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So you want to be a Big?

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Michelle Higgins

on 9 August 2015

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Transcript of So you want to be a Big?

First Off - Your Job as a Big Sister
"By becoming a Big Sister, the sponsor agrees to personally take responsibility for standing by that member as she goes through her new member period and during her Initiation. The Big sister acts as a friend and connection to the larger sisterhood of AOII. The focus is not to be on the gifts, but rather on the quality time being spent by Big Sisters with new members. The Big Sister should fulfill her responsibility by becoming a personal friend to the new member." -AOII ORL
Guide to Terms:
New Member Calendar
This calendar is subject to change, and only encompasses what the NM's need to know, this is NOT the full calendar for the Chapter.
Big/Little Week
Remember our Ritual and what we were founded upon
So you want to be a Big
Logistical Information
Basically - being a Big Sister is NOT all about gift-giving, It is about spending time with your Little sister and introducing her to the bonds of AOII sisterhood.
Stella reminded the Fraternity often that AOII should be affordable by the poorest or the wealthiest of women. She said:
"You might like to tell that we are opposed to every form of extravagance and do not value persons by their possessions. We consider ostentation (I had to look this up, Stella uses fancy words-Def.: pretentious display of wealth and luxury intended to impress or attract notice) not only bad taste and bad manners, but also bad ethics and bad policy... none of the early members were rich and AOII was established without much expense... we think that half of the fun of doing things is in doing them together rather than buying them together or separately."

- Stella G. S. Perry, August 27, 1936
What will be expected of your position as a Big?
You must be in good standing with AOII in order to be allowed to take a little - and you will be expected to stay in good standing.
Agree to the terms listed on the "Big Sister Role" document, and sign.
Attend required events for Big sisters - or find a suitable replacement in your absence. (This is outlined further on another slide)
Give your little sister the benefit of support and experience so that she may obtain a high level of scholarship, maturity, and awareness which, when united with genuine love and concern, will make her a well-rounded individual and true brother/sister.
Be aware of your Little's academic progress and ensuring that she is maintaining at least the minimum academic requirements set by the chapter.
Teaching leadership and responsibility by example
Write a welcome letter to your Little's parents.
Basically... be a loving positive role model to help your little succeed, while helping her have the best possible AOII experience.
PB -
Potential Big. (You)

Bid Day Buddies
- Same thing as Panda Pal groups 1; your pairs for Bid Day.

Panda Pals
- Two PB's are paired with 2 - 3 NM's for a small get together. It is the responsibility of the two PB's to contact their NM's and set up an outing with them for that day. (More on this on the Panda Pal Page)

Alpha / Omicron / Pi Groups
- The group of potential bigs is divided into one of each of these groups, as are the NM's. For example (based on a pledge class of 60 and 60 potetial Bigs):
The Alpha Group would have 20 NM's and 20 Potential Bigs
The Omicron Group would have 20 NM's and 20 Potential Bigs
The Pi Group would have 20 NM's and 20 Potential Bigs
These groups are beings used as an optional opportunity for NM's and PB's to interact at the house for a chill hangout with desserts, games, movies, etc.

Secret Stellas
- A Senior or Junior that is paired with a NM and sends them secret encouragements all semester until the secret Stella reveal before Initiation.

Ruby Week -
The week leading up to the NM's Initiation that will celebrate the ending of the New Member period and will have special events and festivities.
What will be expected of the NM's?
You should be supporting them in these things also, so be thinking about how you can help them and encourage them to keep (or exceed) these expectations. (Ex. Offer rides to chapter and other events, help them study for quizzes, help with homework, go to the library together, let them borrow clothing, be excited about going to events - do something fun before or after together, offer help when they feel stressed, be a friend, MOST IMPORTANTLY be a positive influence who is loving.)
Financial, academic, and fraternal obligations.
They will be expected to come to chapter - except ritual chapter.
They will be expected to come to all of their NM Meetings wearing pin attire unless otherwise noted.
Pass all the NM quizzes
Attend all required events as outlined in their paperwork
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Must include:
Basket with Family Stitch (If you are going to wait to order your stitch, that is fine, but include a "coupon" or something to indicate that you will be getting one to her. If cost is an issue consider waiting until initiation to give it to her or splitting the cost with your big.)
Picture Frame
Something unique about your AOII "family" - you and your big if you have one.
Something personal - preferably a letter from you or something special to you and your AOII experience with an explanation
Something for your future little to wear to the reveal so that you will match and can identify each other. You might want to consult other Bigs to make sure you aren't wearing the same thing.
"Welcome to Our Legacy"
Day 3
Big/Little Reveal
9pm on Front Campus (hopefully). The reason it is so late is to make sure no one has class.
More info TBA, just be sure to plan for matching outfits for you and your little. You can either provide her outfit or tell her what to wear in one of her baskets. Ex. "Wear all blue; dress up like an apple; etc."
We do have a social at 10pm - but I don't know the theme for that yet so I'm not sure about the logistics with that. The reveal shouldn't take super long so you and your little can go to the social after as your first official outing as big/little! (However remember the drinking policy - Look at the question on the FAQ's page)
"How Sweet it is to be an AOII"
Crafted AOII paraphernalia/ symbols / Candy.
Mainly crafts
Must Include (at minimum)
Crafted AOII letters
One canvas
Some sort of Panda item
A Hand-me-Down AOII Tshirt
Something Sweet
Big Workshop
During workweek on Thursday, August 6th (Most likely going to be in the afternoon)

