An Inside Look On the Life of a Sorority House Mom Ciarra Joyner

This semester, the sisters of Kappa Delta Sorority at the University of Maryland have welcomed home their new house mother, Ciarra Joyner.

I was given the privilege to speak with the Neptune, N.J. native on a Sunday night to learn about her experience so far as a house mom. As I sat down with Ciarra, she was in the midst of celebrating the victory of her favorite football team, the New Orleans Saints, with Alana Tauber, a member of Kappa Delta.  

Photo Credit: UMD Kappa Delta Twitter

The position of as a sorority house mom was completely unfamiliar to Ciarra when she accepted the positon during the springtime of last semester, but she has actually been a part of the UMD community for quite some time. She is the Coordinator of Rights and Responsibilities at the Office of Residence Life here at UMD.

Ciarra has aspirations to accelerate her career here on campus which is what ultimately led her to accept the precarious “house mom” position. She hopes to one day be a Dean of Students or a Vice President of Student Affairs, which are responsible for supervising and overseeing Fraternity and Sorority life. Ciarra explained that being a house mom would give her the necessary experience of interacting with the Panhellenic Association (PHA) and the Interfraternity Council (IFC), as well as learning about the dynamics and culture of Greek life first hand.

Ciarra resides in a secluded one-bedroom apartment connected to the first floor of the KD house, located on College Ave., with her husband, Chris Beck.

Ciarra stated that her biggest responsibility as a house mom is undoubtedly to make sure that the girls are safe and that the house is secure. Although, when asked about the day-to-day duties she performs, she explained that a lot of the work she does on grounds regards maintenance.

“It’s a huge house with over 50 girls living here. Basically, I work as the liaison between all of our services, like our meal and cleaning services, and the girls. I ensure that everything is running smoothly.

She also spoke about her especially important responsibility to create relationships with the girls. “I am their person here. If anything happens, I want them to feel like they can come to me so I really make an effort to build those connections,” added Ciarra.

Ciarra’s superiors are a group of Kappa Delta alumnae, named House Corp. They handle all of the house’s expenses and make sure that house operations are in line with national guidelines. Ciarra noted that House Corp. has been especially helpful to her in regard to learning about the history of the house and how exactly everything is run.

Ciarra described that her greatest challenge in this role so far is finding a balance between supporting, and when necessary, disciplining the girls, while still giving them autonomy and freedom in their own homes to do what they want (within reason).

As I finished speaking with Ciarra, I asked what her favorite part about being a house mom was; Her face completely lit up. “Oh my god, we eat the best food! Tonight we had this yummy chicken and then a big ol’ chocolate chip cookie for desert…and we eat a lot of avocado. It’s amazing,” she said.