Sororities: What You Need to Know

What is a Sorority?

A sorority is a social organization built on differing principles of sisterhood, philanthropy, scholarship, and leadership. There are 11 sororities at the University of Arkansas.
They are:
Alpha Chi Omega
Alpha Delta Pi
Alpha Omicron Pi
Chi Omega
Delta Delta Delta
Delta Gamma
Kappa Delta
Kappa Kappa Gamma
Phi Mu
Pi Beta Phi
Zeta Tau Alpha

All of these properties are nationally recognized organizations, meaning that there are chapters around the country.

Chapters at the University of Arkansas range from 300-400+ members.

Recruitment, or “Rush”

Sorority recruitment is the process PNMs (Potential New Members) must go through in order to pledge to one Panhellenic organization. It is a week-long process whereby PNMs go to parties and converse with active members of sororities in order to find which house best fits them. Throughout the week, PNMs are guided by Rush Counselors called Gamma Chis. These women all belong to sororities on campus, however, they do not share which chapter they belong to until the end of the week.

As the week progresses, the number of homes a PNM will visit decreases. As time goes on, PNMs are allowed to select houses they do not feel are the best fit for them. Likewise, chapters are allowed to select which PNMs return to their facilities. This is referred to as “cuts.”

On the final day of recruitment, called “Preference Round” or “Pref.” PNMs will make their final selection between a maximum of two organizations. The following day is Bid Day, where all PNMs gather in the Chi Omega Greek Theatre on campus to open their Bid Card and “run home” to their new sorority.

The process of Rush can be intimidating. Some people feel overwhelmed by the thought of meeting complete strangers and being forced to make small talk with them. Something to keep in mind is that recruitment is a very polished and organized process. As a PNM, all you must do is show up to the parties, and the active members will guide you from there. They are typically nervous too, so you will quickly feel at ease when the process officially begins. What is most important is that it always works out as it should in the end. You just have to trust the process.

New Member Program

After bid day marks the beginning of pledgeship or new membership. Any new member is a “pledge” meaning she is not yet an official member of the organization. Official membership comes upon initiation. All chapters have initiation ceremonies at differing points in the first semester. Once a new member has been initiated into her sorority, she is a member for life.

It is important to note here that the University of Arkansas has a zero-tolerance policy for hazing in any organization. Furthermore, there are national laws within sororities that prohibit members from hazing without facing serious consequences.


Each sorority has one or two national organizations that they call their philanthropy. This means that sororities raise awareness for their cause as well as funding. Members are required to fulfill a certain requirement each semester for service hours. The number of hours depends on the pledge class and the organization itself.

Depending on the organization, chapters will host annual fundraising events. Some examples of non-profits paired with sororities are the Ronald McDonald House, St. Jude, and Make a Wish. Philanthropy is one of the many ways members can get involved within their organization as well as learn more about a nonprofit.


Scholarship is an important aspect of all sororities. Members must withhold a certain GPA in order to stay active in their organization. Requirements differ depending on the chapter.

Most sororities also require members to complete a certain number of study hours. This means that members must reach a minimum amount of time spent studying or doing homework in a certain amount of time. Requirements differ depending on the chapter.


Sisterhood is a key aspect of all sororities. Each organization has a certain type of women with similar goals, values, personalities, etc. Given the large average pledge class size at the University of Arkansas – between 100-150 members – there are countless people to meet within a sorority.

Sororities hold several events each month fostered around these principles. Members have the option to attend events at their chapter facilities as well as in the Northwest Arkansas community.

These events have the goal of allowing members to spend time together and curate lasting friendships.

Living in the House

Every sorority at the University of Arkansas has a corresponding house, located either on Maple Street or Oakland Avenue. These chapter facilities offer a place for weekly meetings, meals as well as other sorority-sponsored events.

Members have the option to live in their sorority house. Depending on the sorority and the rooms their house accommodates, members can live with 1 or more roommates and eat daily meals at their homes.

Financial Obligations

All sororities come with financial obligations. These dues go toward the upkeep of chapter facilities, meals, events, merchandise and other expenses. During recruitment, houses are required to share their individual pricing as well as other financial transparency information. Dues differ depending on the sorority.

One Last Thing

Being in a sorority can be such a beneficial aspect of a woman’s college experience. It offers young women with opportunities to meet like-minded people, excel in leadership opportunities, and grow as a person.
However, it is not for everybody. Being a member of Greek life is not an essential aspect of the college experience at the University of Arkansas. When it is all said and done, it is a social club that is an extracurricular activity.

If you decide to go through recruitment, the best advice is this: keep an open mind. Try it out with little to no expectations. Trust the process and see where you land. If you like where you are, embrace it and reap the benefits of the opportunities you are given. If it is not for you, you have the opportunity to “drop,” meaning you will no longer be obligated.


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