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sorority Q&A: being a country sorority girl…

Q: I’m In a sorority and also really country. I just feel like I can’t be both of those at the same time and I don’t know what to do. Maybe I’m afraid that my sisters will judge me or something. I don’t know. But what do I do? Is it possible to be in a sorority and be country/redneck?

A: I see “country” girls in sororities all the time! LOTS of greek girls wear cowboy boots, attend country concerts, dress in country fashions, etc… So I think it all depends on where your campus is located! If you are in Texas, you can easily be country and sorority at the same time. But if you are attending college in New York, it might be more difficult.

If you are located somewhere in the middle, and some students are on the country side of things, then I think you can “come out of the closet” with your country leanings. If you love country music ~ listen to it in your room. If you love to eat down-home comfort food ~ go ahead and indulge. If you love to wear cowboy boots/hat ~ be yourself and wear them. However you express your country personality, I think your sisters will be accepting. It’s not that ‘far out’, unless you are attending school in Chicago or Boston. (Nothing against the urban Northeast, they’re just the farthest from the redneck community that I can think of!)

Bottom line: I don’t see much conflict between general sorority life and being country. You can still wear dresses during recruitment and be girly when you need to be. You can still drink sweet tea and be in a sorority. There is nothing I can think of which would stop you from being both!  Bring your style to your chapter as a fabulous bid day theme. Craft in your mason jar country style and spread your southern charm to your big/little. As long as you are polite and considerate to your sisters, they should accept your tastes. I’m sure they will love you for who you are! xoxo ;)

sorority Q&A: having advisor problems…

Q: Can I get some advice on having a chapter advisor removed? My sorority’s advisor and president have destroyed our sisterhood and have made it no secret that they gossip about all of the girls on the phone late at night. We are hoping that removing the advisor will also improve the situation with the president (or at least provide hope for underclassmen) but don’t know how to go about it. Please help!

A: In any organization, you should follow the chain of command. By respecting the organizational chart, you don’t jump over anyone’s head right away. So you would go to your advisor’s supervisor first. If you don’t get results, then you would move up the ladder to the next level. In a sorority you will probably reach your national HQ pretty quickly. But you should go through the proper channels to get there. 

To tackle a issue like this these are some basic steps you can take ~

  • First, organize your “case” with facts and examples. You can’t bring a complaint against an advisor based just on gossip. You need to be mature and organized in your presentation.
  • If possible, check your Bylaws to see what the official procedure is for handling something like this. Best to follow your organizational guidelines if you can.
  • Make sure your emails/phone calls are professional and to the point. Don’t ramble on about every slight. Pick the most serious problems and tackle them directly. 
  • Try to keep things on a professional level and not overly personal. You will have better results if you emphasis the unprofessional behavior of this advisor, not get into bashing her personality. 

Not every advisor is perfect and sometimes action needs to be taken. By telling your organization about the problems which are hurting your sisterhood, you are doing the right thing. Just make sure it’s not seen as a vendetta against this woman. After you have made your report to the leaders in your sorority, let them handle it from there. Hopefully this can be cleared up soon. xoxo ;)

Hi! I was wondering how does the NPC work exactly? How do they decide which sororities should be part of Panhellenic? I've been exploring their website and noticed a chapter was last added in 1951. Is there a reason for only having 26 organizations? Do they plan to add more? Just super curious but can't find much info! Thank you!

Asked by
feministsororitywoman

Great questions. To be honest, I am not fully informed on the NPC policies and procedures in this area. I think that some well established service sororities have applied to become part of the NPC. But I’m sure there is a rigorous and lengthy qualification process for acceptance. The standards are very high in the NPC and I bet the bar is quite high for joining. 

Another answer may be that they are at their limit. 26 is a LOT of chapters to manage and supervise. And all of those chapters are adding new colonies all the time. Possibly the NPC feels that adding more would be too much. They may want to keep the quality control at a manageable level. All of these thoughts are just guesses on my part! 

If anyone has further information on new chapters joining the NPC ~ please reply or write in. It would be interesting to know more about this subject…….. xoxo ;)

Hi! So I'm a senior in high school this year and I want to pledge for a sorority when I go off to school next fall. What all should I know when deciding what sorority and school I want to be apart of?

