A sorority chapter is a group of young women with shared values who are compelled to share a college experience together. However, what differentiates sororities from other social groups on a college campus is sorority management, which allows them to achieve various goals, including academic, philanthropic, social and more.
It’s common for lay people to misunderstand the nature of a sorority, when they ask questions like, “When you join a Greek chapter, aren’t you just paying for friends?”
In reality, sisters understand that there is a significant difference between a typical friendship between two young women and what it means to be a member of a sorority chapter. For one thing, sisters do not consider themselves merely friends, but a large network of hundreds or thousands of multi-generational family members across North America who look out for each other, and are able to network with one another once they leave college and enter the professional world.
Besides this, however, a sorority’s goals and how you go about achieving them are more complex than a typical friendship. A sorority chapter seeks to achieve a heightened level of campus and community involvement. Its budget must be maintained to fund the sorority’s activities, and it must be meticulously managed from the top down.
Sorority management is always going to be key to a chapter’s success, but in order for it to be effective, sisters must actually understand what this style of management means for them.
Sorority chapters manage activities during a semester, through principles and regulations which guide executive officers and others who help oversee finances, chapter operations and chapter house living, among other chapter activities. These officers also manage with the help of national advisors and university officials, while fostering alumnae relations to the best of their abilities.
Sorority management is hierarchical--meaning there’s a command structure, starting with national advisors, university officials and executive officers. But it’s also important to note that these higher up positions in the chapter (president, vice president, etc.) aren’t more important to the chapter than, say, a t-shirt chair or even a first-semester sister who is not currently a chapter officer.
Each chapter member plays a part in sorority management, and each is vital to a chapter’s success. Let’s talk a little bit more about how sorority management affects your chapter.
A sorority president is the top step on your chapter’s executive board, and is the officer with the most overall managerial power when it comes to making decisions for many facets of her chapter’s daily operation. However, the sorority president is not a dictator or the person through whom all decisions are made. In fact, it would be fairer to think of the president as a conduit between the chapter and others, such as university personnel, national advisors, the housing committee, alumnae and any partnering organizations.
She is in many senses the “face” of the chapter, someone who fills many roles, such as meeting with potential new members, making financial decisions for the chapter, enacting disciplinary measures when necessary and so forth. However, she also attends national conferences and helps define her chapter’s role in the sorority organization overall, on her campus and in her community.
Other executives play equally crucial roles in the chapter. For instance, the sorority vice president, who must take on managerial tasks such as chairing executive meetings and the standards committee, coordinating with other officers and committees and even sometimes taking on the duties of the president.
Another sister who plays an important role in sorority management is the recruitment chairperson, who next to the treasurer is one of the most vital posts in maintaining the lifeblood of the sorority. Without chapter membership dues, a sorority chapter cannot function in its daily activities and goals. However, nor will the chapter survive long without a healthy recruitment and membership program. Regardless, all parts of the sorority executive board work in tandem to achieve the chapter’s management goals.
The sorority treasurer is unique from other executive positions because she has no direct power over the fraternity as a whole, but must manage one of the most crucial aspects of a chapter’s lifeblood. She must manage the chapter’s finances, including managing the budget and collecting sorority membership dues and other fees from members. She must also keep meticulous records of financial transactions and the ever evolving financial reality of the chapter during the semester.
Sorority financial management also includes open transparency about the budget with sisters, other executive officers, parents, alumnae, the university, the national organization and others, and working with all to maintain a healthy financial future. It means working with a finance committee to draw up a budget and maintain it, and it also means potentially using financial sorority software to achieve these goals.
Living in a sorority house can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a challenge to manage dozens of sisters who reside in the house, quelling drama and enforcing house rules and regulations. While the president and other officials are capable of managing these aspects of sorority house living, a house mom has a unique role among sisters in the house.
The house mom is a house manager who has roles such as overseeing house staff and developing dining menus, stocking the kitchen with food and making sure maintenance, repairs and other matters regarding the house are taken care of. She will update the housing committee, university or owners of the house regarding important updates. However, her most important role is to be there for sisters emotionally and physically, to help diffuse arguments by acting as a mediator, to be a role model and a confidant, and to communicate with parents.
Regardless of one’s place within her sorority chapter, be it president, treasurer, recruitment chair, house mother, national advisor, alumna or simply a regular, everyday sister, everyone has a role to play in sorority management.
If you’d like to know more, we would love to talk with you about sorority management and how OmegaFi helps sororities manage their chapters’ financial futures every day.