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wavycutchip 09-27-2010 01:42 PM

Retro Razorback Recruitment
I have enjoyed reading so many wonderful recruitment stories this summer from the comfort of "lurkdom" -- and so to introduce myself I thought I would write out my personal recruitment story to give you a glimpse into me :)

As the title implies, I went through recruitment at the University of Arkansas (Go Hogs!) back when it was still called rush in the late 90s. Unlike many of my co-rushers, I didn't really think I would go through rush just based on the stereotypes that I had heard, but the summer before my freshman year I worked with 2 active members of UA sororities who encouraged me to rush. Not knowing anything about references or the cut throat nature of an SEC rush, and very little about the Greek system (my dad had pledged a fraternity, but transferred before initiation) -- I went in a little blind -- but excited about starting school.

At the time there were 7 NPC sororities on campus. Because I am on a bit of a health kick, I am going to use fruits as my code:

Since it has been a few years since recruitment, I may be wrong about this -- but there were 5 days of recruitment:
2 Open Party Days (all chapters for 1 hour each over 2 days)
House Tour Day (6 party day)
Invitational Day (4 party day)
Preference Day (2 party day)

Anyways -- Hope you enjoy my "hog wild" recruitment :)

DubaiSis 09-27-2010 02:44 PM

I love a retro story... I think you're a lot more honest about what happened, even if you don't remember as many details.

wavycutchip 09-27-2010 03:09 PM

Day 1 - Open Party

I was a pretty nervous freshman as I stood outside the Apple house, a chapter with a rich history and a beautiful home. I was thrilled to be met by one of the girls I worked with that summer, and not knowing that her "scooping" me at the door was NOT an invitation for a hug -- I probably made a fool of myself trying to hug her :) Conversation with my friend was nice and easy, and we caught up on the week that she missed while she was at Spirit week. We had already covered why she liked Apple while we worked together, so it was wonderful to just be able catch my breath and relax at this house. I know that I spoke to one other sister of Apple that day, and the only thing that I can remember is talking about how the sister did not like the food in the Apple house. Overall impression -- Wonderful house that proved they did meet the image that was portrayed of them.

Next up was Orange, and to be honest I don't really remember much about this house on this night. I knew no one in this house, and only learned of a few members who were teachers / counselors at my high school the next year when working the other side of recruitment. I am sure the girls that I meet there were nice, but it just wasn't memorable. Overall impression -- Unmemorable

Grapes was my next house, and home to the other co-worker from that summer. It felt a little weird, because she didn't pick me up at the door, but I thought -- surely, she will bump over to say hello because I see her over there in her skit outfit (she wasn't rushing another girl or anything) -- but no, I never got to say hello to her that night. I had seen in the school paper that one member of Grapes was the daughter of my hometown mayor, who had graduated the semester before. I again don't remember too much about the girls that rushed me -- but do remember being shocked that my co-worker was such a ham in their skit that day! She was much more quiet and reserved when we worked together! Overall impression -- stereotypes probably clouded my judgment, but I got the feeling that this was the "party" house. As a young naive freshman, I thought that this was probably not the house for me.

Banana was my final house for my first day, and I was pretty excited to visit this house. Banana was, and still is, a VERY popular house for girls from my hometown to pledge. My roommate's boyfriend's sister (still with me -- ha!) was reference chair for Banana that year, and I just adored (and still adore) her and her whole family. There were girls that I had been in Girl Scouts with, went to church with, were cheerleaders together, and so much more. Everyone I met was just wonderful at Banana, and I was just hoping that I was making a GREAT impression. Their skit was precious, and made me want to be a Banana right then and there. Overall impression -- Rho Chi, may I sign a bid card now?

Day 2 - Open Party

After loving my 1st day, I was excited to meet the other 3 chapters at UA. Kiwi was first on my list. Kiwi is a top chapter with some of the most beautiful, smart, and talented ladies on campus. There were also several "girl scout" alums in Kiwi, but most were 2 years older and I had lost touch with them as they went off to college. There was 1 member of Kiwi who I did go to church with and cheered with in high school. Little did I know at the time, but she was "pushing" for my roommate to join Kiwi. I had also met other Kiwis at various church fellowships and hometown gatherings. They were all wonderful, and I really hoped to get an invitation back to this house. I don't remember who I talked to at this house, but I feel like I did speak with some girls that I knew on this day. Overall impression -- Beautiful chapter, and trying to figure out how I could fit in with this group.

