Letter from the Panhellenic Advisor
To Mom & Dad,
We, who make up the faculty and staff, hope that your daughter will enjoy being a part of our campus. You will find that Troy University has many varied activities and organizations in which your daughter can become involved and a sorority is one of those options. Many moms and dads ask me what sororities are like and how their daughters go about becoming part of a sorority.
Sororities at Troy University are made up of women with varying backgrounds and interests. Sororities provide structured and planned activities to enhance their members’ college years. For example, if there is a pep rally, the members get together, make signs and go support the Trojans. A sorority may have a speaker address them on the topic of successful job interviewing technique. Perhaps your daughter loves to play sports, the sororities sponsor intramural teams in which she can participate. Our sorority women also believe in helping others, you can find them tutoring children in after school programs and playing bingo with the elderly. Sororities encourage their members to participate in all aspects of campus life and support their efforts.
I want to point out that our sororities realize that their members’ first priority is their academics. I am proud to say that the all-sorority grade point average is consistently higher than the all-women’s grade point average.
Sorority life has brought much happiness to the women who have been a part of it. The decision whether to participate in membership recruitment is a difficult but important one. We hope this website will help your daughter become familiar with sorority life and help her make that decision. Also, during IMPACT, the sorority women and I will be present to answer any questions and to meet with you and your daughter. Whatever decision your daughter makes, we hope that your family will love being a part of the Troy University family.
Information for Parents of Potential New Members
We know that many parents/guardians will participate in the decision of whether or not their daughter will participate in sorority recruitment. We want you to feel comfortable with this decision. Some parents are very familiar with the Greek community and are sorority members themselves, but to others it is an unfamiliar concept. For both groups, it is important to learn about sorority life and the process of joining. In this document we address many of the questions most parents ask us about.
We know safety and security is a primary concern for parents. We want you to know that our sorority houses are regularly patrolled by University Police and because we are so close to the City of Troy police station they keep an eye on sorority hill. Each sorority has a group of alumnae volunteers who work very closely with the sorority to make sure that the sorority is operating as it should be. When a sorority hosts a social event every effort is made to make sure the event is safe. Security is hired, they travel on buses, adult chaperones are present and the sororities expect the host establishment to enforce the legal drinking age to ensure safety. Women found in violation of underage drinking are subject to discipline within their sorority which may very well mean losing their membership. Sororities help their members to see they can have a good time while maintaining high standards. Please remember that your daughter is ultimately responsible for her behavior and while the sorority will encourage safe behavior, if she engages in risky behavior she endangers her life and others. Our sorority women believe in looking out for each other, but they will not tolerate members who do not maintain a high standard of behavior.
We know sorority life is not for every woman. We do want you to know that Fall recruitment is the major time sororities take in new members. Sometimes parents will say their daughter does not want to join until spring semester. We rarely have openings in sororities during spring semester. There might be a few openings in a couple of sororities spring semester but that is unpredictable. Sororities design their programs to help their new members get acclimated to college very quickly. Last Fall semester the overall GPA of the new members of sororities was a 2.99. Compare that to the average of the female freshman which was a 2.69. You can see the sororities are serious about grades and getting their members acclimated to campus. If your daughter does not go through recruitment this August and still wants to join a sorority, please encourage her to do so her sophomore year.
To some college women and their parents, joining a sorority sounds terrific. They want to have something to help them socially and academically while providing structure. But, some look at it as too restricting and too time demanding. Each student needs to look at their strengths and weaknesses and evaluate what they can do. Some questions that need to be thought of is do they want to go to weekly meetings, have required study hours, maintain a high standard of behavior, attend and participate in campus events and volunteer in the community. If this is too overwhelming, then do not encourage them to participate. Our campus has wonderful campus ministries, lots of service and leadership organizations and many athletic and cultural events to attend. There are many successful students at Troy University who do not join sororities.
