What is a sorority?
(Two definitions that friends and I have come up with)
1. A group of college women that share the same values and support common philanthropies. A sorority is a sisterhood that not only lasts all four years of college, but for a lifetime.
2. A women’s club with a focus on personal and academic development as well as giving back to the community.
How it all starts
Sorority recruitment, sometimes called “rush”, is the process of meeting all the sororities offered on your college campus. At the end of recruitment, you are given a bid, or invitation to join a specific sorority.Each college or university conducts recruitment differently, but the general process is the same:
— On the first day, you meet with all of the sororities on campus. These meet and greet sessions are called “parties.”
— As the days go on (the number of days varies depending on your school and how many sororities are on your campus), you narrow down the number of sororities with the idea of getting down to one. The sorority sisters do the same in that they narrow down the number of girls to get to down to the ones that would fit best in their specific chapter. This is known as a mutual selection process.
— Also as the days go on, the “parties” get longer since the number of sororities you are visiting decreases. This gives you a chance to get to know the sisters in each sorority better.
— The last day of recruitment, known as bid day, is where you get a bid to a sorority. You can only get a bid to one sorority and you can choose to accept that invitation or not.
Once you’re in a sorority
What does being in a sorority involve?
— Each sorority has a philanthropy (or philanthropies) that they support through events, fundraising, spreading awareness, etc. As a Kappa Delta, our philanthropies are Prevent Child Abuse America and Girl Scouts of the USA.
— Sisterhood! One of the biggest parts. Being in a sorority gives you support system of girls that will be there for you in the bad times and the good. For most people, they find the people they will be friends with for a lifetime.
— Leadership positions are always available. This aspect is so valuable because it gives you experience that you can apply to professional areas of your life.
— Sisterhood is for a lifetime, which is awesome not only because that special bond doesn’t end after college, but because you have a ton of networking connections! Sisters are always willing to help each other get internships, jobs, connect them to people they know in specific fields, etc.
— And of course, I can’t forget about big little! Each new member gets a big sister that acts as a mentor, role model, and in most cases a best friend. This is also done in a mutual selection type process where the new girls submit who they would like as a big and the older girls do the same for who they would like to take as a little. Girls get matched up based on these submissions.
— Then comes big little week where you leave hints and presents for your little up until reveal where the littles find out who their bigs are!
Stereotypes & Misconceptions:
— It is against National Panhellenic Conference (the organization that oversees all Panhellenic sororities) to haze. Hazing is completely unacceptable and against everything that a sorority stands for (such as raising you up to be the best possible version of yourself).
— You are not paying for friends. Yes sororities have dues, or annual fees to be in the sorority, but that money goes towards events and other things that allow the chapter to run.
This was just a round up of some of the basics that I hope will help those of you who were interested or a little confused on what sorority life is all about! If you have any other specific questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them for you!