What AOII Alpha Psi Means to Katelin Marsala
Coming to college from high school is challenging for any new student on campus especially when you are the only one attending your university from your hometown.
Katelin Marsala, a sophomore nusing major in AOII Alpha Psi, was the only person from her high school who choose to go to BGSU and then go through recruitment shortly thereafter.
"I decided to go through formal recruitment so I would be able to find my lifelong friends and become involved in something I would be passionate about," Marsala said.
Katelin was determined to find the home at BGSU that fit her the best. Her best friend, Lizzi, was a member of AOII Alpha Psi when she was going through recruitment. During recruitment, she convinced herself that she did not want to follow in Lizzi's footsteps and wanted have her own group of people on campus.
During one round, that all changed.
"During preference round I fell in love with AOII," Katelin said. "I looked around that room and saw girls that did not look alike or act alike but were somehow best friends."
After Katelin recieved her bid, she could not wait to tell Lizzi that they were best friends and sisters. Standing in the room with her pledge class, she met her close friend and roommate, Lexi Ewing.
"Lexi was the very first person I met in AOII. I will never forget the fact that she came up to me and said 'Hi! My name is Lexi and were going to be best friends!' The funny thing is that Lexi and I actually grew up about 30 minutes away from each other," Katelin said. "AOII Alpha Psi is the thing that brought us together and gave me another best friend."
To Katelin, the AOII sisterhood means always having people that are willing to lend her a hand.
"When I look around a room full of my sisters, I see 88 women who are always be willing to help me out no matter what time it is or what they were doing," Katelin said. "Sisterhood is being there for someone’s best and worst moments in life. It is eating food together but also motivating each other to go to the gym. College so far has not always been easy for me and my sisters are always the people that are there for me no matter what."
Katelin said she sees a lot of motivation and drive in the current sisters of AOII Alpha Psi. She believes they are determined to make this chapter the best it can be.
"I have watched over the past year as we have become the strong chapter that we are today and it is not always easy or pretty but we always get it done," Katelin said. "I have seen so much drive from members of Leaders Council to make a difference and members willing to come and have their ideas heard and known."
Katelin is excited to see what AOII Alpha Psi does not only for the BGSU community but also for the Arthritis Foundation through hosting philanthropic events to raise money for children battling juvenile arthritis.
"I hope that Alpha Psi continues to be a motivated group of leaders that respects one another," Marsala said. "Every single sister here has made me feel as though I belong in and I am meant to be an AOII."
What AOII Alpha Psi Means to Maggie Bochenek
Choosing to join a sorority comes naturally to some young women, maybe after the have watched Legally Blonde. Maggie Bochenek said she was ready to join a soroirty when she went away to college after spending a night of her middle school life watching Elle Woods make it to law school.
Bochenek went through formal recruitment at the beginning of her first year at BGSU, which the fall of 2015.
"I always wanted to go through recruitment," Maggie said. "I always thought being in a sorority was really cool. Then, someone approached me during move in and they said 'Why don't you go through recruiment?' and I was like you know, why don't I."
Maggie said there was no shining moment during formal recruitment that seemed to point to her needing to be a member of AOII Alpha Psi. It came naturally, especially after the sisters of AOII Alpha Psi were tested by unforseen circumstances.
"In the perference round I went through, they didn't have the houses yet. So, AOII's preference round was in Olscamp and it was one of those days when the did the alarm tests," Maggie said. "The alram went off in Olscamp in the middle of the ceremony and everyone looked around and started laughing. I liked that everyone was able to let go when something like that happened."
Maggie's situation is unlike many in AOII Alpha Psi. During the 2016 AOII Alpha Psi elections, as a sophomore, she was choosen to be chapter president. Maggie is not an emotional person but said she has treasured her position as the president of AOII Alpha Psi. She said that her sisters have taught her a lot about support, forgiveness, and love during her time as just an active member and as president.
"During my freshmen year, I had mono," Maggie said. "I am not that far away from home, but my parents couldn't come up and see me and take care of me. During that time, I had sisters who would take me to the Falcon Health Center, drive me to CVS to get medicine, and would sit in my room with me because all I wanted to do was be in bed."
Bochenek said that Lauren Pytel, a sister and one of her closet friends, would watch movies and color with her during this time so she wasn't alone. Lauren was there for her in a time when she was feeling low and needed a friend.
Maggie said that as much as the sisters in AOII Alpha Psi have been there for her when times have been tough, they have also been there for her during fun times. She feels like she can be herself around those in AOII Alpha Psi.
