PHA: Life as an Initiated Member

A Week in the Life of a Sorority Woman

After your new member period, you will participate in your chapter’s initiation ceremony that teaches the rituals and traditions of your sorority. After completing this meaningful ceremony, you will be awarded your full membership. Initiation is an important rite of passage because once a member becomes an initiated member, she can never join another sorority.

Below is a general outline of what a week in the life a sorority woman might look like…

Monday

Today you will most likely have classes during the day with breaks for meals and studying. I n the evenings after dinner you will have individual chapter meetings (some are on Sunday evenings instead). It’s usually a good idea to plan on having your classes end before 4pm so you have time to change into chapter attire (usually business casual or “church” attire are expected) and eat dinner. Chapter usually lasts between 1-2 hours and goes over all the current information that is essential for members to know. It’s vital, and usually required, to attend these meetings every week.  

Tuesday-Thursday

During the week each chapter maintains a unique schedule.These days can include anything from sisterhood events, study hours, speakers or chapter committee meetings.

Chapters try to keep their schedules flexible to avoid over programming their members. Once you become a member, there are many leadership opportunities and various activities in which you can partake!

Friday-Sunday

Weekends for a Panhellenic woman are filled with fun events such as philanthropies, socials, and chapter functions! Some examples are participating in other chapters’ philanthropies, date parties, recruitment workshops, chapter retreats, big/little sister events, and Greek community wide events.

You will also have time to keep up with your studies. Most chapters will have minimum GPA requirements that you must maintain, so it’s important to plan out studying ahead of time and put sorority activities second! Managing your schedule is KEY to getting the most out of your chapter experience; if you plan your days accordingly and stay on top of your academics, you will only excel throughout your college career!

Other Helpful Information about Initiated Membership

As an initiated member, every woman in the sorority is encouraged to take on leadership positions and stay active in the chapter. This can range from a small event-based role to a year-long chapter leadership role. Each chapter is composed of a governing Executive Board which is voted on by chapter members. There are also opportunities to take on smaller roles, such as New Member Educator, assistant to an Executive position, standards chairman, house manager and so on. Further, Greek community wide programming, such as Greek Week, Homecoming, and R.A.M.S., are great opportunities to use individual skills to help lead in your organization!

Hazing is not an aspect of Panhellenic life, nor tolerated at the University of Missouri. A new member can expect to participate in the same activities and have the same responsibilities as initiated members.

A member is also expected to…

  • Be responsible for paying your dues. There are costs associated with running any organization, and sororities are no exception. Membership dues cover chapter facilities, events that the members host and participate in, and help support the national office organization.
  • Attend have weekly chapter meetings. These will usually be on Sunday or Monday evenings
  • May be required to meet study hour requirements. Sororities follow individual scholarship programs to help their members succeed, and study hours help structure their study habits.
  • Attend certain required chapter events such as philanthropy events, speakers, and others the chapter will partake in.
  • Be provided with a copy of the sorority policies and a calendar of events.
  • Be held to the standards of membership that the chapter has outlined. Every sorority has a set of bylaws and standards. When a member falls short or violates these policies she will be called in to a meeting with chapter leadership.
  • Be a big sister to a new member that is in the next new member class. Sophomore members usually serve as big sisters.
  • Attend social events.
  • Seize opportunities for leadership development. There are many positions members can hold to help the chapter run smoothly and accomplish its goals.
  • Take advantage of networking opportunities. Within your chapter, a sister can connect you with outside organizations and with alumnae after you graduate.
  • Be assisted in your academic success. All of our sororities have academic resources, support, and scholarships for members. The average sorority member has a higher GPA than the average Mizzou student.

Community Wide Activities in Which Greeks Participate

  • Homecoming — annual celebration hosted by the Mizzou Alumni Association.
  • Greek Week — two week period in April where Greek students participate in programs and events that celebrate the values of the office of Greek Life, most importantly emphasizing service to the Columbia and MU campus community.

Financial Commitment of Membership

First Year/New Member
(Includes many one-time fees)
Active Member,
living IN HOUSE
Active Member,
living OUT OF HOUSE
**Data collected from 11 of 14 Mizzou PHA chapters active as of Spring 2012
Average $2,353.00 $7,278.00 $1,762.00
High $3,190.00 $9,560.00 $2,610.00
Low $1,835.00 $5,659.00 $1,240.00

Check out Life as a New Member