by Gayle Fitzpatrick, Alpha Rho (Oregon State U), International President
In early February, I had the opportunity to attend Leadership Academy with our Collegiate Chapter Presidents, Vice Presidents of Membership Recruitment, Recruitment Advisers, Network Specialists – Recruitment, Network Specialists – Development, AOII’s Education Committee and our AOII Headquarters Staff. The weekend was focused on all things recruitment. This included experiencing each round of recruitment to attending sessions covering all aspects of recruitment aimed at providing our chapters with the skills and best practices to become the best recruiting chapters on their campuses. I would like to give a special shout out and thanks to the women of Alpha Chi Chapter, Western Kentucky University, Delta Omega Chapter, Murray State University and Omicron Chapter, University of Tennessee for your participation in helping execute the recruitment rounds at Leadership Academy. As a long time member of AOII (ok, 44 years to be exact!), this year’s Leadership Academy experience was a great inspiration to me and reminder to me of “Why AOII.”
From the moment Leadership Academy started on Friday night with the opening welcome which began with a door stack, and songs to bid day on Sunday morning, the weekend was packed with a variety of recruitment programming and, perhaps the most fun of all, participating in each round of recruitment (welcome, sisterhood, philanthropy and preference rounds). I had a blast singing the recruitment songs, both old and new! It brought back to me the memories of my recruitment experience at Oregon State University when I accepted my bid to AOII, Alpha Rho Chapter, so many years ago. I can still say that accepting my bid was one of the best decisions I made as a college freshman!
Recruitment of our members is one of the most important privileges you have as a collegiate member of Alpha Omicron Pi. What started as four in 1897 has grown to over 190,000 AOII sisters all over the world. Our Founders gave us the guidance and wisdom through our Rituals on the responsibility of choosing our members who will carry on the ideals and values of our beloved AOII. We are all members of AOII today because during our recruitment experience we made a connection with an AOII sister or sisters and the ideals of our organization. To choose our members, it means that each chapter takes the time and puts in the effort to ensure that each potential new member has a great experience with them. It is an opportunity to share our values and for PNMs to find a home at AOII not only while they are in college but for a lifetime.
I hope that Leadership Academy inspired our chapter leaders to share their weekend experiences with their chapters and incorporate the amazing recruitment ideas into their upcoming recruitment plans.