"I feel like I can act the way I do at home, whether that is a good thing or a bad thing," Maggie said. "I feel comfortable around all of the people in the chapter."
As president, Maggie has gotten a unique look at how individual sisters make the chapter stronger.
"I have been president for almost year now and that brings about happy and sad feelings. I know it is going to be a hard thing for me to let go of," Maggie said. "At one of our last Leadership Council meetings, I shared with everyone how thankful I am for all the work they have put into the chapter. It has really helped keep AOII Alpha Psi a positive environment and that stands out to me as a great accomplishment."
Maggie believes that the greatest thing about being a member of AOII is the choice to pick friends to become your family. She believes that without her sisters' support, she and the chapter would not be where they are today.
What AOII Alpha Psi Means to Sam Ryan
In a sorority, sisterhood is often described as always having someone to do things with like get ice cream, visit a bookstore, or travel to a new place. To Sam Ryan, a junior in AOII Alpha Psi, sisterhood means having people who consistently show up for her when she needs them to.
Sam went through formal recruitment at BGSU in the fall 2016. For her, going through recruitment was about gaining close bonds with those in her sorority because her siblings are all much older than her.
"I have two sisters of my own and three brothers," Sam said. "They are all older than me and it is like a 10-year age gap so they are not very relatable to the things in happening to my generation."
Sam said she wanted to gain sisters who she could talk to about about the things directly effecting people her age. She also wanted to have people to talk about relationships with because, even though her biological sisters will listen to her talk about those things, it is easier to talk about it with women her own age.
"They (her sisters) are older and are married or are about to be married," Sam said. "I love having sisters in AOII Alpha Psi who I can talk to about my problems. Everyone will listen in AOII Alpha Psi."
Sam said that, to her, it seems like the sisters in AOII Alpha Psi are always there for each other. She said that sisters are always willing to talk to another sister about what is going on in her life at the time. Sam also said that someone she loves to turn to is her roommate and close friend, Sam Ernst.
Sam R. and Sam E., as they are known as, do numerous things together, including help each other win computer games.
"We play Farmville together. We will be in our beds and I will be like hey do you need this? Then I will buy it," Sam said. "Then, I will put it in the store so she can buy it and she will do the same for me."
Sam E. was in the room when I interviewed Sam R. and chimed in during this part of the conversation yelling "Sisterhood!"
Aside from the close friends and good memories Sam has with those in AOII Alpha Psi, she said that support is something that comes to her mind when she thinks of AOII. Last year, during a dance class, Sam injured her knee and her sisters were there for her.
"My sisters picked me up off the stage and carried me off," Sam said. "I physically couldn't walk and they took me to the hospital, got me food, and made sure I got to my room okay. They were there for me 100% and if I wasn't in AOII I don't know if I would have had that."
Sam said that while she was recovering, her Big, Mariah Clawson, and her G-Big, Lizzi Kikel, were there for her.
"They brought me food, snacks and other stuff like that because I couldn't leave my bed," Sam said. "My G would always check on me and ask me if I took my medicine and I would always be like 'yes mom' I am taking it."
Sam said that the personality, liveliness, and willingness to help others are things she enjoys most about AOII, but what each sister gives to the others is what is most important.
What AOII Alpha Psi Means To Mikaela McBride
By: Audra DeLaney
As a fratnerity, AOII established an object for itself long before any current sisters of AOII Alpha Psi choose to attend college. Part of the object of the fratnerity is to encourage love among its members. For Mikaela McBride, a sophomore sports management major, AOII Alpha Psi has given her sisters who love and encourage her no matter what is going on in her life.
Mikaela is orginally from Westerville, Ohio which is a suburb of Columbus. She chose to go attend BGSU because it is close to Findlay, where most of her family lives. Mikaela's college jounrey is a little different than most because she came to BGSU after attending a community college in the Columbus area for a year.
"I choose to go through formal after transfering from my community college because I had always wanted to join a sorority," Mikaela said. "I don't know why, in particular, I wanted to join sorority, I just always felt like I wanted to."
While going through recruitment in fall 2016, McBride said she was drawn to AOII Alpha Psi because of how diverse the group of women seemed to be.
"Everyone had their own sense of style and their own personality," Mikaela said. "No one was the exactly same and everyone had different about them."
Mikaela said the sisterhood in AOII Alpha Psi has impacted her since the very beginning of the her time in the chapter.
"AOII sisterhood means always having someone to do everything with you, whether that is go get ice cream or do laundry," Mikaela said. "It means having someone who will clean your side of your room in the house for you while you are gone and who will even organize your shoes."
