When I considered Greek life, I took my decision seriously. I studied the history of each organization, and I made sure that their campus chapters supported their national programs. As a result, I have always loved my fraternity and the values that it represents; I have served as a chapter president at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and today, I help fraternity and sorority members transition from Greek life to Corporate America.
You can get the same results if you are willing to do your homework: any student who is serious about Greek life can use the internet, interviews, and human intuition to find the fraternity or sorority that is right for them. There are so many options for college students, and at the end of the day, it is not about picking the best Greek-letter organization at your university; it is about picking the best Greek-letter organization for you. Here are five tips that will help you make the right choice:
Do Your Research
You should start by going online! Like many organizations, black fraternities and sororities have their own websites. When you go to their home pages, you can read about the history, mission, policies, and initiatives of each organization.
If you are interested in the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), or “Divine 9” organizations, visit the web sites for their fraternities: Alpha Phi Alpha, Iota Phi Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, and Phi Beta Sigma. If you are a woman, you can go to the sites for the Divine 9 sororities: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Gamma Rho, and Zeta Phi Beta. Also, do an internet search to find the latest news, social media posts, and stories about each Divine 9 organization.
Think About Your Personality, Interests, & Values
NPHC organizations are strong because they are made up of strong individuals. When you know yourself – your personality, interests, and core beliefs – you can find out how you can contribute to the fraternity or sorority of your choice; it will also help you find the best organization for your personal values.
There are so many ways that you can learn more about your personality, interests, and core beliefs, but a personality test is the most convenient tool that you can use to evaluate yourself. You can contact your career center to find out if they offer personality tests (like Myers-Briggs and DISC), or you can do an internet search for free personality tests.
Become A Great Student
It’s not all fun and games: every Divine 9 organization has its own set of academic standards. If you don’t have good grades, you shouldn’t start searching for black fraternities and sororities on your HBCU campus.
For now, the best thing that you can do is to focus on your education. The pledges with the highest GPAs get the most favorable looks from selection committees because they know that those students are taking care of business.
Get A Taste Of Greek Life
Of course, the best way to get more information about the Divine 9 is to visit their campus chapters! When you speak to black fraternity and sorority members, you should make sure that you’re prepared to interview them. Don’t be afraid to dig deep, to go beyond the basic questions that most students ask. You can ask them what their organizations’ missions mean to them, and you can ask them about the experiences that helped them bond with their fellow members. You can ask them how Greek life has changed their worldview, their relationships, and their college experience, and you can ask for their contact information if they are willing to answer more questions in the future.
Have The Right Attitude
At the end of the day, no organization is perfect. If you think that a Divine 9 chapter has not met the standards of its national organization, you should figure out how you can change the dynamic; if you found a Divine 9 chapter that has exceeded your expectations, you should figure out how your academic, social, and leadership skills can take that organization to the next level. Remember: NPHC organizations are strong because they are made up of strong individuals. The more tenacious the initiate, the more positive the outlook of the chapter.
Photo credit: National Pan-Hellenic Council at Arkansas State University