Zeta Omega Chapter was founded at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on January 8, 1994.
342 initiated members (as of June 2018)
In 1957, innovation and entrepreneurship brought University of Waterloo into being, as a group of business leaders imagined a new university built to tackle some of the world’s most daunting challenges. It was the age of the Cold War and the space race, when a single computer filled a room. Discoveries in science, medicine and engineering were coming fast and furious. Industry leaders in Kitchener-Waterloo knew moving forward meant more than just training people in the technology of the day.
Together with J. Gerald Hagey, Waterloo’s founding president, and Rev. Cornelius Siegfried, who brought St. Jerome’s University into federation with Waterloo, Ira G. Needles helped lay the foundation for a new kind of purpose-driven education. Waterloo was built to teach people to think in new ways, constructed on a foundation of science, engineering and math.
University of Waterloo, commonly referred as Waterloo or UW, is a public research university whose main campus is located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is in Uptown Waterloo, adjacent to Waterloo Park. The university offers a wide variety of academic programs, administered by six faculties and ten faculty-based schools. The university also operates four satellite campuses and four affiliated university colleges. Waterloo is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada.
The University of Waterloo was created as a non-denominational board established by Waterloo College (the present-day Wilfrid Laurier University) to obtain government grants to run expanded science programs under the name Waterloo College Associated Faculties. The university was established in response to community demand for improved education facilities, particularly in technical and scientific fields of study. The first 74 students began classes in 1957. In 1959, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed an act which formally split the board from Waterloo College and reestablished it as the University of Waterloo.Renowned for the success of its cooperative education programs, Waterloo now has the largest engineering school in Canada. The university enrolled approximately 240,000 students in 1994.
In 1986, there was one fraternity at Waterloo. This fraternity was Delta Omega Chi which became Theta Psi chapter of Sigma Chi in March of 1987. At that time there were no other Greek societies. A woman student who had been associated with Delta Omega Chi realized the advantages of this type of society and decided to begin one for women. She put an ad in the campus newspaper asking if there were other women on campus who would be interested in starting a sorority. She received several responses.
On November 2, 1986, the first meeting of Waterloo’s first sorority was held. This meeting was attended by Delta Omega Chi’s Thomas White who acted as an adviser during the early stages of Kappa Gamma Phi’s development. In the fall of 1988, due to his assistance in founding Kappa Gamma Phi, Mr. White became the sorority’s first honorary member. When the local chapter started, the members had hopes of someday becoming a part of an international fraternity.
Kappa Gamma Phi was the first sorority at the University of Waterloo. Its flower, appropriately, was the white iris, and its motto, Unum Ex Diversitas (Unity Through Diversity). Chapter goals included the growth and development of each member, friendship and service to others. The commitment of the membership to the organization resulted in the establishment of a flourishing alumnae association.
In 1993, Kappa Gamma Phi decided to petition some international sororities for membership. The members assembled packets with information about Waterloo, the UW campus and Kappa Gamma Phi. Kappa Kappa Gamma and Delta Delta Delta both responded and came to the campus to make presentations. The chapter members thought the values of KKG were similar to those of KGP and voted to become a Kappa colony.
Kappa Kappa Gamma colonized its first Canadian colony in 60 years at the University of Waterloo on August 18, 1993, when the 24 members of the local sorority, Kappa Gamma Phi were pledged. Installation of the new chapter was scheduled for January 8, 1994.
Kappas from the Waterloo and Toronto areas gathered at the campus to welcome Zeta Omega. Fireside was held in Hagey Hall, and the installation held at the Walper Terrace Hotel. Margo White, Toronto, served as the Coordinator of Chapter Development for the Fraternity’s 124th active chapter. Sandi Snyder, McGill, was Zeta Omega’s first Chapter Consultant and worked closely with the group for the 1993-1994 school year. The Key, Winter 1993, page 47
The spring 1994 issue of The Key, page 31, welcomed “The 27 charter members and eight alumna initiates of Zeta Omega Chapter, Waterloo University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, January 8, 1994. Big sister chapters were Beta Psi, Toronto, and Delta Delta, McGill.” Kappa Kappa Gamma was the first National Panhellenic Conference member to establish a chapter on this campus.
The 1994 calendar year was very exciting for Zeta Omega beginning with its installation and ending with a retro ‘80s sleepover. It hosted Kappa Decadence for the other four Greek groups in the city. The members displayed their culinary expertise by cooking multiple flavors of cheesecake. The members also hosted an all-Greek food night and dating game. It held its second-annual swing-a-thon to raise money for a local charity. The swing lasted 24 hours and motion sickness was minimal. Zeta Omega held its first Founders Day ceremony which was an afternoon drop-in event.
The chapter had 14 active members, six pledges, one special active and one associate member in 1994. It was the only all-female Greek group on campus along with one all-male group, Sigma Chi. Laurier University, down the street from Waterloo, had three Greek organizations. Zeta Omega comprised .0008 percent of the university population this year, but the chapter played an active role in the respective student unions.
Greek-letter organizations were not officially recognized at Waterloo, but the chapter and Sigma Chi worked to change this. However, the university did allow the chapter to use university facilities. The chapter continued to adjust and readjust to the Kappa ways. Transition was difficult, and it had its share of problems but managed successfully to make changes. Group discussions were held where all members were encouraged to discuss openly their thoughts an any chapter subject. Resolutions were always discussed before the meetings closed.
Morale was another challenge. The chapter established a sisterhood key which was given to a deserving member. The chapter members could vote for the member to receive sisterhood recognition by placing deserving members’ names in a sisterhood box. Names were drawn from this box, and the member given a prize.
In 1994, Zeta Omega began to start its own traditions: the swing-a-thon, Kappa Decadence and the all-Greek food nights made the chapter well known within its small Greek community. The chapter held its second annual Sapphire Ball following this term’s initiation ceremony.
The chapter reported that the Fraternity and Sorority Awareness Club was up and running. There had been several meetings. What is this organization? Since sororities and fraternities were not recognized on the Waterloo campus because their membership was only open to those who had been initiated, the two Greek organizations formed this club. The club is open to anyone who wishes to come. It is through this organization that each group books the rooms and booths on campus to use for events. Without FSAC, rush would have had to rely on word-of-mouth and all chapter meetings would have been held at the houses of members because there was not a Kappa facility at the time.
