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  #1  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:58 PM
ringpop ringpop is offline
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A dog-eat-dog recruitment story

I had a rollercoaster of a recruitment experience so I figured some people out there might enjoy hearing about it! I went through recruitment over a year ago as a sophomore, so forgive me if I can’t remember too many details. I’m now in a chapter that I love, and in hindsight I know that I did not approach recruitment the right way at all. While I started out with negative impressions about a lot of the chapters, now that I’ve been involved in the Panhellenic community for a year, I’ve made so many genuine friends in every single organization that it seems silly to even go back to thinking about these dumb stereotypes.

I attend a pretty well-regarded private university in the Northeast. Between the time I applied and now, it’s become more selective, and the student body tends to be pretty competitive in my experience, not just with academics but also with their careers and even extracurriculars. The competitive atmosphere lends itself to a very rank-obsessed Greek community, I think; as a whole, we’re not overly shallow looks-wise but can get a little wrapped up in notions of exclusivity and selectivity. During recruitment it wasn’t uncommon for PNMs to refer to invitations and bids as “getting into” a sorority, and to talk about a chapter’s “acceptance rate.” Greekrank trash-talking was rampant, to the point where PNMs and actives alike would be posting their thoughts on the site in between rounds. Definitely odd at a school where Greek life was only a small fraction of the student body!

At the time I rushed, there were seven sororities on campus, all national orgs. Typically quota is about 40. Out of the seven, two consistently exceed quota, three usually meet or come very close to quota, and two typically struggle to meet quota. The “tiers” typically fall along these lines as well. In my family, I’m the first person to even consider going Greek, and as such I had NO idea what recruitment would be like; I definitely got sucked into the black hole of Greekrank and regrettably allowed myself to internalize the stereotypes I saw written about each chapter. That said, here are my pre-recruitment first impressions of each, nicknamed after some of my favorite dog breeds:
Boxer — A single-letter chapter at our school. Stereotyped to be rich and shallow, but very pretty/athletic. At first glance, they have a very distinct “look,” and that "look" is very skinny, very white, and very rich (Blair Waldorf to the extreme). Meets/exceeds quota.
Bulldog — My school is the Alpha chapter. Rumors swirl of hazing and hard drug use, although unsubstantiated and likely way exaggerated. Stereotyped as “hot party girls,” and many are aspiring social media influencers. Lots of quirky personalities but always in a very cool, interesting way. Meets/exceeds quota.
Corgi — Don’t seem very involved on campus, although very put-together and easy to talk to. Girl-next-door vibes, but known to have excellent relationships with the fraternities. Meets quota.
Greyhound — Stereotyped to be rich and a little materialistic, but has a strong, tight-knit sisterhood. Seen by some as social climbers. Quite diverse, middling in terms of campus involvement. Usually meets quota.
Great Dane — Very involved with Panhel events/Greek Week, but not big partiers. My acquaintance from high school is in this chapter at my school, and she told me she’d keep an eye out for me. From the start of recruitment, I was the most eager to join this chapter. Usually meets quota or comes close.
Labrador — Very diverse and passionate about social justice, although not known to be partiers. They do more than just fundraisers, they also are very involved in hosting events about empowerment, feminism, etc. Struggles to meet quota.
Newfoundland — Newest chapter on campus, the founders hadn’t yet graduated when I rushed. Seem diverse but not cohesive, though passionate about philanthropy. Lots of international students. Struggles to meet quota.

Last edited by ringpop; 10-09-2019 at 11:31 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:13 PM
ringpop ringpop is offline
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Round 1 — Round Robin/Open House

I had no clue what to expect going into recruitment! I didn’t put much time into my application, thinking it wouldn’t get scrutinized much, and I certainly didn’t have any recommendation letters. I was a sophomore PNM (not uncommon at my school), and although my high school GPA was a sad 2.9, my freshman college GPA was a 3.7. PNMs were all given a shirt to wear for the first day, which I was thankful for because I hadn’t put any thought into what I’d wear for the entirety of recruitment.

Coincidentally, I ended up in line with one of my friends, who was very put-together, outgoing, and “conventionally beautiful,” as they say. I, on the other hand, can be a little awkward when I first meet people and I often don’t make a fantastic first impression when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, which I certainly was during recruitment. That friend, who I love dearly and had actually been the one to push me to sign up to rush, ended up being paired with me in most of the rounds.