As you probably know the first cost associated with sorority life is the $80.00 recruitment fee ($95 after July 12). The first semester they will be $500 to $600 in ONE TIME fees. Some of those fees will be paid on Bid Day or very quickly afterwards. Most of these ONE TIME fees go to the national organization as pledging, initiation and/or insurance costs. All our sororities bill online through national companies that their national organizations have set up. Each sorority has a different way of billing whether it be monthly or by the semester. The good news is if your daughter shares with you her user name and password to the online billing system you can have access to her account. Monthly dues run around $130. Some chapters may be a little less some a little more. Once all bills are paid for a year most sororities cost about the same on this campus. Dues are used for the operation of the sorority. Examples of chapter operations – sponsoring an intramural team, sisterhood events for the chapter, tailgating for a football game, sisterhood and recognition events, formals, date parties, etc. T-shirts are not included in dues and t-shirts are very popular especially their first year. Sororities do not charge dues during the summer.
Move in day for those living in the residence hall is Saturday, August 3th. If your daughter has indicated on her online recruitment form that she is living on campus, we notify Housing, and they will be ready for her to check in. It is important to realize that the University rents out residence halls during the summer to conferences. Because we are coming back early some conferences may just have checked out the day before you arrive, so sometimes rooms are not clean when you check in. Housing does its best to avoid this but it sometimes happens, please be patient with this. It should take you about an hour to an hour and half to unload your car. At that time, we suggest that you leave your daughter to unpack and set up her room. She will also have time during the week to do so. Everything does not need to be perfect and in place before you leave. Also, we ask that unless you are from very far away, do not stay in Troy for all of sorority recruitment. There will be little time for you to visit with your daughter as she will be busy with recruitment. We understand there is a natural urge to stay and protect her, but the best way for her to adjust is to make friends with those going through recruitment with her and spend time with them.
We do want you to know that many moms and dads are wonderful volunteers for our sororities once the girls join. Many parents will come down and help behind the scenes with all kinds of sorority projects. Many parents will grill for tailgates and provide meals during sorority recruitment. So once your daughter joins a sorority, they would love for you to help.
We know that many women going through recruitment will not live on campus. One problem we know happens every year is that apartment complexes will not let the women move in for recruitment. You need to let the complexes know well in advance and ask them to cooperate. If they will not cooperate, your daughter needs to try and bunk in with friends. As a last resort she may want to stay with the Panhellenic Council in a hotel. If your daughter needs to stay in a hotel call Barbara Patterson at 334-670-3204 for more information. Another problem that arises is that potential new members are not allowed to live with sorority women the week of recruitment. The sorority woman is the one who is to find an alternate place to live. Your daughter and the sorority woman should work this out well in advance.
Also, if you and your daughter live in the Troy area and are willing to take a potential new member in for the week of recruitment, please let us know.
This is a very legitimate concern. We understand that your daughter may get her feelings hurt by either not getting into a sorority or not getting into the one she had her heart set on. You may have read in some of our materials that last year 84% of the women who went through recruitment pledged. Last year 338 women signed up for recruitment and 287 women were pledged. 33 of the women not pledged selected to withdraw from recruitment. Of the 51 women not pledged 37 at some point during recruitment were not asked back to any sorority and the other 14 selected to withdraw from recruitment. On Bid Day all of the women but 1 were pledged (this does not always happen). This sounds confusing, but if you can encourage your daughter to consider all her options and be open minded she will have a greater chance of pledging.
Please know that if your daughter is released from recruitment we have sorority women called Pi Chis who will notify them and help them if needed. Some released potential new members select to stay involved in their group activities. The Pi Chis also try to encourage them to get involved in other campus activities.
It is important that your daughter realize that sorority recruitment is like any other selection process. Job interviews, scholarship interviews, and team selections are a part of all our experiences. Sometimes we get selected and sometimes we do not. Putting her best foot forward with her recruitment application and preparing to meet and greet the sorority sisters is a very important life lesson. We hope that you will talk to her about her preparation for recruitment and how to handle disappointment if she should be released.
