AOII cultivates strong community

Many members have taken leadership roles, sorority recently won multiple awards for Greek houses



Vice President of Finance Elizabeth Copeland, left, talks about recent trophies AOII has won and about their solid sisterhood bond.

ANNA YOUNG, Evergreen reporter

What is it about Alpha Omicron Pi that won the sorority best Greek house in this year’s Students’ Choice Awards? The members have a cool projector for movie nights in the living room and decor that would make any interior designer shed a proud tear. But it seems the number one thing, according to the women there, is community.

“We are a very diverse house in that everyone is so different,” AOII President Amy Nygard said. “We have a lot of different majors and backgrounds, and it’s great. I really love our sisterhood.”

Nygard said the house received three Arete Awards, meant to honor aspects of Greek communities, in November. These included Membership Advancement, Leadership Development and President of the Year for Kelsey Jaquish, AOII’s president in 2017.

Furthermore, the house has several members running in the upcoming ASWSU elections. Rachel Kenitzer and Taylor Holland-Heersink are running for the two all campus senator positions, while Savannah Rogers, currently an all campus senator, is running for president.

“We couldn’t be more proud of her,” Nygard said.

Along with election preparations, the members of AOII plan frequent events for the house, the community and their philanthropy, the Arthritis Foundation. On Feb. 9, the sorority held AOII Night, where it sold 40 pies made by house chef Bryan Albers. The members raised over $900, about a $200 increase from the previous year.

Nygard said her duties as president include making sure the house’s Leadership Council has the resources it needs and staying on top of paperwork for the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life. However, while community work and house meetings take a lot of planning, the women also find time for bonding between themselves and the other sororities.

“We’re having a joint sisterhood tonight with Sigma Kappa,” Vice President of Standards Meigan Luong said. “We try to do a monthly sisterhood event so we’re not just doing boring meetings every month.”

The bonding within AOII was evident even as the women went about business as usual. A few of them conversed in the house’s plush upstairs living room, and a shelf of decorations featured photos of past and present members laughing with their sisters.

A corkboard just outside the kitchen displayed the prompt “I love AOII because …” While the answers all mentioned sisterhood and the supportive environment, one answer stuck out: “It made WSU feel like home.”

Nygard identified with the sentiment. She said she would have likely left WSU early on had it not been for the sorority.

“I really love this chapter and I’ve really grown here,” she said. “I had a lot of struggles [in the past] and the girls here helped me through.”

Make sure to look for AOII’s footprint on campus, including the upcoming Alpha Male philanthropy event, and congratulations to the members for winning Best Greek House.