Apricot was next up. Apricot (like most of the chapters on UA campus) is a very established chapter on campus. These girls seemed very down to earth, and prepared for recruitment. Conversation flowed well, and their home was beautiful. I did not know anyone at Apricot but hoped to learn more about them throughout the week. Overall impression -- Enjoyed this house.

Peach was my final house for open party. What I remember most about this house was how diverse it was, compared to the other houses on campus. While many of the other houses seemed to have a large ratio of "Blond Haired Size 2 super models" or "Brunette Beauties," this house looked to have ladies of all hair colors, shapes, and sizes. It was also a very relaxed house -- more the place you wanted to kick your feet up and relax, than sit in hard chairs and have the same old formal recruitment conversation. As the newest chapter on campus, I did not know a single alumnae or active member of Peach, and while I did have a good overall impression of this house, they didn't seem as polished as some of the others. Overall impression -- I'm sure they are nice, but maybe not for me.

Up next -- first round of cuts :( and House Tour!

Low C Sharp 09-27-2010 04:43 PM

Love it! Keep going!

carnation 09-27-2010 06:06 PM

Wooo! Go Hogs!!

gee_ess 09-28-2010 12:10 AM

Woo pig sooie! Glad to have you!

wavycutchip 09-28-2010 09:30 AM

Thank you so much for the warm welcome!

House Tour Day

In my time the invite list was given to you by your Rho Chi the night before / morning of the next days parties (as opposed to getting dressed up to go to parties, and then get your list). My Rho Chi was a "big sister" type person who was very sweet and helpful. My invite list looked like this:


While I was a little shocked not to get an invitation from all sororities (my 18 year old self who was a 1st chair band member through most of high school, cheerleader, ranked in the top 2% of my high school class of over 500, and who had very little rejection in her life up to this point was a little perplexed -- oh yes, I agree it was time!), I was relieved to not have to worry about offending my co-worker friend in Grapes and just said to myself "their loss" to Apricot. My Rho Chi asked if I was ok, and I said "I'm good" and I was.

I believe that my roommate received invitations back from all houses except Apricot, and so we were excited about the next day!

Now while I know that you can go to the UA Greek Life website (or even just search around Greek Chat) and find pictures of the houses, I think that justice is served best by seeing the beautiful sorority houses in person. I was thrilled to be able to visit 5 different chapters and see where they lived, laughed, cried, and shared a sisterhood.

Apple was up first. I was very excited to come back to Apple, and I believe I met 3 of the sisters at this party. I felt that the conversation went well, and that I was getting more of a sense in what Apple was all about. On house tour I was amazed at the size of the house, and all the neat features. Apple has a couple of large bedrooms (1 that sleeps 16 and the other that sleeps 8), and I could hardly imagine rooming with that many girls, but they assured me that there were other 2-4 person rooms as well. The skit at Apple that day was pretty cute, and I still to this day remember the main song in it. It was obviously catchy! Overall Impression -- I really enjoyed this day, and hoped that they saw something in me that would benefit Apple.

My next house was Orange. And again this day was not memorable either. I am sure that I met some really nice sisters, because I do remember feeling I could fit in with Orange, but nothing really stands out over 10 years later as I am trying to type this out. Overall Impression -- Thought I would probably release them if given the opportunity, but thought they were nice.

My love affair with Banana continued on this night as well :) I was picked up by one of my hometown friends that I had known for most of my life; and had a great conversation. I guess I should point out that while I knew most of these hometown girls, it was not like we were BFFs in high school or had a huge connection (like family type). I was then bumped by another hometown gal, and we talked about some of the stories from our past (we had gone to elementary school together). What I loved about these girls was how effortlessly they could take our old shared experience, and then showed how Banana had similar experiences and how Banana was just like another home away from home. Yep, I was smitten. Overall Impression -- Oh, I bet this could be my home.

This was a pretty rough party for me at Kiwi. If I remember correctly, I was picked up at the door by someone that I didn't know and was taken directly on house tour. Beautiful 3 story mansion with 2-5 girl bedrooms and all the pictures and fun of a college co-ed. Straight from house tour, we watched a skit -- where roommate's rush-crusher played the part of a bride (complete with Ballgown). After the skit, it was conversation time. Let's just say that I was picked up by someone that I completely DID NOT click with -- our conversation was just awkward, she was frowning the whole time, and on this day -- almost all of the people in Kiwi that I knew bumped over to say hello. So our conversation was always interrupted, and I was never able to really connect with her. Overall Impression -- Loved this house (maybe even more than Banana (because of their GPA, standing in my hometown, quality of girls, etc -- which I know is saying a lot since I have professed by love for Banana), but thought that the party went really bad for me :(

My final party of the day was Peach. There was nothing too memorable from this specific day, but I am sure that this was the day that I was rushed by either a recent alum or someone from another chapter. They were nice -- and gave a good impression, but weren't really knowledgeable about what was going on in this chapter of Peach. Overall Impression -- Liked them better than Orange, but still didn't think it was right for me.

