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Hi! I'm a highschool student interested in rushing in a few years. I've seen pictures of new members of sororities and they seem to instantly become friends with their older sisters of their new sorority. How does a pledge begin make friends with their sisters or girls of their pledge class? Thanks! :)

Asked by
headinthecloudsdreaming

The BEST part of sorority membership is all the organization! This is especially nice for freshman, because greek life offers a very structured way to make friends. You don’t have to fend for yourself. There will be so many meetings, meals, activities, socials, retreats and sisterhood events, that you can’t help but bond with your new sisters. Your pledge class will do a lot together, you will be matched with a big sister and get to know your new family tree, there will be tons of fraternity parties, volunteering, fundraising, sporting events, etc… In fact there is so much happening in the greek community, most girls find it to be practically overwhleming. You will need to pace yourself. 

When you first join a chapter the sisters will all congratulate you on facebook, you will start being invited out, the meetings and parties start right away and you are instantly launched into the greek social swirl. It’s fun, exciting and never a dull moment. Making friends is one of the easiest parts of joining a sorority. Keeping those friendships on an even keel is the hard part! xoxo ;)

sorority Q&A: planning for 4 years in the future…

Q: As an Early Childhood Ed major, my last semester will be spent doing Student Teaching. In order to save money, my parents are making me do it from home and won’t let me travel the two hours each way from home twice a week just for chapter and study tables. Is there any way that I can become an “alum” early by a semester? I am only a freshman and I don’t wanna be in a sorority just to have to quit for my last semester of school. Would it be better to quit now?

A: If you are only a freshman and trying to plan for your last semester as a Senior, there is NO WAY you can predict where you will be so far down the road! Please don’t drop your sorority over the possibility of problems that may never develop. In the next four years these things could happen and much more: 

  • You could change your major completely.
  • Your parents could move to a totally new city. 
  • You could transfer universities.
  • You could get married and leave college. 
  • Your entire family structure could change.

Just to name a few life altering events that could take place and completely mix up your current plans. Cross the Student Teaching bridge when you get to it. Maintain your sorority membership and enjoy every minute. If you need an adjustment in membership status in the future, I’m sure your chapter will work with you. One semester will not ruin your entire collegiate record. It’s wise to plan, but don’f forfeit happiness today for an unlikely conflict that should be resolved easily when the time comes. xoxo ;)

"Don’t worry about the past and don’t try to solve the future." ~ Garrison Keillor

I'm a senior in high school and I'm really interested in rushing a sorority next year. Recently I've been looking at Panhellenic sororities at my university. From the pictures on there websites there don't seem to be any African American people in these groups at my college. I was just wondering if this common in all Panhellenic sororities and if it would be a problem for me to get a bid from them? I would love to be apart of a sorority and am hoping they will have me!

Asked by
suckstosuck-huh

ALL ethic groups, religions, nationalities, shapes & sizes of PNMs are welcome to NPC sorority recruitment with open arms. Making a match is about being compatible in personality, lifestyle, attitude, interests, academics and social life ~ not about skin color. Maybe there isn’t a large number of African American girls in the chapters you’re looking at, but unless you’ve seen every photo, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that there are some black members. If you have not seen the entire sisterhood, you can’t know for sure. In my experience with viewing hundreds of sororities around the country, there is almost always a mix of skin colors. 

Some areas of the country have more members of one ethic group than another. For example in Southern California some sororities have more Asian members and other chapters have more Hispanic members. The region where you are attending college does have an influence on the racial mix on campus. Greek life reflects the population at the university. 

You might also check out the traditional African American sororities called the Divine Nine. They have a long and distinguished history of providing a wonderful sorority experience for many PNMs. Service and special interest sororities are even more options for you to look at. There are so many possibilities when it comes to finding a home in greek life. Let your heart lead you to where you feel the most welcomed and where you fit the best! If you click with a sisterhood they will not be concerned with your color! xoxo ;)

sorority Q&A: dealing with chapter self righteousness…

Q: In the last year or so, my chapter has gotten very touchy & self-righteous. Sisters are lecturing each other incessantly at chapter and elsewhere, and it’s really hurting overall morale. Exec is really causing a lot of this self-righteousness, and we need a morale boost, but I don’t know who to bring this issue up with, because of the irony of complaining about self-righteousness.

