What Are Sororities?
Greek-letter social organizations at North American universities are commonly known 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 impact on the service and social structure of higher education systems throughout Canada and the United States. Sororities form a support network to help young women transitioning from high school to university & to adulthood.
Are Sororities Like The Ones On TV?
Absolutely not. For the most part, media outlets such as TV shows or movies do not accurately depict sororities. Instead, they tend to portray a sexist, false stereotype of sorority women, which is extremely derogatory and does not align with the values of UBC Sororities.
Is UBC Sororities A Club?
Yes! UBC Sororities is one of over 370 AMS (Alma Mater Society) student clubs. UBC Sororities, also known as the ‘UBC Panhellenic Association,’ is an umbrella organization that includes our 8 individual chapters.
How Do I Get Involved?
Students can join sororities by participating in Fall Recruitment (takes place in September) or Spring Recruitment (takes place in January). Joining a sorority is a process of mutual selection with the goal of providing the best place for everyone. Registration usually starts approximately 1 month before recruitment dates.
Sorority vs. Other University Organizations?
Coming to university is usually a major life changer for a young woman. Joining a sorority helps students in quickly adjusting to university, and will provide a structured atmosphere, in which one can concentrate on scholarship, leadership, and service. Developing lifelong friendships with members of a sorority helps in creating an intimate on-campus community. 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 for community service projects in the Lower Mainland. UBC Sororities' members are also heavily involved on the campus and hold many prominent leadership positions in student government, campus clubs, and athletics. This involvement helps students in developing 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 that can help members in securing internships and jobs throughout and after their university careers. In addition, many alumnae are actively involved as advisors, providing additional support for university transitions.
What Is The Time Commitment?
Each sorority is different. In general, each chapter requires a commitment every Wednesday evening for chapter meetings. Commitment is required alongside a few other events throughout each semester. 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!
WILL MY EMPLOYMENt OUTSIDE OF 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 in contributing membership dues in order to provide great programming, activities, and resources 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 1 of 2 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.
if i join, Will My Grades be affected?
All sororities highly value academia. Sororities recognize that its members are students first and thus offer many support systems, programs, and services to 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 you 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 in 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, advisors, 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 will come across the term ‘philanthropy’ quite frequently. By definition, philanthropy means: the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially through 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!
What Is Recruitment?
Recruitment is the process by which sororities meet and get to know women interested in membership and vice versa!
Our main recruitment event is called formal recruitment. It normally occurs in the first few weeks of September. Formal recruitment consists of three ‘rounds’: Tours, Invitationals, and Preference. After these rounds, formal recruitment ends with Bid day, which is where the women receive invitations of membership (called a ‘Bid’) to their respective sororities and celebrate!
What Do You Talk About During Recruitment?
UBC Sororities is a values-based organization. This means that you receive a ‘Bid’ from a chapter based on your values. Before each round, it is important to prepare. Think job interview style – just a little bit more intimate! The best way for sorority women to get to know you would be to talk about your passions, your goals, your accomplishments, what you value in your life, and how your values shape who you are!
Why Go Through Recruitment?
Recruitment is an incredible experience itself. It is meant to be informative, and it is extremely fun! It is the best opportunity to see Greek life at UBC. You have no obligation to join a sorority if you go through recruitment, so why not give it a try?
How Do I Register For Formal Recruitment?
Registration for Formal Recruitment opens at the start of August. Be sure to follow UBC Sororities on all social media accounts, as well as the other chapters. This will ensure that you never miss an update!
Which Recruitment Events Are Mandatory If I Go Through Formal Recruitment?
To complete the formal recruitment process, you are required to attend Tours, Invitationals and Preference – our three recruiting events. These events have been planned to accommodate religious holidays and to minimize conflict with classes and work schedules.
Bid Day attendance is not required to receive an invitation to membership at UBC, but we strongly recommend that you participate! Chapters tend to plan exciting events for their new members to welcome them into their sisterhood. It is technically your first event as a sorority woman… so you don’t want to miss it!
If I Go Through Recruitment, Do I Have To Join?
Going through recruitment does not mean you are obligated to join a sorority. The objective of recruitment is to meet all the different sororities on our campus and see what they can offer you. Hopefully you will make some incredible and genuine connections, but if you feel sororities are not for you during the process, we will understand if you do not wish to continue with recruitment. Going through recruitment and attending the functions does not commit you to joining!
Is Recruitment Only For First-Years?
Not at all! Recruitment and the opportunities we highlight offer advantages for all undergraduate UBC women, regardless of age. No matter what year you are in, these events will be engaging, interesting and unforgettable!
I Missed Formal Recruitment; Can I Still Join A Sorority This Year?
Yes! Although formal recruitment is our main recruitment event, chapters often also hold additional events throughout the year. However, this informal recruitment process is done on an as-needed basis and so not all chapters participate in/hold these events. For that reason, we do strongly encourage interested women to go through formal recruitment!
Do I Need To Pay To Participate In Formal Recruitment?
The cost of registration for formal recruitment is the following:
I’m Interested But Still Unsure!
We encourage you in exploring the other areas of our website along with our Facebook 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, we are here to help and we would love to hear from you!