What’s Got You Worried About Being Greek? There’s Nothing to Fear!

PanhellenicWomenWe know there is a lot weighing on your decision to be Greek.  Here are some common questions and our insight!

I want to do well in my classes.  Will being Greek hurt my grades?

We are glad to hear your coursework is important to you!  Being a student should always take first priority—you are paying too much in tuition to not worry about your grades and career.  Each chapter has their own scholarship program to support your scholastic endeavors.  There is a study room in every chapter facility that all members (even those that live on campus) can study in.  Each chapter can connect you with older chapter members can be very helpful when picking out classes and studying for exams.  And nearly every major is represented in each chapter!  The Greek community is also consistently proud to have an average GPA above the university average.  Being Greek can hold you accountable for your grades—you learn time management and have a wonderful support system to excel in the classroom.  Furthermore, having a network of alumni can help you when finding an internship or job!

I am really excited to get involved on campus.  Will being Greek take up all my time?

Our Greek community exists to supplement your Drake experience—not dominate it.  Every chapter encourages its members to be active in other campus organizations.  At Drake, it is quite common to be Greek and participate in other various activities.  Our Greek members are involved in Student Senate, professional fraternities, service and volunteer groups, Residence Life, Student Activities Board, Drake Magazine, intramurals, choir and performing arts, Adams Leadership Academy, etc.  Greek students not only participate in these organizations—they are active leaders in them.  Our community has a well-rounded representation in all of what Drake has to offer.  Greek life can support you in your involvement and lead you to organizations and leadership positions you would have never known about on your own!

Doesn’t it cost a lot of money to be in a sorority?

Our Greek community does not want financials to be a reason why someone chooses not to be Greek.  Each organization is self-supported through dues charged to all members.  In the first year of membership, a few one-time expenses are assessed.  After those initial payments are made, dues decline.  Each chapter has a variety of payment plans and several women pay their own dues from jobs on or near campus.  If you are concerned about financials, it is important to talk to chapter members about payment plans during recruitment.  They are happy to answer your questions!  Furthermore, as an upperclassman, if you choose to live in the chapter facility, housing and meals can often be much less expensive than living on campus or in an apartment.

What about pledging or hazing in Greek Life?  I have seen TV shows and movies that involve hazing and I want to be respected.

All sororities oppose hazing and are committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility.   You will not have to do anything that you are uncomfortable with and if you ever believe you have been subjected to hazing activities, it is imperative to report that information to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life immediately.  Drake has a strict no-hazing policy for all organizations and sororities here are committed to providing an uplifting, socially-responsible, supportive environment.

Okay, I am now thinking I should give being Greek a chance.  How will joining a chapter benefit me after college?

The life-long friendships you make through a chapter will last into post-college years.  Membership in a chapter is a life-long experience.  Wherever you end up after college, chances are you will be able to find an alumni chapter or other members of your sorority in the area.  Joining a chapter connects you with sisters throughout the entire country!  In addition, Greeks have national professional networks for their members to assist in job searching, geographical relocation, life-long learning, and social opportunities.

Don’t forget to register for recruitment!

Meet Our Members: Paxten

PaxtenIn high school, I always had a team—my volleyball, basketball, and track girls who would always be there when I needed them. So, coming to college, I was determined to find a group of women just like those at home. I needed a group of friends I could count on to join in my crazy schemes, enter intramural competitions, push me academically, or go to events on campus with me. But, never in my life had I thought about joining a sorority.

After much persuasion from my peers and my family, I decided to give recruitment a try. Each chapter told me about their amazing sisterhood, their intramural teams, their academic values, and how their Drake experience would not be the same without their sisters. After the third night, I came to realize that perhaps joining a sorority would give me back the team I had been looking for.

