Saint Mary’s program connects older, younger students in “sisterhood” bond
Jordan Cockrum | Monday, September 17, 2018
Many Saint Mary’s first-years approached Le Mans Green on Reveal Day Sunday afternoon to find juniors holding up signs, each brightly decorated with the name of a different first year. While Saint Mary’s may not have Greek life, the Big Belle Little Belle program enables students to foster similar bonds between students.
Students gathered to celebrate the reveal of their match for the upcoming year.
“We walked out of Le Mans, and all of the Big Belles had big signs with our names on them,” first year Lea Hall, a participant in the program, said. “I found my big, Abby, holding my name and as I walked up she handed me a little present. We then did a scavenger hunt and it was just a fun time.”
The Big Belle Little Belle program connects juniors and first-years based on a number of factors. Committee co-chair junior Moira LeMay said in an email the club based their matching off both an event and questionnaire responses.
“We had a social event that allowed the juniors and first-years to talk to each other so that everyone had a sense of knowing at least someone in the program,” LeMay said. “Then, we sent out a questionnaire to the members to further the pairing process.”
While both factors weighed into matching decisions, LeMay said the committee placed a larger emphasis on the results of the social events. Following the event, everyone received a half-sheet to record their thoughts.
“When it came time to put two-and-two together, we catered toward the littles’ preferences,” LeMay said. “If they didn’t have a preference, then we went with who seemed to be a good fit for what the little had answered on the questionnaire.”
A social event leading up to the pairing process was a change from the previous year, LeMay said. While in the past students were matched solely off questionnaire answers, the event allowed students to get a sense of preferences prior to being paired.
“This year we incorporated an event prior to Reveal Day,” LeMay said. “That way, the committee had a better sense of who would be good matches together. We also brought in catering to give the new pairs something to do besides meet and leave.”
LeMay said Sunday’s reveal acted as a positive indicator for the year to come.
“The committee overall was impressed with the turnout and participation from the club members,” LeMay said. “It met all expectations, and provided us a good gauge of how the year will follow.”
The program’s goals for the year are to promote a relationship of reciprocal growth, LeMay said.
“I look forward to seeing how these mentorships grow into friendships,” she said. “As a committee, we hope that our matches will learn from one another,” LeMay said.
Hall said she looks forward to the community and sisterhood to be gained through her participation in Big Belle Little Belle.
“As a freshman, even though I have sophomores, juniors and seniors in my classes, I don’t get to really focus on a friendship with people other than freshman,” Hall said. “I would have rushed for a sorority this year, but Saint Mary’s doesn’t have this opportunity because there are only girls. I love the sorority feel and closeness of the girls in this club.”