Greek Life?

<p>Does anyone have any insight into the greek life (specifically sororities) at UA? I'm not positive it's something I want to be involved in, but I'm curious about it...</p>

<p>For those who want to be a part of it, it can be a fun experience.</p>

<p>For those who don't want to join, there are many other options for social activities. </p>

<p>My boys did not pledge.</p>

<p>ahpimommy would be a good one to ask about sororities. Her daughter is a greek at UA. I could give you the fraternity perspective but you'd be better off talking with her.</p>

<p>What would you like to know? A good place to start in the UA Panhellenic site: What to Expect - Alabama Panhellenic
uapanhellenic.com/index.php?option=com_content&view..
and...Sororities - Greek Life
greeklife.ua.edu/sororities.htm.
Both have a basic introduction to sorority life at Alabama.
My daughter is in a sorority at Bama and loves it! She is very active in her particular sorority, holds an Executive office, and is involved in a variety of different organizations on campus as well. If you go to the UA Panhellenic Association Facebook page you will see a link for their 2011 Recruitment Manual. it is very well written and has TONS of info on Greek Life as well as a litle bit about each sorority on campus. This manual is given to each girl who participates in Recruitment and my daughter treasured hers. She carried it with her from the minute it arrived in the mailbox all the way through Recruitment week. It's fun to look through ...my daughter is in several pics this year and she was excited to flip through it on line and we did a lot of reminiscing (the actives don't get one ).
Formal Recruitment is before school starts (this year it begins on August 13th and ends with Bid Day on August 20th.
Starting in January 2012 the sororities on campus will host invitation only teas, brunches, bbq's ect. They are held on one designated weekend each month from January through April. From May 1 until Recruitment is completed in August it is a "no contact" period" meaning sorority girls are not allowed to talk about their particular house or potentially "recruit" girls.
At the end of March Panhellenic hosts a all day Saturday event call "Panhellenic Preview Weekend". Many girls and their parents (lots of Moms) come to Bama for that particular day to attend a program that outlines the recruitment process as well as they all get to visit each sorority for a very brief period of time. Its a busy, fun day and I really think it gives you great insight into the recruitment process as well as a sneak peek at each house. My DD had a great time in fact I had a really hard time convincing her that she needed to go home and finish up her senior year..oh how she just wanted to stay! From Friday thru Sunday of that weekend many of the sororities will be having invite activities and so if you can stay for the weekend it's helpful! At the same time the fraternities are also having a recruitment event..lots of guys on campus as well....it's a fun time to visit. I would strongly encourage you to attend this if you are seriously considering being in a sorority.
If you are interested in going through recruitment you should start thinking about who you can ask to write you a recommendation for each sorority on campus. It is strongly suggested that you have a minimum of one but 2 if at all possible recommendations on file for each house. We started getting these lined up in January before my DD went through recruitment in August. It's time consuming so it's helpful if you just kind of start looking for people early.
Many girls ask about course load, time commitment and activities. Each sorority stresses grades and you will notice when looking at the Recruitment Manual that you need at least a 3.0 for each house (some like a higher high school GPA) to be considered for membership. Each house will have required study hall hours for pledges. These are proctored and mandatory. Each house is also service orientated and has a particular philanthropy that they are involved with throughout the school year. There are Swaps with other fraternities, Homecoming activities that span that week, intramural sports, and tons of other activities too numerous to list. As a pledge you are very busy but if you manage your time well you will be fine!
I am happy to talk with you if you want to pm me I will give you my phone number or just pm me with specific questions and i am happy to answer them. I sit on my local Panhellenic Advisory Board and also work with my local chapter of the sorority I am affiliated with as well as my chapter at Bama.
Greek Life is not for everyone but it has been a very positive experience for two of my daughters as well as myself. I would love to help you in any way that I can!</p>

<p>And if you are coming from OOS, I actually think you have an advantage. c.50% of girls who rush and c50% girls who pledge are from OOS, yes most of these are neighboring/nearby states, but each year the UA pledge lists increasing numbers from states you you would never have normally associated with Bama, which is a testiment to the strength and growing national reach of the school...</p>