I don't remember the details or the order of the chapters that day, but I remember some of my first impressions:

Boxer made a bad impression on me immediately. I was double rushed with my friend, and the Boxer girls seemed to be way more into her the second they saw us. The actives spent a lot of time talking about how many of their sisterhood events consisted of runs in Central Park, Soulcycle classes, etc. One active talked at length about her boyfriend, a professional Minor League baseball player. I found them to be very intimidating, with a completely different set of interests than mine.

Oddly enough, I didn't particularly like any of the girls I talked to in Greyhound, but really enjoyed the energy when I first walked in. I clocked multiple girls in Gucci belts, and one girl I talked to was even wearing Louboutins. They were the only chapter whose actives wore heels on the first day and we all had a laugh about how much we hated wearing heels. I remember worrying about not being able to fit in, and some of the conversations with them went alright but others felt a little stiff. Still, there was something I couldn’t place that I just really liked about them from the start. Maybe I just superficially liked their colors or their chant, I'm not too sure. When we left, some girls in my Rho Gamma group made comments about how Greyhound girls were "trying too hard" with the designer clothes, which soured my opinion of the chapter a little.

The Bulldog girls seemed very cool and down-to-earth, and the conversation flowed nicely (strong recruiters!), although I don’t remember a single thing we talked about. I remember they had sushi and all the PNMs went crazy over it. Later, rumors swirled that Bulldog actives were looking at who was taking food and would cut girls who took too much, although now, after being on the other side, I know for a fact that there’s no way they could’ve paid that much attention to what we were eating while trying to remember our names.

The Corgi and Great Dane girls were also really easy and comfortable to talk to, although I remember the room I was in for Corgi was so crowded and loud that I had to yell every sentence twice to make sure the active heard me. Nothing in particular stood out for me for these two chapters on the first day.

Labrador made a pretty middle-of-the-road impression on me; the girls I talked to were sweet but the conversations were all a bit stiff. I remember thinking about their “low tier” ranks, and in hindsight, even though I told myself I didn’t care, I know it did end up influencing my decision too much. It’s a shame because I think I should’ve given them more of a chance from the start. I had similar thoughts about Newfoundland, although in that chapter I was also very confused by the wide range of girls I talked to. I remember I loved talking to a really cool senior founding member about her internships at luxury fashion brands and our favorite Youtubers, but then I also had a painfully dry and awkward conversation with a girl who seemed either really shy, really disinterested, or both.

I don’t remember the exact order I listed, but it went something like this:
Greyhound
Great Dane
Corgi
Bulldog
Boxer
Labrador
—————
Newfoundland
(to release)

Last edited by ringpop; 10-09-2019 at 11:27 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:21 PM
ringpop ringpop is offline
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Round 2 — Sisterhood

When I got my schedule back, I was disappointed but not too surprised to see:

Newfoundland

Labrador
Great Dane


Most girls in my Rho Gamma group were invited back to 5 or 6 sororities, which stung a bit; it was hard not to be envious. I was especially bummed about the loss of Greyhound. But I knew I had psyched myself out a lot before recruitment and hadn’t been putting my best foot forward on the first day, so I didn’t let myself dwell too much on my losses and carried on with the round.

The Newfoundland and Labrador conversations went pretty much the same as they did before. I talked to two Newfoundland actives about our Harry Potter houses and old preteen Tumblr accounts, and I liked that I had no fear of being embarrassed or judged for having slightly nerdy interests. At this point Newfoundland and Labrador were about equal to me.

I talked to a girl that I really liked at Great Dane. I mentioned my high school acquaintance and her eyes lit up! It was really sweet, actually. We got along well, and I felt awesome when I left.

At the end of this round, I ranked:
Great Dane
Labrador
Newfoundland


I did not release anyone on this day because I already had less than 4 chapters.

Last edited by ringpop; 10-10-2019 at 01:01 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:25 PM
ringpop ringpop is offline
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Round 3 — Philanthropy

I got my schedule back and it was the same as the previous day. Other girls in my Rho Gamma group also had 3 or 4 on this day.

