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Hi! I'm going to be rushing this fall, and before I found sororitysugar, I was directed to that website greekrank, which I now know is mostly false and should be taken with a grain of salt, if anything. However, many of the posts about XYZ chapter at my school mentioned that it was losing its house due to a hazing scandal. This is a serious allegation, and I was wondering how I should approach this during rush? Will it be addressed at our Greek Life orientation? Thank you!

Asked by
daylightism

If there is a hazing issue with a sorority, it’s something you should know about as a PNM. It’s different than ‘who are the hottest girls’ on campus or ‘who throws the best parties.’ I think it’s a question that should be asked at your PNM Orientation, if not before. I don’t know the privacy policies at your school, or how much the Greek Life office/Panhellenic will tell you, but it would be a good idea to get the facts. Keep in mind the information could be totally false coming from Greek Rank. Some disgruntled students could have posted that rumor just to cause trouble for a sorority they don’t like. You never know!

The accusation that a sorority is loosing their house completely is a big deal. Chapters are put on probation now and then, but to loose their sorority house means a very serious incident took place. If hazing did happen, but the chapter can still recruit and function on campus, you need to know the truth of the situation. Just because they don’t have a sorority house any longer doesn’t change the behavior of the sorority. The offending sisters may still be there. Usually if a chapter gets in trouble like this, they must stop recruiting for 4 years (for example.) The house is not the root of the problem, it’s the culture of the membership. 

Bottom line, all the PNMs should know the real story before considering a bid from this chapter. I would hate for false gossip to hurt this sorority if it’s not true! If it is true, then you need to carefully consider your options. Follow up questions should include asking about what this chapter is doing to improve, what steps are they taking to get back on track, how does their organization insure that this will never happen again, etc… Everyone needs more information on the good and the bad facts surrounding this accusation. I hope you can get the answers you need ASAP. xoxo ;)  

my freshman year I wanted to be in this sorority so bad, but I didn't get a bid from them. after bid day was over, I got contacted by one of the members and they told me I "slipped through the cracks" and should've been in the sorority. (what does that even mean??) My sophomore year I rushed again & made it into the sorority. But I know there were girls who had voted me 'no' during voting but I still got in. Is it weird that i sometimes feel like i don't belong because of those girls?

Asked by
starfish-skies

I am sorry you had so much trouble going greek! The first attempt sounds really odd. But at least you ended up pledging. Some sororities require a unanimous vote for each PNM and others don’t. The fact that you didn’t get 100% of the votes does not make your membership any less valid. I’m sure there are many sisters who are in the same situation. If your sorority has majority rule, or a committee votes on the new members, it’s totally Ok. That’s the policy in your chapter, so there is nothing to feel bad about. 

That said, you should NOT have been told specifics about your vote for receiving a bid! That was confidential and happened when you were a PNM. That kind of “insider” info would make any sister feel uncertain and insecure. it does not need to be shared. I hope you tell your chapter leadership about how this knowledge makes you feel. The policy of telling new members who did & who didn’t vote for them should be changed for other PNMs joining. No one needs to know about their own vote. Or how many sisters were against you. Yikes! That’s no way to feel safe and loved inside your sorority. Please see what you can do to implement a CHANGE, so this doesn’t happen to another girl. 

But since that’s the way your chapter votes, then you must accept it and not allow any weird feelings to get in the way of your happiness. Put the “how” you pledged aside and focus now on all the ways you can experience the best of our sorority. Don’t look back any longer. It doesn’t matter if you squeaked by, or had a landslide of votes. You are IN and proud and you have so much to offer.

This fall start doing things for your sorority which make you feel better about belonging. Prove you are a valuable asset to your organization. Not just for the sake of your sisters, but to prove your value and superior skills to yourself. They are LUCKY to have you. Now make your remaining years in the chapter really count for something! It’s your time and your life! xoxo :)”

"Each of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits." ~ Fulton J. Sheen

big/little problems: triangle troubles…

Q: I’m a soon to be junior in a national non-NPC sorority on campus. I have two littles and a grand little. I just took the newest little this year and there have been issues with my littles getting along. There was a lot of difficult drama regarding my second little’s joining our sisterhood and I had to spend a lot of time with her to help her through her pledge process. That meant I didn’t have a lot of time to spend with either my first little or grand-little.

