Sorority recruitment invites women home

Washburn freshman Sawyer McClendon joins the recruitment meeting along with other potential sorority members. They learned about housing tours, meet-ups, and sorority options.

Washburn University’s three most prominent sororities on campus began their recruitment week teaching potential new sisters about their philanthropy, sisterhood and opportunities to help their community.
Kristen Vanderbeck, a senior in forensic investigation and anthropology, is the current president of Zeta Tau Alpha. With its philanthropy focused on breast cancer education and awareness, Zeta Tau Alpha – along with other sororities – participates in recruiting new faces into the sisterhood, welcoming others to join them in student activities, volunteering and making long-lasting friendships.
“It brought me out of my shell,” said Vanderbeck. “I came in as a freshman not knowing anybody, and now I have this great group of people to support me.”
The recruitment process began on Sept. 6, with Gamma Chi members guiding Washburn sororities with recruitment and helping with service projects such as Move Crew, Welcome Week events and volunteering on campus. They also organize programs ranging from alcohol awareness to fun social events like pumpkin painting.
“My role is just to give my service to the people,” said Cora Soremsen, president of Gamma Chi and a senior in political science. “Not only in a sorority life here, but also on campus.”
Academically, sororities often motivate each other with peer support, driving their members to study and hold each other accountable. This atmosphere creates friendly competition for the highest GPA and leads to taking academic or leadership honors and awards seriously.
“I moved into the house, and I feel like almost instantly my grades improved,” said Soremsen. “I was surrounded by other people who were academically motivated.”
Homecoming week is also a part of the many activities that sororities participate in, such as Yell Like Hell, which was won by Delta Gamma last year with a dance routine choreographed by the seniors. Delta Gamma’s goal is to create a community that fosters sisterhood. Their philanthropy is Service for Sight, an organization that supports the blind and visually-impaired community, and they have two philanthropy weeks each semester with opportunities to volunteer.
“We just have a lot of ways to give back,” said Katie Hampton, a senior in mass media and member of Delta Gamma. “That’s a big part, for me, of why I joined a sorority.”
The Alpha Phi Foundation participates in volunteering at the Harvesters food bank, Nancy Perry Day of Caring, Princess For a Day and more. Alpha Phi strives to support those in need, helping the community through philanthropy and working to raise awareness and funds for women’s heart health.
“I joined Alpha Phi because that’s where I felt most at home,” said Katherine Cook, president of Alpha Phi and senior in sociology.
The sororities on campus allow many students to join sisterhoods and make lifelong friends, in addition to being able to participate in volunteering with charities and giving back to the community.

Edited by Justin Shepard, Rakesh Swarnakar, Simran Shrestha