Frequently Asked Questions
Who are we? What do we do? What is Alpha Omega Epsilon all about?
As both a social and professional sorority, we get the best of both worlds. Alpha Omega Epsilon strives to help our members grow professionally through mentorship, by hosting various workshops (resume/CV, LinkedIn, research positions, internships, graduate school), and networking events to succeed in STEM fields. We also have a strong commitment to sisterhood and community, which we foster through many sisterhood-oriented events (Day at Dollywood, Family Competitions, Friendsgiving Cabin Retreat) and social events like date parties and formals.
What is a “Social & Professional” Sorority?
Who is eligible to join the sorority?
The eligibility criteria for joining A.O.E. are:
As per our Inclusion Policy, membership in Alpha Omega Epsilon is inclusive to all people of underrepresented genders in STEM, including women, people who are non-binary, genderfluid, or otherwise genderqueer. (Individuals who identify as a man are not eligible for membership)
Potential New Members (PNMs) of any major are eligible to join the sorority, as long as they have an interest in STEM.
New members must have a GPA of at least 2.7 on a 4.0 scale
New members can not be affiliated with any other social or professional greek organizations that are associated with the Professional Fraternal Association or the National Panhellenic Council– disaffiliation paperwork must be provided if you have been in another greek organization. Membership in academic honor societies (Tau Beta Pi, Alpha Pi Mu, etc.) will not affect eligibility into Alpha Omega Epsilon.
All PNMs that are offered a bid for A.O.E. will go through a 6-week candidacy period before moving to active status. Just like active members attend weekly chapter meetings, candidates are expected to attend weekly candidacy meetings. These meetings last approximately an hour. Candidates will also have 15-30 minutes of quizzes/homework for each of the weekly meetings to help them learn about the sorority. Candidates will also be assigned a class project. This project is completed amongst all the candidates, and has included: painting a tailgate cooler, painting our letters, making cornhole boards, etc. You should designate 30 minutes of time at some point through your candidacy period to contribute to this project, but any time beyond that is up to you!! During candidacy, it is also important to get involved in sorority activities and get to know active members. Along with attending social events, candidates are required to have Carnation Conversations during their 6-weeks of candidacy. These are conversations (coffee dates, study sessions, going to the gym, etc.) that are between an active member and a candidate to help candidates and actives form new connections. Candidates can be expected to expend between 1-3 hours of time each week on A.O.E. commitments, with one of those hours being the weekly meeting. Candidates will also be required to attend Candidate Initiation on Sept. 22 and active initiation on Nov. 4 unless excused.
What does the time commitment look like?
What are the financial obligations?
Dues for active members are paid on a semester basis, and on average, stay under $250. For the Fall 2022 semester, active members have paid $225. Dues for the 6-week candidacy period are estimated to be $180 for Fall 2022.
Dues go towards all of our different events throughout the semester. This includes all of our sisterhood and professional events, as well as social events (typically one date party and one semi or formal per semester). We also plan for an annual Sisterhood Retreat.
what do dues go towards?
What is candidacy?
After you are initiated into the sorority, you will go through a six week candidacy period. During this time you will learn more about Alpha Omega Epsilon (who we are, what we do, etc.) You will continue to form more relationships with active members in the sorority in the course of this six week period. In order to help create more bonds between candidates and active members there will be a mixer between one of the candidacy and active meetings to help achieve this goal!
There are endless amounts of events that Alpha Omega Epsilon hosts. We have 18 committees in the sorority. In those 18 committees over 10 of them are constantly planning and hosting events. Our biggest events normally come from sisterhood, professional, and philanthropy. Our sisterhood committee plans events to bring sisters together throughout the year. A few events that have been planned in the past by sisterhood are watch parties for sporting events, group competitions, and sister superlatives. When it comes to professional events, our professional committee does an amazing job of providing guest speakers, information about job fairs, and gives girls opportunities to share what research they are involved in on campus. And lastly philanthropy works with service in the community. The Philanthropy committee gets together to create a schedule for all the volunteer opportunities there are. As of right now we have two events for the week so girls are able to work on their service hours. These are just a few examples of the events we have here at A.O.E.. All the committee’s work extremely hard to ensure that there are countless events that are both inclusive of everyone and provide numerous opportunities for girls to participate.
What kind of events does alpha omega epsilon host?
what are the benefits of being in the sorority?
There are so many benefits to being a part of a sorority, especially one like A.O.E.!! First things first is just how many friendships you are able to form just within your first weeks of membership. Not only are our sisters amazing people to have as friends to hang out with on a Saturday night, but they are also great for academic and professional support. So many of our girls have been involved in research, internships and co-ops and are always willing to help out with anything you may need to grow in that regard. A.O.E. also has a mentorship program for candidates called Rosebuds. Your Rosebud is an active member, within your major/similar field, that helps to guide you through candidacy as well as academically. Outside of the professional and sisterhood benefits, there are also philanthropic avenues to follow with A.O.E.! All our active members work to achieve 8 service hours per semester in order to give back to our Knoxville community. Community service is critical to helping our campus community to flourish and we love watching our girls give back to Knoxville. (See our Why AΩE section of the website for more info from the girls!!)
Alpha Omega Epsilon is different from other sororities because we are not an NPC chapter. We have more flexibility when it comes to recruitment, what requirements we have during the year, and what we focus on. A.O.E. is a professional and social organization, so not only do we have a tight knit community that participates in date nights, mixers, etc., but we also focus on professional development. We host workshops that are aimed toward bettering resumes, interviewing, and presenting in a professional setting.
A.O.E. is aimed toward passionate women in STEM. There is a wide variety of majors in our chapter, so it is likely that there will be someone else in the same major. There are currently around 50 members in our chapter, so it is easy to get to know everyone. Some organizations can be so large it is hard to feel like you know anyone. Alpha Omega Epsilon prides itself on members forming lasting relationships with each other as women who support each other in the STEM field.
what makes alpha omega epsilon different from other sororities or student organizations?
Is alpha omega epsilon
No, our sorority is not a part of UTK Panhellenic. Alpha Omega Epsilon is recognized nationally as a professional and social sorority. AomegaE focuses on academic excellence as well as building social connections with other women in STEM.
“Hazing” refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. Alpha Omega Epsilon and the Gamma Beta Chapter at UTK have a ZERO tolerance policy for hazing.