Open Houses & Open Arms: Societies offer warm welcomes to prospective members

Lexi Valenzuela

Prospective members are met with bright smiles and enthusiastic greetings as each society begins their Open House. This event is unique to all of the societies, with every event consisting of different icebreakers and introductions.


 Whittier College has a total of eleven societies, each with an individual mission, but they collectively emphasize scholarship, leadership and community service. Overall there are five female, four male and two gender non-specific societies. Each Fall semester, students have a number of opportunities to get to know members, starting with Open House.

This is a great time to meet with active members and get a better understanding of what they represent as well as who you click with.  

“I’m looking forward to getting to know anyone possibly interested in our Society,” sophomore William Penn Society member Keanu Reus said. “I pledged last year. I remember what it was like meeting everyone and feeling welcome, so I hope I can pass that feeling along to anyone who wants to get to know us.” 

Every society showcases their ideals and commitments, each providing a different energy and atmosphere. Some Open Houses, like the Athenians, have themes and handcrafted decorations.

“[We want] our Society to get out there and get people to get to know us better as [we] get to know them,” Ionian Society member sophomore Karina Turcios said.  “I look forward to meeting all of the girls interested in joining our sisterhood.” 

While meeting active members can be nerve-wracking and feel overwhelming, members do their best to make thosewho are curious feel comfortable.

“It was pretty intimidating to be honest, but once I got there all the girls were wonderful and amazing,” sophomore Hannah Cohen said. “I wanted to go for the experience.”

While some Open Houses have already taken place, there are a few that have not yet occurred. The Thalian and William Penn Society Open Houses is Thursday Oct. 6 at 6:45 p.m. while the Ionian Open House is Friday at 7:00 p.m. 

Planning the Open House event requires working with administration as well as the event managing system.

“My co-chair and I are in charge of planning, organizing and publicizing the Open House event and making sure it runs smoothly,” sophomore Orthogonian Society member Kieran Delceppo said. “I’m looking forward to seeing all of the guys that show an interest.” 

Ultimately, society members are trying to make as much of an impression as the new members. 

 “[We want] prospective members to get to know the Society as a whole, and some of our traditions,” said Athenian sophomore Marissa Sandoval. “It gives them a small glance into what the society is all about and the strong bond of our sisterhood.”

The next event is Rush, similar to Open House in that it is another event to get to know active members even more, sometimes through an off-campus experience. 

Rush can be an all day event consisting of secret locations and will take place within the Fall Semester.