Alpha Omega Chapter - Host of the 53rd Biennial Conclave
Submitted by Matthew Cline, Alpha Omega 2012
On July 20, 2015, the Alpha Omega chapter got great news- the chapter that we were helping to reactivate, Beta Iota at the University of Florida, had all of their paperwork approved. Even bigger news came in as well that day: our bid for the 53rd Biennial Conclave was approved! Conclave was coming down to Atlanta, and we had 53 weeks to prepare. This conclave would be special for us. Twenty years ago, the North Avenue Apartments (location of this conclave) were built and opened as the Olympic Village for the Centennial Olympic Games. Two years later, the 44th Biennial Conclave was held across campus at Georgia Tech. In the past 18 years, our chapter has grown and changed so much.
We currently have around 60 members, which is smaller than some chapters, but it is larger than we have had in a number of years. Alpha Omega initiated over 40 members in the last year alone, and we hope to keep growing! We currently have members from over 15 states and 7 countries as well. In this biennium, our increased membership has helped us plan more school outreach events. We volunteered at the Atlanta Science Festival, which is a huge event held to get kids interested in science. There were over 100 different tents set up, and we had kids at ours all day learning about chromatography and other chemistry art experiments. We had similar events at local YMCAs and schools. While those events displayed the second object, we also fulfilled the first object as well!
Our chapter has a block seating section at football games and we have tailgates for current brothers and alumni. We have study parties and mountain retreat weekends every Spring semester, and each Fall semester we get to go to our district conclave where we have won the Best Chapter award four years in a row! But even with all of these great events, biennial conclave has been our main focus this year.
The bid for conclave was primarily prepared by our then Master of Ceremonies (and Co-Conclave Chairperson), Chuck Winslow, in Spring 2015. This forty plus page document listed the plan we had for conclave. It included information about our chapter, possible event locations, airline costs, and facts about Atlanta. Once the bid was accepted, preparations for conclave started slowly- we elected our conclave committee and began reserving accommodations. We gave tours of the campus to the GMA and GMC. We looked at train and airline schedules, checked prices of supplies, and began making countless checklists. We picked our honor initiates and talked to faculty. We selected volunteers for model initiation and began to plan the logistics of that. We gave calls to local companies for sponsorships, and we designed the merchandise, logo, and shirts. Summer 2016 began, and the work intensified. Our officers and the National Office sent multiple emails back and forth every single day. Finally, conclave began, and we got to welcome everyone to Atlanta.
Alpha Omega brothers were always working behind the scenes during conclave even though final exams were taking place for the summer semester that week as well. We picked up the coffee and snacks for each break, and we had brothers running errands and picking up guests of honor from the airport. We answered questions about Atlanta- everything from where Centennial Park was to where was the nearest place to buy sunscreen. Our Conclave Committee worked hand in hand with the Supreme Council and the National Office staff. They were with us at every step of planning, and for whatever chapter is selected to host the next conclave, the new Supreme Council will be there for you as well!
Overall, it has been an amazing biennium for Alpha Omega. Right after colonizing Georgia Southern, we moved forward to assisting UF in their reactivation. We have increased our school outreach, and we are now increasing our presence on Georgia Tech’s campus. Even now, we have had students emailing us about upcoming rush events. I just imagine what these potential new brothers will be able to accomplish in the next few years!