At Newfoundland, I was paired with the same awkward girl that I talked to on the first day. While she seemed sweet, neither of us could find anything to talk about, and the conversation was like pulling teeth. Painfully awkward, and it lasted for way too long (like half the round). They also sang a very... off-putting song. Most other chapters were still doing chants or hyped-up rah-rah songs, but Newfoundland had picked a slow, high-pitched lullaby-type song for this day. It was hard to jump back into an upbeat conversation after being surrounded by girls singing in slow, whispery falsetto. I knew this wasn’t the chapter for me.

I loved the girl I talked to in Labrador. She was the same major as me and we hit it off immediately, she matched my energy perfectly and we “got” each other right away. Time flew by! My major’s not super common so it struck me that they had probably matched me with her intentionally, which I thought was really sweet and thoughtful for them to do. Unfortunately I was paired with another PNM who wasn’t really on the same wavelength as us and I felt really guilty about not being able to include her in the conversation more. I also couldn’t shake the thought that this was the first memorable or truly enjoyable conversation I’d had in Labrador so far during recruitment, which worried me.

At Great Dane I got to talk to the same girl that I had met previously, though we sat together in a big group with other actives and PNMs. I remember talking about the Bachelor, joking about Vine, and just having a good time chatting with everyone in the circle. My high school acquaintance was recruiting that day, and she stopped by to say hi, which was sweet! I had previously conveyed to her that I really liked her chapter and I got the sense that they liked me too. I felt so, so confident that I would be a Great Dane.

At the end of this day, I ranked the chapters the same as I had the day before:
Great Dane
Labrador
—————
Newfoundland
(to release)
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:40 PM
ringpop ringpop is offline
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Round 4 (& 4.5?) — Preference & Bid Day

This is where it gets a little spicy! Strap in, folks.
I got my schedule at the beginning of Pref and was heartbroken to see:
Labrador
Newfoundland


I was so sure I’d be a Great Dane. I had been doodling their chapter’s name in the margins of my notes and daydreaming of wearing their letters. I felt so discouraged when I saw my schedule that I ended up going to my Rho Gamma and withdrawing from recruitment altogether before Pref even started. I did feel a tinge of guilt thinking about the girl I’d liked in Labrador being disappointed not to talk to me during pref, but those feelings were completely overwhelmed by how upset I was at the loss of Great Dane. I went home, took off my makeup, and cried into my roommate’s shoulder for the rest of the night.

I knew with certainty I wasn't meant to be a Newfoundland. But, truthfully, if I had continued with recruitment and ended up in Labrador at that point in time, there is a very strong possibility I would’ve found a home in their sisterhood, but just as strong of a possibility that I wouldn't have let myself fully enjoy being a member of a “low-tier” chapter even if it had been a great fit for me. I know in my heart that, when I rushed, I absolutely had the wrong mentality and an awful attitude regarding Greek life; I was still super concerned with rank, popularity and selectivity, and I'm not sure if I could've come to terms with that without going through some disappointment to learn a hard lesson about superficiality. I know lots of PNMs left that night; many of them probably had the same mentality as I did.

The next morning (Bid Day), I finally slept in a little bit after an exhausting recruitment. When I woke up, I checked my phone and saw three missed calls and a text, all from the same number, about 50 minutes before. “This is [name], the Recruitment Chair for [Great Dane]. Call me back ASAP,” the text read. I called the number back immediately. Call declined. I gave it 10 minutes (maybe they’re just busy right now, I thought) and called again. Declined again. I texted the number politely, telling them they could call me back whenever, then texted my Rho Gamma, who instantly replied and told me it was likely a snap bid. Panic started to set in: why were they declining my calls if they wanted to offer a snap bid? Did I do something wrong? Should I still go to Bid Day?

The texts/calls had come in early in the morning and I had replied around the call time for Bid Day, so PNMs hadn’t started opening their bids yet, but my Rho Gamma very sadly informed me that I was probably too late nonetheless. They might’ve only needed one or two people to fill out their pledge class, she told me, and I was just a little too late to respond. Finally, that evening, the Great Dane Recruitment Chair finally replied and told me that, yes, I had responded too late; there was only a 10-minute window for me to respond. I was doubly heartbroken. I had been so intent on going Great Dane throughout recruitment, and while not being invited back to Pref stung, it stung even more that I could have received a snap bid if I had just woken up an hour earlier that morning. And the friend that I had been in line with from day one coincidentally ended up in Great Dane; I was excited and happy for her, although I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous.

