Is joining a sorority right for you?
Joining a sorority is an important decision that can change your life and positively influence your entire college experience. While all of our sororities have different mission statements and mottos, the fundamental goal of sorority is to make women better women. Our sororities are values-based organizations that exist to help women grow, mature and become successful individuals by the time they graduate. There are many benefits of joining a Greek Organization, such as providing a support system for you when you are away from home and in a new environment! There are also scholarship programs that help make sure you succeed academically. Being a member of the Greek Community will give you the opportunity to meet many people and build life long relationships. Being in a sorority allows you to be extremely involved in college life, and provides many outlets to gain valuable leadership experience. Greek Students are involved in many philanthropic causes and are involved in many community service ventures. If you are interested in joining a values based organization and being a part of something that is bigger than yourself, then you should consider joining our Sorority Community here at WSU!
How do I join?
To join a sorority at WSU you can either participate in Sorority Recruitment in the fall (prior to the start of classes) or through Continuous Open Recruitment later in the academic year; however, Sorority Recruitment is the best option if you want to maximize your possibilities of joining a chapter. Not all 13 sororities are able to participate in Continuous Open Recruitment and to rely on that option might not be in your favor. To sign up for Sorority Recruitment, women must submit the online registration form and pay the $95 fee when it opens on June 1st. Along with your registration, you must submit a copy or screenshot of your cumulative grade point average, including the grades earned during spring term. This is not your official transcript, but a final grade report showing your cumulative GPA.
What should I know about Sorority Recruitment?
Sorority Recruitment will be held August 19th through August 24th. All potential new members (PNMs) will be able to move in to their residence halls on Saturday, August 16th, and after meeting your Rho Gamma (recruitment counselor), PNMs and parents will have the opportunity to attend an orientation session later that afternoon. The orientation is required for all PNMs participating in recruitment and optional for parents.
Over the course of Sunday and Monday, PNMs will have educational programming, campus tours, and orientation to prepare for recruitment and college life at WSU. On Tuesday, PNMs will begin visiting the different chapters in events called “parties”. This is not the kind of party you might be thinking of; rather, it is in reference to the old term “tea party”, and has stuck throughout the hundred plus years of sorority recruitment. During these parties, PNMs get to meet members of each sorority and have conversations to determine which chapter is the best fit.
Sorority recruitment is an invitation-accept process, where a chapter invites women to return to their chapter and a PNM is able to accept that invitation. After each round of recruitment, PNMs prioritize all of the chapters they visited in an order of what she believes was the best fit, and the chapters do the same for all of the PNMs. Using an internationally-used computer program, women are matched and given a list of chapter(s) to attend during the next round of recruitment. This continues throughout the week until a woman is invited to join a chapter on Sunday.
At WSU, we have a values-based recruitment program, where women interested in joining a sorority can discuss values that are important to them, and find a chapter that aligns with their values. Similarly, sorority chapters are looking for potential new members that possess the qualities and values that are important to their specific organization. It is best to go through recruitment with an open mind and to be you! Every year, women who go through the process only wanting to join one or two chapters have a difficult time as there are other sororities that could be a better fit. Our tip is to research all of the sororities or none at all. Either way, come in with an open mind!
I am a transfer student. Can I still participate in Sorority Recruitment?
If you are a transfer student coming to WSU, you are still eligible to participate in sorority recruitment. Many transfer students join sorority chapters and are highly contributing, engaged, and successful members in the community! Transfer students need to find their own housing during the week of recruitment, and should not rely on being able to live in the chapter house their first semester as a member. Many of the facilities are full and first-year members do not live in. We recommend signing a residence hall contract, with the possibility of you being able to move into the chapter facility for the spring semester. You can also rent an apartment or house for the year, if that works best for you.
If you are not living in a residence hall please indicate where you are living when you fill out your recruitment registration form. We will assign you to a Rho Gamma group (recruitment counselor group) so you are still connected throughout the process.
What is Continuous Open Recruitment?
Continuous Open Recruitment (COR) is an unstructured, invite-only process that can take place throughout the school year, but does so primarily in the spring. Very few chapters participate in COR each year, so we always recommend participating in the fall recruitment process to maximize your options.
Do I need to have a certain GPA to join a sorority?
The one thing that can drive your sorority recruitment experience at the beginning is your high school and/or college cumulative grade point average. As academic success is a pillar in the fraternity/sorority community, each chapter sets their own grade requirements to become a member. Once initiated, women also have to maintain their GPA in order to continue being a member in college. The community also has grade requirements for each chapter, and sororities must maintain a chapter GPA of 3.0 in order to be in good standing. For all of these reasons, the requirements are adhered to closely during sorority recruitment.
All of the sororities at WSU have set their GPA requirements for next fall. The range for a cumulative high school GPA is 3.0 – 3.4 and the range for a cumulative college/university GPA is a 2.8 – 3.0. If a PNM has below either grade requirement, the likelihood of her being invited to more than one sorority after the first round is very low and very few exceptions are made.
We recommend that women concerned about their GPA focus on improving her academics throughout her first year at WSU and then participate in recruitment in fall 2014 or through COR if a chapter she enjoys is recruiting in the spring. During her first year, she will still meet many sorority women, can get involved on campus, and transition to the college lifestyle before joining a chapter.
What is the time commitment to be in a sorority?
In regards to time commitment, you get out of your experience what you put into it. While there can be a large time commitment based on all of the opportunities available to you, the rewards from being in a Greek organization make it worth it! Many of our fraternity/sorority students are highly involved on campus, hold leadership roles, and are in the honors program. Balancing academics is very important; it is a pillar of the community, there is a requirement to join, and a requirement to remain a member. First and foremost, our chapters tell their members to focus on school. A large number of students in the community have a job as well, and are able to balance their commitments.
To understand the basic commitments as a first-year member, there are two meetings per week that you will be attending. The first is the chapter meeting, usually held on Monday nights. You will get to learn the business of the chapter, discuss upcoming events, and hear from the officers. The second meeting of the week is the new member education meeting, and the day varies from chapter to chapter. In your new member education meetings, women learn about the history, values, and operations of a chapter, as well as the membership requirements and expectations. In addition to these meetings, there might be one social event per week, a philanthropy event with another chapter once to twice a month, and service projects throughout the semester. Your New Member Educator and chapter officers will make sure you know of all the activities in advance, in order to balance your time well.
What should I wear during the week?
Recruitment days are long and Pullman is hot in August! Your main concern should be comfort, as you will be doing a lot of walking, sitting and standing in the sun. The attire during recruitment week is casual except for Preference Day (the last day of recruitment) when sundresses are more common. We encourage you to come as you are but be presentable throughout the week. A new wardrobe is not necessary!
What are recommendation letters? Are they required?
Recommendation letters are often written by sorority alumnae on your behalf to provide more insight about you for that alumna’s specific organization. A family friend or relative may write the letter and send it directly to her own chapter at the appropriate address listed to the right. Recommendation letters are not mandatory; chapters will seek out a recommendation letter over the summer if needed.