A: Self righteousness often creeps into an organization with lots of rules, like a sorority or a church. Some members start to think they are better and more rule abiding than the others. They may honestly feel that they do more for the chapter and therefore care more than anyone else. That leads to lecturing other sisters with a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude. Not very pleasant for the members who are made to feel unworthy.  

It seems like power has gone to the heads of your e-board, and others, to the point where they think they are more virtuous that the rest. As you noticed, this superior attitude will dampen everyone’s spirits. It is wrong to make others feel ‘less than’ and to elevate one’s self to being more angelic. It’s not wrong to bring up this bad trait and try to stop it. You are not being self righteous yourself, if you point out this negative situation and seek a solution. 

If you and a hand full of concerned sisters can address the e-board with some advisors and/or alums present I think that would be best. Approach the situation in the most professional way possible. With a caring attitude and a loving heart, you can bring forth your concerns. Give general examples of how the sisterhood is made to feel inadequate and depressed when they are lectured to “from on high.” Remind your chapter leadership that not everyone has the same sorority goals and commitment levels, most sisters are trying their best, how emphasizing the positive will get better results, etc… Present your list of exactly what you see going wrong and what can be changed to mend it. 

Maybe your chapter needs a positive Points System to keep track of member’s behavior ~ instead of annoying nagging by sisters. If you have a system in place for regulating attendance/participation, it takes the judgement away from fellow sisters. You need to take the personal and emotional element out of it. Replace the feelings with a non-emotional, practical plan. These are the points that probably need to be worked on in your chapter ~ 

  • Balancing the work load so some sisters don’t feel like martyrs   who do it all. Which leads them to being self righteous and looking down on others. Maybe you need more chairs and e-board positions to help shoulder the load, 
  • More recognition of the sisters who contribute a lot. If the ‘doers’ are patted on the back more, they will calm down a little. Plan more things like sister of the week, sister of the month, academic awards, volunteer awards, spirit awards ~ you name it! 
  • Emphasizing the positive more than the negative. There are always two ways to approach an issue. See if your chapter can use the carrot more than the stick. Beating people up doesn’t work. Encouraging and enticing them to action does work. 
  • Organize an impartial Points System that takes the personal judgment calls out of the equation. Standards issues should only be discussed in private, not at every chapter meeting. And attendance problems should be purely by the numbers on the Points Plan. 
  • Acknowledge your ‘general’ membership more often with treats, awards and surprises to elevate their moral and get them more involved. With better behavior, the lectures will be reduced. Entice everyone to attend meetings and events with happy themes, fun surprises and good times for all. The joy has slipped out of your chapter and it must be brought back. 

I hope you can bring these things up to your sorority and your sisters will agree that a change needs to take place. A new light needs to shine in your sorority house again. Your sisters hearts should be filled with expectation and happiness, not dread and fear. xoxo ;)

"Get around the right people. Associate with positive, goal-oriented people who encourage and inspire you." ~ Brian Tracey

"Shout praise, whisper blame. Sow encouragement, reap enthusiasm." ~ Michael Rawls

potential big sister interview questions!

Q: I recently became the New Membership chair in my sorority. In the past, we’ve had trouble with members taking littles and not making enough effort to get to know them, being pressured by family members to take a little before they were ready, not having enough littles for potential bigs, etc. Some people have even told their littles that they weren’t their first choice. I know some chapters have sisters apply to be bigs. How would this work? What questions should I ask potential big sisters?

A: It’s an excellent idea to make sure that bigs are ready and able to take a little before they commit. You see what happens when the process is taken lightly or misused. Sister’s feelings are at stake. What you need to determine is if a potential big is mentally ready to enter into an important big/little relationship. Just like “going steady”, a person must be prepared to take on the responsibilities of a committed partnership. 

You and a small committee could screen the big sister candidates, or have them fill out a questionnaire. I think a brief face to face interview would be best. You can then get a feeling for how sincere they are about becoming a big. Are they genuine? Will they treat the process with respect?

These are some potential questions you could use to screen the big candidates. Select the questions that you think are most appropriate. At the very least, it will get the girls thinking about the relationships they are entering into! 

