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What is a Sorority?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of a students talking.

What is a Sorority?

What is a sorority? After you have endured the arduous process of applying to colleges and being accepted into them, you will finally be able to move on to the more enjoyable aspects of university life. You are free to select the courses you want to take, look for a place to live, and think about whether or not you want to join a fraternity or sorority.

You may be wondering what a sorority is if you are not familiar with the Greek life at your university. Before deciding to join a sorority or fraternity, one must consider many different factors, and each of these organizations is comprised of many different parts.

View of a sorority house with pillars.

A sorority is an organization on a college campus whose purpose is to foster friendship and community, among other things. Women join a sorority, and men join a fraternity. There are chapters of Greek life spread around universities in both the U.S. and Canada.

Sorority participation enables you to create lifelong friendships, develop leadership characteristics, and better organize your time. Personal development is actively promoted. Instead of a member becoming what her group is, the group shapes the member into what it wants her to be.

Although the objectives, guidelines, and requirements of each sorority may vary, in general, these aspects of Greek life are quite comparable. If you can demonstrate that you possess the characteristics that sororities look for in their members, you may be invited to join one of these organizations. The characteristics that they look for most frequently include things like your personality, your academic achievements, your participation in the community, and your involvement in activities on campus.

Many freshmen at a university are interested in becoming members of a sorority or fraternity because these organizations foster a sense of community and offer a setting in which students can form bonds and friendships. At their core, all sororities are idealistic organizations, dedicated to a set of high beliefs and various charitable causes. The goal of each sorority is to help its members reach their full potential by cultivating their unique strengths, interests, and personalities, and this goal serves as the organization’s guiding principle.

You should also be aware that Greek life is also associated with a particular lifestyle, which can help students feel like they fit in somewhere or help them integrate into campus life. This can be beneficial to students who are looking for either of these things. The purpose of the sorority life is to motivate you and to assist you in gaining the most out of your time spent in college.

What is the Purpose of the Sorority?

Greater time, financial, and mental investments are required of sorority members than are required of members of the typical student interest group.

Two students talking near a building.

Greek letter societies are more than just social organizations; in many ways, they are lifestyles in and of themselves. Although stories of hazing and excessive partying are frequently reported in the news and entertainment media, these inappropriate behaviors do not characterize the sorority experience of every young woman. Even though the requirements of sorority life may be too taxing for some college students, many organizations provide benefits that their “sisters” believe more than compensate for the required membership commitments.

Ease Into College Life

The beginning of a young woman’s college career can be one of the most exciting times in her life, but it can also be one of the most vulnerable times in her life. They want to make the most of the newfound freedom and opportunities they have, but they frequently have the impression that they have too many options and a lot riding on their decisions. When students first start their lives as college students, they often feel overwhelmed by conflicting feelings of want and uncertainty.

That can be a more manageable process with the assistance of sororities. Greek-letter organizations are as connected to the communities of their particular campuses as any other group can possibly be, which prepares them to assist younger students in locating and sorting among opportunities. In addition, more experienced members can assist younger students in assessing their options by providing first-hand accounts of academics, student organizations, and other resources available on campus.

Sense of Community

A few of the nation’s public colleges have over 50,000 students enrolled. In a population that is the size of a small city, it can be challenging to feel like you belong to the community as a whole. A sense of belonging is developed in a city resident through participation in the subcommunities of her place of employment, religion, social life, and neighborhood.

Similarly, joining a sorority can assist a woman in feeling more a part of the community at her institution. Simply said, joining a sorority is a fantastic way to make new friends. Some women in sororities think of their other members, the sisters they pledged with, as old battle mates — the companions with whom they made it through an exciting but trying time in their lives.

Accountability and High Standards

Many sororities place restrictions on their members’ grade point averages and require them to maintain a specific level of academic achievement to be a member of the organization. As a direct consequence of this, members of sororities typically have grade point averages that are far higher than those of the general student populations at their individual schools.

For instance, the University Panhellenic Councils at the University of Texas, William & Mary, and Vanderbilt all reported in 2012 that the all-sorority GPAs on their campuses were higher than the all-university GPAs on their campuses. The majority of organizations that use the Greek alphabet require their members to participate in volunteer work as well.

The chances for philanthropy range from simple participation in local charity events to organizing campus-wide service initiatives. These opportunities might be a benefit on future resumes, particularly for women who are contemplating professions in fields linked to their charitable activities.

Networking

Although education and experience are both extremely important in the business world, the value of maintaining strong professional relationships cannot be emphasized. When someone is trying to get an internship or a job, having contacts may be quite helpful and even make all the difference. Every member of a sorority has the ability to become an insider connection for another woman, assisting that other woman in achieving her objectives.

Students lounging in the school grounds.

In a world where who you know might be more important than what you know in some situations, it is beneficial for a woman to know as many people as possible. The devoted relationships that can develop in sororities have the potential to become long-lasting connections that continue to alter a woman’s life long after she has graduated from college.

What is a Sorority Rush?

Sorority rush is just one way sororities recruit potential members. You’ve probably seen a few movies with a college setting in which fraternities and sororities have rigorous recruitment processes that include humiliating hazing techniques. The reality is that the process of recruitment for most Greek organizations isn’t nearly as difficult as it is portrayed to be in Hollywood movies.

