The idea that sorority life is just about being social frustrates many sorority members, whose national chapters and mission statements stress the importance of scholarship and service. Every national sorority and most local sororities are involved with philanthropy work. Some sororities earmark specific charities and causes for which they work to raise money. Sororities will often hold fundraisers like basketball games and fishing tournaments. Many sorority members participate in campus philanthropy organizations as well. While every sorority sister may not adhere to the ideals of her organization, there is ample opportunity to be involved in charitable work.
Most sororities have a mandated grade point average (GPA) that sorority members must meet in order to retain all the privileges of membership. A sister who falls below the established GPA might be required to attend study sessions or even have social privileges revoked. Perhaps as a measure to maintain the house average, some sororities have been known (and criticized) for having a sort of cheater's cache -- file drawers full of tests and class papers.
Criticism and rumors regarding cheating and hazing aside, for many women, being in a sorority can have a positive impact on their college career. But for others, it can be the very opposite. Much like deciding which college to attend, deciding whether to rush is a personal decision. What may be right for one woman may not be right for another -- even if you are a legacy with your mother and grandmother in good alumna standing with a certain sorority.
For more information on sororities, fraternities, college life and related topics, check out the links on the next page.