What Is A Sorority House?

Last Updated on August 6, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

A sorority house is a residence owned or leased by a college sorority where its members live together during their academic years. It serves as a hub for bonding, fostering sisterhood, and engaging in various social and academic activities.

What Is A Sorority House?

Sorority houses are an integral and iconic part of college campuses across the United States. These houses serve as the homes for sorority sisters, providing them with much more than just a place to live. They act as a symbol of sisterhood, community, and personal growth. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly a sorority house is and what it means for its members.

1. Definition and Purpose
A sorority house is a residence specifically designated for members of a sorority. It is usually owned or leased by the sorority organization and serves as a central hub for its activities. The primary purpose of a sorority house is to foster sisterhood, provide support, and create a collaborative space for members to live, study, and socialize together.

2. Housing and Facilities
Sorority houses come in various forms, ranging from grand mansions to more modest accommodations. Typically, they consist of shared bedrooms, common areas, study rooms, chapter rooms, dining spaces, and recreational facilities like gyms or swimming pools. These houses are designed to cater to the specific needs and preferences of sorority members, offering a unique and comfortable living environment.

3. Living Arrangements
Sorority houses accommodate members through a formal process called “live-in.” This means that a certain number of members reside in the house for a designated period, usually a semester or academic year. The live-in members contribute to house duties, such as maintaining cleanliness, organizing events, and upholding the sorority’s values. Living in a sorority house provides an opportunity for deeper connections, constant support, and fostering lifelong friendships.

4. Sisterhood and Bonding
One of the core principles of sororities is sisterhood. Living in a sorority house allows members to develop a deep sense of connection and support with their fellow sisters. Sharing a home creates a cohesive bond by experiencing both the joys and challenges of college life together. The house environment provides a platform for creating memories, engaging in shared traditions, and building lasting relationships that extend beyond graduation.

5. Academic Support
Sorority houses also function as academic support systems. Many houses provide study spaces, quiet zones, and tutoring resources. Living alongside motivated peers can inspire and motivate members to excel academically. Mentoring programs and study groups within the house foster an atmosphere of learning and personal growth. The communal nature of a sorority house ensures that members have access to academic resources and a balanced study environment.

6. Leadership and Professional Development
Sorority houses often emphasize leadership and professional development. They offer opportunities for members to hold leadership positions, organize events, and collaborate with other Greek organizations. Through participation in house activities, such as budgeting, event planning, and public speaking, members develop crucial skills that can be transferred to their careers. Sorority houses serve as places of personal growth and provide a supportive environment for lifelong learning.

7. Community Engagement
Sorority houses play an active role in community engagement and philanthropy. Many sororities have designated philanthropy initiatives that they support through fundraising and volunteering efforts. Sorority houses serve as a base for organizing and coordinating these activities, enabling members to give back to their communities and make a positive impact.

The History Of Sorority Houses

You may wonder how Greek houses (sorority or fraternity houses) came to be; they have a fascinating history behind their existence. The very first sorority houses were meant for the social organizations meetings. Sometimes, members would live there while going to college. The main aim of these houses was to further the social and professional interests of members.

 With time, the demand for affordable housing grew, and women fraternities opted to rent houses and live together. The houses had Greek letters representing their organization and thus adopted the name ‘Greek letter organizations”. Before 1882, both men’s and women’s organizations were referred to as fraternities. In 1882, the gamma phi beta women at Syracuse University were advised to call themselves a sorority. A Latin professor who was their advisor said that the word sorority suited them better. Sorority comes from the Latin word “soror,” which means sister. Women organizations that came after that time now adopted the name sorority, and it became famous the world over.

In the 1890s, sororities started owning houses that served as the chapter house. This was attributed to alumni who had graduated and were successful in donating to their sorority. Chapter houses marked the beginning of increased growth for sororities. It also meant that the priorities and makeup of the organizations changed. They now had new responsibilities such as mortgage payments, repairs, property maintenance, cleaning, and legal matters. The sororities also started meeting up more often. The members living together meant more recreational activities, learning new skills, and gaining leadership skills.

What is it like to live in a sorority house?

Living in a sorority house offers a unique college experience characterized by camaraderie, support, and numerous opportunities for personal growth. Here are some details about what it’s like to live in a sorority house:

