There are currently two sororities at Wilfrid Laurier University and, for people who aren’t familiar with Greek Life, this can be surprising to hear. Going Greek often sounds like something that only happens at American schools and in movies, so to some it’s a shock that there’s such a strong Greek Life community at our relatively small university. As members of Greek Life, we think it’s sad that so many people aren’t informed on what it means to be in a sorority at Laurier, so we’ve teamed together to share our experiences in hopes of enlightening anybody who’s curious about sorority life!
What Greek group are you in?
Olivia: I am in Alpha Phi Iota Theta at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Rebecca: I am in Alpha Omega, which is a local sorority at Wilfrid Laurier University.
What made you want to join a sorority?
Olivia: Back when I was in high school, my community hour sheet was full. I loved to volunteer, and I loved to help others. When I learned that Alpha Phi’s philanthropy was women’s heart health, I got really excited. Alpha Phi is helping to spread heart health awareness, and I love that. I was determined to join the sorority the moment I learned about all the work Alpha Phi does to help women’s heart health. Not only that, but usually there are weekly volunteer opportunities to give back.
Rebecca: When I came to tour Laurier in Grade 12, one of the things that stuck out to me was that we were one of the top schools for volunteering. So, when first year started, I wanted to look at everything the school had to offer and see how I could get involved. Greek Life immediately stood out to me for the opportunities it presented. Getting to participate in philanthropic endeavours, pursue different leadership roles, and make long-lasting friendships were all things I desired, so it made perfect sense in my mind to join a sorority. When I learned more about Alpha Omega in particular, I just felt a pull, like this is where I was meant to be.
What do sororities really do?
Olivia: Sororities are truly misunderstood, as people believe sorority girls are what they see in the movies. Sororities are so much more than that. Sororities are all about volunteering, education, leadership, and meeting new people! Being in a sorority has allowed me to be more conscious of my studies, allowed me to get more involved within the community, and has also allowed me to meet so many new people!
Rebecca: There are a lot of false misconceptions and stereotypes about what being in a sorority really means. No, we aren’t paying for our friends! We spend a lot of our time focused on philanthropy. Alpha Omega’s main philanthropy is Anselma House, a women’s shelter in Kitchener that provides shelter for women and children escaping domestic abuse. We hold charity brunches, bake sales, partner with Laurier Athletics for basketball games and more to support them. We also focus on bonding as a sisterhood, whether that’s through socials or retreats. We really are a support system for each other, which is really nice to have when school gets rough. And, we value our academics highly and support all our sisters in their pursuit of their education.
Is it just partying at the frat houses?
Olivia: One of my favorite memories was at a frat house, and it was not partying! We made homemade pizzas straight from scratch! It was such a fun time and I got to show off my pizza making skills. We love to socialize together and get to know each other more. At the charity events that Alpha Phi holds, you will see a lot of frat boys come because we love to support each other. We are all friends!
Rebecca: Definitely not! We do like to socialize with other Greek organizations in the community, but that is most definitely not all we do. We have held a variety of socials with the fraternities in the past, from gingerbread house building, to pumpkin carving, to Oscar viewing parties. Our sisters have a variety of interests, as do the guys, so we have a variety of events to please as many people as possible. Some of our sisters don’t drink at all, and still form really good friendships with the fraternity brothers, which just goes to show that Greek life isn’t just about partying.
Are your sororities competitive with each other?
Olivia: You will always hear the rumors about how the Omega girls don’t like the Phi girls, and how the Phi girls don’t like the Omega girls… but that’s not true at all!!! We were all just girls looking to join a sisterhood, and we did that! We may not be all together in one group, but that’s fine, because we all found a sisterhood where we feel happy and safe! That’s all that really matters at the end of the day. Many times the Omegas and Phis will go out and support one another’s charity events, because we all love each other and all have similar outlooks in life. I love that there is another sorority on campus because we get to do fun collaborations like this article for Her Campus, and both sororities get to join forces to conquer the world (or maybe just campus).
Rebecca: Nope! Our groups are quite supportive of each other, especially when it comes to charity. We just had our Greek Week, and it was really cool to see everyone supporting each other. I think (at least from what I’ve seen and felt) that we all have a respect for one another. We might be in different sororities, but we all rushed for similar reasons; we want to give back to the community, we want to be part of a large family, we want to network, we want to have leadership opportunities, etc. While there are differences between our sororities, we share those things in common, and I think that keeps us from being competitive. The way I look at it, it doesn’t matter where you’ve found your home, so long as you’ve found it!
What would you say to future Golden Hawks thinking about rushing a sorority?
Olivia: I highly recommend checking out the sororities at Laurier! The rushing experience itself is such a positive experience. Also, remember to always stay true to who you are! Don’t feel like you have to force yourself to act a certain way, just be as cool as a cucumber lol… Honestly, you’re perfect as you are, so don’t be someone you’re not!
Rebecca: Definitely check it out! Even if you are unsure, it’s better to give it a try and realize it isn’t for you than to always be left wondering what could have been. Be open to trying new things and meeting new people. And most importantly, be yourself! We want to get to know you and learn about all the things that make you unique and perfectly you. And if you are nervous, know that we are, too! We are putting ourselves out there, and making ourselves vulnerable, just like you are. We’ve all been in your shoes before and want you to have the most positive experience possible!
What have you gained from joining Greek Life?
Olivia: I have gained so much from joining Greek Life. I have gained a family away from home, I have gained new friends that love and support me, I have gained confidence, I have gained leadership experience, and the list goes on! I love being in Greek Life, and I am so happy and thankful that I get to be a part of it.
Rebecca: I’ve gained a family, volunteer experience, and leadership experience! I’ve gotten to take on roles and responsibilities that have challenged me to grow and learn, which has been so valuable. For example, this past year I’ve been our Standards Chair and got a lot of practice speaking to a large group of people, among other things. These kinds of experiences have helped sisters get jobs, become Icebreakers and Dons, and more. Most importantly to me, though, is that I’ve built meaningful connections that will last a lifetime. Whenever I go on campus, I see numerous sisters, which always boosts my mood.
Are you happy with your decision to go Greek?
Olivia: Joining a sorority has been, by far, the best decision I’ve made since coming to Laurier. I joined Alpha Phi in my second year, and I wish I joined in first year because I have loved every minute of it. You meet so many people, and it really helps you to get even more involved with other clubs and teams on campus; for example, through joining Alpha Phi, I also got to join Powderpuff football! I do not know where I would be without Alpha Phi. They are my family and my friends. Joining a sorority is a positive, life-changing experience that will continue to effect you for the rest of your life!
Rebecca: I’m extremely happy! My best friends and roommates are people who I met through the sorority, it’s where most of my free time goes, and it’s given me so many opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I truly can’t imagine my university career without Alpha Omega, it’s been that big a part of my life.
There you have it! That is what it is like to be in a sorority at Laurier. No matter if you are an Alpha Omega or Alpha Phi, we all have similar values and principals. Both sororities pride themselves in spreading love and positivity around campus and in the community. We hope this article gave you a better understanding of what being in a sorority is really like, and why we love it so much!