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Sorority Recruitment Recruitment event and bid day ideas, membership retention, publicity, recruitment policies, etc.


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Old 07-26-2004, 02:50 PM
adpiucf adpiucf is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
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General Advice

Dear Sorority Prospective New Member (PNM),

[Yes! This thread contains information about securing recommendations!]

If you are thinking about joining a social and service organization for collegiate women, then think about joining a sorority! If you are someone who enjoys being with other people, social interaction with peers, working with teams and following/leading others; and you have good study habits and an interest in helping the community, you should definitely consider membership!

There are many different kinds of sororities, some of which have joined together to form collective governing bodies. When you hear about Sorority Recruitment, this typically refers the 26 sororities belonging to one such conference of sororities known as the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). Together, these 26 women's organizations of the NPC follow a set of guidelines and bylaws that help them to coexist on college campuses and work together to recruit new members, develop inter-chapter programming and serve their communities.

The 26 NPC inter/national sororities are:
Alpha Chi Omega
Alpha Delta Pi
Alpha Gamma Delta
Alpha Epsilon Phi
Alpha Omicron Pi
Alpha Phi
Alpha Sigma Alpha
Alpha Sigma Tau
Alpha Xi Delta
Chi Omega
Delta Delta Delta
Delta Gamma
Delta Zeta
Delta Phi Epsilon
Gamma Phi Beta
Kappa Alpha Theta
Kappa Delta
Kappa Kappa Gamma
Phi Mu
Phi Sigma Sigma
Pi Beta Phi
Sigma Delta Tau
Sigma Kappa
Sigma Sigma Sigma
Theta Phi Alpha
Zeta Tau Alpha

As a member of an NPC sorority, you'll be joining an organization with collegiate chapters and alumnae associations all across the US, with some in Canada, and possibly alumnae groups overseas!

When you hear about Sorority Recruitment (formerly known as "Rush") at a college, typically anywhere from 2-20+ of these NPC affiliated organizations (those represented on your campus) will be involved in an annual formal membership intake process. This formal recruitment process can be very competitive on some campuses, and on others it is much more casual and laid-back. Formal recruitment takes place at most campuses before the start of the fall semester; at other schools this process may be "deferred" until later in the school year. Individual sororities may also have private informal recruitment events outside of this period throughout the year where they invite PNMs to membership through less-structured and more casual interview events.

Through the formal recruitment interview process, you will initially visit all of the sororities at your university. After each round of recruitment, the sororities will be allowed to invite back a smaller percentage of the applicant pool. PNMs will also formally rank the sororities in their order of preference after each round. After the sororities make their cuts, the PNMs' rankings are matched up to provide a schedule for each PNM. Through this mutual selection process you will progressively attend events at fewer sororities (for longer periods) through each round of recruitment.

Either way, NPC Sorority Recruitment is roughly a week-long interview process where you will get to meet the sororities on your campus and mutually decide if you'd be a good fit for membership in one of them. You will be assigned a member of the sorority community called a Recruitment Counselor to serve as your official guide and mentor throughout this period.

Recruitment will conclude with the sororities extending “bids” of membership to prospective members. If you accept your “bid,” you will become a sorority member! There will be membership obligations such as dues, weekly meetings, and community service requirements.

As a sorority new member (sometimes called a "pledge"), you'll have a trial period where you will have some time to become acclimated with the chapter members, attend sorority events and learn more about the organization. An older chapter member (also called an "active") will serve as your sponsor (sometimes called a "Big Sister") during this time. Following this probationary period (the time length varies by sorority), you will be initiated as a lifetime member! During initation, you will learn sorority knowledge known only to initiated members!

Sorority Recruitment is the beginning to finding your sorority "home." Best of luck to you on your journey! If you're considering sorority membership, but you're not really sure if it is right for you (the members, membership requirements, dues, your age, your class rank, the time commitment, etc.), recruitment is the PERFECT opportunity to make that determination. If you're at least a bit curious about joining a sorority or seeing what sororities are all about, I highly recommend going through recruitment! Going through recruitment does not commit you to joining a sorority. So register with your university's recruitment and enjoy a great week of getting to know some amazing women on your campus!

Below are NPC Recruitment tips compiled from past Greek Chat threads…


CONTENTS
* CALL THE OFFICE OF GREEK LIFE
* I’M ON THE PHONE WITH THE OFFICE OF GREEK LIFE. WHAT DO I ASK?
* FILL OUT YOUR RECRUITMENT APPLICATION
* CONTACT WITH SORORITIES BEFORE/DURING RECRUITMENT
* CLEAN UP YOUR ONLINE PROFILES AND DO NOT VOICE ANY EARLY PREFERENCES OR NEGATIVE OPINIONS ABOUT THE SORORITIES
* DUES
* GRADES! GRADES! GRADES!
* YEAR IN SCHOOL
* SPONSORS, LEGACIES, REFERENCES, RECOMMENDATIONS AND MORE
* WHAT DO I WEAR?
* RECRUITMENT COUNSELORS & PRE-RECRUITMENT EVENTS
* I MIGHT NEED TO MISS A DAY OF RECRUITMENT...
* WHAT DO I DO AND SAY AT A RECRUITMENT EVENT (RUSH PARTY)?
* HOW DO I LEARN ABOUT SORORITY REPUTATIONS? WHAT ARE THE STEREOTYPES?
* RECRUITMENT ETIQUETTE 101
* WHAT ARE MY CHANCES? A WORD ABOUT INCREASING YOUR CHANCES AT RECRUITMENT AND "WHAT ARE MY CHANCES" THREADS
* ABOUT CUTS
* I KEEP CUTTING A PARTICULAR SORORITY, BUT THEY KEEP INVITING ME BACK. WHAT GIVES?
* SHOULD I GO THROUGH RECRUITMENT AGAIN?
* I’M STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL OR I’M NOT RUSHING FOR MANY
MONTHS. WHAT CAN I DO TO PREPARE FOR RECRUITMENT NOW?
* WHAT IF I PLAY A SPORT/BAND, OR I'M AN ENGINEERING/PERFORMANCE ARTS MAJOR? CAN I JOIN?
* DO I NEED TO BE A CERTAIN RACE OR RELIGION TO JOIN?
* I'M AN UPPERCLASSMAN OR "OLDER" OR A NONTRADITIONAL STUDENT. SHOULD I EVEN TRY?
* I'M A GUY CONSIDERING FRATERNITY LIFE. DO THESE SAME RULES APPLY?
* I'M A GRADUATE STUDENT. IS IT TOO LATE TO JOIN A SORORITY?
* MY SCHOOL DOESN'T HAVE SORORITIES/DOESN'T HAVE THE SORORITY I THINK I LIKE BEST... CAN I STILL JOIN?
* I'M A PARENT OF A PNM. HELP!
* GREEK CHAT ETIQUETTE 101
* THERE'S MORE TO BEING GREEK THAN BEING IN A SORORITY!
* LIFE AFTER RECRUITMENT, BID DAY, LIVING-IN, TIME COMMITTMENTS AND MORE (including information about social events and alcohol)

CALL THE OFFICE OF GREEK LIFE
Please consult your university's Office of Student Activities/Greek Life or Campus Panhellenic for anything and everything related to sorority recruitment at your university! Don’t rely solely on Greek Chat for information. Advice you receive on Greek Chat is to be taken at your own risk. Your university is the best source, so call them up.

A phone call is better than an email.

Greek Chat is a great resource to connect with Greeks and those interested in Greek Life, but ultimately, the dress code for recruitment, requirements for recruitment, etc., that are unique to your campus, and any questions you have about recruitment need to be answered by the SOURCE-- the Greek Life office/Campus Panhellenic.

This means that perceptions of chapters of sororities, the recruitment process, etc., that you hear on GC or any other internet source, should be not be regarded as the gosh-honest truth and end-all for answers you might seek.

I’M ON THE PHONE WITH THE OFFICE OF GREEK LIFE. WHAT DO I ASK?
1) How do I register for recruitment?

These days, most of this takes place via online registration. There may be a fee associated with registration. Some schools offer a discount if you register early!

2) When is recruitment? Ask yourself if these dates conflict with your move-in dates, orientation or class schedule.

If you are living on campus, call university housing! Most residence halls will let you move in early if you are going through recruitment that is being held before school starts or during a school break. Schedule your lease accordingly if you are living off-campus. If you have already signed lease off-campus, you may need to crash with friends or make hotel arrangements during recruitment.

If recruitment is being held concurrent with classes, you may have a scheduling conflict. Academics come first and you can be excused from recruitment events without penalty if you have class! Just make sure you alert the Campus Panhellenic.

3) What sororities are represented on campus? Do the groups have Web sites?

4) How much are dues?

Sorority membership means paying monthly or semesterly fees.
Sorority dues may include paying for the following: meals, social activities, formals and date parties, recruitment, house upkeep/housing fund/use of facilities, national dues, philanthropy donations, etc. Find out what the dues are and get specific answers!

Ask them, on average, how much are membership dues? What do they cover? Can you provide me with a document showing the dues breakdowns for each chapter for a new member? Which is the most expensive sorority? Which is the least expensive? What does the most expensive include that the least does not? The costs will be explained during recruitment, but it is really important to get a ballpark idea ahead of time before you get your heart set on joining and then realize you can't afford to do it. You may also be robbing another girl who can meet the financial commitment of a spot and the sorority of a member if you don't have this honest assessment ahead of time.


For example, your social events will be included in the cost of membership. Yet costs will vary. Also, sororities that have chapters houses will have "parlor fees" factored into dues to pay for the house's upkeep in addition to the residents' rent; a chapter without a house may not have this fee. However, an unhoused chapter may have a housing fund that you may need to contribute to with the intent that they will eventually purchase a house. Additionally, a more expensive chapter may cost more because there is a mandatory meal plan-- which means you'll save money by being on their plan as opposed to spending that money on groceries or the university plan. Also, consider there are little extras not typically included in your dues like event t-shirts, photos, and other sorority swag.

It is so important to determine ahead of time if you are prepared to handle the financial responsibility of membership. You cannot be a member of a sorority without timely paying your dues, and most new members must make an initial payment within days of pledging to secure their spots, just like a seat deposit at a college. Payment plans are available, of course, dependent upon the sorority and the member's situation, but do your homework ahead of time. Nothing is more heartbreaking than getting your bid and then realizing you can't afford to be a member. So ask the tough questions about dues to the Greek Life office before recruitment week, and figure out what things cost and how you will pay for them.

5) Does every sorority have a sorority house or residence? Is there a live-in requirement or meal plan requirement at any of the sororities?

Consider whether or not you will want to live in a sorority residence or be held to a meal plan when you're going through recruitment. There are pros and cons to living and and being on a meal plan. Please keep in mind that living in comes with a set of rules, like no alcohol in the house, no males allowed in the back bedrooms, quiet hours, meals, and sharing a room with others. Also keep in mind that a meal plan and/or living in can also be significantly cheaper than university meal plans other on campus/off campus housing options. And it goes without saying that sharing meals and living together means you will grow even closer to your new sisters and friends.

