Club & Greek

Alpha Omicron Pi Joins University’s Greek Community

Alpha Omicron Pi is the University’s newest addition to Greek life, and with 71 new members this sorority is quickly paving the way into the Greek community.

In the 2011-2012 academic school year, the Monmouth Panhellenic community agreed to expand and the process of finding a perfect fit for the University began.

Jon Buchalski, Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity & Sorority Life, said, “The process started by any National Panhellenic Conference sorority who was currently not on campus sending information about their organization to the expansion committee on campus.”

The committee that selected Alpha Omicron Pi was made up of faculty, staff and students that were both affiliated and non-affiliated with Greek Life.

“The committee then used the information that the organizations had sent to narrow the search down to a few that they would have liked to invite to campus.  Those sororities were invited to campus to present even more about their organization and what they could offer to the campus.  At the end of the process the expansion committee decided that Alpha Omicron Pi would be the best fit for the campus,” said Buchalski.

Recruitment for Alpha Omicron Pi took place in February. Erin McMullen, freshman and new member of Alpha Omicron Pi, said, “The whole process was way different than that of formal recruitment.

“There were a few interest meetings that you could attend just to kind of get a feel for what Alpha Omicron Pi was all about, and then if you liked what you saw, you could sign up for a group interview conducted by some of the Alpha Omicron Pi alumni,” said McMullen. Next, “There was an event called ‘Picture Yourself in AOII’ which was where you could mingle with girls from other AOII chapters and alumni as well.”

Ashley Bonito, a junior and new member of Alpha Omicron Pi, said, “The whole process started with around 200 girls.” The last night of recruitment was invitation only and included some more mingling. Bonito said, “They also watched a short presentation that included personal experiences and stories from members of Alpha Omicron Pi from other schools.

“The next morning was bid day and they called 72 girls back. Right now we have 71 girls still in the process. We get initiated as a chapter on April 28,” said Bonito. “Even though we are a colony and on campus right now, we are not officially a sorority on campus until we get installed.”

The process for the new members, “has been a lot of work,” said Michele Suchar, a sophomore and new member of Alpha Omicron Pi. “We are just basically planning everything out for future semesters and starting the tradition here at Monmouth. It is just very time consuming and the effort needs to be there to help us all succeed. As new members, I think that we are definitely working together a lot.”

Meredith Dunn, an advisor of Alpha Omicron Pi at the University, conducts meetings, along with other Alpha Omicron Pi alumni. “Our advisors are always there to guide us,” said Suchar. “Alpha Omicron Pi alumni and advisors will conduct our meetings till we elect a Chapter President.”

McMullen said, “We have meetings twice a week that usually last for about two hours. We started from scratch, so we had to create committees and hold elections.”

“With 71 girls voting, it can get pretty hectic, but overall everyone has been willing to compromise,” said Bonito.

“Not just one voice represents all of us, we are such a diverse sorority so the opinions vary a lot but we take a little bit of everyone’s ideas and put them together to really make things work for us,” said Suchar.

Alpha Omicron Pi’s philanthropy is Arthritis Research. According to the Alpha Omicron Pi website, since adopting Arthritis Research as its international philanthropy in 1967, Alpha Omicron Pi has raised over two million dollars for grants and research.

“Alpha Omicron Pi is not only bringing a new philanthropy to campus, but we are working hard to support the Greek community by supporting individual chapter events,” said Suchar.

When asked what sets Alpha Omicron Pi apart from any sorority on campus, McMullen said, “I think just trying to get our name out there is all we can do right now; wearing our letters and attending and participating in events. We represent AOII every day, all day. Just by being good, positive, and genuine people, I think we’re helping the sorority thrive in more ways than we probably even realize.”

The Greek community is so excited to welcome Alpha Omicron Pi to Monmouth. Phi Kappa Psi, Theta Xi and Sigma Pi welcomed Alpha Omicron Pi to campus with fresh flower bouquets.

“This new organization has already brought so much positive energy to our campus,” said Renee Oleniacz, active president of Phi Sigma Sigma. “The Panhellelic community is thrilled to see so many girls join in the lifelong bonds of sisterhood.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Alpha Omicron Pi