All PB's MUST attend - the only excuses that will be considered are if you will be missing the entirety of workweek, and even then will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
August 6th
Bid Day Rundown
10am - Bids are given to NMs
10:30am - The earliest sororities are allowed on front campus
11am - NM's Run Out
Directly following the run out the NM's will come back to the house for a group picture and a meeting with me and a few others inside. While they are in the meeting, there will be a designated group to take every girls' door Dec to her door.
Following the meeting all Bid Day buddies will be responsible for getting their NM's to the Bid Day Party at Kathy's Lake house - Bid Day buddies will have to wait somewhere besides the house during the NM meeting since our house has limited space and I want this meeting to be just for the NMs and myself before heading to the party.
There will be food at the Bid Day Party!
Bid Day activities must conclude by 4pm due to Week of Welcome activities, so the party will be over at 3:30pm and the Bid Day buddies will be responsible for taking their NM's back.
In order to help with retention, this year there will be a group of recruiters designated to make the NM's feel comfortable at the party - More details on this will be given during workweek. However, be aware that some girls who come to our bid day WILL be unhappy with their bid, so be friendly and pay attention to the NM's during bid day.
9:30pm - The Alpha Group has an optional hang out at the house
What is the Bid Day theme?!?!?!
You will find out during workweek =)

Will some people need to take twins?
Right now it is hard to tell, but I'm going to assume most likely yes - some people will need to take twins.

Do we get to pick the sister we are with for Panda Pals?
Yes! We want you to be with a sister who has a similar schedule to you, and that you enjoy. I WILL NOT pair sisters together unless I absolutely have to, so it will be your job to sign up as a pair for Panda Pals. Sign ups will be during workweek.

Will all of our Panda Pal dates be with the same sister?
Yes - so chose wisely.

Can we request a NM for Panda Pals?
Yes! Katie and I will do our best to honor these requests, but remember they are just requests. The sooner you let us know, the better. More information on this process will be given during workweek.

If I'm in the Alpha group can I come to the Omicron or Pi group hang outs too?
No, you are only allowed to attend your designated groups' hang out. The purpose of these is to create a less intimidating & smaller get together for PB's and NM's and our house is only so big .

Can I come to the NM Retreat?
No, the NM retreat will be a time for the NM's to bond as a class and the only other people there will be myself, Katie, the NM committee, and possibly some LC members.

Are the NM's allowed to drink during their NM period?
NM's are expected to uphold the AOII alcohol policy during their NM period - which states
"The purpose of the AOII alcohol policy is to ensure that each member is provided with the knowledge and support necessary to make responsible and mature decisions regarding alcohol consumption when they are legally entitled to do so."
We cannot hold different standards for the NM class than we do for initiated sisters because it may be considered hazing. Most (if not all) NM's will be underage, so
under NO circumstance should a sister provide a NM with alcohol
- that would be against our alcohol policy and you WILL be sent to standards.
*Note from Michelle

There is a lot of information in this presentation and I know it can be overwhelming and confusing. If you have any questions or are confused about something, I would LOVE to clear it up for you! However I need everyone to follow this procedure before bombarding Katie and I with questions =)

1. Read the ENTIRE presentation - you might need to do this more than once because there's a lot going on.
*Many specific details aren't set in stone yet - so I won't be able to answer questions like "How many NM's will we have?", "When will I find out my Panda Pal girls?", etc.
2. Check the FAQ's slide on this presentation
3. Ask TWO other PB's
(who have already done #1 & #2)
your question / confusion
4. If you still don't have clarity, email me at


I check my email very often so If I haven't
gotten back to you in a day try texting me at

770-883-4882 or Katie at 425-984-4093

Have fun and get excited! I know it may
seem overwhelming but it will all be
so worth it in the end!
August 14th - 23rd
14th - Panda Pals Group 2
14th - Omicron Group Optional Hang Out 9:30pm
15th - Panda Pals Group 3
16th - Panda Pals Group 4
16th - Chapter 7pm
16th - Pi Group Optional Hang Out 9pm
17h - First day of classes - Wear your Bid Day tanks and be on the lookout for NMs!
17th - Panda Pals Group 5
18th - Panda Pals Group 6
19th - Panda Pals Group 7
20th - Panda Pals Group 8 - Last Group of Panda Pals
20th - NM Lesson 1 - 8pm (I may have PB's come to this meeting - TBA)
21st - NM Retreat 3pm - only NM's ; NM's will rank Bigs at the retreat
21st - Initiated Sisters' rankings for littles are due by Midnight
22nd - Pairings are made and emailed to Bigs
23rd - Chapter 7pm - Ritual so NMs cannot Attend
Big & Little Paraphernalia like Mugs or Picture frames or crafts
Favorites of yours and/or favorites of hers
Mostly cute notes and crafts related to who you are and who she is
Must include
Cute Clue
"Two Peas in a Pod" Clue Day
August 27th Pinning Ceremony
NM Pinning 8pm
Bigs MUST attend
Everyone will be wearing a Bid Day Tank and a pair of shorts - color TBA
What will the NM's get in their Bid Day Bags?
Monogrammed Jute Bid Day Bag
Monogram Tumbler
Two different AOII Buttons
Vinyl Chevron AOII Decal
AOII Oval Decal
AOII Plastic Cup

Plus the Bid Day Tank
Maximum "Gift" amount - $15
Handmade/previously owned (free) items only on this day - with the exception of a panda item and candy.
Ex. Big decorated jar with notes for clues about who you are & small things that you like: like a mug for coffee, journal for writing, lily printed something for lily, something your favorite color, a candle of your favorite scent, etc.
Include gifts you have purchased on this day. The first two days are meant to be smaller with this day being a bigger "Christmas" type basket. There is not a spending limit since I know many of you have already bought things - but please be reasonable with how much you spend.
Full transcript