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Alpha Omicron Pi Records

 Collection
Call Number: UA250

Scope and Contents

This collection contains bound copies of To Dragma (translated as "the sheaf"), the official magazine of Alpha Omicron Pi; scrapbooks created by the members of the Tufts Delta Chapter; Alpha Omicron Pi songbooks; a yearbook published upon Alpha Omicron Pi's centennial in 1997; and administrative materials including awards received by the Delta Chapter, videos of events attended or held by the Delta Chapter, administrative notebooks, and new member materials.

Dates

  • circa 1908 -- 2017

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproduction and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Any intellectual property rights that the donor possesses have not been transferred to Tufts University.

Biographical / Historical

The Delta chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi was established at Tufts University in 1908. The Delta chapter grew out of Alpha Delta Sigma, a local Greek letter society organized by six women (including founder Mary Grace Fickett, 1896) at Tufts in 1895. After association with other local societies in the New England area, Alpha Delta Sigma was formally initiated as the Delta chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi-- a national sorority founded in 1897—in the "wee small hours" of the morning of April 14, 1908. In the 1960s, members of the Delta chapter refused to participate in recruitment activities to protest the discriminatory recruitment rules of the Tufts Panhellenic Council; as a result, the chapter’s charter was held in trust from 1969 until 1987, when the chapter was reestablished.

From 1987 through 2017, the Delta chapter held regular programs including recruitment and bid parties, philanthropy events, new member retreats, formal dances, and Big Sister Hunts. The chapter also participated in wider events and programming for Greek organizations at Tufts. The Delta chapter received the Tufts Mount Olympus Award—the award for Greek Chapter of the Year—numerous times between 1990 and 2017, and also received awards from Alpha Omicron Pi including the Academic Development Cup, the McCausland Cup, the Sheaf Performance Award, and awards for outstanding public relations and outstanding reporting. The motto of the Delta chapter was “strength through fellowship.”

In September of 2016, a transgender student rushed the Delta chapter. After a delay in affirming the bid from Alpha Omicron Pi International, which oversees recruitment activities of all chapters, more than half of Delta’s members left the sorority in October of 2016. The remaining members discussed leaving the national organization, but instead decided to push for a change in its policy on transgender students. On November 8, 2016, the Delta chapter issued a public statement regarding the chapter’s division.

The efforts of the remaining members of the Delta chapter garnered the attention of Alpha Omicron Pi International; in 2015, the organization formed a Gender Identity Committee, which distributed an online survey to all chapters in order to gain a better understanding of how members viewed gender, and discuss possible changes to gender-identity policies. In 2017, the Alpha Omicron Pi International Diversity Policy and Bylaws were amended to add a non-discrimination clause for “other characteristics protected by state or federal law. Membership is open to women and those who identify as women.” According to Delta chapter members, official fraternity documents were also amended to remove micro-aggressions in language, including terms such as "colonizing.”

On December 11, 2017, the national Executive Board of Alpha Omicron Pi withdrew the Delta chapter’s charter, citing “the chapter’s inability to ‘build their membership to sustain a viable AOII membership experience.’” Members were invited to affiliate with the Boston AOII Alumnae Chapter. In May of 2018, remaining residents moved out of the Delta chapter’s sorority house at 25 Whitfield Road in Somerville.

Extent

9.6 Linear Feet (8 record cartons)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

This collection contains the records of the Delta Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi at Tufts University.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in three series by format: To Dragma; Scrapbooks and bound volumes; and Administrative materials.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Alpha Omicron Pi, 2018, accession UA-2018-062.

Processing Information

Processing of this collection was completed by Leah Edelman in 2018. Materials were placed in archival boxes and loose materials were placed in folders where needed. Materials were arranged by format, and chronologically where possible. A box-level inventory and series-level descriptions were created, and the finding aid was also created at the time of processing.

Creator

Status
Completed
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University Repository

Contact:
35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States
617-627-3737