Think about the normal path a sister takes:
Rushing a sorority, getting that magical bid, learning, growing, stepping up, becoming a leader, helping your community, excelling as a student . . .
Being a sister is hard enough.
But starting a new chapter on your campus? Most aren’t up for the challenge.
That’s what makes you unique. You saw what others have done and decided to clear your own path.
To charter a new sorority chapter takes determination, courage, and a lot of time and effort.
Thankfully, Panhellenic sororities have been cutting their teeth with tough, forward-thinking Greek women like you for decades. In other words, they know a thing or two about paving new roads.
College Panhellenics, governed by the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), have seen their share of success stories, and they can help make yours one, too.
Your Panhellenic association offers sorority tools to build your chapter from the ground up. You’re going to need these tools.
Chartering a new colony or chapter comes with a ton of challenges:
You must attract new members with zero campus notoriety and, likely, no chapter house.
You must coordinate chartering with your national organization, their advisors, campus officials, and Greek Life officers.
When seeking affiliation with your Panhellenic, you must meet their guidelines and incorporate their rules.
You must take all these hurdles in stride as you deal with the same day-to-day challenges every chapter faces.
It’s . . . a lot to deal with. When you have exams coming up and term papers and lab reports due, there will be days it’ll seem impossible. You’ll almost give up.
Almost. But you won’t give up. You’ll succeed. OmegaFi wants to help.
Here are our Must-Have Panhellenic Sorority Tools for New Chapters.
Panhellenics Put Your Chapter’s Values to the Test
One of the major tools your Panhellenic Association offers is a framework to test your values and standards.
If you’re an unaffiliated chapter, you still have certain guidelines in your charter, based on expectations by your university and national sorority.
Still, you’re less restrained as sisters. You may face situations where you aren’t sure the right thing to do, things your founding documents don’t necessarily address.
And when you decide your chapter must fix a problem?
You may not have all the resources and strategies available to you to take the best course of action.
That’s where Panhellenic chapters differ.
Once you become an affiliated member chapter, you live a values-based sorority life. This includes strict regulations on conduct that make sure you don’t stray from sorority values.
Your Panhellenic association offers resources to help you with:
Anti-hazing statutes and practices
Responsible behavior and regulations for alcohol use
General risk management guidelines
Important steps to becoming affiliated as a Panhellenic chapter
Once you’re a member, guidance and advising into the future
There are steps you take to become a Panhellenic chapter, and each will make your chapter stronger and more in tune with your university’s Greek culture.
Once you’re a Panhellenic chapter, you’ll get the help you need to move from shaky ground to a strong foundation.
Want a Strong Chapter Budget? You’re in Luck
One of the most difficult things to nail down when you’re chartering a new chapter is your budget.
Yet there are many important sorority functions that require you to have your chapter finances down pat. Without a sound budget, your sisterhood won’t survive long.
At the same time, your university and Panhellenic need you to have a sound budget, and they can help guide you toward making financially responsible decisions.
Some of the areas of a new chapter that benefit from good budgeting include:
Recruitment and rush week
Maintaining liability insurance
Paying Panhellenic dues
These may seem like small things, considering all the other day-to-day needs that need funding and good budgeting.
But think about it as a member of a Panhellenic would.
Good budgeting by all chapters translates to a stronger Panhellenic, who has their own budget, dues, and, along with other college Panhellenics, are part of the NPC community.
And recruitment is a huge part of how Panhellenic communities spread their values. That’s why they want your rush budget to rock.
Panhellenics guide their chapters to hold rush events focusing on values and conversations with Potential New Members, not tons of decorations, elaborate skit costumes, and other exorbitant costs.
Recruitment advisors should meet with your officers prior to rush week, and help you nail down a recruitment budget that makes sense and values human connection over flash and flare.
Speaking of recruitment . . .
New Sorority Chapters Need New Members (Duh)
Not to belabor the point, but rush is one of a Panhellenic’s main focuses every year.
You might say they’re obsessed with bringing in new members. They want not only as many sisters as possible, but the right kinds of sisters.
That translates to a lot of thinking, meeting, and planning long before the first rush event kicks off.
Most Panhellenics have a system in place to vet PNMs, making sure they have good enough grades.
Rush guidelines are set up so you have the biggest chance of building a meaningful membership for your new chapter, working in step with your advisors’ goals, which is a vital first step.
Most important of all, Panhellenic recruitment officers and advisors have your back. Rush events are scheduled and structured to give every chapter—big and small—a fair shake.
Because when your chapter grows the right way, it’s good for every sister in your sorority community.
That’s a big weight off the shoulders of a new chapter with only a few founding members.
OmegaFi is dedicated to helping sorority chapters align their budgeting, recruitment, and other goals with their Panhellenic’s expectations. Learn more about the tools we have to offer.
Or call us direct at 800.276.6342.
What Panhellenic tools have been most useful to your new chapter? Add your thoughts on building a better sorority life in the comments below.