Potential BIG interview questions: 

  • Why do you want to be a big sister?
  • Describe your ideal big/little relationship.
  • What makes you a stand-out potential big sister? 
  • How would you mentor your little?
  • Do you have the TIME available to attend big/little events, participate in clue week, reveal and spend one-on-one time with your little?
  • What characteristics do you look for in a little?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the financial obligations of being a big?
  • Are you interested in the ‘extras’ of being a big, like crafting, decorating and gift giving?
  • Will you promise to keep the big/little selection process confidential?
  • Describe your family line. How is your relationship with your own big and gbig?
  • How enthusiastic is your family line about reveal, family costumes, crafts and the whole big/little experience?
  • Do you see yourself as a role model for your little?
  • Have you gotten to know several new members well enough to select a compatible little? 
  • What can you offer a little beyond crafts and gifts?
  • Do you think our sorority big/little program is important? Why?
  • How would you counsel a little if she was having doubts about her membership?
  • Describe your true feelings for our entire sorority. 
  • If your little was having personal problems, how would you handle it? 
  • What would your ‘dream’ day/night be with your little? What would you do together?
  • Do you think opposites attract, or is having things in common more important? 
  • Do you have the longterm energy and patience to guide a little through several years of college?
  • Can you honestly say you are ready to take on the important responsibility of being a big sister?

✿ premier tier sponsor spotlight ~ Sorority Flowers! ✿

sorority sugar is thrilled to have SORORITY FLOWERS as the newest Premier Tier Sponsor!! They have a very interesting concept ~ the latest in super easy chapter fundraising. Order flowers and gifts for every occasion and raise money for your philanthropy at the same time. I recently interviewed the owner Tony Poston to learn more about this breakthrough idea! 

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SS: How was the idea for Sorority Flowers born?

SF: Sorority Flowers stemmed from a conversation I had with a sorority member’s father during dad’s weekend. He wasn’t impressed by the yearly Basket Auction the sorority held to raise money for house improvements and for charity. He wanted to contribute, but knew there must be a better way. We chatted about my experience in Greek life with my current business, and began to toss around fundraising ideas. I’ve always been really involved with philanthropy, so I jumped on the chance to work with him.

The idea was that sorority women love flowers, he likes to buy his daughter flowers, and the average American buys several bouquets a year. So why not raise money while purchasing something people already plan to buy? We made connections with other executives and brought in a marketing expert and a floral expert as well. This led to a partnership with FTD, the largest network of florists there is. And so Sorority Flowers was launched! 

SS: How does the fundraising concept work for sororities? 

SF: The sorority has to “sign up” for the program to raise funds for their particular group. Sorority Flowers generates a custom 7-digit code that is used at every check out for the 10% discount & the 10% donation to charity. Registered members receive a plastic “membership card” in the mail (similar to a Costco card.) The philanthropy chair can also email a the sorority code to her sisters, put the chapter code on their Facebook page, text it, or publicize it anyway she wants. Anyone wanting to participate in supporting the chapter’s efforts can use the code. Parents, boyfriends, extended family, co-workers and friends can all use the chapter code, get 10% off their orders and raise funds for a good cause. Chapters can sign up on the website homepage ~

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SS: Is the charitable donations program just for greeks?
SF: No, Sorority Flowers also fundraises for other worthwhile causes across the nation. For example the American Cancer Society is an organization we currently offer a code for. And raising funds doesn’t even necessarily have to be for a philanthropy! The program was designed for chapters to also earn money for chapter improvements like a new sign, a bathroom renovation, or sorority house repairs. Checks are generated and cut each month. 
SS: What are the greatest benefits of fundraising through Sorority Flowers? 
SF: The #1 benefit is raising money for a great cause while spending what you normally would on a product that’s going to make someone happy! The ease of it all, the quick turnaround (24 hour delivery), the large network of florists (thousands) and being so hassle-free are all terrific pluses to the program. This fundraiser is open 24/7, 365 days a year, and takes no extra work from your membership. Flowers and gift baskets are delivered worldwide for every occasion. A win-win for everyone involved! 
SS:  What non-floral gift do you like the best from your website?
SF: We have several really great food gift baskets perfect for college students! I really like the College Care Package, the Movie Night basket and lots of the candy and snack baskets. The ideal campus delivery for finals week and other special events. 
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Recently the behavior of one of my pledge sisters has started to worry both myself and other girls in my PC. She's been acting in a way that is ultimately self-destructive to both her reputation on our (very small) campus, our chapter's reputation, and her health. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for approaching her in a way that is constructive and loving, not judgmental? I love my sister and I just wan't what's best for her, and I don't want this to ruin our friendship.

