Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who or what is Panhellenic?
Panhellenic Council is a national governing body consisting of one representative from each chapter, totaling 7 women. Panhellenic is in charge of promoting scholarship and health, and for serving the Greek Life and overall campus community to their best ability through various programs. Additionally, the Panhellenic Council Executive Board members ensure that recruitment is as fair and enjoyable process.
2. I heard that the girls in <insert sorority here> are all <insert stereotype here>. How should I take this?
First, remember that there will always be variety within a group of people and there is no way a stereotype can encompass every single person let alone an entire chapter. We understand you are most likely interested in the stereotypes to determine how you will fit in with a particular chapter, but keep in mind that you should join a sorority because you appreciate what it stands for. The best way, of course, to determine what any group of people stands for is by asking them! Thus, we strongly recommend approaching recruitment with an open mind.
3. How much time will I be expected to commit to a sorority?
Similar to college, a sorority is what you put into it. When considering Greek life, consider what you want to get out of it. Common reasons for going Greek are for the involvement opportunities (through social events, leadership, and service), for networks and interaction with upperclassmen, and the formation of lasting friendships. If these are attributes you expect to achieve from Greek life then you are going to want to participate in activities and dedicate time to achieving your expectations. This is a good question to ask chapters during recruitment, as each girl you speak with will have a different method for how she manages her time and commitment.
4. What in the world is a philanthropy?
A philanthropy is a charity/foundation that each sorority and fraternity supports. No sorority or fraternity holds the same philanthropy, but each chapter will participate in the activities to help promote and raise money for another chapter’s organization. This is just one example of the service opportunities and unity within the Greek system. This is also another fantastic question to ask chapters about during recruitment.
5. What about being hazed? Is this true?
No! Hazing is NOT a part of responsible Greek life. Pepperdine Greek life is no exception. In fact, the National Panhellenic Conference (every sorority at Pepperdine is a member of this) and Pepperdine University have strict policies against hazing and it is not tolerated. Since moving to a national Greek system, Pepperdine has seen a near elimination of hazing of any sort. New Member Education is a time of building new members up and educating them into the group, not a time to belittle them. The Greek Councils and Student Organizations Judicial Board are in place to ensure that no one is hazed and violations of the policy is dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
6. I don’t know if I’m the “sorority type.”
There really is no such thing as a “sorority type.” Members differ a lot from chapter to chapter. Chances are if you really want to join a sorority, then you will probably find the place that is right for you.
7. Do the chapters vary much from college to college?
Yes, very much so. Chapters often vary a lot depending on the college. The rituals, initiation, etc. are usually the same, but the members of one chapter are often different from the members of the same chapter at another school.
10. How much does being in a sorority cost?
Chapters collect dues and membership fees from every new and active member. Most sororities have one-time initiation fees, plus semester dues. Dues are spent on philanthropic events, scholarship and academic programming, recruitment, and leadership development. Look at these dues as an investment in your future, no different than tuition. Costs are different for each chapter- your first semester can range from $700-$1000 (a couple are outside that range) to cover one-time initiation fees and your badge. After your first semester, dues reduce significantly to $500-$700 (again, a couple might fall outside this range). If the financial cost is a concern for you, ASK THE CHAPTER how much their specific dues are an ask how members receive financial support. But don't just go off of the "sticker price" of a chapter. Some chapters have higher dues to cover extra benefits (i.e. T-shirts, weekend retreats, etc.) that wouldn't be included otherwise. Again, don't be afraid to talk about costs!
11. Do you have Greek houses?
Pepperdine is a different Greek system in that we do not have Greek housing. As the campus is located in Malibu, Greek housing is not permitted by the local city council. However, many Greeks live on campus and with the small size of the school, there is a lot of interaction among members. Many upperclassmen choose to live off-campus with fellow brothers or sisters, but there is no formal housing system.
12. What about alcohol?
According to campus policy found in the Student Handbook and Student Organization Handbook, Pepperdine Student Organizations cannot have alcoholic beverages present at any events. Groups and individuals are held strictly accountable to this policy by University administration and the Student Organization Judicial Board. Simply put, you can rest assured the University and Greek community is committed to maintaining an alcohol free environment.
The "dry campus" policy also extends to events hosted by student organizations off campus, meaning groups cannot simply "take the party elsewhere" without accountability and repercussions.