Q: I am going abroad next spring (my junior year) and my Gbig keeps guilting me about missing my big’s senior spring and last events such as formal, senior sendoff, and graduation. I feel bad that I won’t be there during her last months at school, but we have never been that close, and I need to live my own life. What should I say to her comments about not being there for my big?
A: with the ever increasing popularity of spending a semester abroad, it means more & more sorority girls are missing important events at their chapter. it’s an unfortunate side effect of this college experience. some girls decide not to go away, because they don’t want to miss their chapter life. but it’s an individual choice for each student. your academic enrichment should come first and foremost.
right away, ask your gbig to please stop making those comments. talk to her in a friendly way and explain that you are really sad to go, but you can’t miss out on such a wonderful educational opportunity. tell her you will hate to miss all your big’s senior events and you are really torn up about it (even if your’e not - exaggerate a little). explain that her constant sniping makes it even more hurtful. appeal to her emotions and ask that she stop because it is such a sensitive subject.
also tell her ~ you DO have plans to celebrate your big’s spring semester from afar and you have some surprises in store! for example, send a special graduation video from abroad. mail gifts that can only be found in your foreign country. leave some surprise packages behind before you go. let your gbig in on these “secret plans” and make her understand that you are not totally deserting the sorority traditions. you will be with your big ‘in spirit’. if she is fully informed on how you feel, and what your plans are, she should stop with all the harassment! be reassuring, sensitive and sincere ~ that should do the trick. and good luck on your adventure! xoxo ;)
Q: I was COMPLETELY CHEATED out of the big/little experience, which was something I was so looking forward to in my sorority life. For clue week I only got two things, but they did seem well crafted. We hung out like twice after reveal but she often ignores me and I ALWAYS text HER first. My basket was minimal and she only gave me one set of letters. We never talk and when i see her around campus and she doesn’t seem excited to see me. now she’s gonna be a rho chi. IDK what to do. I feel cheated.
A: i understand that it’s tough when reality doesn’t live up to expectations but you seem overly focused on what you didn’t GET GET GET! your gifts were not numerous enough, not crafted enough, not fancy enough. your big doesn’t give you enough time, attention, interest or flattery. that’s a lot of gimme - gimme. you were not totally cheated! it sounds like you have an “average” big who has given you gifts, taken the time to craft and has tried to connect with you on some level. but honestly, you seem so concerned with getting things, that it’s probably a huge barrier with your big. she may feel her attempts at generosity are not “good enough” for you!
it’s better to count your blessings than complain about not collecting enough stuff. accepting and appreciating what another person can give is a very honorable trait. the big/little relationship should be more about friendship, than the size of your gift baskets. please take a moment to step outside your feelings of being short-changed, and see that there are more important things to be had from your sorority sister. your judgements are keeping you from having a better relationship!
i believe your big can sense your disappointment and that is hindering your connection. if you want to mend this, please just spend some relaxed, non-judgmental time together. and stop keeping a texting and gifting “score card”.
also remember that a big/little relationship is a two way street. you must do YOUR part to strengthen the sisterly bonds. what have you done lately to spoil your big? how generous are you towards her? how much time and talent have you put into the relationship? try giving more than you receive, with no strings attached, and you may find things quickly change for the better. give it a try! xoxo ;)
A friend from my chapter recently discovered that another chapter was using her artwork for derby days without her permission. She commented on the photo on Instagram, saying it was her design and would love a shirt, and then emailed the President, but the girl on Instagram deleted the comment and the president hasn't responded to her after almost a week. How do you suggest we go about this? We are all frankly saddened by the lack of sisterhood.
at this point, your friend should call the president and see if she can reach her directly. sometimes people don’t get email, or it goes to their spam. or, she could stop by the sorority house/dorm and pay the president a visit. there must be a way to locate her for a conversation. your friend should then explain the situation and see what can be done. at the very least, the culprit should get a reprimand!
