By: Hailey Hall
When most people think of a sorority they think of the typical Hollywood movie and all the stereotypes that come along it. Basically, you think of pillow fights, drama, parties, and a house full of stuck up, pretty girls. Honestly though, what else are we supposed to think when our only perception of sorority life is determined by what we see in movies. Prior to going through recruitment myself, I felt the same doubts and experienced the same misguided thoughts about the entire system. Thankfully, after much persuading from a friend, I decided to give recruitment a chance and the entire meaning of the word “sorority” took on a whole new life.
Perks of joining a sorority from an inside perspective:
Campus and Community Involvement
One perk of walking into a house comprised of seventy diverse and accomplished women is that each woman belongs to at least one additional club or organization, whether on campus or in the community. It’s easy to join organizations when you know someone who can show you the ropes or give you suggestions on how to get involved. Plus, there’s always philanthropy and community service tied to membership, meaning sororities actively contribute to their communities through volunteer work and fundraising.
Constantly being surrounded by women who hold themselves to high academic standards can definitely be scary at times, but ultimately those standards encourage members to set elevated goals and strive to improve academically. Grades are important, that’s why we’re in school right? I personally think being in a sorority makes keeping grades up just a little bit easier! Plus, you always have a study buddy!
A lot of Greek houses operate similar to a business in that there is a suite of officers made up of elected members. These opportunities for leadership enable women to break out of their comfort zone, as well as learn to work with multiple different types of personalities. The house is student-run so making decisions affects the entire chapter and that responsibility contributes to preparation for real world situations. It’s basically like a giant family. I mean they refer to sorority girls as sisters for a reason, they share clothes, argue, laugh, cry and act like officers are their mom’s away from home at times! Which is honestly how it should be!
The Greek Community is pretty close in that I almost always know someone from Greek Life in my classes or student groups. It’s nice having a network of people that automatically have something in common with you. It’s pretty cool walking around campus seeing a familiar face on almost every corner.
One of the craziest opportunities presented to sorority women is the chance to live with their chapter. In my case, I live with 34 women, I know, call me crazy! Really though, living with these women has allowed me to connect with with them and grow with them. It’s the casual encounters that are the most memorable, like the countless times I’ve been caught up laughing in the kitchen until 1am or having ridiculous conversations with girls who stopped by my room because they heard laughing. Not to mention the spontaneous midnight ice cream runs and random shopping trips I can never seem to say no to.
The point is, the friendships are made through the everyday experiences that come from being a member of something bigger than just an organization. Yes, living with 34 people can be trying at times, I’d be insane if I denied that fact, but honestly the benefits widely outweigh the trials. I know that regardless of what I’m going through, whether that’s a breakup, family troubles or the general stresses of daily life, there will always be someone there to keep me going. I’ve met my best friends through my sorority and developed friendships with so many amazing people. Joining Kappa Alpha Theta has been the best decision I’ve made throughout my college career and it’s an organization I’m proud to be a part of. The reality is sororities aren’t all matching outfits and themed events, they’re about building up members, developing friendships and belonging to an organization who’s impact lasts a lifetime.
Shoutout to all my sisters that have made my college experience one for the books!
Have you ever had an interest in joining Greek Life? Are you Greek and have a fun story to share? Comment below!
My name is Spencer Lawston and I am a senior and a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon here at the University of Montana. While I also enjoy grilling on the front lawn and drinking PBR, I will be the first to admit I look nothing like Zac Efron.
When I first came to school I never pictured myself as a “frat guy” and to this day I am still amazed that I decided to go through recruitment. Looking back now, joining a fraternity was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, but Ill talk about that a little later. When I first joined I had no idea what to expect, and to this day I am still surprised by some things. This article is all about the 27 things I wish someone would have told me when I decided to join Greek life at the University of Montana.
- Float building during Homecoming is chaotic- Houses get paired up and have to come up with a creative float idea to match the same homecoming theme every year. It’s always a chaotic rush to finish before Saturday morning at 8 because we don’t start until Friday night typically.
- You can move into your house as a freshman- Instead of living in a cramped dorm room with a random roommate for another semester, you could move in to your immaculate, lavish, and spacious chapter house (for those that have them at least).
- Every fraternity and sorority has a “sweetheart” and it takes a lot of time and effort to become one- It usually takes a year of campaigning and a lot of participation from the entire chapter as well in order to win (no wonder SAE hadn’t had a member be a sweetheart in like 15 years).
