Sunday, August 16, 2009
(Grad) I want to join the alumnae chapter of XYZ Sorority/Fraternity...What steps do I need to take???
I have received tons and tons of email from prospective members wanting to join my organization at the alumnae Level. So I decided to create a blog specifically gearing about joining a sorority and fraternity towards the grad level. Please note that some organizations have different requirements, so you would need to refer to them personally for specific information. The info I will be posting here is just GENERAL info.
So you graduated from college and have entered the real world. Everything seems complete, but you still have that burning desire to become a part of a fraternity or sorority. I know and realize that everyone reason is different as to why they did not join at the undergrad level. Maybe you tried, and tried but were not accepted. The chapter could have been suspended, on probation, or there were no active members on campus. No matter what your reasons are, You are at a place now where you want to join.
For my organization, and according to my dear friend who is an AKA, you have to be INVITED to join. I am not so sure about other orgs, and fraternities. So let me first speak on that. HOW on EARTH do you get invited to join???? You don't even know them, they don't' know you....Well it's time for you to change that! Joining Grad can be quite difficult, especially since a lot of grad chapters do not have lines often. I know one particular chapter that has not had a line in over 10 yrs...I know this may sound heartbreaking to some, but if you have that burning desire to become a member, use that time to get to know your future sorors/fraternity brothers. Grad and Undergrad are very different when it comes to membership. For one thing, it is absolutely necessary for undergrad to have MIP every year or every other year to keep the chapter alive. This is due to students graduating from college. Grad on the other hand is entirely different story. In some cases you will find some members who will remain an active member of that chapter for 10, 20, 30 or so years, so there is not NEED or RUSH to have MIP because membership is alive and well.
When and if they DO decide to have rush, I have seen cases where hundreds and hundreds of prospective members show in high hopes of getting invited to join the organization. The one that comes to mind is when my organization had to rent out an auditorium, because there were over 600 people that showed up at the informational. They ended up having a line of 80 people. With that being said, I am sure you can understand why it is imperative, and important to stand out and get noticed by your future sorors/fraternity members.
So how can you accomplish this goal you may ask? Simple! First step is getting involved in the community. If do not know any of MY sorors for example and you desperately want to join DST, then you are not doing enough community service. I am sure this goes for the rest of the Divine Nine as well. My husband is an Alpha, and his grad chapter is ALWAYS hosting events, doing community service projects, organizing social events, etc.... But attending them is NOT enough, introduce yourself. Ask if they need any help, or if they have a mailing list that you can sign up for. Be approachable, friendly, and talkative. We DON'T bite! With that being said, let me also add to NOT stalk us! We have lives outside of Delta, especially at grade level. With Families, Work, Careers, being active within the org, just being hounded by a prospective member is a TURN OFF and will be remembered! So be careful!!!!
Next Step, do they have an active website that you can bookmark on your computer. We are living in the information age, and most organizations have a website where you can find out upcoming events, in SOME cases Rush/Informational info, and social events, community service projects, etc....USE YOUR RESOURCES!!!!! A lot of questions that you may have are already listed on the website.
Now what if they don't have an active website, or what if they do and it's out of date? Then let me refer you back to my previous advice and advise that you need to get out there and perform community service. Black Greeks are EVERYWHERE...Church, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat, Jack and Jill, Voters Registration Drives, etc....
Requirements.....For this, I will refer you to the National Website of the Organization of you choice, but I will briefly speak about MY org. But first let me clear up something....joining a GRAD organization does not mean you have to be in GRAD school. It simply means you are a graduate from a college and university with a Bachelor's Degree (Prospective members with Associate Degrees do NOT fall under this category) You need to make sure you meet the at least the minimal requirements for your GPA, community service, and letters of recommendation. Side note, if they requirement is 2.5...then no you can NOT join if you have a 2.49999 2.5 means 2.5! And with THAT being said,,, for Delta, you want to make sure you have a HIGHER GPA than the bare minimal...as I stated before, all of my line sisters had a 3.0 GPA, and I had a 3.89! If you graduated from college with a GPA less than the requirement, then your only other option is to graduate from grad school. I know of a woman who graduated from undergrad with a gpa that did not meet the minimal requirment. However, she was able to apply once she graduated from grad school. Once you graduate from grad school, your undergrad gpa is no longer a concern.
As I stated before, joining grad chapter is challenging enough, because the chapter of your choice have hundreds of people interested, and they only want to choose the cream of the crop. So what does that mean? Well to me the cream of the crop is someone who has done their research, they have an excellent GPA, excellent LORs, and tons of community service under their belt.
Please be aware that IF you are granted an interview more than likely you will be asked WHY you did not join undergrad! My advice? BE HONEST!!!! Your undergrad school's chapter is only a phone call away, so saying "one thing" and they find out another will not work in your favor at ALL!!!! As I stated before I am sure there are plenty of reasons why you decided not to join at the undergrad level, so be prepared to answer this question. If you applied and were rejected, then just tell them that. We know that not everyone makes it on the first/second try.
Also, another difference between undergrad and grad is $$$$. Becoming a member and staying active and financial can be costly, so please keep that in mind.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, that's what it means to me!!!! Why did I bring this up? Many times I have heard people say they are afraid of joining an alumnea chapter because they will NOT receive the repect from sorors/fraternity brothers who joined undergrad. I will say this, you will NEVER in life please everyone...That includes friends, family, people on the job, etc...So who the heck cares that you joined through Grad. If your ONLY reason joining an org is to get respect from members, then you should not join. This is why I feel it really is important on your reasons for joining the organization. Even though I joined undergrad, I embrace ALL sorors who came through grad, undergrad, honorary, etc....A soror to me is a SOROR no matter how she became a member. Are there members out there that will diss you b/c you didn't join undergrad? YES! I am not going to lie and say they do not exsist because they do in ALL organizations. My response to that? Keep it Moving! You worked JUST AS HARD for those letters as they did! In some cases harder because of how difficult it can be to get invited to join a grad chapter.
I hope this clears a lot of question you may have had, or have about joining the organization of your choice at the alumnae level. Good luck to you!