there’s not much else your friend can do, accept bring it to the chapter’s attention and ask for an apology and some “credit”. (she’s not going to sue them!) there’s probably no copyright on the image, so sadly these cruddy things happen. the other girl is just not nice. with so much image sharing on instagram, facebook, tumblr and all the rest ~ there are more chances than ever for designs to be unofficially “used”. it’s a form of flattery, but in an underhanded way. hopefully your friend can get some acknowledgment, but if not, she needs to move on and not let it sour the rest of her semester. xoxo ;)
for any interview you should plan ahead and have a firm grasp of what makes you perfect for the job. here are some interview tips that will help you prepare……
❉ 12 sorority sugar tips for a successful interview: ❉
- it’s your job to sell yourself. get comfortable with expressing your top selling points and explaining why you are the ideal candidate for the position. you have to toot your own horn and not be afraid to politely brag a little.
- be the “solution” they are looking for! every internship or job has problems that need solving. do your research and discover what needs fixing the most. then offer your unique abilities to do the job better than others.
- the most prepared candidate will get the job. never go to an interview cold. if you are well versed on what the top issues are for greeks on your campus, you will be way ahead of the game.
- be able to speak about what makes you uniquely qualified for the position. have your past experiences and qualifications firmly in your head. practice telling your “story” without rambling or getting off track.
- in addition to your qualifications, you may be asked about your personality too. know who you are and be able to describe your personality in attractive terms. what are your best traits? do you work well in a team? are you a born leader? do some self evaluation and prep before the interview.
- if applicable, have a nicely printed resume ready, or an application filled out. be on time, organized and have everything properly completed. a messy applicant with a sloppy presentation ~ will not be a top contender.
- be sharp! remember names, shake hands, look professional, use correct grammar, make eye contact, smile, be respectful and friendly and hide those nerves. how you conduct yourself means as much as what you say and how you look. and never, never chew gum!
- dress to impress. even if it’s “just an internship” you should treat the interviewer with respect by dressing classic, clean and polished. you always want to look even nicer than the job you are applying for. simple and traditional attire will do the trick. even casual college students can look well groomed for an interview.
- keep on topic. don’t babble, tell long-winded stories, gossip or badmouth others. never use foul language or speak negatively about anyone else. keep your answers relatively short, simple, clear and positive.
- have a few pertinent questions ready in advance. asking some thoughtful questions shows your level of interest and your understanding of the job. you want to be inquisitive and curious to learn more. it’s important to make 100% sure that you really want the position. you might find during the interview, that it’s not the place for you after all.
- don’t bring your phone to an interview. you never want to text, check emails, look online, or talk to someone else during your interview time. best to leave the temptation in your room.
- always thank the interviewer for his/her time and express your gratitude for the opportunity. follow up with a prompt thank you email as well. you can’t be too polite or courteous. people take notice of good behavior and it really makes a difference. it’s the classy thing to do!
ahhhh… you need the sorority sugar home page! please go to my blog URL and at the top you will find several links to helpful pages with lots of sorority information. please check out the “frequently asked questions” page and my “ultimate grand supreme glossary of sorority terms”. both are great places to start learning about greek life. on my pinterest, i have a very helpful ‘library of posts’ that will also answer many of your questions. it’s entitled “sorority girls do it better”. there is a placard & link to dozens of my informational posts detailing the sorority experience.
in very basic terms ~ formal rush is the week where potential new members (PNMs) visit all the sorority houses on campus, interview with them and then by mutual elimination and selection find a sorority match! you pick the chapters you like and the sororities do the same. at the end of the week hopefully your favorite chapter will offer you a bid of membership, you accept and everyone lives happily ever after!! xoxo ;)
Q: I’ll be rushing this fall as a freshman and I was wondering if you have any suggestions as to what to avoid wearing during recruitment.
