What exactly is a sorority? Sororities are groups based around an educational purpose, either in high school or in college. Unlike fraternities, sororities typically only allow women to become a part of their group. Depending on the school, sorority groups may provide a house on campus where selected members live. Members also participate in various traditions, like wearing their sorority clothing around campus on a particular day of the week. Also, sororities can be formed based on several factors, such as religious beliefs, ethnicity, social life, and program of study.
The most popular type of sorority is established on the National Panhellenic Conference. Greek sorority chapters include Kappa Kappa Gamma or “Kappa,” Chi Omega aka “Chi O,” and Delta Delta Delta or “Tri-Delt.” To get into these sororities, individuals must become pledges that are sponsored by an existing member of the sorority. During Rush Week, potential members go through a set of ritualistic practices that include remembering club charters, past members, and rules of the sorority. While hazing is a banned practice, in some of the higher ranking sororities this practice does still take place, albeit not typically at the level of fraternities known for deadly hazing.
While collegiate life is centered around the academics, the life of a Greek is often super busy with meetings, fundraisers, parties, and socializing. As a result, students who are focused on doing their best in undergraduate, graduate, or medical school often find academic sororities are the most appropriate fit. These sororities provide social organization and networking without demanding so much of the student’s schedule. Academic sororities differ depending on the college and academic programs, and prerequisites include a particular grade point average and inclusion in a particular program of study.
At most colleges that have sororities and an African-American student population, there are sororities that are organized around this ethnicity. The first African-American sorority was the Prince Hall Freemasonry, which was established in 1784. Other sororities include non-Greek groups called Groove Phi Groove and Swing Phi Swing. Additionally approximately seven African-American sororities are part of the National Panhellenic Conference, and admission is determined the same as the previously mentioned Greek societies.
The Hispanic population has established sororities centered around the Latino culture. One of the major players in these sororities is the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations. Additionally, like the African-American sororities, some Latina sororities are affiliated with the National Panhellenic Conference.
Several groups including the Church of the Latter Day Saints, Christians, and Jewish religions have established sororities. For Christians, the first sorority was Alpha Delta Chi, established in 1925. Alpha Epsilon Phi was established in 1909 by a group of Jewish students. These groups are focused around their faith, and admission is based on virtue and spiritual understanding of the individuals.
Thanks to the organization of sororities, women can connect with like-minded women for a much-needed support group while in college. For many students, this type of support can make or break a college career. Following college graduation, the networks formed in sororities help graduating members secure dream jobs and life mates.