Last edited by ringpop; 10-09-2019 at 10:57 PM.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:53 PM
ringpop ringpop is offline
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Informal Recruitment

Following formal recruitment, I got word from the infamous Greekrank that many of the chapters had failed to meet either recruitment quota or total quota. In fact, every chapter but the two strongest recruiting chapters were in need of members and would be doing COB of some form or another. At my school, Labrador and Newfoundland had traditionally done additional informal recruitments during both the spring and the fall. This year, Great Dane would also be organizing an informal recruitment in the fall because their graduating class had left them below chapter total quota (they were looking to take another 20 girls!). Allegedly, Corgi and Greyhound would be doing invite-only/closed COBs but would be keeping them hush-hush because doing informal recruitment is somewhat looked down upon at my school.

I signed up for the Great Dane and Labrador informal recruitments but decided not to sign up for Newfoundland’s. I still felt guilty about leaving during pref night when I could’ve found a home in Labrador, and it was only fair for me to give them a real chance, but I had never felt like Newfoundland was the place for me.

Both of the informal recruitments were quite awkward, to say the least. I got the sense that both of the chapters remembered me from formal and were not enthused that I had withdrawn from recruitment, although I might’ve just been overthinking it. However, I still tried my best to present myself as well as I could, and I certainly felt more comfortable chatting with the actives outside of the intense atmosphere of formal recruitment.

I went through the Great Dane informal recruitment with one of my other friends, another sophomore who had withdrawn from formal recruitment very early on. On the final day, we both got an email asking for a screenshot of our college transcripts. Our grades were almost identical. She got a reply offering her a bid, I did not. Somehow this hurt me more; at the time I just couldn’t wrap my head around why I was “good enough” to be offered a snap bid, but not “good enough” to be offered a bid during informal recruitment. Not to mention the fact that many of the girls at the Great Dane informal recruitment had been released from Great Dane during formal much earlier in the process than I was. It was a hard pill for me to swallow, and I’ll never know exactly what went on behind the scenes, but at the time I felt like Great Dane was dangling a bid like a carrot just out of my reach.

The Labrador informal recruitment decisions would not come out until a while later, and in the meantime my Rho Gamma (who ended up being a Corgi) texted me asking if I’d be interested in doing COB with Greyhound. I said yes immediately. I attended a coffee date with some of the Greyhound actives, and from the start, the conversation was so easy and laid-back that I didn’t have a hard time being myself and holding a conversation without awkward pauses.

That weekend I got a bid from Labrador, which I held off on accepting until I heard back from Greyhound. A few days later, the Greyhound recruitment chair contacted me with a bid, which I accepted; I politely declined the Labrador bid, although at that point I realized I could've fit in just as well in either organization.

I’ve been in Greyhound for a year now and it’s definitely funny to me that I ranked them first on day one, without knowing much about them at all! I immediately felt at home there from the start, so much more than everywhere else, and I guess everything just fell into place even though for a while it seemed like my recruitment experience had gone to hell in a handbasket. As for which organization Greyhound is, I’m proud and honored to call myself a member of...










Kappa Kappa Gamma!
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:04 AM
anongreek anongreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringpop View Post
Informal Recruitment

Following formal recruitment, I got word from the infamous Greekrank that many of the chapters had failed to meet either recruitment quota or total quota. In fact, every chapter but the two strongest recruiting chapters were in need of members and would be doing COB of some form or another. At my school, Labrador and Newfoundland had traditionally done additional informal recruitments during both the spring and the fall. This year, Great Dane would also be organizing an informal recruitment in the fall because their graduating class had left them below chapter total quota (they were looking to take another 20 girls!). Allegedly, Corgi and Greyhound would be doing invite-only/closed COBs but would be keeping them hush-hush because doing informal recruitment is somewhat looked down upon at my school.

I signed up for the Great Dane and Labrador informal recruitments but decided not to sign up for Newfoundland’s. I still felt guilty about leaving during pref night when I could’ve found a home in Labrador, and it was only fair for me to give them a real chance, but I had never felt like Newfoundland was the place for me.

