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TAPchica09 03-06-2007 08:34 AM

Trying Again, Informal recruitment
Hi all, I'm new...I've been reading/browsing this site for a while, and everyone is so helpful and nice that I thought that I might as well register. I have a question for all of you lovely ladies in sororities. You see my campus has informal recruitment in the fall. I tried to go through recruitment this semester but unfortunately I did not receive a bid, I didn't even make it to philanthropy night, :( . I'm not too sure why, but I've decided to stop overanalyzing everything and my Sigma Rho Chis told me - when they came to my room to inform me that I had not received a bid - that I should try again next semester. With that being said, I'm not sure if you need information about my campus or not...but I'll give you some about my campus and a bit about me as well (not sure if it's necessary and please forgive/excuse me if I'm overstepping boundaries or anything like that.)

I'm 19 years old (I will be 20 in June), technically a sophomore but with enough units to be a junior - although I'm still going to graduate in 2009, like I would be if I had not taken extra classes over the summer before and after I entered college. I am currently a proud member of Theta Alpha Phi (we sometimes call it TAP for short) - which is a national theater honors fraternity - I was a theater major before but I'm in the process of officially becoming a business major (we're actually letting our pnms go through pledging right now so of course, sorority recruitment is on my mind) and I'm also engaged to a wonderful man - but we're not getting married until after I graduate. Interestingly enough most people know me by a nickname and don't even know my full name - which was the name that was posted on all of my recruitment information. My college GPA is about a 3.71.

My campus is very small and in northern California, we have four wonderful NPC sororities on campus, and I would very much like to be apart of one of them. That being said, I'm going to take the time to get to know more of the sorority girls on my campus better. I do know a decent amount of women in sororities (but not as many as I'd like, I'm a shy person, more talkative once you get to know me - this is mostly due to issues with my past) - since it is a small campus, and you can often go a day seeing the same person three or four times. Juniors and sophomores are able to get in during informal and formal recruitment (freshmen aren't allowed to participate in informal - they can't pledge until the spring) without much of any problem.

So my question is, do you think that I should pledge next semester? I really want to - but I was so heartbroken this semester when I didn't get in and I know of course that I'm not guaranteed anything, so I'm well aware that I can just as easily be heartbroken again. I'm greatful for the opportunity to even participate in recruitment. Thank you so much for answering my question, and please excuse me for having a such a lengthy post.

REE1993 03-06-2007 10:27 AM

Just my first impression - if you go by a nickname that represents you r Theatre org, and also go by "the future Mrs J", the girls might not see you as your own person.

Try presenting yourself as "Sue" or whatever your real name is. When rushing, play up yourself, not your nickname, not your engaged status, or anything like that. It seems like people already know that stuff about you.

So think about who YOU are and how you can contribute to the sisterhood with whom you are pursuing membership.

Just my opinion, and good luck!

adpiucf 03-06-2007 10:38 AM

I disagree. I know plenty of girls in sororities who go by nicknames and honestly most people on campus didn't even know their real name. When I was in college, there was a Pi Phi who went by Buffy and a Chi Omega whom everyone called Ducky. I think we were seniors before I found out that Buffy's real name was "Andrea!"

The only case where your nicknames may have been an issue is in if they were voting on potential members and the name you were registered under for recruitment and the name you gave them at the door when you were at a sorority event were different. So maybe it was your name-- they just didn't know your real name and weren't able to make a membership decision on you.

From what you've told us, you sound like a real "catch"-- good GPA, campus involvement and socially adept enough to pledge a pre-professional sorority. Also, with there being only 4 sororities on campus and it being a northern CA school, recruitment would not have been as competitive as a school like SMU, UCLA, etc. Also, with it being a northern CA school, your class rank wouldn't be as important as a more competitive Greek school where freshmen are the primary desired recruits.

Give informal recruitment a try. If you don't get a bid, then I'd check sorority life off your list. Meanwhile, get involved on campus. If you're switching majors you may want to seek out some internships or opportunities with a co-ed business fraternity. Prepare for informal, be yourself and make a concerted effort to be a little more outgoing at the events-- smile, give complete answers when asked a question, and ask the sister recruiting you questions about herself and her sorority. Good luck.

AChiOhSnap 03-06-2007 11:58 AM

I agree with most everything that adpiucf said. However, even though you go to a small school, look around and honestly assess the class rank thing for yourself. If few or no sophomores/juniors got bids during informal and formal this year, that might indicate that your Greek system is relatively closed off to upperclasswomen. As a general rule of thumb, smaller schools that aren't in the South are more open to upperclasswomen and are less competitive, but this isn't always the case.

