The Panhellenic Council is the governing body for activities that promote the common interests of 8 sororities at the University of Memphis. The Panhellenic Council offers a wide variety of programs for members ranging from women's empowerment to philanthropic efforts, educational programs to community service activities. The Panhellenic Council also sponsors and coordinates the University of Memphis sorority recruitment process.
Pillars of Excellence Standings
Chapters participate in an annual assessment and awards program, Pillars of Excellence. As part of this process, chapters have the ability to earn designations that range from 4 Pillar status to Does Not Meet Minimum Standards based on their overall chapter performance. Below are the current standings for chapters in the Panhellenic Council:
4 Pillar: Alpha Gamma Delta, Kappa Delta, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc., Phi Mu
3 Pillar: Alpha Delta Pi
2 Pillar: ---
1 Pillar: Delta Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, Sigma Kappa
Does Not Meet Minimum Standards: ---
Panhellenic Executive Board
As the communication link between the sororities, campus organizations, and community leaders, the Panhellenic Executive Board serves a variety of purposes. Through various programs, it seeks to provide personal enrichment and knowledge to all Greek members. The Executive Board's influence is a crucial part of sorority life - one that promotes a stronger Memphis fraternity/sorority community.
Contact about: philanthropy events, community service opportunities, Circle of Sisterhood.
Potential New Member Orientation
All students interested in joining any fraternity or sorority must attend one Potential New Member Orientation session. Remaining sessions for the Spring 2020 semester are scheduled for the following dates:
- Monday, January 27th, UC Bluff Room, 4:00PM
- Wednesday, January 29th, UC Bluff Room, 4:00PM
- Tuesday, February 4th, UC River Room, 4:00PM
When is fall recruitment?
This year, Panhellenic Primary Recruitment will take place September 9 - 13, 2020. Orientation will be the evening of September 9, 2020.
How does recruitment work?
The primary time for women to join our Panhellenic community is during the fall semester, during formal recruitment. This is a week-long process where you spend time meeting women in all of our Panhellenic chapters, narrowing down your options each round. Formal recruitment is a mutual selection process - chapters narrow down the women they wish to invite to join, and potential new members narrow down the chapters in the same way. At the end of the week, we celebrate Bid Day all together, where potential new members receive a bid of membership to a sorority. *NOTE: If you are interested in Lambda Theta Alpha, see below!*
What if I want to join Lambda Theta Alpha?
Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated does not participate in Panhellenic formal recruitment. The process to join is different - an interested woman should attend chapter events, meet members of the organization, and research the organization to learn more about whether or not it is right for her. Women are encouraged to join the Interested Ladies of Lambda Theta Alpha to learn about what sorority membership is like. This organization holds meetings, fundraisers, and service projects throughout the year. Lambda Theta Alpha will then host informational meetings open to any woman interested in membership. Following those informational meetings, interested women will complete an application, be invited to an interview with current and graduate members, and then potentially be selected for membership.
What is Informal Recruitment?
Informal Recruitment, also known as Continuous Open Bidding (COB), is a process that sororities engage in outside of the the primary (formal) recruitment period. During this process, a sorority will offer bids to women in order to reach chapter total (the largest size a sorority can become through recruitment). It tends to be more casual and unstructured than primary recruitment and it can be difficult to identify which sororities are participating, since not all can participate. Each sorority operates on their own COB schedule, so there is no standardized time frame when all sororities are recruiting new members during informal recruitment. If you're interested in sorority membership, though, and a chapter invites you to a COB event, you should attend. If you missed out on formal recruitment, this is a great way to try and find a sorority at the University of Memphis.
What is a Gamma Chi?
A Gamma Chi is a Recruitment Counselor - an older member of the Panhellenic community who will serve as a guide and resource to the women going through recruitment. Each woman who registers for formal recruitment will be assigned a Gamma Chi group, and the Gamma Chis assigned to that group will not participate in their own sorority's recruitment process, but will instead spend time assisting the potential new members until Bid Day.
When can I join a sorority?
To join a Panhellenic sorority, you must be a full-time undergraduate student at the University of Memphis, Memphis campus. First semester students are eligible to participate.
What is the grade requirement for sorority recruitment?
There is no Panhellenic GPA requirement to participate in recruitment, as per the expectation from the National Panhellenic Conference. However, all sorority chapters have individual requirements to extend a bid of membership. Women who have below a 3.00 GPA are advised they are at a greater risk to be released from the formal recruitment process due to their academics.
To help students understand how their GPA may affect their formal recruitment experience, Panhellenic Council created Grade Zones to show how academics may factor in formal recruitment.
- Green Zone = Your options are not likely limited based on your GPA. (3.0 + )
- Yellow Zone = Your options are more likely to be limited by your GPA. (2.76 – 2.99)
- Red Zone = Your options are very likely to be limited based on GPA. (2.75 and below)
Do I need letters of recommendation?
Letters of recommendation are not required at Memphis to join a Panhellenic sorority. If you have a close family friend or relative that is a member of a sorority represented at Memphis, feel free to ask that woman to submit a letter on your behalf. If you do not have a close connection to a woman who is a member of a sorority represented at Memphis, don't stress! Plenty of women participate in recruitment and are successful in the formal process without letters of recommendation. To submit letters, please look to the chapter's individual websites for the correct processes.
Does everyone get a bid?
The purpose of the recruitment process is to allow you and the chapters to decide on the best fit. The reality is that not everybody who goes through recruitment finds a match, but every effort is made to provide opportunities for involvement to any young woman who is interested in the sorority experience.
How will I know which group is right for me?
Each National Panhellenic Conference member group has its own mission, creed and values that it lives by; however, overall, NPC organizations strive to provide members with friendship, opportunities for personal growth/development and fun. In order to choose a chapter that is right for you, you should participate in recruitment, where you'll have the opportunity to meet members of all chapters on campus. The recruitment process will allow you and the chapters to decide on the best it. As you go through the process, be sure to keep an open mind, take notes after each round to remember your conversations and be yourself!
I'm a sophomore. Should I bother going through recruitment?
At Memphis, we typically have a number of sophomores going through recruitment, although the majority of potential new members are first semester freshmen. Sometimes, being a sophomore can be an advantage, especially if you've already gotten involved and connected on campus, or if you've done significantly better in your college classes than you had done in high school. We welcome sophomores to participate in recruitment!
What is the new member process like?
Each sorority has its own new member education program. The purpose of a new member program is to educate a new member on her organization's values and its history. Typically, the programs are fun and interesting and lead up to initiation into the organization. At Memphis, no new member program lasts longer than 8 weeks.
Do the sororities haze their new members?
Neither the National Panhellenic Conference nor any of the 26 member groups of the NPC condone hazing in any form. Each of the 26 member groups have banned hazing in all of their chapters and have policies in place stating so. If you have concerns about hazing, please contact Fraternity/Sorority Affairs (901-678-8679), where all reports will be handled with discretion. Hazing can be reported online using this form.
How hard is it to balance sorority life and academics?
Everyone is different when it comes to time management. Many sorority women are able to manage sorority responsibilities, jobs or internships, academics and involvement in other campus organizations. If you are interested in being involved in a variety of organizations during your time at Memphis, feel free to ask women during recruitment about balancing their time! Your Recruitment Counselor is an excellent resource, too.
How much does it cost to be in a sorority?
Being in a sorority is like all other membership organization and does require a payment of dues. This money is used to fund the operations, social events and programming for the chapter. It also allows the inter/national organization to continue to provide resources and support for the chapter. The costs of sorority membership vary from chapter to chapter, and typically the first semester is the most expensive, including one-time fees (badge fee, initiation fee, etc.).