<p>Why do OOS have an advantage? There are 15 sororities who participate in formal recruitment, and these number around 200+ members. Pledge classes are about 80-100 girls. ALL the houses do the activities listed by APimommy above. ALL the houses have athletes, dancers, artists, theater girls, singers, serious academics, partiers, bible studiers etc etc. The problem is that many from AL have pre conceived ideas (often inherited from older friends/siblings/fraternity boys (!)/moms) that only certain houses are suitable.... it is true that you will find concentrations of girls from particular high schools in certain houses - but the size of the pledge classes and the national mix of girls going through recruitment means that these 'traditions' are starting to break down*</p>

<p>My sister is in a sorority at UA and we're instate. She already knew a ton of people in several houses prior to recrtuiment and unfortunately, in the back of her head, she had this little voice going 'only ABC or XYZ are good enough'plus a lot of her HS friends all telling her not to list LMN as it was 'lower tier'.... which really stressed her out as she tried to keep an open mind and her own counsel. My point is that coming from OOS you hopefully won't be as bothered by this - sure, you will hear ALL kinds of nonsense during rush, at the preview week APimommy mentioned (and do go to it! Its a great weekend and will take away a lot of the stress of rush week as you'll have some idea what to expect - plus you will meet a TON of people and make new friends), but I urge you to ignore it, and go where you like the girls...</p>

<p>Also, ignore all comments such as 'it is seriously competitive'. Actually, if you have recs (as Apimommy suggests) and good grades, and are friendly and open and personable and KEEP AN OPEN MIND, you stand a very good chance of getting a bid. Cuts are made to those without recs and without the grades. The houses listed as 'uber popular' will cut more girls because the way rush works is to place as many girls as possible in each house. The number of girls released from ALL houses during rush is tiny compared to the number who drop out because they don't like who they were invited back to. This is crazy when each house has 200+ members and your pledge class will be something like 80-100 girls - surely, with those numbers there will be a group of girls you like and get along with? In fact, my sister only became close to the sorority sisters she now considers her best friends after Christmas of freshman year because her pledge class was 81 girls (compared to mine of 41!)... so if you are unsure about your bid, please go to bid day and go through the new member period where you will do lots of activities (listed above by Apimommy) and get to know them.. and if you aren't sure then you could drop out...</p>

<p>Also, you may also hear a lot of talk about how UA is really Greek and its the only way to have a social life - as others on this board will testify, this is nonsense. Greek life is NOT for everyone but I do recommend going through rush to see if it appeals to you and if you like the girls you meet. If not, then no worries - not only are there lots of other things to do, you will also have met a lot of people in that week! (A friend of mine did just this, went through rush, made loads of new friends but decided it was all completely crazy "I mean, SoccerGirlNYC, can you seriously see me CHANTING?" and did not turn in her pref card, but she is still friends to this day with girls from her rush group)</p>

<ul>
<li>as a comparison, for those of you who are interested, there is a discussion over at Greekchat about Arkansas, where pledge classes are now 100+ for most chapters, but that a couple struggle to reach quota - BUT even though the school was open for expansion, no Panhellenic sorority was interested in colonizing. Yes, there are serious concerns about housing (space and cost) but most of the issue is that due to the mainly instate nature of the students, 'traditions' of pledging where mon/aunt/grandmom went are rampant and that girls won't look at other houses; if cut, they drop out, rather than going 'lower tier'. I think it is to Bama's credit, not only in extending its national reach, but also in the strength and support of the Greek community, that not only did Alpha Phi colonize successfully, but that DG are expected to have a very good colonization this fall AND that all houses make quota......</li>
</ul>

