Greek Life

FAQs

  1. Why go Greek?
  2. Why join a sorority?
  3. Are there academic requirements to join a sorority?
  4. Are there a lot of leadership opportunities in a sorority?
  5. How important is philanthropy to the sororities at Willamette?
  6. Is there a lot of emphasis on the social aspect of the sororities?
  7. How can so many women in one chapter get along?
  8. What did you say? A glossary of Greek terms:
  9. What are letters of recommendation?
  10. What happens if I am absent for a night or more of formal recruitment?
  11. How do you register for formal recruitment?
  12. Is there a dress code during formal recruitment?

1. Why go Greek?

Student life at Willamette University is a unique experience, unparalleled on other college campuses. In addition to offering challenging courses and exciting learning opportunities, Willamette gives students the opportunity to explore many co-curricular interests and create lasting friendships. Greek organizations pride themselves on facilitating these important aspects of college life. Over 20% of our student body is involved in the Greek community, comprised of three national sororities and four national fraternities.

Sororities can help you find your niche at Willamette University. The chapters offer academic assistance and encourage active involvement in student organizations and community service projects. Sororities give you the chance to make friendships that will surpass your college years.

If you have any questions about the sorority community at Willamette University, please contact the Panhellenic Council Office on the 2nd floor of the UC in Student Activities.

Lisa Holliday
Associate Dean of Campus Life & Director of Student Activities
Willamette University
Salem, Oregon 97301
(503) 370-6574
lcjones@willamette.edu

Erin Gangstad
Vice President of Recruitment
Willamette University
Salem, Oregon 97301
egangsta@willamette.edu 

[back to top]

2. Why join a sorority?

The sororities at Willamette University provide members with a variety of benefits. Being a member can mean many different things and the experience is unique to each person. For some it can mean forming lifelong friendships and having support of fellow members, while others value the opportunities for personal and social growth.

The sororities at Willamette University strive to provide their members with helping hands for success through total development. Great emphasis is placed on academics, leadership and community service. Sororities are shaped by their members' commitment and participation within their chapter as well as on campus (i.e. athletic teams, clubs, campus organizations).

[back to top]

3. Are there academic requirements to join a sorority?

Sororities require all members to place a strong emphasis on scholastic achievement. Each chapter offers scholarships, national honor societies, time management workshops, tutoring programs, study programs, chapter competitions and awards, and scholarship recognition events. Each sorority has its own grade point average requirement for their members.

Willamette University's sororities do produce top scholars! The all sorority average presently stands at an impressive 3.4.

[back to top]

4. Are there a lot of leadership opportunities in a sorority?

Opportunities for leadership abound in the sororities at Willamette University. Each chapter is led by elected officers and supported by the governing body of Panhellenic Council. Members are encouraged to run for offices and participate on committees within their chapters and on Panhellenic Council. Sorority women are also leaders outside their chapters, as they are familiar faces in campus activities and organizations, such as Associated Students of Willamette University (ASWU), Willamette Events Board, the Collegian staff, intramurals and varsity athletics.

[back to top]

5. How important is philanthropy to the sororities at Willamette?

Service to the community is a value upon which sororities were founded and every chapter at Willamette University participates in a given philanthropy. Individual chapters have each adopted a charitable organization to support through service and financial contributions. These philanthropic efforts benefit worthy causes while providing opportunity for community service among the chapter members. In addition, it fosters personal growth and greater unity among the Greek community and the Willamette campus at large.

Alpha Chi Omega hosts A Cappella Night during the academic year. Proceeds benefit the Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Services in Salem. The chapter also sponsors a section of I-5 that they clean each spring.

Delta Gamma organizes Anchorsplash, a weeklong water sports competition, to raise funds for the blind.

Pi Beta Phi sponsors Pie with Pi Phi, to benefit First Book and local literacy projects. In the spring, they host an event to raise money for the Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

[back to top]

6. Is there a lot of emphasis on the social aspect of the sororities?

Sororities at Willamette offer a wide range of social programs and activities for affiliated members. Organized social events include formal dances, theme functions, Parent's Weekends, chapter dinners, and chapter retreats.