So I did it, I became a sorority girl. But here at Drake, this usually derogatory term means something different.  It shows you are academically driven, involved in your community, and dedicated to helping others.  It doesn’t limit what you are capable of joining or doing—it opens up worlds of opportunities. Aside from Greek Life, I am involved in Air Force ROTC, an all-girls acapella group, the Society of Physics Students, Women in Science and Mathematics, and the Drake Honors Program. Balancing all of these things along with keeping my grades up can, I’ll admit, be challenging. But the difficulties I face now would be nothing compared to what Drake would be like without my sisters. They are there to yell and scream at me while I’m in uniform when everyone else avoids eye contact, drag me from my studies because they know I really need a break, and to support me when things get tough. Without these girls, I would have never found my team or my home at Drake.

Wondering What to Pack for Recruitment? What to Wear!

Panhellenic Recruitment LogoWith less than two months before the start of recruitment, we know you probably have several questions.   This week, we will tell you what you should pack to wear (and what not wear!) for each night of recruitment.  Keep checking back on this blog throughout the upcoming weeks for answers to more common questions.  Don’t be afraid to post a question if you have one so we can help answer it!  Also, be sure to register if you have not done so already!

The most important thing to remember when packing for recruitment is to be yourself and be comfortable.  There is no need to go out and buy a new outfit for any of the days—especially because it will likely be the first time you are meeting women in each chapter (and they have never seen your wardrobe!).  You will be having conversations with women, and should aim to look put together and classy—but not over the top.  Each day of recruitment is a bit dressier as the week progresses.  Your Rho Gamma will be available the week before recruitment to do outfit checks with you if you are having trouble deciding between two outfits or do not know if something is appropriate.  Below are some pictures of good and bad examples of what to wear from our Rho Gamma fashion show two years ago as well as some pictures of what Potential New Members (PNMs) wore last year.

Values Night (Tuesday, September 2nd OR Thursday, September 4th)

Values Night is your first opportunity to interact personally with the members of our Panhellenic sororities.  You will visit all five chapters.  Conversations will be one-on-one and focus on topics such as your extra-curricular involvement, your experience at Drake so far, what you want to get out of a sorority experience, etc.  Additionally, chapters will give you a brief presentation on their philanthropies.

Values Night is the most casual day of formal recruitment, so dress is casual as well.  You will be provided with a t-shirt to wear.  This year’s shirt is a black V-Neck with our Panhellenic crest (shown above) in purple.  Jeans, jean shorts, or a casual skirt are all good options to wear on the bottom—but most people choose to wear jeans.  Sandals, flats, tennis shoes, or any other comfortable shoe are appropriate.

The first picture is too casual.  Athletic shorts, yoga pants, and sweat pants are all comfy, but too informal for Values Night.  The second picture is too formal or inappropriate.  Fancy skirts, dress pants, and heels should be saved for a different day of recruitment.  Jean shorts should be an appropriate length and you can probably find a better shoe option than boots.  Remember, you want to present yourself well and this is your first impression.  The last picture is just right!  Also check out the example of what a few women wore on Values Night last year.

Values: Too Casual

Values: Too Casual

Values: Too Formal or Inappropriate

Values: Too Formal or Inappropriate

Values: Just Right!

Values: Just Right!

Values Night 2013

Values Night 2013

Sisterhood Night (Friday, September 5th)

On Sisterhood Night, you will receive a schedule with up to four events for the day; these events are determined by a mutual selection process.  The night’s conversations will focus on each chapter’s member expectations as well as the financial, housing, community, service and scholastic obligations of each member.  You will also receive a brief tour of each chapter’s facility.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions!  Active members will be prepared to answer any questions concerning living arrangements, time commitments, membership requirements, etc.

Sisterhood Night is more formal than Values Night, but still fairly casual.  Dress is comparable to what you would wear to a company picnic or family reunion.  Casual sundresses or a nice shirt with a casual skirt, capris or pants are appropriate.  Flats or sandals are a good choice for shoes.  Remember, on this day you will be receiving up to four house tours, so heels are not recommended.  Don’t be afraid to wear some jewelry though!