One of the highlights of 1997 was the chapter’s Recruitment turn-out. Zeta Omega was extremely successful in the fall of 1997, and it pledged 10 new members. This brought the chapter size to approximately 21 members with three special actives.
Kappa Decadence was also a success and was an event that the members remember with great pride. Kappa Kappa Gamma developed a positive image on the waterloo campus and in the community with its philanthropy events that were targeted in broad areas rather than focusing on one specific charity. On October 19, 1997, the chapter celebrated Founders Day. The celebration included Ritual, talking about the Founders and what they did for Kappa during its founding months and as alumnae. Treats were served, and the members looked through scrapbooks.
The chapter changed its time of election to the first term. November 1997 was a busy month for the chapter. It held initiation, elections and installation of officers during the month Zeta Omega’s challenge was to generate campus awareness of the chapter. After that challenge was addressed, it aimed to promote a positive image of Kappa both on campus and in the community. The members worked to meet these challenges by being involved as a group in activities on the campus and in the community. They promoted Kappa through philanthropic events such as involvement in wheelchair hockey and Habitat for Humanity.
Chapter events included Kappa Decadence and Greek mixers where other fraternities in the Waterloo region and surrounding area were invited to a social event. Both events were very successful. Zeta Omega had an excellent winter 1998 Recruitment and pledged five women. This was the first class to participate in the Fraternity’s new member program.
This year’s Kappa Decadence Cheesecake social/philanthropy was a great success with a large turnout from the local Greek groups as well as those from nearby cities. The Kappa Ball held in March was well attended by alumnae and activities and everyone had a great time. Because we had enough members to have a separate Public Relations Chairman, for the first time in a few years the chapter newsletter was produced and distributed. During fall term 1998, eight chapter members took a trip to visit the McGill chapter in Montreal, Quebec. Everyone arrived in time to take part in some of its Recruitment, had a chance to visit with the members and also pick up the Traveling Consultant who was going to visit Zeta Omega the following week.
The University of Waterloo campus stayed mostly the same although the Engineering 1 building was renamed the Douglas Wright Engineering Building. This confused some of the students when their schedules assigned them to the DWE in the fall. A proposal to build a new Computer Science/Engineering building in one of the parking lots on campus was approved.
The chapter pledged several new members during the fall recruitments in 1997 and 1998. Previously it had approximately eight members who doubled and tripled up on chapter positions in order to get everything accomplished. After Recruitment, the chapter was bigger than ever but very young and not trained. A successful leadership training event was held and with help from Province Director of Chapters Sandi Snyder, McGill, and some dedicated alumnae the transition was much easier.
The first Kappa Twist-a-Thon was held fall term in the Student Life Centre. More than $260 was raised during a 12-hour period to help support the Children’s Wish Foundation. During winter term, the members helped in soup kitchens and some of them were involved with the local Habitat for Humanity activities. The chapter goal for 1998 was to have 80 percent attendance at all mandatory meetings and events as posted on the master calendar.
Chapter members participated in dramatic productions on and off the campus. One Zeta Omega had excellent marks and graduated in chemical engineering. Five other members were on their respective faculties dean’s lists.
During the winter of 1999, Zeta Omega helped host the Alpha Province Meeting with the local alumnae association. That fall, six new members were initiated. The chapter started a new scholarship reward program with the kore groups.
In 1999, Waterloo had approximately 22,000 total students, with 16,000 undergraduate full-time students. New president David Johnston was hired.
Zeta Omega had nine active members, three special status members and four associate members; two freshmen, five sophomores, eight juniors and one senior. Recruitment in 1999 was disappointing, and the chapter made plans to condense its Recruitment activities. The new officers weren't sure of their jobs, but key advisers helped train them.
In fall 1999, many of the actives graduated leaving a small, young chapter. Also at that time, the advisers changed, and it was difficult to keep in touch with the alumnae association. Following a very helpful visit by the Traveling Consultant, the chapter began working on better organization.
Chapter activities included Kappa Decadence which was held in February. This cheesecake social helped raise money for the foodbank. Another very successful Twist-a-Thon raised money for the Children’s Wish Foundation, held in March. The academic year ended with the Kappa Ball, a formal for actives and alumnae. The chapter goal for 1999 was to complete and hand-in reports in a more timely manner.
In November 2005, the chapter combined its archives display with the heritage workshop and also showed the items from the Museum in a Box from Fraternity Headquarters.
During winter term, four new members were initiated, and the members attended the Alpha Province Meeting in Toronto. It was nice that it was held so close so numerous members could attend. The Province Meeting was a success, and Zeta Omega took more girls to participate than the chapter that hosted it. The Province Director of Chapters visited the chapter after Province Meeting.
Summer 2005 marked the first of the chapter’s annual alumnae picnics. Although the chapter had trouble maintaining contact with its alumnae, there was a surprisingly good turnout, and the alumnae asked to have the picnic again. This summer also marked the second active-only summer. The chapter did not recruit or initiate during this term because so few members were on campus.
Fall term 2005 was a huge success. A Kappa trainer visited prior to Recruitment and helped get the chapter organized and excited. A Leadership Consultant visited for Recruitment, and she helped a lot as well. Zeta Omega pledged nine girls.
The philanthropic activities this term were the chapter’s greatest area of pride as they raised tremendous amounts of money for numerous charitable organizations and there was great participation from the campus. The chapter attended the Greek Leadership Conference organized by one of its members. The keynote speaker was a woman who was a professional speaker and the mother of one of the chapter members. The conference was hosted by the Fraternity and Sorority Awareness Club, the group that united all the Greek organizations on campus.
During this year, the chapter increased its membership and created strong ties with the other Greek organizations on campus.
In 2005, there were approximately 20,000 students enrolled at Waterloo. The overview of the university on its Website stated that “The University of Waterloo played a key role in the City of Waterloo being named by the Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF) as one of the Top Seven Intelligent Communities of 2006 in the world.” The University of Waterloo was the only Canadian stop on philanthropist Bill Gates’ tour of six North American universities which took place in October. UW was named the number-one college in Maclean’s magazine which was an honor the university earned for many consecutive years.