Things have deteriorated between me and my first little so much since I took the second one and now she basically ignores me and treats me like I don’t exist. Girls in my sorority have accused me of playing favorites, but I have tried to reach out to my first little to spend family time together with her, my other little, and grand little and I’ve also tried for individual one on one time. But was told she couldn’t hang out and she hasn’t reached out to me at all to spend any time together. She said, “I won’t hang out Little #2 unless I see her at an event. I really don’t like her.” It breaks my heart that my second little isn’t liked by my first and it also really bothers me that my first little isn’t helping to make my second little feel welcomed, especially after she had such a rough transition into my sorority.

I’m also really tired of feeling like I’m such a bad big when I’ve tried to talk it out with her and I wrote heartfelt notes detailing how much I cared about her. I explained how the new little wouldn’t affect our relationship and that I want to be able to work together as a family. I know she’s probably got hurt feelings, and I’ve tried to rectify my mistakes and be fair to them both, but it’s really hard to pacify two people. But I just don’t want to loose the special relationship I have with my first little. Do you have any advice on what to do?

A: My oh my. Let’s look at everyone’s part in this drama to help sort things out…….

  • YOU: You DID spend a lot of time and attention on Little #2 to the exclusion of Little #1. Your actions spoke louder than your words. This ticked off Little #1 the most. You have tried to make amends, but it may be too late.
  • LITTLE #1: She never liked the new sister and the trouble surrounding her membership. She does not want to be close friends with Little #2. She will never care for her the way you do. She is a little jealous and feels left out - both seem accurate by the way you describe things.
  • LITTLE #2: I see #2 as the source of much conflict. She had a big problem joining your sorority and that’s red flag to me. Then you swooped in like Florence Nightingale and worked overtime to mend her, at the expense of your other family loyalties. Also, I don’t read anything about Little #2 trying to be friendly and sweet to Little #1. The burden is all on you and your first Little. I think Little #2 has passively done some real damage and not taken any actions to mend fences. She too has responsibility in this situation.

I think you have done all the right things to smooth things over with Little #1. You have expressed your heartfelt feelings and apologized. Your message has been received loud and clear! You can’t force your Littles to be friends and you can’t force Little #1 to come around. Now is the time for some space and peace. Ease up and let the dust settle. All that needs to be said has been said. Everyone can now cool off. 

In a triangle, someone feels less loved. It happens and there are consequences to every action. Be the bigger person and continue to be nice to all your family members. Don’t try to bring the two littles together. Under the circumstances, I would socialize with them separately and equally. If Little #1 continues to be stubborn, just smile kindly and reach out to her another time. In a perfect world she forgives and forgets. And Little #2 becomes problem free and lots of fun to be around.

But until that perfect day ~ just calmly do what’s right, extend the hand of sisterhood and be patient. If Little #1 still refuses to respond, you can sleep at night knowing you tried your best. That’s all anyone can do! xoxo

"Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming to consequences of any misfortune." ~ William James

sorority Q&A: emotional work week…

Q: My house is preparing for recruitment right now and our recruitment chair has been a bit rude to all of us. Our chapter morale is so low and girls leave practice crying. It’s really affecting our sisterhood. What can I do to help?

A: Please know that your recruitment chair’s bossiness comes from stress and pressure, not from dislike of her sisters! Just like the director of a movie, she is responsible for putting on the show. She cares enough to want it done right. Please consider where she’s coming from. Tempers flare, emotions run high and it’s the tension talking. She has a lot riding on her shoulders. 

I suggest a chapter unity rally ASAP. Huddle together, talk about what’s happening, circle together, hug, sing a favorite song and reenforce WHY you are working so hard this week. If the President can share some inspirational quotes each day that would help. Other officers should also assist with moral and membership management. The rush chair should not have the entire burden on her shoulders. 

AND your sisters need to toughen up a little!! I always tell it straight on sorority sugar and your sisters need thicker skins. Instead of getting their feelings hurt over a bit of rehearsal rudeness, they should be more supportive of their rush chair. If practice goes well, the criticisms will stop! Everyone needs to be reminded of the greater good of all this hard work. I would advise your sisters to “tune out” the tone of voice and just listen to the instructions. 

REWARDS and appreciation also help during work week. Balance the stress with some of these ‘feel better’ ideas ~ 

