For many students, the first year of college can be overwhelming, learning important life lessons and experiencing first hand positive and negative impacts of adult decisions. Adding a commitment like a sorority to an already daunting experience can be difficult to manage.
An Ideal Experience is when your daughter is …
- Excited about going to chapter meetings
- Focus on academics
- Communicating positive messages instead of those indicating being scared, intimidated, or stressed
- Feeling that the chapter communicates a message that academics come first
- Being held accountable for actions and appropriate behavior
- Learning new things about herself through her Tri Sigma experiences
- Developing leadership and personal development skills
- Serving her local and campus community
- Supported by the members and new members in her chapter
How to get involved with your daughter…
- Ask questions, look through pictures, and sift through the website.
- Discuss time management. Juggling class, homework, and new experiences can be difficult.
- Attend Family weekend
- Pay your daughter’s lifetime alumnae dues as a graduation gift
- Consider looking at the merchandise page for a shirt or cup (new members are entitled to wear all insignia except items with the crest or the badge. These are both reserved for initiated members) to celebrate her Arc Degree (first ritual ceremony and marks her new member commitment), jewelry to mark her initiation, contributing to the Foundation in honor of your daughter’s initiation/birthday/election to a leadership position.
- See if the chapter or House Corporation has a Parents Club (or consider starting one)
- Attend their Founders Day events
- Make a contribution to their philanthropic events
- Ask questions about recruitment, big sister, weekly meetings, and upcoming events
- Learn about other opportunities by getting in touch with the president, chapter advisor, or the House Corporation. New members should receive this information in the form of a contact list. There may also be a parent’s newsletter you can request to receive.
- Be mindful of conflict. Business can mix with pleasure. Create an open dialog with your daughter about the relationships she has and help her learn how to resolve conflict effectively. One often used philosophy Tri Sigma employs is one presented by Douglas Stone in Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most.
Ask more questions when you hear about…
Tri Sigma has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against hazing. Any woman found accountable for hazing will no longer have the privilege of membership. Some signs to watch out for:
- Not having enough time to study
- Does not feel included or supported by the chapter
- Tri Sigma programming every night of the week and it is going past 10pm/11pm
- Grades are slipping a lot
- Acting strange or secretive about chapter programming
- Cannot be reached easily as a new member (especially close to initiation)
- Having to drink excessive amounts or run errands for members
- Requirement of carrying certain items
- Servitude or cleaning members houses
- Fatigue or lack of sleep
- Excessive hours required to be a new member – a normal week includes 5-7 hours of meetings/activities
- Appearance of mental exhaustion or withdrawal from normal lifestyle
If you have any concerns, contact National Headquarters at 540-459-4212 and ask to speak with your chapter’s assistant/associate director of chapter services. As a common practice, we do not disclose the name or information about a caller reporting concerns. We do hope to obtain the caller’s name and number in case we have additional questions for clarification which might help us address concerns.
People you should know…
- Chapter Advisor – first contact for chapter concerns and questions
- House Corporation President (if the chapter has a house) – first contact about housing obligations (fees, live-in requirements, etc.)
- Campus Fraternity/Sorority Advisor – first contact for campus questions
- Assistant/Associate Director of Chapter Services – first contact for concerns not resolved by either the chapter advisor, chapter officers, or House Corporation Chapter President
- Your daughter’s Big Sister
If you have questions about your daughter’s experience, she can be your first resource followed by the local chapter advisor then either the campus or National Support systems. Nationally – each chapter has an assigned consultant and asst./assoc. director of chapter services working to support and guide the chapter. You may reach any of these support resources by contacting National Headquarters at 540-459-4212.