In most organizations, the recruitment process is divided into three stages: the rushing phase, the pledging phase, and the hazing or initiating stage. Let’s take a closer look at each step.

Rushing

A candidate for membership in a sorority is known as a rushee, and the recruitment process in its entirety is referred to as a rush. At this point, potential new members of the sorority and current members get to know one another to determine whether or not the rushees would be a good cultural fit for the organization.

To reduce the field of candidates during a rush, multiple events or steps are frequently involved. This is especially the case at major schools. To gain a seat in a sorority, rushees will attend parties, do skits, talk sisterhood, and try to make an impression on the sisters.

Following the conclusion of the events, the sorority women will confer and vote on the prospective members to whom they would want to extend an offer of membership. After that, a formal bid is presented to these applicants, and they are approached with an invitation to join the sorority.

Pledging

After a candidate has been accepted into a sorority and has accepted their bid, she is referred to as a pledge. After this, the new member is given the opportunity to learn more about the sorority, including its background, requirements, and core beliefs.

Because many prospective pledges are required to complete an admission exam, pledging to a sorority frequently entails a significant investment of both time and effort. After devoting some time to learning about a sorority, prospective members are needed to take and succeed on a test in which they are questioned about things such as Greek symbols, a sorority’s founders, and other information that is pertinent to joining the organization.

Hazing and Initiation

Despite the fact that many educational institutions have taken measures to combat hazing, there have been reports of incidents in which it has become excessive. Hazing is a practice in which new pledges are required to demonstrate their loyalty by engaging in activities that are frequently demeaning or humiliating. These activities can include anything from binge drinking to going without sleep to being compelled to wear specific apparel.

Hazing is still a problem in some sororities, despite the fact that it is more common in fraternities than in sororities overall. Hazing is taken quite seriously at most institutions, and if a new pledge complains about it, the university will investigate.

Following the completion of both the pledging process and the hazing, new members go through an initiation process during which they are formally initiated into the sorority. During the initiation process, the secrets of the sorority, such as passwords, handshakes, and other things, will be revealed to the pledges. In most cases, a ritual centered on the concept of sisterhood is also performed.

What are the Benefits of Joining a Sorority?

Being a member of a sorority in college allows you to have a place to call home, which is one of the key benefits of being involved in Greek life. Other aspects of Greek life may also give members benefits. This is especially important for first-year students who may be having trouble adjusting to the concept of living away from their families for the first time. A sorority serves as a support group for its members both during and after academic hours.

Sisterhood

When describing the benefits of joining a sorority, the word “sisterhood” is frequently utilized on the websites of numerous collegiate sororities. Students come together to form friendships and have fun in the context of a social community known as a sorority. More than that, it is a tight-knit community of young women who grow an appreciation for one another as well as a connection over the course of their time together. This offers a nurturing environment that feels like home, which not only makes the transition to school easier but also paves the way for personal development and increased autonomy while the student is there.

Three students lounging in their bedroom.

When a member of a sorority is approaching close to graduating from college, she has a lot of opportunities available to her in the form of internships and jobs. Past sisters are frequently well-connected in the professional world and are able to offer advice and direction regarding the requirements necessary to establish a successful career in your chosen industry.

Character and Values Development

The members’ personal growth and development are given a significant amount of attention in sororities. The career successes and community activities of graduates typically hold more weight in the sorority’s reputation over the long term than social gatherings do. A common requirement for sorority membership is participation in community service and volunteer projects organized by the organization. In addition, officers in a sorority have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills through participating in meetings, distributing responsibilities, organizing and planning events, and connecting with a variety of people.

In addition, each year sororities raise millions of dollars for charitable organizations, with a portion of that money going toward funding educational opportunities for their members. There are scholarships available on a local level that you can compete for, in addition to scholarships available on a national level from organizations that acknowledge the significance of sororities.

Academic Advantages

Although there are some students who assume that participating in sorority life takes their attention away from their studies, it may actually be a means to manage academics and social life while attending college efficiently. A certain grade point average and scheduled study time are typically required.

Students working in a project in a room.

This offers a form of accountability and support to individual students, which is something that students who do not participate in Greek life typically do not receive. Younger members also benefit from conversing with peers in their majors or obtaining advice from juniors and seniors on which classes to take or how to prepare for upper-level class requirements. Both of these opportunities are available through the organization.

In addition, sororities depend on their members’ accomplishments to build their history and advance their mission. As a consequence of this, many sisters place a high amount of importance on achieving the highest possible grades and may even pursue further education. A lot of the time, sororities have fantastic study materials and can share information with one another about classes, majors, and teachers.

Organized Fun

When you become a sorority member at your school, you won’t have to stress as much about what to do on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the academic week. When you’re in school, sororities are a great way to organize your social life and have fun. Sororities frequently host social events including mixers and dances. In addition, many of them provide formal dinners that serve as an opportunity for etiquette instruction in addition to serving as a social event.

Additionally, it is typical for sisters to compete against one another in intramural sports at school. Every sorority on campus is also a component of the larger Greek system, comprising all of the college’s fraternities and sororities. Larger social events and activities are frequently scheduled for participation by each and every member of a Greek organization.

Want to learn more about getting into your dream school? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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