Panhellenic Sorority FAQs
What is sorority all about?
“Sorority,” specifically at the University of Mississippi, is not a term that is taken lightly. Although each sorority offers a different experience, our 10 organizations work as a cohesive unit to form the university’s Panhellenic community. To be a member of this community means to share morals and values with a group of exceptional women, to be challenged academically, to grow through leadership and involvement opportunities, and to give back to the university and Oxford community through philanthropic efforts. Our sororities promote sisterhood and love and encourage women to commit in order to find their home away from home.
Within the Panhellenic Association, the object shall be to develop and maintain women’s fraternity life and interfraternity relations at a high level of accomplishment and in so doing to: (1) Consider the goals and ideals of member groups as continually applicable to campus and personal life; (2) Promote superior scholarship and basic intellectual development; (3) Cooperate with member women’s fraternities and the university administration in concern for and maintenance of high social and moral standards; (4) Act in accordance with National Panhellenic Conference unanimous resolutions, policies and best practices; and (5) Act in accordance with rules established by the Panhellenic Council as to not violate the sovereignty, rights and privileges of member women’s fraternities.
When is 2019 Panhellenic Primary Sorority Recruitment?
- September 22-29, 2019
How much does it cost to register for 2019 Primary Sorority Recruitment?
- $175 (May 13-31, 2019)
- $200 (June 1 – July 31, 2019)
- $225 (August 1 – September 1, 2019)
Students must be registered and have paid the registration fee before the deadline to participate in Primary Recruitment. There are no exceptions.
How do I know if the Panhellenic Council has received my online registration form?
You should receive a confirmation email once you click “Submit” when registering online. If you don’t receive confirmation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I forgot something on my application. How do I update my application?
Log back into Campus Director with the log-in information you created, and edit your application.
What is a letter of recommendation? Do I really need one?
Recommendation letters are written by alumnae in good standing with the sorority. Letters of support are not necessary during the Formal Recruitment process. Recommendation letters are not required by the university or Panhellenic Council; however, they are required by sororities.
Sororities do expect potential new members (PNMs) to complete the recommendation letter process as outlined by their national sorority. Visit their national and local websites to learn more about their recommendation letter process, including forms, mailing addresses, deadlines and who to contact.
You can find local sorority websites here. .
The individual completing the recommendation for the PNM should mail it directly to the local sororities. PNMs should not send test scores or transcripts to local sororities. Sororities at Ole Miss have requested that PNMs refrain from sending photo collages, videos, and any food items, including during formal recruitment.
Who writes recommendation letters?
An alumna of a sorority can fill out a letter of recommendation for a potential new member. The alumna can be from any university or college; however, she must be in good standing with her sorority. Some sororities also allow current collegians to submit letters of recommendation as long as they are not a current active member of the chapter to which they are sending the recommendation.
What if I don’t know anyone who could write me a letter of recommendation?
We encourage you to consider family, friends, parents’ work colleagues or other people in your life who may be sorority alumnae. After exhausting the first option, another avenue is reaching out to local alumnae Panhellenic associations, which represent all 26 inter/national sororities within the National Panhellenic Conference. You can contact the local alumnae Panhellenic group, Oxford Area Alumnae Panhellenic, at email@example.com.
You can also search on the National Panhellenic Conference website to find an Alumnae Panhellenic Association in your area.
Can I go through Primary Recruitment as an upperclassman?
Yes. Most PNMs may be first-year students, but upperclassmen also are encouraged to register.
If I am a legacy to a sorority, will I automatically receive a bid?
College Panhellenic Council encourages all women going through the Formal Recruitment process to keep an open mind. For Primary Recruitment 2018, 93% of women who indicated they were a legacy of a Panhellenic organization received a bid for membership to a sorority at the University of Mississippi.
Is there a required GPA to receive a membership invitation through Formal Recruitment and open bidding?
As required by the National Panhellenic Conference, there is no GPA requirement to participate in Formal Recruitment at the University of Mississippi. However, some sororities have individual requirements to extend a membership invitation. For a sorority to extend a membership invitation, the typical GPA is 3.00. Women who have below a 3.00 GPA are advised that they are at a greater risk to be released from the Formal Recruitment process due to their academics. With the number of women who participate in the Formal Recruitment process, GPA tends to be a characteristic all groups strongly consider, especially after the first round of Formal Recruitment. Being released from Formal Recruitment or receiving a membership invitation through the Formal recruitment process is due to a wide variety of factors that are ultimately up to the sororities. GPA is only one of those factors, but much weight is placed on it.
For Formal Recruitment 2018, high school students who joined a sorority had an average GPA of 3.68 while college students had an average GPA of 3.26. Six percent of women who received a bid in Formal Recruitment 2018 had below a 3.0 GPA in either high school or college.
