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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 am rushing this fall at school with a moderately big Greek system. I have been a part of a few school clubs, like my school's literary magazine and my school's huge charity committee that is known all across my state. I have mostly worked throughout high school, my current job being a receptionist at a hair salon which is a HUGE responsibility. The only problem is my grades; I am making straight A's, but I'll be lucky to get a 3.0 GPA by graduation. Will this affect my PNM "worthiness" much?

Asked by
m-a-d-i-e

Your PNM ‘worthiness’ sounds ideal to me! You have a wonderful balance between real world experience, academics and school activities. Your GPA should also be perfectly fine for most chapters. The minimum for rush is usually 2.5 and you are well above that. Keep doing interesting things this summer and you will be in an excellent position to rush next fall. xoxo ;) 

Hi! I'm a junior in high school and really want to go greek in college. Most of the schools I'm looking at are in the south, but I'm from Connecticut. Will I have issues getting into a sorority? I've heard that it can be difficult for someone from the North to get into a southern sorority. Thanks!

Asked by
infinite-oc3an

It ALL depends on your attitude and your lifestyle. I know lots of girls from Connecticut who attend school in Virginia and fit in perfectly. The east coast can be very similar north to south. Making a match all depends on your outlook, your interests, your viewpoint and how well you “mesh” with the southern style on your new campus. If you enjoy/welcome what they like to do, and respect your new environment, you should have no problems. But if you look down on the southern sisters, then you will run into trouble.

It’s all about fitting in and feeling a part of the “scene”. If for example, all the greeks on campus love to tailgate and attend football games and you don’t like that type of thing and refuse to go, you will have a problem in the south. If you criticize the food & drink served at parties, or you don’t like the dresses the girls wear, and you are loud about it ~ you will probably run into problems. Instead, if you embrace your new culture, listen to their music, have fun and connect with the sisters through your charming personality ~ you will fit in just fine. WHEN IN ROME is the wisest advice I can give on a northerner wanting to go greek in the south! xoxo ;)

"A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes." ~ Hugh Downs

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

Is there a difference in membership between the formal fall recruitment and the informal spring recruitment?

Asked by
pearlofalltrades

A LOT - A LOT! Formal recruitment is organized into rounds, all the sororities participate and the greatest number of PNMs participate. There are lots of fancy decorations, fancy fashions and many special traditions, pomp and circumstance. The pledge classes are the largest and it’s the BIG recruitment event of the year. 

On the alternate semester, some chapters (but not all) participate in informal requirement by hosting several casual social events where they get to know PNMs for possible membership. The new member classes are smaller and the entire process much simpler. The size can range from just two or three girls joining, to a medium sized pledge class. Informal rush is a way for chapters to complete their membership quotas and for PNMs to join during the ‘other’ semester. For a PNM it’s still an excellent way to join greek life. xoxo ;)

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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✿ Tell your friends and family about how they can support your sorority through SORORITY FLOWERS. Philanthropy chairs ~ register your chapter online NOW! It couldn’t be simpler and easier to earn 10% for your cause and get 10% off every order. FLOWERS are perfect for bid day, initiation, birthdays, rush decorations, socials, parties, luncheons, awards ceremonies, alumnae socials, founder’s day, greek gift giving, thank you’s, RIP, panhellenic occasions, membership recognition, new colonies, senior send-off, rituals and graduation ~ just to name a few!! 

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☆ lots MORE sisterhood social ideas! ☆

Q: What are some sober sisterhood events that a chapter could do? I really want to run for sisterhood chair. I’ve noticed a lot of organizations have their moms come up for a day and I like that idea!  

A: I have several posts that will give you lots of inspiration for SISTERHOOD SOCIALS ~ all alcohol free events: 

Fun “girls night in” chapter party ideas!

Creative “2-hour” sisterhood events!

Top 10 indoor sober socials!

Retreat ideas, also good for sisterhood socials!