<p>I would agree with Soccergirl......also great advice in all areas. The words "seriously competitive" refer to the facts that young women come in closed minded about particular houses and with substandard grades. It is so important to keep an open mind and not listen to "tent talk" as it's called. You need to find your home where you will be happy, a place where there are girls that you have similar likes and interests in common. And yes...with pledge classes of 80-90 and houses with over 250 girls I think that it is possible in many different chapters!<br>
The OOS girls going through Recruitment as well as the amount of girls receiving bids has grown dramatically. Yes..there are still some "traditionally southern" houses that tend to bid girls who have ties to them..whether its mommas and grandmommas, or high school friends ( and let me tell you sometimes the "that house has girls from my high school thing" can come back to bite you!) but you shouldn't let the fact that you are OOS make you think that you will not receive a bid. Again...ducks all in a row..good grades and rec letters as well an open mind and you will do fine :). sometimes people ask "why recs"..the answer is simply because with over 1600 girls going through recruitment the different chapters have to have a way to distinguish one girl from another as well as scratch the surface of who that girl is and what attributes she can bring to that chapter. It's the same for grades...chapters want girls who are going to stay for 4 years and pay for four years as well as be able to contribute to that chapter through extra curricular activities. If you have a young lady who has below a 3.0 in high school it then becomes a questions as to will she be able to handle the rigors of college studies as well as being involved in the activities that are part of sorority life and stay afloat grade wise.<br>
Bama has DG colonizing this year so next year there will 16 National Panhellenic Sororities participating in formal recruitment. The mathematical system by which they determine the amount of girls each chapter can be confusing but when you hear of a number like 400 girls didn't get bids remember the majority of those girls did not have recs or grades and then of course there are those who drop out due to various reasons.
I know we are looking at a number similar to last years (1640) going through this year and yet again the pledge classes will be big. I had heard that Sigma Kappa might be coming on in 20013 or 20014...again UA is very proactive in supporting it's Greek community.
Also remember that Greek Life is not the only way to get involved at Bama and yep it's not for everyone. There are TONS of organizations on campus to become active in. "Get on Board Day" which will happen shortly after classes begins will highlight many of those opportunities, with groups setting up tables and offering information. Choose a couple that interest you and sign up and try them out. Your experience at Bama is what you make it and how you choose to become involved, make a difference, impact the community you live in and grow as a person.
Finally I would echo Soccergirl...going through Recruitment is a great way to meet tons of people and make new friends...I told this to my girls when they went through this process.....keep an open mind, get recs, good grades...you will be fine!</p>

<p>I guess the thing I'm most worried about would be the recs. I know absolutely NO ONE that's been in a sorority, so where would I even start to get some recs?</p>

<p>Check with teachers, people with whom you work or your parents work, maybe even some people at your church to see if they were in a sorority. Also, is your regional rep for UA female? She may have been in a sorority. I know that the rep who is in our region was.</p>

<p>egc...if you need a rec, I'll write you one. My sorority is on Bama's campus.</p>

<p>That would be great! I guess I have plenty of time to get everything together (I still have all of senior year), but I will definitely remember to contact you!</p>

<p>egc - All of the advice given here is great. I also highly recommend Greek Life, especially at Alabama. It is a wonderful, traditional Greek system. Another plus is that of all of the schools we visited, Alabama was the one where the school administration seemed to be the most pro-Greek. </p>

<p>Do you know any girls who have gone through recruitment at any school in the last few years? If so, ask them who wrote their recommendations. If you live in a city, there is likely a Panehellenic organization made up of alumni of the different sororities. They can help you too.</p>

<p>I can help you get started and can give you some ideas of how/where to get recs.....where do you live? There most likely is a Panhellenic Council in your area with reps from most sororities. that's a great place to start if you have no other contacts. M2ck has an affiliation on campus as do I. The idea of your regional rep is a good one. Is there an Alabama Alum group in your area. The women in our local Bama Alum group took my DD out to lunch and with all of their different connections and affiliations on campus she had lots of recs. Feel free to contact me I will write you one for my chapter as well. Remember the person who writes your rec doesn't have to have been in a sorority at Alabama.....you have lots of time, just start researching your options and we will help you as well if you want :). Roll Tide!!!</p>

<p>I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, so even if there isn't a group out here there's sure to be one in Atlanta. Thank you so much for all of the help! I've always thought that being in a sorority would be really fun and a great experience, but because my family isn't involved in greek life, I wasn't sure what to do. So all of this advice and the offes to write recs are greatly appreciated!</p>

<p>When would you say is a good time for me to start contacting alumni groups and such to start putting recs together?</p>

