What are sororities?

Greek-letter social organizations at North American universities are commonly referred to as sororities or women’s fraternities for female groups. Since the founding of the first sorority in 1851, these organizations have thrived and multiplied into hundreds of international organizations while making a positive and tremendous impact on the service and social structure of higher education systems throughout Canada and the United States. Sororities form a proven support network to help young women with the daunting transition from high school to university and into adult life.

Are sororities just like the ones on TV or in the movies?

Absolutely not. For the most part, media outlets such as TV shows or movies usually do not accurately depict sororities. Instead, they tend to portray a sexist, false stereotype of sorority women, which in essence is extremely derogatory and is something that we contradict on a daily basis.

Is UBC Sororities a club?

In essence, yes! UBC Sororities is one of over 370 AMS (Alma Mater Society) recognized student clubs. UBC Sororities, also known as ‘UBC Panhellenic Association,’ is an umbrella organization, which branches off into our eight individual chapters.

How do I get involved?

Students can join sororities by participating in Spring Recruitment, which takes place in January. Joining a sorority is a process of mutual selection with the goal of providing the best place for everyone. You may register for Spring Recruitment via the registration page on this site. This registration will only be available leading up to Spring Recruitment.

What will I get out of a sorority that I would not get out of any other university organization?

Coming to university is usually a major life change for a young woman. Joining a sorority helps students to acclimate to campus life more quickly, and will provide you with a structured atmosphere in which you can concentrate on scholarship, leadership, and service. Developing lifelong friendships with the members in a sorority will help make the campus smaller. For many members, their sorority becomes a home away from home.

You will also find personal growth and development extending far beyond your years on campus. A sorority can help personalize your university experience by offering hands-on experience in leading committees, managing budgets, and interacting with faculty and administrators. Each year, sorority members contribute thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of volunteer time to community service projects in the lower mainland. UBC’s sorority members are also heavily involved on the campus and hold many prominent leadership positions in various levels of student government, campus clubs and athletics. This involvement helps students to develop leadership skills that are beneficial to securing employment after graduation.

Current members also cite alumnae support as one of the unique benefits of joining a sorority. Alumnae provide networking opportunities for students, which help them to secure internships and jobs throughout and after their university careers. In addition, many alumnae are actively involved as advisors, providing additional support for the transition to university life

What is the time commitment for a sorority?

Each sorority is different; however, in general, each chapter requires a commitment every Wednesday evening for chapter meetings. Commitment is required with a few other events throughout each semester as well. For a more detailed view of the time commitment of a sorority, please go here.

As you consider the time commitments of a sorority, please keep in mind that the more you put in, the more you get out!

Won’t working while in school conflict with participation in a sorority?

Many students involved in a sorority also hold part or even full-time employment. In today’s world, the reality is that only the lucky few can afford to attend university without outside employment. Sororities recognize that it is important for members to be able to meet their financial obligations and that many students will work to help finance their education. Working students can still take advantage of the opportunities available through UBC Sororities.

Do sororities cost money?

As with any organization, sororities require their members to contribute membership dues in order to provide great programming, activities, and resources that they do for their members. You can view a more in-depth look at the financial aspect of a sorority here.

Keep in mind that, unlike most other organizations, sororities have various payment plans and scholarship opportunities to assist in covering these costs! For instance, upon joining a sorority, you have the opportunity to apply for one of two new member scholarships offered by UBC Sororities!

Is housing available?

Unlike some campuses, sororities at UBC do not have individual sorority houses. Instead, we are proud to have the Panhellenic House. The Panhellenic House is owned and operated by the Vancouver Alumnae Panhellenic Association (VAPA). The first floor of this house hosts the eight sororities on our campus. The remaining three floors have rooms available in quad-style apartments for any female UBC undergraduate student to rent! Applications to reside in the Panhellenic House are usually accepted in February. To find out more about housing, please visit our housing page or the VAPA website.

What effect will joining have on my grades?

All sororities highly value academia. Sororities recognize that its members are students first and thus offer many support systems, programs and services to try and better support their members. Having said this, joining a sorority will not magically raise your GPA, nor will membership in a sorority automatically drop it. It is up to individuals to utilize the resources and opportunities offered in order to help balance commitments and maintain high academic achievement. There are women within our organization who are able to do this phenomenally!

Will I be hazed?

Absolutely not. UBC Sororities and the university at large have very strict no-hazing policies. We view hazing as one of the most dangerous and destructive practices that organizations can partake and we fundamentally reject it.

What about alcohol use?

In accordance with the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) Alcohol Initiative, joint sorority/fraternity events held on fraternity property are alcohol-free. All sorority meeting rooms in the Panhellenic House are alcohol-free. Sorority members also benefit from alcohol and drug abuse seminars as well as educational programs on issues such as assault and safety.

Who is in charge of sororities?

Individual chapters elect officers to manage chapter operations with the help of alumnae, advisor and international support. Sororities offer unparalleled leader opportunities and experience for their members because of this collegiate run nature!

What is ‘philanthropy’?

When exploring our website, you’ll come across the term ‘philanthropy’ quite frequently. By definition, philanthropy means: the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.

The reason it is so prevalent when discussing sorority life is that sororities hold charity and the betterment of our community as some of our highest values. Each sorority holds numerous events throughout the year in order to benefit their partnered national and/or domestic charitable organizations. Each sorority also has its members participate in the events held by other fraternities and sororities!

I’m interested but still unsure!

We encourage to explore the other areas of our website along with our Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram in order to get a better picture of what sorority life is like!

Also, if you are interested in finding out more about the individual sororities please take a look at each chapter’s bio here! You can find links to their websites and other social media outlets in these bios.

If you have any other questions please email us at info@ubcsororities.com, we are here to help and we would love to hear from you!