Omega Phi Alpha’s service program is predominantly carried out at the active chapter level. While service projects are completed at district events, national convention, and by alumnae chapters and individuals, the majority of the service program and requirements is aimed at the active chapter level. Each chapter is required to promote service by doing at least six service projects during each academic term. Each chapter’s service program shall be planned and carried out so that a reasonable balance is achieved among Omega Phi Alpha’s four areas of service: to the university community, to the community-at-large, to the members of the sorority, and to the nations of the world. In addition, each chapter is required to complete one project per term to represent service to the national permanent project which is mental health, and one service project dedicated to the president’s project which is a philanthropy identified annually by the national President. The president’s project is announced at the national Convention each year. Past president’s projects include education, women’s health, breast cancer awareness, and HIV awareness.
Every member of Omega Phi Alpha has a leadership role to play in our organization, even those who never hold an elected or appointed office. At every level the important decisions within Omega Phi Alpha are made by a democratic process; therefore, each member has the responsibility to educate herself on the issues, to make her opinion heard, and then to give her full support for the majority’s decision.
The members who serve as formal leaders have the responsibility of anticipating challenges and opportunities before they occur, and of quickly responding to urgent situations as they arise. Strong leadership skills such as planning, communicating, delegating, motivating, time management, conflict resolution, negotiating, and others, don’t just happen overnight. They are grown and strengthened throughout a lifetime. Good leaders try new things… and sometimes fail. Good leaders seek out and learn from other good leaders. Good leaders learn from their own mistakes, and try again and again and again.
Leadership is not something you can learn just from a workshop or a ‘how-to’ manual. It must be learned by doing. Workshops and other training materials can open our minds to new ideas and new perspectives that can change the way we think about the organizations we lead and about the challenges we face as leaders. Veteran members at the national, district and local levels deliver workshops often using training materials developed by the Vice President of Programs.
The pledging process is one of the first steps in becoming an active member in Omega Phi Alpha. It is designed to give potential members a preview of Omega Phi Alpha and how we live our three cardinal principles of Friendship, Leadership and Service.
Pledges are grouped together in pledge classes that will work together during their pledge period. Generally, this process lasts about ten weeks. The pledges will plan activities such as a Pledge/Active activity and a Big Sis/Little Sis activity to help develop the friendships that will be formed through their involvement with Omega Phi Alpha. During this time, pledges will also hold meetings run by officers elected by each pledge class. This opportunity will help demonstrate the leadership roles available in Omega Phi Alpha. The pledge class will work together to plan service projects in order to experience Omega Phi Alpha’s dedication to service. Each pledge will also have a Big Sister who will help her meet her requirements to become an active sister. Each chapter’s pledges will work closely with a local Membership Director during their pledging period. She will oversee their progress and report to the Vice President of Membership.