Sorority ‘mothers’ make freshman transition easier

For freshman girls, the lack of a mother-daughter relationship during their transition into their college years can be stressful. The first time a girl gets lost on campus, catches a cold or doesn’t know what they should wear for sorority recruitment, it’s instinctive for her to think one thing — “I want my mom.” However, to battle this lack of guidance, the Greek community created the idea of pledge mothers and daughters.

After going through sorority recruitment, it can still be difficult for freshmen to feel as though they truly fit in and know what they’re doing on campus. Many sororities, such as Delta Delta Delta, determine pledge mothers and daughters by going through a weekly process.

“Each girl has a gold sister, silver sister and blue sister because those are Tri Delt’s colors, and the younger girls have these older girls for a week as their guidance,” said Kelsey Kilrea, sophomore in AHS. “After that, it’s kind of like rush in the way that we select pledge daughters, and they also pick so it’s a mutual process.”

However, for sororities such as Alpha Gamma Delta, the process is a bit different. After bid day, sophomores pick which freshman they want as their daughter right off the bat. Instead of having more options for a pledge mom, it’s decided as soon as possible in order to make the freshmen feel more comfortable.

“I like picking right away just because I know that when I joined it was exciting to have someone right away to text and call when you’re confused about everything,” said Erin Maturo, sophomore in Media.

When it comes to revealing which freshman is paired with which sophomore, many sororities get creative to make the event more special.

“The girls who are the pledge moms have a ball of yarn, and we start outside with a tag with their name on the piece of yarn,” Kilrea said. “Then we go all around outside and put it all around the trees and weave it through the house so it’s just a big mess of yarn that they have to untangle and follow to find us.”

After the reveal, the pair is officially pledge mother and daughter. However, this label has recently been looked down upon by many national chapters. Instead, it’s preferred that the terms “Big” and “Little” replace mother and daughter. To explain the reason for this transition, some national chapters, such as Alpha Phi, have created blogs.

“These blogs provide some good rationale for why these terms are really belittling and not empowering members, which is really the core of why most national organizations don’t want their chapters to use those terms,” said Ashley Dye, assistant dean of students for Fraternity and Sorority Affairs.

Ultimately, national chapters want to continue to encourage the process that allows freshmen to have a role model in their chapter.

However, using terms such as daughters, mothers and babies can sometimes be seen as not appropriate. Instead, national chapters are simply asking for the terms “Big” and “Little” to be used in order to accommodate each individual.

Even though the University’s Greek life is still making the transition to “Big” and “Little,” it’s important for this term to stick — freshmen can only grow from having the guidance that an older member provides for them.