♥ 12 Ways to Boost Morale During Work Week: ♥

  • Have a sweet & snack refreshment buffet set up with chapter favorites available all day. 
  • Order smoothies or frozen yogurt as a special reward for a job well done. 
  • Have your funniest sister share a humorous story, joke, or picture before each rehearsal session to lighten the mood.
  • Take regularly scheduled  breaks to relieve the tension. Surprise your membership with a surprise visitor during a break. For example:  a solo musician performs a song, a costume character or mascot arrives and hands out treats, a favorite food truck delivers lunch, a campus celeb arrives to give a pep talk, etc…
  • Surprise your Recruitment Chair with a bouquet of sorority flowers or a big basket of cookies immediately (don’t wait until after rush). This will soften her heart and let her know she is loved.
  • Have everyone sign a decorated poster/banner letting your Recruitment Chair know how much the sisterhood supports and appreciates her. Hang it where she will see it first thing in the morning. If she becomes happier - everyone will benefit. 
  • Make sure your chapter leadership continues to thank the membership for their hard work after each practice. All sisters need appreciation to feel better. 
  • Play a brief bonding ice breaker game before each rehearsal. Something light and fun. It will get the day off to a bright start.
  • Take short music breaks where for 10 minutes you blast your sisterhood’s favorite playlist and revive your spirits. Dancing is allowed too!
  • Post work week photos on your chapter’s social media, send encouraging messages to sisters on Facebook and keep the positivity moving towards rush week. Set up a large cork board in the entrance of your house and post DAILY photo awards of sisters doing fun things. Each day post sister’s pictures on the board for: “craziest move,” “best floater,” “#1 vocals,” or whatever fits your chapter’s personality. Sisters will look forward to seeing who makes the work week awards board for the day.
  • Have a sister video tape bits and pieces of practice and screen your mini video-of-the-day for some laughs and mood lightening at the conclusion of each work day. 
  • End each rehearsal with some spiritual words/affirmations which bring meaning and healing to your recruitment efforts. 

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"Decide to forgive: For resentment is negative; resentment is poisoning; resentment diminishes and devours the self." ~ Robert Muller

I'm going to ASU and I want to join a sorority. But I heard they don't have sorority houses. Does this ruin the experience?

Asked by
-ambermichelle

Instead of free standing houses, they have what they call “clusters” in Adelphi Commons where all the NPC chapters reside. Each sorority can decorate their area to make it more personal. So even though they live in a dorm like setting, there still is individual chapter identity. Also, there’s more panhellenic unity since they are all sharing the same geographical area on campus. 

As an ASU grad myself, I can tell you the housing does not ruin your sorority experience. Especially if you don’t know any differently. If you transfered to ASU from UGA or Ole Miss, it might seem really odd. But if you start ASU as a freshman, it will seem totally normal. There are private areas for chapter meetings, dining and gathering for each sorority. So it’s similar to an individual greek house. 

A sorority house can be dumpy and needing fresh paint, be a mansion and look like something out of Gone With the Wind, be just a dorm floor, or an apartment style building ~ all that matters are the sisters who live and love there! If the members are fun and fabulous, you can adapt to any style of sorority housing. Even chapters without any house or dorm manage to have good times and make it work. The communal style living at ASU will not be a factor in how much you enjoy greek life there at all! xoxo ;)

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rush talk: considering a struggling colony…

Q: There is a colony at my school that is participating in formal recruitment. They don’t have a great reputation on campus (they’re known as the nerdy, unattractive sorority, and frats cancel parties with them), but they’re marketing really well and all of my interactions with them have been really great and friendly. Overall they’re a great group of girls. How do you handle a chapter you “click with” when you don’t necessarily like their campus label?

A: Can you be your own person? Would you welcome the challenge of improving a new chapter? Would you rather have true friends, or a hot reputation with the frats?

Personally, if I really liked the girls, I would see this as an opportunity to “make a difference” in the life of a fledgling sorority. Often times a new colony struggles in the first few years. They don’t attract the coolest PNMs, they have zero credibility on campus and they are sure to make some big mistakes along the way. How can they ever grow and improve if “quality” girls like you don’t join? If you click with them and they love you in return, great things can happen. If you and some other like minded PNMs join this year, then you will attract more high caliber PNMs next year and so on. That’s how a reputation improves on campus, new member by new member. Even the top sororities didn’t start out that way.

A new sorority will give you the opportunity to step into leadership sooner than a well established chapter. You can start enjoying sorority involvement right away. Years from now, no one will care about what some fraternities thought, but they will remember the launch of the annual fundraiser, the amazing sisterhood retreat and the awards your chapter won for academics and greek sing.

Ask yourself ~ 

  • Is it better to be in a chapter where I can relax and be myself?
  • How much do I care about what frat guys think?
  • Does this chapter have potential for improvement?
  • Can I personally have a hand in helping the sorority gain a new positive reputation? 
  • Would I rather be with the popular sisters, even if they aren’t as nice to me?
  • Is the national organization strong and something I would like to be a part of for life?

