Saturday, May 21, 2011

Copy of 2nd Appeal Letter Sent to HQ

May 11, 2011

Alpha Omicron Pi International Headquarters
5390 Virginia Way
Brentwood, TN 37027

To the Members of the Constitution Interpretation and Revision Committee,

Please allow this letter to serve as notice that the sisters of Tau Lambda wish to appeal the Panel’s decision to remove our charter.

Although contradictory, we found the letter provided by the Panel useful. We made numerous attempts to reach out to anyone who could assist in educating the us on the actual infractions and probationary periods, which resulted in the Chapter’s charter revocation, including our Network Specialists, Network Directors, and even Meghan Granito – the Assistant Director of Chapter Services. The Panel’s letter was the only time we have been able to identify the specific issues the Chapter faced or any sort of timeline reflective of the relevant infractions in question. Ironically, the Panel believed the AAC should have communicated the probationary terms to the Chapter. Although, when AOII was asked, AOII did not provide the necessary information to our AAC so they could have better assisted the Chapter.

Our Chapter, and the AAC were also not made aware of the potential ramifications. The current Network Specialist, Kelly O'Dwyer-Manuel visited the Chapter for Officer Transition, at which she time met with our officers, and held a meeting with our AAC in November 2010. If the Chapter was truly in jeopardy, we feel she should have made mention at that time. There were new members of AAC present for their first meeting, who were not aware of the probation or probationary terms or the ramifications of the Chapter’s status. It would have been helpful for her to sit down with all the Sisters and explain the seriousness of the situation, including the possible repercussions. It was not until March 2011 when planning our Alumnae Reunion Weekend that she alluded to our AAC the fact that Tau Lambda could be in serious trouble.

We continue to be unaware of any previous infractions, and we believe that those incidents in the past did not lead to the Panel or the Executive Board’s decision. Since the letter only lists five issues since April 2010, we are forced to believe these are the only factors were taken into consideration. It would seem unfair for the Panel or Executive Board to make such an important decision based in a past bias or judge based on other reasons not fully disclosed.

The incidents noted in the letter seem harsh to warrant such extreme measures as to remove a charter. The letter stated that Shippensburg “is struggling with problems involving alcohol and hazing. This is something that Tau Lambda has been challenged with as well.” The only issues identified in the Panel’s findings were those related to alcohol. It is not documented that Tau Lambda has a concern of hazing; therefore, we believe it is unfair to make the assumption that hazing took place.

The Panel’s recommendations to Headquarters to re-evaluate procedures regarding the process of placing chapters on monitoring terms supports our assertion that there is a lack of communication for which AOII is responsible. We believe that the Chapter was not properly guided, informed, or given tools to assist and help them overcome the challenges they faced.

We wish to address each issue and tell why we believe that the harsh decision of removal is not supported.

1. The first incident where alcohol was found in the AOII house was April 16-19, 2010 by a Network Volunteer. The alcohol belonged to a recent graduate and measures were taken including dis-associating one sister with the Chapter. This situation was handled accordingly and was the action of one person, rather than the entire group.
2. Possible recruitment infractions regarding Facebook invitations sent in September 9, 2011 is an issue our AAC was not aware. We ask what type of awareness regarding social network was provided by AOII? We all live in a society overtaken by technology and online security is an ongoing concern. College women can be potential targets of stalking, bullying, and identity theft. Our organization should foresee these risks and address them to all collegiate chapters.
3. The reference to “Bid Day” is vague, thus another incident where our AAC was not properly made aware.
4. We believe the November 11 alcohol incident was noted as isolated, therefore it should not have had any weight when determining the future of the entire Chapter.
5. We understand, and agree that, the February 19 alcohol violation is severe. There can be no negligence made for this situation and the Chapter should by all means be charged for noncompliance of the Standards of AOII and Shippensburg University. The Chapter should be held accountable for the poor judgment portrayed in this situation. There should be a strict plan set forth for Tau Lambda, as the Chapter should be made aware that failure to comply, at that time, should result in the removal of their charter.

Due to the lack of support the Chapter received, and because two of these are isolated issues, the last violation is the real concern. Revoking the charter based on the one issue seems to be Headquarters giving up on Tau Lambda. We would like to propose the Chapter be responsible to provide alcohol awareness programs for the entire campus, set Risk Management guidelines for all members in order to keep their current status, and setting a zero tolerance for alcohol. These improvements would benefit not only the Chapter, but Shippensburg University and Greek Life as well.

