AOII Takes Steps To Break Down Barriers
Updates to AOII Legacy Policy
These past few weeks have been tough for us all. It’s been even harder for our Black sisters. On top of state and provincial closures and a public health emergency, the US faced another affront on the Black community, which sparked an outcry for change in the way systemic and institutional racism is addressed. We know these conversations are emotionally and mentally challenging, but they are necessary.
We know there is so much more to do within our organization, and we are committed to taking on this task. We have begun our work with the call for nominations for our new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Education workgroup, and last week, our Executive Board voted to change our membership recruitment policy and remove the preferential treatment given to legacies during recruitment. The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) has encouraged all groups to remove barriers to joining our organizations.
We are hopeful this change will allow for greater opportunities for membership. Acknowledging that there are women whose mothers, sisters and grandmothers did not have the same access to higher education or the ability to join Alpha Omicron Pi, which would allow them the privilege of being a legacy. This change also empowers our collegians to have the autonomy to make their own membership selection decisions.
We know that it is a privilege for alumna members to send their daughter to college with the confidence that she will find her home with Alpha Omicron Pi. We want to continue to celebrate this special relationship and recognize that the potential new members who meet our legacy definition will still be considered a legacy and celebrated after a bid is extended, as well as at other important AOII milestones.
Updated Legacy Policy
Governing Documents, Book of Policies, Article XIX, Section 10. Legacy Recruitment
A legacy is defined as a sister, daughter, or granddaughter of an initiated member of Alpha Omicron Pi (alive or deceased) in good standing with the Fraternity. Step relationships shall be considered in the same manner as non-step relationships. Chapters may contact International Headquarters to verify the membership standing of the relative of a legacy.
A collegiate chapter may decline membership to a legacy if she does not meet the membership selection criteria set by the chapter. Under no circumstance shall the reason(s) for release be disclosed.
If a legacy accepts an invitation to the final preference party, her name is to be placed on the chapter’s bid list.
If a chapter releases a legacy at any point during the recruitment process, a member of the Alumnae Advisory Committee must contact the AOII relative of the legacy by telephone or email if possible, and with consideration to time, prior to distribution of invitations for the next round of recruitment events. This contact should be as a courtesy to inform the AOII relative of the legacy’s release from membership consideration. Under no circumstances should the Alumnae Advisory Committee member give reason(s) for a legacy’s release. If an adviser is unable to reach the AOII relative by telephone or email, written notification of the legacy’s release must be sent within seven days to the designated volunteer and to International Headquarters.
What does this mean for recruitment?
- Chapters will not be required to invite legacies back to the first invitational round of primary recruitment.
- Legacies who accept an invitation to the final preference party, like all PNMs who attend our preference party, must be placed on the chapter’s final bid list per the NPC Policy. This means that legacies do not have to be placed at the top of the bid list.
- If a legacy is released, the Alumnae Advisory Committee (AAC) should contact the AOII relative via telephone or email as a courtesy to inform the AOII relative of the legacy’s release.