Recommendations are the most misunderstood part of sorority recruitment. A recommendation is like a letter of reference. You will hear many people tell you many different things about recommendations, most of which are untrue. First, it is the sorority’s responsibility to get a recommendation for your daughter. If she signs up early a sorority should have no problem getting a recommendation from your hometown. If she signs up late, they will scramble to find a recommendation, but will do so if they wish to pledge her.
We know in the state of Alabama everyone believes they must actively seek and get recommendations for their daughter. If you wish to do so, that is fine. Feel free to ask your friends who are sorority alumnae to write your daughter a recommendation. Many parents will tell us they don’t know anyone who is a sorority alumnae. Just start telling friends and associates that your daughter is going through sorority recruitment at Troy and you will be surprised at how many will tell you of their Greek affiliation and offer to write a recommendation.
Each national sorority has forms, most of which are now online (but user name and password protected). The actual form does not have to be filled out. We have provided the e-mail addresses of the sororities and if you know of a sorority alumnae who wishes to write a recommendation encourage her to email the sorority a reference. If the sorority wants the alumnae to fill out a form they will send it to her. Also, another big misconception is how many recommendations are necessary. Only one recommendation per sorority is needed. In the state of Alabama for some reason, rumors fly around you must have a certain number or the sorority won’t consider you. This is not true. They do not have to be a Troy University graduate to write a recommendation, but they do need to be an alumnae of a Troy sorority. For example your friend may be an alumni of Alpha Delta Pi, but was an undergraduate at the University of Alabama. It is fine for her to write the recommendation.
Yes. In sorority recruitment the sororities look at the group of freshman women and the group of upperclassmen women in two separate pools. So they will give every consideration to each pool of women. Most women who go through recruitment are freshman.
Our Panhellenic Council has rules that govern sorority recruitment. These rules are to protect your daughter. Your daughter may have friends who are already in sororities at Troy. It is perfectly fine for their normal friendship to remain as usual. It is important that your daughter not let people overstep their boundaries where recruitment is concerned. Often sorority members, their mothers and alumnae will overstep the boundaries of appropriate contact and place their chapter and potential members in awkward positions. Here are some examples:
- Only organized Panhellenic groups should be holding meetings about recruitment. No particular sorority, mothers or alumnae groups should do this.
- No one should be contacting you or your daughter about recruitment if you don’t already know them. In addition, the people who do know you should not be contacting you regarding recruitment unless it is to write a recommendation. This includes friends taking a potential member out to discuss recruitment.
- No one should be sending your daughter cards, letters, or gifts, unless it is a gift giving occasion and the person is someone who would ordinarily be giving her a gift even if she weren’t participating in recruitment.
- No one should be discussing your daughter’s status or supposed status within a sorority with anyone, even you. Only a very small group of women actually see the official information submitted by the sororities and it is confidential, so anything you hear is going to be hearsay and mostly the opinion of people who don’t know the whole story.
- During recruitment, your daughter should not receive any cards, letters, gifts, or communication from sorority members, alums, or member’s mothers. She also should not try to contact them from the beginning of sorority recruitment until Bid Day. Contact includes, but is not limited to visits, phone calls, e-mails, text messages, Facebook messages, social media message, cards and letters.
Sororities at Troy consider their legacies very carefully. They will not decide to pledge someone just because she is a legacy. A legacy is someone whose mother, grandmother, or sister is a member of a sorority. Misconceptions about legacies abound. First, national policies vary concerning legacies. Troy University has three rounds of sorority recruitment. Sorority may or may not be required by their national organization to invite a legacy back to the second round of parties. Because we only have three rounds, most of our sororities are not obligated to invite a legacy back to the second round. Second, legacies are given the same amount of consideration as non-legacies. A woman will not get into a sorority just because she is a legacy. Third, if your daughter is released, the relative may or may not be notified by the sorority that your daughter has been released. Finally, if your daughter is a legacy, we know it is a natural tendency to lean toward that sorority. We certainly understand that. But, encourage her to go through recruitment with an open mind and to make new friends at all the sororities during recruitment.