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Stomping the Yard

So You Want to Join a Sorority?

Calling all college students! Our weekly column, Stomping the Yard, aims to help undergrads excel in their studies and social lives. JETmag.com’s team of experts will show you how to get it done, from the day you move into the dorms to the minute you step off campus for that first job. Submit questions and feedback for Stomping the Yard via digitalpitches@ebony.com.

Some of the best parts about going away to college were the lifelong friendships I made while I was there. A quick scroll through my Facebook feed will show connections from my days as a college choir director, Black Student Union member, and a proud member of my sorority. To this day, a group of my line sisters and I get together every, single Christmas to laugh, reminisce, and celebrate our friendship.

Lots of laughs with my sorority sisters

We still talk every single week, and during the course of conversation, we inevitably stumble upon a familiar topic of conversation: our sorority. Last we celebrated our 17th year anniversary, and I realized that this is the time of year when thousands of Greek-lettered hopefuls will become new members, or “neos” of their respective organizations.

If you’re thinking of joining a sorority, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Do Your Research – Whether it’s a sorority or any campus organization, it’s always wise to do your homework before submitting an application to join. Make sure you know what the organization represents, the requirements for membership, whether their values align with your own, and how they demonstrate those values on and off campus.

2. Count the Costs – When I became a member of my sorority, the fees were less than $500. Nowadays, membership fees have skyrocketed. I’ll never forget the day a fellow member told me that being in the organization was a “luxury.” College students seldom earn more than minimum wage. If you want to become a member of a Greek-lettered organization, make sure you do the math, accounting for budget items such as membership dues and annual fees.

3. Exercise Discretion- Blabbing your Greek aspirations to the world might come back to haunt you when it’s time to vote for new members. Instead, let your actions show your interest by supporting campus events. Show your personality by being genuine and approachable.

4. Demonstrate Leadership – Put yourself in their shoes. What types of things would make a candidate an attractive asset to the organization? Getting involved in extracurricular activities such as student government, campus activity boards, and academic clubs show that you take initiative and are committed to more than just the social benefits of campus involvement.

5. Clean Up Your Social Media – Although many Greek-lettered organizations do positive things in the community, quite a few of them have made headlines for lewd conduct. Pictures of you “turned up” aren’t going to win any brownie points with the voting committee. Use good judgment and make sure that your social networks tell a positive story.

Every organization on every campus is different. Each has its own set of guidelines for screening potential members. Nonetheless, applying these tips won’t hurt your chances, and may even help.

 

Shante-Bishop

Getting TO college is one thing; Getting THROUGH college is quite another. That’s why Dr. Shante’ Bishop offers strategic advice on being successful both in and out of the classroom. From catalogs to cap and gown, Professor Bishop shares what it takes to ‘Stomp the Yard” with confidence and clarity! You can follow Dr. Bishop on FacebookYouTube and Twitter