Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS A SORORITY, REALLY?

Sororities are national and international Greek-letter organizations that have been in existence for more than 150 years on accredited college and university campuses. Chapters function as an extended family unit, providing a caring environment that encourages individual development for a lifetime. Sorority programming develops leadership through involvement in chapter offices and committees, as well as involvement on campus. Other opportunities for Greeks include scholarships and philanthropic and social service involvement. Many sorority chapters offer campus housing, and those details vary from campus to campus.

HOW WILL I BENEFIT FROM A SORORITY FOR A LIFETIME?

As a collegiate member, you will have a support group that truly cares about you, leadership opportunities, academic support and encouragement, and a social outlet. The bonds of sisterhood you develop during college will remain with you after graduation. Wherever you go, even to another country, you will have a support system and opportunity to form beneficial relationships.

WILL GREEK LIFE PROMOTE GETTING A GOOD EDUCATION?

Yes. All NPC member sororities have scholastic standards for their members. As a new member, you will be encouraged to achieve academic success. Sororities offer a variety of tools to support this effort, including group study hours, tutoring, and peer incentives.

Additionally, NPC whole-heartedly promotes high academic achievement, and awards individuals for scholastic excellence through its ongoing Year of the Scholar program. Every year Greek women are awarded thousands of dollars for exceptional academic achievement from NPC and other Greek groups.

HOW EXPENSIVE IS IT?

Financial expectations vary among sororities. There are one-time fees, as well as regular dues. Each sorority chapter determines dues based on factors including programming for its members. When housing is available, those costs are often competitive or less than campus options.

I'VE HEARD ABOUT ALCOHOL ABUSE AMONG GREEKS...

As always, it seems the positive aspects of Greek life are overshadowed by the negative acts of a few. Learning how to be responsible in social situations is a very important lesson for young women today. NPC and its member groups understand that, and have developed a program called Something of Value, which addresses this and other issues from a values-based perspective. The NPC member groups have agreed to aggressively educate our members and help teach our women responsible behavior.

WHAT IS "HAZING" ANYWAY?

NPC defines hazing as "any action or situation, with or without consent, which recklessly, intentionally, or unintentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or creates risk of injury, or causes discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule, or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property..."

Hazing is not accepted among NPC member groups.

TO BE A MEMBER, DO I HAVE TO GO THROUGH RUSH?

Membership recruitment is a period of mutual selection. It is a process during which you get to know about the sororities and members on your campus, and the sorority membership gets to know you. Recruitment activities might include open houses, informal events, and/or formal events. Often the final activities of recruitment are called "Preferentials," and are formal events.

The National Panhellenic Conference provides guidelines for college Panhellenic organizations to determine the exact dates and rules for recruitment on each campus.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN?

The NPC member fraternities may have a GPA requirement for membership. If there is such a requirement, individual chapters are responsible for informing you of such a requirement. In addition to your scholarship abilities, your activities should be well rounded, showcasing a variety of interests and goals. Membership in campus or civic organizations, sports or the arts are all signs of a well-rounded person. Finally, the financial requirements must be taken into consideration. Membership dues support the local chapter and the national organization. Fees vary from chapter to chapter and from campus to campus. Be sure to discuss this commitment fully during Recruitment. Make sure your parents are completely aware of the added expense.

HOW MUCH TIME WILL I SPEND AT THE SORORITY?

During your new membership period, the amount of time you spend with your new sisters will vary. You will be asked to attend new member and chapter meetings in addition to any number of planned activities. If meals are offered at a chapter house, some of these hours will be spent at meals with your new sisters. During Recruitment, ask specifically what time commitment will be expected of you.

HOW LONG WILL I BE A 'NEW MEMBER'?

The new member period varies from chapter to chapter but on average lasts anywhere from six to ten weeks.  Each chapter has different requirements for initiation. You should ask these important questions during the Recruitment period.

IS RECRUITMENT ONLY FOR FRESHMAN?

Not at all! Sorority life has many wonderful opportunities for all undergraduate college women. There is no reason to miss the experience just because you are not a freshman.

WHAT IS A RECRUITMENT INFORMATION FORM?