6) On average, how long is the new member education period before you become initiated?

7) Are there any specific GPA requirements to be considered for membership in each sorority?

Your university may set a minimum GPA for students to participate in campus activities like recruitment, but the actual sororities will have their own membership GPA requirements well above this minimum. A national sorority may require a minimum GPA for its members to maintain, but a chapter of that sorority can (and often does) set its own requirements well above that minimum as a cut-off for requirement.

It is extremely important to come into recruitment with a strong GPA. Most initial cuts are made on the basis of GPA. If you have lower grades (the definition of "lower grades" varies by campus), know going in to expect heavy cuts from the sororities. "Grade risks" who fall below the sorority's GPA requirements are sometimes taken, but they are the exception and not the rule. As a general matter, don't think you'll be the exception in any case and manage your expectations accordingly.

8) How should I dress for the recruitment events?

This varies from campus to campus. Some are more casual; others are very dressy. Regardless, as a standard rule Recruitment gets progressively dressier with each round.

9) What goes on at recruitment events? How does it work?

10) Do the sororities tend to receive many recommendation letters from their alumnae, endorsing prospective members going through recruitment?

Please note that recommendations are not required to go through recruitment and having recommendations or being a legacy (having special status through a relative who is a member) does not guarantee you a bid, but if the sororities provide information about where to send recommendations on their websites/Panhellenic advises you that most PNMs have recommendations, you need to get them for every sorority at your school. (More information about that below.) If there's nothing really about recs at your school, don't worry about this.

There's a thread in this forum about schools where recs are important. See if your school is included. We'll talk more about how to obtain recommendations further down in this post.

11) If you are an upperclassman, ask if there is a separate upperclassman quota. (Quota is the maximum number of membership invitations that can be extended by each sorority during recruitment. It is calculated by taking the number of women attending the last round of recruitment by the number of sororities. If 100 women attend the last round of recruitment and there are 5 sororities, each sorority will extend 20 bids. Some schools have a second quota for upperclassmen, which may be beneficial if you are an upperclassman because the sororities will have more spots available.)

If you're not an incoming freshman/first semester eligible PNM for schools with deferred recuitment, ask if there is a dual quota or separate quota for upperclassmen. This can increase your chances of getting a bid if you're an upperclassman at a school with a very competitive recruitment (e.g., SEC school). Even if there is not, some sororities may still be open to upperclassman. Either way, it helps to know what you're up against.

12) What is your best advice for someone who is interested in joining a sorority?

My best advice is: Get to know your campus. If it is home to a "competitive" sorority recruitment, such as an SEC school, most Texas schools, U of Southern California, etc., you have more work to do. At others, not so much. At any school, however, membership will be a really great experience, so look at your campus and decide how much prep you require to put your best foot forward. It is my opinion that the girls who are usually the most successful in recruitment are freshmen with strong high school GPAs and extracurricular involvement, who have recommendations for each sorority, and who present themselves positively through their conversations, dressing appropriately for the events and attending their recruitment parties with a positive attitude and an open mind to each and every sorority. This doesn't mean you can't get a sorority bid if you are an upperclassmen or without recommendations because campuses and individual chapter needs vary. If your school isn't known for requiring recommendations, then don't worry about it. If your school typically recruits a ton of juniors as members, don't stress about your year in school.

If your GPA is abysmal, no matter what school you attend, you probably won't be as successful in recruitment, however.

Ask around at your school to learn the Greek culture.

And, the next most important piece of advice. Keep an open mind that you could fit into any of the groups. Read this story. This PNM treated every chapter with respect and felt she could be happy with any of the chapters. That's the attitude!


FILL OUT YOUR RECRUITMENT APPLICATION
When you fill out your application, make sure you provide accurate information about yourself, as the Office of Greek Life will verify your transcripts, GPA and SAT/ACT scores before passing a copy of your recruitment application on to the sororities so they have an idea of who you are. If you are an upperclassman, they will verify your most recent cumulative college GPA.

Be sure to list all your extracurricular involvement from high school (and college, if applicable), as well as community service and special interests, skills or talents.

You may be asked to submit a social resume and transcripts along with your recruitment application. This resume should not be more than 1-2 pages and includes the following info:

Your name
Contact info (permanent and school address, phone, email)
HS attended/Year graduated/GPA
SAT/ACT scores
Year in school (college)
List any colleges attended and years of attendance
college GPA
Major/Minor
Honors/Scholarships/Awards (HS/College/Community)
Extracurriculars/School Activities (HS/College/Community)

Do not put your SSN on any of these social resumes!

Here's a link to a model social resume that you can use if you'd like an example of how one is laid out.


One more thing. Your application may inquire as to whether you have any Sorority family members. It is your choice whether or not you would like this information to be known by all of the sororities. Personally, I think you are better off leaving this part blank (while letting any Greek family members send recommendations to the sororities directly). The reason I say you may want to keep this information private from the other sororities is to maximize your options. If you have relatives in ABC sorority, you may choose to keep this information to yourself and the ABCs, so that the other sororities don't think you're biased toward ABC only and drop you based on such assumptions (regardless of whether or not that is true. I have seen women with "legacy" status get dropped by other sororities for no reason other than such assumptions, and it really isn't fair to the PNM). Regardless of whether to publicize your sorority relationships, if you have any, you should ask your sorority relatives to send a letter or official sorority form, to the collegiate chapter of their sorority at your college to announce you as a legacy and/or to endorse you through a recommendation or reference. There's more on these references below and how to obtain them, whether or not you have sorority relatives. At some schools (most notably the SEC schools, Texas, and Southern schools),such references can play a very important role in early cuts in the recruitment process. Having legacy status or having references doesn't guarantee a membership bid, but having references can be very important at some schools.


CONTACT WITH SORORITIES BEFORE/DURING RECRUITMENT
Sorority recruitment follows a strict set of rules to ensure fairness and to give every PNM the opportunity to get to know the sororities on campus. Outside of actual sorority recruitment, Sorority women may not have phone conversations, written contact, or internet contact (email, instant messenger, etc.) or arranged meetings with Potential New Members for the purpose of acquainting them with their sorority.

Sorority women are trained on the rules and should not be "dirty rushing" you. You won't get in trouble if this happens, but they and their sorority can get in trouble for breaking the rules. No one can promise you a bid until Bid Day! And, during recruitment sororities must observe "strict silence" and are not permitted to be in contact with PNMs outside of recruitment events. The idea is to keep the process fair.

All this talk about dirty rushing and strict silence doesn't mean you can't befriend a sorority woman or hang out at her sorority house or talk about going Greek or recruitment. It just means that she and her sisters shouldn't be doing anything outside of recruitment events to promote their organization to you as the only one you should join or make any promises about receiving a bid... especially in the summer before your formal recruitment... or in the semester before if your university has a deferred formal recruitment. There should be zero contact during recruitment week outside of recruitment events for the purpose of recruitment talk or activities. Other than this period, it is perfectly ok to talk about Greek Life, recruitment, school and be friends, attend events, hang out at the chapter house with her, etc., together as friends.

It is also a very good idea to network with Greeks so that they know who you are once recruitment rolls around. If you're an upperclassman, get involved on campus and represent yourself well. If you're in high school, keep in touch with older friends who have gone away to school and possibly joined sororities. It helps to know people who can talk you up to their sisters!



CLEAN UP YOUR ONLINE PROFILES & KEEP YOUR OPINIONS ABOUT SORORITIES TO YOURSELF
Don't tempt yourself by contacting sorority women via social media on Facebook, Twitter, etc., or via email.

Sorority women will be checking out your online profiles. Put your profiles on private or do a massive clean-up, including any comments posted by your friends, comments you have made on your friends’ pages, your groups, your photos, etc. Use good grammar and spelling.

Very important advice: Never say "I'm rushing for XYZ sorority only" in real life or online. The truth is that if you are going through formal recruitment, you are "rushing" for all of them. Identifying early preference on the internet or in real life can actually lead to you being cut from sororities who think you have already written them off, and being cut by the one you like for being pretentious! Go into recruitment with an open mind to all of the chapters on your campus.

On Greek Chat: If you decide to post your recruitment story, consider posting it after the fact to maintain your anonymity during your recruitment. In fact, the fewer identifying details you reveal about yourself on GC, the better off you may be during recruitment. It is a great idea to read some past recruitment story threads to get a feel for what recruitment will be like.

In summary, consider discretion on the internet as one of the ways you improve your chances of getting into a sorority!!!

And in case I wasn't clear enough, here's a great example of someone who talked about "rushing only" for specific sororities and how that came back to hurt her in recruitment. You cannot go into recruitment having verbally declared your intent to join only one or a set few sororities or trash talking. Think it in your head if you must, but do not verbalize it or communicate it in any way. You're pretty much guaranteed to have it end badly.

DUES
Sororities are non-profit organizations that operate through membership dues and donations. As a collegiate member, you will have annual dues that you will be expected to pay. The costs and a breakdown of what your dues go toward will be explained to you at recruitment.

Make sure you can afford dues if you’re joining a sorority. The Office of Greek Life will have the stats on dues. Figure out if you are paying for it on your own, getting support from family, etc. Make sure you have a financial plan before you make the commitment!

The first semester or quarter as a new member is the most expensive, with one time new member fees paid to the national HQ and the mandatory purchase of a sorority badge. This is a financial commitment, and although chapters can put you on individualized payment plans, typically you have the option to pay annually, semesterly or more often- monthly.

In many cases, you will have to put down anywhere from $50-$250 within a few days of pledging for your initial new member dues.

Talk to your parents about your interest in sorority membership. It helps when your parents support your goals, and they may also be able to help you with your financial commitment to the sorority. Otherwise, consider getting a job in the summer time or working part time during the school year.

There is a running joke that being in a sorority is "paying for your friends," but in reality you're paying for social activities, use of the facilities (chapter housing), recruitment efforts, retreats, meals, etc. Sorority membership is a financial commitment, so please do your financial homework to determine if this is something that is right for you.

GRADES! GRADES! GRADES!
Sororities have GPA requirements. Many of these are set by their inter/national headquarters as a basic minimum, but many collegiate chapters set their own minimums well above this requirement.

While there is a minimum GPA set by the university just to attend recruitment events, there are usually higher, separate GPA requirements from each sorority chapter to even be considered for a sorority bid to membership. Ask the Office of Greek Life for details.

Seriously reconsider recruitment if you have less than a 3.0 GPA. Recruitment is a fast-paced week and often your application speaks volumes for you. By the time you get to the recruitment events, it's often a matter of seeing if the women who looked good on paper will click well with the sororities in person. There's really nothing you can do to overcome a low GPA when there are 100 or more women vying for the same new member spots who do have the grades. Don't let this discourage you from going through recruitment, but be prepared that your grades are likely to account for heavy cuts early on in the process. Sororities want to recruit members who have proven themselves academically.

