We Are the Alpha Chis

Back in the end of the summer of 2008, Kristin Uhmeyer (MIT '09) and I were the song leaders for Alpha Chi Omega's Theta Omicron chapter. One of the chief song leader responsibilities is choosing and teaching songs for recruitment parties. I never fully understood where this tradition came from, but nevertheless, I found it fun.

Most of the songs our chapter used are part of the repertoire compiled by AXO's nationals. While compiling the song sheets for recruitment in an Athena cluster late one evening, we decided to write a fresh and creative song that was more specific to our chapter at MIT. We wrote two verses set to the tune of The Engineers' Drinking Song for the end of the second recruitment party:

We are, we are, we are, we are, we are the Alpha Chis.
We will, we will, we will, we will, be them until we die.
Wear red, wear green, wear pearls all day, and sport the golden lyre.
Come join us from around the world; we'll set your hearts on fire.

Alpha Chi was Alpha Chi since eighteen eighty five,
and Alpha Chi will be Alpha Chi, always and ever alive.
Although few words express to you exactly how we feel,
our friendships mean so much to us, so genuine and real.

We wrote a third verse for sisters to sing to the new members on Bid Day, too:

We'd like to welcome all new members here to Alpha Chi.
We'd love to share our sisterhood, so please do not be shy.
It's a smile, a tear, an open heart, much more than just a name.
We love what we have found in it, we hope you find the same.

Our chapter's alumni are an invaluable resource during recruitment season. A year later, during fall 2009 recruitment, I wrote a verse to recognize their generosity. I taught it to my sisters when the alums weren't in the room, and we sang it to them at the end of the night. They smiled a lot. Kristin was one of the alums helping us that year, and I loved seeing her smile in particular.

We love, we love, we love, we love, we love our alumni.
Each time that they must leave us here, we all let out a sigh.
And when recruitment rolls around, we love to see them here,
so supportive and reliable, each and every year.

I wrote another verse later that year to celebrate our chapter's annual open house event:

The sisters of dear Alpha Chi would like to invite you
to our yearly open house event we fondly call "Fondue."
Come over for a night of food, of friendship, and of fun,
dipping strawberries in chocolate until the evening's done.

For fall 2010 recruitment, I was a Pi Rho Chi recruitment guide, so I wouldn't be singing at our recruitment parties. I still wanted to write another verse to use and found inspiration in the Preference Party materials Lauren Cipicchio (MIT '10) and Emily Houston (MIT '10) created the previous year that incorporated additional history into the event:

Back in nineteen eighty five, our group was seven women strong.
Known only as the Thalians, they knew that before long
they would want all the support of a major sorority.
They sought sisterhood and strength in all that Alpha Chi could be.

I also wrote another, more generic verse filled with the AXO-related phrases that didn't quite fit into other verses:

I love to wear the lyre badge, I love each string of pearls,
but most I love my sisters, a fantastic group of girls.
Their talents, passions, helpfulness, their warmth is ever bright:
whenever I'm around them, I'm inspir'd to seek the heights.

I wasn't super thrilled about referring to our real strong women as "girls", but the chapter wanted it anyway. Maybe someday I'll come up with a more satisfying end to that phrase.

Footnotes

  1. There's an argument to be made for this to be "alumnae" instead, but our chapter referred to alums as "alumni" and "alumni" fits the tune (and the rhyme...) better anyway.