We have appointed a committee led by Alyssa Morgan, with the help of Emily Wiker, and Keleigh Neyhart. These sisters will ensure that the Chapter stays focused and they will be used as liaisons between AOII, Shippensburg, our Alumnae, and the AAC. These women have committed they would be responsible for implementing our action plan and providing feedback along the way.

We have a strong AAC of 12 members, who hold regular meetings via conference call, communicate with the Chapter and advisees on a regular basis. They have attended our weekly Chapter meetings and made a strong presence at all of our events. We do not feel that it is an issue many of them live more than 40 minutes away. With current means of communication including cell phones, laptops, email, and easy access to video conferencing, it is easy for us to reach out to them and they can be notified of situations as soon as they arise. We know we have a strong group of alumnae and AAC. The Panel noted this in their letter. The outpouring of support we have received from Sisters and Alumna shows the passion we all have for the Tau Lambda Chapter.

Rather than AOII consider opening new chapters, please do all you can to help the current ones. We already have a group of over 400 Sisters and Alumnae from Shippensburg who show a strong commitment to AOII.

Oftentimes, when faced with a difficult situation, it is important to take a step back, re-analyze, and ask yourself what you did to help or what you would have done differently? We understand there are some issues that Tau Lambda needs to be responsible for, but we are doing all we can to make amends. We encourage AOII to take a more active role in helping and improving the Tau Lambda Chapter. The Shippensburg AOII organization made mistakes. We hope AOII can take an honest look and ask how they have helped… and ask what could they do to make it better?

Fraternally Yours,

The Sisters of Tau Lambda Alpha Omicron Pi Chapter
Shippensburg University

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Just to give you an update... as you have seen, we were denied the first appeal. We had a chance to appeal that decision. A letter has been submitted to HQ again asking them to reconsider. We assume it may be a few weeks until we hear back. As soon as we do, we'll keep you posted. We will decide at that time how to proceed.
Tau Lambda Forever :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Social Network Warning


After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and get on-line. She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. She checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant message:

Hi. I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today. It was really weird!

LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you?
Don't you live in a safe neighborhood?

Of course I do. LOL I guess it was my imagination cuz' I didn't see anybody when I looked out.

Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven't done that have you?

Of course not. I'm not stupid you know.

Did you have a softball game after school today?

Yes and we won!!

That's great! Who did you play?

We played the Hornets. LOL. Their uniforms are so gross! They look like bees. LOL

What is your team called?

We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are really cool.

Did you pitch?

No I play second base.. I got to go. My homework has to be done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye!

Catch you later. Bye

Meanwhile.......GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far.

Her name: Shannon
Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985
Age: 13
State where she lived: North Carolina

Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall. Besides this information, he knew she lived in Canton because she had just told him. He knew she stayed by herself until 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work.
He knew she played softball on Thursday afternoons on the school team, and the team was named the Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey. He knew she was in the eighth grade at the Canton Junior High School She had told him all this in the conversations they had on-line. He had enough information to find her now.

Shannon didn't tell her parents about the incident on the way home from the ballpark that day. She didn't want them to make a scene and stop her from walking home from the softball games. Parents were always overreacting and hers were the worst. It made her wish she was not an only child. Maybe if she had brothers and sisters, her parents wouldn't be so overprotective.

By Thursday, Shannon had forgotten about the footsteps following her.

Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone staring at her. It was then that the memory came back. She glanced up from her second base position to see a man watching her closely.

He was leaning against the fence behind first base and he smiled when she looked at him. He didn't look scary and she quickly dismissed the sudden fear she had felt.

After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked to the coach. She noticed his smile once again as she walked past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He noticed her name on the back of her shirt. He knew he had found her.

Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind her. It was only a few blocks to Shannon 's home, and once he saw where she lived he quickly returned to the park to get his car.

Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until the time came to go to Shannon 's house. He drove to a fast food restaurant and sat there until time to make his move.

Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the living room.

"Shannon, come here," her father called. He sounded upset and she couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to see the man from the ballpark sitting on the sofa.

"Sit down," her father began, "this man has just told us a most interesting story about you.

Shannon sat back.. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before today!

"Do you know who I am, Shannon ?" the man asked.

"No," Shannon answered.

"I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123."

Shannon was stunned. "That's impossible! GoTo is a kid my age! He's 14. And he lives in Michigan !"