A: what to wear and what not to wear does depend on where your campus is located and what the accepted “style” is. a PNM would dress one way at a southern SEC school and a different way at a small school in the pacific northwest. always research the norms and acceptable styles at your future college. in some places recruitment is very dressing, and in other places jeans are the norm. here are some general guidelines for what to avoid ~
sorority recruitment ”what NOT to wear”:
- any item of clothing that is faded, torn or worn out. check for frayed and drooping hems, armpit stains, snags, pilling and holes. no tattered clothes period.
- no glitter, sequins, sparkles or beauty pageant wear. preference night is dressy, but not a formal dance, night club or wedding. dressy and elegant yes ~ red carpet glam no.
- avoid plunging necklines, backless dresses, cut-outs, mini skirts and super short shorts. rush is an all-girl event and you don’t want to look like a lingerie model. it’s not the time to look “hot”. think classy and gorgeous instead. no one wants to see your bottom or your boobs!
- keep the jewelry and accessories to a minimum. the sisters should focus on YOU, not your overpowering jewelry. it’s ok to wear one signature piece, but please don’t pile on the sparkle. just say no to wearing chandelier earrings, statement necklace, multiple bangles and rings on every finger ~ all at once! especially annoying is banging bracelets during rush conversations.
- keep it classy and simple with your make-up and nail art. rush is no the time to trick your nails out in multiple colors, flowers and gemstones. keep it simple with lighter colors, a french manicure or clear gloss. a mini-pedi is a must. keep your make-up daytime appropriate and not too thick. the goal is to have the sisters interviewing you focus on your personality, not distracted by your heavy eye shadow or purple fingernails.
- super high heels can be a killer. even if you love high heels, keep in mind you will be doing a lot of walking and standing. blisters and sore feet make it almost impossible to remain cheerful and bubbly. wear sandals/flats when you should and save the heels only for the dressiest rounds. avoid any shoes that could be referred to as stripper heels.
- steer clear of all white and all black dresses. frequently chapters wear these colors during some rounds, so it’s best to just avoid those colors all together. you want to shine in your prettiest, most flattering colors anyway.
- don’t try to dress as a ‘sorority cliche’. if you don’t normally wear preppy headbands, bows or pearls, now is not the time to dress in costume. if you dress in a totally new style, (just for the chapters to like you), you will probably look unintentionally funny and feel very uncomfortable. if you show up in lilly from head to toe, the chapters may think you are trying too hard. it’s ok to buy a lilly dress and incorporate it with your other fashions, just don’t go crazy trying to be the ultimate sorority girl.
be true to yourself and let your style shine, while at the same time presenting yourself to your best advantage. recruitment is one giant job interview and you don’t want anything to detract from the sororities seeing your inner beauty. xoxo ;)
Q: I really want to run for president of my sorority in the fall. I rushed as a sophomore, so I will be a junior in the fall (my pledge class will be sophomores). I was just wondering if you had any advice as to how I should go about it? I’m very worried about managing my time, academics, social life, and sorority matters all at the same time. I am, however, very organized and a really great student. My house needs a change and I think I’m the best person for the job! Any advice or tips would be much appreciated.
A: you have the right attitude for taking on the presidency! you need confidence, maturity and a vision. i think you are a perfect candidate. you sound very organized and able to lead your chapter to new heights. you will need to juggle many obligations and become an expert at time management. where there is a will ~ there is a way! consider these presidential time management tips ~
- realize going in that you can’t do it ALL. you will need to prioritize your activities. write down all your commitments and rank them in order of importance. you will need to budget your time and temporarily let some things go. while you are president, you may need to forgo watching movies, or skip a few parties, but it’s for a limited time.
- keep a weekly schedule & monthly calendar. it may sound overly organized, but scheduling your days will help tremendously. block out time for homework, meetings, work outs, seeing friends, etc… your agenda and calendar will become your best friends.
- don’t bite off more than you can chew. if you become president, it’s not the time to join a new club on campus or take a new part time job. there are only so many hours in the day. scale back your obligations, don’t add to them during your presidency.
