After a turbulent semester last spring, University of Nebraska at Omaha senior and former Chi Omega sorority member Shannon Workman started her fall semester on a positive note and made the best of a difficult situation.
Workman’s experience with UNO’s chapter of the Chi Omega sorority made national headlines in April after she was called into a disciplinary meeting with the chapter’s executive board, according to New York Daily News.com.
Workman said she decided to secretly record the meeting because she felt suspicious and “thought it was going to go south.”
In the disciplinary meeting, Workman was told she had violated Chi Omega’s “Human Dignity” rule by posting a picture on the dating app, Tinder, wearing her sorority’s bid day tank top, which had the chapter’s letters on it.
“They thought that it [the picture on Tinder] made the chapter look bad,” Workman said. “I could have seen why if maybe it was a straight up hook-up app, but it’s not.
“A lot of people meet on Tinder and start dating and get married, so I didn’t think it was a bad thing.”
Workman said she was told she did not have the same values as Chi Omega because she didn’t agree she did anything wrong by posting the picture on Tinder. By the end of the meeting, Workman was no longer a Chi Omega sorority member.
In Workman’s recording of her meeting, Chi Omega representatives can be heard explaining the process of membership revocation. Workman was told she could go through a hearing process or sign papers.
She chose to sign the papers and disagrees with Chi Omega calling her resignation voluntary since she was “pushed” into resigning from the chapter.
Fortunately, several positive aspects have come out of Workman’s experience, including the chance to share her experience with multiple news sources and an internship and scholarship offer from Tinder.
“I was actually getting on the plane to go to New York to go on Good Morning America when Tinder calls me,” Workman said. “They told me they wanted to offer me an internship in California and to pay for my senior year of college, and I’m freaking out, right?” Workman was unable to complete the internship over the summer because she didn’t have a place to stay.
“They were still awesome and are paying for my senior year of college,” Workman said. Workman has also been able to use her experience with Chi Omega to become a role model for other young women and oers advice in standing up to authority gures.“Stick up for what you believe in, hands down,” Workman said. “If they’re trying to tell you that you did something wrong and you obviously didn’t, don’t let them step all over you. From there, if it doesn’t work out how you want it to, everything hap
pens for a reason.”
Workman said she has received many letters, emails and kind words from people who have read her story, including William Woods University equestrian science major Annelise Walker.
Walker said she messaged Workman on Facebook’s Messenger app after reading her story on a sorority T-shirt swap Facebook page.
“I just wanted to let you know what your story of being kicked out has helped me feel comfortable
talking about me getting kicked out,” Walker said in her message to Workman. “Thank you for speaking out and letting me know that I am not the only one grieving a loss to a sisterhood.”
Walker is a former member of the Alpha Phi sorority and said she is “really glad” Workman received her message.
Workman, who is an education major, said her experience has positively impacted her future career.
“I want to be a teacher, and it’s really made me connect with other students who may be in that situation … like if you’re in an organization where they don’t treat you with respect, then you need to eliminate that from your life,” Workman said. “As a teacher, I would want to instill those values in my future students.”