Registration for recruitment is now closed, leaving many girls asking if they should have signed up and joined a sorority or not. While that is an important decision that everyone should make on her own, knowing what the process is like may help. For those who just signed up, here are a few things to keep in mind while you decide if you want to be a part of a sisterhood.
All girls who signed up for recruitment are asked to return to campus the day before the first official day of recruitment for an orientation. This is where you meet your Rho Gamma group, which is assigned alphabetically. Rho Gammas are juniors or seniors who have disaffiliated themselves from their sororities to avoid having any effect on the girls in their groups. Do not ask your Rho G which sorority she is in, she will not tell you – plus it’s so much more fun on bid day when she reveals it.
After getting to know the girls in your group, everyone meets in one of the Student Shalala Center ballrooms for an orientation. This is a standard presentation that goes over the do’s and don’t’s of recruitment.
Day One: Open House
The first day of recruitment is the longest, so make sure to get a good night’s sleep beforehand. Everyone goes to all eight sororities and spends 15 – 20 minutes in each suite. There are 15 minutes between the parties to get to the next suite and get back in alphabetical order. At the end of the day, your Rho Gamma will give you a sheet of paper with all of the sororities’ names for you to rank them. The six sororities that you want to go back to the following day will be given the number one, the other two that you wish to drop will be ranked two and three. For more information on the sororities, click here.
Day Two: Philanthropy
On the second day, you can return to a maximum of six sororities. Note: you may go back to one or both of the sororities that you dropped; “Dropped” means that you were not invited back to one of the houses that you ranked as number one, but you were invited back to your number two or three.
Each day, the amount of time that you spend in each suite increases. For day two, it’s half an hour. Each sorority will tell you about their philanthropies, the charities that they raise money for each semester. If you have specific questions about any of the philanthropies, just ask! All of the girls will be more than happy to tell you all about the amazing organizations they work with.
Day Three: Invitational
Day three of recruitment is called Invitational, where you spend 45 minutes in a max of four sororities. Yes, this is a lot of time, but you don’t have to talk for all of it. Most sororities pick a few girls to go to the front of the room and tell funny stories with their sisters or why they chose their respective chapters. This allows Potential New Members a.k.a. PNMs a.k.a. YOU to get a feel for what being in that sorority would be like and if you could see yourself calling these girls your sisters at the end of the week. When Invitational is over, you select only your top two sororities.
Day Four: Pref
The fourth and final day of recruitment is definitely the biggest – on both ends. On this day, PNMs choose which sorority they want to accept a bid from. This day is also incredibly important for the sorority because they hope that the girls will choose them as their number one. Each party lasts for one hour. Most chapters will have some sort of ritual that is a tradition for their sorority to do on the last day of recruitment. You may be paired with a girl from a sorority that you have already hung out with during recruitment, or you may meet someone completely new that the chapter felt you have a lot in common with.
There is a voting process at the end of the day that is incredibly formal. Instead of ranking the houses on a sheet of paper and giving it to your Rho Gamma, you go one by one into a room where you fill out your personal information, rank the sororities, and give your signature, which then gets put into a computer program.
Day Five: Bid Day
Bid Day is the most fun day of the long and exhausting recruitment process. All the girls accepting a bid meet with their Rho Gamma groups and are asked to wear either a large t-shirt, hoodie, sweatshirt, etc. Each Rho Gamma gives out the bids and on the count of three, everyone opens their bids at the same time. Afterwards, the new members get a bid day shirt from whichever sorority they will be joining and then put their own larger shirt or sweater over it.
Now the reveal process can begin. The girls line up in alphabetical order by Rho Gamma group, and all the members of each group line up on The Rock. Someone will have a microphone and will countdown until the girls reveal the shirt of their respective chapters. When the girls see that a PNM has accepted their bid, they essentially maul you and may even tackle you to the ground with hugs. After reveal is over, you spend the rest of the day getting to know your pledge class and new sisters.
To some people, joining a sorority is a big deal. Depending on how involved you choose to get within your sorority, it could define your college experience. You will form lasting friendships and memories with your chapter. Recruitment is a crazy week and when ranking the houses at the end of each day, it is important to go make a decisions based on your gut, not on your friends or your roommate or the rest of the girls on your floor. Keep in mind the values that you hold and which sorority has the same ones. Most importantly, go with whichever suite you feel most at home in and which girls you could see yourself calling your sisters.
Lizzie is a junior double majoring in media management and french. She is currently the Travel Editor for distractionmagazine.com, and writes for the print magazine as well. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Lizzie loves working out, going to concerts, traveling and of course, writing.