Frequently Asked Questions
A social group for colleges and universities that operate online, not understanding?
Regrettably, the options for sororities and fraternities are limited for those studying in online colleges. The nature of online learning can often lead to feelings of isolation among students. This sentiment was echoed by Queen Latifah during a Strayer University graduation ceremony, where she commended the extraordinary resilience of online learners who juggle various roles, including being spouses, parents, caregivers, employees, and students, all at once.
Shouldn't virtual class attendees also have the opportunity to forge significant friendships and bonds with their fellow online students? In an effort to combat this sense of isolation, we are committed to narrowing the social divide for online college students by organizing various events and community service initiatives. Our goal is to maintain a virtual presence while also creating opportunities for our members to engage in person at local, regional, and national levels. This approach aims to provide nontraditional students with an experience that mirrors traditional college student life as closely as possible, despite their unique path in higher education.
Are we an online sorority?
Though we operate virtually, we are NOT an ONLINE sorority. We are a sorority for those pursuing a degree online. We aim to connect in person locally, regionally, and nationally.
Are we the first sorority to provide a sisterhood for women taking online classes or attending non-traditional colleges and universities?
Sigma Chi Psi Sorority is indeed the first organization that accepts women from ALL accredited online colleges and universities, according to extensive research and fact-finding. The organization is open to students pursuing an associate degree, bachelor's, master's, or doctorate, as well as those studying at community and technical colleges. Although there are thousands of collegiate sororities and fraternities, many fail to accommodate the majority of students who pursue or have pursued higher education in non-traditional ways, leaving significant gaps.
Virtual chapters and affiliate groups have been established by certain sororities to cater to non-traditional and online students since our inception. Honor societies offer membership to non-traditional college students. Additionally, some D9 organizations provide membership opportunities to students who have completed their degrees through online programs.
Are we part of the divine nine?
No, Sigma Chi Psi sorority is not affiliated with the divine nine. We are an independent multicultural organization in support individuals who have pursued or are pursuing higher education in non-traditional ways.
What type of nonprofit organization is Sigma Chi Psi Sorority, Inc.?
Sigma Chi Psi Sorority, Inc. is a real national sorority and has been a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization. The organization aims to support individuals who have pursued or are pursuing higher education in non-traditional ways.
When was Sigma Chi Psi Sorority, Inc. established?
Sigma Chi Psi Sorority, Inc. was formed in November 2019 and was established federally on October 14, 2020. The founding student-approved chapters celebrated their charter day on October 28th, and the organization was approved as a 501(C)(3) nonprofit on November 5, 2020. Sigma Chi Psi Sorority considers October 14th as the founding date of the organization's day of establishment.
Can I join Sigma Chi Psi if I am a member of another sorority?
To become a member of Sigma Chi Psi, you must not be an active member of a SIMILAR sorority, which refers to a collegiate sorority that exclusively offers membership to non-traditional college students. In such a case, you must terminate your membership with a similar sorority before applying to Sigma Chi Psi. However, if you're part of a D9 sorority or any other collegiate sorority and pursuing or have pursued a post-graduate degree online, you may still apply to become a member of Sigma Chi Psi.
How much is membership?
Compared to other sororities and fraternities, Sigma Chi Psi offers affordable fees and multiple payment options. The initial fees, which are subject to change, are not disclosed publicly and are only provided to those who receive an invitation to complete intake. Annual dues of $150, which are also subject to change, are due in the second year. All payment options, fees, and how the initial fee is spent are provided at the time of an invite to intake. Sigma Chi Psi no longer offers a reduced initial fee due to COVID-19. It's important to note that paying the fee does not guarantee membership, and intake cannot begin until the initial fee is paid.
What is Sigma Chi Psi's application process?
To begin the application process, please click the "Apply" tab. Note that there is an application fee. We require your official transcript to be sent directly from your educational institution or a certified transcript service. Please be aware that transcripts submitted by applicants themselves are not accepted. Instructions for sending your transcript will be provided in the application, and it must arrive within 30 days of your application submission unless specified otherwise. Should you not receive your application following fee payment, please reach out to email@example.com. The application consists of two parts: personal information, a written portion, and a video interview. Upon completing your payment, you will be sent part one of the process. Following your submission of part one, part two will then be sent to you. Upon successful submission of your application, along with your school credentials and fulfillment of all requirements, you will be invited to proceed with the intake process. In the event of a denial, we will provide the specific reasons. Previously, applications were only valid for 30 days, but as of December 15, 2022, this validity has been extended to one year. Should you require a new application within one year of your request, there is no need for an additional fee. You can request a new application by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
When is SCP's intake and what is intake?
The intake process is vital not only for evaluating your compatibility with our organization but also for you to determine if our organization aligns well with your expectations and goals. This process bears resemblance to the pledging activities common in Greek letter organizations, but it's important to emphasize that Sigma Chi Psi firmly opposes any hazing, bullying, or use of intimidation. We keep intake dates confidential, revealing them only to those who are invited to participate in the process. It's essential to understand that an invitation to intake does not automatically ensure membership; however, your involvement in the intake process is compulsory. This period, which typically spans two to six months, is designed to cultivate character and values, educate candidates about the traditions of Greek letter organizations, the essence of sisterhood, and the specifics of our organization, and to build strong connections among candidates who are joining Sigma Chi Psi concurrently.