The first picture is too casual.  Sisterhood Night is a little more formal than jeans.   The second picture is a better example.  Also check out some candid examples of what a few women wore on Sisterhood Night last year.

Sisterhood: Too Casual

Sisterhood: Too Casual

Sisterhood: Just Right!

Sisterhood: Just Right!

Sisterhood 2013

Sisterhood 2013

Sisterhood 2013

Sisterhood 2013

Sisterhood 2013

Sisterhood 2013

Preference Day (Saturday, September 6th)

During this round you will visit up to two chapters.  You will talk more in-depth with members about their sorority experience and why their chapter is so important to them, as well as attend a special ceremony that is unique to each chapter.  Some women may be emotional during this round, as they consider the bonds of sisterhood they have formed with the women in their chapter.

Preference Day is the most formal day of recruitment.  Dress is comparable to what you would wear to a wedding or an important ceremony.  Most women choose to wear a nice dress.  Flats, wedges or heels are appropriate.  Some women choose to walk to Greek Street in flats or sandals and then change into heels for each event (there are often acorns along the path to Greek Street and we do not want anyone falling right beforehand!).

The first picture is too casual or inappropriate for Preference Day.  Leggings are not dressy enough and be careful not to show too much skin.  The second picture is too formal.  Please do not wear a prom dress or business jacket!  The last picture shows some examples of what to wear on Preference Day.  There are also some pictures of PNMs from last year!

Preference: Too Inappropriate

Preference: Too Inappropriate

Preference: Too Formal

Preference: Too Formal

Preference: Just Right!

Preference: Just Right!

Preference Day 2013

Preference Day 2013

Preference Day 2013

Preference Day 2013

Preference Day 2013

Preference Day 2013

Bid Day (Sunday, September 7th)

If you receive a bid to join a chapter, Bid Day will be spent meeting with your recruitment group, receiving your bid card and joining your new chapter in their planned activities.  You will also learn which chapter your Recruitment Counselor (Rho Gamma) and all other disassociated members belong to.  Bid Day is the start of your journey as a Greek new member.  It tends to be a little overwhelming, but it is filled with excitement and Panhellenic spirit.

When you arrive to receive your bid card at noon on Sunday, wear a tank top with jeans, capris, or shorts (along with flats, sandals, or tennis shoes).  You will receive a t-shirt from the chapter you receive a bid from, and will wear that upon being greeting by those chapter members.

We hope you found this helpful!  Feel free to comment any questions or email sorority.recruitment@drake.edu and don’t forget to REGISTER!

First-Year Recruitment Stories: Madeline

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I started at Drake, I knew very little about what I wanted out of my college experience. The one thing I knew for sure, though, was that I wanted to go through recruitment. I signed up the second I could. What I expected was new friends, community service, intramurals, and of course wearing the letters. But in reality, my sorority has taught me more about myself than anything I’ve ever been involved in.

If there were one thing I wish I had known before going through recruitment, it would be that sororities here are so different than at other schools. While at big state schools you find chapters where every girl looks the same, talks the same, and only socializes within her own sorority, Drake is completely opposite. There are so many unique girls in each chapter, and because of this it is impossible to stereotype. I wish I had known this during recruitment because I spent a lot of time trying to figure out “what type of girl” each chapter was looking for. What I eventually discovered is that I was wasting my time.

Something that made recruitment difficult was that before the process even started, people planted ideas in my head about which chapter I would fit into most. I went in convinced I was going to join a certain chapter because everyone told me I would. In the end, it turned out that chapter was not the right one for me. This bias caused me to overlook my own feelings and look at myself from an outsider’s perspective. But choosing a sorority is a very personal decision, and where someone thinks you should be will most likely be wrong. If there is any advice I can give about recruitment, the most important thing is to choose the chapter where you are comfortable, not where others think you’ll match well.