Asked by
mj1106

If you stage some sort of intervention, no matter how good intentioned, be prepared for some strain on your relationship. You can’t approach someone about their destructive behavior and worry about being judgmental at the same time. True and honest friends are caring and concerned in a positive way when it comes to their closest sisters. But often times the one acting out does not appreciate the constructive criticism. Your sister will probably get very defensive, no matter how loving your heart to heart talk is. But that’s the cost for doing the right thing! It’s worse to just stand by and do nothing.

Gather some of your pledge sister’s closed friends together and have a private, relaxed, happy get-together ~ that would set a non-threatening atmosphere for your discussion. You can start by saying you are worried about her and ask if anything is going on. Does she want to talk about it? Being curious and offering support is better than lecturing your sister on all the terrible things she’s doing. Please no ganging up on her, or wagging your fingers so to speak. Maybe with casual chatting, you can get to the bottom of what’s troubling her. Many new members just go “wild” in their first year and loose their self control. Hopefully you will be able to offer her a way back down to earth. She sounds like a girl who is lost. 

If In the end the “soft” approach doesn’t work, then enforcing your chapter’s standards is up to your executive board. One rogue sister can’t be allowed to ruin your sorority’s reputation on a small campus. That’s why each chapter has a set of standards which must be respected. First, try the kinder gentler method of reaching out. If that fails, then a more firm hand may be needed. I hope your sister has a wake up call and everything can get back to normal soon. xoxo ;)

What are some of the advantages/disadvantages of living in the house? Our house is relatively small and holds about 12 girls, and is open for whoever wants to live there!

Asked by
thisirresistibleparisoriginal

Living in the sorority house is the BEST!  It puts you into the center of all activity going on in the greek community. Rooming in your chapter headquarters on campus is a blast. You bond with your sisters even more, you have fun with other sororities/fraternities on greek row and it can’t be beat for having the total sorority experience! 

A downside might be living in close quarters with other girls, but you will probably be in a dorm or roommate apartment situation anyway. So why not go for the best sorority option instead? It may be for only one year, but it will be a very memorable year. xoxo ;)

How come some sororities consider paddles as hazing?

Asked by
estaylorr

It’s more of an “image” issue than anything else. They think is represents hazing from the past. To some chapters it might represent paddling a new member as part of her pledge period. But I don’t think that ever really happened in sororities decades ago. Maybe a hundred years ago fraternities misused paddles, but I personally never heard about sororities doing that. Yet the symbolism is too much for some chapters today and they want to be extra sensitive to hazing in even the slightest way. They see paddles as a negative symbol from the past. 

On the other side of the issue ~ crafting and giving paddles is a long time tradition in many greek organizations purely for showing big/little loving and creating sisterhood keepsakes. The paddle is the number one treasure from most member’s sorority days. To them it represents all happy things such as a big/little sister, important dates, the sorority symbols, crest, etc. It’s interesting how a single piece of wood can mean something so positive to one group and so negative to another. It’s all how you view an object and what meaning you attach to it. xoxo ;)

Is a sorority something you’ve always been interested in, but never got the chance to join because you were serving your country? Then Alpha Gamma Xi - just might be the military sisterhood for you! Devoted to community service and our fellow veterans and their families - AGXi is looking for strong, open minded women to join our ranks! Check out our new website and see what we are all about!
submitted by: coinscankill 

Is a sorority something you’ve always been interested in, but never got the chance to join because you were serving your country? Then Alpha Gamma Xi - just might be the military sisterhood for you! Devoted to community service and our fellow veterans and their families - AGXi is looking for strong, open minded women to join our ranks! Check out our new website and see what we are all about!

submitted by:  

Hey! So I have a few weeks to write a senior sendoff speech for my big and I'm stuck! This is my first year and her second as part of the organization so I haven't heard any before. I was hoping you had tips for writing it! Thank you so much!

Asked by
meandmyyellowumbrella

I suggest that you actually “interview” your big and ask questions that will help you get inside her head and heart. Ask her about her most meaningful moments in the sorority. Start at the beginning, and work your way through the years. This will give you lots of material for your speech and highlight her days in the chapter. You can then edit the information to fit your speech time limit. Your send-off is basically a tribute to your sister and it should include personal antidotes about her greek experience. 

