Sorority chapters provide young collegiate women the tools to succeed. This is one of the important privileges sisters enjoy as lettered members. Yet these tools are useless unless sisters learn to use them effectively.
In a sense, sorority life exists in a bubble. A sorority chapter operates through the collection of membership dues and other fees, has an internal structure and budget, as well as its own set of rules and resources.
However, a sorority chapter also influences the larger university ecosystem, and vice versa. Sisters have access to outside tools provided by the university, their national organization and other sources that can enhance their sorority experience. Sorority tools further the goals and success of the sister, her chapter, national sorority and university. Sisters should use a combination of these tools to lay the groundwork for success academically and beyond.
Sisters should choose which tools to use based on their most urgent needs. Sorority tools that can fulfill these needs include those that facilitate finances, academics and communication. Behind these tools are often people eager to help sisters succeed. This is crucial because, when all is said and done, tools are only as good as the communities they build.
Sororities offer a variety of tools to those inside their organizations. On the chapter level, sisters can solve many problems through the natural internal structure. A sorority president oversees broad management issues, enforces the rules, finalizes chapter purchases and acts as both the liaison to nationals and the public face of the chapter. The house manager and risk management chair work together to create a positive and fruitful environment for those living in the chapter house. The academic chair ensures that sisters use study hours effectively, and manages academic success within the chapter.
Sorority software can also streamline chapter management, finances and communications.
Yet the chapter’s tools can’t handle every task that sisters face. That’s why chapters must rely on a broader network of support from their national organizations. Nationals can guide chapters in terms of broader sorority values and goals. While chapters have discretion on many issues, their national sorority sets the tone for all chapters and colonies as a regulatory body and advisor.
Sisters often turn to their national advisors for help solving problems beyond the chapter’s abilities, or simply to guide them when they’re unsure. However, sisters should contact advisors only when strictly necessary, and seek guidance for solutions that can’t be found elsewhere, so as to maximize the help advisors can offer to all.
For instance, nationals offer tools through their website that sisters should consider before contacting advisors. Sorority websites don’t act solely as a marketing tool to garner new members. They are an information hub that provides many useful chapter resources.
In addition to national sorority websites, the National Panhellenic Conference website offers resources and guides that may provide sisters the tools they need.
Within the self-contained world of sisterhood, it’s easy for members to forget that, as students and members of their community, they can access a plethora of tools outside of their sorority.
Beyond chapter and national sorority tools, the university Greek Life office should be the first place sisters turn. Greek Life can give sisters access to a variety of information and important forms such as checklists and lists of campus regulations, and other documents relating to administrative, academic achievement, philanthropy, chapter development, leadership and personal development, community building and campus engagement, as well as risk management.
Greek Life officers can also guide sisters seeking scholarships, tutoring and attending leadership conferences, among other opportunities.
University campus facilities offer students many resources sisters may not typically think about in their day-to-day sorority life. Some campuses offer free access to mental health professionals. Sisters can blow off steam in healthy ways by using sports fields for intramural competition, keeping a regular gym schedule and eating a wholesome diet.
Sisters can join clubs that engage their personal and cultural interests. They might even consider running for student government, which can teach how to responsibly hold a leadership position.
Sisters should also make themselves aware of University Police call box locations. Call boxes often appear in the form of telephones and blue lights mounted on brightly colored poles. If sisters are in an emergency situation and can’t reach one of these, calling 911 on some campuses connects directly to University Police. It’s important for a sorority chapter to talk with University Police officials periodically and understand campus safety, one of the most important sorority tools of all.
Beyond campus borders, there are many tools that will help a sorority chapter participate in the larger community. Partnering with charities or businesses can boost chapter initiatives and give sisters a broader visibility.
Some owners gear their businesses toward Greek life, such as those selling sorority and fraternity regalia and apparel. Other companies might offer services such as chapter financial advising or fundraising consulting. It’s especially rewarding when sorority alumnae and fraternity alumni staff these businesses, and a sorority chapter has the opportunity to forge new bonds with other Greeks nationally.
Wherever sorority tools come from, sisters should always use them to build their chapter higher, toward greatness, one brick at a time.
OmegaFi has proudly offered their financial tools and services to sororities over the years. We have a genuine interest in the success of you and your sisters and a track record that proves it. We’d love to talk with your chapter about how we can help.