If you have close to a 3.0 and you're at a school where recruitment is not as competitive, you may have a chance if the all sorority GPA or chapter GPA is at or less than a 3.0. Even that being said, don't rush if you are barely pulling over a 2.5. Again, take this with a grain of salt and consult the campus Greek Adviser to determine if any women have been bid recently with lower GPAs. Our experience is that is not the norm; and most girls who get in with low grades are the exception due to having cured cancer, celebrity status or being BFFs with the entire chapter before recruitment begins.


In the early rounds of recruitment, you will attend parties at every sorority. The first round of cuts is typically due to grades and your year in school, depending on the university’s sorority culture.

To get an idea of grades, even if your school has a less competitive recruitment, you can search online to see if there are any statistics on the semester average GPAs for each sorority at your school. New members typically come in with higher grades. See if there is a new member GPA breakdown by sorority. Some sororities may take "grade risks," but these are the exception and not the rule. Don't expect to be the exception to minimize disappointments.

YEAR IN SCHOOL
It is very important to note that the tone of your recruitment CAN be predetermined not only by your GPA, but also your year in school (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior). Some chapters at some campuses may prefer to recruit more underclassmen than upperclassmen. At others this is of less importance.

Recruitment is a mutual selection process. Many early “cuts” from sororities during this process are due to your GPA and your year in school. Don’t take this personally if you are a junior or transfer, but be prepared for this possibility. At some schools' recruitments, your year in school won't matter at all and at others it will. Talk to people on your campus to get a feel for the sorority culture.

Some schools have a separate upperclassman quota. At others upperclassmen are "free" and not part of the quota cap that each sorority can bid. At most, all PNMs are grouped together and there is a single quota that comprises how many new members can be bidded at each sorority (they take the number of women attending the last round of parties and divide that by the number of sororities participating in recruitment; e.g., if there are 100 women at the last round and 5 sororities, each sorority has a quota of 20 and can issue 20 invitations).

Whether there is an upperclassman quota or not, there are no guarantees in recruitment and you should put your best foot forward no matter what. If you are the least bit curious about sorority life, recruitment is the only way to get a bid. So give it a try regardless! As an upperclassman, you can point out how many more years you will be at school if your studies require you to be there for 3-5 more years!

Graduate students are not eligible to join most NPC sororities.

SPONSORS, LEGACIES, REFERENCES, RECOMMENDATIONS AND MORE
A Reference/Recommendation (“Rec”) is an official sorority form filled out by a member of that sorority and submitted to the sorority at your university. A rec is a positive endorsement by a member for you to be considered for membership. The form will include information about your grades, extracurriculars, etc. Sorority members can access the rec form via their sorority web site or quarterly sorority magazine. Once it is completed, the member submits it to the sorority via mail or online.

The sorority member who sends in your rec for you is known as your sponsor.
Usually, recommendations come from alumnae members. These sororities also allow collegiate members to write recommendations, but you can't get a rec from a member who is currently an active member at the school where you are rushing (but she may be able to connect you with alumnae who can assist you!).

The best choice for a sponsor is someone who has a personal connection to you, like a teacher, relative or family friend who is a member of that sorority. If this is not possible, an information-only recommendation from a member is sufficient. At the end of the day, a recommendation is just a bit of paperwork that can help the members of a sorority take an interest in you before they meet you.

Please note: Having a recommendation does not guarantee you a bid.
But without a rec at schools where you absolutely, positively need recs you will risk even heavier cuts in the early rounds. It is critical to get recs if you'll be attending an SEC school or most Texas schools. Don't think to yourself, "Well, I only need recs for the sororities I think I might be most interested in joining." Get recs for EVERY sorority at your campus if you're going into a traditionally competitive recruitment. You might not think you like a chapter before recruitment and decide it's not worth getting a rec, but you're virtually guaranteeing being cut from them at those competitive recruitments and what happens if you change your mind after meeting them during recruitment and you loved them?

How do I find a sponsor? This is the part of pre-recruitment preparation that takes the most effort! To find sorority sponsors, start by contacting everyone you know—men and women. Sorority women are everywhere: relatives, family friends, teachers, employers, church members, relatives/girlfriends/colleagues of men you know, etc. You may think you don't know anyone, but you'd be surprised!

Here is a great post from someone who had no Greek relatives or friends, yet managed to secure dozens of recs with hard work and perseverance!


Once you find a sponsor for one sorority, tell her the others that are on your list and see if she has any contacts. Chances are that she can connect you with other alumnae of other sororities!

Post on Facebook, twitter, email people, and get your friends, family and teachers to ask around for you. You and your friends and parents can also search each sorority national facebook page to see if there is anyone you know who may be an alumna.

If you have friends who are rushing, you can help one another! Get your mom and other female family members to ask around as well to their friends, family, co-workers, etc.

Another great resource are your hometown’s Alumnae Panhellenic Association (www.npcwomen.org) and individual sorority alumnae associations in your area. These organizations may be able to assist you in locating sorority alumnae members who may be willing to help you secure those recommendations. In the south, especially, the Alumnae Panhellenic groups live for recruitment and spend all spring and summer assisting with recommendations! Contact them!

The Alumnae Panhellenic may require you to register with them. There is no fee to register with them, and they can provide you with some resources to help you prepare for recruitment. Your hometown Alumnae Panhellenic may even host a Recruitment 101-type forum where you can learn about recruitment and recommendations.


Please know that registering with your hometown Alumnae Panhellenic does not register you for recruitment with your university. The two are separate activities and you must register with your university's Office of Greek Life/Panhellenic Council if you intend to go through recruitment.

Google "Alumnae Panhellenic" and your hometown to find the local alumnae pan! It is also okay if your metro city area has more than one alumnae panhellenic, and you utilize multiple alumnae pan's! Just let them know! Some may have representatives of a particular sorority you needs recs for and others may not.

You may live in an area where Greek Life is not such a big deal and where you are finding outdated websites for Alumnae Panhellenic groups and sorority alumnae associations. Reach out and if no one in your area is responding to your requests, cast a wider geographic net and contact Alumnae Panhellenics and individual sorority alumnae associations in neighboring metro areas and so on until you make contact and secure a sponsor.

Finding sponsors and obtaining recommendations takes work, so start EARLY the semester before you rush. For fall PNM's, start in spring semester, as most groups have an early July deadline to receive recs.

How to ask for a recommendation: Once you find a potential sponsor, call her or email her to introduce yourself and to ask for her assistance. Explain that you are going through sorority recruitment and you are requesting assistance in securing a recommendation for her sorority. Ask if she would be be willing to submit a recommendation on your behalf and/or to connect you with other alumnae. Once you develop a rapport, you can also ask her if she has any sorority alumnae connections to other sororities for which you require a recommendation. Be sure to thank her for her time and promptly follow up if she has any questions or requires your resume, transcripts, address for the sorority, etc. Check in with her once recruitment is over to let her know if or where you pledged, even if it is not her sorority (or a sorority at all).

Who can be my sponsor? Your search for sponsors is limited only to members of those organizations that are represented at your college. Your sponsor needs only to be a member in good standing of that sorority, and not necessarily an alumna of your same university. A member of "ABC" sorority who attended Boston University can certainly write your recommendation for ABC sorority at Bama!

If you're still deciding where to attend university next year, and you have it down to a few schools, identify all of the sororities at those schools and get the references for them. Your sponsor for ABC at State U can also send a reference for ABC to Rural College, if you haven't yet made up your mind.


Remember that although some sororities allow collegiate members to be sponsors,
sororities will not accept a recommendation from a collegiate member of the chapter you are rushing at. This is because she will be a voting sister at membership selection and can endorse you to her sisters throughout recruitment.


Can a non-sorority member send a recommendation to the sorority for me? No. Don't waste your time and a non-member's time. Find sponsors who are members of that sorority.

I found a sponsor. Now what?
Once you have secured a sponsor, provide them with a copy of your social resume, photos (classy headshot and full body shot are preferred; these don't need to be professional photos), transcripts, or other materials to them in the manner in wish they wish to receive them. Research the address for the sorority to which the recommendation should be sent and provide that to the sponsor as well.

Should I get more than one sponsor per sorority? In addition to this reference/recommendation, additional members can submit letters of support on your behalf. These letters should be 1-2 pages max, and help to paint a more well-rounded picture of who you are (more so than having 4 people fill out the same recommendation form with the same information about your grades and activities!). At most schools, this is not necessary. If you are attending an SEC or a school that is known for a competitive sorority recruitment system, you might be advised to have more than one sponsor per sorority.

Why should I have a recommendation? Having a recommendation in a competitive recruitment levels the playing field because virtually every PNM has them; some women may be automatically cut at these competitive schools simply because they don’t have a recommendation.

Most campuses will stress that if a sorority requires a recommendation as a condition of membership, they will take the steps to secure a rec for you. This is true; however, there is an unwritten rule at certain schools that a PNM is less competitive without a rec. Don't risk being cut on a technicality. At those schools, there are hundreds of women with outstanding grades and resumes. The sororities must make cuts somehow. Recs can help you to navigate these cuts, but there are no guarantees, and having a rec to a sorority does not mean you will receive a bid or an invitation to the next round.

How do I know if need recs? Ask around at your university to get an idea of the norm for your campus. If all of the PNMs typically have recs, you need to make sure you stay competitive and secure them, too. If recs aren't too common at your school, it could be to your benefit to get them because it will get your name out to the sororities in a positive way prior to recruitment. With respect to recommendations, you should find out the norm for your campus and follow suit. Also, read this list where Greek Chat has compiled a list of schools where recs are necessary.

What is a Legacy?: If your mother, grandmother or sister is a sorority woman, this means you may have special status with their sororities as a "legacy". These women should write a letter of introduction and send it directly to the chapter of the sorority at your school on your behalf. If your legacy relative is deceased, contact the national headquarters of her sorority to find out if you can submit this form on your own, or if another member of the sorority may do it.

Please note: Being a legacy does not guarantee you a bid from your legacy sorority.

Whether a sorority member is sending a legacy introduction form, a letter of support or a recommendation/reference form on your behalf, they should send it directly to the chapter of the sorority at the college where you are rushing. Get started early on the task of securing recommendations; some sororities may have a deadline as early as July 1 to receive those recommendations so that they can process them.

Make sure to send a formal thank-you note to your sponsors and to follow-up with them once recruitment has concluded! Whether or not you join their sorority, they will be pleased to hear from you and know how things turned out, even if you did not join a sorority at all.

Ideally, as soon as you know where you're going to college, you should start thinking about how to locate sorority recommendations. If you are an upperclassman, get started at the middle or end of the spring semester (if recruitment will be held the following fall).


IMPORTANT: Please don't post "I'm looking for a rec" in multiple forums on Greek Chat. Go through the normal channels and seek out personal contacts among your social circle. ** Don't PM me asking for a rec. **


WHAT DO I WEAR?
Attire at recruitment events varies from school to school. Talk to the Office of Greek Life at your university for suggestions. Many schools publish a slideshow of recommended attire on their Greek Life web sites.

