I never thought I would join a Greek organization at Lawrence, yet here I am, just two weeks shy of my Kappa Alpha Theta initiation. I would not have gone through recruitment had my friends not convinced me to go through the process with them. What do sororities even do at Lawrence? It seemed like a waste of time—and money. For those of you in a similar position, I want to share some information that I have learned about Greek Life and recruitment.
First, I would encourage any female-identifying person on campus to go through formal or informal recruitment! Formal recruitment happens once a year, at the beginning of winter term. Continuous Open Bidding, or COBs, happens sporadically throughout the year as different sororities need to maintain their membership numbers. The three Lawrence sororities that participate in formal recruitment are Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta, or, as you might have heard them called around campus, “Kappa”, “DG” and “Theta”. Beta Psi Nu, a predominantly African American, Christian-based organization, also has a strong presence on the Lawrence campus, but they do not participate in formal recruitment. Reach out to one of their members if you are interested in joining or want to know more!
Any of the Lawrence sororities contain a diverse collection of high-achieving women. Before going through recruitment, I had heard negative stereotypes about sorority women my whole life. Recruitment gave me the opportunity to learn that sororities are nothing like they are portrayed in movies or the media. Each sorority has a rich history and a legacy of strong, determined women. I was most surprised by the emphasis on philanthropy that I found across the board for all Lawrence sororities. Each sorority has a different philanthropy, a specific charitable organization or cause that its members devote tons of time and effort to supporting. Throughout the year, each sorority works hard to raise money and volunteer their time towards their philanthropy. Much of the hard work required to plan and organize philanthropic events occurs behind the scenes. The general Lawrence campus only sees the fundraising events, not the countless amount of time and energy that sorority women spend to make sure these events go smoothly.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the emphasis on personal success and growth. All new members of sororities learn about the core values for their organization. Though each sorority has different core values, many share a common goal of creating and supporting passionate, dedicated and successful female leaders within their organization. Between sisterhood events, Panhellenic meetings, new member education, study sessions and often the support of the big/little system, members of sororities have opportunities to become stronger and more successful women. Rather than being a group of illiterate clones or whatever caricature the media has turned sorority women into, members of the Lawrence sororities have been some of the kindest, smartest and most determined women I have met on this campus.
If this seems totally uninteresting, more power to you. Greek life is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. But if you think Greek life is for you, keep an eye out for recruitment events and talk to members of Lawrence sororities to find out more! I stumbled upon Lawrence sororities without knowing anything about them; hopefully, you now have more information than I did when I walked into formal recruitment!