OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU students work to form second Native American sorority on West Coast

05/31/2012

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Eight undergraduate students at OSU have been accepted as members in Alpha Pi Omega, the country’s largest and oldest Native American sorority.

In July, a vote will be held on whether to accept the students as members of a provisional chapter at OSU. If it is formed, it would be only the second Native American sorority on the West Coast.

“There has been some interest in the past in gaining more membership in the West, and we’d love to see that type of expansion,” said Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton, public relations director for the organization. “This is an important start, and also will form a strong support network for Native American women at Oregon State.”

The undergraduate students have already completed an initial six-week process to gain membership, Krehbiel-Burton said, and represent the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians; the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone; and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

“We are truly excited about the potential for growth and opportunities at Oregon State,” said Cho Werite, grand expansion director of Alpha Pi Omega. “The university has been extraordinarily supportive of the expansion process and we look forward to becoming a full member of the Oregon State University community.”

If granted provisional status, the OSU group could receive a full charter in July, 2013, sorority officials said.

Alpha Pi Omega represents more than 70 tribes in the United States. It was founded in 1994 at the University of North Carolina, and works to support collegiate and professional Native American women in contemporary society while embracing traditional cultural practices.