Sigma Chi Psi adopts an informal approach to its application process, accepting applications throughout the year. Despite this, our intake sessions are scheduled one to three times annually.
Are members required to complete a certain number of community service hours a year?
Yes, to remain an active member, community service hours must be met on a quarterly and or annual basis. Joining a sorority involves a significant time commitment, which can be challenging for some, particularly those who pursue online degrees for this and other reasons. Sigma Chi Psi recognizes this and provides an alternative option for those who cannot dedicate a lot of time. As such, individuals who prefer a less time-intensive involvement can choose to become affiliates rather than members.
Disaffiliation / Inactive Status
Disaffiliation from Sigma Chi Psi can be initiated via the designated menu option on our website. When a member chooses to disaffiliate, the organization automatically sends out an email notification confirming this action. In cases where disaffiliation is initiated by the organization, you may receive an email notification as well.
Should you find yourself unable to access the members' area or any private social platforms for members, it may indicate that your membership has either been terminated or is currently inactive. Termination of membership occurs only in instances of policy, procedure, or bylaw violations. Inactivity, on the other hand, might result from not paying annual dues, lack of participation, or failure to meet community service obligations.
We recognize the diverse responsibilities our members often juggle, including roles as spouses, parents, caregivers, employees, and students. In light of this, we strive to be flexible. Members who find value in our organization but need time to manage their personal circumstances can request to become inactive. This allows them to step back as needed and return when they feel their life is more balanced and they are ready to re-engage with the organization.
Who are the founders of Sigma Chi Psi Sorority?
Sigma Chi Psi Sorority and Gamma Sigma Gamma Fraternity were founded by Hildra Anna Jean and Stephanie Robinson, both of whom completed their undergraduate studies at traditional brick-and-mortar universities. Hildra expanded her education through both traditional and online institutions, earning an impressive array of degrees including a bachelor's, two master's, and a Ph.D. Her doctoral research was particularly noteworthy, focusing on the effects of online learning environments on social connectedness and isolation among college students. It also explored the lack of fraternity and sorority presence in for-profit online universities.
Hildra's journey in higher education administration began in 2005 at the University of Memphis, where she worked in various departments during her undergraduate years. In 2018, she reconnected with the academic world by joining Credentials Solutions, now part of Parchment, where she worked with college students. That same year, she also started a career as an independent private contractor, offering services in educational slogan creation, curriculum development, and research.
The concept for the B.T.S.G. (Bridging the Social Gap) program originated from a research project Hildra conducted while working as a private contractor for an online university. This project shed light on the unique challenges faced by online students, particularly the need for social engagement for successful retention. Utilizing the insights gained from her research and independent study, Hildra crafted the B.T.S.G. program. This initiative aims to bridge the social gap for online college students, creating a supportive community through the establishment of a sorority and fraternity. Sigma Chi Psi Sorority was established in November 2019. Following its formation, Hildra collaborated with a former colleague and close friend, Stephanie Robinson, to further develop the sorority. Hildra first publicly introduced Sigma Chi Psi during her final semester at Strayer University in October 2020, while pursuing her second master's degree.
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Does Sigma Chi Psi Sorority have chapters?
Members of Sigma Chi Psi Sorority and Gamma Sigma Gamma Fraternity are located throughout the United States, with chapter affiliations based on the educational institutions they attend rather than geographic location. Currently, these chapters are established through student approval. Recognizing that online universities and community colleges often lack the traditional infrastructure for sororities and fraternities, we are committed to changing this by working towards having our chapters officially recognized by these schools.
Starting in March 2024, the SCP and GSG Association, the parent organization of Sigma Chi Psi, will embark on the first phase of their 2024 growth strategy. This initiative aims to increase membership by reaching out to more colleges and universities. A key focus of this expansion is to diversify our membership in terms of age and demographic representation. The first phase will be achieved by expanding affiliate groups at the local level, enhancing our presence and impact within these educational communities. By the end of March 2024, more information and applications for initiating an affiliate group will be made available.
General questions for those unfamiliar with sororities and fraternities.
Why do members pay per semester, quarterly, chapter, or annual dues in a sorority or fraternity?
Members of a sorority or fraternity typically pay dues, which can be structured on a semester, quarterly, chapter, or annual basis. This financial commitment is an integral part of membership.
The amount of these dues can vary significantly from one organization to another. In reference to chapters, the specific cost is determined by the chapter members typically through a voting process. They collectively decide on the budget for the upcoming semester or quarter which in turn establishes the dues each member is required to pay.
These dues are essential for covering a range of expenses and activities within the Greek letter organization. They fund social events, fundraising activities, sisterhood gatherings, operational costs, programming, and even specific items like T-shirts for additional sisterhood or social events. In essence, the dues ensure that the organization can function effectively and provide a fulfilling experience for all its members. Click here to read more .......
