Joining a Sorority

Allison Martin
Sorority friends

Are you considering going Greek? Before you dive into the world of sororities, you should have a thorough understanding of the benefits, drawbacks and how the process works. There are many factors to consider before making a commitment.

Pros of Sororities

There are several benefits that result from becoming part of a sorority.

Sisterhood

The bonds that develop between sorority sisters typically last well beyond college. You'll become part of a sisterhood and cultivate relationships that could last a lifetime, especially if you decide to stay in a sorority house.

Tons of Free Entertainment

You can also expect to be entertained several times throughout the month. Rarely will you find a sorority that doesn't like to celebrate. If you're all for parties and other sources of entertainment, chances are, you'll enjoy sorority life.

Philanthropy

Most sororities are heavy on community service, so if you happen to join, you'll be expected to do your part in giving back. This could be anything from trash pickups to feeding the homeless.

Networking Opportunities

As you progress in your career, it helps to have contacts who can connect you with the right people. There are no guarantees when joining a sorority, but you never know who your sister may be able to refer you to in the future. Her network could end up including the hiring manager for the job of your dreams.

Cons of Sorority Life

Unfortunately, there are also drawbacks you should keep in mind when considering Greek life.

Time Consuming

If you've selected an extremely difficult major, you're going to have to figure out how to balance your commitment to the sorority with your studies.

Reputation

As the saying goes, "Birds of a feather flock together." Sometimes a sorority can get a reputation that you might want to avoid. Even if you're nothing like your sorority sisters who've managed to get a bad reputation, good luck convincing others in the student body of your innocence.

Hazing

Hazing is strictly prohibited on college campuses across the nation, yet it still happens. "Over the last 38 years, there has been at least one death per year as a result of hazing in the US," says The Best Schools.

Financial Commitment

When you join a sorority, prepare to fork over a hefty sum of cash. Expect to pay fees for dues, apparel and room and board if you choose to live in Greek housing. The financial commitment to be in a sorority could easily surpass $1,000, notes Teen Vogue.

How to Join a Sorority

There are hoops to jump through before you can join a sorority.

Eligibility

First, you'll need to determine if you're eligible to join. You should be eligible if you are enrolled as an undergraduate student, notes The Sorority Life. However, some sororities offer graduate chapters for alumni and graduate students to join.

Recruitment or Rushing

In most instances, sororities will host information sessions that you should strongly consider attending. Contact the Panhellenic office on your campus to retrieve the dates for sororities you're interested in.

To move forward, you will need to register for recruitment to enter the rushing period. The rushing period is the timeframe allocated for sororities to get to know you and decide if you will be a good fit for their organization.

According to The Sorority Life, the following events typically take place during rush:

  • Rounds: You'll get acclimated with the various sororities on your campus by participating in "recruitment" rounds, which consists of mini-events with the organizations that could last 45 minutes or longer. These could consist of things like interviews, luncheons or dinners, cookouts, and outdoor activities.

  • Bidding: A bid is simply an invitation from a sorority to those who are rushing to join their organization. A sorority may extend an invitation to you to join their chapter during "Bid Day," which typically takes place at the end of the recruitment phase once you've completed your rounds.

Choose the Right Sorority for You

Becoming part of a sorority requires a major financial commitment as well as a lot of time, so it's not something you want to rush into the minute you step foot on campus. Instead, do your research; you'll be spending a lot of time with your sorority sisters if you're invited to join an organization. Also, inquire with members of the sorority about their core values to determine if they closely align with what you believe in. Get acclimated with your peers and learn more about what's going on around campus. You may discover that the sorority life isn't for you after all.

Joining a Sorority