There are many misconceptions about sororities in the Panhellenic Community—tons of hazing, paying for friends, party animals, etc.—and while it may be true on other campuses, I can assure you Indiana State’s Panhellenic community is different.

Our campus has nine Panhellenic sororities: Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Sigma Kappa, and Zeta Tau Alpha. 

In fact, the National Panhellenic Association consistently recognizes our Panhellenic Association as outstanding. We are among 25 other national communities that receive College Panhellenic Excellence awards.

So, what makes our Panhellenic community so outstanding?

For starters, it is our competitive nature in academics, intramurals, Homecoming/Spring Week, and Fraternity and Sorority Awards.

Our community consistently achieves a higher GPA average than the undergraduate women’s average, and most of the teams that participate in intramural sports are Greek affiliated.

All nine sororities continuously go above and beyond in Homecoming/Spring Week by choreographing talented dances, training for trike/tandem, and participating in other various activities sponsored by the university.

Furthermore, every sorority is dedicated to serving and empowering others through their respective philanthropies, such as breast cancer awareness, the Arthritis Foundation, educating others about domestic violence, Alzheimer’s awareness, and many more.

In addition to their national philanthropies, chapters contribute to local community service opportunities. This can range from local dine-and-donates, fundraising for Riley’s Children’s Hospital, and even canned food drives.

It is an understatement that our Panhellenic community raises thousands of dollars for various philanthropies.

Aside from our competitiveness and dedication to serving others, the bond among individual sororities and the community as a whole is indescribable.

I went through Panhellenic sorority recruitment as a freshman. For those unaware of how recruitment works, you are assigned a group with other women who also plan on joining a sorority.

Roughly two Rho Gammas, who are current sorority members but are disaffiliated from their chapters, lead your group to help guide you through the process.

As a freshman, I was unbelievably nervous and so were the other women in my group. Although we may have joined different sororities, I still have a bond with them and with my Rho Gammas. 

Despite our difference in letters, we are still friends. That is what the Panhellenic community is about: making lifelong connections regardless of your sorority affiliation.  

I can honestly say I have friends in every single sorority. Even if I have never met someone, other sorority members still smile at me on campus or wave to me in the Commons. 

It is relieving to know that regardless of our affiliation, I always have a friend in my classes or other organizations simply because we have the Panhellenic community in common. 

Being a member of a sorority does mean you cannot have friends in other chapters; it means that we are a whole community of friendship. You are constantly encouraged to make meaningful connections with everyone.

Being a woman can be challenging because you are constantly trying to adhere to society’s expectations—do not be too assertive, confident, or emotional. You are expected to weigh a certain amount or look a specific way.

The Panhellenic community understands these challenges and empowers women to become their true, authentic selves. We accept one another regardless of what society deems is acceptable.

This community has enabled me to strengthen my leadership skills, become a better scholar, network professionally, and meet many brilliant people.

If you are contemplating going though sorority recruitment, do it. You will make lifelong friendships, have opportunities to serve others, and become the most empowered version of yourself.

If being a member of the Panhellenic community means I pay for my friends, then I most definitely did not pay enough. I am indebted to this community for the friendships and opportunities it has bestowed upon me.

To the Panhellenic community, thank you.