Order of Omega rejuvinated on campus

Students looking to make Order of Omega just another line on their resume might be living in the past. The national greek honors and leadership group, established in 1959, has its highest membership ever on campus. Unlike in past years, the group is moving out of complacency with aims of leadership development. Last year the group had 30 members as opposed to its 75 current members. The group also received 80 applications this year âÄî double what it received last year. Erin Cohen , the groupâÄôs adviser, said the change all started when Alex Coontz was elected president last April. Coontz said the group was a joke in the past and was almost completely off the radar. In fact, he said, the group was so ignored in years past that accurate membership numbers donâÄôt even exist. There was a lack of effort last year, he said. Meetings were poorly attended and people viewed it as an asset to their resume. Cohen said Coontz and other leaders have been working to make the group more meaningful. Coontz said the group offers opportunities members canâÄôt normally experience. âÄúItâÄôs just experience that you canâÄôt really get just in your own chapter, itâÄôs more of a greek-wide thing that not a lot of people really have time in their four years to expand into,âÄù he said. The group, which is made up of juniors and seniors, is only allowed to accept up to 3 percent of the previous yearâÄôs greek population, so this year it accepted the maximum number of 45 out of the 80 applicants. Applicants were selected based on academics, leadership on campus and community service, and were inducted into the group on Wednesday night. Senior Jordan Bronston is one of the groupâÄôs new members and said he wanted to be around strong leaders he could learn and gain experience from. Bronston also said he was motivated to join because he saw the leaders of the group putting in hard work. Coontz and other group leaders also put together a scholarship program, designed to get members to the library more often. Starting in February, members will log their hours every time they go to Walter Library . The three houses with the most hours will receive $500 from the Interfraternity Council and the individual with the most hours will receive a $1,800 Princeton Review scholarship. Coontz said he wants to establish a regular schedule for greeks going to the library. Cohen said the social aspect of the group is the primary motivation for many members. She said there arenâÄôt very many structured opportunities for greek students to meet people from other chapters and that this is a great way for those students to network. âÄúAll greeks meet up at the bar on Thursday, but why not have all greeks meet up at the library on Wednesday?âÄù Coontz said. âÄúThe idea is that it turns into more of a community thing where itâÄôs just kind of a given that everybodyâÄôs going to Walter on Wednesday night.âÄù