Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Home Away From Home - Sorority Recruitment

The greatest decision I made as a college freshman was registering for sorority recruitment. Now, don't misunderstand... it is not for everyone. But, for me, it was the beginning of finding my Home Away From Home. If you are in my day to day world, chances are you've heard the story of my undergraduate experience. If you are not, here are a few gems from the era of 1990...

Picture it - August 1990. Big hair, awesome clothes, 90+ degrees out, and hundreds of women gathered at SDSU to participate in what was then called Sorority Rush. In my home, there was not a question of whether or not I would go to college - the conversation was always around where. Joining a sorority fell into that same camp - it was just what one did when they went to college and where they joined was more of the discussion. My mom is a sorority member, so I suppose her experience is what drove my registration for a week-long experience that was unlike any other. I arrived at one of SDSU's residence halls and checked in two weeks before classes began. I was given a roommate and a small group that had a student counselor assigned to us. I grew up going to summer camp and youth group, so this all seemed to be very consistent with that experience. I was happy, excited and totally naive as to what would unfold.

Over the course of the next several days I met hundreds of sorority members, drank a lot of lemonade, watched countless skits, sat through several slide shows (yes, with actual slides!) and had the experience of people singing songs that I knew but had words that now included their sorority name. As funny as that reads, I was in heaven. My experience was great and I enjoyed every minute of it. As the week came to an end, I was invited to join my sorority and spent an afternoon with the women that were now my sisters.

Over the next 4 years, my sorority became my Home Away From Home. Those members became my source of friendship, opportunities for involvement emerged, a chance to care for and be cared for was solidified. This week is the deadline to register for sorority recruitment at USD - January 14th. Consider giving it a chance - you may find that perfect Home Away From Home!


  1. I have no doubt greek orgs become a home for the people that are in it. I know a lot of my friends have had wonderful experiences so i say this realizing that there are many aspects of greek orgs that are beneficial and positively contribute to USD. However, I think the people in it and those advising rarely think about or try to figure out the many negative effects it has on the rest of the campus not in greek life. In other words what are greek orgs doing to my (and other nongreeks) home away from home aka USD? So it's great that you create a home away from home for people that have the privilege of joining a greek orgs, but do you ever think about the price the rest of us have to pay so people have that privilege?

  2. @Anonymous: Thank you for raising these points. I spend a lot of time thinking/working on/worrying about this issue. Greek Life is about 25% of the campus community. While a great experience for those 25%, there are 75% of our students that find connections other places that are just as meaningful. A part of my work at USD is also around helping students create self-awareness. An awareness of privilege and how we interact with one another. We are always a work in progress - and my desire would never be for one involvement opportunity to negatively impact other students. Greek Life advising is just one part of my job at USD - the remainder is working with student organizations and campus leadership initiatives. My hope is that all students find that "home away from home". Happy to talk more about this, if you'd like. Ping me at -Mandy