Forget Legally Blonde - Alpha Gamma Delta is one of Winnipeg’s real life sororities. However, being a sorority girl isn’t just about drinking and parties – it’s actually a lot of work.
Joelle Preston is the president of the Panhellenic Council, the ruling body that governs all sororities in Winnipeg. She says sorority life isn’t exactly how it’s portrayed in movies.
“When people think ‘sorority’ they think like Legally Blonde or some random movie where sorority girls just prance around at frat parties. That’s not at all the case,” Preston says. “We have weekly business meetings, we all hold offices … we have minimums for fundraising that we have to meet.”
Preston says members are expected to work for the sorority, while also keeping up with their studies. There’s a finance officer, who organizes charity and philanthropic events, and other duties. All members are expected to pay dues and attend events put on by their chapter.
The Panhellenic Council issues a series of guidelines for each sorority to follow. The five pillars for a sorority to follow are fostering sisterhood, supporting academics, social bonds, giving back to philanthropic causes, and developing strong leaders. The guidelines focus on several tenants that help members become what the organization considers “stronger women.”
However, not all students understand why sororities need to exist in Winnipeg.
Jamie Hatfield is a sociology student at the University of Winnipeg (U of W). She says she just doesn’t see why anyone would join a sorority, especially when you have to pay money to be a part of one.
“I don’t think I’d ever join a sorority. I already have friends that I hang out and study with. I don’t see what they offer,” Hatfield says. “If you’re going to the University of Winnipeg, you probably live downtown, and there’s so many places where you can meet people.”
Preston says joining a sorority isn’t just paying money to have friends. Some of the benefits she listed were academic assistance, volunteer opportunities both locally and abroad, networking with members around the world. It’s joining an organization that will support you for your lifetime.
“One of my alumni started her own promo company, and she just started hiring the younger girls who were still in school, and it was perfect for us,” Preston says. “It’s like this instant connection to the real world, forever … It’s not four years, it’s a lifetime.
“You are joining this group of women who will be a support network for the rest of your life.”
For more information about sororites, visit mbsororitylife.wixsite.com/home.