Sororities at Shippensburg University dedicate their time to support the campus community and build sisterhoods within their chapters while achieving academic success.
SU has seven Panhellenic sorority chapters that donate to both their local and national philanthropies and volunteer for local organizations in Shippensburg.
They are Alpha Phi, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Sigma Tau, Delta Zeta, Kappa Beta Gamma, Kappa Delta Phi National Affiliated Sorority (NAS) and Phi Sigma Sigma. Each sorority has different values and standards that members must obtain/meet.
Academics play an important role in every sorority on campus. Each sorority holds its members to a high standard to meet academic goals and expectations.
Delta Zeta requires members to have at least 11 hours of studying per week to maintain a high GPA. The sorority’s GPA requirement is a 2.7 and members who drop below the requirement are placed on academic probation.
Makenzi Tsirigos, president of the Kappa Psi chapter of Delta Zeta, understands that most sisters have other obligations to attend to and sometimes will not be active within the chapter.
“We don’t want the main priority to be Delta Zeta. We realize that you’re a college student and you have to make money, you have to study and do homework,” Tsirigos said.
Emily Drennan is the vice president of growth in the Beta Epsilon chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority. Drennan handles the recruitment process and has a chair in both academic success and fundraising.
“Academics are extremely important to our sorority, and at any time there is a conflict between academics and our sorority, [education] will always come first,” Drennan said.
Drennan’s goal for the chapter is to promote unity among every Greek organization.
“I believe if all of Greek life can come together and work as one that would be such an amazing thing,” Drennan said.
Like Delta Zeta, Kappa Beta Gamma requires its members to have study hours each week.
Lauren Jennings, president of the Alpha Lambda chapter of Kappa Beta Gamma, agrees being in a sorority is a major time commitment but it is worth her time because everyone in the organization supports each other and acts like a second family.
Sororities operate on the foundation of their values, which influences the action of the organization.
Alpha Omicron Pi fraternity was founded on the ideals of character, dignity, scholarship and college loyalty. Members of the fraternity are expected to carry out these values throughout the college community.
Alpha Phi fraternity values sisterhood, innovation, generosity and character. The organization refer to themselves as the “Ivy League” in honor of their symbol the ivy leaf. The Theta Xi chapter holds sisterhood events including: craft activities, secret Santa and potlucks to bond together.
“I chose to be a member of Alpha Phi because their values are important to me,” said junior Kathryn Solsky. “It has opened me up to be more social and meeting new people.”
Solsky has been a member of Alpha Phi for almost two years and is the director of continuous open bidding.
Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Kyle Miller and student representatives of Greek organizations celebrated the 60th anniversary of Greek Life at SU on Nov. 8.
“What the 60th Anniversary of Greek life means to me is that it reminds me and Alpha Phi [have] worked hard to keep this fraternity on campus,” Solsky said.
Delta Zeta is working to encourage more students from different organizations to join the sorority.
“We’ve been trying to make sure that people who are on sports teams feel like they can be a part of [Delta Zeta],” Tsirigos said. “We don’t want to be exclusive, we want to be inclusive.”
Every sorority chapter has a designated philanthropy it sponsors. Chapters raise thousands of dollars to donate to both local and national charities.
Alpha Sigma Tau’s local philanthropy is Dress for Success, an organization that helps underprivileged women get new clothes for interviews and new jobs. The sorority’s national philanthropy is the Women’s Wellness Initiative, which provides life skills to women.
Phi Sigma Sigma’s mission is to secure the advancement of womanhood. Their national philanthropy is Kids in Need Foundation to provide school supplies and materials for those students facing extreme poverty.
Alpha Omicron Pi’s national philanthropy is the Arthritis Foundation. Members donate to the foundation to support arthritis research, Juvenile Arthritis Power Packs and Juvenile Arthritis Camps and Conferences
On campus, the fraternity partners with other sororities such as Kappa Beta Gamma and Alpha Phi for food drives and flower pot painting.
Delta Zeta’s national philanthropy is based around speech and hearing. This year, organization partnered with the hearing aid company Starkey to raise $5 million for the next five years to provide hearing aids to people in developing countries. Chapter members are required to donate $75 to Starkey.
Sisters of Alpha Phi spend their time raising money for their philanthropy, Alpha Phi Foundation for Women’s Heart Health. The fraternity coordinates other national events including a male beauty pageant “Mr. Ivy”, Hoops for Heart and Heart Walk.
Kappa Delta Phi National Affiliated Sorority is the sister organization to the Kappa Delta Phi fraternity. The sorority collaborated with fraternity Kappa Sigma to sell canned foods for hurricane relief, brought cupcakes to the Shippensburg fire station on 9/11 and volunteered at Uprise, a Christian Music Festival in September.
Kappa Beta Gamma sorority organizes fundraising events at tables inside the CUB for local its philanthropy, breast cancer awareness. This including selling cinnamon buns on Richard Avenue in Shippensburg. Most of its charity work goes towards their national philanthropy, the Special Olympics.
Sororities on campus recruit new members each semester. New recruits go through a recruitment process called formal and informal recruitment. In formal recruitment, potential new members typically speak with all seven sororities before choosing their top choice. During informal recruitment, recruits who are interested in a particular sorority can attend their favorite organization events instead of attending every other sororities events.
In the spring, the seven panhellenic sororities on campus will hold their formal recruitment. During the recruitment process, potential new members will learn aspects of each sorority's values and philanthropy. Jennings recommends those interested in Greek life to choose their sorority wisely.
“Go where you feel the most comfortable and go to [a sorority] that you see yourself flourishing and becoming a better version of yourself,” Jennings said.