Next Up, round 3

gee_ess 09-28-2010 11:42 PM

Don't keep us hanging!

Lafayette79 09-29-2010 12:12 AM


Originally Posted by wavycutchip (Post 1988446)
I was thrilled to be able to visit 5 different chapters and see where they lived, laughed, cried, and shared a sisterhood.

:) This is what it is about.

FSUZeta 09-29-2010 08:56 AM

more, please!

wavycutchip 09-29-2010 09:37 AM

Invitational Day

The next morning our Rho Chi's came to give us the list of parties we had been invited back to for Invitational round. My sheet of paper showed the following:


I won't lie. I was disappointed, but felt that I would probably be cut from Kiwi -- so I wasn't that surprised. I was a little surprised at being cut by Apple, but I quickly realized that this house has so many legacies (now that I am an alumna and write recs, I have seen many PNMs that are legacies because both sister and mother, or mother and grandmother are UA Apples), that even a good rec to this house may not have let me shine during selection sessions. I asked my Rho Chi what I should do to help my chances with Banana, since that was the only house at the time that I could see myself joining. She said to just be honest with them and let them know my feelings. I nodded and thought that I would do just that.

So, I put on my happy face, took my list from my Rho Chi and rested before getting ready for 4 party day. Roommate got invitations back to Apple, Orange, Grapes, Banana, Kiwi, and Peach. I believe she declined with regret to Orange and Peach on this night.

First up was Orange. Now, I still could not tell you any names of Oranges that rushed me, but something finally clicked for me at this house. I think for me, those 1st 2 parties are hard on some of us who want to stop "chit-chatting" and get to the meat of sisterhood. This night, the sisters of Orange focused on their values and that really resonated with me. While I still believed that Banana was the place for me, I was starting to realize that all of the houses have something to offer (and not just the ones that I knew alumnae from). Overall Impression -- They had something to offer

Banana was up next, and I was excited and nervous about coming to 4 party at this house. We were only rushed by 2 people on this day, one I had seen earlier in the week and another who was the daughter of one of my beloved high school teachers, who I'll name CeCe. CeCe was a senior, and typically seniors do not rush (especially in some of the larger houses with lots of sophomores and juniors who return each year); but she was such a sweet girl. She told me how much her mom really enjoyed having me as a student, and how she had told her that I was a dedicated lady. She then went on to tell me why she chose Banana, and all the opportunities that it had to offer. Just as my Rho Chi suggested, I spoke about how at home I felt at Banana, and that this was the place that I wanted to be at the end of the week. Being a good rusher, she told me something along the lines of "I am so happy to hear that." I felt that the party went really well, and was looking forward to seeing Banana on my preference invite list. Overall Impression --Loved It and felt like I belonged.

My last party of the night was Peach. My impression of this house went down after this party. I believe that sense both Orange and Banana had serious conversations, I was looking forward to a more serious party at Peach. The mood was set, as they sang sweetly as we walked through the door, but the conversation stayed at that "Isn't college great" level. They did have a nice slide show that showed the sisters of Peach doing their community service, having fun together, and such -- but without that in depth conversation, I felt like I was watching another family talk about how great they were -- and not how I could fit in with the family.

Up next -- one of the top things I have regretted doing in my life and preference parties

BraveMaroon 09-29-2010 11:02 AM


Originally Posted by wavycutchip (Post 1988878)

Up next -- one of the top things I have regretted doing in my life and preference parties

See, this is how you write a good tease... MORE!!! :)

nittanygirl 09-29-2010 11:16 AM

Please post, please post!

wavycutchip 09-29-2010 05:36 PM

I'm so glad that you guys are enjoying this! Here is what happened next (so that you guys don't have to wait too long :))

Preference Day

The day before preference, our Rho Chi's arrived with invitations in hand. I was nervous, but confident that I would see my beloved Banana on this list, instead I saw:


Crushed is probably an understatement. My Rho Chi of course asked "Are you ok?" and in my shock I think I just sat there in a state of numbness. My Rho Chi knew that this was not what I wanted to see, and how much I had loved Banana. I'm sure that she said something about two houses still wanting me, and that she would see me tomorrow. With tears coming down my cheek, I walked away.

