Recruitment is a stressful time, especially if you're a freshman or sophmore going through it for the first time. To calm your nerves, it's often a good idea to do some research and figure out what you're going to be doing. Here's all of the information from a real live sorority girl who knows the ins and outs of recruitment. Note: This is a real perspective from a sister who has gone through both informal and formal recruitment three times and is valid information. However, all schools have different traditions and practices for exactly how their recruitment is run, so please remember that it will be slightly altered from school to school.
Sorority Recruitment Vocabulary
- Sorority Chapter – Each sorority is designated a specific chapter based when it was founded compared to other chapters. For example, a sorority chapter which is the third to be founded would be designated the Gamma chapter because Gamma is third in the Greek alphabet.
- Nationals – Each sorority has a national organization which governs and regulates the chapters all over the country. They serve to provide all information and materials required to run the chapters and may hold leadership conferences, offer alumni networking, manage the national philanthropy, and more.
- Philanthropy – Each sorority has it’s own specific philanthropy as is designated by their National Organization. This is usually a very specific non-profit foundation that is working towards the sorority’s own philanthropic cause.
- Legacy – Having legacy means you have an aunt, sister, mother, grandmother, etc. who is or was in a chapter of a Sorority that you wish to join. Though it doesn’t work the same at all schools, most organizations will either have to bid legacies or will have to ask them back to at least two rounds of recruitment (up to skit night).
- Recruitment Counselors (Pi Chi’s) – This group of counselors is made up of girls from various sororities and will help you through the process of recruitment. As a rule, to ensure their advice is objective, they may not reveal which sorority they are in until after recruitment ends.
- Recruitment Round – Each day when you go to the houses the time spent in each house is known as a round. The rounds can last anywhere between 15 minutes to over an hour and the number of rounds (and number of houses) you attend each day will differ depending on the number of sororities at your school.
How to Prepare
- Choose Outfits for Each Round – Each round of recruitment requires a specific type of attire which will be explained before recruitment starts. However, it is good to be prepared before the process which means buying outfits over summer of winter break. Typically the outfits will begin casual and become more formal as the days progress. Also make sure to wear comfortable shoes because the majority of the rounds will involve standing.
- Manage Your Facebook Account – It is important to check your facebook and make sure that everything on your profile is something you are comfortable sharing with others because sororities will often use Facebook profiles to gather information on potential recruits.
- Submit Your Letters of Recommendation – These are letters written on behalf of you by either a family member or friend who was in the Sorority you are interested in joining; this doesn’t mean the person was in that exact chapter of the Sorority but it is preferable. These letters are typically submitted prior to the beginning of the recruitment rounds when you submit an online application so to speak and pay your recruitment fees. Remember it is important to have letters of recommendation written by someone who truly knows you and will be able to give a personal and beneficial account of who you are.
- Get Some Z’s – Get a full night’s rest and drink lots of water the night before because recruitment is a long, tiring process with constant talking and activity. Also make sure to have a good breakfast because you won’t get a lot of breaks for food.
- Eat Up – Don’t be afraid to accept food and drinks served to you in the houses. They will prevent hunger and help you keep your voice after hours of talking.
- Be Yourself – Don’t listen to the opinions of others or buy into stereotypes about houses. Judge each one for yourself and don’t try to be fake when you meet people. This is the best way to ensure you are put into the house that most suits you.
The Recruitment Process
Each day requires recruits to go to different houses starting with attending all on the first day and then eliminating houses throughout the process. The house elimination is based on a computerized mutual selection process that occurs at the end of each day. During this time you may talk to your recruitment counselors about any problems or if you need help making the decision. The selection of houses you receive the next day is based on which houses you cut, which houses cut you, and how many girls are returning to each. You will receive your list of houses at the beginning of each day from your recruitment counselors.
- Values – This is the first day of recruitment in which you will go to all sororities and learn about the values of their sisterhood. It typically occurs on a Saturday since you will be attending a lot of houses and it will last the longest and despite having the shortest rounds. Most conversations will be short and superficial but you will meet a lot of sisters in each round.
- Philanthropy – On this day of recruitment you will go through a similar process but instead will learn about each sorority’s philanthropy and will participate in some sort of activity that is specific to each house, but typically some sort of craft. There will be less houses to attend on this day depending upon how many houses you cut and how many houses cut you during the mutual selection. Since there are less houses, there will be longer rounds and a bit more in depth conversation and you may talk to someone you talked to the day before.
- Skit Night – On this day of recruitment you will be attending each house’s sorority skit. This is a more relaxed round since you get to sit back and enjoy the entertainment instead of talking the entire time. However, since there are even fewer houses on this day, there will be longer rounds and conversations will no longer be covering the basics.
- Pref (Preference) Night – This is the last night of recruitment in which you will attend typically only two houses and will spend a long time in each house. The person who “prefs” you will be a sister you’ve talked to before and have common interests with so the conversation should be easy and relaxed. At the end of this night you will go to a designated place with all of the recruits to sign an form to verify your completion of rush and make a final decision between houses. Note: the form you sign will also prevent you from going through recruitment again for an entire year, meaning if you don’t get the house you want, you can’t accept a bid from another house or go through informal recruitment later on.
- Bid Day - Recruitment Counselors will bring bid cards to your dorm and you will join your new sisters at their house.