So, You Want To Rush A Sorority... Part 2
So it’s finally recruitment…
The moment you’ve been waiting for all semester! Yesterday we published a piece with some fast facts and a few quick tips about the recruitment process. Today I’m getting into the nitty gritty with a breakdown of what to expect each night.
Please note that this guide is a supplement to the information sent out by Pacific’s Panhellenic Association. If you have any specific recruitment based questions, feel free to visit their website.
So it’s Thursday night…
Head over to the UC for the “first night” of recruitment so to speak. Tonight they’ll give you a more official presentation about the process and will remind you that joining a sorority requires a fairly large time commitment as well as a financial commitment. Do not take this part lightly. Ask your family, yourself, your bank account, and your grades if this is something that you will be able to commit to not just for four years, but as they say “for life.”
It’s important to note that tonight’s festivities are optional; however, I would encourage you to attend so you can hear more about the process and calm your nerves a bit before Friday.
Wardrobe tips for thursday:
Comfy, Warm, Sweaters, Cardigans, Flannels, Jeans, Sneakers, Boots, Booties
So it’s Friday night…
It’s finally here! Tonight you’ll meet at the UC and after a short presentation your assigned group will head to the houses for the long awaited house tours!
After a quick PowerPoint you will be split into groups and assigned recruitment counselors or “Ro Chis” (pronounced Ro-kyes). These people will become your best friends and best resources over the next few days. The recruitment counselors have disaffiliated themselves (this means they won’t tell you what house they are in, and no amount of Instagram stalking will let you know). Doing this helps remove bias towards their house, and helps them answer questions about the process and what you are feeling.
The whole house tours process is pretty weird: your group walks up to the house and you stand in alphabetic order. Your Ro Chi rings the doorbell and hands over a stack of notecards with your group’s names on them. This helps the girls inside keep track of who is who. Now you’ll wait at the door for a few more minutes *cue singing from inside*.
The door will open and you’ll nervously walk inside, shake the hands of a few girls (usually the president, the house mom, chapter advisor etc.) and be paired with a girl who will spend a while with you showing you around and getting to know your interests. This is the time when “just keep swimming” does not apply. Do not follow the girl in front of you too closely- be conscious of the fact that someone will be coming to greet you and show you around.
At some point you’ll sit down and watch a short video about the girls. During this time they sometimes have snacks. Please eat (see yesterday’s post). You can either talk over the video or cut off conversation, it doesn’t matter too much- the girls have seen the video a thousand times. If you have a good conversation going keep talking!
By now you’ve been passed along to a few different girls with the hopes that you will hit it off with someone! Eventually time is up and you’ll leave *cue more singing*. Repeat 3x (each house visit is about 45 minutes).
What I didn’t really grasp going into it was how much 1 on 1 time you will have. I pictured house tours to be similar to campus tours where a girl walks backwards through the house and tells you to let her know if she’s about to trip. This is not the case, so have some questions in mind in case there’s a lull in the conversation. As I said before, these girls are just as nervous if not more nervous than you because they’re trying to lead an engaging conversation. They will definitely welcome questions.
After visiting each house, eating snacks, and listening to singing you’ll go back to the UC to decide which house you would prefer to not visit the next day. This DOES NOT mean you will not visit that house the next day. Sometimes you are invited back to that house, and not another. Moral of the story here is to trust the process as crazy as that may seem.
It’s finally bedtime. Head home, think about your experience, and take note of what you saw, liked, didn’t like. They tell you to not talk to consult with anyone other than your Ro Chi as this is supposed to be an individual journey of sorts. This is probably a pretty good idea, but I also think there is a lot to be said about consulting your friends and family when it comes to big decisions. This is not the time to rely on your friends or family to make a decision for you, but it is important to ground yourself: calm down, take a step back, and think about what is best for you and where you feel the most comfortable.
Wardrobe tips for Friday:
Think: Comfy, Warm, Sweaters, Cardigans, Flannels, Jeans, Sneakers, Boots, Booties
So it’s Saturday…
Get ready for more singing, and some crafting. You’ll start out your day in the UC learning which houses you have been invited back to. KEEP AN OPEN MIND MY FRIENDS. If you are not invited back to a house that you thought you really wanted to return to, give the other houses a chance, see who you meet today, and don’t go in with too closed of a mind. If you are upset, uncomfortable, or disappointed, I recommend talking to your recruitment counselor.
