For the past two months, my AOII sister Kim Cowles & I have been living in midtown Manhattan! Sadly, this is our last week together before I fly to California to visit our other sister, Shannon Malecki. I really can’t believe how quickly this summer has flown by. In less than a month, we will all be reunited in the AOII lounge laughing and sharing stories about our summers. For me, this summer has been filled with excitement. I’ve been interning a few days a week doing marketing for Nest Seekers International—the real estate company from Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing. On top of that, I’ve been taking acting classes twice a week and auditioning for different TV/Film projects. Kim is interning with NASH FM, New York’s Country radio station. She has been working a lot of really cool events and concerts. Last week she got to go to a Sara Bareilles concert and she just about died of excitement. Trust me, I heard the screaming. We both have busy schedules, but we try to take advantage of every second of free time we have together. We’ve gone kayaking in the hudson, exploring Riverside Park, and we’ve gone to as many restaurants and Broadway shows as we can afford! But our favorite times in the city have been when we’ve been reunited with other sisters. Most recently, a bunch of us got together to celebrate Ali Rae’s 21st birthday! Seeing everyone again was such a tease, but it makes us so eager to get back to school. Less than a month! Being apart really makes you appreciate the time you have together at Wagner. I only have one semester left, so I intend to make every moment count. I am so lucky and so blessed to have such incredible, talented, and genuine sisters.
Blog Post by: Daniela Sottile ('15)
Songfest is such an exciting and stressful time for every organization. You do your best to pick out a good theme, choose the perfect music, choreograph the best moves, and put together the most innovative props. We started songfest the week before Spring break. I was thrilled to finally be in my first songfest ever, with people I cared about so much! Rehearsals were filled with laughter every single night. Being with everyone in the sorority brought us all closer together and created many funny memories whether it would be making funny faces, pretending to be able to do pirouettes, or singing our heads off(mostly off key). The week before songfest came so quickly, and it was crunch time. The goal was to get dances done with enough time to be able to clean them and work on anything extra. It was hard work but not one single person gave up when tensions ran high. We just sang louder, danced harder, and worked our butts off. The day of songfest came and it was finally time to admire our hard work and just have a good time. We ran the number one last time before heading over to main hall and it felt perfect. The energy of everyone in the room was filled with pure joy and love. We prepared outside the gym, ready to run out one by one with our organization. I felt so overwhelmed with happiness running through the gym. I was so proud to be a part of an organization with such beautiful, talented and dedicated women. We waited anxiously in the stands until it was our time to perform. Being onstage with my sorority was one of the best feelings in the entire world. Everyone was having such a good time up there and that in that moment I realized that was the main goal of songfest. After we performed it was back to the bleachers to cheer on our friends in other organizations! Songfest ends and it is time to announce our queen. Bianca is chosen!!!! A “queen B” chant has been started and the whole gym in rooting for her! We all couldn't be happier that Bianca Vitale was chosen as our songfest queen. We head down the bleachers and wait by the stage, excited for Bianca but nervous about who will be the 2104 Songfest champions. Two organizations get placed as second and third and were all shaking with excitement. AOII is announced as this years Songfest Champion and we all rush the stage. As I hug my friends, I know that all our hard work paid off, and we accomplished what we set out to do. We had a great time on stage and we were able to win while doing that. The whole experience was something to never forget. I will relive that moment forever and I know that I have my girls to share it with for the rest of our lives!
Blog post by: Sydney Denault ('17)
This past Sunday, our New Member Class enjoyed a night of bowling and bonding during our New Member Retreat, which took place at Showplace Entertainment Center. Our New Member Educator, as well as a few sisters, decided to come along to join us! Our night began with delicious slices of pizza as we waited for our lanes to become available. Once we were called to our lanes, the games began, and the awesome bowling skills came out. I was surprised at how well some of the girls were able to bowl! Personally, I am terrible at bowling, so my night consisted of giggling over the amount of gutter-balls I got—not the amount of strikes I made. The night was filled of laughs, stories, gossip, and of course, tons of pictures! As the first retreat my pledge class and I have gone on, I can confidently say it was one that will most definitely be remembered.
Blog post by: Heather Wolf '15
Over winter break while the majority of our lovely sisters were freezing away in the cold, five sisters of AOII were enjoying 10 days in Hawaii! I was lucky enough to be one of them. The trip was part of Wagner’s Expanding Your Horizons program which is a bit like a mini study abroad. The trip counts as a class and then when you get back for the spring semester you meet occasionally to discuss what you learn and hand in papers. Needless to say, we had the time of our lives. The hotel we stayed at was the Waikoloa Hilton and it was absolutely incredible. The five of us, (Heather, Ellen, Gianna, Kristi, and Megan), roomed together on the trip. Here’s the view from right outside our window. The lagoon right in front of our balcony had dolphins in it!