Both of the informal recruitments were quite awkward, to say the least. I got the sense that both of the chapters remembered me from formal and were not enthused that I had withdrawn from recruitment, although I might’ve just been overthinking it. However, I still tried my best to present myself as well as I could, and I certainly felt more comfortable chatting with the actives outside of the intense atmosphere of formal recruitment.

I went through the Great Dane informal recruitment with one of my other friends, another sophomore who had withdrawn from formal recruitment very early on. On the final day, we both got an email asking for a screenshot of our college transcripts. Our grades were almost identical. She got a reply offering her a bid, I did not. Somehow this hurt me more; at the time I just couldn’t wrap my head around why I was “good enough” to be offered a snap bid, but not “good enough” to be offered a bid during informal recruitment. Not to mention the fact that many of the girls at the Great Dane informal recruitment had been released from Great Dane during formal much earlier in the process than I was. It was a hard pill for me to swallow, and I’ll never know exactly what went on behind the scenes, but at the time I felt like Great Dane was dangling a bid like a carrot just out of my reach.

The Labrador informal recruitment decisions would not come out until a while later, and in the meantime my Rho Gamma (who ended up being a Corgi) texted me asking if I’d be interested in doing COB with Greyhound. I said yes immediately. I attended a coffee date with some of the Greyhound actives, and from the start, the conversation was so easy and laid-back that I didn’t have a hard time being myself and holding a conversation without awkward pauses.

That weekend I got a bid from Labrador, which I held off on accepting until I heard back from Greyhound. A few days later, the Greyhound recruitment chair contacted me with a bid, which I accepted; I politely declined the Labrador bid, although at that point I realized I could've fit in just as well in either organization.

I’ve been in Greyhound for a year now and it’s definitely funny to me that I ranked them first on day one, without knowing much about them at all! I immediately felt at home there from the start, so much more than everywhere else, and I guess everything just fell into place even though for a while it seemed like my recruitment experience had gone to hell in a handbasket. As for which organization Greyhound is, I’m proud and honored to call myself a member of...










Kappa Kappa Gamma!

LOVED THIS STORY SO MUCH!! IT HAD ME ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT.
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2019, 07:15 AM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:12 PM
Cookiez17 Cookiez17 is offline
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Congrats on finding your home! I actually know the school in this story lol. But it's great that informal recruitment worked for you.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:18 PM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:33 PM
MSKKG MSKKG is online now
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:19 PM
PGD-GRAD PGD-GRAD is offline
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Congrats on KKG! Your story is well-written and, I think, shows how you matured in your view of each sorority as you progressed through regular recruitment, through obvious disappointment and—finally—through your informal recruitment journey. It’s often true that we see things much more clearly after completion and then reflection.

You have a great deal to offer as a sorority woman; have you considered being a Rho Gamma? Young PNMs could benefit greatly from your experiences and understanding.
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:43 PM
chi-o_cat chi-o_cat is offline
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Congratulations on joining Kappa Kappa Gamma! And I think this is the first time EVER that I've known what school it is just from reading the first post in a recruitment story.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:43 PM
ringpop ringpop is offline
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I didn't really go to great lengths to conceal what school I go to, but I figure it doesn't get talked about a lot here so I could get away with some details slipping, lol! Feel free to PM me if you think you know what school it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PGD-GRAD View Post
You have a great deal to offer as a sorority woman; have you considered being a Rho Gamma? Young PNMs could benefit greatly from your experiences and understanding.
Thank you for your kind words! I did consider being a Rho Gamma this year but I believe our Panhel recommends those who joined through COB or informal to spend one year as a recruiter before being a Rho Gamma, which makes sense. I knew I wanted to be able to experience recruitment firsthand from start to finish at least once before jumping into being a Rho Gam, mostly because I wouldn't know what to tell a PNM about Pref or Bid Day since I hadn't been until now. Until around two months ago, I actually had no idea that Pref ceremonies were any different than the other rounds! I just thought we'd be in there chatting for a full hour, lol. But if I'm able to be a Rho Gam next year I'm definitely strongly considering it.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:56 PM
Theta1234 Theta1234 is offline
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