While the recruitment process was stressful, it was definitely one of the most exciting weeks I’ve had at Drake! Each day it became clearer and clearer which chapter was the right one for me, and I kept meeting more people who I instantly clicked with. I started to feel at home very early on.

Another awesome part of recruitment was meeting people in every sorority and my recruitment group. I learned a lot about people during recruitment, and I built relationships I may not have built otherwise. Going through the process expanded my network so much, and I have so many great people in my life because of it.

I have two pieces of advice to offer about recruitment. First, do it. Even if you don’t think you’re a “sorority girl,” give recruitment a chance – you might surprise yourself. Second, don’t let anyone else’s opinion affect where you feel most comfortable. Join the sorority that feels like home to you! Each sorority at Drake is wonderful and if you find a chapter that is a perfect fit, don’t hesitate. Make the best of your experience!

Being a member of my sorority has helped me grow so much. It’s actually caused me to become more active in other areas of campus as well! Through the advice of older women in my chapter, I’ve cemented a path I want to travel to achieve my career goals and do the best I can at Drake. Through philanthropy, I’ve helped impact the community and learn about many awesome organizations that make a difference everyday. But most importantly, I’ve gained friendships deeper than ever expected. These women are my sisters, and not just because we wear the same letters. I wouldn’t trade them, or this entire experience, for the world.

Meet the Rho Gammas!

PanhellenicThe Panhellenic Recruitment Team is excited to introduce you to the 2014 Rho Gammas!

Rho Gammas—also known as Recruitment Counselors—help guide potential new members (PNMs) through the recruitment process.  They are some of the most outstanding and outgoing leaders in Drake’s Panhellenic community.  Each was carefully selected to serve YOU—the women we are excited to welcome into our Greek community.  These women are trained before classes start in August to lead a group of young women through the Recruitment process.  They have committed to being disassociated from their respective chapters in order to be an unbiased resource and confidant throughout the recruitment process.  Their passion for the Panhellenic community is contagious and they truly live the core Panhellenic values of service, scholarship, leadership, and sisterhood.

Each potential new member (PNM) will be assigned a Rho Gamma upon registering for recruitment.  Your Rho Gamma will contact you in mid to late August and be there to answer any and all questions you may have.  Until then, click here to meet them and learn why they went Greek, and some of their favorite Greek Life memories.

 

Meet Our Members: Raeann

RaeannComing from Colorado, I didn’t know a single person when I came to Drake. I immediately began looking for ways to get involved and meet people. I had heard a lot about Greek Life and thought it would be a great place to start. Going through the recruitment process alone allowed me to meet people that remain close friends today.

In high school I was involved in athletics and knew I would always have my team to turn to. When I came to college I still wanted to have that team-like community—which is exactly what I found when I joined my sorority. I can confidently say that being part of the Greek community drastically changed my college experience for the better. Being Greek has allowed me to meet and connect with so many different people that I might not have otherwise. Not only has my connection with Greek life opened doors professionally but it has also connected me to people that I will call life-long friends.

Outside of Greek Life I am involved in various campus organizations including Drake Magazine and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Being Greek has never hindered me from being involved on campus but has actually made me more become more involved. When I look around at different organizations at Drake I can’t help but notice that a lot of the people involved are Greek. When I chose to join a sorority I had no idea how much of a positive impact it would have on my college experience.

Upperclassman Recruitment Stories: Alida

AlidaI did not go through recruitment as a first-year, but I decided to give it a go as a sophomore. I spent the first year of my college career watching my best friends and neighbors experiencing Greek Life and being tremendously happy. I remember signing up for recruitment thinking that recruitment was basically survival of the fittest, but I learned otherwise.

Leading up to recruitment week, I heard these few words – keep an open mind. Honestly, I did not want to. I knew which chapters my friends were in and which chapter I wanted to be a part of and I was not going to settle for anything else.