At WU, each sorority chapter maintains a responsible social policy monitored by each sorority's respective national headquarters. Enjoyable social experiences are promoted in safe environments.

[back to top]

7. How can so many women in one chapter get along?

The sororities at Willamette University consist of women from varied backgrounds, each with different goals and perspectives in her life. These women come together with the common bond of their sorority to form deep and lasting friendships. It is a community of women that support each other throughout the college years and beyond. The positive impact of these friendships enhances the college experience and carry on for life.

[back to top]

8. What did you say? A glossary of Greek terms:

Active/Initiated Member: Any member who has gone through initiation ceremony and is currently enrolled in college.

Alumna/ae: An initiated member who has graduated from college.

Bid: A formal invitation of membership to join a sorority's national organization.

Chapter: The collegiate group of a national sorority: the word for weekly meetings of initiated members of the organization.

Formal Recruitment: A period of structured membership selection at Willamette University scheduled in January.

Greek: Any member affiliated with a sorority or fraternity.

Initiation: A formal ceremony that transitions a new member to full membership in a sorority.

Legacy: A person whose sister, mother grandmother, or aunt is an alumna or current member of a sorority.

National: A term referring to the central headquarters of a sorority.

New Member: A person who has accepted an invitation of membership to a chapter and has not yet been initiated.

New Membership: A trial period of education and adjustment to sorority life.

Panhellenic Council (PHC): The representative governing body of all sororities.

Panhellenic Total: The size of each sorority chapter as set by Panhellenic Council.

Pin/Badge: The active pin is worn on the chest designating an initiated member of a certain chapter. A new member pin is similar and is used to designate a new member of a chapter.

Potential New Member: An undergraduate college woman who participates in recruitment.

Quota: The specified number of new members a sorority can accept during formal recruitment.

Recommendation: A letter written by an alumna member to the undergraduate chapter recommending a particular student for membership.

Recruitment Guide/Rho Gamma: A sorority member who has disaffiliated from her sorority during formal recruitment to assist potential members.

Ritual: The traditional and secret ceremonies of a chapter known only by initiated members.

Recruitment: Activities designated for member recruitment; a mutual selection process between potential members and chapters. Recruitment may occur whenever a chapter is below Panhellenic total.

[back to top]

9. What are letters of recommendation?

A recommendation is a letter of introduction written by an alumnae member about a potential member that can be attached to their registration form and sent directly to the sorority chapter for which it was written. Recommendations are not necessary in order to participate in recruitment at Willamette University. Your registration form serves as an introduction to the chapters on campus. At no time, however, should you be involved in contacting sororities about recommendations. This process takes place between alumnae sorority members and collegiate sorority members only.

[back to top]

10. What happens if I am absent for a night or more of formal recruitment?

It is very important to attend all of the recruitment events to which you are invited. By missing an event you may affect whether you are invited back to the succeeding event for that sorority. Furthermore, you lose the opportunity to get to know the members of each chapter more thoroughly. However, if an extenuating circumstance arises, such as classes, sports, or rehearsals and makes it impossible for you to attend an event during the week, please inform your recruitment guide (Rho Gamma) or the Panhellenic Recruitment VP ahead of time. They will inform the sororities of your situation.

[back to top]

11. How do you register for formal recruitment?

Information regarding recruitment is sent to your campus mailbox the week of Thanksgiving.  Registration is completed online when the information booklets are released.  The deadline to register is the first day of recruitment.  Registration is done electronically - to complete a registration form online click here.

[back to top]

12. Is there a dress code during formal recruitment?

A frequently asked question is that of the recommended attire for recruitment events. Although you should wear what is comfortable for you, the following is traditionally suggested:

Meet and Greet: Everyday wear (jeans, sweaters, T-shirts)

Tours/Philanthropy Night: Casual outfits (khakis, sweaters, T-shirts)

Preference Night: Dressy attire/Business Casual (slacks, dresses, and skirts)

[back to top]