What Is a Sorority House?

Have you ever wondered what a sorority house is and how to decide if one is right for you? A good number of Americans have college experiences associated with sororities and fraternities. But what is a sorority house, and is it good for you?

Sorority houses are large houses rented by college sororities for their members to live in. Also, the houses provide a venue for sorority chapter meetings and social gatherings. Sorority houses are the residences provided to members during their college years by their sororities. As part of their membership requirements, some sorority women must live in their sorority house for some period.

What Is a Sorority House?

Sorority houses are large houses that serve as living quarters for members of a sorority. These houses also serve as sorority chapters, charity fundraisers, and social events.

 Sorority houses are the residences that sorority members can live in during their college years. For some sorority women, living in their sorority house for some time is part of their membership requirements.

Where Does the Sorority House Originate?

Historically, fraternity houses have served as social clubs on college campuses since the mid-1800s. In the early frat houses, young men gathered in the woods to bond as a group. 

Within a few years, these lodges became a place for the young men to live communally. Male college students refused to admit female students to the fraternities, leading them to form their fraternity-style social clubs. 

These were referred to as simply “women’s fraternities” at the time. In the 1880s, “women’s fraternities” began renting large houses for communal living as a way to make life more pleasant

In the past, young women were not allowed to live alone at home unsupervised. So, a chaperone usually accompanied them. Several colleges welcomed the communal housing arrangements as there were few choices for student housing.

When Did the First Sorority House Open?

One of the oldest sorority houses is a hotly debated matter. While there are many claims of being the first, some may be true. During those earlier days, sororities weren’t as clearly defined today, so it wasn’t evident. 

So many organizations, clubs, and societies have developed into modern sororities, which is why it is so hard to determine which was the first.

Nevertheless, Syracuse University’s Alpha Phi House was the first sorority house to be owned and operated by an active “women’s fraternity”.

Alpha Phi is known for several firsts in sorority history. Until 1902, the house was home to the membership, but the space was deemed inadequate for the number of members. 

Eventually, the university purchased the house and turned it into dormitories. Across the country, sororities have grown and expanded following the founding of the first house at Syracuse University. 

Regionally, sorority houses faced opposition from conservative spaces that considered them “improper.” It has taken women a long time and hard work to win the right to occupy this space.

How Does Living in a Sorority House Feel?

Every chapter on each campus has different rules regarding who may live in a sorority house. Firstly, it depends on how many members are in the sorority and how much space is available. 

There are sororities with large houses that accommodate all their members, and sororities with small houses are for officers only. 

For instance, at the University of Alabama, the size of houses varies from 16 to 80 members, based on how the organization manages its accommodation policies.

 When you choose a sorority, consider if you would like to live in one. You may need to live there to join some sororities, while others may not offer it. 

Just like disadvantages, there are various pros of sorority houses as well. Many sorority houses are near the school. However, most are present away from all the hustle and bustle. 

You don’t have to worry about noisy events taking place in the quad or maintenance starting early in the morning. You have the perfect balance in the sorority house.


Sorority houses played a significant role in many alumni’s lives. It was a formative experience that they would never trade for anything. There can also be a lot of hate directed at sororities by others who feel differently about living in a sorority house.

However, you are ultimately responsible for your decision. It is a highly personal decision to choose where to live during your college years and one you should think carefully about.

The benefits and drawbacks of every living situation will be different. You will have to weigh them carefully before making any decisions. 

Make sure you carefully evaluate the pros and cons of sororities on your campus. If it appeals to you, you might find yourself falling in love with it.