The resort was massive and you could get around by boat or tram! There was always room to explore, which was what we did. A lot. The coolest spots we enjoyed on the trip were actually off of the resort though. We visited the ancient Hawaiian Petroglyphs, a Macadamia Nut Factory, a Kona Coffee Farm, a Papaya Packing Plant, a 95 year old Hawaiian historian named Roy (he’s the man), and my personal favorites-- a sunrise hike and a whale watching/snorkel cruise.
Living in Hawaii for 10 days was an eye opening and perspective changing experience. We met with many people from around the island who had all different types of professions. However they all had one thing in common. Regardless of how much money they were making or what kind of house they live in, they were happy. I know that sounds cliche... I’m sure every person still has good days and bad days and they all get cranky at times, but overall they expressed to us the joy they find in life. Over the course of the trip we often joked around about the Aloha spirit. It seemed like everyone we met was so so full of joy and so eager to share that joy with us. Needless to say, returning to NYC was a bit of a rude awakening. While the Aloha spirit may have been a term we just threw around to make each other laugh, it really does exist.
In the Hawaiian language, aloha stands for much more than just "hello" or "goodbye" or "love." Its deeper meaning is "the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha) in the present (alo).
I think this Aloha spirit, is something we sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi share with each other. When I came back from Hawaii, it was cold, dreary, and honestly just sad to be back. But once I walked into our lounge (YAYY WE HAVE A LOUNGE!), it was like I was back with the Aloha Spirit. Everyone sharing their joys of life with each other in the present. Hawaii was wonderful. An incredible, once in a lifetime experience that I’ll never forget. But we will always carry the Aloha Spirit with us and see a little piece of it in each of our sisters.
Blog Post by: Adena Ershow '14
Up Up and Away! Lisa and I were on a flight to Chicago for our first (and definitely not our last) AOII International Convention in June. When we arrived in the airport we were immediately greeted by three women of various ages wearing AOII letters! Although we did not know them, we got so excited to see each other and meet new sisters! We knew this was going to be the beginning of an awesome and unforgettable weekend. The first luncheon at the hotel was in a ballroom with 1,000 Alpha Omicron Pi sisters. This included the International President, the Executive Board, Past International Presidents, and over 975 AOII's from all over the country and Canada ages 18-95. Looking around the room, the only people I knew were Lisa and our adviser, but felt so proud to have a connection with 1,000 people in a split second because we were all sisters.
The weekend would consist of multiple luncheons, dinners, a semi-formal, a formal, and fun free time exploring Chicago at Navy Pier and an Indians game. When we first got to the hotel, we eagerly awaited for the arrival of our two roommates. When they walked into the room we got so excited and ran up to hug these two strangers, but two new sisters! Kiki and Megan were from the University of Oklahoma, and we instantaneously became friends. They were there with four other girls from their chapter, so we spent a lot of free time with all of them and two girls from Michigan. Along with all of these girls we also spent a lot of time with the new sisters of the newly re-installed Alpha Chapter at Columbia University. Lisa had been there for the girl's recruitment and had met them a few months back so it was nice to get acquainted with girls who live really close to us.
Not only did we create new friendships with sisters in such a short amount of time that would last forever, but learned so much about ourselves and the wonderful organization that we are part of. Lisa and I were so excited to come back and tell our chapter all of the new things we learned and encourage them all to go to Convention if they can. I knew that my life had been changed as soon as I became a new member and sister of Alpha Omicron Pi, but these four days just completely solidified my decision and realization. I would be so fortunate to attend every Convention from now until I am 90 years old. I am such a proud panda to be a part of such an incredible organization and fortunate to have such amazing sisters.
Blog Post by: Adena Ershow '14
The Lovely Ladies of AOII Theta Pi just welcomed 13 beautiful new members in the year of 2013 :) We feel very lucky and honored to have these girls. They are going to add so much to AOII and we can't wait to create more memories.
The newest members are: Devon Romano, Danielle Gianetto, Catherine Fitzgerald, Chelsea Borsack, Alexa Tedeschi, Kristi Long, Krista McDevitt, Alison Caraballo, Alyssa Angelvinovich, Bailey Shada, Maria Papaioannou, Jessica Conde, Brielle Rizzuti!
Recruitment Chairs,Shannon Malecki and Kate Stewart, have worked so hard and succeeded in the results that they intended. Our Recruitment theme was Paris and the sisters did an amazing job at revamping the lounge to look like a Parisian Cafe. It was exquisite! If that was not cool enough, a large group of sisters practiced to perform an a capella song (as seen in Pitch Perfect) to share with our potential new members that they are amazing just the way they are! Our New Member Educator, Kaitlyn Pinkos, is now going to take these girls under her wing and teach them how to be the best AOII sister possible.
Recruitment week is coming up! The Sisters of AOII Theta Pi would like to wish all of the Sororities and Fraternities on campus a happy recruitment and rush week! If you are interested in recruitment or AOII please look at our website at www.aoiithetapi.weebly.com and wagner.edu for more information and dates!