As the coronavirus swept the world, we, as college students, looked to our leaders to help us to understand this new virtual world. These leaders were the people who had to take the first step toward online learning and clubs. This step was hard for all but some jumped into the experience with both feet and accepted the challenge. One of these brave people is Cat Grimley, the President of Alpha Omicron Pi, which is a Panhellenic chapter here on campus. I had the pleasure of getting to talk to Cat about her experiences as a leader and what plans she has to fearlessly lead her sisters through these hard times.
Her Campus (HC): Hello! Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Cat Grimley (CG): I’m 22 years old and am from Pensacola, Florida. I am a psychology major but am currently applying for law school!
HC: What does sorority life mean to you?
CG: My sorority gave me a group of women who genuinely cared about me, saw potential in me, and pushed me to become someone I didn’t even know I could be. I’m truly proud of who I’ve become, and I would not be where I am today without my sorority experience.
HC: What made you want to take on the challenging role of the president of AOII?
CG: When I joined AOII freshman year, I had never held a leadership position before. But, after watching all the incredible leaders in AOII, I realized that leadership was something that I wanted to pursue. So, I applied to attend a leadership conference with our then Panhellenic Delegate with no experience and was chosen! From there, I fell in love with AOII and the idea of making my chapter and the Greek community a better place. I figured there was no better way to do that than becoming President!
HC: Were you personally affected by COVID?
CG: More than anything, I lost many experiences that I was looking forward to. I took over the presidency in January of 2020 and took the first few months of the spring semester for granted. Many of the close friends I had made in college graduated this last spring, and I lost my last few months with them. Even now, as I’m starting my senior year of college, I’m missing out on so many traditional experiences that I had spent the past three years looking forward to.
HC: How has the sorority and your role of being the president been affected by COVID?
CG: On top of being shut down in the middle of last semester, we had to completely rethink every aspect of our operations and figure out a new way to do just about everything. The world learns new things about COVID every day, so what is expected of us changes constantly and we have to be prepared for it! It's been extremely challenging, but the leadership of our advisors and the entire AOII Executive Board has been nothing short of inspiring! Working with so many incredible leaders and watching everyone take these impossible situations and turn them into something amazing makes it worth the sacrifice!
HC: What are your plans for the future of the chapter and what advice can you give for women at FSU?
CG: Right now, our goal is to get through COVID and keep our members safe while providing the best experience possible. However, I truly believe the chapter will grow from this experience. Everything that has happened has taught us to cherish each moment and not take anything for granted. Without the big events that college typically presents, we have been putting a strong emphasis on our sisterhood and the genuine connections we have made with each other. I plan to use the insight we have gained from this experience and make sure that we keep reflecting on the lessons we’ve learned from this even when the big events come back. I hope that all women take advantage of every opportunity for engagement you can! It can be very easy to feel isolated and alone right now, but it's times like these that friendships are most important! Take part in all the programming the university/your chapter puts on, set up times to call your friends and family and safely make an effort to get out of the house!