Typically, recruitment gets progressively dressier with each round. Some tips:

1) Check with your university and plan accordingly. Depending on where you are geographically, you may dress a little more conservatively, casual or trendy-- but keep it classy and modest. You are dressing for the girls, remember, not flirting with boys. Or as I once told a group of Texas-area high school seniors interested in recruitment, “Keep your boobs, butt, thighs and belly button tucked into your clothes!” Ok, so their parents thought that was a hoot… But it’s still good advice to follow!

2) Do mom and dad (or your wallet) a favor: look through your closet before you hit the department stores.

But... this is a great time to add an all-black dress and shoes AND an all-white dress and shoes to your wardrobe. These are wardrobe staples for most sorority members throughout the year, and the white ensemble can be very challenging to find for purchase after Labor Day.


3) Shoes should coordinate with what you’re wearing, but be warned that you will be walking and standing a lot. Break in those shoes before Recruitment!

4) Jewelry should be minimal. Think about wearing a signature piece throughout the week that makes you memorable, or something with a story behind it (makes for a great conversation).

5) Avoid wearing anything that shows subtle preference for the same sorority everyday: take note of each organizations’ colors, mascot, flower, etc.

6) Make-up and hair should be natural-looking and normal for who you are.

7) You won’t be taking a purse or cell phone into the sorority houses, so pack light. Just bring your keys, phone, minimal cash and student ID. Maybe some face powder or lip gloss. Your personal items will be guarded by a member of the Recruitment Team when you’re at an event.

Recruitment is a bit like a job interview. No matter if the general recruitment attire is casual or very dressy, you want to look clean and presentable. Some additional thoughts

RECRUITMENT COUNSELORS & PRE-RECRUITMENT EVENTS
Once you get to "actual" recruitment, there will be a specially trained representative of the sorority community assigned to you as a counselor and guide. She's disaffiliated from her own Greek organization temporarily to be your own objective guide to recruitment and a friend to you. Most campuses have a kick-off event the day before recruitment begins-- you'll get to meet your recruitment counselor during this time, and she'll be able to answer any additional questions that may come up. You'll also meet other prospective members at this kick-off and get a feel for how recruitment works. She’ll also watch your stuff when you are in the sorority events! Feel free to ask her any questions you may have about recruitment and the sororities. She will do her best to find you the answers.

What is meant by "Disaffiliation": Your recruitment counselor is not part of the membership selection process for her sorority. She has been selected by the campus Panhellenic based on her interest and possibly an interview process, to serve in the role of Recruitment Counselor. The sororities are not permitted to be in contact with her throughout recruitment, no matter what. The sororities will actually be penalized if this promise is breached, so everyone takes the Recruitment Counselor's role and her disaffiliation seriously. She may not wear her letters or reveal what sorority she is in or have any contact with her chapter during recruitment. This allows you, the PNM, to have someone to lean on who is not biasing you toward a particular sorority, and instead, to help you remain objective, optimistic and informed about the process. On Bid Day, the Recruitment Counselors will reveal their affiliations to all of the PNMs and they will rejoin their sororities with their new members to be welcomed home!

I MIGHT NEED TO MISS A DAY OF RECRUITMENT...
If you have an emergency that requires you to leave recruitment-- contact your recruitment counselor as soon as you are able! This emergency doesn't have to mean that you can't receive a bid to membership. Extenuating circumstances do occur.

Or if you have a conflict with a recruitment party or an entire day (school band practice, orientation, etc.), tell your recruitment counselor when you meet her at Greek Orientation, the day before recruitment begins. Make sure it is an "excused absence" by going with her to talk to a member of the Panhellenic Executive Board.

If you are late to a recruitment event or you miss a day of recruitment without an excused absence, you can and may be cut from the houses whose parties you missed, and possibly the entire recruitment. Be on time and get those absences excused through the proper channels!

One thing to note: some schools host recruitment around a school break, so many schools will not have class scheduling conflicts. However, some will have recruitment when classes are going on. Check with your Panhellenic at your university to see if this affects you.

In addition, don't worry about scheduling conflicts that involve recruitment events for one sorority versus another sorority during formal recruitment. At formal recruitment, Panhellenic organizes the events. This means you will never be in the position of having a scheduling conflict between sororities at a formal recruitment.

WHAT DO I DO AT A RECRUITMENT EVENT (RUSH PARTY)?
When you attend formal recruitment events, you will have a specific schedule of times and places to be each day. There will be other PNM's at these parties.

Usually, your recruitment counselors will line you up (sometimes by alphabetical order so they know everyone is there!) and then the doors to the sorority house will open and you will be greeted by the sorority women-- they might be clapping, smiling, cheering or even singing a song to welcome you. Smile back and have fun!

PNM's will all be invited into the house. The moment you enter a sorority house, you will be paired with a sorority woman who will be your guide for the event. You'll get to know one another, meet other sorority women and PNM's at the party, you'll learn about the chapter, and you may quickly see you are being asked the same questions over and over by different people. Grin and bear it. You may have told someone your hometown and major for the 20th time that day, but it’s still news to the person you have just met.

Smile – it makes you appear interested — and shake hands when invited to do so!

Conversation at recruitment events varies. Just go with the flow. The sorority sister "rushing" you has been trained on the fine art of recruitment conversation and will probably take the lead. You are her guest and she will make an extra-special effort to make you feel at home, educate you about her sorority and get you excited about it, as well as coax you into talking about yourself and your interests. Have fun! Sometimes straying off topic from sorority programs to an animated discussion about careers or your favorite handbags is going to happen! That's great. You want to develop a rapport with the sorority members so you can increase your chances of being invited back to the sorority!

It will probably be very loud at these parties because there are so many people talking! Speak up!

It’s very much ok to tell the sorority members that you like their sorority or you are having a great time with them! And if you’re nervous or shy, it’s very much ok to tell them that, too, so they can help put you at ease. You are their guest and regardless of whether you are destined to be a sister at this chapter, they want you have a great time at their event!

Each day at recruitment, there will likely be a theme. Usually, the members at each sorority will be dressed similiarly so you can distinguish sisters from PNM's. A sample recruitment week might look like this:
Day 1: Greek Preview (meet your recruitment counselor and fellow PNMs!)
Day 2: Ice Water Social/School Spirit Day (meet with all of the sororities. Traditionally, everyone will serve ice water as the major refreshment! As the week goes on you may also have snacks and sodas, etc.)
Day 3: Philanthropy Day (Meet with fewer sororities, learn more about them and their community involvement. This event may include a simple craft project related to their pet charity. Don't worry if you're not a master artist! You aren't being judged on how well you can color! It's just an activity to help you get to know one another!)
Day 4: Skit Night/Video Day (meet with even fewer sororities than yesterday! The sororities might perform a skit about their sisterhood which includes acting, singing and dancing. Or they might show a slideshow or video about themselves. This is usually a really fun day!)
Day 5: Preferentials. (Also called Prefs, you'll attend events at only a few sororities today. This is a more serious day, and you'll be ranking the sororities for the final time after this event. The members may share testimonials about why they chose the sisterhood, read poems or sing sisterhood songs. This is usually a very beautiful and touching event which can bring a tear to your eye and a smile to your face at the same time!)
Day 6: Bid Day! (Recruitment concludes with Bid Day. On this day, membership invitations are handed out and you become a new sorority member!)

At some schools, there are so many sororities that one "day" of recruitment may actually be stretched over several days! So you may have 1-3 days of "Round 1" to accommodate meetings at all of the sororities! Each school is different, depending on the number of sororities represented on their campus.

QUESTIONS TO EXPECT (Practice answering these!)
1) Tell me about yourself.
2) How did you choose your major?
3) What are your hobbies?
4) What kind of community service have you done?
5) What prompted you to go through recruitment?
6) Why are you interested in joining a sorority?
7) Favorites: music, TV shows, movies, color/s, sports
8) Do you like to travel? Where have you traveled?
9) What did you do this summer?
10)What classes are you taking?
11)If you're a transfer, why did you transfer?
12)If you're a freshman, how did you choose this university?
13)If you're an upperclassman, why did you decide to rush this year? How many more years will you be in school?
14)What kinds of clubs were you involved with in high school?
15)Do you have any Greeks in your family?
16)How will you pay for dues if you join a sorority? (IE: Pay for yourself, parents are paying, etc.)
17)Where are you living this year?
18) What do you like to do for fun?


QUESTIONS TO ASK/POINTS TO MAKE
1) Tell me about your new member program.
2) What is a Big Sister/Little Sister? What is your Big/Little program like? Is there a special Big/Little revealing?
3) How do sorority members manage to balance school and sorority?
4) What is your academic program like?
5) How much of a time commitment is a sorority?
6) Tell me about your social events. What have some of your favorites been?
7) What happens during homecoming/Greek Week? How are the Greeks involved?
8) What are you looking for in a member?
9) Tell me about yourself. Why did you join XYZ? What is the best part about being an XYZ?
10)What is your favorite part about being Greek?
11)What does the sorority do to support your philanthropy?
12)How can a member get involved with the sorority? How do you get to be a sorority leader?
13)If there is a sorority house, is it mandatory to live in at some point? When? Are there mandatory meal plans? What are the costs associated with being in a sorority? What are the dues and what do they pay for? What is the best part about living in the chapter house/having a meal plan?
14) If you have a double major or situations where you are an upperclassman but will be at school longer than another 1 or 2 years, be sure to explain this! Many sororities can have a preference for those who will be at the university for a longer period of time-- ostensibly these PNMs are more of a "long-term investment" in chapter continuity and leadership. Make sure they know that yes, you are a junior, but you're here at College X for another 3 years b/c of your degree or other commitments.
15)Tell them about your campus involvement in high school/college. Sororities love leaders, athletes, dancers, singers, honor society members, etc.!

DON'T ASK
1) “Do you know so-and-so in your sorority?” Duh!
2) If you plan to name drop, stick to women you know in that sorority. Of course, if someone asks you, “Aren’t you so-and-so’s younger sister?” it is ok to say yes and be honest. Don’t dwell on other people—they want to know about YOU!
3) Be politically correct. You’re trying to gain entry into an exclusive organization. Stick to getting to know the members and the sorority’s values and activities. AND showing why you’d be a great addition. Partying and boys really don’t belong in a discussion about recruitment, although you may ask about social events.
4) Avoid the Yes/No questions or any close-ended questions. Keep the conversation going!
5) Forget the sob story about your grades or your year in school. Keep it positive. The individual sister you are talking to doesn't know your GPA off the top of her head, and she can’t reveal any of their membership selection policies to a nonmember.
6) Do not ask them any questions about what goes on during their membership initiations or sisterhood ceremonies. This is called "ritual" information. It is known only to initiated members, from the ceremonies themselves to the dress code at those events.
Overall.... Conversation is the heart and soul of recruitment! Click here for some more advice about recruitment conversation.

More on what to expect during recruitment parties and events:
Your goal at each sorority event is to meet as many sisters as possible and leave a favorable impression of yourself. You are also trying to gain an impression of the sorority by meeting many members.

