I hope you are not surprised to learn that just like the rest of you I “google” for information about sorority recruitment.  sure…I have peeps that have ties to many of the major recruitments across the nation.  Coupled with I am not afraid to call any Greek Life office on any campus and ask questions I feel like I have a really good knowledge base on the subject of “recruitment” across the United States.

So yesterday, while sitting and working on a variety of projects I googled “sorority recruitment” and came across a video made by a young woman.  Curious…I clicked and WOW…I was just amazed at what I watched.  Apparently the dear sweet girl (who I am positive has only the best intentions at heart) has made several different “informational videos, not all of which pertain to sorority recruitment.

As the video unfolds it became apparent that she had asked girls to send in questions about sorority recruitment.  That really caught my interest as I am always trying to figure out what you are wanting to know.  So…first question is (drum roll please),”What is a sorority?”  Well…I guess that’s a good place to start. So what is a sorority? According to Merriam Webster: A sorority is a society for female students in a college or university,typically for social purposes.  Hmmm….not sure I totally agree with that definition.  It’s the “typically for social purposes” I take issue with.  There is so much more to a sorority than just “social purposes”.

Being a little disgruntled with the dictionary I kept searching and came across a site called wisegeek.com.  This site had a much longer and more detailed definition, and I quote:

“A sorority is an association composed of women who have common interests or who share a common trait. One of the most famous types of sororities is the North American college sorority, although college sororities can be found in other regions of the world as well. Women can also form social sororities outside of the college framework. The primary goal of a sorority is to create a group of women who are bonded by their common membership. Though sororities are typically composed only of women, some do allow men to join.

In college sororities, prospective members usually attend events during a period early in the semester which is designated as “rush week.” During rush week, people can visit numerous sororities to get a feel for each one’s members and style. If people want to join a sorority, they submit an application, and the existing members vote on the applications at the end of rush week, using their interactions with prospective members as a guideline. Many sororities also have academic requirements, such as a minimum grade point average.

Once accepted into the group, new members undergo initiation to become full members. Initiations at sororities and fraternities are infamous, and some colleges have enacted rules which are designed to protect student safety in initiations. Dangerous hazing activities are often explicitly banned, and pledges are informed that they have the right to refuse to participate in initiation activities which conflict with their safety or religious beliefs. Despite this, initiation can be dangerous or traumatizing for some initiates.

Most sororities are identified with Greek letters which are often linked with their mottoes. Some examples of famous sororities include Alpha Delta Pi, the oldest sorority, along with Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, and Alpha Kappa Alpha. Though sororities traditionally only accepted women, some do accept men as full members.

Members of sororities are entitled to certain benefits, including residence in a sorority house, access to scholarships, and the ability to network with current members and alumni. Many women also enjoy the support network of a group of women who share common bonds. Sorority sisters also work together on projects, most notably charity projects.

Sorority life is often stereotyped by people who have not participated in one, and members are sometimes dismissed as airheaded or stupid. In fact, sororities do a great deal of good for their communities and members, and members are often extremely intelligent and motivated women who excel in leadership, sports, and academics.”

Well…that was a little better but the North American College thing was a little odd and men in sororities???? That’s new to me as well.  Time to keep looking. And VOILA!!!!!  I came across this little tidbit from Delta Zeta.  It addresses both sororities and fraternities but I love the language and I think this is my definition of choice:

“Throughout life, it is natural and normal for men and women to form circles of friendship with others who have common interests, similar backgrounds, personal habits, social tastes, and levels of intelligence.  It was this basic human need for companionship that created fraternities and sororities.

Sororities are a self-sustaining friendship organization composed of female students in colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

Membership in these Sororities is a privilege, and all members are expected to exemplify the finest personal qualities.

Members have high esteem and seek high scholarship, promote cultural interests, participate in campus activities, experience group interaction, provide service to others, cultivate friendships and continually strive to improve themselves.

Many of the basic principles of sororities and fraternities are essentially the same, yet each is distinct.

Each group fulfills its own purpose and serves the needs of its individual members by developing effective programs in scholarship, campus and community service and self-improvement.

Fraternities and sororities on college campuses support the aims and purposes of the institution and are guided by the policies and rules of their own organization.

The fraternity system expresses the American tradition of freedom.  Since the first fraternity was founded in 1776 and the first sorority in 1870, they have survived adverse criticism and student indifference and continue to grow because of the basic need for companionship.”

No that’s what I’m talking about.  Although there are many definitions out there..from our video friend, to Delta Zeta …here’s my definition: A sorority is a group of women who support and empower each other throughout their lifetime.