When you think about sorority houses and house directors, the images that come to mind are beautiful mansions on the hill, the introduction scene in “Legally Blonde,” or Anna Farris in “House Bunny.” But the glamourous pictures you see are not actual depictions of what it means to live in a sorority house now or be a sorority house director.
After speaking with students and house directors from different communities and chapters, they all can agree to the unsung heroes of house directors. These women ranging in age, background and titles, all provide a unique experience to these sorority chapters. Their roles range from house maintenance, food/meal supervising, budgeting for the facility and overseeing construction. They do it all, but the parts that aren’t in their job descriptions make the most massive impacts. It’s the late-night support to students who seek guidance; it’s the knowledge that there is a person who they can use for check-ins, emotional support and comfort. It is knowing you are never alone, and there is a safe place to call home.
Creating A Family
These heroes don’t just ensure there is food on the table and a roof over the chapters head, but they provide a nurturing environment filled with love, compassion and support. They treat each student and member as a person, cared for and apricated for who they are and what they bring to the family.
As an undergraduate, I never had a house director; I didn’t know I needed it. As a 22-year-old graduate student, I got to be a house director. I was not ready for the responsibility or fully comprehend the impact I could have made. As a professional, I have met numerous house directors, some who saw it as a job, and some who saw it as a calling. I appreciate the tremendous impact they made on the students and the community in turn.
To all those collegiate women lucky enough to have a great house director, please thank those people every day for their impact. Write them a card, send them an email, find out their love language and show them they are loved in that way. It doesn’t have to be big but genuine appreciation will make them feel valued.
You may one day have an opportunity to become a house director and if you do, I cannot more highly recommend it because there are a few roles that allow you to do all the facilities management and interpersonal work other than being a house director.
If you want to learn more about being a house director, check out @UncutChristal on TikTok where she shares more about her experience. She is a fantastic representation of what it means to be a house director.