Mikaela said that, in short, sisterhood in AOII Alpha Psi means having someone who will be there for you 24/7 no matter what you are going through, rain or shine.
Mikaela also made a few jokes about funny memories she has with a few sisters, including that her roommate, Bri Appelfeller. Bri talks in her sleep and Mikaela said she has started writing down the things she says.
Sisterhood in Alpha Psi has its ups and downs, but no matter what there are people who will help you through whatever is going on and will always be there to make you laugh and give you a hug.
What AOII Alpha Psi Means To Kaylee Maneen
By: Audra DeLaney
AOII Alpha Psi now has 88 members. While each of them has their own personal experiences and ties to AOII Alpha Psi, some of the stories stand out. Kaylee Maneen is a third-year media productions studies major from Massachusetts. Living far away from home has been difficult for Maneen but she credits AOII Alpha Psi for being the campus organization that has helped her.
Kaylee went through formal recruitment in the fall of 2015. When asked what drew her to AOII Alpha Psi, she recalled a memory from her time as a potential new member.
"The Rho Gamma’s told us to go where we would feel most comfortable eating pizza in our pajamas," Maneen said. "Not where we felt like we had to have on a full face of make up or be completely dressed up all the time."
Kaylee said she felt like this in AOII Alpha Psi during the second round of recruitment when she met Mary Davidson, who is now her Big.
"She was so welcoming and I felt like our conversation flew by," Kaylee said. "It was one of the only times, even through every recruitment I've been through since then that I have felt like I wanted to stay and keep talking to other girls and learning more about them," Kaylee said.
Kaylee said she believes that sisterhood in AOII Alpha Psi means having support and a home, both literally and figuratively. She is 16 hours away from where she grew up and AOII quickly became her home away from home when she came to college. Her first and second year at BGSU she lived in the AOII Alpha Psi house and became close with the women who lived there with her. They became people who were her mom, best friend, and sister all in one. Kaylee said she lived in the house for so long that she understands the importance of being around your sisters and how much you are able to learn about them even in the most mundane moments.
AOII being a support system became particularly important when, during her sophomore year, Kaylee considered transferring to a school closer to home.
"I was at a point that I was really homesick from being so far away from my family," Kaylee said. "I was almost ready to transfer and had applications filled out for other places ready to be sent away. I think what changed me wanting to transfer was AOII."
She said AOII was what she was going to miss the most if she chose not to come back to BGSU. Her sisters were the ones that she leaned on to stay and get through everything.
"They became my mom’s hug that was thousands of miles away," Maneen said.
Sisterhood is support, love and encouragement. Maneen has experienced all three and many other AOII Alpha Psi sisters have as well.
What AOII Means to Alpha Psi at Bowling Green State University
By: Audra DeLaney
Do you know how long it takes for a member of AOII to become the National Panhellenic Conference Chairman? It takes 52 years for the position to cycle through other National Panhellenic Council chapters to come back to AOII. In October, a University of Alabama AOII Alumna, Carole Jones, will take this position. Becoming the NPC Chairman is a huge honor both for Carole and the fratnerity as a whole. As Carole awaits her time to make great change for all women who have choosen to "Go Greek", our chapter started thinking about what it means to be an AOII and what it means to be an AOII in Alpha Psi chapter at Bowling Green State University.
Alpha Psi finished 2017 formal recruitment by taking 28 new women into our sisterhood, which was the largest new member class on campus this year. These new women have helped us to become the largest NPC chapter at Bowling Green State Univeristy. AOII Alpha Psi prides itself on always being individuals and forever sisters through living, learning, leading, and serving. Throughout recruitment, we chose to celebrate each other. Each round, we told stories about funny memories we had together, times we went to get cheese fries twice in one night, and all the times we rejoiced over an accomplishment a sister made either inside or outside of the chapter. To us, sisterhood is being yourself. It is passionately loving your major, friends, family, sisters, pets and all of the other things that make you who you are. Sisterhood is about always having someone there when the going gets tough and when times couldn't be better.
Alpha Psi Blog will be filled with stories, memories, pieces of advice, and moments of love from many of the sisters who make up Alpha Psi chapter at Bowling Green State University. These are the women who make our sisterhood the greatest it can be, and the people who lead by example wherever life takes them.
Being a member of AOII Alpha Psi has taught us all our own life lessons. It has taught us to love hard, to forgive often, and to never give up on one another. We will always be individuals and forever sisters who choose to inspire ambition whereever we go.