Meeting multiple members will help you get a stronger feel for the chapter, and more of them will get an impression of you. As recruitment is a mutual selection, this only makes sense! In this spirit, the woman who greets you at the door may not be the person who bids you farewell at the end of the party. Don't feel like you're being abandoned if you get "passed off" so your recruiter can go off to talk with another PNM so you can talk with another sister. You want to meet lots of sisters! This will help you in making your decisions about the sororities and what chapters you could really "see" yourself being a member of!

Ranking the sororities
Once the day's recruitment events are over, you may be asked to rank your favorite sororities in order of your preference for them. Or you may receive a list of invites the next day and only be allowed to choose from a certain number of sororities to visit that day. It just depends on the university and how they conduct mutual selection.

After each round of recruitment, the sororities must cut or release a certain number of PNMs. Once these releases are made, your ranking is matched up and you get your schedule. PNMs don't get to cut sororities, but your interests are taken into consideration once the sorority has made its cuts. You may end up being invited to sororities you ranked very low, but you must attend the maximum number of parties you are invited to (unless you have an excused absence) or you will be released from recruitment entirely.

Think about the sorority women you are meeting, as well as the PNMs at the parties!
Each day look at the PNMs attending parties with you. These are potentially your future sisters, too, and you’ll have time to get to know them this week while waiting to get in line to enter the houses and while at the events!

The final ranking
Eventually you'll attend the last day of recruitment and do your final ranking. You will probably be asked to sign this card. This is like a contract, and this is an important final ranking-- list only those sororities that you would accept an invitation of membership from. Be prepared on Bid Day to open your Bid Card and see ANY of the sororities you ranked the night before. If you can't see yourself there, don't rank them.

Keep your phone handy after that final ranking and through the morning of Bid Day. Your recruitment counselor may need to reach you if you did not receive a bid. If all goes well, you won't get that phone call, which means you will participate in Bid Day when you receive your membership bid (invitation) to a sorority and join your new sisters in a special Bid Day celebration!


HOW DO I LEARN ABOUT SORORITY REPUTATIONS? WHAT ARE THE STEREOTYPES?

Recruitment may seem a bit too fast for you. How are you supposed to know where you are supposed to find a lifelong sisterhood based on a weeklong series of brief interviews with sorority members?

It’s not ideal. You think it might make more sense for you to have several weeks to meet with sorority women to get a better feel for them. In a perfect world, most people would agree with you. But formal recruitment is this way on every campus and it is the only time you will have an opportunity to be considered for membership in all of the sororities on your campus at one time. Following this period, individual sororities may recruit more informally and in a more natural setting than this “rush” of events, and you may find this more to your speed.

So how do you know what you’re getting yourself into? What are the stereotypes to avoid? The reputations to seek out? The BEST sororities on your campus?

National Reputation? A sorority as an national organization has several “chapters.” Each chapter operates according to the tenets of its national, but every chapter has its own unique local “feel.” The ABC’s at Big State U may not be the same kinds of ladies who might join ABC at PreppyTown College. So you really can’t go off of any kind of “national reputation” because each chapter is a little different.

The culture of a sorority chapter will definitely be something you will get a feel for after meeting only a handful of members from that chapter. Even though this culture exists, each member is unique and different—a sorority is composed of members from different backgrounds, races, beliefs, majors and hometowns. In a sorority, everyone comes together for a common cause. Some people find that they may click more with some sisters than others.

There are many people who find their best friends in their sorority, and sometimes even people you probably would not associate much with outside of your common link as sorority members. Such is par for the course when you are in any organization. And it is remarkable that once you are an alumna and join an alumnae association, you meet women who initiated at chapters all over the country—and similarly you will meet some new best friends and some people with whom you share less in common.

Local Opinions? And the opinions of people like fraternity members, non-Greeks or even sorority alumnae members of that university won’t be very helpful either. Everyone has a different opinion of which sorority is made up of the bookworms, hard core partiers, daddy’s girls, alternative chicks, etc. It is enough to make your head spin!

And then you’ll get to meet a member of XYZ. You have an impression in your mind based on all of the gossip. She is nothing like what you have imagined. And then you meet another of her sisters. And another. All of the stereotypes? They fly right out the window!

Every chapter has a definite feel to it. And as we said, that feel will vary between two chapters of the same sorority—depends on the campus and the members it attracts.


What’s the BEST sorority? It really is the one where you feel most at home, where you’ll be accepted on your best day and on your worst.

So unfortunately, you can’t judge a sorority based on someone else’s opinion of what their “reputation” might be. Recruitment is the perfect opportunity to see for yourself by meeting the members. So close off your ears to any gossip you hear from others about the chapters on your campus. As a sorority member, you spend a lot of time with the sisters. Would you rather join the "popular" clique simply because it is regarded as popular this semester, or the one where you'll actually enjoy your college experience and make lifelong friends? Remember that sororities experience growth and change every year because new members come in and old members graduate. When you join a sorority, you shape its growth simply by being there and being you. So join the one where you can be most like yourself. You'll make stronger friendships and feel truly at home.

To quote yet another Greek Chat member,
"Someone once told me that sororities are like individual people. You don't assume that all the people with the same name are the same, therefore you can't create a stereotype of every person with that name. People are different everywhere, sororities are different everywhere."

If you pledge a sorority, remember that being a new member is your opportunity to test the waters for 4-8 weeks. Do not initiate at the end of the new member period if you find that this choice is not right for you. You may not have another opportunity to join a sorority on your campus, depending on how competitive the Greek System is at your school, but it may be better to be unaffiliated than unhappy and paying dues to an organization you’re not getting much out of. Once you initiate, you are not eligible to join another national sorority. Ever. So take the time during your new member period to get to know your sisters by attending a few events outside of the mandatory weekly meetings.

RECRUITMENT ETIQUETTE 101
1) Beware of “Tent Talk”—gossiping about the sororities between events. You never know who is listening. If you hear a disturbing rumor about a sorority, consult your recruitment counselor

2) Take notes after you leave a recruitment event, recording observations. It will help you cull your list of options.

3) Recruitment is very fast-paced. Don’t forget to eat and stay hydrated!

4) Give your recruitment counselor a phone number you can be reached at in case of last-minute event changes.

5) Be on time! You can be cut from recruitment for being late or missing a day without first getting it approved through your counselor.

6) Be a gracious guest at the sorority events. Be polite. If offered a snack or drink at an event, accept.

7) Try not to use the bathroom during an event. It robs you of time you could be meeting sorority women. Go between parties. Some may think this is silly, but you have a limited time to make an impression. By all means-- If you gotta go, you gotta go. But make the most of in-between party potty breaks so you have optimum face time at recruitment parties.

8) Recruitment is just one week. It makes no sense to drop out in the middle. Sure you may have gotten dropped by a favorite chapter, but you still have other groups that are dying to wow you! You may love where you end up. Besides, do you really have anything better to do while all of your friends are going to recruitment events?

9) Be yourself. Recruitment is about making friends and you’re joining a sisterhood that will include people like YOU. If you’re not true to yourself, you won’t enjoy the sorority you end up joining. So ignore gossip about “top chapters” and stick to the chapters you find a rapport with.

10) Membership in a sorority is for a lifetime! Remember, if you accept a bid to a sorority, join and are fully initiated, you may not join another NPC sorority if you decide at some point to drop out of your sorority.

11) Did I mention writing a thank-you note to anyone who supported and helped you through recruitment?

12) Keep a clean online profile and a classy image in real life!

13) Maintain a contingency plan and seek out some activities that might interest you whether or not you join a sorority. College has a lot to offer!

14) Go into recruitment with an open mind and the mindset to like a few sororities each day, rather than committing to falling in love with "just one." You'll be a lot more well-adjusted than many of your peers if you commit to this mindset! Read this story for a great example of keeping an open mind!

15) Remember that the chapter of ABC sorority at City University may be very different from the chapter of ABC sorority at Rural College. Don't allow the reputation of a sorority chapter at another school cloud your judgement for the chapter of the sorority at your school. They may share identical rituals and sisterhood traditions, but the culture of each collegiate chapter is unique. Go into recruitment with an open mind and give all of the sororities a fair chance, just as you would want all of them to give you a fair chance to be considered for membership.

16) Keep in mind that you may not get your first choice sorority, and understand that if you don't accept the bid, you may not have another chance to be part of sorority life. Your chances of getting a bid are reduced with each progressive recruitment. Read this story for some inspiration on giving a second or third or fourth choice a fair chance. Remember, the sororities inviting you back WANT you. So figure out what they are seeing in you and see if you can find it in them, too. Look past what other PNMs are saying about the chapters and ask yourself what you see and how you feel in each one. Your impressions can be clouded by other people's words, or by a meeting with just ONE member who rubs you the wrong way or wows you entirely. Your sorority membership is not going to be based on another PNM or on a meeting with just one sorority woman. Look at the big picture and try to get an impression from as many members as possible over the entirety of recruitment week before you dismiss a chapter entirely.

17) In addition, you could conceivably fit into any of the chapters-- they have anywhere from 20-200 women. I'm pretty sure that if you're a halfway decent and amiable person, you can find a way to fit into a group of that size, aren't you? They all have socials events with fraternities. They all have a main philanthropy that they support, in addition to supporting other philanthropies of other orgs. They all have big/little sisters. They all have sisterhood events and rituals. They are all diverse organizations with something for everyone. And your membership is what you make of it.

18) If you don't get a bid, and you are still interested in sorority life, contact the office of Greek Life ASAP to register your interest so that sororities can contact you if they have any open spots or informal recruitment events later in the school year. The sororities will also advertise these opportunities.

WHAT ARE MY CHANCES? A WORD ABOUT INCREASING YOUR CHANCES AT RECRUITMENT AND "WHAT ARE MY CHANCES" THREADS

Soooo, what are my chances? DO NOT START "WHAT ARE MY CHANCES" THREADS ON GREEK CHAT. YOU RUN THE RISK OF BEING RIDICULED OR OUTED BASED ON THE INFORMATION YOU REVEAL ABOUT YOURSELF ONLINE. No one on GC can tell you what your chances are. Membership selection is private. Membership selection criteria are unique to each sorority. Membership selection may even vary between chapters of the same sorority. As a result, we won't speculate on your chances of getting a bid. We will tell you some common reasons people are cut, however: low GPA, upperclassman status, community reputation, for talking about not being open to all of the sororities, unexcused absences from recruitment, not attending the maximum number of parties to which you are invited, etc.

There are a few caveats. Remember that a low GPA at one school is not a low GPA at another; or that being an upperclassman at one school is not fatal in recruitment as it would be to another. Different chapters have different GPA requirements and different needs than their sister chapters at other schools. You can consult your school's recruitment statistics if they are available, or the chapter GPA distributions, if they are available, to see if you fall within them. Some schools have a separate upperclassman quota. Some schools pledge lots of upperclassmen.
And sometimes, someone who doesn't have the grades gets a bid... but those grade risks are the exception. They are not the rule. Don't go in thinking you are the exception and you'll save yourself a lot of disappointment.