- delegate - delegate. a strong leader inspires her chapter to work hard for her. you can’t shoulder the entire burden alone. motivate your e-board, encourage chapter teamwork and give others the opportunity to help you. don’t have a “i can do it better” attitude, which leads to extreem stress and total overload. you must let your sisters contribute as much as possible. you should be a manager, not a dictator.
- let your vision be your motivator. your special chapter goals will help you get through the tough times. if you have genuine excitement for your new ideas, it will help push you to success. every president should have a “focused theme” and several set goals for her term. those goals will be your roadmap when things get super busy. focus on the most important things and stay steady on the course!
Q: My little sister will be heading to University of Oregon this fall as a freshman and she’s excited to join a sorority after I joined one this spring semester at my college. The only sad thing is that she doesn’t want to become my legacy. At my school we only have 4 sororities and 3 of them are NPC and my sorority is at Oregon. Just curious, is she only allowed to join my sorority to become my legacy, or go through recruitment without stating what legacy she is?
A: first and foremost, your sister should reveal her legacy status to any and all chapters at oregon that she qualifies for. that includes your sorority and the chapters from other close female relatives like your mother, grandmother and aunts. she is under NO obligation to join a legacy chapter. it just gives her a step-up with those chapters during recruitment. she can join with or without being a legacy, but the information is a little “bonus” in the competitive world of sorority rush. she should take the advantage, she has nothing to loose.
please convince your sister that she will never know what the sororities are like until she experiences recruitment. even looking at pictures is not like the real thing. she may end up loving your chapter at oregon and want to join. that’s when her legacy advantage could be a boost. if she doesn’t click with your sorority, then she can drop them during rounds and move on to another chapter. no harm done. legacies do not always join the family chapter and not all legacies get a bid from the family chapter. it goes both ways.
i’m sure your sister wants to ‘be her own person’ and not blindly following you into the same sorority. but chapters vary so much from school to school, so she cannot possibly make that decision before rush. please share this post with her, or explain the benefits of declaring her legacy. she is then free to make her own decisions as she goes. i wish her all the luck in the world. xoxo ;)
Do you have any advice on how to get rid of the negative stigma surrounding Greek life? In my school, Greek life isn't very big, and a lot of people look down on us because they think we're shallow, need to "pay for friends," and prefer to party over studying. Obviously, this isn't true, and I feel hurt that some people stereotype me as soon as they see that I'm in a sorority.
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS! the best way to change hearts and minds is to actively promote a different version of greek life on campus. if independents see nothing but rowdy partying and drunken antics from the greek community ~ guess what they’re doing to think? if sorority members get low grades, act like spoiled mean girls, trash each other online and present an overall bad image ~ guess what they’re going to think? the first step is to not give the other students any “ammunition” to use against you!
then ~ work with your panhellenic council and greek life office to promote a positive example of all the good that greeks do. host very public fundraisers, like a school wide 5K or dance marathon. make sure each chapter is promoted in the school newspaper/website whenever they do philanthropy work. publicize the scholastic achievements of your greek community. be very visible on campus with tables at every event. reach out to PNMs with all the best that your chapter has to offer. fight the misinformation with the FACTS and by living your creed every day. you spread the “good word” though everything your sisterhood does and says.
by showing a fine example of friendship and philanthropy action, the narrow minded opinions on campus will hopefully start to change. keep your head held high and if someone asks you about the “real story” of being in a sorority, be prepared to speak from the heart about your experiences. the best way to fight the lies ~ is with the truth! xoxo ;)
no worries! there are probably more girls without legacies than those with family ties. to be a legacy you need a close female relative to be in a sorority which is also at the college of your choice. so it’s a bit limiting, even for those who have mothers and sisters in greek life. many, many PNMs go through recruitment with no connections, and they do just fine. in the end, the sororities want wonderful girls they can call sister, not just a piece of paper or past history. focus on your BEST ‘total package’, and don’t worry about being legacy-less. put those fears aside and go for it!! xoxo ;)
Q: My organization has not had a sisterhood retreat in the last 10 years. We have been trying to bring it back but the people who were put in charge were unsuccessful. Being frustrated with the negative results I have asked to be put in charge of the retreat. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for activities or locations in southern california. Your blog is great! Thanks!!