When the flash and sparkle of rush wears off, what are you left with? The sisters themselves. Who you live with, who you laugh with and you has your back in tough times is the “real” sorority life. Not the fancy decorations, expensive formals, or hot date parties. Sisterhood should be about who you are inside. Follow your heart and see if it leads you to the colony of girls who need you. xoxo ;)

sorority Q&A: how to deal with a serious personal issue…

Q: I recently found out that I was pregnant with my ex boyfriends child after we had dated for a year. We are no longer together but I am keeping the baby. I don’t know how I should share this with my chapter and if I should drop for the good of their reputation. I am extremely ashamed and I do not want to bring my chapter down with me. Any advice at all is welcome. Thank you.

A: I know this is a very sensitive subject and I want to answer thoughtfully. First of all, don’t beat yourself up and feel terrible about what was surely an accident. Personally I applaud you for respecting life and seeing your pregnancy through. Please think about all the options available to you and your baby, such as considering adoption. It is such a life affirming gift you can give a childless couple. And as a young single mother, it’s just something I hope you consider prayerfully. 

As for your sorority, I don’t think you need to slink away in shame. And I don’t feel like you must keep this monumental secret. I would approach your advisor and the chapter president in private and discuss your situation. This conversation should be totally confidential until everyone decides how to handle this. To put the baby’s welfare first, you may take a break from college classes for awhile and resume your studies after giving birth. Or, you may continue attending school pregnant. I don’t know what your sorority’s policies are on this subject, but you need to figure out your timeline and decide what you wish to do. Then discuss the options in your private meeting. 

The last thing you want is for the greek gossip mill to start working overtime. You should be treated with respect and dignity. If you and your advisor/president decide to tell the sisterhood, I am sure they will support and embrace you during this challenging time. That’s what sisters are for! If you decide to leave campus, you do not have to drop out of your sorority. I’m sure you can take a leave of absence or go early alum. This does not have to be the end of your lifelong membership. If you need to work full time to support your baby (and don’t return to college) you can still have the joy of being an involved alumnae member. 

Stay true to yourself, clarify in your own mind how you want to handle this and then discuss the best approach with your sorority leaders. How private you keep things, or how open you want to be, should be your decision based on what’s good for everyone. Having a baby is all about becoming extremely unselfish. Your first step is working out the best thing for you, your education, your chapter, your baby and for your future as a new mom. I wish you all the very best from this day forward. xoxo ;)

sorority Q&A: seeking re-affiliation…

Q: I’m an active member of my sorority, but some hardships came up and I have to take a couple years off school to go to a community college and move to a different state. I’m only going to be a sophomore but do you think it’d be possible to re-affiliate with a chapter my junior/senior year? Would it depend on the chapter? — corinderellanoel

A: Reviving your membership depends on how you left your original chapter. If you totally disaffiliated when you moved away, many NPC sororities do not allow you to join again. Many don’t let members re-activate. (A policy which I wish was more flexible.) If you took an authorized leave of absence, or went early alum, you should be able to “transfer” now to your new university. Members in good standing are encouraged to transfer chapters and remain involved.

So yes, it totally depends on the rules of your sorority and where you stand today. Contact your old chapter, or your national organization, and inquire about a transfer. Hopefully you can join the new/different sisterhood and get back to having good times with your fellow greeks. xoxo ;)

big/little problems: dealing with a deactivated big sister…

Q: Is it okay that I feel discouraged by my original big? We had a falling out during break where she ignored my texts to catch up since her deactivation. I wanted to keep a relationship, but I knew she was shutting me out on purpose. So I asked a sister to ask her to text me so we can get closure and I can give her stuff back. She ranted this 3 page text about not wanting to be my big, or friends, and then deleted me on fb/ig. Yet, I still see her being friends and talking to other sisters.  

A: It was noble of you to try to stay in touch after your big deactivated from your sorority. That’s a challenge. It sounds like she is going through some difficult times. When you had another sister step in and mention you wanting to give your big’s stuff back ~ that was the breaking point! She may have taken her anger and disappointment with the chapter out on you. The 3 page text was the result and her emotional flood gates opening. In hindsight, you probably should not have pushed her buttons. When she didn’t respond to your texts, she was already letting you know she was distancing herself. When you push someone to respond, you may get this type of reaction. 

She may associate you with her problems in the sorority. Or maybe you just aren’t meant to be lifelong friends. She has basically “broken up” with you and it’s time to accept that. It doesn’t matter how she treats other girls, all you need to worry about is your relationship with her. And it’s not good. I recommend giving her room to heal. If she returns one day and reaches out to you as a friend ~ wonderful. But let her go for now.