One of the unique aspects of UW was the large number of students who participated in the Co-op Program. This program is designed for students to spend approximately every other term in a paid job gaining experience to prepare them for their after-university careers. This experience provided these students with good references and a solid base on which to stand upon finishing their degrees.
In addition to Kappa, UW was home to Sigma Chi, Zeta Psi and Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternities and a local sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma, which is not affiliated with the U.S. organization by the same name. Even though each of these groups has very different goals, they all shared a common interest of increasing the unity between the Greek organizations on campus.
Although the UW didn’t recognize each Greek organization, it did recognize them as one school club, the Fraternity and Sorority Awareness Club (FSAC). The FSAC community held meetings which were attended by a delegate from each Greek organization and were open for anyone within the university community to attend. The organization planned fundraisers, discussed issues that might impact the Greek community and found ways to build a strong bond between the different organizations.
In 2005, Zeta Omega consisted of 30 members. The chapter worked to strengthen its sisterhood and promote itself on campus. Because the university didn't recognize each Greek organization, Zeta Omega struggled with advertising and promotion.
The major challenge for the chapter was keeping in touch with its alumnae. After graduating, many of the members found jobs in Toronto, a 90-minute drive from campus which made it very difficult for them to attend events. To maintain close ties with its alumnae, the chapter established an alumnae appreciation event each term which encouraged them to stay in touch with the chapter and each other. The chapter made sure there was a fun activity following initiation so that the newly initiated members would immediately get to know all the members in the chapter.
Stronger officer training was held so the new officers were thoroughly trained and prepared for the next year. The storage of chapter and ritual items was a challenge. At this time, chapter and alumnae members housed the initiation materials and archives.
At the 2009, Alpha/Rho Province Meeting, Zeta Omega was presented with the Alpha Province Award of Merit for outstanding leadership for the 2008 calendar year.
Winter term 2009 was very productive for Zeta Omega. This term, a new philanthropic endeavor began. The members learned to knit and knit squares to create blankets to donate to Blankets for Canada. At the annual Decadence dessert event, the chapter raised $536.77.
At the Sapphire Ball, a Zeta Omega was chosen to be Sigma Chi Sweetheart. At the same event, the chapter named its first Key Man and several other chapter awards: Sisterhood, Chapter Goal, Philanthropy, Academic Excellence, New Member and President’s Award. Four new members were initiated.
During the summer season, the chapter held several events to reunite sisters who had been on study term or summer break. Another alumnae picnic was held to celebrate the gorgeous weather and honor the members who graduated. Members participated in the Annual Relay for Life and raised $2,075 for the Canadian Cancer Society. The first camping trip to Sauble Beach was held during the Civic Day long weekend. In September 2009, one of Zeta Omega’s members attended the Fraternity’s Leadership Academy. This term, seven new members were initiated by the chapter.
The chapter’s annual Halloween philanthropy event was a Meal Exchange Trick-or-Eat program with other Greek groups on campus that collected a lot of non-perishable foods. This year’s Decadence event raised $547.06 to donate to the Kappa Foundation’s Rose McGill Fund and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Again this year, Waterloo ranked as one of Canada’s top universities in Maclean’s magazine. It placed first in the highest quality, most innovative, leaders of tomorrow and best overall university categories. The university continued to be known for the co-operative program that is offered. It attracted students from 141 different countries. The program was the largest post-secondary co-op education program in the world. Waterloo’s motto is concordia cum veritate which means “in harmony with truth.”
In 2009, UW was home to three sororities, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Omicron Pi and Sigma Lambda Gamma, a local sorority, and one fraternity, Sigma Chi. Since these groups were not recognized as individual organizations on campus, they all worked together under the name of the Fraternities and Sororities Awareness Club to promote awareness and recognition on campus. Three Zeta Omega members were columnists for the weekly campus newspaper, the Imprint.
During fall term, there were 25 active members of the chapter who worked to build their sisterhood bonds and create awareness about the chapter on campus. The weekly chapter meetings were held at a member’s home on Albert Street.
The biggest challenge in 2009 was the implementation of the National Panhellenic Council’s college at Waterloo. When another international fraternity, Alpha Omicron Pi, established a chapter on the campus it was important to work together to plan Recruitment. With work by the Panhellenic delegates, the advisers and chapter presidents, the first Panhellenic Recruitment went smoothly. Everyone was aware that there would still be some adjustments to the new style of Recruitment which would benefit all Greek organizations.
The 2010 year began with pledging three new members. The chapter held its first Decadence of the year which raised money to fight prostate cancer. It also held Kappa Krush with many other Greek groups in attendance. In March of 2010, the members held the annual Mother/Daughter Tea and played board games their moms. The Sapphire Ball was also held this month. Throughout the summer, the members took part in several other activities. One was a Relay for Life held at a local high school to raise money for cancer research. Two new members were pledged during the summer, and a Sigma Chi/Kappa social was held where they roasted marshmallows and caught up. At the end of the summer, the annual alumnae picnic was held. This picnic brought together the actives, new members and chapter alumnae. Four chapter members went to the Fraternity Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. They brought back several ideas for the chapter to use.
In October 2010, nine new members were pledged. The Recruitment activities included a sisterhood event where everyone made squares for a quilt, a philanthropy event where everyone created book bags for school children and a coffee date at Williams.
At the end of October, the members held a Halloween party. The women dressed as hippies. The night included delicious snacks. Guests from the other Greek organizations at Waterloo and Laurier attended the party. The annual Dad/Daughter Day took place in November. Everyone got to watch the Waterloo Warriors vs. McMaster hockey game. This continued to be a busy month. Decadence was held raising more than $500 for AIDS charities in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. To close the semester, the members held a Touch of Klass event at Caesars and many Sigma Chis attended. Finally as exams grew closer, the members held elections and a sisterhood send-off which included making bottlecap necklaces.
The university prides itself in constantly finishing near the top of Maclean’s annual universities ranking issue. Waterloo is also very well known for the co-op education program.
