Hope Rogers, Staff Writer
One year ago, Alpha Omicron Pi, (also known as AOII), became the newest addition to the Wingate University Greek community. In a few short weeks, this newly-formed chapter will participate in their first year of recruitment.
Formal recruitment will, for the first time ever, consist of four sororities instead of three. Each organization plans months in advance in order for each round to go smoothly, mostly for the benefit of the newest members. For AOII, that category includes their entire chapter.
Soon enough, an estimated one-hundred potential new members will be walking through the doors into each round, unsure of what to expect. Rebecca Shaw, the president of AOII at Wingate, has some advice for the women going through recruitment, other than getting plenty of sleep, she said, “Keep an open mind. All the organizations have different things to offer. We all have philanthropy, we all have values, and we all have wonderful and amazing sisterhoods. These things are what make us unique and genuine.”
Ms. Shaw stresses the importance of knowing that each organization has passed down traditions, rituals, and values for over one-hundred years, and they all have something beautiful to offer. Diana Coyle, a sister of Chi Omega and the Associate Director of Student Involvement at Wingate, could not agree more, she said, “There are constant stereotypes that we battle as sorority women, but too often we do not hear about the impact of personal and professional growth that takes place or the lifetime support system that is built by membership.”
In the past year, the women of AOII have learned that the bonds they make are not just for four years; they are for life. Since there were no members on Wingate’s campus last year, AOII recruiters held a separate formal recruitment a few weeks after the other three sororities on campus had finished theirs.
Ms. Shaw went through both recruitments before finding her Greek home in AOII. She recalls that although the recruitments were separate, there were few, if any, differences between them. What made her experience a special one is the leadership opportunities she received that have prepared her to become a better woman and role model in her community.
In addition to becoming the president, her chapter had the honor of being initiated by AOII’s International President, Allison Allgier, which Ms. Shaw says was an experience she will never forget. What she looks forward to this year, is going through the other side of recruitment and watching each potential new member find her home within the Greek community. She said, “I have heard how incredibly rewarding it is to watch your fellow classmates run home to their organizations on bid day, and I look forward to seeing that joy for every single girl who goes through recruitment.”
Bid day, or the last day of recruitment, is a joyous event where all of the newest sorority members run across campus into the arms of their new sisters. There is a lot of tackling, crying, and picture taking, and this year, the women of AOII will experience it for themselves.
As Wingate and its Greek life continue to grow, many have wondered if they can expect another chapter any time soon. Ms. Coyle does not think so. She said, “I do not see any additional sororities coming into the community any time soon, but I would love to see growth within our Interfraternity Council and National Pan-Hellenic chapters. By growing both of these councils we will continue to provide increased membership opportunities for the entire campus.”
The deadline for sign-ups has past. The first round of recruitment, which is information session, will be take place tonight. For any additional questions or information, email Diana Coyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edited by Brea Childs