Sororities are one of those things that you hear a lot about but never really know too much about. At U of T we see them at the club fair advertising and may even see someone wearing their letters in class but more often than not they are written off before people even take the time to learn about the sororities themselves— what they do, what they stand for, or how to get involved. In doing so, people often disregard the sense of community and sisterhood that sororities can offer young women or their commitment to various philanthropic causes. This is particularly unfortunate at a school such as U of T since many of these tend to be areas that people find to be missing when they arrive at U of T- a school known as much for its rigorous and demanding academic curriculum as its lack of spirit and social activities. In a community such as this, sororities can be a way to help fill whatever gap is missing in one’s life.
There tend to be many misconceptions about sororities because of the way they are sometimes portrayed in the media. While social activities are a part of sorority life, the Panhellenic Association ensures that all houses are free of drugs and alcohol and maintains a zero tolerance policy for hazing of any kind. Moreover, there is a strong academic focus in the Greek community, something that is often overlooked by people unfamiliar with sororities. All women participating in recruitment must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and chapters such as Tri Delta maintained a chapter GPA of 3.01 last semester— definitely no small feat at U of T. The social and philanthropic aspects of sororities also mean that sorority members are some of the most involved on campus. Tri Delta member Caitlin says “sororities are great because you get involved in a little bit of everything in just one organization- sisterhood, friendships, philanthropy, academics, leadership roles, and social activities. Being in a sorority… enriches your academic experience overall, and provides a strong sense of community within U of T’s large campus.” Because sororities involve everything from philanthropy and social activities to leadership roles within each sorority, members are given the opportunity to grow as a person and within a community, developing skills that can be crucial to their future success. This success is reflected in the plethora of successful women who are also members of sororities— everyone from Condoleeza Rice to Carrie Underwood are members of sororities. Member of Parliament Dr. Carolyn Bennett was even a sorority member during her time at U of T!
At U of T, there are seven sororities governed by the National Panhellenic Council, each with its own distinctive personality and history. And while the formal recruitment process for the semester has now ended, sororities such as Delta Delta Delta still have an informal recruitment process for those interested in joining a sorority. When considering joining a sorority, Caitlin says “there are three important factors to consider: time commitment, finances, and philanthropy.” On top of philanthropy and social events, “sororities usually have regular programming two nights per week.” These events can add up, especially for people who already have difficulty balancing their schedules, and it is important to remember this when joining a sorority. Additionally, there is a financial aspect to membership in a sorority and while “dues vary by sorority”, “it costs money to keep a sorority running, maintain the house, and to be able to provide a calendar full of events” so be sure to consider how your dues will fit into your school budget. Lastly, because “each house supports a distinct cause and has a longstanding connection to a specific philanthropic organization that supports that cause”, if there is a cause that you are particularly interested in, that can play a large role in your decision. Other than that, Caitlin encourages potential members to simply “be yourself”, “be confident”, “ask questions”, and “trust your instincts” and you’ll be sure to find the right house for you.
If you are interested in joining a sorority but have been hesitant to take the first steps, take a chance and the sororities at U of T just may surprise you! For more information on Tri Delta’s informal recruitment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org