Sigma Delta Omega was the recipient of the 2013 Community Values Award!
Sigma Delta Omega showed dedication to service and their community by completing 2226.75 hours of service in the 2013 year, that's an average of 44.5 hours per member!
A Q and A with Sigma Delta Omega:
What does service mean to you and your chapter? What standard do you hold for your members regarding service?
Service is an opportunity to give back to our community. There are many amazing organizations that dedicate themselves to helping a cause, and we try to do our piece by assisting them in any way we can. Charitable organizations are able to give more if they have people who are willing to work for free and willing to work hard. We regard service as an opportunity to give back to a community that treats us so well. It is also an avenue with which people are able to come together for a common goal. Performing community service as an organization is a way to strengthen bonds between sisters and bonds between community members. Each member is a representative of our sorority. They stand for integrity, optimism, and a passion for helping others. We are constantly challenging each other to new heights of service and new ways of giving back. Our organization requires ten hours of community service a term but many members set personal service goals and far surpass that number. In general, volunteering is a key aspect to our organization and we make it a priority for ourselves
Can you name and describe some projects/ongoing service that your chapter is involved in?
Sigma Delta Omega’s ongoing community service and philanthropy efforts go toward Corvallis and surrounding school districts with an emphasis on science education. One of our biggest projects is our coordination of AWSEM Club. AWSEM, which stands for Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics, is a mentoring program coordinated by Sigma Delta Omega and STEM Academy of Pre-College Programs. We work with young women in elementary, middle, and high school to expand their knowledge and interest in STEM disciplines. We also actively participate in other pre-college events such as Discovery Days which is an outreach event that is hosted by the College of Science that exposes kids from different Oregon schools to different areas of science.
As an organization we are actively looking for new activities to do as a group but almost every member volunteers on their own to some capacity. We encourage members to find an organization or philanthropic cause that they are passionate about in order to pursue volunteering and contribute to a better community.
A list of just some of the organization our members volunteer with:
Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center
Elementary, Middle, and High Schools
American Red Cross
Oregon State Pre-College Programs
Philomath Food Bank
Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis
Oregon State University Research Labs
Sigma Delta Omega: Tutoring Services
Chintimini Wildlife Clinic
Linn-Benton Food Share
Healthy Youth Program
Peer Health Advocates
Heartland Humane Society
Oregon State University’s Small Animal Hospital
Habitat for Humanity
Lebanon Health Career Ladders
Corvallis Parks and Recreation
Southtown Memory Care
Cascade Youth and Family Center
Large Animal Hospital
Eastgate Veterinary Clinic
Oregon State University Relay for Life
Oregon State University’ Women Center
Project Access Resource Center
Oregon State University’s Human Services Resource Center
Students Today, Leaders Forever
What is your national philanthropy focus?
Sigma Delta Omega supports K-12 science education in Corvallis and surrounding areas. For the past three years we have sold chocolate-covered cherries and hosted a Mad Scientist 5k run, with proceeds benefiting science programs in the Corvallis community. Organizations fill out a grant application detailing the programs that the money will support and then, as an organization, we decide on which programs need the money the most. We try our best to fund as many as possible. As a sorority bonded by a common interest in science, we strive to support and promote programs which will help to instill a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in young women; one such program is the Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (AWSEM) Club that our members volunteer to coordinate with Oregon State’s Pre-College Programs Department and act as mentors within. This worthy program has received funding from our grant both in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years to award scholarships for participants demonstrating financial need and to purchase supplies for weekly STEM activities.
What events does your chapter put on that we can all be looking forward to for the end of this year or next year?
Our sorority has voted to change our philanthropy event next year and we are currently working out the details for hosting an event involving a scavenger hunt competition. The event is planned for fall term so look out! In addition to this event, our members will be selling half-pound bags of chocolate-covered cherries throughout winter term, holding fundraiser nights with local restaurants, and collecting clothing to be donated to local schools. All proceeds from events are awarded directly to local K-12 science education programs, so keep an eye out for our events throughout the year!
Another event that we actively participate in is Relay for Life. Our organization bakes and then sells a Periodic Table of Cookies. We ask for a suggested donation for a chance to eat your favorite element. Maybe you want to eat Mercury or Arsenic without the consequences. We can help with that! We table during Winter and Spring term as well as at the actual event.
What do you feel bonds your chapter together? (List some fun things you all do together!)