It’s a shame she left your sisterhood, but you still belong. So please turn your attention to all the fabulous sisters you still have. It’s Ok to put your former big/little relationship on the back burner and move on to happier times. Life is too short for all this negativity. Surround yourself with uplifting people who raise you higher, not drag you down. Look forward to new relationships within your sorority. Recruitment will bring new sisters and a fresh start for you. Take a new little, get involved in some brand new activities and put this pain behind you. One day, when everyone is more mature, you may reconnect with your original big. But until them get back to a sunnier place! xoxo ;)

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." ~ Jawaharlal Nehru

rush talk: how do the sororities do it?

Q: I love your blog! It has really helped me get the courage to rush as a junior. I was wondering if you could explain how recruitment works though. I’m confused about how the sororities remember all the PNMs in order to choose the girls they want to give bids too. — lilboosieeee

A: It’s not easy being a sorority recruiter! But the chapters train, practice and rehearse to get it right. First of all they review all of the PNM registrations and photos to learn about the girls rushing prior to their arrival. They get information from their sisters on friends from high school coming through. The GPAs are reviewed. They take note of all the recommendation letters and focus on their special legacy PNMs. They also choreograph their recruitment rotations and practice conversations. There is lots of preparation before rush week even starts. This is called “work week” on many campuses. 

Depending on the type of voting system a sorority uses, members may vote on PNMs right after each round. Or they may discuss and vote at the end of each day. Either way, it’s soon after meeting the PNMs, so memories are fresh. The PNM headshots are used for reference, which is why the photos are so important. Sisters also use memory cues to remember PNMs, such as the girl with the green bow, or the girl with the long ponytail. Name tags are important and you always want to have yours proudly displayed.

The chapters have lists of who is coming through during each round. They know all the names in each PNM group. It’s highly organized, not just a casual social time. Thats why being on a chapter’s “radar” prior to rush is beneficial. If you have name recognition at the sorority, you will pop out during that round. That’s where connections, being friends on social media, attending prior open houses and preview days comes in handy. If your name and/or face has been noticed by a chapter, it helps!

But being new to the chapter is Ok too. As long as you sparkle and shine during your conversations, they will take notice. Find things in common with the sisters you speak with and let your unique personality charm everyone you meet. It does come down to YOU making a striking impression. All the pre-rush preparation can’t replace the impact of a PNM face to face, live and in person! A PNM on paper can be much different than in real life. For better or worse.  Make your own impact and you will be remembered by each sorority! xoxo ;)

sorority Q&A: how to handle a micromanaging chapter president!

Q: Our current prez is a very great girl. Friendly, smart and passionate about our sorority. HOWEVER she micromanages everything and everybody’s position, even if its not on exec board! Its been driving everyone crazy and sometimes even comes off as rude! How do we politely get her to cut it out!!!!!??!!? Before we all go crazy or drop our positions!!!! (some already have dropped positions too!)

A: Micromanagers don’t trust the abilities of their e-board officers or committee members. They believe "if you want something done right do it yourself." And they are often controlling types who can’t let go of the power. They end up martyring themselves for the chapter, because they won’t let anyone else take total ownership of their offices. 

First thing I would do is speak with your chapter advisor or an influential alumnae. Seek someone older who will be able to advise your president on strong leadership techniques. Wise words from someone she respects could have a big impact. She needs to know it’s Ok to let others do their jobs without constant supervision. 

You can also book a leadership training session for your e-board to learn about delegating and positive techniques for getting things done. See if an expert can train everyone on the best ways to manage others. Hopefully your president will pick up on some pointers.  

 7 more things you can do when working with a micromanaging sister:

  • Be super competent. All the board members, and other leaders, must work overtime earning her trust and proving they can do their jobs extremely well. If everyone shows how expertly they get their projects done on their own, she won’t have anything to over control. Be three steps ahead of her at all times. When she sticks her noise in, say “It’s already done!” 
  • Don’t break the rules or make big mistakes. Micromanagers think that others are incompetent. Don’t let that be true! Your president thrives on saving the day and being the only one who does things ‘the right way.’ If everyone else will step up, do things right the first time and play by the rules, she won’t interfere as much. Don’t give her anything to correct, change, or re-do.   
  • Play the game better. Take a closer look at your president and determine what things especially grab her interest. Figure out what she wants and how to meet her needs before she micromanages you. For example, if she likes tee shirts ordered two months in advance, don’t wait until two weeks before an event to do it. If you do, she will be all up in your business. If she likes financial reports to be presented bi-weekly, don’t do them monthly. If humor works with her, try being funny. If she prefers evening meetings, don’t call for a morning e-board get together. Be smart about how you work with her and you will avoid many problems. 
  • Be reliable! Don’t give the president any reason to doubt you. Show up to help when you’re not expected.. Return texts and emails. Check in often to make sure a project is going well. Arrive early and stay late. Be so dependable that your president can’t help but ease up on you.  
  • Be proactive. Give your president frequent updates, instead of waiting for her to ask and butt in. Report on the progress with recruitment, membership, or fundraising more often than you think necessary. Don’t wait for her to freak out. Shower her with details so she doesn’t worry. This stops her from hovering over everyone and reduces stress.
  • ASK for her input before she volunteers it. Appease her by requesting her opinions at the start of every project. That way she has already expressed her wishes and she doesn’t have to jump in later. Open your arms to her expertise, take notes and then go about doing your job. She will feel important and included and you will have a blueprint for keeping her happy. 
  • Praise your Prez. Let her know what an important job chapter president is and how much you all appreciate her hard work. Try to understand her motivations for being so controlling. Is she an overachiever, or power mad? She probably just wants to do a good job! Assure her the e-board is there to help in every way. Frequently give her props. Tell her "None of us could do this without you." Make her feel important and secure. Stroke her ego. She may release her control a little when she feels supported and appreciated. 

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★ sorority RECRUITMENT Q&A BLAST! ★

★ Time for another super blast of Q&As from the sorority sugar ASK, which is overflowing this time of year!! 

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Q: I am rushing this fall and I am really excited about it. A lot of people who are opposed to Greek life say that you are just “paying to have friends”. I don’t agree with this at all, and it really makes me mad. I don’t know a good response to the statement other than just realizing their ignorance and moving on. Any suggestions?

A: If you know the person who’s making the paying for friends comment (and I assume you do), then the snappiest comeback is to ask them about ANY club or organization that they belong to, followed up by the question are they are “paying for friends” by belonging!? Hopefully the parallel will turn a mirror on their hypocrisy. 

For example, respond with: "Don’t you belong to the All Star competitive cheerleading team? Aren’t you good friends with the girls on your squad? And don’t you PAY dues each month, buy uniforms and spend lots of money on competition expenses? Are you paying for those friends?" You get the idea! The same can be said for any country club, school club, church group, activity, sport or anything your friends participate in which involves payment of money, making friends and doing activites together!! Greek life is not unusual at all. You are joining an active CLUB with dues. Happens in many different organizations.

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Q: If i received a facebook friend requests from a sorority’s rush chair, what does that mean? And should i make an effort to meet her on campus before recruitment? (Recruitment at a large, southern, competitive school. Our rush is a month into school)

A: You can accept Facebook friend requests, just be cautious about meeting in person before rush week. There are policies and time limits on “contact”, which differ from school to school. Double check the policies on PNM & sister mingling before hanging out with a sorority member in the weeks before recruitment. Get the facts and then let the sister take the lead on whether you get together or not. Avoid putting yourself in a dirty rushing situation. 

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Q: As a PNM there have been a few sorority accounts that have followed me on social media sites like instagram. It’s easy to find member’s due to tagging and through the accounts. Is it wrong to follow too many of the girls of a certain sorority? Should I keep it to a minimum so I don’t show I have a preference? What do you suggest is “okay” with instagram and twitter?

A: You want to look interested, but not like a stalker. I recommend following some girls in each chapter and keep it at a moderate level. Don’t instantly follow all 80 girls in one sorority. That =would be over the top as a PNM. Remember you are joining only 1 chapter, not all of them. Play it cool, respond when you need to, follow here and there and keep your social media very balanced. You don’t want a landslide all for one chapter anyway. Save that for after bid day. You can follow chapter blogs and social media with no problem. Just keep the personal accounts at a reasonable level before you actually meet the members. 

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Q: Could you please explain the process of getting into a sorority or how the sorority picks girls? Thanks so much! :)

A: To get into a sorority, you present your best self in all ways, by looking nice, making interesting conversation, connecting with sisters, having good grades and leadership experience. It’s very similar to a job interview. You sparkle your brightest, so you can get the position. The chapters have a long list of criteria that they use to select sisters. A PNM must be “XYZ sorority material” in many ways. They look at character, values, charm, personality, experiences, activities, etc and see if a PNM matches with the standards and creed of their greek organization. They want productive achievers who will be active in the chapter during their collegiate years and beyond. And they love fun, friendly girls who will fit in with their sisterhood! 

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Q: I love your blog! I wish I could join a chapter but I’m not financially capable of doing so.. but I still adore the Greek life!!

