How will my student benefit from joining a sorority?

Sororities are rooted in founding principles that foster academic achievement, student involvement, community service, and life-long friendships. These organizations are comprised of students who have common interests and values who form a network of support for one another during their college years. Advantages include:

  • A support group to help make the adjustment to college easier
  • Scholastic resources to help students achieve their academic goals
  • Leadership skills acquired through hands-on experience
  • Encouragement to get involved and maximize their potential on campus
  • Opportunities for active participation in community service projects

What will my child get out of fraternity life that they would not get out of any other college organization?

Coming to college is a major life change that your daughter will experience. Joining a sorority will help make the transition easier. The sorority experience is multifaceted and offers numerous opportunities to your student. Developing life-long friendships with the sisters in their chapter and other Spring Hill chapter members helps make the campus seem more like home. In addition to the sisterhood, every chapter is dedicated to enhancing leadership, scholarship, philanthropy/service, and financial responsibility through various programs and opportunities. It will be up to your student to determine the level of involvement she wants to have in the organization and what kind of experience it will be for her.

My student is thinking of joining a sorority. What is the process?

Joining a sorority is a mutual selection process. For women interested in joining an NPC sorority the Panhellenic Association hosts a formal recruitment process each spring semester. This gives your student the opportunity to meet each chapter on campus to make the best decision for her about which one to join.
Women interested in an NPHC sorority will need to be aware of when flyers are posted on campus for the initial interest meeting of the intake process. This frequently will occur in the spring, but is determined by the individual organization.

What are the financial obligations of sorority membership?

Like joining other campus clubs and organizations, there is a financial commitment associated with joining a sorority. These fees go towards operating costs for the chapters, International fees, and social activities sponsored by the chapters. Chapters will work with their members to make sure these do not become burdensome.  Financial obligations differ by chapter. Be sure that your daughter checks with each chapter while going through the recruitment or intake process about the financial obligations of membership.

Can my daughter be a part of a chapter if she is a commuter?

Certainly! Sorority membership can be a valuable experience, regardless of whether the student is living at home or in a residence hall.  Off-campus students find sorority membership provides them with a place to hang out between classes, a place to study, and a support group of friends they don't get by not living in the residence halls.

How much of a concern is alcohol with sororities at Spring Hill?

Although the common stereotype is that sororities enable binge drinking and reckless behavior, Spring Hill chapters work to dispel such stereotypes. The sorority community strives to maintain a safe and responsible environment in terms of social activities sponsored by its chapters. All sororities have strict guidelines that must be followed in order to hold social functions. They are required to follow very strict and detailed risk management and alcohol policies and are held accountable to the Student Code of Conduct and Alabama State Laws.

Is hazing a concern?

Hazing, in any form, is not tolerated. The hazing policy at Spring Hill coincides with Alabama state law. Sororities are required to sign Anti-hazing forms as a part of keeping their recognition at SHC. Hazing includes any activity that subjects members, or prospective members, to harassment, ridicule, intimidation, physical exhaustion, abuse, or mental distress. It is contrary to the purposes of the fraternity community and the College. If you sense your student may be participating in inappropriate activities as a result of membership in a sorority, you should contact the Center for Student Involvement at 251-380-3027. All calls will be handled in a discreet manner.

Why are there some things sorority members can't talk about? What's the big secret?

It is understandable that you, as parents, might be concerned if you hear that some of the things that go on during your daughters's initiation are to be kept secret. Initiation into a sorority is an exciting, yet serious, ceremony that conveys the purposes and values of the sorority. These ceremonies are referred to as rituals. Sorority chapters pride themselves on the rituals that their chapters were founded upon. These rituals are full of the traditions and values that make the chapters unique. However, they should not be confused with hazing, and other inappropriate activities. Sorority initiation ceremonies are, in most cases, single day events. If your student is not permitted to talk to you for extended periods of time this may be a sign of other issues. Please contact the Center for Student Involvement if you have concerns.

How will being a sorority member affect my student's grades?

Some parents worry that the extra social events and responsibilities of being in a sorority might take away from their student's time for academics. Being a sorority member is a time commitment, but one of the core values of sororities is academic excellence. Each chapter maintains a certain grade point average that members must strive attain during their college experience. If members do not meet their requirements, chapters offer resources members to receive assistance. Often chapters organize incentives and awards for the most improved GPAs or the best GPAs. The fraternity community realizes the importance of a quality education, and academic excellence is a priority.

How will joining a chapter now benefit my student after graduation?

The life long friendships your student will make through their chapter can last long into her post-college years. Sororities have national networks and connections for its members to use for securing jobs and advancing careers. Membership in a chapter can be a life-long experience that the member and the sorority enjoy together. Joining now is an investment in your student's future as they will reap the benefits now and for a lifetime.

Who actually is in charge of the organization, and is there outside support?

Individual chapters elect members to officer positions who manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees, so everyone is involved in and exposed to leadership positions. Each member learns cooperation, communication, and planning skills. Chapters are also required to have a faculty or staff advisor. And each chapter is responsible to their national headquarters, which offers support, advice, and direction through paid professional staff and regional volunteers. All chapters have alumnae acting as advisors, and some chapters have alumnae advisory boards that work with its members.
The Coordinator for Greek Life and Campus Programs is Spring Hill's professional staff liaison to the fraternity and sorority community, offering support, advice and guidance to governing councils, chapter officers, advisors, and members. Sarah Loge is the staff member serving as this primary contact for the fraternity and sorority community.

What is my role as a parent?

  • Encourage your daughter to attend as many campus events as possible during the fall semester. Being involved is the best way to meet active sorority members and learn about their chapters. Involvement in other student organizations is looked favorably upon during the membership selection process.
  • Students need support throughout the process of recruitment and new member education. Be supportive and learn as much as you can about sorority life by asking questions of your student as she meets members in sororities.
  • Keep an open mind…sorority life is not for everyone. Just because you may have been a fraternity or sorority member doesn’t mean that it is the right choice for your daughter.
  • Sororities are different on every campus. Groups that may have been strong on the campus where you attended school may not have the same reputation at Spring Hill College. Let your daughter choose the group that she feels the most comfortable joining.
  • Talk to your daughter beforehand about the financial obligation. Determine who will pay for what and where the limits are.
  • Do not become too involved in the sorority recruitment process…this is your daughter’s decision.
  • Too often, parents do not allow their students to “fight their own battles.” It helps the student to mature and gain some assertiveness when allowed to call various offices if they have questions about their decision to go Greek.