You said that you're generally shy. Plenty of shy women join sororities, but they probably made a concerted effort to be more outgoing during formal recruitment. Unfortunately, PNMs who have stellar qualities but who aren't very outgoing/are overly quiet are often overlooked during formal recruitment. Try to brush up on your small talk skills if you think that this applies to you.

Also, what REE said might apply too... I wouldn't go out of my way to emphasize your engagment/fiance/wedding plans during recruitment. I don't know whether you did during formal, but the vast majority of 19-20 year old sorority women aren't engaged and it might be difficult for some of them to relate to someone who identifies herself as "future Mrs. J." or whatever. It's probably not a big deal and I'm sure you already know this but make sure you're emphasizing who YOU are as a person.

Really those are just some minor nitpicky things you might want to be aware of, you really do sound like a stellar candidate for Greek life. I think you should absolutely try informal in the fall. Taking the time to get to know more sorority women is definitely a good idea and it will make the informal process that much easier.

And finally, just make sure to maximize your options in the fall. Go to as many informal recruitment events as you can at all the chapters that are holding events. I hope everything works out well! Good luck!

SmartBlondeGPhB 03-06-2007 12:28 PM


Originally Posted by AChiOhSnap (Post 1408453)
You said that you're generally shy. Plenty of shy women join sororities, but they probably made a concerted effort to be more outgoing during formal recruitment. Unfortunately, PNMs who have stellar qualities but who aren't very outgoing/are overly quiet are often overlooked during formal recruitment. Try to brush up on your small talk skills if you think that this applies to you.

I agree with everything else that was said as well but thought this needed extra pointing out.

I am a generally shy person until I warm up to people and am definitely shy in a room full of people who all know each other. I hated recruitment but I still managed to find a spot in a smaller house on the campus I pledged at.

Use this semester to get to know some of the women in the sororities on a one-on-one basis. It will make informal easier next year.

ONElove1997 03-06-2007 02:12 PM

If things don't work out with the FOUR organizations on your campus there is the option of founding a chapter of any sorority that interests you if you have the time, and if your school is allowing new organizations on campus!

Just remember don't limit yourself, especially if there are only FOUR on campus, find and organization that feels right for you and do your research!

REE1993 03-06-2007 02:54 PM

OK, I misread that as her nickname has "TAP" in it. Sorry!

KSUViolet06 03-06-2007 03:25 PM

I say give it one more shot. If you didn't, you'd always wonder what would've happened if you had tried again. Now, if after this recruitment, you still don't receive a bid, then I'd call it a day and focus my energy somewhere else.

BabyPiNK_FL 03-06-2007 03:55 PM

A lot of my sisters don't know my real name either! The few who do really surprise me when they use it. During recuitment they spelled my real name wrong, on top of the fact that I was known heavily by my nickname (i was cut....bad!) Well, needless to say my first choice (and 1 other org.) didn't forget me and they got me! LOL!

Even my chapter's president has such a popular nickname that when people use a nickname based on her first name (cos her popular nickname is based on her last name) everyone goes..."WHO IS THAT?"

It won't hurt to try again, but after that if you don't make it then I'd cut my losses and move on. Good luck!

TAPchica09 03-06-2007 04:12 PM

Thanks everyone for the wonderful advice. A few quick things that I forgot to mention: I don't really use "~*~The future Mrs. J*~*~" signature that often...just in e-mails to friends off campus mostly. I go to a small school, so once my friends found out that I got engaged last year - everyone on this campus who knew me, knew that I was engaged. So I didn't try to brag to all the girls that I was engaged or anything like that - as soon as I walked in the door there were a few girls - who were sisters with friends of mine - who just said things like "congrats" and all when they heard my nickname.

I also forgot to take off my engagement ring, I was going to take it off because I was scared about the whole "no talking about boys" thing that I was going to take it off. The problem with that is that I'm so used to wearing it, that I didn't even think about it until it was too late. So some girls looked at my left hand that didn't know me, and boom. The only people who know my real full first name (which I don't like very much - that's why I go by a nickname) are people who have lived with me because our RAs initially put your legal first name on your door when you first move in.

I know of a few people who are interested in bringing another chapter to school since there are only four - so I might look into that.

