Whether you’re an undergraduate or an alumna, if you’ve had the pleasure of living in a sorority house, you know one thing for certain:
Not all houses are created equal.
Some will be sprawling, others will be cramped. Some will be clean, others will be messy. Some will be—well, you get the idea.
A poor sorority house can create a poor experience for a sorority sister. Whether you’re entering a sorority house or thinking about building one, there are four key considerations to keep in mind.
4. Sisterhood Spaces
A sorority without sisterhood is a club. Therefore, if you want to maintain the culture of your organization, it’s important to emphasize sisterhood in the construction of new sorority house.
So, what does a sorority space look like?
Simply put, a sorority space is a designated space in a sorority house where sisters can interact and collaborate non-academically. For example, a good sorority space could be a multipurpose room where sorority sisters can plan events, practice skits for recruitment week, and cooperate with other Greek organizations on campus-related activities.
It could also be a game room, a movie room, a well-stocked kitchen, or any other form of creative or entertainment-related use of space. The key here is that a sorority space must be an area that fosters engagement among sisters in a socially positive way. By allowing sisters to express and be themselves in a fun-filled environment, guards can be let down, and true lifelong bonding can begin.
3. Leadership Spaces
Although having fun with one’s sisters is a significant part of the sorority experience, so is exemplifying strong leadership.
Leadership spaces are places in your sorority house that promote discussion and collaboration in a quiet and productive environment. In a sorority house, a good leadership space may be a conference room specifically designed to accommodate chapter leadership meetings among the executive board. It could also be a lecture hall-style room that can seat a sorority’s full membership during general chapter meetings.
Ideally, you want to create space where your sorority sisters can plan the future of the chapter in relative privacy. Whether it’s two chairs from the social & events committee gearing up for spring semester’s programming, or the recruitment committee figuring out the details of each round of recruitment, as members of the Greek community, your sorority sisters are meant to be leaders on campus, so give them the tools—and space—to be successful.
2. Spacious Bathrooms
This one is going to hit home for a lot of you. There are few things worse than a tight bathroom shared by 11 other girls. Things can get messy, tight, and contentious if the wrong set of conditions and attitudes are aligned, and that’s never the kind of environment you want when looking to foster healthy bonds among your sorority.
The solution? Get bigger bathrooms. With more spacious bathrooms, all of your sisters get a little more breathing room. And with it, a little more peace of mind that they made the right decision not only in joining your sorority but moving into the sorority house.
For many young sorority members, the decision to even join a sorority in the first place was a likely a fraught one—let alone the decision to live in a house full of objective strangers. Decisions like these can be tinged with uncertainty—uncertainty made significantly worse if the living conditions are less than desired. Although a relatively minor fix—if considered at the outset of house renovation or construction—creating bigger bathrooms for your sisters has a substantial psychological effect by giving young women a feeling of space and privacy.
1. Work space
The #1 reason your sorority sisters are in school is to focus on one thing—academics.
Without the right grades, they wouldn’t be a member of your organization, and if they can’t maintain the minimum grade point average, they won’t be able to maintain good standing with the university. In short, the academic performance of your undergraduate sorority sisters is imperative to their—and your chapter’s—continued longevity.
This means that creating designated work spaces within your sorority house is an absolute necessity if you want to ensure your chapter is excelling in their studies.
A common occurrence among new sorority members—and some older—is that once they begin living in the house, surrounded by loving and supportive sisters, entrenched in sorority activities, and completely immersed in sorority Greek life, it’s easy to lose focus and forget what they came to school for. This happens more often than you think, and ironically, Greek organizations that fail to emphasize the importance of academics can often do more academic harm to students than good. The problem is distractions.
And the remedy is simply the creation of dedicated spaces where those distractions are mitigated. A proper workspace shouldn’t have zero monitors in it unless they’re computer monitors. It should also have designated quiet rooms within it equipped with whiteboards and markers.
The ideal workspace room should cater to the needs of students—house printers, computers, work tables, snacks, etc.—while serving as a sanctuary from the distractions of other activities going on within the house. In a large sorority house, quiet time can be a rare luxury, so take the creation of these quiet workspaces as seriously as you would the kitchen or the bedrooms.
Your younger sisters need a quiet place to work, reflect, and be productive if they’re going to be the future of your organization, and the future of the world at large.
For free resources, guidance, and other materials to help you with your alumni fundraising plan
Call 1.785.843.1661 or contact us directly here.