The University of Toronto offers many options for students to get involved on campus, but becoming a part of one of the oldest communities on campus is among the best! We encourage you to learn more, and to consider that more than 1.3 million women have joined sororities across North America since 1851!
Sororities were established at the University of Toronto in 1887 to foster academic excellence, leadership, promotion of friendship, and active involvement in the community. Our Panhellenic system is comprised of seven sororities. While each organization maintains its own traditions and international affiliations, each is founded on similar principles of scholarship, leadership, charity, and friendship.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are sororities?
Greek-letter social organizations are commonly referred to as fraternities for male groups and sororities for female groups. Since the founding of the first sorority in 1851, these organizations have thrived and multiplied, while making a positive and tremendous impact on the service and social structure of higher education systems throughout Canada and the United States.
What is my role as a parent?
By reading through this section of the website, you have already begun to learn more about sororities! During Formal Recruitment, your daughter will make important decisions about which sorority to join; and as a parent your support and encouragement is crucial. Ask questions about what the different sororities can offer your daughter, and guide her into making the best decision for her.
Will my daughter’s academics be compromised if she joins a sorority?
Actually, it’s more likely that a sorority will help your daughter’s grades. The all-Sorority GPA at Panhellenic campuses is typically higher than the non-Sorority GPA. Why the difference? Each sorority has a scholarship officer who creates study programs to encourage academic success. With the resources available within the community, students are more likely to achieve their academic potential and gain access to help. There are also merit-based scholarships available through the Toronto Area Alumnae Panhellenic (TAAP), the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and each individual sorority to promote scholarship excellence.
What about alcohol use and hazing?
In accordance with the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) Alcohol Initiative, most events held on fraternity property are alcohol-free. Our members also benefit from alcohol and drug abuse awareness seminars, and educational programs on date rape, assault and safety. Hazing, or any activity that subjects members to harassment, ridicule, intimidation, physical exhaustion or mental distress is entirely contrary to the purposes of the sorority community and the University, and is not permitted or tolerated whatsoever. Sorority members are educated on the dangers of such practices on an ongoing basis.
Is housing available?
Each sorority at the UofT manages its own housing for members. Your daughter should inquire about housing availability when she is meeting each sorority.
How does my daughter get involved?
Students may join sororities at UofT by participating in Formal Recruitment during September. Joining a sorority is a process of mutual selection. Your daughter may register for recruitment via the "Sign Up" page when registration opens on July 15th.
What will my daughter get out of a sorority that she would not get from any other university organization?
The benefits of membership are numerous! Joining a sorority helps students to feel acclimated to campus, and provides them with a structured atmosphere in which they can concentrate on scholarship, leadership, and service. This is especially true at UofT, which is one of the largest urban campuses in the world! Developing lifelong friendships with the members in her sorority helps make the campus feel smaller. For many members, their sorority becomes a "home away from home". Each year, members contribute hundreds of volunteer hours to community service projects in the GTA. Sorority women often cite alumnae support as one of the unique benefits of membership. Alumnae provide networking opportunities to help with job searching after graduation. Many alumnae are also actively involved as advisors. With all these opportunities available to them, it is no wonder that sorority members tend to graduate at a higher rate than those not involved.
What is the time commitment for a sorority?
The time commitment varies by sorority, but the first term is the usually the busiest as your daughter goes through the chapter’s new member program. This program gives her the chance to develop her leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of her organization, and make new friends. Each sorority has weekly meetings and other mandatory events, such as community service projects, but they are all planned well in advance. The more your daughter puts into the community, the more she will gain from her membership! Many students involved in the UofT Panhellenic community also hold part-time employment. Sororities recognize that it is important for members to be able to meet their financial goals, and that many students work to finance their education.
What does it cost to be a member?
Each group is responsible for setting the costs for membership, so the fees vary by sorority. Dues directly support the betterment of the chapter and the international organization (all of which are non-profit). The sorority experience is an investment in your daughter’s future. The perception that sororities are only an option for the rich is widespread and false. To assist members, sororities may offer various scholarships and grants.