Frequently Asked Questions
If you are here, you probably have some questions about exactly what a sorority is. We're glad that you've decided to learn more! This information is meant for parents, women who are considering joining, women who have no intention of joining and others who just want to know more. We want everyone to understand the benefits of our sisterhood and how we contribute to our campus, community and the future of each member. Parent's looking for more information can check out "The Parent's Guide to Sorority Recruitment".
How much does a sorority cost?
Joining a sorority is an investment and decision that should be made with guardians. While there is a cost involved in joining a sorority, the benefits far outweigh the cost. Cost typically include housing, food, group activities, planning of educational programs and leadership training. Dues may also cover liability insurance, organizational attire and educational material specific to each organization. Cost information will be provided during the Formal Recruitment process in the fall after each chapter has submitted its annual expenses.
Do I have to live in my sorority house once I have become a member?
All ten of our chapters have chapter houses. Sorority chapters expect their members to live in the chapter house for their sophomore and/or junior year. Each chapter has different requirements. The cost of living in the chapter house is comparable, if not less than living in the residence halls and includes all amenities including food, utilities, washer/dryer, maintenance and cleaning staff. Additionally, some homes have the opportunity for parking at the house. Living in a chapter house is an outstanding opportunity for women to build friendships, experience community living, participate in various activities within the chapter.
What is my responsibility as a member?
Each member is expected to maintain the high standards set by their sorority as well as the values established by the founders of the organization. Each member is also expected to contribute her talents to her sorority.
What type of commitment is involved?
Each sorority has different expectations of its members regarding involvement in events and meetings. Typically, most members are expected to be at chapter, philanthropy events and all other mandatory events. Sororities are accommodating to those who have excuses. As with everything, you will only get out what you put in, so we suggest participating in everything that you can!
What about hazing?
Women’s Panhellenic Association Bylaws from Ohio University defines hazing as “any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any other person.” We have a zero-tolerance policy in regards to hazing and involved members will be dealt with swiftly and strictly. Women who choose to participate in hazing activities are subject to punishment by their local and international chapters, the university, as well as the State of Ohio. Our organizations have seen a decrease in hazing allegations throughout the year. Members are educated on the risks of hazing as well as the consequences of such actions. If any member or potential new member feels as though she has been the subject of hazing, she is encouraged to take advantage of the "open-door" policy that our Greek Life Office maintains. Reporting said allegations continues to keep our organizations accountable for their actions.
How can my membership assist in my academic success?
The Women's Panhellenic Association GPA remains higher than the all women's average at Ohio University. Each sorority chapter in the Women's Panhellenic Association has established minimum academic standards for their members. Each chapter also plans programming that focuses on the academic advancement of its members. When a member falls below the chapter’s required grade point average, additional study programs exist to to help improve her academic performance. Most chapters have an alumnae adviser whose focus is the scholastic success of each member, and many have a faculty adviser who offer a positive influence on the intellectual life of the members. Chapters acknowledge improvement within scholastic achievement with various awards and forms of recognition.
What about the use of alcohol, controlled substances, and irresponsible behavior?
Every National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) group expects its members to obey all local, state, and federal laws and to abide by the fraternity’s policies, guidelines, and standards. Each organization allocates significant resources to educate its members about alcohol and substance abuse. NPC groups provide extensive guidelines for hosting social events, and chapters are expected to provide a safe environment for their members. If an incident occurs where policies are violated, the organization intervenes with disciplinary measures and further educational outcomes to achieve a higher level of safety at chapter events. The NPC has several programs that address the high-risk behaviors prevalent on most campuses today- not just within the Greek community.
What are the collegiate and post-graduate benefits of being Greek?
First and foremost, joining the Greek community offers your student a home away from home. Right off the bat, they are welcomed into the arms of hundreds of their fellow sisters. This support group will help comfort your student as she becomes adjusted to her new home.There are several leadership positions available to your student. Women are encouraged to actively participate in their own organization in addition to other organizations on campus. Participation in these positions help teach your student several important life skills. Once graduated, students have access to local alumni chapters all over the country. Fellow sorority alumni are also great resources when searching for internship and job opportunities.
Who is actually in charge?
Each organization has a live in house proctor. This individual is in charge of maintaining the house itself and ensuring the safety and well being of each woman living in the house. Each chapter has a self-supporting Executive Council which maintains the standards of the sorority. Additionally, each chapter has one or more sorority advisors that assist with recruitment, scholarship, philanthropy and the daily activities within the chapter. On campus, there is a Graduate Assistant who is responsible for overseeing the members of the Women’s Panhellenic Association while also serving as the advisor for the WPA Executive Officers. Furthermore, Kristen Kardas, the Assistant Director of Sorority & Fraternity Life is also available to provide assistance and guidance. The contact information for these women can be found in the "About Us" tab.
What can I do as a parent?
As a parent, it is important to be supportive and reassuring. Recruitment is a fun and exciting, but a stressful time. While you may not understand every aspect of the Greek community, encourage your child to be herself, stay positive and go with her gut! If you are Greek, we understand your wish for your student to share you affiliation, however, keep in mind that chapters change from year to year and from campus to campus. Let your student make her own choice and be supportive regardless. Once recruitment is over, stay involved! Participate in the Mom’s, Dad’s and Parent’s weekend as well as philanthropy events and other chapter sponsored events!
What is continuous open bidding (COB)?
The Women's Panhellenic Association holds one Primary Recruitment period each year, which occurs in the fall. Occasionally, individual chapters will hold informal recruitment after primary recruitment has already occurred, called Continuous Open Bidding. The only time this happens is if a chapter is unable to meet "total" through the Primary Recruitment process. With that being said and due to the immense success of our fall primary recruitment, it is rare that chapters are unable to meet said total. We encourage each woman to try the Fall Primary Recruitment process because it allows you to visit and get to know all ten chapters.
Who can participate in primary recruitment?
Any undergraduate student enrolled in classes at the Athens campus is able to register to participate, regardless of gender identity. Individual organizations may have their own membership selection criteria for membership eligibility, so potential members are encouraged to research these policies prior to registering for recruitment.