One of Zeta Omega’s greatest challenges during 2010 was not being able to hold events on campus. The chapter needed to be recognized by the university as part of the Fraternities and Sororities Awareness Club. Fortunately by the end of the year, the chapter had success in booking rooms for its formal meetings and was fortunate to have informal meetings at a member’s home on Albert Street.
Zeta Omega had a roaring year in 2011. January included many successful Recruitment events including a sisterhood when the women constructed squares for a chapter quilt. Nine wonderful new members joined the chapter.
March was an especially busy month for the chapter and started with the chapter’s annual Mother/Daughter Day with tea and treats. The women played games, and the sisters introduced their mothers to the meaning of Kappa sisterhood at Waterloo. Next the chapter hosted Decadence on campus in the Student Life Centre and raised more than $600 for the Sexual Assault Centre of Quine and District.
The same weekend a new member retreat was held that further strengthened a strong bond between the eight new members. With this great kick-off to Inspiration Week, the members held an intense quiet night where tears and laughter were shared. Fireside and Initiation that weekend were the best-attended by actives and alumnae in several terms. Finally the members topped off their term with an immensely successful Sapphire Ball that was also a fabulous send-off for the chapter’s several seniors.
The chapter returned in the fall with a new membership chairman and more women came out for Recruitment than who had taken part in it before. The chapter activities included everything from kite-flying to bracelet-making for the actives and potential new members. Eleven women pledged Kappa and eight were initiated. The annual Father/Daughter Day was hosted at the campus arena where the members and their fathers watched a varsity hockey game.
The term’s main philanthropy event was Holiday of Hearts. Many gifts were donated, raising more than $450 for the Because I am A Girl Campaign which was provided by Plan Canada on behalf of Zeta Omega. Sisterhood also brought a lot of crafts and sewing for the term with new letters and owl pillows for all members.
The visit from the Fraternity Leadership Consultant complemented the chapter’s inspiration period in the fall of 2011, and she helped the chapter host a successful Quiet Night. The chapter held an amazing Fireside and Initiation in an off-campus location where the beautiful voices of the chapter members sang loudly and often. Nearing the end of November, getting closer to exams and the holiday season, the social chairman hosted Touch of Klass with delicious appetizers and the well dressed company of other campus Greeks. The Zeta Omegas were invited to attend Wilfred Laurier University’s Greek Gala. Several members proudly attended as delegates. In 2011, the University of Waterloo continuously endured the largest campus construction and building boom since it was established in 1957. The university fully embraced a new marketing campaign. It also began to search for many new administrators in 2011 as many of the senior administrative staff and faculty position contracts would end in the beginning of 2012. It was hoped that the exodus of these older campus administrators in 2011 and 2012 would bring a more positive attitude to the administration regarding Greek life at Waterloo.
The chapter had many members graduate in April which left a very young chapter to return to campus in the fall of 2011. In 2011, Zeta Omega struggled slightly to complement the Recruitment process of the other Panhellenic sorority at Waterloo. The chapter consistently worked to overcome this challenge as it prepared for a more in-depth coordination in the 2012 Recruitment.
Another great year has passed in the Zeta Omega Chapter and we have learned lessons, grown as a chapter, and welcomed new sisters along the way. The 2012 year got off to a great start with Alana as recruitment chair. After 4 successful recruitment events, new member chair Samantha Gilchrist began preparing the new class for their Zeta Omega careers. With inspiration week brought wonderful sisterly bonding that finished with the Alpha Lambda class becoming sisters. We were so happy to welcome Alanna, Molly, Erica, Tonima, and Melissa into the chapter! Credit must also be given to Minny, our fearless Marshall, and Sunny, our standards chairwoman. Their dedication hard work throughout inspiration week was noticed and greatly appreciated by everyone in the chapter.
The chapter held their signature social event, Sapphire Ball later that month. This year's theme was "masquerade" and was spearheaded by our events chair Lisa. Sapphire ball always presents a wonderful opportunity for alumni, special actives, associate members, and active members to come together and celebrate. Awards were presented to those deserving sisters who the chapter felt put in extra time and effort to help the chapter reach it's full potential.
The Zeta Omega chapter gave back to the community in the Winter 2012 term by holding our annual Reading is Fundamental event. Sisters went to local elementary schools and worked with young students to help them read books. Paired with a craft, it was a great day for all. We also promoted philanthropy at the Waterloo campus with our bi-annual bake sale: Decadence. This is a great event that students look forward to each term.
Two sisterhood events were also held in the Winter 2012 term. Braving the cold together, the sisters of the Zeta Omega chapter went skating at the outdoor rink in uptown Waterloo. For our second sisterhood event, everyone got together to make masks for Sapphire ball! What girls lacked in artistic skills, was certainly made up for with laughter and new memories. After the last meeting of the term, the girls said goodbye as they began studying for exams and leaving for the summer.
Although the Zeta Omega chapter is not active during the Spring term, there were a few sisters enrolled in a full course load who wanted to maintain contact. In spite of their busy schedules, they made an effort to spend time together, often having lunch, studying, or having sleepovers. In June, sisters in the Waterloo area participated in the Kitchener/Waterloo Relay for Life. As a team they were able to raise 700$ for the Canadian Cancer Society!
With the beginning of the Fall academic term, the Zeta Omega chapter was once again active. Kris, the membership chairwoman, started off the term with 4 successful recruitment events. Ulanna, new member chariwoman, helped guide Maddie, Katie, Gloria, Fallon, Alex, Theenu, Koren, and Carol through their journey to becoming sisters of the Zeta Omega chapter. Inspiration week flew by and finished with initiation held at Neera's home in Guelph, Ontario. She was a graceful host, and her home was the perfect venue.
Neera also contributed to the chapter as events chairwoman. Her efforts for Touch of Klass should be noted as she used her problem solving skills to find a venue at the last minute. The event was held at a local restaurant called Wildcraft. The hors d'oeuvres disappeared as soon as they were put on the table, and everyone mingled and had a great time. The event was well attended in spite of the horrible storm that day!
Our standards chairwoman, Natasha, held three wonderful events throughout the term. The first was a board game night and Founder's Day celebration at a local restaurant. The next was a sleepover after Fireside. The third was a Secret Santa potluck following the last meeting of the term. Though the events were wonderful, attendance could have been improved. As a chapter, we are currently working towards better attendance of events.