The man smiled. "I know I told you all that, but it wasn't true. You see, Shannon , there are people on-line who pretend to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to injure kids and hurt them, I belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators. I came here to find you to teach you how dangerous it is to talk to people on-line. You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to find you. You named the school you went to, the name of your ball team and the position you played. The number and name on your jersey just made finding you a breeze."

Shannon was stunned. "You mean you don't live in Michigan ?"

He laughed. "No, I live in Raleigh It made you feel safe to think I was so far away, didn't it?"

She nodded.

"I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't as lucky. The guy found her and murdered her while she was home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet they do it all the time on-line. The wrong people trick you into giving out information a little here and there on-line. Before you know it, you have told them enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again. Tell others about this so they will be safe too?"

"It's a promise!"

That night Shannon and her Dad and Mom all knelt down together and thanked God for protecting Shannon from what could have been a tragic situation..

SU Alum Summer Events Reminder

Shippensburg University Alumni Association
SHIP Summer Events for Philadelphia Area Alumni

Historic Philadelphia: Tippler’s Tour – Colonial Style Pub Crawl, Philadelphia
Date: Thursday, June 16, 2011
Tour Begins @ 5:30 PM (Please allow approximately 2 ½ hours)
Cost: $30.00/person (Ages 21 and older)

Join us for this very fun tavern tour of Colonial & modern day watering holes. Our Colonial host/hostess will share historical facts about the traditions of drinking and lead us in Colonial drinking songs & toasts. Included is a drink and snacks at each of our four stops: Society Hill Hotel Restaurant, National Mechanics, Triumph Brewery, and the historical City Tavern. You'll be sure to have an entertaining, while educational, night as our tour guide entertains us with songs and stories of the drinking traditions from Colonial times. The tour departs from the Historic Philadelphia Center on 6th & Chestnut. Arrival information will be sent with reservation confirmation.

Please RSVP to or 717-477-1218 by May 16. Checks may be made payable to SUAA/SU Foundation or call for credit card payment.


QVC Studio Tour & After Party, West Chester
Date: Saturday, August 13, 2011
Tour Begins @ 4:00 PM (Please allow approximately 1 hour)
Location: QVC Studio Park, 1200 Wilson Dr., West Chester
Cost: $6.00/person; RSVP to

Enter the fantastic world of electronic retailing! Join us on a guided tour through this state of the art broadcasting facility. We'll get to see and experience how QVC products are sourced, tested, brought to life on air and delivered to millions of QVC customers. We'll have views into the studio including the spectacular views from the Observation Deck. Maybe we'll even catch a glimpse of a favorite host or guest.

After Party @ Stadium Grille, West Chester
Location: 104 Turner Lane, West Chester
Proprietor & Alumni Host: Bob Batley ‘85
Time: 5:30 PM

Stadium Grille is located just 3 miles from the QVC Studios. After the tour, join the SHIP group for a bite to eat or drink. The Stadium Grille is BYOB so bring your favorite or purchase from the beverage store right next door.
Not attending the QVC Tour? - No problem - Meet us at Stadium Grille for the After Tour Party at 5:30 PM. As always, friends and family are welcome!

Please RSVP to or 717-477-1218 by August 8. Checks may be made payable to SUAA/SU Foundation or call for credit card payment.


Alumni Weekend 2011!
FriendSHIP: Old Friends & New Beginnings
ALUMNI WEEKEND 2011: June 3, 4, and 5

Join us this summer when the campus comes alive with activity! A few highlighted activities include the 50th reunion celebration, ArtSHIP: Shippensburg’s Art, Wine & Festival featuring wineries, microbreweries, live music, art demonstrations, and food vendors; the popular Pubs & Grubs Tour to visit local haunts, reunion/award dinner, alumni hospitality suites, on-site overnight accommodations and the 23rd Annual Alumni Golf Outing. Check out all the information on-line: Alumni Weekend 2011!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


We posted this song 2 years ago for the Kentucky Derby so it may look familiar to our loyal followers. The song was taken from Dan Fogelberg and we used this one - Lisman's version - for Spring Rush 1992. This year the song seems appropriate, as we have been making a RUN to keep the rose of Tau Lambda going. We still have some fight in us and we will continue to do what we can. But as you sit back, sing "My Old Kentucky Home", sip a mojito and sport the big hat... take a moment to yourself and reflect on our RUN FOR THE ROSES... and TAU LAMBDA FOREVER!

