Swept up in sisterhood

Fraternities seek out new brothers

Swept up in sisterhood
Posted Oct. 6, 2006
Kelly Rivas
At the first Sigma Kappa rush party, Danielle Adams, Martha Arias, Tyonna Adams, Lauyl Bakke and April Alba enjoy the snacks and pink themed cocktails while members of Sigma Kappa dance to an altered version of Justin Timberlake’s ‘SexyBack’ in the Landis Academic Center. The University of La Verne’s Sigma Kappa, Iota Delta and Phi Sigma Sigma each hosted five separate parties on Saturday. Each party entertained 20 to 25 hopeful recruits, who got a sneak peek into the sororities’ sisterhood.

A record 109 women arrived at Founders Auditorium Thursday to find out how Greek life could benefit their life.

“Destination Sisterhood,” clever, yet not convincing. Or so I thought.

I walked into the auditorium not wanting to be there.

I always had this negative outlook on sororities. I never really liked groups of girls. They always seemed to court drama and that was something that I could do without in my crazy college life.

But I did not want this story to be some old basic information story. I wanted it to be unique.

So with the push from Chip West, assistant dean of student affairs and director of student life, I was soon filling out an application to rush.

As I sat in my uncomfortable chair, I looked around to all the potential new members and the actives wondering if this was a place for me. Everyone had so much energy and excitement.

Women screamed and cheered while finding a seat. As the screeches reached my ears, I cringed. I started to question how someone could be so excited about joining. I just couldn’t find it in me to have that anxiousness. Really, I just wanted to go home and go to bed. But I sucked it up to learn about this mysterious process.

Information night started off with the typical introduction skit of what sisterhood is all about. It was cute, very inventive and fit the theme.

Soon we were split into groups and assigned a RoChi. Each Ro Chi reminded me of camp counselors. They are your backbone, your mentor and your guide into this new life.

Open house night was the beginning of three different parties that each sorority would throw. First off for my group, Iota Delta.

Standing in line to enter my very first sorority party was a little nerve racking. I was scared. I was scared of what these women were going to think of me.

I had to have this bottomless amount of energy and a fake smile.

These were two things that did not exist in me, but some how I found them – life lesson No. 1.

Walking up to the Presidents Dining Room I could hear the women clapping and chanting.

The only thing that crossed my mind was the amount of dedication these women must hold to be this loud for something so minor. Or that’s how it was in my mind.

To be the first woman to walk into these parties must be overwhelming. While walking into the circle of friends that Iota Delta shared made me wonder how freshmen were able to handle this because as a senior, I found this situation to be extremely intense.

By the end of the night and four parties later, I sat in exhaustion. Holding the purple journal, that was given to each woman to reflect, not able to find an ounce of energy to write. I was exhausted, overwhelmed and intrigued.

I still could not understand this process of Greek life, and I wasn’t the only one.

However, some attained a totally different perspective when walking into these parties.

Theme night came faster than anticipated. As I got ready I couldn’t fathom the fact that I had to pull this fake energy out again. Before I knew it I was standing in line to enter these parties again.

Each theme was very unique and fit each sorority well. Out of all three my favorite was Sigma Kappa’s “Sigma and the City” theme. It was fun, entertaining and unique.

By the end of the night our Ro Chi’s asked us to narrow down our decisions. My list: 1. Sigma Kappa 2. Phi Sigma Sigma. At this point it became an interest in me to ask each and every girl their list. Every woman had a different order.

Sunday was judgment day. This is when each woman receives invites from each sorority to attend their preference parties.

I arrived at the Bookstore with barely a half hour to spare. I was handed two envelopes from my Ro Chi. I opened them.

The first one was from Iota Delta. I nodded. The second one I opened was from Phi Sigma Sigma. My heart slightly sunk.

Sigma Kappa was my first choice in my mind. At first I was disappointed. But, instantly I told myself, like I’ve told myself everyday this past year, things happen for a reason.

I was here for a story, not my personal sake. At first I was discouraged and thought about not even joining. I originally wasn’t here for that.

After a long discussion with my mom, I finally decided that I didn’t go through this whole process to just stop. I was extremely curious to see what this “life” was about. So after about three hours of contemplating, I decided to do something for myself and join.

Each preference party was beautiful and emotional. Each sorority’s goal was to make you cry. Or at least that is what it felt like. At first I found this to be a ploy to convince you. But I soon found this bond that each woman shared was indescribable.

My dilemma soon arrived once preference cards were given. Even though Sigma Kappa was my first choice I found a place in Phi Sigma Sigma. Things do happen for a reason.

I wrote down Phi Sigma Sigma as my first and only choice then handed it to Chip. An hour later I was back into comfortable clothes and shoes. However, my nerves were still uncomfortable.

As I stood outside of the West Dining Room I watched women scream and cry in anxiousness. Why the emotion? I still could not understand how they could be so emotionally drawn to something so minor.

Finally, the doors opened and I was directed to my Ro Chi. Here I was congratulated and handed an invitation to join Phi Sigma Sigma.

As I held a yellow and blue balloon and a long stem rose I walked toward Chip. He smiled but I could see him laugh inside. He knew why I was originally there. I surprised him by joining. Come to find out, he wasn’t the only one.

Those five seconds waiting for the door to open seemed like an eternity. As I walked out I was greeted or more so bombarded with the sights and sounds of women screaming.

As I slowly walked towards my new sisters I was hugged numerous times by each active.

The few that knew why I had started this process were completely and utterly shocked.

Throughout my life I have never known what a sisterly bond was like and at that very moment I somehow gained 70 or so sisters.

This process not only drained me emotionally but it also brought out characteristics that I thought never existed.

I still have yet to figure out this Greek life, but eventually I will understand why this is such a popular part of college. As a senior I can definitely say that nothing can prepare you for such an exciting yet nerve racking moment.

So here I am … four days ago I was against joining a sorority but today I sit here earnestly waiting to see where this new chapter in my life will take me.

Allison Farole can be reached at allison.farole@yahoo.com.

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