Greek Corner: Alpha Omega Pi sorority is livin' large - locally

This is the first of a series of articles featuring the Geneseo Greek community. The purpose of these articles is to highlight the achievements of the Greek community and to help remove stereotypes associated with Greek life.

The first Greek organization to be featured here is the Alpha Omega Pi sorority, more commonly known as AOPi. This local sorority was founded in 1985 by a group of friends from Onondaga Residence Hall. These women wanted to start a local, close-knit sorority. After submitting their request to the Inter Greek Council, this group of friends became the founders of AOPi and the sorority is still recognized by IGC today.

The sorority is currently thriving, with 46 active sisters and 14 pledges. You may have noticed their giant house, a former hotel, while walking down University Drive from Main Street. Located at 7 University Drive, this giant building houses 24 women with room to spare. It's a good thing, with all of the new members they have picked up. It is easily the largest Greek house in Geneseo.

When asked about what they do on campus, AOPi President Becky Pietrasik, a junior, responded, "We're not all about partying, we do other things, we go out and do volunteer work. It's not just about going out on the weekends."

Last weekend, AOPi and their brother fraternity Sigma Nu Chi competed against the Rochester Wheels in wheelchair basketball. It was a bit of a one-sided match.

"They took it easy the first half," Pietrasik joked, "but I don't think we scored a single basket the second half."

In addition to the wheelchair basketball game, AOPi women volunteer at Relay for Life, March of Dimes and Day of Caring. Also, there is a competition among each pledge class to raise the most money through bottle and can drives.

The women have minimum requirements for volunteer work. Every member needs to complete a minimum number of philanthropic events, which none of them have trouble doing with all of the events AOPi participates in.

Besides volunteer work and philanthropic events, this sorority looks out for its own. Last semester, the sorority hosted a downtown for one of their sisters who has cancer. The money they raised went to help support her in her time of need.

It's the fact that these women look out for each other that makes them work so well together. Pietraski summarized this perfectly: "I like knowing that 45 girls will be there for me if I ever need anything. They always have my back."