  • What special thing made her pick your sorority when she rushed?
  • What is her most meaningful bid day memory?
  • What is her favorite story from her 1st year & following years?
  • What did initiation mean to her?
  • What is her #1 memory as an active?
  • How did she choose her little(s)?
  • How does she feel about graduation and her life beyond?
  • What does the chapter mean to her as she leaves campus?

Also include several examples your own relationship with your big and your opinion of her. Round out your presentation with an appropriate quote, meaningful song lyrics and other “sentimental” things that define your sister’s personality. Your speech should be entertaining, sentimental and honor your big as she graduates. 

TIP: I also suggest you ask several older sisters what the tradition of send-off speeches is like in your chapter! If they are usually a funny, joked filled “roast”, you don’t want to show up with a totally serious and weepy speech. In reverse, if they are normally somber and very respectful, you don’t want to just tell crazy and embarrassing antidotes. Make sure your tailor your talk to what’s the accepted format in your sorority. xoxo ;)

• For a guide on structuring your speech ~ check out my post on the TOP 10 TIPS FOR SORORITY PUBLIC SPEAKING

I joined my sorority as a freshman and loved being a part of a sisterhood, but this year I've started seeing the girls in a totally new light, and not in a good way. As the year has progressed on, I've learned that I can only REALLY trust a few girls and that a lot of the other girls in the house have been talking about me behind my back. I struggle with anxiety as well so that doesn't help. If it weren't for my little, I would've dropped by now, but its getting out of hand. Any advice?

Asked by
lovelifelanaparrilla

Unfortunately when a large group of girls get together, sometimes gossiping gets out of hand. Sisters naturally love to talk, and if it spirals out of control, feelings can be hurt. I would encourage you to talk with your chapter leadership and advisors about the growing problem. Maybe you and your closest sisters can bring this important issue to the forefront of your chapter’s agenda. Instead of wanting to drop out, why not try to help your chapter and make it better? You can be an agent for change, if you take the initiative. When good people do nothing, the negative behavior just continues to grow. 

Your chapter can launch an education program on showing respect to sisters, the perils of bad-mouthing and how to treat each other better. They can plan some bonding activites and maybe a meaningful retreat to bring the sisterhood together again. Even a new fundraising project can unite a fractured chapter by giving them a common goal. Please address your concerns with the e-board and/or your membership director right away. There are steps that can be taken to improve sisterhood behavior.  

On a personal level, be cautious about who you confide in and don’t give your sisters anything to gossip about. Turn your attention to some new projects or join a new committee to get yourself pointed in a positive direction. Sometimes the walls close in and you develop tunnel vision. By expanding your interests and involvements on campus, you will minimize the effect your sorority has on your emotions. Step out of the chapter bubble a bit and you will be much happier. There is a big world out there, and by doing other things, it will put everything into perspective. You don’t need to quit greek life in order to have more variety and balance in your life. xoxo ;)

What do you do when your chapter is SO obsessed with winning everything that everyone forgets that a sorority is about more than trophies?

Asked by
poppychardonay

Greek competition can get extreme sometimes! Although I can’t fault people who strive for excellence and achievement. If your sorority is extra enthusiastic about being the best, that’s not all bad. The attitude just has to be balanced with some sisterly bonding activities. Anything that goes too far in one direction, can throw the chapter off kilter. Some “quiet time” is needed to refocus the chapter on what’s really important. 

A sisterhood retreat, a one day relaxation session, or a chapter slumber party are the types of things that can bring the group down to earth again. Maybe your chapter can plan a meditation and yoga afternoon with fruit smoothies and a healthy fruit & veggie buffet. Something calm and unifying. Maybe your sorority would enjoy an inspirational speaker, or a weekend at the lake with sisterhood bonding games and crafts. Anything that is non-competitive and soothing. The fire needs to be calmed in your most obsessed sisters.

I would also suggest that your chapter give awards and publicly recognize aspect of your chapter which are not competitive. For example, volunteer/service sister or the month, or kindest/most loving big/little pair. By putting equal importance on your chapter values, creed and traditions, it will elevate those things to the same level as greek week, greek games and other competitions. 

This can be achieved without criticizing the members who are over energetic. Encourage your chapter to schedule ‘counter’ events that share your organizations most loving ideals. A little of both is the goal! xoxo ;)