Me & my big

November 8, 2012

Photos by Sumeet Shrestha and Kyle Kight


Staff Reporter


Perhaps it is about a deep bond, or just an extra special relationship. Maybe it is only about having that go-to person. Whatever it is, it is spreading across campus into several organizations.


Big bro/little bro, big sis/little sis, big/little, big sib/little sib, call it what you may, but it carries the same meaning.


Big/little relationships are commonly found among the Greek organizations but can also be found within organizations like the Baptist Collegiate Ministry and Union Board.


Angelle Dunn, interim associate director for the BCM, said the big/little relationship is all about getting to know others on a closer level.


“Freshmen get to meet and learn from upperclassmen, and upperclassmen get a chance to share their story and experiences,” she said. “Everyone wins.”


Being a big or a little is not mandatory in any of the groups but is recommended and encouraged, Dunn said.


“It is about having that one person that truly knows your story,” she said. “Connecting with others while keeping up with school is hard, so it is someone to go through life with you.”


These people also help students through tough times.


Abby Hill, a senior speech pathology major and PanHellenic president, said the sole purpose of the big/little relationship to her is for the new members to build strong friendships so that they have someone to call when in need.


Hill said when she came to college, she and her boyfriend broke up. Her big was the one who helped her through the breakup.


“She constantly told me to come on and enjoy college,” she said. “She encouraged me to make more memories.”


Jeff Boudreaux, a senior chemical engineering and accounting double major, has been a little sib and currently has 12 little sibs of his own on Union Board.

Photos by Sumeet Shrestha and Kyle Kight


He said big/little gives new members the chance to get accommodated.


“It makes a big impact for the new members,” Boudreaux said. “Standing in front of 80 other people can be overwhelming.”


He expressed that the relationship does not only give you someone to comfortably pose questions to, but the gifts also make the littles feel appreciated.


“However, all the gift-giving can get expensive, especially when you have more than one little,” Boudreaux said.


He said sororities take the gift-giving to a whole new level.


Hill said she spent an average of $500-$700 on presents for just one little during the week before reveal.


“The first week is not the end though,” Hill said. “The littles are spoiled all year long just to make sure they are enjoying college.”


The big siblings work hard planning and setting up gift-giving within the sororities; however, the littles are not the only ones benefiting from the extravagant gifts.


Dylan Coker, a junior business management major, said he often receives calls from girls asking if he can get some guys to deliver a gift.


“Girls are definitely a lot more out there with their gift giving,” he said. “It brings our guys closer though.”


He laughed as he told about the brotherly connection behind he and his brothers taking their shirts off, painting up (to spell the little’s name) and singing “You are My Sunshine” on one knee to someone they did not know.


“Doing weird and off-the-wall things together really does make the best bonding experience,” he said.


Hannah Sober, a junior chemical engineering major, said she enjoys the big/little relationships she has built within the BCM because it has not only helped her shape great friendships, but has also helped her to meet many new people.


“BCM has a very large, dedicated student body,” she said. “Big/little helps to bridge that gap between incoming freshmen and upper classmen by building community within our organization.”


The bonds last over time and continue as a family is built, Hill said.


“I hung out with my big sis all of the time—lunch, movies, campus events,” she said. “Now she is in grad school at LSU, and we still hang out. We just have to meet up out of town to hang out—Dallas shopping, beach trips, Baton Rouge.”


Photos by Sumeet Shrestha and Kyle Kight

John Foster Chestnut, a junior finance major, said the friendships last forever if you are willing to make them last.


“It is like any friendship,” he said. “You will get out what you put into it.”


Chestnut said most people take the big/little relationship and run with it, making it the big deal that it is.


When Coker received his first little brother, said he did not just take on the responsibility of guiding an underclassman but also had something to prove to his big brother.


“The transition made me nervous,” he said. “My big brother did a really good job, so I felt like I had something to prove to him, as well as everyone else. I wanted him to be proud.”


The process is different for every organization. In a mad dash to the sign-up sheet directly after their first meeting ends, UB members receive their littles.


The Greek organizations and BCM do things a bit differently, in which they have a set amount of time to get to know the incoming members and choose through preference cards.


“If I had to choose something to improve about the big/little program, it would be that we had more time to meet people in advance,” Hill said. “That way everyone has a better chance of connecting with someone.”


Coker said he agrees that the bond shared with a big brother goes beyond the bond with fraternity brothers.


“Frat brothers will be at the wedding as guests,” he said. “Your big brother and little brother stand chances of being the best man.”


Email comments to alm085@latech.edu.


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