A fraternity sweetheart is someone elected by the men of the fraternity to serve as the female face of the chapter -- she spends a lot of time helping with events and projects, usually once a week, and is also invited to a dinner at the house. Usually the sweetheart is a sorority girl, but not always.
The sweetheart is held in very high regard, and is treated with absolute dignity and respect. It is not a beauty contest. She should have a good moral character, have excellent grades, and be able to speak in front of a crowd. Being pretty doesn't hurt, but it will not win the right to be called sweetheart.
A week-long contest is held in order to crown a house sweetheart. The contest is judged by the entire fraternity, which consists of raising money for charity, decorating sheets to hang on houses, an essay contest, a public speaking contest, and social interaction with members.
Usually the contestants try to bribe members with breakfast, cookies, candies and singing. Once crowned sweetheart, they rule for the entire year, and become very close to the brothers. Most fraternities have a song especially for the sweetheart which is sung at all functions, and on her birthday.
She is usually placed on a chair that is higher than the members, and is presented with a white rose (or whatever their national flower is) as a sign of respect and fraternal friendship.
I was a sweetheart for my freshman and sophomore year for a fraternity that has always been near and dear to my heart. My older brother was a member of this fraternity, and therefore I knew a whole group of men going into college that would guide me through the year. Note: I did not hook up with any brothers, nor was I ever dating one. I was overjoyed to be the female face of this fraternity for multiple reasons:
1. You gain 50-100 brothers. While brothers are the absolute worst sometimes, you're going to love having a really big family of boys. Even though they are messy and they smell, you will be considered one of the brothers, and receive the utmost respect from everyone.
2. You are guaranteed a formal date. Whether you're dating a brother or not, you're definitely guaranteed a date for both their formal and yours.
3. They'll always have your back. They will do anything for you because they love and care about you. Your car broke down? They got you. Need a DD? They got you. Craving pizza? They got you. A guy broke your heart? They got you.
4. Guaranteed support of both organizations. If you are in a sorority, both organizations will become closer and support one another. Whether it's tailgate or philanthropy, both organizations will roll deep into everything.
Most people think fraternity sweethearts are girls that sleep with multiple brothers and don't really do anything. I'm here to tell you that assumption is far from reality. I didn't sleep with anyone to become sweetheart. You get to be a sweetheart by showing up to their events, promoting the fraternity in a positive way, befriending the new members, and being an all-around good person. Trust me, fraternities don't want a girl who has slept around or gets white-girl-wasted at every party to represent the organization they are so proud of. If you want to become a sweetheart, be a positive person who does good things, and don't compromise your reputation. It's great when you bring them treats every so often and get promoted on social media, but help make the fraternity better than it was. Prove that you deserve to be called a sweetheart.