Warning: It is a major faux paux to tell us you're interested in sorority ABC, XYZ, and DEF only because you can only "see" yourself there. As you have learned in reading this post, at recruitment you do not get to "cut" chapters and must attend parties at the maximum allowed. Questions about "top" sororities at your university, giving us your resume, etc., are not going to lead to any serious answers and can come back to harm you during recruitment, especially if you have provided enough identifying information for an alumna you've peeved to send in what is called a "no rec" -- which can damage your recruitment. Don't ask us what your chances are. Don't tell us you'll only consider a couple of the sororities at your school before going in and meeting them all. By doing that, you've insulted the rest of us. Be discreet and mature.

How to increase your chances

Aside from having top grades, a strong resume, and being generally likeable, you can distinguish yourself by being a gracious guest at each sorority and expressing interest in them. Sororities are composed of diverse people. Give them all a fair chance, just as you would hope to have a fair chance with every other sorority! In the words of one Greek Chat member, "Even if you have no desire to join XYZ house, remember that sister has pledged her life to that sorority and it means a lot to her." Be a gracious guest at each house and follow the recruitment rules by attending the parties on your schedule.

If you feel strongly that you'd just rather be in no sorority at all if you can't be in one particular sorority (we'll call them "ABC"), then you should only list ABC when you rank that final rating of the sororities. Know that you may receive the bid to ABC or your recruitment counselor may call you early on Bid Day morning to regretfully inform you that you did not receive a bid at all.

By listing more sororities you increase your odds of receiving a bid-- just make sure they are ones you would accept. If you come to Bid Day (when your membership invitation is presented) and you don't accept your bid, you can't rush again until the next school year. If you're unmatched on Bid Day, however, you do have the option of attending continuous recruitment events (also called CR, COB, COR) throughout the year, a more informal method of sorority recruitment. Not every chapter will hold these events, however.

During Formal Recruitment, there may be some chapters you don't "click" with, but you keep being invited back. Definitely attend parties at the chapters where you are most interested, but also always attend the maximum number of parties you are allowed. Don't be rude and refuse to attend an event. Skipping a sorority recruitment event can be grounds for dismissal from recruitment. Word may also get around to the chapters you DO like.

ABOUT CUTS
Recruitment is a mutual selection process. Cuts occur after each round simply because each day, the sororities may invite back smaller percentages of the total women who came to their parties. Don't be concerned with this. Just be focused on being yourself and making new friends- with the goal in mind to see if there's a chapter out there that is right for you.

At some schools, particularly the SEC, there may be heavier cuts of PNMs after each invitational round than at other schools. It is still a mutual selection process at these more competitive recruitments, but in the words of one GC member, "The majority of the selecting is done by the GLOs rather than the PNMs."

It's normal to feel disappointed if you are cut by a chapter you liked, but please try not to take it personally. Being cut from a sorority can be an ego blow, but it's not an evaluation of your gifts and personality... and by no means should you feel you're not "good enough" or lacking in any material. Talk to your friends, family or a counselor at the university if you need a shoulder to cry on or to help you move past the disappointment.

You may be tempted to start a new sorority. Don't. It's a knee-jerk reaction and starting a new sorority is A LOT of work. Read this before you start your own sorority for some guidance.

I KEEP CUTTING A PARTICULAR SORORITY, BUT THEY KEEP INVITING ME BACK. WHAT GIVES?
As a PNM, you will rank the sororities after each round of recruitment. Repeat that word: RANK. Not "cut." Rank.

You are ranking the sororities you have left after each round in your order of interest. So if you have five sororities to rank, you are ranking them in your order of preference from one (top) to five (bottom). This doesn't mean you are cutting the lower ones, never to return again. To the contrary, you are simply indicating your order of interest. Let's say there are five sororities, and after round one, all of the sororities want to invite you back, but you can only accept three invites. In such a case, you would get invited back to the sororities you ranked 1, 2, and 3. Let's say, however, that your #1 and #3 didn't invite you back, but 2, 4, and 5 did... Guess what? You are getting invitations to 2, 4, and 5, and you must attend parties at all of those houses where you have been invited back or you will be dropped from recruitment.

Therefore, don't be surprised if your lower ranked options are inviting you back. You didn't cut them because you don't have the power to cut them. You have simply ranked the sororities in the order of your interest. Conversely, the sororities are ranking the PNMs in their order of interest. After each round of recruitment, the sororities are required to release (aka "cut") a specified percentage of PNMs. They will perform their own membership selection practices to cut these women and will not invite them back to recruitment events. The selection process is unique to each sorority, so don't ask why you were cut or released. No one will have an answer for you. You just need to accept it and move on with the sororities that are still inviting you back.

To minimize any shock or disappointment, try to find a few positive qualities about each sorority you visit during each round of recruitment. I cannot stress to you enough that sorority recruitment is just a series of first impressions and you're only meeting a handful of members in each chapter. Each chapter has dozens of women. Each chapter has social events and community service events and sisterhood events. If you're a reasonably decent and intelligent person, you can make membership in any sorority work for you.

SHOULD I GO THROUGH RECRUITMENT AGAIN?
Various women have varying degrees of success with going through Formal and Informal Recruitments multiple times. If formal recruitment ends and you haven't joined a sorority but you are still interested in NPC sorority membership, immediately register your interest with the Office of Greek Life. There may be sororities on campus who will have more informal recruiting events immediately after recruitment and throughout the year.

The tone of these events tends to be much more laid back than the "rush" of formal recruitment. Once you register your interest, the sororities may contact you to invite you to an event. (If you have friends in a sorority who will be holding informal recruitment, it doesn't hurt to let those friends know that you're interested.)

Unlike formal recruitment, informal recruitment does not involve recruitment counselors nor a structured set of parties. You will be contacted by sororities directly about informal recruitment once you register your interest with the office of Greek Life.

Some informal recruitment events are open-house type functions, others are invite-only. It depends on each sorority. If you aren’t invited to an invite-only event, let it go.

You may also want to try Formal Recruitment a second time, but this can go either way depending on how competitive recruitment is at your university. Some sorority chapters may have a “cut once, cut always” policy. Others may not pledge as many upperclassmen as another. Good grades and a classy reputation are also strong factors. If you’ve embarrassed yourself academically or socially during the school year, it may not be in your best interest to pursue sorority recruitment a second time.

Please note that any recommendations or references sent in for you during a previous recruitment will need to be resubmitted if you go through recruitment a second time.

It is not recommended going through recruitment more than twice at the same university; chances are you may experience the same results. However, if you transfer to another university for academic or family reasons, there’s no harm in trying recruitment out at these schools.

I hope it goes without saying that you shouldn’t transfer to another university because of their sorority system. College is a means to a vocation, not a four year experiment in being accepted to an organization with exclusive membership. Remember the big picture: College-Career-Productive Member of Society.

I also don't recommend starting your own sorority if you've been released from recruitment. Many times this idea is a knee-jerk reaction to being released. The reality is that the process of bringing a new sorority is a lot of work and it can take years for a campus to be open to expansion to allow another chapter to colonize. If you truly want to start a sorority, give it a few months after recruitment has ended to really think things over and begin your planning in earnest. A good place to start is the locals sub board on Greek Chat and the NPC website. You can also talk to your campus Panhellenic/Greek adviser about sorority expansion. Here is a thread about starting your own sorority.


Another option is to find another activity that interests you. You will find a sisterhood in college, whether or not you wear Greek Letters, among the friends you make.

Bottom Line: As much as we wish every interested women could be matched, the truth is that Greek Life isn't for everyone. Even women with great conversation skills, inner and outer beauty, glowing recommendations, perfect GPAs and extracurriculars, are released from recruitment, even though they may have wonderful credentials. Sometimes great PNMs slip through the cracks and it is truly the Greek System's loss. It happens.

Know going in that you will give the process your best chance, but that you may not get a bid. It could be that you are at a very competitive recruitment (e.g., SEC, U of So Cal, IU, UT-Austin). It could be that you are an upperclassman. It could be you have very low grades. It could be that you are not maximizing your options (although if you are still reading this, you're probably pretty Type A and that won't be an issue.) It could be that you don't gel well with the organizations at your school. Maybe your personality, personal style, and habits are very, very different from the sororities at your school. Whatever the reason, it does and can happen. This isn't intended to scare you, but rather to make you aware that there is a possibility you won't be matched and that you should be prepared to manage your expectations.

Here is one story about a PNM who was released after a competitive recruitment, attempted COB, and finally determined she was moving on. Her perspective is mature and her outlook is bright. I think she sounds like she would have been a great Greek, and I have no doubt this woman will have a wonderful college experience because of her great attitude and determination to get involved on her campus.

Also read: What To Do if You've Been Released From Recruitment
(For PNMs and their families)

I’M STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL OR I’M NOT RUSHING FOR MANY MONTHS. WHAT CAN I DO TO PREPARE FOR RECRUITMENT NOW?
Still in high school or currently a college student anticipating recruitment?

Sororities are looking for well-rounded members. So as you prepare for recruitment, also do these things. It WILL make a difference.

Sororities DO cut for low grades, and they want women who will be involved as leaders, team players and who will use their special talents to help the sorority grow. Show you can manage your time and still excel in school!


1) Get good grades. GPA counts! Many sororities have their own separate GPA requirements for membership outside of the low minimum set by your campus Panhellenic or their own sorority national offices.

2) Get involved with extracurricular and clubs.
3) Do community service.
4) Nurture your personal interests and do something unique! (IE: Art, dance, organizing events and people, sports, student government, traveling, etc.)
5) Project a classy image in real life and online. Avoid joining questionable groups/posting tasteless photos or posts on the internet (i.e.: LJ, Facebook, My Space, etc.)
6) Add a classy, "church appropriate" white dress and white shoes to your wardrobe, as well as a similar black dress and black shoes. If you join a sorority, both of these will more than likely become wardrobe staples for ritual events, serenades, etc.
7) Keep an open mind and go into recruitment with the intent to find a few chapters you like, rather than just one "must-have." Very few women get through recruitment without getting cut from at least one or more sororities, so keep this in mind.

WHAT IF I PLAY A SPORT/BAND, OR I'M AN ENGINEERING/PERFORMANCE ARTS MAJOR? CAN I JOIN?
Yes, Yes, Yes and YES! Sororities are looking for members from all walks of life. It doesn't matter if you have a "hard" major or one that might pull you away from being uber-involved in chapter life. We like smart and talented women-- if you're an athelete, we will be at your games and understand that there may be required training or travel that may make it harder for you to come around as often as a more traditional student might. If you are a vocal major or a theatre major, we will be the ones throwing flowers at you and shouting, "Bravo!" when you're on stage. If you are in the school marching band, the dance team, an engineering or hard sciences major, you add so much to an organization. No matter what your major-- accounting to education, film to zoology, we want you to know that school comes first! And if you have a class or a competition or some education reason for missing what would be an otherwise mandatory event, we will work with you to work around it! Sororities are proud of their diversity-- members from varying backgrounds and educational fields. It's a "bragging" right to say you have a member on the varsity softball team, or a theatre major starring in a campus production, etc.

