At ‘So you want to be in a Sorority’ last Tuesday, sororities offered students food, drinks, and the opportunity to get to know the differences between the sororities on campus.
Four out of seven sororities of Rutgers-Camden attended the event held in the Campus Center’s Multipurpose Room during the free period on September 13. Each were given time at the podium, describing what their sorority was like. Speakers provided information about their sororities’ background, goals, and the charities each support.
Transfer student, Janelle Stokes, a criminal justice major, was at the event.
Stokes said, “I wanted to get involved in school. So, what better way than to join a Greek organization? I heard they’re good for networking and meeting new people.”
Erin Kerr represented Sigma Delta Tau and spoke to an attentive audience about her sororities’ philanthropic endeavors.
Kerr said, “Our philanthropy here and nationally is to Prevent Child Abuse in America. We work towards raising money for them every semester with several different fundraisers, and you’ll see that active on campus.”
Many themes were consistent regardless of which sorority spoke at this introduction into Greek life and recruiting event, which saw about 75 females in attendance. The speakers talked about bonding. They expressed sorority life could bring relationships that last a lifetime.
Standing by the Delta Phi Epsilon table before the speakers went up to the podium, senior and Vice President of Recruitment Sarah Picknally spoke about Greek life.
She said, “We are a community service based organization…we do lots of sisterhood events, where all the sisters specifically do something together. Last year, we all got together and made t-shirts, and we go on a retreat, where we do bonding activities and just hang out.”
Picknally continued, “You feel like you have this second family, and it’s these sisters that will be with you for the rest of your life.”
Contrary to popular culture or the 1978 film Animal House, sorority or Greek life is not all about partying. They place a high priority on acts of service and academics. In order to be in one, a student must have at least 12 credits and a 2.25 GPA according to Allison Wisniewski, who is the Associate Dean of Students.
She was the first speaker during the event as some students left the displays, which flanked her right side, and took their seats. Wisniewski mentioned the characteristics of someone participating in the “diverse” environment of Greek life.
Wisniewski said, “The Greeks community (sororities and fraternities) is thriving here. Our students are doing at least ten hours of community service a week. Our GPA for our Greek organizations right now runs between a 2.9 and 3.6…so these are students that are highly engaged. They’re doing excellent academically. They have a wonderful social life, and they’re here to kind of spread the word to what being Greek is all about.”
Sororities have been in existence for over 140 years in the United States. The first one was called Kappa Alpha Theta. It was founded at DePauw University (formally known as Indiana Asbury University). One of its founding members, Bettie Locke, believed in the importance of uniting women through common goals. Her vision came to fruition after she was denied membership into a fraternity according to DePauw University’s website. Kappa Alpha Theta was born.
Wisniewski notes joining a sorority is a big commitment. It’s a decision that should not be taken lightly. She hopes potential sorority women will trust their instincts and invest time in getting to know the members.
The Associate Dean said, “I would tell them to spend time with the organizations that are of immediate interest to them…whatever draws them to that organization. Just spend some time with all the women in there, go to an event or two with them, and then they’ll kind of get the right idea. Usually women that do that, where they try multiple organizations, find their fit.”
Meghan Hanson, a transfer from Camden County College, came to Rutgers Camden and the event hoping for a little more than her previous higher learning experience.
Hanson, a Biology major hoping to become a Physical Therapist said, “I was so bored at Camden County (college)…you went to school and you went home. There was no college life…I want to have the college life.”
When asked if she wanted to join after listening to the speakers Hanson said, “I definitely do. I love the idea of getting involved, and I really just like the opportunity to meet lifelong friends.”
Students who are interested in joining a sorority are encouraged to visit http://greeks.camden.rutgers.edu/. The website contains links to the individual sororities’ national organizations. Wisniewski encourages students to read about them.