Sorority is being a part of something bigger than yourself or your chapter.
When you join a sorority it is easy to focus on your chapter and forget about the larger organization. But when you join a sorority, you aren’t just joining your local chapter. You are becoming one of the many women who are members of an inter/national organization. If you’re confused, we can help. Understanding that a sorority goes beyond your local chapter and what that structure looks like can be confusing. However, realizing the depth of sorority can be empowering knowing you are apart of something so much bigger than yourself. Let’s break it down together.
Sorority chapters at universities and colleges are the lifeforce of the sorority.
Every sorority has local chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and some organizations extend into Canada. Together, each chapter makes up the larger inter/national sorority. Sorority chapters recruit new members adding thousands of new sorority women each year. Without the chapters of the sorority, there would be no more members joining the organization. This truly makes the chapters the lifeforce of the sorority. They recruit the future leaders of the organization who will oversee the organization so chapters may continue to recruit new members. But we will dive deeper into that in a second.
Each chapter of an organization is supported by volunteers.
Collegiate sorority members are supported by alumnae volunteers. Each chapter has an advisory board of alumnae that see to the welfare of the chapter and each member. The advisors are assigned the oversight of certain chapter operations areas. These advisors are mentors to sorority women and provide them guidance in college and beyond. Chapter volunteers work with all chapter members and have a large impact on the success of the chapter and the growth and development of members.
In addition to volunteers that oversee each chapter, there are volunteers that support multiple chapters at once. They are often called region or district volunteers. They may assist with six or seven chapters at once. If a chapter advisor doesn’t know the answer to a question the region volunteers are usually the next people to turn to. This will look different for all member organizations and is a general overview of what the process may look like. What is important is that there are resources for chapter members and opportunities to continue your sorority membership after graduation.
Each member organization has an inter/national offices.
The inter/national office supports collegians, alumnae, sorority officers and volunteers. The number of people that work in the office may vary depending on the organization. All sorority offices are composed of different executive, administrative and support services. Some key members of the inter/national staff are traveling leadership consultants. These are women who just graduated from college and spend their time traveling from chapter to chapter providing education and support. There will also be an executive director who oversees the daily welfare for the organization.
Each member organization has a volunteer leadership to govern the sorority.
Learning about the depth that makes up each sorority, there has to be someone governing all of these moving parts. Each member organization has volunteer leadership to ensure the welfare of the organization and to make strategic decisions that make changes for all sorority members. All of them have some form of inter/national council or board that directs the strategic initiatives of the sorority and works directly with the staff to accomplish the goals of the organization. These volunteers and staff members work hard every day to achieve success and meet the high standards of the organizations.
There are many levels to the structure of a sorority, but these are some of the basics. Just know that if you join, there are lifetime involvement opportunities within the organization, and those lifetime members will be there to support you as a collegian. This is the start of realizing the scale of your sorority membership.