We held 4 philanthropy events during Fall 2012 term. Decadence, once again, was well attended. To prepare, many sisters baked together as the excitement grew for the much anticipated event. In October, the sisters of the Zeta Omega chapter, along with police officers and members of the community, volunteered to pick up litter following a rowdy Homecoming weekend. It was great to see sisters making a positive difference in the community, especially when it was on the local news later that day! Around Halloween, very few girls participated in Trick or Eat, collecting canned goods for local food banks. Our final philanthropy event of the Fall 2012 term, Food not Bombs Soup Kitchen, was also poorly attended. Although the term got off to a great start, things got a little rocky towards the end. One of our goals for the 2013 year is to improve attendance at Philanthropy events!
In Fall 2012, the University of Waterloo opened their Nano Technology building. This was a great joy for the Nanotech engineers, and students of Waterloo, as the building had been under construction for 3 years!
The nature of our chapter is ever-changing. Between new members, graduates, and co-op students, the chapter can feel completely different from one term to the next. As a result, leadership roles will sometimes fall onto the shoulders of newer members. To ease these transitions, members of the chapter are working to update the leadership binders and improve training methods. In doing this, sisters can feel more confident in their leadership roles, allowing the chapter to reach their goals without anyone feeling overwhelmed.
In the Winter 2012 term, the chapter was in good spirits. Unfortunately this changed with the Fall 2012 term. The standards committee was put to work, quietly dealing with interpersonal issues in a professional manner. Attendance was also poor at many events. To improve this, we are increasing communication within the chapter, holding monthly open forums, and creating incentives to hold sisters accountable for their actions. We all believe in Kappa, and the oath we took during initiation and are actively trying to work towards making the Zeta Omega chapter the best it can be!
Another wonderful year has come and gone in the Zeta Omega Chapter and we have learned lessons, grown as a chapter, and welcomed new sisters along the way. The 2013 year got off to a different start than usual. We only had one sister graduating so we did not hold any recruitment events in order to get new sisters as we were at our cap. Instead we focused on improving our sisterhood by holding open forums in which girls could talk about frustrations with the chapter. It was mediated by alumni Courtney and Liz and we took turns talking by having a talking stick. This got frustrations out of the way so we could focus on being more sisterly.
The chapter held their signature social event, Sapphire Ball later that month. This year's theme was "Night in Paris" and was organized by our events chair Molly and Katie. Sapphire Ball always presents a great night past and present Kappas to come together and celebrate in classy attire. Awards were given to those commendable sisters who the chapter felt put in additional time and energy to help the chapter reach it's full potential. The awards were as follows:
Academic Excellence -- Winnie Sham Chapter Goals ------------- Carmel Rahmanian Sisterhood ------------------ Erica Schellenburg Philanthropy --------------- Emily Moore President Award ---------- Carol Nguyen Allumni Award ------------ Liz Wong Senior Award--------------- Natasha Kwiatkowski and Ulana Zadarko New Member Award ---- Maddy Spicer
The Zeta Omega chapter gave back to the community in the Winter 2013 term by holding our annual Reading is Fundamental event. Sisters went to local elementary schools and worked with young students to help them read books. Paired with a craft, it was a great day for all. We also promoted philanthropy at the Waterloo campus with our bi-annual bake sale: Decadence. This is a great event that students look forward to each term. There were many yummy treats and goodies that students could purchase – we decided to donate our funds to Strong Start and raised 580 dollars!
Two sisterhood events were also held in the Winter 2013 term. Avoiding the cold together, the sisters of the Zeta Omega chapter made bracelets at Stephanie Jin’s house. The night was spent being crafty and chit chatting. For our second sisterhood event, everyone got together and bused to Marble Slab in Kitchener! With the weather getting warmer – everyone was craving some ice cream. We visited a sister that was working and had fun getting creative with our yummy treats. After the last meeting of the term, the girls said goodbye as they began studying for exams and leaving for the summer.
Other events held during the Winter term included a Valentine’s Day Mixer with the Sigma Chi’s where we played games and socialized while eating yummy snacks and appetizers. We also had a pajama party with the Sigma Lambda Gamma’s the local sorority on campus where we spent the night playing games like catch phrase and made awesome sweet and salty popcorn and homemade cookies.
Along came fall and Zeta Omega was back in full swing. Kelly the membership chairwoman, started off the term with 4 successful recruitment events. We had great weather and some were held outside which was a nice change! Erica, new member chairwoman, helped guide our beautiful Alpha Nu class through their journey to becoming sisters of the Zeta Omega chapter. Alpha Nu had 18 new members which grew our chapter immensely and excited everyone. Among this group included Allison, Annaijah, Bailey, Delphine, Eleni, Jessie, Joycelyn, Julena, Karen, Kayley, Kimberley, Miya, Shannon, Supriya, Taylor, Tearney, Uma, and Valerie. Inspiration week flew by and finished with initiation held at Neera's home in Guelph, Ontario. She was an incredible host, and we were very thankful for Neera and her family for letting us use their beautiful home for our special event.
Katie also contributed to the chapter as events chairwoman. Her efforts for Touch of Klass should be noted as she used her organization skills to book a great venue well in advanced. The event was held at a local restaurant called Shoeless Joes. The hors d'oeuvres disappeared as soon as they were put on the table, and everyone mingled and had a great time. We had some Christmas trivia that got everyone in the Christmas mood.
We held 3 philanthropy events during Fall 2013 term. Decadence, was well attended and was nice for the new sisters to come and help out to raise money. Sisters baked together in order to get ready for the event. We had lots of yummy cupcakes and it was nice interacting with other students on campus. Close to Halloween, a couple sisters participated in Trick or Eat, collecting canned goods for local food banks while dressed up in costumes. We want to have a better attendance for this event in 2014. Our final philanthropy event of the Fall 2013 term, helping out at a local Soup Kitchen, was also poorly attended. One of our goals for the 2014 year is to improve attendance at Philanthropy events by setting more specific goals and getting sisters to come out!
