Most collegiate panhellenic organizations pride themselves on the typical four Greek ideals of leadership, scholarship, philanthropy and sisterhood. At Ohio University we care about all these things, however we've realized the empowerment of our community starts from an even broader range of ideals that encourage a fulfilling and successful four years of college. Read on to discover our unique Greek ideals, which are WPA's most valued aspects of sorority life.
Independence and Empowerment
Our sororities are special because they survive and thrive when all different types of empowered women come together to impact our Greek community and the Bobcat community as a whole. Successful communities require unique leaders, and being a sorority woman at Ohio University provides an abundance of leadership opportunities because the Greek community is self-governing. Leaders of all kinds in our sorority community proudly have a say and have the confidence to make a change—something that is ridiculously rewarding. Sorority life at OU has allowed countless women to realize the true magic of being a leader. Time management, organization, flexibility, positivity, confidence, independence, empowerment and so much more can be developed by working toward improving a loved community, how amazing is that? Our leaders' independent and creative minds come together to create a beautiful community that is rewarding to be a member of.
Scholastic Drive and Future Success
Getting a degree is the reason we are all at Ohio University, and being in a sorority here helps members get the most out of their education. Scholastically inclined sorority members are recognized for their amazing work through awards and even scholarships. While the main purpose of these awards is to give recognition to well-deserved women, awards can also be seen as a form of motivation. Sorority women are motivated by GPA requirements and by other successful sisters. Support and motivation is also present within individual chapters as sisters hold each other accountable and push each other to reach their academic goals. Academic programs are set in place by each chapters' academic chair (an example of a leadership opportunity!). Programs such as study hours, study skills workshops, tutoring groups, and scholarship rooms in sorority houses filled with a ton of academic resources are available to help women excell in their classes and feel confident academically. Each semester we calculate how each chapter is doing in order to determine overall chapter GPA rankings within our community. Our sorority women have consistantly maintained higher scholastic achievement than the average non-affiliated female GPA at OU. WPA is proud to have the opportunity to recognize women who are achieving amazing things scholastically, as not all organizations have the ability to recognize and reward their members for these achievements.
Another aspect of sororities that might be overlooked by people not a part of the community is the networking opportunities. Currently, 14.5% of Ohio University's undergraduate students are a part of Greek life. This can give you an idea of just how big the Greek alumni group is at OU. The more connections undergrads have with alumni, means the more networking opportunities. For example, one of our WPA current executive officers landed an internship partly because of a connection made between the employer and the student about sorority life at OU. Here is the story about how being a sorority woman helped WPA's Vice President of Public Relations, Tori Doran, land her dream internship...
"I've had this particular advertising agency in mind since my freshman year of college, and it was my long term goal to land an internship with them. After applying my junior year and getting some good feedback about my application, I coincedentally saw that this company was coming to OU for a career fair! I've been extremely nervous about career fairs in the past, but since having this leadership position on WPA and assuming a lot more responsiblities, I found myself a lot more calm and confident going into the career fair. I approached the agency's booth with excitment since I had a lot of accomplishments and goals to talk about with the employers. When I finally introduced myself and shared what I have gotten myself into at OU, both of the women at the booth's eyes lit up. They both happened to be sorority women at OU during their undergrad and were so excited to hear about how the Greek community is doing now. After this connection was made, conversation was effortless and natural. I can thank the OU Greek community and my leadership position on WPA for helping me hit it off with the employers, which led to me getting an interview and eventually landing my dream internship. Being someone who never pictured herself as a sorority member, I now proudly hold the title of a sorority woman because of the personal growth I have achieved and the many connections it has led me to," says now senior Tori Doran.
Giving Back and Making the World a Better Place
The impact of Greek life goes much futher than Ohio University's campus. Each of the 10 sororities host and sponsor many events each year to support the local community and raise money for their special local or national philanthropies, which are particular causes sororities consistantly dedicate volunteer for and donate money to. You can learn about individual chapters' philanthropies under the Chapters tab. Many individual Greek women volunteer with local programs to benefit the Athens community, and WPA also dedicates a lot of time to giving back to the local community.
One nationally recognized philanthropy event WPA puts on annually is Sisterhood of the Traveling Dresses. WPA's Vice President of Community Development works hard to organize this event each year. It provides gently used formal wear to males and females in the Athens area during prom season. Bobcats and locals rally together and donate their prom wear to men and women who are excited to feel amazing on their prom night. A weekend in the spring is dedicated to Sisterhood of the Traveling Dresses each year, and volunteers from the Greek community come together to find the perfect outfits for Athens prom-goers.
As a sorority woman, the opportunities you will have to help philanthropies and the community are endless. The ability to give back to the community you are a part of is one of the most important qualities you will cultivate while being a part of a sorority. Making the world a better place starts with helping others, but each volunteer opportunity ends with you feeling more fulfilled and rewarded than you could ever imagine.
Friendship, Support and Sisterhood
And last but not least, one of the best parts of joining a sorority—all of the fabulous women you meet! The recruitment process is built to help you find the perfect group of women for you to create friendships and survive college with. This college thing isn't always easy, so sorority life makes it a little easier by providing you with a designated girl gang to tackle the world with. You not only will learn to live with all kinds of people, but through sharing the same experiences, environment, and interests, you will develop a very special relationship with those around you. As sisters, you will share laughs and cries, successes and failures, happiness and frustrations, but the tough times will never be too tough with the support system you will have around you always. And of course, sororities will give you your go-to women to hangout with on nights you can take off to clear your mind and appreciate life in Athens.
Sisterhood means more than just wearing Greek letters, attending meetings, and going to socials—it is a feeling and sense of belonging, appreciation and importance. It is a feeling of being yourself and being respected for your individuality. Sisterhood is not synonymous with conformity - no sorority is made up of members who are exactly alike. This diversity is what makes a sorority experience so valuable. By interacting with people from various backgrounds and cultures, sorority members prepare themselves for the diverse world after graduation. The Greek community teaches you about human relationships and how to make them work, and teaches you to hold tightly onto one-in-a-lifetime friendships.