I remember standing outside of a chapter waiting for an event to start and being very excited because this was the chapter I thought I “fit” into. I walked out later, and was very disappointed. After another chapter, I decided that I needed to keep an open mind. I decided that if joining Greek Life was something I really wanted to do, I needed to keep an open mind because apparently, the recruitment process works. At my last event of the night, I knew I found my home. I remember walking outside and instantly started jumping when I got to the sidewalk.

A few long and emotional days later, I received my bid from the chapter that I fell in love with. It was not the chapter I was planning on getting a bid from when I signed up, but it was my chapter. It was my home. They are my sisters and I love them. Being part of my chapter has allowed me to have so many opportunities and has truly been a place where I can find myself.

Going through recruitment as a sophomore is not survival of the fittest. It is not scary. Honestly, being a part of Greek Life it is one of my favorite memories at Drake. If you are thinking about going through recruitment as a sophomore, as Nike says, “Just Do It”. Keep an open mind and remember that the recruitment process works. Do not try to fit into a stereotype because none of the stereotypes are true—none of them. Be yourself and your chapter and your sisters will find you.

Meet Our Members: Linley

LinleyLet’s be honest—Drake University students are a pretty involved bunch. When I got to campus, I wanted to hit the ground running, just like most first-years. For me, that meant becoming a first-year editor for Drake Magazine, signing up for different activities, and of course, joining Greek Life. I quickly fell in love with my Greek home during recruitment, as I found a group of women who were ambitious, driven, and supportive of one another.

My sisters have always encouraged me to reach for the stars—and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. An amazing part of Drake University is the ability of students to be involved with every facet of campus. I’ve never felt limited or held back by my commitment to a sorority or other campus activities. This year, I was Vice President of Ross Hall’s Executive Council, helped create the Ed2010 club, received an Editorial Apprenticeship at Meredith Corporation, and most recently was named Editor-in-Chief of Drake Magazine. Just like most Greeks, I try to be involved with a little bit of everything, but my chapter has kept me grounded and supported throughout the chaotic moments that come with keeping busy.

In all honesty, I don’t know where I’d be without the women I call sisters. Being Greek has shown me firsthand how much influence a group of people can have on your life. My sisters have made me laugh, hugged me when I’ve cried, and always been there for late night life chats, ice cream runs, and some of my best college memories.

One of the best aspects of being so integrated into Drake University campus life is seeing how incredible our Greek community is. We lead the way, through our actions and our roles, supporting and encouraging each other. For me, that’s been my favorite part of Drake’s Greek Life: no matter where I go in life, I know my sisters will be there to cheer me on. I know that my Greek Life friendships will be with me long past graduation.

Everything I’ve done since stepping on Drake University’s campus has been in pursuit of getting involved. As a sophomore, I’m proud to have achieved that goal. A lot of people tell me my life is crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. In the end, busy or not, I know I’ll always have the Greek community standing behind me, and that’s all I can really ask for. One of my favorite quotes says it best: “No matter the letters, we’re all Greek together.”

First-Year Recruitment Stories: Emily

Emily 2First-Year Recruitment Stories: Emily

I was one of the last of my friends to leave home for college, so I heard all of their new experiences before I even left home. They all went through formal recruitment at their big state schools, and told me how stressful it was going through recruitment with nineteen sorority chapters. I always wanted to be in a sorority, but after hearing about their experiences, I was hesitant to go through the process myself.

When I came to Drake, I started talking to some older women I met throughout Welcome Weekend and they all eased my nerves by telling me that recruitment at Drake would be completely different than my friend’s experiences at other schools.

After the first day of formal recruitment, I was comfortable and was excited to go back the second night. My Rho Gamma answered all of my questions and was super supportive throughout the process. I loved getting to know all of the different women I talked to in the chapters, and made connections with a lot of them.

The best part about recruitment overall was bid day. After I received my bid, I was greeted by dozens of women that all welcomed me as their sister. The whole day was overwhelming, but definitely one of my favorite days. We all walked down to the house together and all hung out in the yard together, took tons of pictures and I got to know so many new people.