There were very few interpersonal problems between sisters in the Fall 2013 term. This gave the standards committee a break. As a chapter, we are working towards improving sisterhood and philanthropy by working together and setting more specific goals as a chapter. We are all dedicated members and want Zeta Omega to be the best tat it can be by constantly keeping. Zeta Omega has a diverse collection of sisters that compliment one another very well. A quote read that represents Zeta Omega reads – we create women out of girls, sisters out of friends, and confidants out of strangers.
In Fall 2013 University of Waterloo is very proud to offer a professor job to Chris Hadfield – the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space. He called the university “world class” and is going to be teaching starting in the fall. This is exciting for our members (past, present, and future) who are in engineering.
Another wonderful year has passed in the Zeta Omega Chapter. One filled with great achievements, important lessons, chapter growth, and strengthened friendships. The 2014 year started strong with Lisa as recruitment and new member chair. With her leadership and guidance, we welcomed 9 new members into the Alpha Xi class: Angelica, Jessica, Kiki, Monica, Roze, Simran, Stacy, Sydney, and Uthi! The dedication and hardwork of Neera and Sunny, our President and Marshall, made for an extremely successful inspiration week. Neera graciously offered to host initiation at her beautiful home once again. The Alpha Xi class prepared a humourously entertaining rap for the chapter at our last meeting.
The chapter held their signature formal, the Sapphire Ball, later that month. This year's theme was "Great Gatsby" and was organized by our events chairwomen, Katie and Taylor S. The Sapphire Ball is a wonderful way for alumni and collegiate members of Zeta Omega to reunite and celebrate sisterhood in classy attire. Awards were presented to those admirable sisters who the chapter felt remarkably contributed in helping Zeta Omega reach it’s full potential. The awards were as follows:
Academic Excellence ---- Valerie Cheung Chapter Goals ------------ Lisa Nguyen Sisterhood ------------------Erica Schellenberg Philanthropy -------------- Melissa Yeung President Award ---------- Laura Sevick Alumni Award ------------ Beth Stamer-McAllister Senior Award-------------- Erica Shellenberg New Member Award ---- Taylor Smith, Simran Nanda Outstanding Officer ----- Erica Schellenberg
Under Melissa’s lead, Zeta Omega put forth many efforts to serve the community in the Winter 2014 term. Annually we support Reading is Fundamental by encouraging sisters to visit local elementary schools and read to the younger children. We also provided them with brand new school supplies. We promoted philanthropy at the Waterloo campus with our annual bake sale, Decadence. Each term students look forward to the yummy treats that the sisters of Zeta Omega bake and provide in the Great Hall of the Student Life Centre. Our sisters also visited a local soup kitchen to serve members of the Waterloo community.
Several sisterhood events organized by Fallon and Erica were also held in the Winter 2014 term. Our sisters spent one evening braving the cold together, skating and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate. For our second sisterhood event we crafted our own Kappa swag, by putting our letters on shirts, sweaters, bags, and other casual apparel. One of our favourite unofficial sisterhood traditions is to eat icecream after meetings, even in the winter! Some other memorable moments include touring the campus observatory, attending trivia night at Bomber, and having movie and games nights.
Zeta Omega built relationships within the Greek community through other fun mixers too. Events held during the Winter term included making sugar cookies with the Delta Gammas from Laurier, watching Insidious on Valentines Day with the Sigma Chi’s, and participating in a clothing drive with the AOIIs. We also created more Greek life awareness on International Badge Day by wearing our badges with the AOIIs and posting pictures of them on social media. Study group sessions were planned regularly throughout the term, so sisters were able to study and support each other academically, while also snacking on table treats! Valerie was awarded a small prize for being the sister who attended the most study groups. In the fall, Valerie claimed the prize once again, along with our newer member Jordana!
With the beginning of Fall 2014, four successful recruitment events welcomed our biggest pledge class yet! Of our 19 new members, we had Abby, Ally, Ashley, Cassia, Diane, Emily, Hayley, Jordana, Katrina, Kavita, Marium, Nikelle, Parminder, Parnum, Sandyha, Sarah, Sophie, Taylor H, and Victoria. Lisa once again guided our lovely Alpha Omicron class through their journey to becoming sisters of the Zeta Omega chapter. They presented the chapter with handcrafted sisterhood bracelets at our last meeting. Kelly became our new president and did a wonderful job collaborating with Sunny on initiation, and with strengthening our bond with the Sigma Chi fraternity.
Katie and Taylor S helped plan the socials for Fall 2014 as well. In October we made a trip to a local corn maze with the Pi Kappa Alphas from Laurier. Everyone really got into the autumn spirit, and took adorable photos with pumpkin patches, haystacks and tractors. For Halloween, we went to see the new horror movie Annabelle with the Sigma Chis. Our end of year formal, Touch of Klass, was hosted at Shoeless Joes. We all dressed in classy Christmas attire and shared a special night of sisterhood and memories with our dates, close friends and family.
Emily and Louisa significantly improved our chapter’s philanthropy efforts in the Fall 2014 term. The duo held numerous events and introduced term long activities to the chapter, including Kappa Kares, an effort to log personal volunteer hours and compete in teams for a prize. The individual award for top hours went to Miya, logging a record total of 115 hours! The group award went to Team 7, which included Jordana, Kim, Marium, Monica, and Valerie. The chapter also participated in a Terracycle recycling initiative, aiming to collect conventionally un-recyclable items and recycle them, such as tassimo discs and stationary supplies. For Mental Health Awareness Week, sisters handed out informational material and off-campus resources. Helium balloons with encouraging words were distributed to create a positive mental space for students and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Sisters also took to social media to share insightful and personal approaches to staying mentally healthy. Decadence went under way once again, raising over $500 from baked goods to put towards the United Way of Kitchener-Waterloo. Lastly, sisters wrote heartfelt letters to the Canadian Armed Forces and collected items to fill shoeboxes for the Christmas Child campaign. Our chapter hopes to carry these strong efforts into the next year.
As our Standards chair for the Fall 2014 term, Theenu planned 3 wonderful sisterhood events. Sisters gathered one evening to make small crafts for Bid Day for all of the new members. We crafted tote bags with KKG letters and symbols, and enjoyed an icecream bar supplied with lots of different toppings. Our second sisterhood was spent Go Karting at Erbsville Kartway. Even though it was really chilly outside, everyone was able to do two laps around the track! Sisters got a good workout when we finished the term by rock climbing at the Grand River Rocks.