A Recruitment Information Form (or References or 'Recs') is simply a form or personal letter of reference provided by an alumnus of a sorority to the chapter on the campus of your choice. Let your friends and relatives know that you will be participating in Recruitment; one or more alumnae may step forward and offer to sponsor or write a letter of reference for you. These forms or letters should be mailed as soon as possible by the writing alumnus before Formal Recruitment begins. Some sororities require the form to be submitted with the letter. It is the responsibility of the alumnus to provide these forms. Letters of reference do not guarantee you an invitation to join a particular chapter.

WHAT IS A LEGACY?

A legacy is usually defined as a daughter, granddaughter, or sister of an initiated sorority member unless a national organization recognizes additional relatives. Each sorority has its own policies regarding legacies. Being a legacy does not ensure membership. Each potential member is considered on an individual basis; a legacy is no more obligated to join a particular sorority than the sorority is obligated to pledge her. Sororities try to extend courtesy to legacies and try to get to know them but sororities cannot guarantee them membership. At times the numbers of legacies participating in recruitment outnumber the membership openings of a chapter. A legacy must meet the same standards of qualifications the non-legacies must meet. The potential member and the sorority are looking for compatibility, not necessarily a family connection to the group.

WHAT IS RECRUITMENT LIKE?

If nothing else, Recruitment is fun! You will meet dozens of women and get to know many of them as potential sisters and friends. Recruitment will most likely begin with an Orientation session hosted by the Panhellenic Council. You will be given general information about Recruitment and divided into your Recruitment Groups. A Recruitment Counselor will be assigned to your group. A Recruitment Counselor is a sorority woman that has temporarily disaffiliated from her chapter in order to be a Recruitment Group Leader. A Recruitment Group Leader is there to guide you through recruitment, answer your questions and support you as you make your decisions. She will uphold the highest standards of confidentiality and Panhellenic spirit. During the first few days of Recruitment, you will be required to visit each NPC chapter at least one time. These events will be your first glimpse into sorority life. Take a small notepad with you and after each party, write down your impressions about the chapter.

Throughout the week, you will spend more time with the sisters learning about their chapter's history, their activities on campus, seeing skits or videos and participating in activities. After the first round of events, you will receive invitations to revisit one or more chapters. This is the first step in the mutual selection process. You will be required to accept only a specific number of invitations. This invitational process will continue until the last day of Recruitment.

After the last Preference event has ended, you will be asked to rank your membership choices on a Formal Membership Recruitment Acceptance card. Your preferences are matched up to the preferences of the chapters. You are strongly encouraged to list more than one chapter and not limit your options.

The last event of Formal Recruitment is Bid Day. On this day, you will receive your invitation to join a sorority and you will join your new sisters for a day of fun activities.

It may be that you will not be matched with your first choice. Before declining the opportunity to join, consider that the sorority on your bid card already considers you a sister AND this sorority was one of your three preferences for membership. They feel that you would make a great sister and friend. You should give the chapter the same opportunity that they are giving you. If you decline an invitation to join, you will be ineligible to join a sorority for one calendar year.

HOW SHOULD I ACT DURING RECRUITMENT?

The best advice is, Be Yourself. Be honest and open with the women in the chapters; don't pretend to be someone you are not. Ask questions of the sisters - you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Before participating in Recruitment, use the resources around you to learn about the NPC member fraternities on your chosen campus. Ask questions about scholarship, sisterhood, philanthropy and campus life. Listen to what the sisters are telling you and weigh the answers against your impressions of the chapter and its members.

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR DURING RECRUITMENT?

You should receive a Recruitment Information packet prior to the events. Suggested dress will be listed in the packet. Follow the guidelines suggested by the campus of your choosing - they know best.

WHAT IF I DECIDE I DON'T WANT TO JOIN A SORORITY?

There is no obligation to join a sorority just because you participate in Formal Recruitment. You are encouraged to participate as it gives you an excellent opportunity to learn about sorority life. If you decide not to join at this time, it will not be held against you. If you change your mind later, contact the Greek Life office on your campus and inquire about Continuous Open Bidding opportunities.

HOW DO I DECIDE WHAT SORORITY TO JOIN?

Only you know the answer to this question. Learn as much as you can about each chapter, get to know as many members as possible during the events and consider where you felt most at home. Consider which chapter will give you the scholarship, leadership and service opportunities you desire. Although your final preference decisions are important, you can be happy in almost any chapter on campus if you put forth the effort.