Frequently Asked Questions
What is a sorority?
The term "sorority" or "women's fraternity" is used to describe female social groups at North American universities with Greek-letter affiliations. Since the first sorority was founded in 1851, these Greek-letter organizations have thrived and expanded to have hundreds of chapters internationally, all the while making a positive impact on women in post-secondary institutions and the organizations they support. Sororities are values-based and focus on academics, leadership, service and friendship.
What will I get out of a sorority that I won’t get out of a club?
Greek-letter organizations are an incredible opportunity for students because they're essentially the club-of-all-clubs: they provide opportunity for an active and rewarding university experience centred around leadership, volunteerism, scholastic achievement, mentorship, personal development and fosters the creation of lifelong friendships. Nowhere else on campus will you find a club that combines all of this under one umbrella.
In addition to the active Greek community on campus, members also have the opportunity to interact with alumnae who can provide guidance and support throughout University and offer mentorship once graduated. Truly, the sorority experience offers a lifetime of opportunity which extends well beyond University.
How do I get involved?
Students can join a sorority by participating in Recruitment, which will take place from Monday, September 10th to Friday, September 14th, 2018. There is no fee associated with signing up for Recruitment. You can visit our table at Clubs Fair for more information, or stay up to date with our social media!
What is recruitment?
Recruitment is a very exciting process! Based on the concept of mutual selection, Potential New Members (PNMs) meet members from each Sorority. Over five days, PNMs will visit all four of our Chapters and get firsthand experience with what UAlberta Sororities are all about. As the week progresses, the Chapters and PNMs will both narrow down their selections. On the final day of Recruitment, after matching via mutual selection has occurred, the PNMs will be invited to accept a Sorority membership!
How can I sign up for recruitment?
Recruitment is already happening! Hold tight for future opportunities to join.
Who can sign up for recruitment?
All female-identifying, undergraduate students enrolled in a full-time, regularly matriculated program (this excludes Open Studies) at the University of Alberta are eligible for recruitment.
If you are or have been an initiated member of another NPC Chapter, you are ineligible to go through Recruitment. Please reach out if you are unsure of your eligibility.
What is the recruitment process like?
Here at the University of Alberta, we use a mutual selection process! During the week of recruitment, you will be able to visit and meet each chapter on multiple occasions. You will begin to make preferential choices halfway through the week, and chapters will also choose who they would like to get to know better. This process takes into account your choice, as well as the chapters’ choice, to try to find a home for everyone!
Take the opportunity to make the best choice for your university career by making it out to as many events and meeting as many girls as possible! Remember that a large group of diverse women make up a single chapter. Therefore, it is best to keep an open and lighthearted mind throughout the recruitment process, and not let any one specific experience taint one chapter or your recruitment experience.
The decision to join a sorority can be difficult, but this process helps in narrowing your choices.
What if I have previous commitments during recruitment?
While we try to schedule Recruitment events in the evenings on school nights, we understand that some women may have class or work conflicts. If you have any previous commitments, please reach out to our VP Recruitment at email@example.com or your Recruitment Counsellor. We will do everything possible to make sure that you can complete Recruitment and have a great experience!
What is the time commitment?
All Sororities have a weekly Chapter meeting and other events throughout the year that are mandatory, along with optional events that are planned in advance to enrich your experience. That being said, the more you are able to put into your Sorority experience, the more you will get out of it! Many members balance part-time jobs, a full course load, and Chapter commitments. Joining a sorority teaches invaluable time management skills and allows you to practice those skills in a safe environment. If you ever feel overwhelmed, you have an entire sisterhood as a support network!
Is there a cost associated with joining a sorority?
Yes – just like a sports team or honour’s organization, Sororities require their members to contribute membership dues in order to provide the social programming, food, things for the house, workshops, and resources for members. These membership dues help to keep each Chapter running and really enhance the experience! Unlike most other organizations, many Chapters offer payment plans and scholarship opportunities to assist in managing these costs. You will be given an in-depth look at each Chapter’s financial obligations during Recruitment.
Are sororities just like the ones on TV or in movies?
Not at all! What you typically see on TV or in the movies isn’t an accurate portrayal of what it’s like to be in a Sorority. Instead, they tend to depict a sexist, false stereotype of sorority women that is extremely derogatory and is something that we strive to contradict every day. We focus on the values that connect us and drive us to be better women, not parties or fraternity members.
Will I be hazed?
Absolutely not. We view hazing as one of the most dangerous and destructive practices that an organization can partake in and we fundamentally reject it. In 1977, the National Panhellenic Conference “No Hazing” policy was passed unanimously, binding all chapters of NPC Sororities to a policy of respect and dignity that absolutely forbids hazing of any kind. This stance is also mirrored by our University. The repercussions for hazing are severe and we all strive to avoid situations that would make any members feel uncomfortable – in fact, many of our Chapters on campus participate in and promote initiatives that focus on hazing prevention.
What about alcohol?
All Sorority houses are alcohol-free. In accordance with the National Panhellenic Conference Alcohol Initiative, joint Sorority/Fraternity events held on Fraternity property are also alcohol-free. Sorority members will benefit from exposure to educational programs and workshops covering a variety of topics including alcohol and substance use/abuse, assault and personal safety.
Do I have to live in the house?
On our campus, Sorority houses have room for anywhere from 4-12 girls. You are more than welcome to live in the house, but you’re not required to! It is, however, a wonderful opportunity to live close to school with a group of girls you have already formed a connection with. Chapter houses are located conveniently on campus and are often a cheaper alternative in terms of rent. And as an added bonus, you get to live with some of your best friends! Chapter houses are open to members every day as a place to study, to eat lunch, or nap between/after classes!
Will joining a sorority affect my grades?
All Sororities pride themselves for high academic achievement. Being a student and a Sorority woman are not two exclusive ideas, and you will see that all Sororities offer support systems, programs, and services meant to support their members academically. Each member has access to a vast network of sisters, so between all of them, someone has likely taken that course, had that professor, or had a similar experience.
The Greek System as a whole supports academic achievement through the honorary society Order of Omega, and many Sororities have local and international scholarships for academic achievement.
What kind of philanthropy events do sororities hold?
Every chapter supports a different philanthropic organization, and host different philanthropy events throughout the year. Most of these events involve the community, so Sorority women and Fraternity men will come out and support each others’ events and philanthropic efforts!