So if you're concerned about the time committment, no matter your major or campus committments, please check out recruitment and see if this is something that could be right for you. College is all about time management and sororities truly want their members to be good scholars with high GPAs and well-rounded members who are involved in activities outside of Greek Life. Both these things make you and the organization look good! Give recruitment a try-- this is a week-long interview process where you can see if sorority life on your campus might be something that is right for you!

DO I NEED TO BE A CERTAIN RACE OR RELIGION TO JOIN?
NO!!!! The Greek names are a part of these organization's history, beginning with Phi Beta Kappa, the first collegiate fraternity! The studies of the "classics" when many of these organizations were chartered in the 1800s included studies of Greek (hence the Greek names) and Latin (hence the names "fraternity" and "sorority"), and influenced the naming conventions. Today, that heritage translates into maintaining strong academic ideals, commitment to the community and to one another, and is based on Judeo-Christian values. Members from all backgrounds, faiths and races are welcomed, and one need not profess any particular religious beliefs or come from a certain socioeconomic background to be considered for membership nor change their beliefs once they join.

In addition, there is no requirement that you be blond, blue-eyed and a size zero in order to be considered for sorority membership. Sorority women come in all shapes, sizes and colors! The most important aspect to recruitment is finding where you fit in!

I'M AN UPPERCLASSMAN OR "OLDER" OR A NONTRADITIONAL STUDENT. SHOULD I EVEN TRY?
Depending on the university, recruitment is very competitive with most of the organizations vying for incoming freshmen with the highest GPAs and strongest resumes. At others, there is less emphasis. Regardless, at most universities an upperclassman will be at a slight, moderate or severe disadvantage over freshmen. Some schools may have a "free quota" where they can pledge as many upperclassman as they want outside of the "quota" (max. number of new members) that is set by the university. Others won't.

Also, on the same campus, some chapters may want more underclassmen while others don't have this preference. It really just depends on the university, the year and each chapter's interests and needs during recruitment. For example, if a chapter has just graduated off a large number of members, they may be looking for more underclassmen to fill their house with 4 years of continuity. Others may not be so concerned. And still others may be looking to pad their membership with sisters who are very involved on campus, are star athletes, etc.

If you're coming in as a transfer student or upperclassmen, you may not have as many options as a freshman. Know that the early rounds of cuts will have more to do with your class rank. Either way, you don't know what your "chances" are unless you try! Having strong grades and campus activities helps a lot. A classy reputation and friends in the sororities are also very helpful if you've been on campus for a year or more, or are a transfer.

If you’re a non-traditional student (IE: married, 24+, a parent, etc.) you may want to look more closely at the sororities at your school. If there are no members in the sororities representing where you are at in your life, you may not enjoy membership in a collegiate chapter at this university, and the sorority members may find that they don’t have much in common with you. This is especially true for older non-traditional students.

If you're over 21, you may be at a disadvantage. You're eligible to join, but are the members significantly younger? You may find you don't have much in common. Or you could be the exception. However, expect some heavy cuts due to your age if older students aren't the norm among members at your school.


This should not discourage the non-traditional student you if you are genuinely interested in NPC membership. After all, recruitment is a time to see if you click well with the sororities and part of this is having a commonality between you. Research all of your available options and go with what makes you the most comfortable.

Nontraditional students may have an advantage if a new sorority is colonizing at your university. This will take place after formal recruitment. If you are unmatched after formal, you may be eligible for membership. A new chapter is a lot of work and the colonizing sisters will be a variety of under and upperclassmen. The decision to colonize a new sorority is determined by the campus Panhellenic in advance.

For both upperclassmen students and nontrads looking to join a sorority, but for whom NPC membership is not a possibility, investigate all Greek Life Organizations within your university and non-collegiate community. They are out there and you will find the right sisterhood, regardless of whether it includes Greek letters!

I'M A GUY CONSIDERING FRATERNITY LIFE. DO THESE SAME RULES APPLY?
Welcome gentlemen! And thank you for reading this far. So you wanna be a frat guy, eh? Well, here's lesson one: Don't ever say the word "frat." (That goes for the girls, too!) It is called a fraternity.

Unlike the ladies, you don't need carefully selected recruitment clothing, letters of recommendation and make-up tips (least of all, the latter!). Fraternity recruitment is most often a loosely-structured weeklong event at your university. In most cases, you do need to register. Do call the office of Greek Life at your school to find out the dates and methods of registration. There may be a registration fee.

At some schools, a Greek Life Consultant (GLC) will be assigned to you. He is a fraternity man who has temporarily disaffiliated to give you objective information about the fraternity system and help you make your decisions in recruitment. At others, there are no GLCs.

If you are a legacy, it is a good thing to have your legacy brother make a call or email to the chapter rush chair or president.

Most often, the fraternities will hold an open forum session where you can meet all of the groups in one setting, such as in a ballroom of the student union. This is a good way to get a preview of the chapters on campus. From there, depending on how your school has structured fraternity rush, you may have some party assignments or (as in most cases), you are free to attend as many or as few events as you would like. Typically, parties will go on concurrently for a week. You'll go to a house (or tent or table), and hopefully, strike up a conversation with a brother. Some groups will be equipped to pair visitors up with members as they approach the rush event; others will leave it to you to break the ice.

Unlike sorority recruitment, where you have to go back to day after day, a fraternity may offer you bid after just one evening of chatting. Typical questions you may be asked range, but scroll on back up to read about the questions the girls may encounter. You'll likely get similar questions. This is a very casual and laid back environment. Take this opportunity to make friends and see who you click with. If you are offered a bid, you typically have 24 hours to make a decision. If you accept, you'll begin the wonderful world of fraternity pledgeship!

As always, check with the office of Greek Life at your university for details. You may also want to check out the national and chapter web sites for the organizations on your campus.

I'M A GRADUATE STUDENT
Congratulations on being accepted a master's program! You're in for some challenging work, and an experience wholly different than your undergraduate years in college. A master's program will require strong time management skills, research and dedication. There will be student groups that cater to graduate students. In particular, you should seek out the ones that will enable you to network with other students in your program and professionals who will be able to help you secure employment. While there are a couple of NPC sororities that will consider bidding graduate students, the vast majority may not bid grad students. And those who have the grad student clause in their bylaws are not bound to it. I would not recommend that a graduate student go through NPC recruitment. That being said, there are still opportunities for you to join a sisterhood through a non-collegiate sorority or an organization like a church youth group or the Junior League.

MY SCHOOL DOESN'T HAVE SORORITIES/DOESN'T HAVE THE SORORITY I THINK I LIKE BEST... CAN I STILL JOIN?
You are only eligible to join the collegiate sororities that exist at your university. You may not join another school's chapter. This applies to the NPC. Other sorority conferences like the NPHC may have different rules.

Starting an NPC sorority is a very rewarding experience, but it is a serious undertaking and a large time commitment. You may not see results until after you graduate. If you want to start your own sorority or colonize a new NPC chapter at your school, you will need (in this order) 1) women interested in joining 2) the university's permission, 3) notify the NPC. The NPC will alert their member organizations. The member organizations will then work with you and your university to determine which NPC will colonize at your school.

If your university is not open to NPC expansion (#2 above), you might consider starting a local sorority. This is a group that is entirely your own. You and your fellow members design the name, rituals and membership intake process. The university may or may not be supportive of the local sorority. This is especially true if your campus has no Greek Life. If you go down this path without university support, you may find it harder to recruit members b/c there may restrictions on campus advertising and meeting. Many groups in this situation have success meeting off campus and doing their best to maintain a positive profile on campus. This means being respectful of university rules and policies.

Other schools are more supportive of locals. At some schools, NPCs and locals coexist. Some participate in recruitment activities together. Others don't.

Another alternative to locals or NPC organizations are the other sorority conferences, such as the multi-cultural Greek organizations.

Please read this thread to learn about one woman's journey to colonize a sorority at her school.

I'M A PARENT OF A PNM. HELP!
You are a brave mom or dad. Welcome to Greek Chat. By choosing to pursue sorority membership, your daughter is in for the time of her life! And you are in for some sleepless nights, chewed up nails and impatient anticipation!

First things first. This is your child's recruitment. Just like with little league, student council elections and studying for final exams, she has to be the one to put in the time and effort. This doesn't mean you can't help, but as your daughter takes this step, let her have the freedom to take recruitment as seriously or as lightly as she wishes. To wish your kids luck or commemorate this rite of passage into college, many parents enjoy giving their daughters a small gift or a note as she goes off to recruitment. A bracelet or a pin are some of the past suggested gifts. Or do a mother-daughter spa day and share a day together. Then, let her go and do her thing, and remind her you're only a phone call away and you're excited for her to have this experience.

Note to Non-Greek Parents

If you were not Greek, please understand that recruitment is an interview process and there is a 99% chance your child is going to get released or "cut" from chapters after each round. Some cuts may be chapters she really liked. She can rank the sororities in her order of preference after each round, but she can't actually cut or release a sorority from her recruitment. That's just not how this process works. In fact, she may be invited back to chapters she doesn't love as much. Think of it like a multi-round job fair and interview process. Once she is cut, that sorority is off her list. And she may receive a bid to a sorority she didn't really "love." It's really up to her to make the best of the choices she has and to make the best decision she can with the information and opportunities in front of her.

A Note to Sorority Alumnae Moms
If you are a mom and a sorority alumna, you probably want your daughter to find the happiness you found as a sorority woman. She's your legacy. But remember, even if she is going to your alma mater or even if she is not, chapters change year to year and vary from school to school.


Be prepared that your legacy may not click with the XYZ's at her school. The legacy chapter may cut her, or worse, your daughter may be put in the position of having to choose between XYZ for mom's sake, and the sorority that she really loves. As a parent, this probably has been on your mind. Being a legacy is not a guarantee that she will receive a bid.
Make her aware of all of the possibilities, tell her how honored you would be to share the sisterhood with her, but also encourage her to choose her own path. In the end, these will be the women she eats with and sleeps in the same house with for the next 4 years. While that path may lead her home to your sorority, it may not. But you both have to live with it.

Write your legacy introduction to the chapter, tell her you would love to be her sister but you also want her to make the choice where she will be happiest (and mean it!).

Handling Rejection, Figuring Out the Skinny on Sorority Dues, and Keeping Yourself Sane While Your Kid Goes Through Recruitment

Once recruitment starts, your daughter will experience some rejection. This can be devastating to her and will rip your heart out. She'll cry, you'll cry. And you'll lie awake all night feeling completely horrible, only to speak to her the next morning and hear her chipper and merry voice. She's over it. You should be, too. The cuts are par for the course. Brace yourself. It can be an emotional ride. Read a "letter from your daughter." How to counsel her through the cuts.