A: i applaud you for stepping up and taking action for your chapter! it’s never easy to fix something that’s broken ~ but if you succeed it’s extra sweet. the key to planning a chapter retreat is to get “buy in” from your sisters. if they are interested and excited to attend, you are already way ahead. also evaluate what went wrong in the past. what were the negative results? armed with accurate information, you can avoid making the same mistakes. (retreat attendance can also be made mandatory, which settles a lot of problems).
sisterhood retreat planning tips:
- fit your retreat to your sisterhood! the first thing you must do is evaluate the personality of your group and discover what they would really like. if they are the outdoorsy type, plan a trip to Big Bear, where you can hike in the woods, enjoy the lake and have a sisterhood campfire and marshmallow roast. or, if your sisters like to suntan and swim, book your retreat for Palm Springs. how about Disneyland? or the Long Beach Aquarium? or the Getty? you can also consider botanical gardens, the beach, the zoo, etc….
- carefully plan your day or weekend. a typical schedule for a retreat could go something like this ~ meet together in an event room for the launch of your retreat, play some ice breakers and present the schedule for the day. then the chapter can enjoy the amusement park or outdoor activities for the morning. midday meet together for lunch and an inspirational speaker, or play some team-building/bonding games. afternoon is time for more fun or a friendly competition. for example, create a scavenger hunt at the zoo/aquarium/disneyland. gather together again for dinner and an evening of crafting, entertainment or learning new sorority songs and chants. activities like these can be packed into one day, or spread out over a weekend.
- for extra fun, theme your retreat. create a name and a slogan, have tee shirts made and hand out party favors. offer a few door prizes and a grand prize for your friendly competition. for some events, divide the girls into teams, then switch the teams at least once, so sisters can bond with other sisters. keep everything up beat and positive, so the sisterhood has a good time. a retreat should be about strengthening bonds, not about whining, complaining or debating all the chapter’s grievances. save the ‘issues’ for chapter meetings and e-board discussions.
there are so many fun things to do in southern california, you are sure to find a great venue that will appeal to your membership. then it’s all about organization and event planning. let your positive energy shine and your chapter will get onboard. happy planning!! xoxo ;)
the biggest thing is consistency! if you keep fresh content coming, your members will keep attentive to your sites. but if you slack off, and let your social media get stale/stagnent, then you will loose your audience. keep interest during the summer and into next year with some of these ideas……
sorority social media tips:
- encourage info & photo submissions from ALL your members!
- host several photo contests during the summer, such as craziest place to throw what you know! or have your traveling sisters take along a stuffed mascot and photograph him/it in funny places. the more you can make your social media interactive the better.
- provide tantalizing teases, updates and “coming soon” posts about fall recruitment. post photos of the new bid day tee shirts, or behind-the-scenes photos of the new chapter lawn letters. chronicle the preparations for formal recruitment as they develop. you are the sorority’s roving reporter.
- get your e-board involved. you are basically running a chapter “newsletter”, it’s just in the form of facebook or twitter. so make sure you encourage each chair and VP to submit either information, photos, or both. your team needs to provide you with contest for the chapter’s social sites. don’t let the entire burden fall on your shoulders. others should provide you with goodies, and then you share it online.
- create some regular features that your members will look forward too. such as a ~ sister of the week, craft of the week or quote of the day. make a social media calendar for yourself, and post your weekly features on a regular schedule. getting into a routine will help you stay organized. then the spontaneous posts can be added to your main features, as they occur.