Thanks again everyone! ^_^

EGAOPi 03-06-2007 04:23 PM

I think it's great that you are thinking about going through informal recruitment. However, don't count on another chapter immediately coming on to your campus. That is a LONG process and doesn't always work out. If you still have your heart set on it, go for it. As you mentioned, you will be in junior/senior standing, but this doesn't necessarily always hurt you. It can be a factor, as can your nickname (like others have mentioned), so take these things into account, as well as the engagement ring and anything else you feel may have hindered your recruitment experience and kept the girls from getting to know the real you.

adpiucf 03-06-2007 04:23 PM

Oh don't take off your ring for sorority recruitment! That is something that is a part of you. We say, "Don't talk about boys," but we just mean that during recruitment the focus is on community service and friendships with sorority women, and not parties, booze, daddy's money, your bible or my bible, etc. You know? Don't change who you are for recruitment--- just present yourself as the best you know how-- smile, be engaging and just try to put yourself out there a little bit more than normal. This will help you overcome your shyness-- a skill that you will take well beyond sorority recruitment!!! :) You may like informal a bit more-- it is less structured and you may find it a little more fun and easier to connect with the women. Keep us posted and find the organization, sorority or not, where you are most at home! :)

FSUZeta 03-06-2007 04:29 PM

don't take your engagement ring off. you are engaged, and you have said that lots of the campus knows that your are engaged, so wear it proudly. it might become a topic of conversation, if small talk grinds to a halt.

on your recruitment enrollment form, it might be helpful for you to list your legal name and put your nickname in ( ). same with your nametag.that way you're covered, no matter what.

you were a theater major, so you must have appeared in some plays. use the skills you have developed for the stage to your advantage. it takes big balls to get up on a stage in front of lots of people and perform, so we know you have got the nerve. just translate those skills into a recruitment party and you should do fine. good luck.

DeltaBetaBaby 03-08-2007 01:38 AM

Wear the ring, otherwise it may look like you are trying to hide something.

TAPchica09 03-08-2007 05:55 AM

Thanks again so much for the great info ladies. Especially concerning my engagement ring...interestingly enough ever since I've gotten it I have never had any occasion where I've absolutely had to take it off. For example when I was in my fraternity's annual play (we this for our philanthropy - we try to give them a large amount of donations, our philanthropy is for Broadway Cares - equity fighting AIDSl) costume mistress told me not to take it off (and in a play the chances of you actually wearing your own jewelry onstage are pretty slim). I'm glad that it won't be too taboo if I wear it around them or anything...

I have another question though. Recently (since our spring rush has been over for a long time - formal for us starts as soon as we get back to school in January) I've been talking to some of my friends in sororities about visiting the house, coming over for dinner, if they could let me know when they're having some events so I can come over and get to know more of the girls, etc. The problem is that even though I was only at recruitment for the first day - didn't even make it to philanthropy night - I really liked all the sororities on my campus. When I visited I met a few girls that I really connected with - and even after recruitment I started hanging out more with some of the girls who happened to be sigma rho chis during recruitment, etc. So when I've been asking if I can come over for an event or something I've been asking my friends in all four sororities about it. I was wondering is this really an okay/permissible thing to do?

I also wanted to ask you lovely ladies - exactly what is a tasteful way to tell people about the things that you do without sounding like you're bragging or anything like that? I didn't mention my fraternity while I was in the houses (first of all there is at least one girl in every sorority that is in my fraternity and the theatre department is really small, so when they find out that you're in the theatre department, they already know that you know everyone within it - and basically everyone in my fraternity is in the theatre department). I was unsure as to whether or not I should mention my fraternity because I didn't want to break any of the rules or make someone mad or something like that. I've also - and this is going to sound like bragging to excuse me - have owned and operated my own pie business for a long time (I'm on hiatus right now but as of May I will have had it running for 12 years)...and I didn't really want to tell them about it because I was scared that they might think that I'm really snooty. I did end up telling one girl in one of the sororities because we started talking about community service and a lot of my community service opportunities in high school came out of my pie business (I had well over a hundred hours of community service in high school - it's unfortunate that I can't really participate in it over here because I'm not from around here so I don't really know where to go for it...which is another reason why I'm interested in being in a sorority, I really like to give back to the community).

Anyway sorry for another long, drawn out post...thank you again for all of your help and sorry that I'm asking stupid questions...I'm just so nervous and all (it's mostly due to things that have happened in my past). Thanks!

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