Alpha Omega Epsilon newest SDSU fraternity

Sarah Laber

Sarah Laber

The campus is always growing, and this month SDSU welcomed the newest fraternity: Alpha Omega Epsilon (AOE), a fraternity for women in the College of Engineering.

On Feb. 23, AOE held its first initiation into the fraternity.

AOE was founded by Audrey Bloemendaal, the official founding mother, Christine Keierleber, vice president, and Natasha Buckle, secretary/treasurer. The girls are from the engineering floor in Mathews Hall. The group was formed for female students who are persuing a degree in math, physics or engineering. The fraternity is only open to these majors because it is targeting a specific group of students.

“A group of girls wanted something more social and less professional to help keep the female students interested in engineering,” Bloemendaal, a junior mechanical engineer and music major, said.

The main focus of the new fraternity is to help female engineering students succeed in the College of Engineering.

It is not as easy for females to form study groups, due to the lack of female students in the field. “Sigma Phi Delta, our brotherhood fraternity, has had a significant role in the beginning of AOE,” Bloemendaal said. “They have been very supportive of us.”

Support is what engineering students need while pursuing degrees within the field, because it is a very challenging field.

AOE does not currently have a house, but they plan on getting one within the next few years. In order to have a house, they must first fulfill chapter requirements, be approved by the Greek association, have Alumni support and have enough students interested in the fraternity.

Students who are looking to join AOE will be able to work with students in the engineering field on their homework, socialize with females within the field and understand the concepts in more depth in hopes of keeping more female students in the College of Engineering.

“Girls tend to not get asked into study groups and have a harder time understanding the homework,” Keierleber said. “They need a support system, and that’s what we are.”

There is one other AOE chapter in South Dakota. The School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City has a chapter that traveled to SDSU on Feb. 23 to welcome the newest chapter and to take part in the initiation.

Students who are interested in joining AOE will be able to do so next fall. For information, contact Bloemendaal at [email protected]