//PICTURED ABOVE: Campbell Swango ’18 poses with her Tri Delta sisters at Texas Christian University.
Whether it be nightmare stories or life-long friendships that freshmen in college can gain through joining a sorority or fraternity, there is something about these close-knit communities that draws hundreds students together on the campuses across America.
This promise of sisterhood and friendship also caught the eyes of Hockaday Alumnae Claire Jurgensmeyer ‘18 and Campbell Swango ‘18. Even though these young women left behind their Hockaday family, they found a new community with their chosen university and their sororities.
Claire Jurgensmeyer joined Delta Delta Delta, or Tri Delta for short, at Texas A&M University. For her, sororities are about family and tradition. She has had a long line of relatives who joined sororities, including her mother, sister, grandmother, aunts and cousins.
“I decided to rush because my mom and sister were both in sororities, and they had great experiences, so I wanted the same for me,” Jurgensmeyer said. “Also, because I go to such a large university, a sorority allows me to have a smaller community to get to know very well and also an opportunity to meet girls like me.”
For Campbell Swango, who is attending Texas Christian University joined Tri Delta, also, sororities are a way to find a home away from home on her new campus, as well as following in her mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps. Swango’s mom was a Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Texas at Austin and her grandmother was a Kappa at Southern Methodist University.
“I joined a sorority because I wanted to find a close knit, supportive, and genuine group of friends. I also wanted to make college feel smaller by joining a sorority,” Swango said.
Both girls took part in a traditional rush experience, which is a series of social events and gatherings that allow prospective and current sorority members to get to know each other.
“In order to join, there is a week long process called rush. You tour all of the houses the first two days, and then as the week progresses, you narrow it down to your top two houses on “pref night”, and then find out which one you get in to on bid day,” Jurgensmeyer explained.
“At TCU it was one full week and we started by visiting every house, then each day we would visit less,” Swango said.
Even though they had limited periods of time to decide which sororities they wanted to pledge with, they both believe they made the right decision.
“So far, my experience has been absolutely amazing. Here at Texas A&M, our pledge classes are around 80 people, so there are so many different girls that I have gotten to know so well, and I have absolutely loved it,” Jurgensmeyer said. “I can genuinely say that I have met my best and lifelong friends through Tri Delta.”
Swango, said she loves being involved around campus with her other sorority sisters, as well as being able to connect with old camp friends.
“I have loved being a member of DDD so far. It is fun because not only do you make a new fun group of friends but you also get to be involved in so much around campus, like community service events like D-Hop,” Swango said. “A lot of my camp friends joined DDD or were already members so it is so weird and fun to think back and be like we’ve spent summers together and now we’re sorority sisters.”
Even though sororities are places to make long-lasting friendships and gain integral support, Jurgensmeyer and Swango both agree that being a part of a sorority can be a major time commitment and demands constant dedication.
“Before joining a sorority, I wish I would have known how much of a time commitment it is,” Jurgensmeyer said. “I still highly recommend rushing, though, because it has been such a good experience for me.”
Story by Paige Halverson
Photos provided by Campbell Swango