If you are helping your daughter with sorority dues and costs, please make sure to do your research. We are learning that some schools are more transparent than others when it comes to providing specific details about the dues for each chapter. If you're simply given an "average" of costs, it is quite possible that the more expensive chapters could be considerably more expensive. However, dues can cover a wide variety of things, such as a meal plan or housing, that you can deduct from other college expenses. Most sororities will have payment plans available, but do know that soon after pledging there can be initial one-time fees that will be due soon after Bid Day. Your daughter may need to consider getting a summer job or part time job if your "help" does not cover all of these costs. You may be tempted to tell her to cut the expensive chapters, but the best she can do is to rank them low on her list. She has to see where she has been invited back and go from there.

On a final note:
Read some advice from other moms.

Good luck, parents!

GREEK CHAT ETIQUETTE 101
Before you post a question, read through current threads, including this thread from the board moderators. . Also use the SEARCH function. Chances are your question has come up before and has been answered.

Also, please try to use proper grammar and spelling. We appreciate being able to comprehend your posts, and you will get better answers and encouragement by communicating maturely and professionally. CAPS lock off. No ToGgLe type. We don't read "text-speak" here, so leave the ultra-abbreviated posts between, IDK, u & ur BFF Jill?

Bottom Line: We won't crucify anyone for typos or bad grammar, but please make your posts readable.

Starting a thread about your recruitment experience? Read this thread!

Use common sense and don't reveal conversation specifics or comments about particular sororities. If you're starting a thread about your recruitment, remember that sorority women from your university read GC and may be able to discern whom you are! Be discreet. Don't tell us what you were wearing at each round of recruitment, name names or go into too much detail about decor, songs, skits, etc. Some PNMs may find it is a better idea to give a post-recruitment de-brief than a daily blow-by-blow of the events. GC members would love to hear your stories, but if you're posting as it happens, don't give too many personal details as someone may discern who you are or mistakenly/correctly guess where your membership interests lie.

Don't make premature references to "When I join XYZ..." on Greek Chat or in real life. Some members of XYZ may take offense that you've appeared to already invite yourself in without an invitation to the sisterhood!

THERE'S MORE TO BEING GREEK THAN BEING IN AN NPC SORORITY!
There any many different kinds of sororities, some of which have joined together to form mutually beneficial conferences (sort of like a college football conference!). There are many such conferences like the National Panhellenic Conference, National Pan-Hellenic Council, National Multi-Cultural Greek Council, etc. Each has its own membership intake process. Note that these many sororities and the different conferences have agreements with one another that prohibit you from belonging to multiple sororities.

There may also be affiliate members of the school's Panhellenic organization. These may include local sororities who do not have national presence and only exist at your university, national or regional sororities which are not members of NPC, etc. You may also consider joining a faith-based sorority.

Aside from social sororities, there are also other Greek organizations on your campus that you may join in addition to sorority membership. There are Greek Letter Organizations with special focuses on academics, honors, service, pre-professional, etc. These have their own separate membership recruitments. These societies are national and local organizations that follow the same tenets of Greek friendship and service! So whether or not you join an NPC sorority, know that on a college campus there are many different kinds of Greek organizations! Inquire with your campus to learn more about the student organizations or to learn how to start your own club.

An academic/service/pre-professional GLO is not a substitute or "solution" if you don't get a sorority bid. You should only pursue these activities if you are truly interested in them, and not as a means just so you can wear letters. Do it for the right reasons and you'll enjoy it that much more.

Or you may decide sorority life isn’t for you. There are dozens of campus organizations from which to choose to help you enjoy college and make your mark at the university.

In addition, there are non-collegiate sororities that you may want to consider joining if NPC membership may not be a good fit for you. These non-collegiate sororities may be a better solution for non-traditional undergraduates (non-traditional students would be considered returning students, part-timers, young moms, etc.) This isn't to say a returning student, married/parent could not join a sorority, but one of the non-collegiate organizations may be a better fit with your lifestyle and schedule that a traditional NPC that caters more to the 19-23 year old full time student. Non-collegiate sororities are not affiliated with NPC or your university; they function as community groups and you do not need to be a student to join.

This is a great thread about one woman who has had an incredible experience as a member of non-NPC Greek Life.

One of the greatest things about becoming a Greek brother or sister is learning the membership's fraternal secrets, some of which are 100+ years old! Attempting to pass yourself off as a member is hugely offensive and not the way to go about endearing yourself within the Greek System. Please don't try to learn our secrets by asking people or trying to pass yourself off as a member on the internet to "trade" membership practices. If you are planning to join any kind of Greek organization, you should have some sense of discretion and maturity, whether you seek a sorority, a pre-professional society or an honors or service co-ed fraternity.

LIFE AFTER RECRUITMENT, BID DAY, LIVING-IN, TIME COMMITTMENTS AND MORE
If you've joined a sorority, here are tips from GC sorority women about being a new member. Also, head on over to the forum ear-marked for your sorority to meet some sisters online!

ABOUT BID DAY
You may be wondering about what goes on during BID DAY. Bid Day is the day after Preferentials. Bid Day marks the final day of recruitment. On this day you are given your sorority bid. Remember that after Preferentials ("Prefs") you will conduct your final ranking of the sororities you would accept bids from. This ranking is matched alongside the sororities' respective bid lists. It is very important only to rank the sororities in your order of preference based on those you would be interested in being invited to membership. In this final ranking, don't list sororities you would not want to be a sister of. You may not get your first choice, so make sure that you are happy with your 2nd or 3rd pick! This membership matching goes after after prefs ends. By the following day, Bid Day, the new member lists are ready!!!

If you do not receive a sorority bid at Formal Recruitment, you will be notified on the morning of Bid Day. Please make sure to keep your phone nearby, as you will be notified by your recruitment counselor or a member of the Recruitment Team via telephone!

If you do not receive a sorority bid, you will not participate in Bid Day. If you get that phone call, do not go to Bid Day. You can speak to a member of the Recruitment Team once Bid Day activities have concluded (the day or days following Bid Day) if you are interested in additional information regarding sorority membership opportunities. They will not be available to discuss these opportunities at length during Bid Day due to other obligations.

If you haven't gotten a phone call the morning of Bid Day, it is safe to say that you did receive a bid! Show up at the appointed place for Bid Day. You will learn this location during recruitment week.

What happens at Bid Day? At Bid Day, Recruitment counselors or members of the Recruitment Team will hand off your bid to you. There will be some ceremonies and activities for the new members. During this time, the recruitment counselors will reveal what sororities they belong to! This portion of Bid Day typically concludes with the re-affiliated recruitment counselors leading their respective new sisters "home" to their new sororities!

Once you get to your new sorority, you are typically be assigned a Bid Day buddy. Usually this is someone you met at the chapter during recruitment week. At the sorority, usually there will be photos, gifts and activities. New members may also have a meeting with their new member coordinator to learn about important dates and information. At some schools, Bid Day goes on all day. At others, there is a break in the day, followed by an evening at a restaurant or another activity.

Like all recruitment events, Bid Day is a dry event, meaning there is no alcohol involved.

Bid Day attire may be very casual or dressy, depending upon the school. Check with your university's Panhellenic Council/Office of Greek Life.

Following Bid Day, the new member period begins. Congratulations to all of the new members! In a few weeks or months following Bid Day, you will become an initiated sister!

BEING A NEW MEMBER
The new member period in a sorority following Bid Day lasts from 4-8 weeks, depending on the sorority. Being part of a new member/pledge class is a lot of fun, and there are so many new people to meet! There will be some weekly mandatory events throughout your new member period to help acclimate you to sorority life and these will all be explained to you so you can make the time to attend. This will culminate in an initiation ceremony where you will learn the sorority's secret traditions... some these are more than 100 years old and known only to initiated members! It helps to have a day planner to allow you to manage your time between school and sorority obligations. Keep those grades up! Many sororities have academic programs to help the new members make the adjustment with group study sessions and tutors. There will be plenty of fun social events, too! You don't have to go to every one of these events, but you may want to attend a few to get to know your new sisters better, and to meet other students on campus like other sorority and fraternity members or members of other campus organizations.

LIVING IN THE SORORITY HOUSE
There may be a live-in requirement at some point if your sorority has a house or dorm suite. Find this out before you join, as it very well could factor into your plans. Living in the house is a great experience, but you will be living with a lot of people and there will be certain house rules to adhere to. During recruitment, you will get to meet members who live-in. Ask them about it. Just something to keep in mind.

FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT JOINING A SORORITY
A sorority is a time committment. You can be involved in other activities, you can be a double major, a hard sciences major, a cheerleader, work full-time and go to school full time AND still be in a sorority. The mandatory time committments vary, but suffice to say there will at least be weekly meetings, semesterly expectations of min. community service hours and study hours, as well as a sisterhood retreat and initiation rituals. Anything above this is a bonus: social mixers, date parties, intramural sports, Family Weekend, football games, etc. Budget in some fun to get the most out of your membership, but don't go overboard. School comes first.

If you don't join a sorority, please stick around on GC! This is a fun community for collegians and those who are pre-or-post college, collegiate Greeks and Greek alumnae. We enjoy your posts!

The most important thing after recruitment: have fun! Go to class! Get involved on campus! Call your parents! And remember, it may sound like a great idea to schedule all of your classes Tuesday-Thursday so you can have a 4-day weekend... but it's really not the best scheduling... I'm just saying... Here are some tips on being successful in college. Here are some more tips: on staying safe.

Social Events & Alcohol
Will I be pressured into drinking or partying? Will I get cut from recruitment because I don't do these things? Will I feel like an outcast in a sorority if I don't drink? One word: NO. As a sorority member you may attend events where alcohol is served, but you must be 21 to drink. This is the law and sororities have membership policies in place to help sisters adhere to the law. If you don't drink and someone offers you a drink anyway: say no thanks. There are plenty of sorority women and college students who do not drink alcohol. You also aren't expected to go to every social function. It's your choice to attend or not attend the ones you would like or not like.

Furthermore, sorority houses are dry houses. No alcohol is allowed on the premises.

Back to recruitment...
Do remember to put things in perspective: recruitment is a fast-paced week of events and you are getting only the most basic interaction with the sororities. Your grades, extracurricular activities and class rank help to paint a picture of who you are-- at recruitment your personality has a chance to confirm that not only do you look great on paper, but you are friendly and social, too. Or your personality may help to mitigate lower grades or the fact that you are an upperclassman at those schools where some sorority chapters may have a preference for higher grades and freshmen members. There are exceptions to every rule, but don't take for granted that you will be the exception. Put your best foot forward, be a gracious guest and keep an open mind! Hypothetically, you could fit into any group and be happy in a society where there are between 20 and 150 members!

As you prepare for and enter recruitment, keep an open mind, maximize your opportunities and have fun. Good luck! (And here's one more story about someone who got her LAST choice sorority, gave it a chance, and is now happier than she could have ever imagined!).

Please feel free to PM me with any comments, questions or recommendations.

Last edited by adpiucf; 10-08-2015 at 02:59 PM.
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