  1. Community and Sisterhood: The sorority house fosters a strong sense of community, where members forge deep bonds with their fellow sisters. Living together creates an environment of constant support, shared experiences, and lasting friendships.
  2. Social Activities: Sororities host various social events, parties, and gatherings within the house. These events provide opportunities to interact with other members, as well as with fraternity brothers and other Greek organizations.
  3. Academic Support: Many sororities emphasize academic success, offering study spaces and resources to help members excel in their studies. They may have study hours, peer tutoring, and access to academic advisors.
  4. Shared Responsibilities: Living in a sorority house involves shared responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, and maintaining the property. Members often take turns performing household chores to create a harmonious living environment.
  5. Leadership Opportunities: Sororities provide leadership development, offering members the chance to hold positions within the organization. These leadership roles help enhance organizational and interpersonal skills.
  6. Networking and Alumni Connections: Sororities have vast alumni networks, offering valuable connections for future career opportunities and personal growth.
  7. Diverse Events and Programs: Sorority houses host a range of events and programs, including philanthropy activities, workshops, and guest speaker sessions, enhancing members’ personal and professional development.
  8. Formal and Informal Rituals: Sororities have formal rituals and ceremonies that reinforce their values and traditions. These rituals play a significant role in bonding members together and building a shared identity.
  9. Supportive Environment: Living in a sorority house means having a built-in support system. Sisters are there for each other during both good and challenging times, providing emotional support and encouragement.
  10. Living Rules and Guidelines: Sorority houses typically have specific rules and guidelines to ensure a safe and respectful living environment. These rules may include curfew, noise regulations, and alcohol policies.
  11. Memories and Traditions: Living in a sorority house creates lasting memories through shared experiences, inside jokes, and unique traditions that become cherished parts of members’ college years.

Traditions Of Sorority Houses

Sororities initially recruited their members via formal invitation and initiated them one by one. With them having houses that they wanted full, they started competing for incoming first-year students’ interests. Since sororities rushed to get freshmen before any other organization, this process was named “rush.” Today, rush has been replaced by recruitment, which involves actively finding new members fit for the organization.

Some sororities keep their traditions and constitution a secret, while some publish them. Most societies borrowed ceremonies and initiation rites from different religions and cultures. Some borrowed from the literature and philosophy of ancient Greeks and Romans, Christian and Jewish scriptures, military codes of honor, chivalric traditions, freemasonry precepts, or romanticism and enlightenment science.

 With time, teaching the classics became less common, and the meaning of rituals started fading and becoming unknown to most members. This lack of knowledge led to theatrical aspects of ceremonies dominating as opposed to the deep and more profound meaning. It is during this period that hazing is said to have taken root.

Another popular tradition with sororities’ is a badge or symbol that only initiated members wear. In some organizations, some exceptions allow sweethearts to initiate members to wear the badge too.

Should I Join A Sorority?

If you’ve just started college and you feel lonely or out of place, then joining a sorority has crossed your mind at least once. You may be asking yourself if it’s worth it and what are the advantages of joining one. Keep reading to get the right information for easy decision-making.

For most American college students, sororities are a significant part of college life. They are a source of purpose and a sense of community for most college girls. They provide a great social circle and opportunities such as leadership, academic, or career. Sororities offer opportunities for girls to get together and work hard but also have fun together.

As a sorority member, you will be involved in charity causes and drives, and you’ll get to work with other organizations in the community. Sorority sisterhood is a huge responsibility and time commitment; you also need to pledge allegiance to the sorority’s identity.

Having understood what sorority sisterhood is all about, you may feel ready to join one. Joining a sorority will help you improve your social life. You will also get a lifelong network that supports you through the good times and the bad times. You only need to research different sororities and settle for one that aligns with your values, principles, and vibe.

How To Join A Sorority?

There are a few steps that you should take before joining a sorority to ensure you get the most from the organization. We’ll take you through a step-by-step guide on joining a sorority.

1. Do Due Diligence

Before registering for recruitment, do your research. Ensure you look up different sororities with chapters at your school. You can check their website for general information about priorities and goals. You can also reach out to sorority members and ask about their experiences. This will help you choose a sorority that feels right for you even before recruitment.

2. Sign Up For Recruitment

Every school has a unique process of signing up for recruitment. You may need to pay a registration fee in some cases. It is advisable to sign up early and beat the deadline since you still have classes to attend. Also, ensure you provide as much information about yourself as possible. You can include your high school achievements and anything that can make you seem more attractive to the sorority. Some sororities have a grade point average that you need to surpass for you to join them.

3. Actual Recruitment Process

During formal recruitment, you will be invited to numerous events at different sororities. These events aim at meeting and knowing potential members. This is an excellent opportunity for you to choose a sorority that you feel more at home with. After these events making a decision will seem relatively easy.

Ensure you make a good impression by the way you dress and even talk. Put your best foot forward and engage with as many sisters as you possibly can.

4. Accepting A Bid

After a series of events, you will need to write down a list of sororities that felt fit for you. Sororities will begin to send out offers to join the girls from the events. Look over the bids you receive and compare them to those you chose. Please choose the one that feels right for you and accept their proposal. You will then be offered a pledge position in the chapter to begin your sorority life.

5. Living The Greek Life

Being a member of a sorority can offer a meaningful and exciting college experience. You can make friends and connections that will continue to exist even after school. Make sure you enjoy the experience and make the most out of it.


Sororities are a significant and popular part of any college girl’s life. There are many myths about living in a sorority house that you cannot know unless you research. When joining a sorority, make sure you understand and resonate with their purpose. Go with your principles and be open-minded. Sorority sisterhood could be the best thing in your adult life. You will be pushed to greater heights, you will have a closely-knit network of sisters to lean on, and you will learn a lot about life. We hope that this post was helpful to you and that you will make the most of your Greek life.