After an amazing year, we are proud to announce that Kelly, Taylor H, and Jordana won positions on FSA for 2015. With the welcoming of so many new members and strong leaders in the past year, our chapter has really taken a positive turn. Our events have been amazingly memorable and our sisterhood and philanthropy has been stronger than ever.
Recent changes on campus:
The University of Waterloo has been named Canada’s Top University for Innovation for the 23rd consecutive year and Best Overall for 2015, according to Maclean’s magazine.
The Board of Governors has approved the construction of an $88-million Engineering 7 (E7) building this year. The seven-story building will deliver education to Waterloo’s Engineering students, and will enable the university to attract even more of the best and brightest students who will undertake research here.
The Warrior Tribe is a new FEDS club that began in June 2014. It aims to revitalize school spirit within the University of Waterloo community through lively attendance at club and sporting events. The Tribe hopes create a sense of unity through study, sports, and most of all, spirit.
In November 2014, FEDS held a referendum which resulted in 73.8% of 6,000 students voting in favour of a fall reading week. However, in contrast to other schools who have successfully implemented this, administration says that the demand of the school’s world-renowned co-op program could create complication. The senate will vote officially on the idea next year.
The 2015 year has been a memorable one for the ladies of the Zeta Omega Chapter. It certainly began with hardship, but this was overcome and our sisterhood became bonded closer than ever as a result.
Zeta Omega did not recruit in the winter semester due to the size of the previous Alpha Omicron chapter, but they did still participate in the campus Greek Promotion week. That same month there was also a skating social with the Sigma Chi Fraternity, organized by events chairmen Carol, and a sisterhood event at a Waterloo Warriors basketball game, followed by appetizers at Crabby Joe’s, organized by Vice President Standards Tearney.
Unfortunately, January was also a very difficult month for Zeta Omega. January 18th marked the tragic loss of one of our incredible members. The girls came together to offer one another support during this period of hardship, which including holding a ceremony in her memory and offering transportation to the visitation.
The month of February began with a visit from Caroline, a Kappa LC, organized by Vice President of Organization Stacy. That month there was also a Healthy Hearts Sisterhood event (in which sisters went for yoga and smoothies), a Pool & Darts Social with the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, a study date with the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority (organized by Panhellenic Delegate Hayley), and a Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed brunch for Mother-Daughter Day (organized by Public Relations Chairmen Taylor H). For Valentine’s Day the girls exchanged Secret Cupid anonymous Valentine’s cards.
In March, Zeta Omega focused largely on their philanthropic efforts and sisterly relationships. The Decadence bake sale was organized, as well as a post Saint Patrick’s Day garbage clean up that chapter members received local recognition for in the news. The girls bonded over a makeup tutorial for their chapter programming organized by Education Chairman Valerie, and a much needed informal Quiet Night.
Of course, March also meant the holding of the annual Sapphire Ball, in which Zeta Omega members were able to dress in formal attire and bring dates for a dinner and dance at The Crowne Plaza. This year’s theme was Kate Spade, and the awards were as follows:
New Member Award - Ashley Power
Academic Excellence Award - Valerie Cheung
Chapter Goals - Kelly White
Sisterhood Award - Tearney Johnston-Jones
Philanthropy Award - (I believe it was Emily Moore but you may need to verify this one, Jordana rings a bell too)
Senior Member Award - Lisa Nguyen
President's Award - Stacy Law
Alumna Award - Sam Gilchrest
Outstanding Officer Award - Laura Sevick
It was a great winter semester, finished off with a leadership brunch for the girl’s of the Fall 2015 Chapter Council and a senior sendoff to Sunny, Louisa, Emily, Lisa, Kelly, Nikita, Nicolette, Laura, Carol, Molly, Melissa, Jessie, and Kimberly.
The Fall semester was a busy one, but due to the commitment and collaboration of all the sisters it was an undoubtedly fun one as well. The term kicked off with recruitment, which involved participation in recruitment workshops with the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, hosting a booth in the Student Life Centre’s Vendors Ally and during the university’s Club’s Day, and of course the events of recruitment itself. Recruitment was organized by Membership Chairman Taylor S, who put together five days of magical reading-themed events, complete with beautiful decorations and delicious baking. Alyssa, a Kappa LC, was also present during this sometimes stressful week to give advice and strengthen the bonds of our sisterhood. Thus, we welcomed 12 new members as our Alpha Pi class: Niha, Meera, Maddie, Kristin, Mia, Ravina, Arista, Nicole, Sunny, Mackenzie, Erin, and Glenda. We were also delighted to embrace another new member – Katie –several weeks later in order to meet our quota. Prior to being joined by our impressive new pledge class, Tearney organized a Kolour Me Kappa sisterhood event involving a paint-balloon filled game of Capture the Flag.
With recruitment ending in October, Zeta Omega was able to focus on getting to know the new members and introducing them to what it means to be part of the Greek Community at the University of Waterloo. A pumpkin painting sisterhood and a corn maze social with Pi Kappa Alpha were held, and the girls also worked a mental health awareness booth in the Student Life Centre in which students wrote on a whiteboard about what keeps them mentally healthy and took pictures. This is a cause that has come to mean very much to Zeta Omega, as well as all youth of our generation, so it was truly phenomenal to see the effect the chapter had in brightening people’s day with such a simple gesture. The month finished off with Daddy / Daughter Day, which took place at a Warrior’s women’s hockey game.
November was a very exciting month due to Initiation, which was held at Taylor H’s home in Kitchener. It was preceded the night before by Fireside, held on campus, and followed by the standard alumni brunch at Angie’s Diner. Under the guidance of New Member Chairman Karen, the girls had blossomed into ideal representations of everything that Kappa Kappa Gamma stands for. November also marked the holding of Decadence (organized by Philanthropy Chairman Jordana), a tri-sorority clothing swap, a workshop from a Kappa trainer, some informative programming on sexual assault, a Murder Mystery Social with the Sigma Chi Fraternity, a Peaceful Minds sisterhood in which the girls returned for yoga and smoothies, and a casual Christmas sisterhood in which the girls decorated gingerbread cookies baked by the one and only Parnum. The year came to a celebratory ending with Touch of Klass at the Waterloo Inn and a senior send off to Theenu.
