So you made it through rush week and bid day, and now you’re all settled into your new sorority or fraternity.
But, what if a few weeks, months, or even years go by and you don’t feel like your choice is a good fit anymore? The good news? You don’t have to stick around. The majority of the organizations out there are on your side, and if you realize it’s not for you anymore, they will support you. You may still have financial obligations per the contract signed, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay physically!
A few tips to remember if this is something you are struggling with:
Be honest with yourself. Really dig deep into your thoughts and feelings on the situation and honestly think about how you’re feeling about the whole situation. Do not just guilt yourself to stay because “someday it’ll get better” or “things might change.”
There is no financial responsibility that is greater than your mental health. Leaving your sorority or fraternity may come with a financial burden of fees for leaving or still having to pay your yearly dues even though you’ve left. However, this should never be a reason to stay in a situation taking a toll on your mental or even physical health. If you’re having a hard time balancing everything and leaving your organization is what needs to happen, then it needs to happen.
It could possibly disqualify you from joining another organization within the same school. By walking away from one fraternity or sorority, it could mean losing out on the opportunity to join another at the same school. However, if you’re transferring colleges altogether, you can often join a new organization at your new school.
Be honest with your organization’s president throughout the process. It can be a good idea to confront your president about your worries, concerns, and problems early on. This could mean the difference between staying within your sorority/fraternity or leaving! It will also make it easier to carry out your leaving process if that’s what you ultimately decide to do, no one will feel blindsided.
In the end, your happiness and overall well-being is the most important thing here. Make the best decision for you.
Welcome to our #GoGreek series! This blog series focuses on interviewing past and present members of sororities and fraternities. We are able to learn more about their experiences and ask them questions to help others learn more about the Greek world, bust stigmas, and find out if Greek life is right for you.
Today we are interviewing Samantha Jennings Willan from Kappa Beta Gamma at Humber College located in Ontario, Canada.
Samantha chose the organization that she did because KBG is a non-panhel international sorority, so she’s been able to make friends all over Canada and the United States, and their philanthropy was something she really connected with. She was also drawn to Greek life because of the community it creates.
What was your philanthropy and what effect did serving this philanthropy have on your life?
“Our philanthropy is the Special Olympics. I love being able to come out, support the community and give back! The Special Olympics is such a positive organization and each year I still participate in their fundraising events.”
If you could go back, would there be anything you would change about your experience?
“I’d honestly just soak up every moment more! You don’t realize when you’re in it but those are the memories you’re going to cherish and hold onto. I would go on each sisterhood trip, every retreat, etc!”
How has your experience helped or shaped your life beyond college?
“Each sister has made me want to be the best version of myself and I am so grateful for that! These are lifelong connections and it doesn’t just end after 4 years. You’re sisters for life. You always have someone to lean on, talk to, grab coffee with. It’s made me become more confident!”
Samantha’s advice for someone looking into Greek life is to just go for it! Jump right in and enjoy it, it will help you get out of your shell and grow as a person if you do.
Have you heard of Tri Delta’s women of achievement? Each year Tri Delta spotlights women of achievement. This year, their women of 2021 were incredibly exceptional women that absolutely deserved the spotlight.
Tri Delta put a spotlight on Kara Barnett, Duke, Carol Hallett, Oregon, and Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne, Pennsylvania. Each woman came from a predominantly male background in fields of study but is paving the way to show women power.
Kara Barnett is an arts leader, innovator, and producer. Tri Delta made this statement about her-
“Kara Medoff Barnett was appointed Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company, in February 2016 following nearly nine years as a senior executive at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. At ABT, Barnett has advanced innovation and inclusion, supporting a robust slate of new productions and increasing diversity in the training pipeline. Since 2016, the Company has performed in Paris, Muscat, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Singapore and Hong Kong, bringing extraordinary art to audiences worldwide.”Tri Delta Organization
Carol Hallett is an aviation industry leader, trusted advisor, and elected official. Tri Delta commented this on Carol:
“Carol serves as counselor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She served for eight years as president and CEO of the Air Transport Association of America (now Airlines for America or “A4A”), which represents the chief executive officers of U.S. and foreign flag airline and cargo carriers. Following 9/11, Carol helped craft and pass legislation to save the domestic aviation industry from bankruptcy and took the lead in the redesign of airline security policies and practices. She was twice named to “The Business Travel Industry’s 25 Most Influential Executives.” Her areas of expertise include international trade and commercial aviation issues.”Tri Delta Organization
Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne is noted as a changemaker, investor, and champion. Tri Delta states,
“With more than 30 years of Wall Street, technology, philanthropy, training and professional speaking experience, she is unique in her global experience and knowledge and one among few African American women to start a venture capital firm. Gayle is a highly sought-out content expert in matters of innovation, tech trends, finance, investing and entrepreneurship. She also works with groups to demystify how to invest wisely and with impact.”Tri Delta Organization
You can read Tri Delta’s full story on their 2021 women of achievement here.
The holiday season is coming up, which means a whirlwind of things to remember and do! But one thing that is always on the mind of a sorority and fraternity is, “How do we support our philanthropy through the holidays as well?” It’s no secret that everyone needs a little extra love and help during this time of the year, so here are a few ideas of ways you can help support.