Why do sororities and fraternities use Greek letters?
Fraternities and sororities, often referred to as Greek letter organizations or simply Greek societies, were originally established to enhance the social, academic, and professional interests of their members. The adoption of Greek letters as their symbols is a nod to the Hellenic (Greek) philosophy and ideals that inspired their formation.
The history of these organizations dates back to the late 18th century, with the first fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776 at the College of William & Mary. These societies were initially formed as literary and debating societies, providing a space for intellectual growth outside the classroom. Over time, they evolved to include a broader range of social and professional development activities.
The use of Greek letters became a defining characteristic of these organizations, symbolizing a commitment to a set of principles and values rooted in ancient Greek philosophy. This Hellenic influence reflects a dedication to wisdom, honor, and striving for excellence, which are core tenets of many Greek letter organizations. These societies have since become a prominent feature of college campuses, focusing on leadership, community service, academic achievement, and fostering lifelong bonds among members. ... Click here to learn more...
In most sororities and fraternities, a "chapter" refers to a specific, localized group of the larger national or international organization. It's akin to a branch or a regional division of the organization. Each chapter is usually based at a particular college or university and operates under the broader guidelines and principles of the parent organization. However, chapters have their own internal structure, leadership, and membership, and they often organize their own events, activities, and initiatives that reflect the unique culture and interests of their members. The concept of chapters allows these organizations to have a widespread presence across different campuses while maintaining a cohesive identity and shared values across the entire fraternity or sorority. Click here to read more.....
Sigma Chi Psi Sorority and Gamma Sigma Gamma Fraternity uniquely cater to online students, offering a distinctive chapter experience that transcends geographical boundaries. Unlike traditional Greek life organizations that are typically anchored to physical college campuses, the chapters of Sigma Chi Psi and Gamma Sigma Gamma are structured to accommodate the diverse and dispersed nature of their online membership. These chapters might be organized around the online institutions their members attend or other criteria that suit remote interaction, allowing for a wide-ranging and inclusive membership.
In these organizations, the fraternity and sorority experience is primarily facilitated through digital means. This includes virtual meetings, online social events, and web-based community service initiatives, ensuring that members, regardless of their physical location, can actively participate and feel a sense of belonging and connection.
However, Sigma Chi Psi and Gamma Sigma Gamma also recognize the value of in-person interactions and aim to blend their online presence with physical engagement. They actively organize local meetups, regional events, and national gatherings. This hybrid approach not only enriches the member experience by providing opportunities for face-to-face interaction but also strengthens the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood.
Why do sororities have symbols and mottos?
Sororities and fraternities have symbols and mottos as a way to encapsulate and express their core values, ideals, and identity. In essence, the symbols and mottos of sororities and fraternities are not just decorative elements; they are deeply ingrained in the fabric of these organizations, playing a crucial role in defining their culture and values. These elements serve several important purposes:
Identity and Branding
Symbols and mottos act as a unique identifier for the organization, much like a logo or tagline in a brand. They are a visual and verbal representation of what the fraternity or sorority stands for, making them easily recognizable.
Unity and Belonging
For members, these symbols and mottos foster a sense of unity and belonging. They are a constant reminder of the shared values and experiences that bind the members together, regardless of their diverse backgrounds.
Tradition and Heritage
Many symbols and mottos have historical significance, often dating back to the founding of the organization. They connect current members to their fraternity or sorority's rich history and traditions, creating a sense of continuity and timelessness.
The mottos often reflect the guiding principles or mission of the organization. They serve as a succinct expression of the ethos the members are expected to live by, both within the organization and in their personal lives.
Inspiration and Motivation
Symbols and mottos can be sources of inspiration and motivation for members. They often encapsulate aspirational ideals that members strive towards, such as brotherhood/sisterhood, academic excellence, leadership, service, and ethical conduct.
Most sororities and fraternities are held under councils or association. Sigma Chi Psi is an independent multicultural sorority not held under any councils or associations.
The Interfraternity Council (IFC) is the local governing body for National Interfraternity Conference fraternity chapters. IFC works to promote the highest ideals of scholarship, leadership, service, and fraternalism among its member organizations. IFC provides educational programming on various topics to fraternity chapters and their members, including leadership, risk management, alcohol awareness, and scholarship.
The Multicultural Greek Council consists of both fraternities and sororities. With a focus on specific ethnicities and/or cultures or multiculturalism in general, these organizations are united to serve as a unique voice and advocate for their respective communities.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council is the umbrella organization for the historically African-American fraternities and sororities on campuses. The council's purpose is to promote unity and expose members to the "service for life" philosophy, and foster leadership development and scholarship. There are nine historically Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs) that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Collectively, these organizations are referred to as "The Divine Nine." Each of these fraternities and sororities is rich in history - ties to one or more of these organizations may be found in many college-educated Black families in the United States.
The Panhellenic Association is the organization that strives to unite National Panhellenic Conference sororities and work for their common goals. Representatives from each chapter meet regularly, share information, discuss issues of concern and interest, and vote on policies and procedures.