speeches were so thoughtful and well-spoken. We also had a little trivia battle over zoom and Kahoot, testing member’s Kappa Knowledge. We also had a “This or That” social media post, which members could post to let everyone know their favorite parts of Kappa. Under normal circumstances, we would have been able to have more of a celebration, complete with a banner and snacks.