Joining a sorority here at Drake was one of the best decisions that I’ve made so far. I’ve made tons of great, new friends and have participated in so many activities just in my first semester. Being in a sorority enabled me to be a leader, get advice from older girls, and make long lasting friendships with girls that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Going through formal recruitment was one of the best and most exciting choices I’ve made here at Drake and would encourage everyone to do it!

Meet Our Members: Dana

DanaOn October 31, 2010 I was hosting a Halloween party when my mom came home with the “big envelope”. I opened it in a hurry. I was so excited to know whether I would be attending the school of my dreams. I had visited Drake the summer before my senior year and had fallen in love with everything about it, so when I got accepted my mind started to race about all the things I would do when I was there. In high school I was involved in theatre, the gay-straight alliance, DECA, and worked at Taco Bell. I was never friends with many women and there was only a small group of people who I really felt close to. I always envisioned coming to college as the part in my life story where I would break out of my shell and become this charismatic, know-everybody kind of woman.  I knew that going out of state would force me to get to know people at quicker rate because I’d be in Iowa all alone, and I understood that to meet people in college you had to get involved.

Going Greek seemed like the only way to turn into the person I had been dreaming of becoming. My high school boyfriend at the time was anti-Greek life, but nothing could stop me from telling friends and family that I was going to be in a sorority when I started college.

When I started my first year, I was a wreck.  Ten hours away from my mom, confused about my major, and feeling so out of place that I was thinking one semester and I’ll go back home to go to University of Colorado at Denver. Then formal recruitment came, it was the make or break moment. I met women in every chapter who I could look up to and many of whom were the role-model of what I wanted to be. I found a home in Greek life where I have been able to thrive for the last three years.

Being Greek has impacted my life in so many ways. I am no longer the young woman I was in high school. I have a large group of friends that I know share my values—I  call them my sorority sisters. I have grown as a leader through being on the Executive board of my chapter, attending membership education workshops, and taking the time to go to leadership conferences. Greek life makes me want to aspire to be more than what I am. I try harder in my classes, I work out and eat better, and I am more service-oriented than I ever was in high school.  My favorite part of Greek life is recruitment, because I love the idea that when a woman is looking for a chapter, there is chapter also looking for her.  When I think about recruitment I think about it in the way of dating, we each want to date someone who makes us better and who we can make better. When a woman joins Greek life she should not only become the leader, the friend, or the volunteer that she’s always wanted to be but should make Greek life and her chapter into the organization that it strives to be. We each bring in a special quality to Greek life that it never had before we joined, and Greek life gives each of something once we are a part of it. For me being Greek has given me opportunities to grow.

Outside of Greek life I have planned two Spring Leadership conferences, been involved with both SAGE and Rainbow Union, am a part of Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Fraternity, and created a sound design for the theatre department. I am constantly encouraged through Greek life to not only take a risk but to try something new and live life to its fullest. Being Greek keeps me busy, I won’t lie to you about that. I have taken 18 credits the last four semesters, held a leadership position in my chapter for two and a half years, worked between 8-15 hours per week through Recreation Services, and juggled a variety of different interests such as running a half marathon , bible study, and activism. But Greek life taught me time management. I have a weekly schedule and have made the Dean’s list every semester since being at Drake. There are always women willing to help me with my studies or help me on project  if I’m too busy.  My sisters always have my back when I get panicky about my classes or schedule, and through Greek life I have surrounded myself with people who want to do their best and be the best.  I’d rather be busy all night and day doing homework, playing games at chapter retreat, and having movie night with my sisters than anything else in this world. Greek life can and will make you into the woman you want to be; you’ll learn skills that can’t be taught in a lecture hall, discover your values through the eyes of sisterhood, and always have a community of friends who are there to support you as you change and grow into the woman you’ve been waiting to become.