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Photos via Alpha Omicron Pi

Go purple with Alpha Omicron Pi

Alpha Omicron Pi hosted Purple Week from April 22-28, a week held in memory of Kristen McCartney, a sister of the Gamma Phi chapter, that seeks to raise awareness for epilepsy.

Throughout the week, AOII held a series of events, which included, Pie a Pi/Chi, bracelet making, Epilepsy Succs, Go Purple Goodie Bags, trivia and Kick it for Kristen.

Karina Bustamante, a sophomore marketing major and AOII’s vice president of community relations, said the sorority's partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation enables sisters to increase others’ awareness of the cause.

“A lot of people aren't aware of what the Epilepsy Foundation is or what epilepsy is, so being able to show where the money is going toward and how it could impact those people with epilepsy really shows the community about what the foundation and the cause is,” Bustamante said.

During the goodie bag event, the sisters of AOII shared information about seizure first aid, for which the sorority hosts multiple trainings throughout the year.

“Not everyone who has a seizure has epilepsy, but many people over the course of their life will experience that,” said Emma Potts, a sophomore anthropology major and director of philanthropy for AOII. “The severity varies, but it's just kind of important for people to be aware that this is something you should know, this is common and it affects more people than you might think.”


Bustamante said the week’s final event is Kick it for Kristen, a soccer shootout that unites students in Greek life and their families.

She said the event is “a way for [them] to connect with her spiritually and just raise awareness for the cause.”

“It's a lot of fun and a great time to bring awareness and raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation and then also spend time with sisters,” Bustamante said.

Potts said Kick it for Kristen is held in honor of Kristen, who was a soccer player.

“This year it is especially important because Kristen would have graduated this year,” Potts said. “So it is such an important event and this year's going to be especially emotional, but…it's also a celebration and it's really wonderful to see so many people feel so connected to her.”

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All funds raised during Purple Week are donated to the Epilepsy Foundation. Even so, Potts said building awareness of epilepsy is just as important as raising money for the cause.

“We raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation while also celebrating her life and keeping her as part of our chapter and our hearts,” Potts said. “It's us out there involving everyone in the community in something that we care so deeply about.”

The event is “a good way to kind of demonstrate that we are here for a purpose, and that purpose largely is service,” Potts said.

She said despite the week’s focus on the Epilepsy Foundation, AOII has three other philanthropies, including the Arthritis Foundation, the Associated Humane Society and Sisters for Soldiers.

“As someone who does care about service, I did want to go into a philanthropy position, and I'm so grateful,” Potts said. “Now I get to do that and be here in this position…help our new members connect and facilitate these events for our current members, and I'm just very excited.”


Alanna Knoell, a freshman psychology major and sister of AOII, said joining the sorority has increased her perspective on a variety of causes.

“As a new member in my chapter, I actually learned a lot about all of our foundations as a whole, but mainly how the Epilepsy Foundation is really important to us,” Knoell said, “To our sister, Kristen, who unfortunately passed away and we always like to keep her memory within our chapter, and I find that really inspiring.”

Knoell said she particularly appreciates Purple Week because it encourages students to unite together for a larger cause.

“I really do like how all of the orgs in general can also support our philanthropy and how we all come together as a community…as well as bring in other students to spread awareness,” Knoell said. “And I think that's really important.”

Knoell said her favorite event is Kick it for Kristen because it serves as a bonding experience.

“When the community comes together to support our own sister, I just find that really empowering within our chapter,” Knoell said.

Peyton Hruska is the editor of the Campus Life section. She can be reached at


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