Club & Greek
- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 25 January 2017
- Written by NICOLE INGRAFFIA | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
More often than not there is a stigma surrounding college students involved in Greek organizations.
While mistakes are made, as young people often do, the good Greek organizations do for their community, their philanthropy, and each other as well, far outweighs any negative information portrayed in the media. Being a Greek woman is an opportunity unlike any other, and there is something to be offered from each organization. It is so much more than having an official flower, color, or animal. It is a bond and a place of growth.
An organization that offers these opportunities for growth is Alpha Omicron Pi. The chapter was colonized in 2013 at Monmouth University, but the organization was founded in 1897 at Barnard College. They are one of the six Panhellenic sororities on campus and value what it is to be a leader as well as the importance of receiving an education. The organization’s color is cardinal red, their flower is the Jaqueminot rose, and their unofficial animal is the panda. But like all other sororities, there is much more than meets the eye.
People often fear change upon entering college. It is a common misconception that being a member of Greek life can change someone. What isn’t realized with this thought is that being a member of a Greek organization can change someone, but change them for the better. Flash forward and well into my junior year, I am indeed, a sorority woman, and a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. College changed me in the areas of my life where I needed to grow the most. So while change might be scary, no one told me change could also be a good thing. Alpha Omicron Pi has changed my life in the best way possible.
Becoming a member of Alpha Omicron Pi has given me a sense of belonging I’d never known I needed. People always say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, but you certainly don’t know what you’re missing if you’ve never had it. Looking back, I definitely didn’t realize what I was missing, and now that I am a member of this organization, I do not want to experience this world without my sisters.
Julia Farnan, a junior biochemistry student and member of Alpha Omicron Pi, said, “I love my organization because it is a group of women who genuinely and truly care for you in so many ways, whether it be checking up on you when you’re sick or surprising you with Dunkin when they know you’ve had a bad day. Someone is always right there beside you, no matter what you’re going through.”
Alpha Omicron Pi was founded on a promise to serve not only one another, but the greater community as well. This commitment reflects a philosophy of friendship, concern, and usefulness in the world. We participate in projects that raise funds for our philanthropy, arthritis research and the American Juvenile Arthritis Organization, but this does not mean our service to the community stops here. We hold annual fundraising events such as So You Think You Can Dance, and our annual wiffle ball tournament, Strike Out Arthritis. An Education Opportunity Fund Counselor and Collegiate Chapter Advisor for Phi Kappa Si at Monmouth University, Elizabeth O’Brien said, “Whenever there is a philanthropy event on campus, let me know and I will be there to support it. I even love to bring my daughter.”
Yes, we are sisters, but above all, we are friends. We genuinely care about each other and support each other with each life endeavor, inside or outside of AOII. We never have to impress each other or try too hard. It’s difficult to find people you can be yourself around and relate to in college, but luckily, that wasn’t the hard part for us.
Although some people may be under the impression that girls are only friends with their sorority, that is far from the truth. Raquel Rudofsky, a health and psychical education student, as well as a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon said, “Nicole and I have been best friends since freshman year and our different sororities will never interfere with our friendship.”
We donate time and resources to countless local community projects and organizations as well, and have learned what it is to be a responsible woman from our Greek experience. If I was not a member of AOII, I would not realize that, with a little help from friends, you can really make a difference and change the world.
PHOTO COURTESY of Nicole Ingraffia