☆ MORE sisterhood social ideas: ☆

  • Mom’s weekend: or Mom’s Day with a craft (like painting matching canvases), luncheon, tea, or special meal. 
  • Dad’s weekend: or Dad’s day with dad/daughter sporty event and special meal. 
  • Holiday themed events: visiting the pumpkin patch, apple picking, ornament decorating, making valentines, Easter egg hunt, etc… 
  • Food pair parties: Milk & Cookies, Burgers & Fries, Eggs & Bacon, Chicken & Waffles, Tea & Cookies, Soup & Salad, Chip & Dip, Cake & Ice Cream, Fish & Chips, Hot Dogs & Apple Pie, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Mac & Cheese, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Cheese & Crackers, Fruits & Nuts, Peaches & Cream.
  • Exercise experience: indoor cycling, hip-hop/funk dancing, boot camp workout, booty barre class, zen or power yoga, indoor paddle board class, latin dancing, kickboxing, Zumba workout, indoor rock climbing, outdoor hiking, ultimate Frisbee. 
  • Game show adaptations: "Minute to Win It" is perfect for fun & team building. "Family Feud" for big/little families, "Jeopardy" and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" can also be used for a sisterhood social. Theme the questions to your greek community. 
  • Messy fun: paint slip & slide, water balloon slip & slide, powder/dry paint party, foam party, jello tug-o-war, giant bubbles, no-hands pie eating contest, splatter paint, water pistol wars, paint ball, laser tag.
  • Artsy socials: make jewelry, sculpt pottery, paint canvases, decorate cakes, build-a-bear, paint tee shirts, shoot photographs, make magazine picture colleges. 
  • Binge on: Disney movie marathon, craziest YouTube videos, childhood board games, TV show binge viewing, karaoke, poker tournament, 80’s movie marathon. 
  • Random fun sisterhoods: fly kites together on the beach, host a puzzle marathon, short story/poetry writing night, rent canoes or paddle boats for a day at the lake, make a chapter time capsule, go horseback riding, go to a water park, play mini golf, ride go-carts, go ice skating or sledding, make a music video, go camping and roast marshmallows, go fishing, take a group cooking class, visit local tourist attractions, attend an annual festival/carnival/convention, slumber party, take creative outdoor chapter portraits. 

We recently did COB in our chapter and recruited 10 new girls. I applied to become a Big and I'm super excited to potentially get a little, but I have had the worst experience with my big sister. Our relationship came to an extremely messy end, and I'm worried if I become a big while she's still around it would be awkward with our Fam and for my little.. How can I make sure she has a positive experience with me as her big and within the chapter while my old big is still around?

Asked by
blanchedevereauxx

Your messy family situation is very similar to a real family where there has been a divorce. Or there’s one difficult member who causes anxiety for everyone else. What can you do, except work around the problem? Until your Big graduates, you will need to be pleasant, tip-toe around delicate issues and plan things in a way that your new little is not affected by family tension. If you basically have no contact with your big, it shouldn’t be too hard to detour around any hot spots. 

Often times family situations are very awkward, uncomfortable and stressful. To avoid additional pain, you will need to plan ahead more than other bigs, take extra steps to spoil your new little and do your best to make up for any deficiencies in your family. With lots of love and friendship, your little won’t miss having a GBig around. You can doubly pamper your little and she will feel super special. 

On the other hand, if your Big wants to participate on some level, let her. Maybe a new little in the family will ease the tension between you. Just accept whatever she has to give. I doubt that she will get overly involved, but if she extends an olive branch, pleasantly accept it (with caution of course.) You never know, this event may be an opportunity to bring peace to your troubled relationship. Family growth can be healing and soften hearts. At least a polite truce is possible. Remain optimistic and realistic at the same time, while you focus on making things glorious for your new little! xoxo ;)

I'm really interested in joining a sorority. I've taken 2yrs off since HS to figure out what I want. I've maintained a consistent job for the past 6yrs at a local bar/restaurant & had a brief internship. I really dont have any other extra curricular or sports I was a part of & my grades weren't the best but I've found belief & motivation in myself for future progress in both. I'm just worried I'll have nothing to show for those things when it comes to rushing or if I even need to worry about it.

Asked by
devlinsky

Your job experience and internship are both excellent things to highlight in your recruitment application. It’s not so much what you’ve been doing, but that you’ve been busy doing something. Greeks are energetic, involved people and if you express your determination and reliability ~ you are just what a chapter is looking for! They want PNMs who are going to “stick with it.” You have shown how loyal you can be through all the years at your job. And your interesting experiences in the work force give you lots to talk about during recruitment rounds. Your unique past will help you stand out in the crowd of other students.

Even though it’s been a few years, you can still mention some of your sports or interests from high school too. You never know when you will strike up a conversation with a sister who was also on the volleyball team, or chaired the prom committee just like you. You don’t have to be currently involved to mention a few highlights from your high school days. Congrats for being disciplined since graduation and I am happy you are finding your way to college now. Good luck with sorority rush. xoxo ;)