Asked by
alleybenz

When you research your potential colleges and start the application process, make sure you look into greek life on campus as well. It’s just like considering the climate, available majors, campus amenities, clubs, sports and dorms. You should examine all the facets of a university experience. Here are some ways to look into greek life at your favorite schools ~ 

  • I highly recommend the Fiske Guide to Colleges. It is my top pick for comprehensive college information, including the greek scene. 
  • Visit not only the university webistes, but also the Panhellenic Counsel/Greek Life webistes and social media as well. Images and information about each chapter will give you a clear overview of what the greek community is like. 
  • Once you narrow down your college application list, check out individual chapter’s social media for more detailed information. 
  • Look at a few fratnerity sites as well, to see the other 1/2 of greeks on campus. 
  • If there are tours, open houses, preview days, greek tabling events, or early new student orientations ~ try to attend some of them. These pre-recruitment events are fabulous for getting comfortable with greek life and making contact with sorority sisters. 

By looking into these things at the same time you’re considering the total environment of the college, it will greatly help your decisions making. If you want a large, active sorority then you should select a school which provides that option. If low key and intimate is more your style, some colleges have only two small sororities on campus. There is every kind of chapter available in the USA! Have fun finding your ideal college and greek community! xoxo ;) 

Does everyone get a big or is that just a perk of living in the house?

Asked by
mintiscream

All new members will get a big. Sometimes there are too many active sisters and they don’t each get a little. Some may be on probation and can’t take a little. If there is a shortage of sisters, then the actives will double up and take twins. One way or another ~ each little will get a big. Having a big is not a special perk for only a few. Every new sister will be treated to that joy. xoxo ;)

hi! so I plan on participating in recruitment this fall, and while I have money saved up for dues, I want to have extra spending money for shirts and fun extra stuff! is it difficult to manage a part time job and sorority life? please note- the job i'm potentially applying for is on campus as a barista in the library so most likely no late night shifts! thanks:)

Asked by
t-eendaze

It is a challenge to work, attend classes, study and be in an active sorority. But with dedication and discipline you can make it work. Having a flexible employment schedule is important. Hopefully you can coordinate your work hours around chapter meetings and mandatory events. Something will have to give. That may mean missing a few socials or spur of the moment parties. But your goal should be to stay in greek life, even if you have to make some sacrifices here and there. 

Lots of sorority girls work, have internships, sports commitments and other activities that they must deal with. Strong tIme management will be necessary for your success. Stay flexible, keep a positive attitude and you will make it all fit together beautifully! xoxo ;)

I joined my sorority last year and it was the best thing I've done, except for one thing. In terms of size I am the biggest girl in the group. I was sick for about a year and had to talk steroids for about a year to get better and that caused me to gain 60lbs. I've never been skinny but I've always been confident and won people over by my personality. I'm working on getting healthier and I love my sisters but I can't help by feel like shit when I see them wearing cute outfits and I'm struggling.

Asked by
fitfashave

I know it’s rough and I totally understand! Many people struggle with their weight and it’s never easy. The good news is ~ your sisterhood accepted you for “who you are” last year and they continue to support you through thick and thin (no pun intended!) They may look cute in their recruitment outfits, but so can you. You just need a larger size, so the fit is flattering. Think about plus size actresses and models who look fabulous in fashions that flatter their curves. Don’t squeeze into shirts or dresses that are too tight. Instead, show everyone how a bigger girl can look just as stunning in chapter-wear that’s properly proportioned. 

To further raise your spirits, please consider yourself a Role Model and Sorority Stereotype Buster for the upcoming recruitment! Just think how much good you can do for larger PNMs coming through rush. Girls of all shapes and sizes can be a part of greek life and it’s very important that PNMs see that fact for themselves. There are many girls who feel self conscious about their shape. Your sharp looks and winning personality will demonstrate that it’s totally Ok. Even if the PNMs don’t pledge your chapter, you can be a shining light to girls with a few extra pounds. Just your presence is a blessing to many others. 

Remain focused on your winning personality and fine tuning your appearance to match your current situation. Things happen and it’s not the end of the world to be less than your ideal. Illness is part of life and you are strong enough to deal with it. Turn your struggles into something positive for recruitment and your spirits are sure to be raised!. This is your opportunity to shine! xoxo ;)

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'd love to see multicultural sororities featured! Many are just as old as some NPC too and a large portion of the greek community is made up of these organizations, but I've never seen them mentioned or featured anywhere on this site :(

Asked by
zhxmsl84

I have posted for multicultural sororities before! My background is with the NPC, and that’s what I am the most experienced with, but if a follower submits photos from other chapters, I am HAPPY to include them on my blog. Submissions also alert me to a sorority that I may not be familiar with.

I keep a list of non-NPC chapters that I check frequently for “sugar” photos. They include service sororities, religious chapters, multicultural sororities and special interest chapters like music, pharmacy, or agriculture. IF these sororities have crafts, letters and other sugar in keeping with the theme of my blog I love including them! 