Off to college to be on your own
Walkin' 'round campus on wobbly knees, with sisters beside you to help you along
You'll soon be a-gro'in up strong.
All your childhood friendships and best friends through school
The memories that you shared, the love through and through-
Could never prepare you for what lies ahead; the run for the roses so red
Sister to sister, it's born in the blood;
The beauty of a rose, the growth of the bud.
It's moving, it's exciting, And it's something unknown that drives you and carries you home.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Appeal Decision

May 3, 2011
Tau Lambda Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi
Shippensburg University
19 North Earl Street
Shippensburg, PA 17257-1203

Dear Sisters,
The panel for your chapter closure hearing on April 28, 2011, has reached a decision. During the proceedings, we heard from 22 advisers, volunteers, chapter members and community members who shared views on your case. We also read the extensive information provided, including the 51 letters advocating for your chapter and the signed petition.

After hearing and reviewing all of the evidence, the panel determined to uphold the Executive Board decision to remove Tau Lambda’s Charter.
This was a very difficult decision, particularly with your passion and commitment to our Fraternity. You should be commended for the progress you made in the areas of Ritual, Philanthropy, Scholarship and Recruitment. Alumnae and AAC members cited many examples of how far you have come as a sisterhood, and those gifts will last you a lifetime.

However, a chapter cannot be successful without serious commitment to Risk Management and Standards. It was clear through our interviews that the current culture of the Shippensburg campus, and in particular the Greek Community, is struggling with problems involving alcohol and hazing. This is something Tau Lambda has been challenged with as well.

From April 2010 to the present, the following incidents took place with the chapter which put the chapter and AOII in a negative light:
1) April 16-19 2010: Alcohol was discovered in the AOII house by a Network Volunteer.
2) September 9, 2010: Fraternity/Sorority Adviser contacted AOII about recruitment infractions involving Facebook invitations and parties taking place before school starts.
3) Bid Day: Two alumnae brought alcohol into the AOII house and many chapter members did not cooperate with ELC to address the issue
4) November 11: Alcohol incident involving a new member (which later was determined to be an isolated incident)
5) February 19: Alcohol violation occurs at an AOII house party where the Chapter President and VP-Standards were in attendance.

Your chapter was allowed multiple probation periods over 5 years to help overcome this campus culture and develop a strong AOII chapter. This may not have been in the best interest of the chapter, since it was shared in the interviews that the chapter as a whole didn’t understand what probation meant nor what the consequences would be. Considering that several sororities were on status with the University or their Headquarters at the time of the hearing, it can reinforce the idea that there are no consequences for being in a probationary status on this campus. Even so, based on the outpouring of support, the panel considered alternatives to closing, including conducting a membership review to keep members who could best reflect AOII values. However, it would take more supervision at the local level by alumnae, and all but one AAC member lives more than 40 minutes away. In addition, issues were noted with lack of communication between the AAC, LC and the chapter body regarding probation terms and potential ramifications. This is something the AAC should have ensured took place as officers changed from year to year.

Combining the lack of local alum support with a campus environment that is struggling with risk management, the panel could not in good conscience recommend an extension of the Probation Terms. The current decision is in the best interest of the safety of our current members and reflects consistency in AOII’s approach to risk management across the Fraternity.

As a result of the panel proceedings, we recommend Headquarters re-evaluate current procedures on placing chapters on monitoring and probation for better engagement of chapters:
- Communication delivering the terms should include language that states the ramifications for failure to meet the terms, whether it is escalation to probationary status or (if on probation) that the chapter could be closed.
- If Probation notification cannot be conducted in person, consider sending an e-mail to all members in the chapter to ensure notification.
- Networks could consider hosting a conference call with chapter members to answer questions about Monitoring Status, Probation Status or the terms.

Within 14 days following receipt of this letter, you may appeal in writing the decision of the panel to the Constitution Interpretation and Revision Committee. The appeal is in default after 14 days and the action of the panel stands pursuant to Title II, Article XIV, Section 4 of the Bylaws of Alpha Omicron Pi.

We were impressed by the sincere and candid comments made to the panel. Out of this unfortunate situation, there are opportunities for all members and volunteers involved to reflect on our Ritual and embrace the lifelong benefits AOII offers. We hope to see AOII return to Shippensburg in the future when the environment can better support our Tau Lambda Chapter.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy Teacher's Day

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ~William A. Ward