Saturday is known as Philanthropy Day, which means the day is dedicated to you learning about the foundation each house supports. Throughout the year each house puts on events: Delta Desserts, Theta Inferno, Anchor Slam, Red Dress Gala etc. and the proceeds go towards each house’s respective charity: St. Jude’s, CASA, etc. To demonstrate this, each house will have a presentation explaining the work they do and what their foundation means to them. During this time you will complete a craft to benefit their foundation.
Today you will have a little more 1 on 1 sit down time, things are usually a bit quieter, and there is more food than yesterday. All around a pretty good day if you ask me.
Overall, today should be a little less intimidating because you’ve already been exposed to the singing, you’ve met some of the girls, and you aren’t going into totally unchartered territory.
Keep in mind, just because today is philanthropy day doesn’t mean you are limited to talking about philanthropy. If you saw the presentation and learned all you needed to know but are still interested in what a sleeping porch is or what people do on weekends, ask away! In fact, you probably won’t talk about philanthropy the entire time so don’t worry if you aren’t on the subject for very long.
At this point you may be torn about which house to drop. Don’t hurry into your decision, and keep in mind your Ro Chi is there for you if you have any reservations. This process is supposed to be fun not stressful.
Wardrobe tips for saturday:
Think: Comfy, Warm, Sweater, Blouse, Skirt, Nice Pants, Casual Dress, Casual Romper, Tights, Boots, Booties
So it’s Sunday…
I know on Friday I said “it’s finally here” but now it’s FINALLY HERE! You’ll meet Sunday morning at the UC and find out which houses you will be returning to. You will return to a maximum of 2 houses. Again, if you are uneasy about this, talk to your Ro Chi.
Today, known as Preference Day, will have a more intimate feel as you learn about the experiences of women in each of the houses. Each house has worked hard to get to know you over the past few days, and now the girls are opening up with the hopes of showing you something you could see yourself being a part of. You’ll hear stories of friendship and sisterhood accompanied by laughing and crying. You’ll see what it means to be a part of that house, and what that house has given its members.
If I could go through this day again, I would try to remember it more. I was so busy wondering which house to pick and if I should eat more and if I was saying the right things that I forgot to enjoy myself and take it all in. A lot of girls I know share the same sentiment, so if you take one thing away from this, try to settle down and live in the moment a little bit.
When time’s up you’ll return back to the UC to make your selection. Don't rush your decision, take your time and really think about where you see yourself now, and who you see yourself being in 3 and a half years.
Unfortunately, as with every selection thus far, your choice doesn’t exactly guarantee your spot in that house. It is also important to keep in mind that at the forms you sign at this time will bind you with certain restrictions regarding dropping your sorority, joining a different sorority, etc. General life tip: know what you are signing before singing it.
Now you go home, take a nap if you aren’t too nervous, touch up your hair, and throw on a shirt you can easily change out of. I would recommend a tank top and a sweatshirt if it’s chilly out. Then head back to the UC! There will be a few closing remarks made by Panhellenic and then you will receive your bid! You will then sit on your bid ( I know you are probably tired of all of these weird traditions by now). *cue countdown* 3…2…1 OPEN!
I can’t explain the feeling you will have when you open your bid because its indescribable and different for everyone. What I do know is this moment marks the beginning of a journey for each and every girl in the room as they learn what it means to be a member of something bigger than themselves.
Think: Comfy, Warm, Nice Blouse, Skirt, Romper, Dress, Flats, Booties, Wedges, Heels
Things to remember:
- A minimum 2.5 GPA is required to go through the recruitment process. You also must not be in any poor standing with the University. If this GPA is a struggle for you to maintain, know that you will be held to academic and behavior standards once you join in order to participate in events.
- As with anything, there is a financial commitment as well as a time commitment involved with joining. Ask yourself if this is something you can afford both money and time wise. Discuss options with your family, friends, and recruitment counselors.
- The process itself is a whirlwind of a weekend but it is supposed to be fun. Take time for yourself to organize your thoughts and feelings. Get sleep and take care of yourself.
- Choosing to join a sorority is a big commitment. You are joining something which is “not for four years but for life which you’ll hear countless times. Understand the commitment you are making when you choose to join something larger than yourself. Be sure that you want to represent the organization and have the organization represent you.
- Not everyone gets their number 1 choice. Some people get their number 1 choice and don’t stick with it. There are a number of possible outcomes and I’m here to tell you that no two experiences are alike. There is no amount of advice I can give you for each situation, but what is important is that you stretch your comfort zone and give something a try. Didn’t get your first choice? Give it a try. Got your first choice, decided to give it a try, not for you? You gave it a try. Tried it and loved it? Well that’s the best we can ask for.