House moms enforce rules, turn sororities into homes

For students on campus who aren’t involved in Greek life, it’s easy to assume that living in a sorority house is a total free-for-all. When 50-plus college women are living in a house together, there’s no telling what could happen. Fortunately, for the safety of each chapter’s members, house directors live in each sorority and act as the superior figure.

House directors, or “house moms,” as they’re called, are in charge of making sure that all of the rules of the house are being followed. For example, sororities are “dry”, meaning alcohol should never be consumed inside the house or brought on the premise. Many sororities also have rules when it comes to having boys at the house. For some sororities, boys can’t be over until a specified time, or in some cases, boys aren’t allowed to be on the second floor of the house. 

Of course, these rules seem pretty reasonable and are anticipated before living in any house. However, some rules vary from sorority house to sorority house. I’m a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, and our house mom, Teresa Mendez, always makes sure we wear shoes in the kitchen or dining room. There have been times when I just wanted to sneak downstairs to grab some coffee in the morning, and she sent me back up to my room to get shoes before allowing me to pour a cup — not the best way to start my morning. 

“If you think carefully about where your shoes have been, you bring all that stuff into the kitchen, and if you go barefoot, then you touch whatever is on the floor,” Mendez explained. “It’s more than anything a health issue.”

Besides enforcing the rules, Mendez — or “T” as we all call her — is also in charge of the cooking staff at my house. She makes sure that they know what to cook for the week and oversees everything that’s happening in the kitchen. Mendez will also pitch in and cook something delicious for everyone to enjoy.  

Mendez has become a mother figure to many girls in the house. Whether it’s giving a hug when she sees tears or making us laugh at her crazy stories, Mendez is there for us. She’s become a staple for life at Delta Gamma and has also become a mentor to the members of our sorority. She gives us advice our own mothers would give us if they were in Champaign. 

Mendez means as much to us as we mean to her. Each day, her face lights up when she sees a senior who hasn’t stopped by the sorority house in a few weeks. For many of the members, Mendez is the heart of Delta Gamma, and our house just wouldn’t be the same without her.

When asked about her favorite part of being a house director, Mendez said that the friendships are what matter.

“The friendships with the girls, the parents and the families,” Mendez said. “These friendships last for a lifetime.”

Despite having to be the bad cop in certain situations, house directors are there to protect the well-being of the sorority members. Whether or not a member decides to get to know her house director is really up to her, but I would highly recommend it; members will learn a lot and get to know the world through the eyes of someone with more experience. 

Taylor is a senior in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]