Why AOII Wednesday

For those of you who don’t know (or have never looked at any of my social media pages) I’m a member of Alpha Omicron Pi at Gettysburg College. There’s a lot of things I could and want to say about AOII, so I’m taking the time here to tell you all about my AOII experience thus far. Any of you that don’t know my recruitment story can read about it in my blog post “The Ups and Downs of Recruitment: Hello AOII!” right now, I’ll wait………….

Okay welcome back. As many of you can guess a lot of things have change since AOII’s colonization back in September. We’ve grown as a chapter and a sisterhood in more ways than I can possibly explain.

The 77 women that made up the original colonizing class have grown by 5 members since that first day (making us the second largest sorority on campus). We’ve had sisterhood retreats, elected officers (including a kick-ass president), had paint wars, movie nights, never-ending chapter meetings, amazing weekends, won philanthropy events, and all around have morphed into one big Panda family.

And that’s why I love AOII. AOII was founded at Gettysburg College to be a voice and a home for a special group of women that our campus thought wasn’t represented in Greek Life. The type of women who love to work hard and play hard, that don’t define themselves by one kind of persona, that love and support their sisters in all things, that want to inspire change in our campus community, that encourage diversity in all of our members, and that stand for being brave and empowered women.

Did you catch those two words? Cause they’re very important. Our chapter of AOII was given the opportunity to pick our chapter name and submotto after our colonization. We chose Beta Eta to stand for Brave and Empowered, because we thought that those words summed up what we wanted our chapter and members to be for both now and the future.

AOII at Gettysburg is all about inclusion, all about friendship, all about laughter, all about fun, all about experiencing things with a group of awesome people beside you.

Heading into the recruitment season has been really scary for all of our members. Being the new chapter on campus comes with a lot of stigma. Not to mention a lot of confusion for our members since we have never been through the recruiting process before. But at the end of the day all of us have come to this conclusion: We want to make recruitment fun for PNMs, we want to get to know you on a level that’s deeper than your major and hometown, we want to be your friends, we want you to feel comfortable, and we want you to want to be an AOII.

AOII encourages everyone to be themselves in an environment where we can all come together, we encourage both unity and individualism.

And honestly that’s exactly what I’ve found. A group of women who accept the fact that I can’t stay quiet for more than 5 minutes, who always have formal dress options ready for me when I can’t find one (which is always), who come through with the Instagram likes even when I don’t ask (and when I shamelessly do ask), who support each other through mental and physical illness, who love bitmoji and eating pizza (AOIIs love food…..), who laugh at my lame jokes, and who inspire me endlessly.

I wouldn’t change my recruitment experience for the world and I sure as hell wouldn’t trade in my AOII sisters. They’ve made me a better person.

So that’s my Why AOII Wednesday. Because we are the Beta Eta chapter and we want you to BE brave, BE empowered, BE intelligent, BE funny, BE loud, BE quirky, BE athletic, BE an avid Netflix watcher, BE a friend.

But most importantly BE an AOII.

From me for you,

Julie

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