One of the best decisions I’ve made in my life was becoming a member of the first black sorority back in my college days. Greek life can be very rewarding. At your fingertips, you will have thousands of sisters or brothers, an instant support system, the ability to make an impact in the community, and other amazing opportunities.
As a result of those things, it can make joining one of the African-American sororities or fraternities very appealing to many, but there are certain things you must know and research before you do.
#1: Learn About the Divine 9
Even if you already know which black sorority or fraternity that you want to join, it is important to learn the names of all of the Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLO) in the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC).
- Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Founded 1906
- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Founded 1908
- Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Founded 1911
- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Founded 1911
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Founded 1913
- Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Founded 1914
- Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Founded 1920
- Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Founded 1922
- Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Founded 1963
#2: Research Your “Why”
The most frustrating thing is when someone of interest doesn’t know why they want to join a certain Greek organization. That shows the current members that you don’t really have an interest in the values of the organization. It shows that you are most likely just joining for the popularity, which will quickly get your application denied. That is why you should research your “why.” Look up the history of the organization, the motivation of its founders, and the programs and initiatives that the organization’s leaders are passionate about. Researching those things will bring you to your “why” and draw your heart closer to the values of the Greek organization.
#3: Don’t Broadcast Your Choice
Discretion. Discretion. Discretion. Discretion. Shall I write it again? Discretion. The sororities and the fraternities within the Divine 9 are huge on discretion. Therefore, do not broadcast the sorority or fraternity that you hope to join. It is frowned upon to tweet, Instagram, or Facebook your desires of membership. The reason of that is because membership is not promised. It is not promised that you will be invited to join anything. So, stay away from the #FutureAKA, #FutureOmega, #FutureDelta, and other #Future hashtags. That also includes face-to-face interactions. The whole campus does not need to know your business. Keep it discrete.
#4: Get To Know Current Members
Getting to know current members of your Greek organization of interest is mutually beneficial to you and the organization. It benefits the organization because it gives them an opportunity to see if you are the kind of person that they want as an addition in their group. Therefore, when it is time to pick members the current members will already have you at the forefront of their mind because you made the initiative to get to know them. It also benefits you, because it gives you the opportunity to see if the organization is the right fit for you. Also, make sure that you research the organization you want to be in BEFORE showing interest. Please, do not become the person that shows interest in every organization within the Divine 9.
#5: Keep Your Grades High
All of the organizations within the Divine 9 are all based on academic excellence. Since they are based on academic excellence, if you have amazing grades you are more likely to be viewed favorably. Another reason you want to keep your grades high is because the intake process can be VERY time-consuming so it can be rather difficult to keep them high during that time (but it’s not impossible).
#6: Gain Leadership Positions
These specific fraternities and sororities desire someone with leadership skills that can lead within the organization and in the community. It is not sufficient to just say that you have leadership skills. You have to gain positions that illustrate the leadership skills that you say you have. A great place to gain these positions is in campus organizations, local community organizations, and even in class projects. I recommend joining at least one organization that is tailored to the African-American community so that you can gain insight on the needs of the black community, which would be helpful if you go on to create programs within your sorority or fraternity of choice.
#7: Maintain A Clean Reputation
Your reputation can really be a “make or break” situation when it comes to joining a sorority or fraternity. Current members do not want to stamp their organization’s approval on someone with a negative reputation. That is why it is important to make sure that your reputation is clean. You can accomplish that by being aware of your actions and making smart decisions. When you go to parties make sure you never get too drunk to where you aren’t in control of the decisions you will make. In your romantic dealings make sure you aren’t known as the person that gets around on campus.
#8: Stay Involved Throughout College
It is desirable for all Black Greek Letter Organizations if a candidate has some volunteer work, community and campus involvement experience. A lot of people choose to wait until they get wind of a new line to hurry to join organizations and volunteer 10 hours a day until the informational. That shows the organization that you didn’t do those things because that is who you truly are. It shows that you did those things because you want to look good and when you “try to look good” you’ll end up looking bad.