In context of the university that Zeta Omega is located at, the University of Waterloo ranked first for innovation for the twenty-fourth year in a row and first for reputation this year according to MacLean’s. It also raised 17 places in terms of word rankings. Regarding changes to the campus, the university opened a Science Teaching Complex, began construction on a new student residence, opened it’s Center of Excellence for Innovation in Aging, and expanded it’s entrepreneurship program, Velocity, to become North America’s largest startup incubator. Hopefully next year is as progressive and exciting as this one!
In 2017, the Zeta Omega Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Waterloo had an incredible year due to our commitment to our chapter goals and our focus on sisterhood. The year started off with an incredible and enthusiastic Chapter Council with Supriya Sethi leading as our President. As a Chapter with our VPO Mariam Khattak, we focused on and worked hard to accomplish our Chapter Goals: remember our "Whys"; improve Risk Management Education; Improve Academic Excellence; improve sisterhood; and increase accountability. We kept these goals in mind throughout the year and strived to accomplish them in everything we did as a chapter. The Winter Term was filled with incredible Sisterhoods planned by our VPS, Uma Chowhan that kept us active when we went to Skyzone, allowed us to explore our creative side when we did a painting workshop, and brought us together as we crafted new Kappa t-shirts together. In the Fall Term we participated in Sisterhoods planned by our VPS, Simona Iancu including a mug crafting event perfect for holding hot drinks we would need in the coming cold weather, and a holiday themed meeting where we decorated gingerbread figures and exchanged Secret Sister gifts! A perfect way to end a great year. In order to further our goals of improving sisterhood, remembering our "Whys", and increasing accountability, we as a chapter worked hard to reach out to sisters we don't know as well and share what we admire about each other through our Clothespin Dates, Sister of the Week and Pen Pals. We also worked on self-mediating issues we had through Koffee for Konversation - an informal way to solve personal issues between sisters without going through Standards that also helped make meaningful connections between sisters. As a Chapter we participated in many Philanthropy events that were focused on giving back to our community and becoming more visible on campus. In the Winter we ran Movies and Marshmallows where we took over the main Student Life Centre on campus and served hot chocolate and played movies for our fellow students to help them through midterms. In the Fall term our Philanthropy Chairwoman Kayley Marner continued our great philanthropy efforts with a RIF-themed philanthropy by organizing for our chapter to help the program coordinators of Strong Start's Get Ready to Read Program pack and sort materials. Our last philanthropy event of the year was in support of World Kindness Day! We crafted and distributed lollipop flowers with words of encouragement to students all over campus. It was even featured in an article written for our Federation of Students website! As our Risk Management Chairman, Mia Chan worked endlessly to accomplish our chapter goal of increasing Risk Management Education by putting together great Risk Education workshops that we participated in during General Meeting. Mia helped chapter when the new Risk Management policies came into place and helped us as a chapter understand the important changes!
In Winter 2017 we hosted our annual Sapphire Ball! This year it was organized by our Event's Chairman, Kiki Ghandour, and was held at the Delta Hotel in Uptown Waterloo. This incredible yearly event celebrates the wonderful academic year before us and the accomplishments of our sisters. As a chapter we hand out awards to some of our sisters to highlight everything they have done for us! Here were the awards and the recepiants: Academic Excellence Award: Eleni Zaptses; Chapter Goal Award: Supriya Sethi; Sisterhood Award: Mia Chan; Philanthropy Award: Mackenzie Noble; Abby Shanmuganathan Memorial Award: Patricia Su; Alumna Award: Brittney Van Nood; Senior Member Award: Uma Chowhan; New Member Award: Brett Doane; Outstanding Officer Award: Mariam Khattak; President's Award: Maddie Braun. In order to improve our Academic Excellence as part of our Chapter Goals, our VPAE Claire Quong worked hard to encourage sisters to share their academic accomplishments, and work in study groups based on their majors/programs. Another way to encourage sisters to strive for academic excellence was the introduction of our Scholarship Pearls. For Winter 2017, two Scholarship Pearls were given out: Most Improved: Meaghan B; and Most Inspirational: Tearney Johnson-Jones. We look forward to continuing Scholarship Pearls and celebrating academic accomplishments into the 2018 year! In the Fall of 2017 our Membership Chairman Brett Doane and our New Member Chairman Niha Amin welcomed our incredible Alpha Sigma Pledge Class. After a week filled with incredible events all centred around our theme of "A Fleurishing Sisterhood", we welcomed 14 new sisters into our sisterhood: Alezeh, Sydney D., Ekaterina, Grace, Ailish, Celina, Shannel, Alexandra, Hannah, Lyana, Danielle, Pauline, Jamie, and Alicia. As a Pledge Class they participated in our sisterhoods, philanthropies, and showed great enthusiasm towards building our sisterhood and being active members of our chapter, all volunteering to help any officer wherever she was needed. We couldn't be more thrilled they chose to join us and will be continuing our chapter and this Fraternity's great legacy! While welcoming new sisters is always incredible, saying goodbye to our seniors is always bitter sweet. In 2017 we wished our senior sisters the best of luck as they continue their lives postgraduation from the University of Waterloo and the Zeta Omega Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. We know our graduating sisters Meera, Ally, Kavita, Taylor H., Parnum, Diane, Kiki, Uthi, Valerie, Uma, Karen H., Tearney, Eleni, Miya, Maddy and Jordana will do incredible things and we can't wait to hear about all their successes! In the Winter our seniors spent quality time together in an escape room! In teams they worked to escape by solving puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to complete to objectives at hand. Clearly these wonderful women are well-prepared to take on post-grad life! In the fall, our seniors participated in a paint night, where they relaxed and explored their creative side. As senior sisters they participated in senior programming learning all about financial management, how to save post-graduation, and about investing in TFSAs and RRSPs. We are so proud of our 2017 year and all our sisters, active and alumna, who helped make it an incredible year! We look forward to 2018 and what the new year brings!