For whatever reasons, I chose to not handle this situation in the most honorable way, and for that I will always regret. Thankfully, I have a sweet friend in my freshman roommate who forgave me for my behavior that came next. My roommate had what many would consider a picture perfect recruitment -- lots of in-house support from our hometown girls (her boyfriend's sister in Banana, her rush-crusher in Kiwi), and received invites back for preference night from Grapes, Banana, and Kiwi -- she choose to go to Banana and Kiwi for pref night. Back before RFM, this was the night that was probably roughest on PNMs in terms of large cuts in the houses -- and also the night of the most withdrawals from recruitment. Several girls on my dorm floor were going through recruitment, and after getting our lists some of us were lamenting in the hall about how "We have no idea what these houses were wanting" and "I just can't believe they would take ___________ over me." You get the idea, right? This conversation moved my feelings of being dropped by 5/7 houses over the last 4 days from shock to anger in a very short amount of time. By this time my roommate entered the conversation, and her non-verbal communication made it seem that the 8 of us in the hall were just poor sports. I think the exact words out of my mouth were "You shouldn't say anything, because you got everything that anyone could have possibly wanted out of rush, and are going to your top 2 houses tomorrow." Poor friend -- she ran off to call her mom immediately; and I felt horrible guilt for thinking that, let alone saying it in front of her and several girls on our floor. Now while some other things came from her conversation to her mom (Including her mom calling my mom and saying "Well, you know that some girls just aren't Banana material." -- I think that revenge was had - ha!), but I am happy to say that we are still friends today. It's true that rush week is one of the hardest weeks of your life -- so just remember to be patient with your friends (whether they have a picture perfect recruitment or a rough one).

Of course one good thing about having a blow-up like that is you start to do some self-evaluation. For me as a Christian, it meant taking a step back and saying "Wow, God -- I screwed that up so bad. Please forgive me, and help me make better decisions about rush that are pleasing to you." Thank goodness for clean slates! I think that we all need them at times! I don't think that withdrawing from recruitment really entered my mind. I'm the type of person that finishes what I start -- so that didn't really seem like an option. The day of preference (parties were to start that night) was an annual event at one of the local campus ministries, that my roommate, her boyfriend, other hometown folks, and myself had signed up to attend. It was really a great break from the pressure of rush, and during the day while people were asking what I had been doing all week, I found myself telling them that I had been a rushee, and that I was planning on putting Orange as my 1st choice that night. I do remember praying during the day "Lord, please make it clear where I am supposed to be."

All dressed in my black and ready to go, my first party was Orange. The sisters at Orange did a wonderful job at prefing me -- letting me know why they thought I would be a good Orange, and how I met and exceeded what they wanted in a sister. They did a lovely ceremony, which of course ended with some sort of wishing ceremony. Since I went into the night thinking "This is where I am supposed to be," I really just took in everything and thought that I would see these ladies at Bid Day. Overall Impression -- I think I will see you tomorrow

My final party of rush was Peach, and I was ready to see this week end as soon as possible :) I don't remember too much about the 1st half of this party, I am sure I was prefed by a gal that I had met earlier in the week, and I am sure that she talked about how well she saw me fitting into Peach -- but to be honest, at this point I was still thinking that I would list Orange as my #1 choice. We moved into the preference ceremony, and it was very similar to Oranges, with sisters crying and telling us why they loved Peach and why we should be a Peach. At the very end, the chapter president spoke and one of her final things she said is "We have been praying for you this week, and pray that you make the right decision tonight." Now that I am a little older, and have seen religious/spiritual words like that used to manipulate a situation, I may not be as trusting now as I was at that point -- but for whatever reason it started to change my mind about Peach. We did a wishing well ceremony, and I was thinking -- yes, I do wish that I could be a Peach.

Walking out the door from the final party, we were taken in strict silence to one of the campus cafeterias to sign our binding agreement. On the long quiet walk from Peach, I began thinking about which house I really wanted to be. I thought about that even on open party day, I liked Peach -- but I had really over-compared them to some of the other houses that I thought I would get invitations back to throughout the week -- that I really hadn't given them much of a chance. I remembered how I did like them much of the week, but mostly I remembered what the chapter president had just said. At that point the choice was easy -- but I still had a bit of denial in me from the day before, because there were 3 lines on my pref card (and totally not understanding how these things work at that point) I marked:

1. Peach
2. Orange
3. Banana

Oh poor, young wavycutchip -- I was pretty silly :)

FSUZeta 09-29-2010 05:47 PM

oh heavens to betsy-please tell us what happened!!

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