<p>Since you live around Atlanta a lot of the sororities at Bama will hold teas and get togethers at alums homes or restaurants starting in January. I know for a fact that my DD went to at least 2 different Spring recruitment events last year in Atlanta to meet and chat with possible PNM's. Atlanta's Panhellenic Association holds an info session each year for girls who are interested in going through recruitment at colleges and universities. This past year it was held March 19th. You might contact them, let them know you are interested in recruitment at Alabama and make sure they have your contact info so they can notify you when their 2012 session is. When you contact them you might ask about "letters of introduction". These are generally written to sororities in November, December and January by alums "introducing" potential PNM's to their chapter. The chapters will then make a list of girls who they want to invite to the various recruitment events that happen January through April ( usually these occur once a month and all sororities have theirs on that same weekend). It's great if you can get on these lists..not only do you have a chance to meet the girls from various houses and they meet you but you also will get to begin to see the personalities of the houses and find where you think you might fit in. Remember it is always good to keep an open mind.....don't judge a house on just a single conversation with one girl. Whe my DD went to these there was a particular house that she "saw" herself in...as she then went through recruitment her opinion changed dramatically...and she found her letters in an entirely different house that had not been high on her list while visiting the spring pre-recruitment events.
As for the info sessions, these things are all different but generally they touch on rec, attire, conversation, proper etiquette, and general information. Some will have alum reps for different sororities available to talk with and they will also help you find recs if you need them. Make sure and have your resume or at least a rough draft to take with. In some cases they will help with this as well (just depends on the Panhellenic group). Make sure you come dressed in "church" attire....no really short skirts, skin, ect....if you are expecting these ladies to write recs for you then you need to make a good impression (I am sure you will :) ).<br>
I would encourage you to continue to ask questions and to contact the Atlanta Panhellenic Association (I might wait until September or even October..as many of these ladies are helping their local and regional chapters with 2011 Recruitment..I know I am and am super busy right now). Remember there lots of us here who will help too.</p>

<p>Here's a link to the Atlanta Panhellenic website. It should be of help. The</a> Atlanta Alumnae Panhellenic Association</p>

<p>Get all of your college apps done, then start on the recs. Start putting it all together in January try to have all of your info to your people by May 1.</p>

<p>Do make an effort to find alumni you know or know of for the recommendations and letters of support. In many instances they will carry more weight than the ones from people who don't know you personally.</p>

<p>Momofonly1..thanks for the link...very interesting that when you get to the lists of colleges that I didn't find Alabama.....maybe I missed it (pretty tired...big 5k Run For Tuscaloosa in tomorrow and putting on a 5k is A LOT of work!)..but they had Auburn! Can hear NJ's rant in my head even as I type this.<br>
Ladies..please don't let the omission of Alabama from their list keep you from contacting them...I personally know that they are involved with Bama recruitment.
Also there PDF College Sorority 101 is a handy little tool and worth a bookmark for sure!</p>

<p>ahpi - Alabama is just below Auburn on the list. Good luck with the run tomorrow!</p>

<p>hmmmm...my download doesn't have it....either that or I'm headed for the nut house....(entirely possible today)...thanks I must have a faulty down load. thanks for the well wishes...it's going t be very hot but we have at least 100 runners and several KC Chiefs players are on board...media coverage...and best of all it benefits UA Acts of Kindness.</p>

<p>egcvballchic3 -- You've gotten a lot of great advice. Do keep looking around for sorority members who know you to write your recs. The local alumni Panhellenic and people on the internet usually aren't your best first source of recs because an important element of a strong rec is a discussion of how the rec writer knows you and how long she has known you. Your rec will be much more meaningful coming from an alum who actually can talk about you as a person. </p>

<p>Unless you live in a very rural area of Georgia where few people go to college, I guarantee that you and your parents know sorority women -- they just don't run around wearing their letters. Teachers, friends and co-workers of your parents, women at your place of worship, and leaders of your extracurricular activities are all potential sources of recommendations. Greek life is big in Georgia and throughout the southeast, so chances are good that many of your college educated acquaintances are Greek or know someone who can help you.</p>

<p>If you can get the word out that you are working on sorority recommendations you will be surprised at the number of people who will work with you to help you find recs. I know that I've personally answered many emails sent by my adult friends along the lines of "[Another friend's daughter] is planning to go through recruitment at [University]. She is still looking for recs for [abc, gde, and xyz] -- can anyone help?"</p>