Your multicultural sorority may have been featured on sorority sugar in the past. To check, please enter the name (with spaces) in the SEARCH Keywords box on my Homepage - top of the right sidebar. And if you have some sweet on greek photos to share, I encourage you to Submit them. I will share your sisterhood with my followers. The Submit button is located beneath the last AD on the right sidebar. Thank you ~ thank you! xoxo ;)

♡ big/little giftie container ideas! ♡

Crafted and purchased big/little gifts usually need to be given in a cute container. These are some clever ideas for stylishly presenting your SUGAR to your new little:

• Fill a TOTE BAG with your gifts:

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• Present your gifts in a painted COOLER:

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• A classic BASKET is always nice:

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• Adorn a cloth CONTAINER with sorority letters or monogram:

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• Decorate a rubber or metal TUB:

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• Embellish a plastic BIN & LID:

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• A plastic LAUNDRY BASKET makes a handy gift container:

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• Paint a wooden CRATE for extra pizzaz: 

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♡ Link here for the sorority sugar ULTIMATE BIG/LITTLE GIFTIE GUIDE for filling your gift baskets! 

sorority Q&A SUPER BLAST!

The sorority sugar ASK is swamped these days with so many questions about recruitment and other greek topics! Thank you for all the communication. I can’t answer ALL questions on my blog, but I do read every message and I appreciate the interest in sorority life. Every so often I compile the questions together for a quick blast of Q&As! Here’s the latest………. xoxo ;)

♦ ♦ GREEK Q&A SPEED ROUND: ♦ ♦ 

Q: Why is it that panhellenic sororities are allowed to let the girls who are “pledging” or new members wear the letters before being initiated?

A: NPC chapters have different rules about this practice. Some allow wearing greek letters as early as bid day. Other sororities allow for letters during the new member period, but not their crest. Others prefer to wait until after initiation for wearing greek letters. Most chapters used to wait until after education and initiation, but in recent times it’s considered hazing to make pledges wait. Now many chapters do not restrict a new member from doing anything an active can do. They emphasize being all inclusive from day one. It’s an honor to wear greek letters and hopefully all brand new members will respect their letters.

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Q: I was just wondering what the difference was between service and social sororities?

A: There are many similarities. But service sororities are much more focused on community service and volunteering as their main mission. They also usually emphasize a multicultural viewpoint. The NPC social sororities do a tremendous amount of philanthropy work as well and raise millions of dollars nationwide for excellent causes. But they also love social events, partnering with sororities and fraternities on campus and sharing lots of good times with other greeks. They typically have large sorority houses, many terrific events and they are actively involved in the mainstream greek community on campus.

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Q: How does a new sorority at a school work? Like who becomes your big? Who chooses you for the sorority? Are fees higher than other sororities?

A: Alumnae, advisors and sisters from a nearby campus do the recruiting for a new colony. The procedure is based heavily on education about the organization and interview sessions with the PNMs. It’s different from all the glitz and glam of an established formal recruitment. After bid day, the sisters are paired together like twins, since there aren’t any big/littles yet. Every new member (no matter the chapter) has higher dues and fees in the first semester. Then after initiation is settles into a steady “active” sister level. I don’t believe a new chapter costs more. In fact it may cost less since they don’t have a sorority house yet or a meal plan. A colony is probably a bargain!

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Q: What are some new sorority trends you have been seeing? A friend of mine wants to know.

A:  Since I have not seen the fall 2014 bid days yet, I’m not sure what the theme trends will be super hot this year. In the last year I would say Flower Power and/or Tribal with the flower headbands has been one of THE most popular choices! The desire for flowers and tribal patterns seem to be continuing. Patriotic has been hot for awhile and Under the Sea and/or Nautical is always adorable. Disney themes with Minnie Mouse and Little Mermaid designs are also a favorite. I can’t wait to see all the SUGAR on board for August and September!! 

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Q: Were you a zeta by any chance? I’m currently one, that’s why I’m asking!

A: I can’t really say, but I do have a very close family member who is a ZTA and I love the organization. ZTA symbols are some of the cutest ever!

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Q: Even though I am only fifteen and really want to be in a sorority. Are there any things I can start doing now to help with that?

A: YES ~ there are things you can do in HS to set yourself up for sorority recruitment. Please visit my FAQ Page and look for the links to my posts on tips for high school students preparing for rush! They are the 4th Q&A on the page! 

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Q: I’m going through recruitment this fall at the University of Alabama and I’m I dire need of recs. I’ve asked all of my local friends and family and it just seems that we have a lack of alum in my area! What should I do?

A: I understand that UA has a “helping” system for securing letters through their sorority houses. If there is still time, please look into this ASAP. For tips on finding alums in your region, please visit my Rec Letter Connection Page right away as well. I know it’s tough and I feel for you. It’s a pain, but try your best for a competitive rush like Alabama. 

