A fanlisting is simply an online list of fans of a subject, such as a TV show, actor, or musician, that is created by an individual and open for fans from around the world to join. There are no costs, and the only requirements to join a fanlisting are your name and country. Fanlistings do not have to be large sites (although some are), they are just a place where you can sign up with other fans. TheFanlistings.org is the original (but not official) web directory for fanlistings, dedicated to uniting the fans. Learn more about fanlistings here.
Sororities are widely known as collegiate women's organizations, typically represented by Greek letters. They are secret societies that generally require a period of pledging and initation, and rituals known only to the members. There is a great deal of stereotyping of what sort of women are in sororities and what sorts of lurid activities might go on in the sorority house, but the vast majority of these are just that--stereotypes. What the stereotypes tend to overlook is the overwhelming amount of positive things sorority women do for their community, and the benefits these women gain from sorority life. Sorority women are given leadership opportunities, encouraged to excel academically, become heavily involved in community service and philanthropic activities, and develop bonds of friendship that last beyond college years. There are a number of different kinds of sororities, but they all have in common the emphasis of sisterhood. Here you can find a brief history of sororities and an overview of the wide variety of sororities there are today.
History of Sororities
The first secret society for collegiate women was the Adelphean Society, which was established at Wesleyan female college in Macon, GA in 1851. It was closely followed by the Philomathean Society in 1852, also at Wesleyan. These two organizations later took Greek letters (Alpha Delta Pi and Phi Mu respectively), making them the pioneers of the sorority system. The first women's fraternity (sorority) still in existence to take Greek letters was Kappa Alpha Theta, which was founded in 1870 at DePauw University. A number of other organizations that still exist today were founded in the 1870s as well. One of these, Gamma Phi Beta (founded in 1874 at Syracuse) became the first organization to use the term "sorority," which came into use in 1882.
Sororities had, from the beginning, the difficult objective of proving the viability of coeducational studies. That women could perform academically as well as or better than men while maintaining the Victorian ideals of womanhood was a tall order. Sororities created high academic standards and monitored the social activities of their members from their inception. However, sororities were often one of the only social outlets at most universities. While enrollment had opened to women at most institutions by the late 1800s, student organizations like literary societies, student government, and other clubs were still free to restrict membership. Intense curriculum and mandatory religious involvements limited free time, but the social sororities and social fraternities began a tradition of interaction. Thus, sororities held an important role in shaping the notion of women as equals to men, as well as breaking down the strict segregation of the sexes.
Sororities/women's fraternities continued to grow throughout the end of the 19th century; and in 1902, the women of Alpha Phi (founded in 1872 at Syracuse), realizing that more order was needed, invited eight other sororities to a conference in Chicago to set some guidelines. These organizations became the founders of the National Panhellenic Conference, which is now an umbrella organization for 26 national and international sororities. You can learn more about NPC here.
Types of SororitiesThere are a myriad of different types of sororities. The majority of them have in common their use of Greek letters (although this is not universal); they are all found at universities for women on the undergraduate level; and they all emphasize the bonds of sisterhood. However, the similarities often end there. Here is a brief overview of the different types of sororities I have encountered. If you feel a particular genre of organization has been overlooked or if you feel there is an error, please feel free to e-mail me and I will add to this section.
First of all, there are overall two types of sororities: national (or international) and local. National and international sororities often participate as full members of umbrella organizations such as NPC; however, this is not a requirement. They do all, however, have a national headquarters that serves as the base for all their chapters, and they typically have several chapters (many over 100) at several different campuses nationwide and in countries such as Canada. They have a set of standards and expectations that they expect all their chapters to adhere to; and likewise, they have a shared set of rituals, symbols and traditions. Local sororities, on the other hand, usually only have one chapter at one campus, although there are some local sororities with multiple chapters. The biggest difference between a local and a national is that locals have no national headquarters maintaining standards from chapter to chapter. Local sororities are be founded to be social, multicultural, religious, etc., the same as national sororities. Some are founded with the express purpose of transitioning into a chapter of a pre-existing national sorority; some eventually will go through extension and transition into a chapter of a national sorority, although this is not their purpose at founding; and some remain local for their entire existence. Local sororities are not found at all universities, as they are prohibited at some campuses.
Within the main set of national and local sororities, there is another subset of definitions of sororities. The most well known type of sorority is the social sorority. While these sororities strongly emphasize academics and philanthropy, they also place a higher emphasis on social activities. These can include just the sorority, or interaction with other sororities and fraternities (such as Greek Week, mixers, dances, etc). As a rule, most social sororities are not specifically designed to promote one religion, ethnicity, or field of academic study over another, and welcome members of all backgrounds equally.
Some sororities are founded specifically to promote one particular culture, such as African American sororities, Asian American sororities, and Latina sororities. These sororities do not exclude girls of other cultural backgrounds, but do incorporate the traditions of one particular culture as their foundation, which typically means that their member base is primarily women of that cultural background. There are also sororities that are founded to be specifically "multicultural," which means that women of all cultural backgrounds are desired; what separates these cultural sororities from social sororities is their emphasis on learning about and celebrating a variety of cultures in all their events. There are a number of umbrella organizations for ethnic/cultural groups, such as NPHC, NMGC, NAPA and NALFO.
Along the same lines as ethnic sororities are religious sororities, which can be local or national. Religious based sororities generally do allow members of other religions to join their organizations and do not discriminate against different faiths; but their activities will involve religious customs and holiday celebrations specific to one faith. The line between social and religious sororities is often very fine, particularly because a number of sororities founded on specifically Christian or Jewish principles a century ago are now members of NPC. These NPC sororities tend to be more secular than other groups that idenitify themselves specifically as religious; but their rituals will likely include references to the religious principles on which they were founded.
Another subset of sorority is the professional sorority. These sororities are founded to incorporate women of a specific major/field of academic study, and to form a support network for women to promote thier studies. These tend to be common for particularly difficult, competitive, or stressful majors, such as pre-med or pre-law.
A final subset of sorority is the service sorority. Although all sororities are founded on the basic principle of service and participate in philanthropic activities, service sororities make this their primary focus. The most distinguishing feature about service-based sororities is that classification as a strictly service organization has legal meaning in regards to single-sex status under Title IX, the Equal Opportunity Act. Thus, these groups legally must be open to members of both genders since they do not have an exemption from Title IX, although they are usually made up of primarily one gender over another.
About the Site
I am a sorority woman myself, and I get so frustrated when I see the media and hear people spreading stereotypes that peg sorority women as bitches, sluts or bimbos. Sororities are very positive organizations that can change a girl's life forever, in a good way! As a sorority member, a woman is given opportunities do develop leadership skills, practice community service, excel academically, and make lifelong friends across the country. So I wanted to highlight the positive aspects of sorority life by making this listing!