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Alpha Omicron Pi welcomes new members during spring recruitment

Madelyn Murphy
Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII) sisters pose by a backdrop at one of their spring continuous open bidding (COB) events, “Just Dance w/ Alpha O.” From L to R: Julie Prince, vice president of membership recruitment for Kappa Chi AOII Kami Desidere, freshman membership integrity coordinator for Kappa Chi AOII

In college, students seek more than an education. Students hope to find a community they belong to and lifelong friends they can depend on. For some women, they find this within their sorority.

At Northwestern State University of Louisiana, the Kappa Chi chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII) is home to numerous women on campus that have found their place. To join Greek life, anyone interested must go through fall or spring recruitment.

The fall recruitment process has changed in the past year, but the original fall recruitment process lasted one weekend. Friday is known as the sisterhood round, where one gets to go to all the houses to meet all the people and learn about their friendships.

On Saturday, interested members get invited back to the houses that want them or they want. This day is also known as philanthropy. Every sorority and fraternity on campus has a philanthropy, which is an organization that they do service for and raise money for. For example, AOII works with the Arthritis Foundation to bring awareness to juvenile arthritis.

The third day, Sunday, is called preference day.

“It is a very intimate, serious ceremony where the sorority is telling you all the reasons why they want you, how they see you fitting in in their sorority and what they see in you that makes you a part of them,” Julie Prince, a senior elementary education major at NSU who is the vice president of membership recruitment for AOII, said.

At the end of the third day, it is bid day, when the upcoming new members find out where they belong after receiving a bid, or an invitation to join a sorority.

Now, however, the fall recruitment process is known as partially structured recruitment. Instead of a three-day process, there is more time for the women to connect to each chapter, as each house (Kappa Chi chapter of AOII, Alpha Zeta Chapter of Tri Sigma and Kappa Iota chapter of Phi Mu) hosts three continuous open bidding (COB) events over a course of two weeks. Women have to attend at least one COB from each house within the two weeks. The second Friday during this time frame is philanthropy day, and the following Sunday is philanthropy and bid day.

“Bid Day is very fun because, most of the time, alumni members, current chapter members and new members of AOII come, so it’s this big mix of everybody who has chosen AOII in the past and who has just chosen AOII,” Prince said.

When speaking about bid day, Prince reminisced on her first bid day when she was a new member, still being able to recall her favorite memory from the day. Bid day, along with the recruitment process, becomes a treasured memory for women in sororities.

“It was really exciting to be on the recruitment side this past fall because I was actually in charge of planning that day of recruitment. It was really fun and a very good way to reconnect with the reasons why I joined in the first place,” Prince said.

Although the girls leave with fun memories, the fall recruitment process can still be a stressful experience.

At first, Prince never considered joining a sorority. Once she let a friend convince her to rush, or go through recruitment, she found herself in a nerve-wracking situation.

“Formal recruitment in the fall can be a scary process; I was terrified all weekend,” Prince said. “Spring recruitment is completely different.”

Fall bid day is when upcoming members find out which sorority will be their new home, but women who go through spring recruitment have already found out and accepted their invitation before their bid day. In other words, spring bid day is the official celebration of the new members of a sorority. Spring recruitment does not require women to visit each house. They can just decide which events they want to go to.

For AOII, anyone can join by attending a COB event for up to about eight weeks during the spring semester. AOII has a COB event every other week during this time.

At these events, AOII sisters spend time getting to know and having fun with women who are interested in joining. Members of the chapter form a team, and they meet after each COB to vote on sending the new attendees a bid.

Although the spring recruitment process is different from the fall, there is no difference between the women once they have found their home.

“You just didn’t go through a formal process. You’re still an AOII woman now, you still have the same values and you’re just as much a member as somebody who went through fall recruitment,” Prince said. “We try to make spring bid day as cute and extravagant as we do for fall big day to show this.”

It is obvious the efforts made to make spring bid day just as fun as during the fall, especially because of the newest members’ reactions to it.

“I thought it was a lot of fun,” Rebecca (Becca) Scott, a freshman with a major in psychology who joined AOII in Spring of 2024, said. “Our bid day theme was Sweet Home AOII, so there was a bunch of candy, it was really cute, really fun and was a bonding moment with everybody.”

As a new member, Scott is already enjoying her time in Greek life. However, this was not the initial plan she had for herself when going into college.

“I actually wasn’t originally interested in joining a sorority or Greek life at all coming in, but when I went to the AOII table during freshman connection, the girls were some of the nicest people I’ve ever talked to,” Scott said. “As someone who is very introverted and has a lot of social anxiety, though, the fall rush was terrifying.”

Especially because of the sisters’ diverse personalities, AOII was the one sorority that resonated with Scott even though she was unsure about joining anything to begin with.

“I was still very hesitant over Christmas break because, even though it was something I still wanted to do, I’ve had a very bad past with girls: They haven’t always been the nicest to me,” Scott said. “But I decided to go out of my comfort zone and try something new, so I went to the first little open house that AOII had at the spring semester, went to one of their COBs and I just re-fell in love again with their life.”

Since then, Scott has become an official sister within AOII. She is looking forward to attending more AOII events, getting to know her new sisters even more and finding out which big sister (big) she was matched with.

“For people who struggle with socializing or aren’t even sure if they want to do Greek life in the first place, spring rush is definitely the way to go,” she said.

Scott has found her place within AOII and is excited that it is the family she is going into.

“When Becca went to one of the AOII COBs, we fell in love with her,” Kami Desidere, student nursing major and freshman membership integrity coordinator of Kappa Chi AOII, said. “We were basically like, ‘oh my gosh, here’s a bid; join our sorority’”.

Although they did have to vote on sending Scott a bid, it was obvious that the chapter agreed quickly once they got to know her.

“Even though I went through formal recruitment, I like spring so much more because you get to spend more time getting to know everyone instead of being rushed and having to attend so many events,” Desidere said. “It would have been a better experience to go through spring recruitment, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world because these girls have become my home away from home.”

Joining AOII is a decision Desidere is grateful for because the relationships she has made within AOII are ones that she knows will last a lifetime.

“What inspired me to rush was I wanted that feeling of sisterhood and love and true connection with other girls that are my age; I just wanted a place where I could learn from older women that have gone through the same things as me,” Desidere said. “For example, my big, Makayla Boudreaux, is a nursing major, in band and everything like I am, so she is a great role model for me.”

The hopes Desidere had when joining AOII were fulfilled. Not only has Desidere been provided with women to look up to, but she has also gained life skills.

“I’ve learned a lot of time management skills, how to reach out to people, to get connected on campus, to become more of an extrovert, to be there for other people and to take on responsibility” Desidere said.

Whether referring to the opportunities they have been offered or the friendships they have made, women of AOII agree that being in a sorority has benefitted them in numerous ways.

“We’re one of those families where, if I need something, I can just go in the group chat and they’re there for me no matter when or what for,” Desidere said.

The sisters of AOII keep their doors open for any woman on campus who wants to have a fun time, even if they are not interested in joining Greek life. They have events coming up on March 19 at the AOII house, which is located on NSU campus near the Health and Human Performance building and across from University Place 1.

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Madelyn Murphy
Madelyn Murphy, Current Sauce - Arts & Living Editor
Maddy Murphy is a freshman communication major at NSU. Spending her first semester as a reporter for The Current Sauce, she cannot wait to write news articles and stories inspired by both on-campus and off-campus events in Natchitoches. Her goal is to entertain students by including them in her writing, so be on the lookout—she may ask to interview you for a story!

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