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Cassie Howard / Her Campus

Sorority Saturday- Vanessa Dunn (Alpha Omicron Pi)

Our Sorority Saturday this week is Vanessa Dunn. She is a third year Psychology and Kinesiology major, and a proud sister of Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII). We are also incredibly lucky to have her as a member of our Her Campus chapter here at the University of Maine.

AOII is based on four core values- character, dignity, scholarship, and college loyalty. When asked to elaborate on those core values, Vanessa said, “AOII really searches for people who want to give back.” This statement is accurate, considering the contributions that Vanessa has made in and out of her sorority. She currently serves as AOII’s chapter room manager, making sure their room is clean and organized. She also creates chapter room cleaning schedules to ensure the sisters are contributing to its maintenance. Unfortunately, it’s been harder for her to contribute to that position since sororities have gone mostly virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Alpha Omicron Pi runs multiple events for fundraising, their choice of organization being the Children’s Arthritis Foundation. From 2017 to 2019, national AOII has raised a total of $1,750,000 for children suffering with arthritis. One of their fundraising events is called Hike Out Arthritis, which is a yearly flag football tournament. Another event is called Mr. Fraternity, where men from different brotherhoods compete in a pageant to claim the ultimate title. In 2019, the event raised over $2,000.  

Outside of AOII, Vanessa is the Ambassador for UMaine’s new fitness organization, CHAARG. CHAARG (which stands for Changing Health, Attitudes, + Actions to Recreate Girls) is an organization designed to empower girls, encouraging them to be their very best physically and mentally. Vanessa wanted a CHAARG Chapter at the University of Maine, so she eagerly searched for 100 students who were interested so she could develop a chapter. She did it successfully, and developed a team from there. She helps lead everything- she creates newsletters and promotes the chapter to make it the best it can be. She is extremely into fitness, and is even a certified personal trainer at the UMaine New Balance Center. When discussing her background in personal training, she said, “Surprisingly, lots of teachers and staff come to work out, and I think it’s really important for them to have that access to fitness too.” She loves being able to express her appreciation of fitness with a variety of people.

    Vanessa knew that AOII was her home just by going to the UMaine activity fair, an event where a variety of student organizations set up tables and greet incoming students every fall. She felt so welcomed just by talking to the women of AOII. When going through formal recruitment, she was surprised that they remembered her and the conversations they had. This connection was meaningful to her, and solidified her intentions to become a member of the sorority. 

From then on, she knew that these were women she could feel connected with. When asked about her favorite memory being in AOII thus far, Vanessa confidently responded with, “Right now is my favorite. It was hard for me at first since I was a second year transfer student looking to find a group. Now I live in an apartment with four of my sisters, and it’s the most connected I’ve ever felt.” She’s so grateful that AOII has brought her such a wonderful group of welcoming women.

    Vanessa perfectly represents the values of AOII in her strong love for UMaine, her leadership abilities, and her encouraging spirit. Her contributions to AOII, and her determination to bring CHAARG together shows how much of a community-based drive she has. I’m excited to see what other great accomplishments she achieves in the near future!

Logan Swift

U Maine '23

Logan is a rising third-year student attending the University of Maine! She is a Her Campus editorial intern and the president of the Her Campus UMaine chapter. Outside of Her Campus, she loves photography, fitness, and playing some good 'ol Animal Crossing.
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