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So They’ve Joined a Sorority
Congratulations if your daughter has found a place to call home. Being in a sorority opens the door to so many wonderful experiences. My older daughter made some of her closest friends in her sorority.
Every sorority is a little different as it relates to living and eating meals at the house – if they have a meal plan. They also have specifications in regard to academics, philanthropies, and social requirements. Your daughter will be expected to attend chapter meetings, eat their meals at the house (if they provide meals, which would also be included in the fees) and participate in their sorority’s events.
Sororities are paired up with fraternities for socials. Some sororities require you to dress up for dinner or chapter meetings; others do not care if you come straight from the gym. Some may require you to live in the house with your pledge class at some point; for others it is optional. My older daughter lived in her sorority house her junior and senior year, loving the fact that there were always other women around to hang out with, talk with, watch tv shows with and just the entire experience. The advantage was the cost to live in the house. It is less expensive than an off-campus apartment. Some of her sorority sisters though chose not to live in the house, preferring to be there for meals, meetings, and socials.
Be prepared for a wardrobe change as they can often be seen wearing frat tanks (some girls sell their collection for as little as $5 a shirt), sorority shirts, sweatshirts, jewelry and more, proudly wearing their sorority’s letters or name (some new members are not allowed to wear the letters until after initiation). Some girls, thinking ahead, may buy doubles of their shirts (they usually have a shirt for each significant event) in order to wear one and save one to make a quilt out of the t-shirts after graduation. The quilts really come out adorable. These local boutiques are popular shopping spots among students:
- Forema (2 locations)
- Downtown Diva
- Lizard Thicket
- The Impeccable Pig
- Sophie and Trey
- Tria – a great place to look for formal dresses
- 4th and Ocean
Over the years, I have purchased sorority gifts for them, mainly at orientation. Between Big/Little, Orientation and Bid Day, they have accumulated jewelry, water bottles, stationery, wall signs and so much more. And while I know eventually (after they graduate college and move into an apartment to start adulting, their decorating tastes switch), seeing them enjoying this bond with so many young women and the impact the sorority makes during their college years is well worth having all of the sorority items they collect. Some nice gift sites include Dormify, Ivory On Emory and Alex and Ani.
As for those that were on the meal plan through UCF, because some sororities’ membership includes some of their meals. The houses owned by UCF do not have meal plans (like KKG, AEPhi, Theta and Chi O). If you purchased a meal plan for your student and now they have meals at their sorority house, you can go onto UCFdining.com to download a form to cancel your on-campus meal plan. If approved, they will refund your remaining balance.
Being in a sorority is not just about the social aspect, although that is a big part of joining. Many of the sororities require their members to participate in the philanthropy aspect teaching them about helping those less fortunate. They are expected to keep up their grades as each sorority loves to be able to brag about having the highest GPA amongst all sororities.
Sorority sisters can be found holding positions on Homecoming, Student Government, Blue Key, HerCampus and Dance Marathon to mention a few. This opens the door for new members to have the opportunity to get involved on campus. And most sororities also have Mother Daughter and Father-Daughter Weekends which typically rotate every year. Those are my favorite. Most colleges are extremely strict today when it comes to drinking and hazing. I am not going to cherry coat this; it does happen. Your daughter should never feel pressured to do something that makes her feel uncomfortable. You can read about UCF’s position and policies here.
Finally, when they return the following year to be on the other side of rush, they will be expected back for Spirit Week which will be from August 12, 2019- August 16, 2019. And, they will be given a list of what wardrobe they will need for rush.