Usually within her first semester of joining, and sometimes as early as six weeks after accepting her bid, a new member participates in an initiation ceremony that teaches her the secrets and rituals of her sorority while awarding her with full membership. Initiation is an important rite of passage because, once someone has been initiated into her sorority, she can never join another one. There are many rights and responsibilities that come with sorority membership.
As a sorority member, you can expect:
* To be responsible for paying dues to the sorority. First semester cost average is $550 and subsequent semesters average $300. Some people view sorority dues as paying for your friends. That is simply not the case. There are costs associated with running any organization, and sororities are no exception. Membership dues cover chapter facilities, events that the members participate in, and help support the national offices that operate the chapter's umbrella organization.
* That your chapter will have weekly meetings. All sororities meet on-campus on Tuesday nights.
* To be required to meet study hour requirements. Sororities follow programs to help them succeed academically. As soon as someone joins, she becomes responsible for meeting the sorority's academic requirements.
* To be required to attend those things that other members are required to attend. There are pep rallies, philanthropy events, speakers, Greek pageants, and other things that your chapter will participate in and you will be asked to do your part.
* To be a big sister to someone when the next new member class arrives. Who knows, you may even get to be a big sister twice?!
* To be held to the standards of membership that your chapter requires. Every sorority has a set of bylaws and standards. When a member violates these policies, she can be called to a hearing with chapter leadership.
As a member, you can also expect:
* To be provided with a copy of sorority policies and a calendar of the things you will be asked to attend.
* To attend sorority social events. All sororities have socials for their members to attend. Whether it's with a mixer with a fraternity or sorority or your own sorority having a formal, each sorority has at least two to three events each semester. These events are fun but optional.
* The opportunity for leadership development. All sororities have executive officers that are deeply involved with the day to day operations of the chapter as well as smaller offices that have only one or two tasks to complete. All are important and all give the members a chance to develop leadership skills.
* Networking opportunities. UCA's sororities expect their members to be involved in activities outside of the sorority and they do a great job helping their members know when applications are coming up as well as how to prepare the interviews.
* To be assisted in your academic pursuits. All of our sororities have academic programs and offer help, resources, and scholarships for members. The average sorority member has a higher than the average undergraduate woman at UCA.