- a picture is worth a thousand words. members will enjoy images much more than long, wordy text posts. keep your posts brief and to the point. more pictures, less text. keep it pithy!
- your social media should do these things: inform, entertain, remind, educate, connect and delight your chapter followers! if you keep everything upbeat, positive, current and organized ~ you should have a really fun time communicating with your sisters!
what's the difference between formal and informal recruitment? i'm interested in rushing my sophomore year and at my school there is informal recruitment in the fall and formal recruitment in the spring. only sophomores or older can rush in the fall, but my gpa took a hit this past semester that lowered it to a point where it is too low for one of the sororities. if informal recruitment didn't work out, would it seem desperate to then try formal in the spring? my gpa should recover by then.
it’s great that you have several recruitment options for next year! many girls go through rush more than once, so it would not seem desperate if you need to do it twice. it doesn’t matter if you do informal or formal recruitment, the goal of attaining membership is exactly the same. (one system is “formally” organized and one is more relaxed and loosely structured). let’s break it down and think about the best course of action… here are the pros and cons of your 2 choices ~
- option 1: rush informally in the fall with the chapters where you qualify. pro: you might make a match and get started on greek life asap. and, if it doesn’t work out, you have another shot in the spring. con: you are limited as to which chapters will take your GPA in the fall, and even then you may be cut for being on the “low end”.
- option 2: wait until you get your grades up and formally rush all the chapters in the spring. pro: you will be a more attractive PNM and be able to consider all the chapters. con: if you don’t get the grades high enough, or you don’t find a match, there is no 2nd chance for sophomore year. you will have to wait until junior year to try again.
personally, i would go with option 1. it provides you with the most chances for success. ideally, you will find a sorority home in the fall and get going on greek life. but if not, you have the safety net of spring recruitment. if neither option works out, you CAN rush again junior year and still join a sorority. do your best and keep an open heart! xoxo ;)
Hi! So, I'm director if sisterhood for my chapter. I put on dad's day, an event with alum, and two others. We have about 100 girls in my chapter, and I was wondering if you have any ideas since we don't have a house. I've looked some up and was just hoping for more ideas!
a dad’s day should include a dad/daughter activity or competition, entertainment, great food and keepsake photo time. you can also include several table displays of all your chapter goodies, for the dad’s to enjoy. if you don’t have a sorority house, you will need an event space, club house, campus facility, or outdoor spot ~ like a park or lakeside recreation area.
activities/competition ideas: depending on where you’re located, you could host a dad/daughter fishing competition, go-cart racing, paddle boating on the lake, roller skating, bowling tournament, ping pong round robin, nature hike, golf outing, croquet tournament, horseback ride, dad friendly museum visit (natural history, western, or automobiles for example), day at the beach, trip to the zoo, jeep tour, pool party, etc…
entertainment: you could perform a chapter skit for the dads, host a sorority fashion show, sing sorority songs, hire a guitar player to entertain, or offer dad/daughter dance lessons.
food & drink: theme your food to the day’s events. for example, if you go horseback riding in the morning, host an authentic chuck wagon cook out at noon. or hire a BBQ caterer to serve ribs and pulled pork sandwiches. you could also incorporate a dad/daughter hamburger grilling activity. if you host a pool party, theme your food and decorations luau or nautical. a theme makes the day more fun and memorable.
fun photos: create a special banner or photo frame for dad/daughter pictures. this can be themed to your day as well. a few props or hats make it even more entertaining.
if you are still stuck for ideas, poll your sisterhood and see what their dads like to do. your chapter should give you some feedback on what their dads would enjoy the most. xoxo ;)
I'm a KD in NYC and I'm a huge fan of your blog! You always have such great ideas and I was wondering if you had any ideas for sorority events that could be campus wide? Our university supplies us with money from the student activities budget, but only if they're events that can be attended by everyone. We know we are definitely having a trivia night for our philanthropy but we would love to have two or three more!