Fundraisers- the possibilities of fundraisers are endless!
Donate unused items- it’s such a great way to go through everything in your organization’s house and find unused items that can be donated directly to your philanthropy in one way or another.
Give your time- giving doesn’t have to require your money. Sometimes a few hours serving your philanthropy in some way can be incredibly beneficial. Reach out to them to see what you and your organization can help with. Many hands make light work!
Reach out to other sororities and fraternities to see how you can help
How else do you support your philanthropy through the holidays?
Alpha Phi’s history began in 1872 when ten women came together because they too wanted to be involved with something on campus of their university, but were denied access to their school’s fraternities. From this, they started their own women’s fraternity, which became the Alpha Phi sorority.
Their philanthropy is based deeply on service. “How can we serve and help?” is always the question on their mind, along with their motto, “Union Hand in Hand.”
“You will find a group of women passionate about making the world a better place. Whether it’s initiating community service efforts, raising awareness for heart health, or navigating the unique and challenging issues facing women on today’s college campuses, we stand together boldly to make a difference on our campuses and in our communities.” -alphaphiorg
They also pride themselves in the inclusive community they create at their sororities. They create an environment where you can feel at home away from home, get involved in your community, create lasting friendships, and grow as a leader.
“Every year, nearly 9,000 new members find a home in Alpha Phi. Like you, they too were looking for a place where they could confide in others, share new experiences, conquer difficult challenges, and achieve things they never thought possible.”
“More than 270,000 members found a community of friends who impacted their collegiate adventure for the better… and so will you. In Alpha Phi, you’ll have sisters standing shoulder to shoulder with you through the ups and downs of your college years. And perhaps the most surprising gift of all is that this Alpha Phi family extends well beyond your college years… Alpha Phi sisterhood means friendship for life.” -alphaphi.org
Joining Alpha Phi is participating in a lifelong sisterhood!
It’s Greek Week season! This means planning, planning, planning! Greek week is fun and exciting for everyone involved. One of the best parts of Greek Week is that there is always an activity to attend somewhere. BUT. For those on the planning committee, it is a lot of work. So here is a list of some Greek Week activities for you to consider.
Have a guest speaker
Chalk competitions outside of your organization’s house
Canned food drives
Sporting events- softball, kickball, pickleball, mud volleyball, etc! The opportunities with this are endless, there are so many sporting events you can put on!
Nail painting night
Obstacle “American Ninja Warrior” courses
Lip sync battles
Minute to Win It games
Pie eating contests
Greek week is an important week where Greek organizations can come together and get to know one another. It’s celebrating brotherhood and sisterhood and everything each organization represents. Though Greek week is a lot of work for many individuals, everyone will always agree that it pays off and is incredibly fun to spend the week doing these various activities and getting to know one another.
Do you have any other activities you do during Greek Week that you would add to this list?
If you’re planning on #GoingGreek this fall when school starts, it’s time to start researching Rush Week! This week will most likely look a little different at each school, but the overview is the same- a week where new recruits for Greek sororities and fraternities check out the different houses, meet the members of the organizations, learn about their philanthropies, and try to match up with which one they would like to be a part of for their college career. Here’s what a sample rush week could look like:
Monday: Meet the members of the houses and get to know one another
Tuesday: Tours of the houses
Wednesday: Philanthropy night to learn more about each house’s philanthropy.
Thursday: Preference day*
Saturday: Bid day
*Preference day is a day where each house looks at each potential pick of who they want in their house, and the guys and girls rushing also pick which houses they want to be a part of. If you end up matching, you’re invited to a preference night for the houses you match with. This doesn’t mean you’re in the sorority or fraternity yet! This is your “interview” of sorts.
After preference day is bid day, the day the sororities and fraternities invite those they ended up choosing to join them. Each University and house will have a different number of people they take in, some schools have around a 95% rate of getting in if you rush, other schools can be lower and more competitive to get in.
Tips for Rush Week
- Ask a lot of questions. Usually you’re assigned a leader to help guide you through the week, ask the questions and become familiar with the houses and process!
- Try not to stress. There’s a lot of commotion and things to think or worry about. But it’s also great to live in the moment and take it all in.
- Research the houses before. It can be easier going into Rush Week with a knowledge of what your options are and what these houses mean and stand for. For example, research Alpha Chi Omega, what they stand for, what their philanthropy is, how they started, what their motto is, etc. This will help you decide if this house is right for you, even before rush week begins.
- Dress to impress! How you dress says a lot about who you are, this is why we dress up for job interviews. Look at rush week as one week-long job interview, so dress in a way you are comfortable and feel like you, but is also your nicer, more professional clothing.
- Keep your purse or bag stocked with essentials. Chapstick, mints, extra clothes, snacks, and maybe comfy shoes to change into. At some Universities, the houses won’t be all right next to each other, so consider the walking time and distance. High heels don’t make the best shoes to walk a few blocks in!
- When choosing your final houses on preference day, be honest with yourself. It can be so easy to fall into the trap that you need to be included in every house or that you would be completely fine getting into whichever house offers you their preference or bid. However, it’s best to be honest with yourself and really consider if choosing a specific house would be the right decision for you.
Good luck with rush week this fall! We are rooting for you!