Tuesday, August 30, 2011

553 Women Join Panhellenic Sororities

After a long weekend of conversation and tough decisions, 553 women completed the formal recruitment process and found their home away from home in a Panhellenic chapter.

Starting Friday, August 19, sororities welcomed unaffiliated women into their homes and encouraged these women to join their special sisterhood. Chapter women dressed to impress, sang and clapped their traditional chants, worked on philanthropic projects and discussed the history of their respective organizations. 

The five-day process culminated yesterday in “Bid Day” celebrations, where 553 women were extended “bids”, or formal invitations to join one of the Panhellenic chapters on campus.

All 13 sororities recruited members. About 825 women took part in the recruitment process, an increase of more than 100 women from formal recruitment in 2010.

The 13 sororities of the Panhellenic Association are Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, Sigma Delta Tau and Sigma Kappa.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's All Greek to Me! Defining Important Sorority Terms.

The Greek community is a unique opportunity and experience. During recruitment you may hear some terms that are unique to the Greek community and unfamiliar to you. Here is a list of a few terms that might help explain Greek life a little better.

Bid: a bid is a formal invitation to join a Greek organization.

Chapter: a chapter is a smaller piece of a larger organization. For example, Alpha Alpha Alpha sorority is a national organization with "chapters" on hundreds of campuses around the nation.

Charter: a charter is a document given to each chapter by their national organization recognizing them as an affiliated part of the organization.

Colony: a colony is the beginning stage in becoming a chapter. Once the colony completes certain requirements they can apply for a charter from their national organization to become a "chapter".

Four Pillars: the four pillars are the values that Greek life stands for. These pillars are scholarship, service, leadership and sisterhood/brotherhood.

IFC: this stands for Interfraternity Council. They are the governing body of all the IFC affiliated fraternities on campus.

Initiation: this is a ceremony through which you learn about the history of your organization and you become a true member.

Legacy: A legacy is woman who has an immediate family member (mother, grandmother, sister) who was a member of a Panhellenic sorority.

MGC: this stands for Multi-Cultural Greek Council. MGC is the governing body of all the MGC affiliated sororities and fraternities.

National Headquarters: every Panhellenic sorority here at KU is part of a larger organization. Each chapter follows the rules and regulations set forth by their national headquarters, and usually a representative from headquarters will visit the chapter each year.

New Member: a new member is a woman who has pledged to join a particular sorority but has not yet been initiated.

NPHC: this stands for National Pan-Hellenic Council. They are the governing body for the NPHC affiliated sororities and fraternities, which are historically African-American.

Panhellenic Association: The Panhellenic Association is the governing body of all 13 Panhellenic affiliated sororities here at KU.

Philanthropy: Greek life organizations often host Philanthropic events. The purpose of these events is to raise money for a charity of the Greek organization's choice. Each Greek organization usually supports the same charity  as their national organization. Philanthropic events are extremely diverse. They can be a traditional walk/run, a benefit concert, a pancake breakfast, a scavenger hunt or even a water balloon fight.

Pledge: an oath taken to signify your intention to join a particular organization.

Purpose/Creed/Motto: each Greek organization was founded on values and principles. Each organization has a statement of these values. Some statements are public while others can be known only to initiated members.

Ritual: this is the ceremony before every chapter meeting. It was created by each organization's founders and is known only to initiated members. Its purpose is to remind members of the values their organization stands for.

Rush: this is a term for recruitment used on other campuses around the nation. Here at KU we call the process Fall Formal Recruitment.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Why Sign Up for Fall Formal Recruitment?

There's only one week left to sign up for Fall Formal Recruitment!! If you've been debating whether or not Greek life is for you, hopefully this blog will you help you make that decision, or at least make the decision to give it a shot.

Going through Fall Formal Recruitment does not mean you are automatically stuck in Greek life. If you feel at any point that Greek life just isn't for you, that's ok! It isn't for everybody, but you'll never know until you try. Also, going through recruitment is a great way to meet women on a campus that can seem overwhelmingly large. The women you make during this week could become some of your closest friends. So why not try it out? You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain!

So what else do you gain by joining a Greek chapter? Well, every Greek chapter values what we call the four pillars. The four pillars of Greek Life stand for Service, Scholarship, Leadership and Sisterhood/Brotherhood.

Community service and philanthropic support is an integral part of fraternity and sorority life. Each chapter sponsors events to provide service, raise funding and raise awareness to a wide variety of organizations representing many worthy causes. These events can take many forms and they bring the entire Greek community together. Grab your sisters and head off to a water balloon fight, a date auction, a scavenger hunt or even a rock concert, all in the name of helping others! Most students report that helping others is one of the most rewarding experiences that fraternity or sorority membership provides.

Scholarship: it's why you're at KU in the first place! Joining a sorority means that you have an automatic network of support and older women willing to help out with subjects they've already taken. For more than 30 years the All-Greek Student GPA has been higher than the All-KU Student GPA. The Greek Community at KU is acclaimed for its strong scholastic performance and history of academic excellence. Each chapter maintains its own GPA requirements for membership and initiation and ensures continued academic success, through tutoring, academic advising, scholarships and reward systems.

Greek life also provides students with a wide variety of leadership opportunities. Members can participate within their chapter as an officer or on one of the committees each chapter maintains. There are also opportunities outside each chapter to become actively involved in KU’s 500 + student organizations. If you're interested in Student Senate, you will find that the student body president and vice president are members of the Greek community. Greeks are actively involved in sports, professional organizations, religious groups, community service opportunities, even the marching band. For members to achieve a well-rounded education, fraternities and sororities encourage active participation in a variety of KU leadership experiences.

Finally, alumni of Greek organizations often report that the most rewarding part of their Greek experience was the friendships they were able to build and maintain over the years. Fraternities and sororities build a unique bond of brotherhood and sisterhood that students carry with them throughout their lives. The connections that are built in a fraternity or sorority during the college years transcend time and often impact students many times after graduation.

Greek Life has a lot to offer and we would love for you to give the experience a chance. Look back through this blog to read the stories other Panhellenic women have shared about their experiences. Read why Caitlin decided to join a chapter here Read about Megan's experience as Student Body Vice President and how Greek life helped her get there. Or read about Courtney's sisters who supported her through her history of cancer.

And Don't forget to sign up for Fall Formal Recruitment before August 7th!