Every member of Sigma Delta Omega brings a unique personality, but we are all connected through a love of science and academics. As a sorority we meet every week for a two hour chapter meeting. During this time we go through sorority business and then use any remaining time for sisterhood bonding. We are constantly doing socials with other organizations as well as within our sorority. Since we don’t live in a house, we try to plan as many events as we can so that we stay in good communication. We host two large dances a year, Laws of Attraction and Elements of Elegance. We also go on a spring beach retreat each year where we dedicate the weekend to our sisters and to coming closer together. We also have study tables multiple times a week where many of us meet to work on individual homework, or help each other. As an organization we try to participate in other Greek and campus activities, especially in philanthropies. Overall, we are always striving to make connections and expand our personal and professional networks. Bonding is important to all of us and we make a conscious effort to meet new people and gain new friends.
What is the Community Values Award?
The Community Values Award was devised by the OSU Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) and the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life. All Greek organizations are eligible for the award. The award is given on a yearly basis to the chapter that records the highest average community service hours per member, allowing smaller chapters to compete with larger chapters. This award encourages direct community engagement, which may be overlooked due to the traditional Greek focus on nation-wide philanthropy efforts.
The award benefits Greek Life by:
- Integrating more members of the Greek community into the Corvallis community
- Promoting the benefits of being involved with Greek organizations
- Facilitating the positive visibility of Greek life
- Developing professional relationships outside of campus
The award benefits the community by:
- Providing hundreds of volunteers in and service to the community
- Strengthening relationships and partnerships between the Corvallis community and OSU
The award benefits the Center for Civic Engagement by:
- Ensuring a base of volunteers to place into programs, events, and service opportunities
- Creating a connection between the OSU CCE and other campus organizations
- Promoting the visibility of the OSU CCE
- Providing an assessment tool for tracking volunteers in the OSU community
Service, Documentation and Application Steps for Greek organizations:
Step 1) Find a service placement (or many) in one of the following ways:
Visit the CCE office for a complete service inventory or email email@example.com.
Visit the CCE web site to view an updated inventory of service opportunities.
Log on to HandsOn Willamette to view community organizations currently seeking volunteers: http://www.handsonw.org/.
Members may also contact the CCE coordinators directly to find service opportunities.
Step 2) VOLUNTEER
Get out and volunteer! If there is a large group, CCE can help organize the service event and/or help provide transportation.
CCE encourages direct service (face-to-face, hands on work) vs. indirect service (administrative, training, etc). However, both direct and indirect hours can be logged. If chapters are close in service hours, we will evaluate the type of service completed. If you have questions about the different types of service, please contact CCE.
Don’t forget to bring your service tracking form! The service activity supervisor at your site must sign this form (or a volunteer tracking form from your chapter approved by CCE).
Step 3) Complete volunteer sign-off and hour tracking form
Volunteer sign-off and tracking forms are available on the CCE website for both individual service and group service events. Make sure your tracking forms are signed by each service activity supervisor. Paperwork must be completed and turned in to CCE. Hours will only be counted if they are recorded on these forms (or another form approved by CCE staff) and turned in by the deadline each quarter.
Forms are due the first day of Dead Week each quarter to be totaled at the end of the calendar year. If service work occurs during finals week or over break, the hours should be submitted during the first week of classes during the next term. The award runs via the calendar, not academic, year and therefore includes winter, spring and fall quarters (summer not included).
Step 5) Submit a final application packet to CCE by January 24, 2014.
Forms are due the first day of Dead Week each quarter. By the final application deadline, all volunteer sign-off and tracking forms should already be submitted.
The final application must include a written narrative (approximately 2 pages) demonstrating your chapter’s impact on the community. At minimum, please include a summary of your service work and impact on the community, the number of members who participated in service, hours completed, and agencies involved in your report.
Submit completed volunteer sign-off forms and your narrative to CCE, located at SNELL 158. If nobody is in the office, forms can be dropped at Snell 149, the Student Leadership and Involvement front desk, or left in the envelope outside CCE at SNELL 158.
Please send an email confirming the date and location where your application was submitted.
Announcing a winner
The winning chapter will be decided based on the average number of service hours per member and upon the submission of a complete application. Numbers are tallied by counting the average number hours per chapter member. For example: if sorority A has 100 service hours and 50 members, 100/50= 2 hours per member. If sorority B has 100 service hours and 25 members, 100/25= 4 hours per member. Sorority B would be the winner.
Numbers will be tallied during winter term and the winner will be announced via email to Bob Kerr, Facebook, the CCE website, and the CCE and Greek Life email list. The winning organization will receive a custom certificate from the OSU CCE and the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life, and recognition at the annual Greek Awards Ceremony in the spring. In addition, the winner will be announced in the Barometer and the CCE will send a letter of recognition to the national headquarters of the winning chapter to commend the winning chapter’s work.