A: Where there’s a will there’s a way! If you can handle a part time job on campus and working during the summer, you can probably pay your dues and fees. Maybe your parents will pick up a small portion if you pay the bulk of your greek life expenses. I highly recommend waitressing for TIPS, or working in retail where you make commission, as ways to earn the most money in the shortest hours. Cash payments for things like babysitting are also profitable. Maybe you can sell something online. With creative thinking you may find a way to make it happen if you really want to go greek!

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Q: I can’t wait for recruitment, but a few people have told me that I don’t seem like a sorority girl, and my dad even told me not get my hopes about getting a bid and making it. So now I’m freaking out that no sorority will want me and that’ll be so embarrassing! And I really want to be in a sorority but now I’m all nervous!

A: I wish you were surrounded by more encouraging family and friends! Rush is hard enough without being undermined by others. Tune them out and just be yourself. There are ALL types in greek life. So even if you are not the “typical” sorority girl ~ you can find a place to call home. If you follow my blog, you see every style of college girl can be in a sisterhood. They are not all girly-girls, blondes, or 5’10”. Sisters come in all shapes and sizes. Shine bright during rush and look for similar girls and a house where you feel most comfortable. I’m sure they will be looking for a PNM just like YOU! 

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Q: This is kind of a personal thing but applies to a lot of people! I’m supposed to have my period during recruitment, do you have any tips to make it easier in the breakouts, moodiness, cramps, bloating area? It’s terrible but I don’t really have any control over it.

A: No one has control over their cycle and many girls will be dealing with this issue during rush week. You are not alone! I would suggest the following:

  • Make sure you have your Midol and /or other medications needed for any of the side effects you mentioned. 
  • Wear an extra panty liner for protection with your other feminine hygiene product. Double or triple up on the coverage! The last thing you want is an accident on your pastel sundress.
  • Take supplies in your purse with you during rounds. Make extra stops to freshen up (more often than you normally would) just in case. 
  • There’s nothing you can do for moodiness, That’s the least of your troubles during recruitment. 
  • Drink plenty of water and eat healthy. You don’t want any other issues while you are dealing with your period and maybe having cramps and bloating.  
  • Don’t worry about how uncomfortable you feel by wearing extra protection. No one else knows what’s ‘undercover’ and only you feel weird. It’s worth it to be safe. 
  • The show must go on! You are an actress and the cameras are rolling. You have to step on stage and not let anyone know you are having difficulties. 
  • Do NOT whine and complain to the sorority sisters about your period! TMI. Don’t waist your precious minutes talking about something that is no one’s business but your own. Privacy please! 
  • Unless you are having an all out emergency, please don’t use the sorority house bathrooms. Your panhellenic should tell you where the bathroom stops are. Plan ahead! Don’t stretch the limits of your products. Plot the restrooms on your route and know where they are in advance. Be strategic!

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Hi! What's the best way to find out more about different reputations of the sororities on my campus? I've seen a site mentioned here but I can't remember. Thank you

Asked by
fearlessly-fiona

I know you are thinking about a notorious sorority ranking website, but I can’t bring myself to promote it as the source for finding out about each chapter! The BEST way to discover the “real deal” is to give recruitment your all and suss it out for yourself!! There is no need to fill your head with preconceived notions about chapter reps from biased “reviews” online. Many people on rating websites have an ax to grind. And in the end, there are haters and lovers of every single sorority. Only YOU can determine where you really belong. Having too many pre-recruitment opinions can really hurt you during rush. You may write-off a terrific chapter because of gossip you read, or get your heart set on one that’s not right for you because they are supposedly rated #1. 

I promise you will be able to get a “feeling” about the personality of each chapter without prior rankings. It’s better to form your own opinions and follow your own gut feelings. Don’t ignore the signals you pick up during rounds, good and bad. Your senses should tell you what’s right in the long run. Body language, non verbal cues, appearances and your sister-to-sister conversations are all very important during rush week. That’s how you find your new home away from home.

That said, I do encourage you to visit the individual websites and social media for each chapter you will be meeting. Take a look at what the sisters do for fun, how they dress, what they do for philanthropy work, etc. You can easily get an overall picture of what they’re all about, without a ranking system. You will still be surprised during recruitment though. So keep your heart wide open for the unexpected. DISCOVERY is the thrill of sorority rush. Prepare to be amazed! xoxo :)

You've given advice for thank you notes for recommendation letters but what about for when alumnae/parents/community members help with events, provide materials or gifts, or make monetary donations? Thank you notes are a major part of etiquette especially for the older generation and I've seen some older alumnae on my board unhappy with the effort the local active chapter makes to send them. Do you have any advice for active members on how to write these and keep track of when to do so?