The Panhellenic Council created grade zones to show how academics may factor in Formal Recruitment.
Green Zone = Your options are not likely limited based on your GPA. (3.0 + )
Yellow Zone = Your options are more likely to be limited by your GPA. (2.8 – 2.99)
Red Zone = Your options are very likely to be limited based on GPA. (2.79 and below)
How do I obtain information about recruitment once I get to the University of Mississippi?
Read through this website, visit us on Facebook, tweet us a question on Twitter, or check out our Instagram. Recruitment counselors, or Gamma Chis, will be available during recruitment events to answer questions. Also, feel free to email Panhellenic at firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I am going to miss or be late for an event during Formal Recruitment?
Panhellenic will obtain your school schedule prior to recruitment week, so the recruitment counselors will know when you will be late to or absent from a party.
Why is it so expensive to join a sorority? Where is the money going?
Sororities have provided their financial obligations in ranges. Please note the following: These are only ranges and may not include all associated costs for each sorority. Dues are subject to change. As prospective members, students need to talk with active members during recruitment events to learn more, especially when payments are due following Bid Day.
|In-House Member Dues Per Semester||$2,945-$5,300|
|Out of House Member Dues Per Semester||$1,610-$3,000|
|New Member Dues (First Semester)||$1,840-$2,835|
Note: In most organizations, the first year of membership may be more expensive as new members pay one-time fees for items such as membership pin, new member books, etc.
The dues for each sorority vary from chapter to chapter. However, dues are most commonly used on meals, staff salaries, chapter house maintenance, social events, international and local dues, educational programming, leadership development and materials, and community service projects. Again, be sure to ask specific questions about finances during recruitment!
If chapters are overseen by their national organization, who does Panhellenic report to?
Panhellenic’s umbrella organization is the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). You can learn more about the NPC here.
Once I join a sorority, will I be able to eat meals at the chapter house?
The University of Mississippi requires all freshmen to have a university meal plan. Students can choose any meal plan that works best for them.
When students join a fraternity or sorority, their membership dues include meals at the house, when available. Typically this is breakfast, lunch and dinner, Monday-Friday, with dinner not available on Fridays and no meals on Saturday or Sunday. If students are members of a fraternity or sorority in the spring semester of their freshman year, there is an opportunity for them to switch to a Greek meal plan, which you can learn more about here. For more information about meal plans, view the Dining FAQs or contact Ole Miss Dining Services.
Is it difficult to balance sorority life and academics?
Time management is the key. Many sorority women are able to manage sorority responsibilities, jobs or internships, academics and involvement in other campus organizations. If you are interested in joining a sorority but have concerns about the time commitment, feel free to ask members during recruitment how they balance their time!
How will I know which organization is right for me?
Each sorority has its own mission, creed, and values that it lives by; however, overall, Panhellenic organizations strive to provide members with friendship, opportunities for personal growth/development and fun. To choose a chapter that is right for you, you should do some research, attend Panhellenic recruitment events and visit organizations’ social media pages. Formal recruitment is a process designed to allow you and the chapters to decide on the best fit. As you go through the process, be sure to keep an open mind, ask questions, and be yourself!
Expectations of Sorority Members at The University of Mississippi
Standards – Each chapter has specific standards for member behavior. These standards include abiding by all national, state, and local laws, as well as UM and chapter policies. Standards also include fulfilling financial obligations on time, as well as any policy on living in the chapter house.
Academics – All sororities at The University of Mississippi have high academic standards and expect members to achieve their academic potential. Chapters may offer mentorship, peer tutoring, and study hours. Studying completed in a proctored environment may be required based on academic achievement. Typically, most students find that they will need two hours outside of the classroom for every one hour spent in the classroom each week to prepare for and do well in their academic coursework.
Meetings – New members can expect to attend one chapter meeting and one new member meeting per week. While these two meetings may vary in length from week to week, the average number of hours spent in meetings held by Panhellenic chapters is 1-2 hours each per week depending on the items on the agenda.
Participation Requirements – Members are expected to participate in philanthropy events, community service, recruitment, homecoming, and other campus events. They are encouraged to participate in sisterhood and social events. These events may not occur every week, but members are expected to attend. The average number of philanthropy and community service events held by Panhellenic chapters is 1 per month. Members are also expected to be back on campus at least 1 week prior to the start of primary recruitment each fall.
Being a member of a sorority offers many benefits and the opportunity for personal growth and development, and these opportunities are paired with expectations that all members will actively contribute to the activities of the chapter and uphold high standards, core values, and ideals of sisterhood.