- You can get J-boarded twice, in one year, while you’re already on probation, and stay on campus– Somehow SAE got J-boarded for actually following the rules and enforcing a guest list at one of our “Unregistered Functions”. We also somehow managed to meet all the terms of our probation (shout out to Drew Hossle and Flagship) and get off of probation.
- Griz Mornings are a thing, and they are awesome- Nobody tailgates earlier, harder, or better than the Greeks do.
- Theta Kickball is the best philanthropic event in the universe- Seriously, who doesn’t like playing kickball all day? And all the money raised goes to charity, its a win win.
- Elections are the longest meetings of all time- Every semester we have to elect new position, and it always takes upwards of 3 hours. 3 hours of candidates telling you the same thing and asking for your vote.
- Greek life advisors change pretty frequently- Maureen gave way to Julie, who gave way to Caitlin (temporarily), luckily Caitlin is officially hired and will hopefully be here for a while.
- In 4 years we’d have 3 new chapters on campus- I mean two (R.I.P. Pike).
- Moving into the house for the first time is absolutely insane- I had no idea what I needed for my room when I first moved in. Moving is always difficult, but when 25 people are all trying to move into the same house at the same time, things get crazy.
- SAE’s Toga Party is the absolute best party of the year- This is pretty self explanatory, TOGA TOGA TOGA!!!
- Senior games are a hilarious tribute to the seniors, at the expense of your underclassmen- Every senior loves getting schmoozed for a week. It’s a great way to celebrate making it through college, kinda.
- SAE would eliminate the pledge process all together- It was a huge announcement that completely changed the entire makeup of one of the largest fraternities in the country. It has forced us to completely re-organize our entire member education process and has increased the workload required by every member of the chapter.
- I would be in charge of recruitment- Somehow I got put in charge of running Fraternity recruitment. I had to scrap the old process and come up with an entirely new process. Everything went well and the new system is still pretty much intact. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my time here.
- I would tell a room full of parents that “we pretty much party every weekend”- I went into the presentation saying that I was going to be honest, and when a parent asked what the social scene was like, I responded honestly (I was actually scared for my well being when I looked over and saw Caitlin and Julie).
- The above statement would lead to one of the largest recruiting classes we’ve ever gotten- We got 117 new fraternity men that year, up from 30 in the previous year.
- Being VP of your house makes everyone hate you- Nobody likes you when you tell them that they have to follow the rules.
- Cupcake would become IFC President- Cupcake is arguably the most likable person in our Greek system so seeing him, and working with him, on an executive board was quiet the experience.
- The Dad bod would become a thing- And I would fully support and embrace it to the dismay of many
- I would lose the Mr. Anchorslam competition several times- I have been called the DG troll by some, and my friendship with pretty much all of the Delta Gammas is well known. In my early years I thought that I was a lock for Mr. Anchorman, clearly I was wrong, three times.
- Overnight functions are the best functions- It took 3 years but we finally went on an overnight function as a chapter. We rented out a huge house near Flathead Lake and stayed for 2 days. These two days were ridiculous and I cant really write anything else about it.
- Going to National events is an absolute blast, and you learn some stuff too- I myself have been to Vegas, Miami, and the Bahamas on a cruise ship for national leadership schools. These events are located in highly desirable locations and have hundreds of other members in attendance. It gives you a chance to meet members from around the country and network with them.
- The entire Greek system can continuously come up with creative and unique themes for social events- It is a constant struggle for houses to come up with themes for social events but UM doesn’t disappoint. From highlighter and jungle, to the Harlem Shake and construction, UM Greeks show that they can stay creative and innovative.
- I would spend $1,000 on a bar tab at formal- We’ve all had nights where we come back from downtown and realize we spent way too much money. In most cases thats like $100. My Junior year at our Violet Ball Formal at the Ranch Club I somehow managed to rack up an $1,117 dollar tab. Apparently I told everyone in attendance I would buy their next round and also told the bartender to only use top shelf alcohol.
- I would finally achieve my college long goal of becoming Mr. Anchorman- After 4 years of campaigning and probably $500 in spare change, I finally achieved my goal and was awarded the coveted prize, it was the best day of my college career, hands down.
- Greeks would be so rowdy during homecoming that all alcohol would be banned in Greek life- Never mind what actually happened and what the actual punishment was, TFM, The Kaimin, The Missoulian, and every other news agency in Montana ran with the headline “Alcohol banned in all Fraternities and Sororities”. #SoberForOctober
- Greek life at UM is a tight knit community- In the end, we’re a pretty small Greek system and we’re all tight knit. We all have friends in different houses and can all come together when we need to.