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Q: Im rushing at Alabama this fall & for some of the house recommendations I got letters by emailing the house itself & asking for help. For the houses I did this for, I’m not sure if I should still send a hand written thank you to them for their help. I also wasn’t sure who to send it too, the house itself, or the person who wrote it (even though I am not sure who wrote it).

A: It’s ALWAYS a good idea to send a thank you note for a favor. You can NEVER go wrong with being grateful and polite. So always error on the side of niceness every time. If you do not know the person who recommended you, then a note addressed to the house, or main contact, will suffice. Whoever you communicated with can also receive the note of thanks. You can easily address this in your note by saying thank you to the whoever the sweet person was who wrote a reference for you. There is a way to show your appreciation without a specific name. 

Hi :) What does it mean when someone disaffiliates from their sorority? Like when someone is a Rho Gamma. How does that work?

Asked by
too-adorkable-for-words

When girls temporarily disaffiliate it’s different than a permanent split. To be a Rho Gamma, a sister stops communicating with her chapter, she does not wear her letters, or reveal her sorority membership. She has to stay away from all of her sisters in advance and during the recruitment period. The face of a Rho Gamma is covered in Facebook photos and hidden on the chapter composite. She is distanced from the chapter completely. On bid day, all of the sisters volunteering with rush, finally get to reveal their chapters. A greek girl “gives up her letters” so the PNMs can find theirs.  

To totally disaffiliate is when a sister leaves her organization and officially drops out. For most chapters that is an irreversible action. It should not be taken lightly. Many girls regret leaving their sorority and they can never join again. Some chapters allow for reinstatement later, which I applaud. Personally, I think if a former sister makes a good case for re-joining, and had to leave for serious reasons in the first place, she should be given a second chance. There could be a review board and criteria for re-affiliating, It would be a compassionate tradition for many NPC chapters to embrace. But for now, once a member drops out, it is forever in many organizations. xoxo ;)

I want to join a sorority but I'm not sure how I'll be able to pay for it. Should I decide to not join?

Asked by
cleauxx

Like other clubs, associations and organizations ~ dues are necessary to run the operation of the sorority. If you want to join a tennis club or a service group in your community, you will also need money to pay dues. Greeks are not unique in this area. You will also need funds to pay for your housing and food in college, irregardless of your being in a sorority. So how to pay for your university experiences? There are basically 2 choices ~ 

  • Work part time and during the summers to pay for your greek life. 
  • Ask your parents to help with your sorority expenses. 

There is a remote chance at securing some sorority assistance with dues, but I would not count on that as a solution. Either you earn most or all of it yourself. Or you partner with your parents and/or other family members. Maybe grandparents or aunts/uncles can help? WIth your own determination and some family assistance, I hope you can pull it all together. If there is absolutely, 100% no way to fund it, then I would look into other opportunities on campus. There are lots of other things you can get involved in and still have a wonderful collegiate life! xoxo ;)

Which sorority were you in?

Asked by
solsurferdeltagamma

TOP SECRET for my panhellenic blogging purposes. As an alum who gives advice and sugar for all chapters, I am now dedicated to GREEK lovin’. That avoids any bias, as I give tips and try to help many different members and PNMs. But I am willing to give clues now and then about my affiliation: 

Q: Which sorority was I in?

A: The one with:

  • The most attractive sorority symbol. Ever.
  • The cutest mascot.
  • The loveliest flower. {Which is a personal favorite aside from my sorority membership.}
  • The very best sugar. 
  • A positive motto that I live by via my blogging. 
  • Adorable hand signs.

I think that makes it crystal clear!! XOXO ;)

One of my best friends wants to rush this fall. If she gets into my sorority, would it be better to try to be her big or try to let somebody else do it?

Asked by
galaga-senpai

This question has come up before, and there really isn’t a right or wrong answer. Followers have shared their positive experiences of being a big to their hometown girlfriend and it seems to work out very well. Before deciding though, ask yourself these questions, and you may be guided to the best answer ~

  • Is there another sister who your friend would really love to have as a big?
  • Is there another sister that desperately wants your friend as a little?
  • Would it be good for your friend to spread her wings a little?
  • Are you really compatible and love to do things together? 

I think becoming big/little with a good friend is determined on a case-by-case basis. Some littles would love to have the familiarity and security of a long term friend being her big. Others would benefit from making new connections. Base your decision on what’s best for your friend, and not just what you might prefer. If she joins, and after the dust settles from recruitment, you can better assess if being matched is a good idea or not! xoxo ;)