Asked by
lurkingmywaydowntown

Thank you notes are not just for the older generation! Being grateful and expressing your appreciation never goes out of style. I suggest having some super cute sorority notecards on hand for sisters to use. Attractive designs can be inspirational for sending a note. Thank you notes are meant to be short and sweet, so there’s minimal time commitment in completing the task. Each chair should organize the thank you’s after a big event like recruitment or the annual fundraiser. They are a MUST! 

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❤ People who should receive Thank You notes:

  • Alumnae when they help with a project, make a donation, or assist in any way.
  • Local businesses who do favors, make donations, purchase advertising, etc. 
  • Campus officials who help with events, projects and making things happen for the sorority.
  • Advisors who go the extra mile.
  • Guest speakers.
  • Any special delegations from national headquarters who assist the chapter.
  • Other sororities and fraternities who help out in a meaningful way. 
  • Greek Week, Greek Sing and Fundraising partners for a job well done. 
  • Panhellenic Council when they assist the chapter. 
  • House mothers, house chef and other long term chapter workers. 

❤ Basic Thank You format:

  • Salutation • "Dear Mrs. Hanson,"
  • Thank the person for the action taken • "Thank you so much for helping our chapter with recruitment last week."
  • Add one or two specific examples of gratitude • "We really appreciate the cupcakes you baked and the beautiful way you decorated our bid day party room." 
  • Conclude with a 2nd thanks • "Thanks again for all your efforts in making our sisterhood the best it can be. You are so special to our chapter."
  • Closing • “Kindest Regards”, “Sincerely”, or an appropriate sorority saying. 
  • This template works for people making donations and other kindnesses as well. 

❤ Thank You note timing & tips:

  • The time to send a Thank You note is RIGHT AFTER the event or action. No one feels like doing it a month later. By that time the energy and excitement has faded, Within on week the notes should be mailed.
  • View thank you notes as part of the regular “wrap up” of a project. Just like finalizing the Chair notebook, paying invoices and organizing paperwork. It’s just part of a sorority leader’s job. 
  • Keep a data base of important names and addresses as you go. That way you will have easy references when you need them. There should be a record of every donation and every participant for events with names, addresses and contact information. Organized record keeping make every job easier. 
  • If only email addresses are available, a emailed thank you is acceptable as a 2nd choice. You can attach an attractive graphic or photo to make it more special. Please don’t consider texting, instant messaging, or Facebook messaging to be proper ways to send a thank you note. 
  • If you have lots of notes to write, plan a short writing party with your committee and ask everyone to pitch in. More hands make for lighter work. An officer or chair should oversee the process though, to make sure it happens. 
  • WHY write notes? Because being appreciative of favors done for your organization is the classy and decent thing to do. Everyone likes to be thanked for their kindness. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Would YOU want to be thanked for a generous donation, or for all the hours you put into working the 5k race? YES! Treat others as you would like to be treated and you can’t go wrong. No one will ever think poorly of a person/group who thoughtfully thanks others. But not doing so generates lots of ill will. Consider it practice for your life after college when you will need to be gracious in your business and personal life! xoxo ;)

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." ~ William Arthur Ward

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❤ Click here for more TIPS on being well-mannered in greek life: CLASSY SORORITY GIRL ETIQUETTE GUIDE

I'm really scared about meeting my big. I'm scared she won't like me, which is silly I know. but I see so much big/little loving that I feel like it just won't happen! help?

Asked by
disneyprettyprincess

I am sure you will be paired with a big who loves and wants you for a little. It’s very unlikely that you will be matched with a reluctant big sister who doesn’t care about you! The odds of that happening are slim to none. The more likely scenario is that you have seen so much big/little loving online, that your standards will be sky high! 

I strongly advise you to keep your expectations in control. Extreme expectations for a magical over-the-moon big/little relationship is difficult for any mere moral big to live up to. If you are anticipating 500 splashy gifts and crafts, and all you get is a cupcake and a picture frame you are setting yourself up for disappointment in a major way. Please enjoy all the big/little sugar on my blog, but when the time comes for your “real life” friendship give your new big a chance.

A kind, sweet sister is all you need for a meaningful big/little experience. And that’s what you should be in return. Don’t measure your big’s worth by the number of gifts she gives or how much money she spends. If you bond with a high quality sister, who you enjoy and who has your back, it means more than 20 tee shirts. When you join a sorority, BE the best new member you can, and you will attract a superior big. Every relationship takes two. So be likable, loyal, decent and giving. You should get the same in return! xoxo :)

"Getters don’t get—givers get." ~ Eugene Benge