Hello again, as stated in my previous post, I have an exciting new series launching on this blog. Today marks the first post in my Rockin’ Recruitment series to help you (obviously) rock recruitment.
Today, I will be sharing the basics of recruitment, greek life and sorority life. This spans from the vocabulary used to basic expectations. I’m hoping by providing you with the basics, I can help simplify the entire process for you.
So let’s get into it!
To start, let’s go over the basic terminology that is used during sorority recruitment. These terms are used very frequently during recruitment, so understanding their meaning will help you understand what is going on.
Potential New Member (PNM): when you are going through recruitment, you will be called a PNM. This basically means that you are a potential member of each sorority. This is similar to a pledge but is a bit nicer and respectful.
Rho Gamma: throughout recruitment, you will have a rho gamma to help answer any questions, get you to each house and help talk through decision making. This is a person who has temporarily disaffiliated with their sorority to help you make your decision.
Legacy: if your mom, aunt, cousin, or other female relative was a member of a sorority, you are a called a legacy.
Initiation: this is the ceremony when you become an actual member of the sorority.
Bid: if you are invited to join a sorority, you will receive a bid. This is a formal invitation to join the chapter and become a member.
Now let’s get into the recruitment process itself.
My actual recruitment process consisted of four days however, there were a few events prior to recruitment that helped simplify the process. We had a day to meet our Rho Gam groups (a small group of PNMs paired with a Rho Gam). This is where we had the opportunity to meet the people we would go through the process with and the person who would help us as needed.
The day before recruitment, all of the PNMs met in an auditorium and had an event with KJ from Phired Up productions which helped us relax before we dove into the process. This was a really fun, relaxed event full of helpful tips, jokes and confidence boosts.
Then we went to bed, woke up and began the process.
Day 1- Go Greek Night: Around 4 PM we went to each sorority house (which were just various rooms around campus since Chapman doesn’t have sorority houses) for around 25-30 minutes. This was a day full of small talk (majors, hobbies, tv shows, food, etc.) where we had the opportunity to get a feel for each house. At the end of this day, you rank your top 6 chapters and each chapter invites back the girls they were interested in.
Day 2- Values Day: Again around 4 PM, we received our schedule of the houses we were going back to. On this day, you can be called back to up to 6 houses (side note: most people don’t get called back to all 6 so don’t be too hurt if you aren’t invited back to a certain house).
We were also provided with a colored ribbon that represented a value that we hold close to our heart. Each member of the sororities also chose a ribbon to wear. These were the options we had to pick from:
- Academics/ Knowledge
I really loved this because it gave you something to talk about at each house. You could bond over having the same value as someone or just talk about why yours is so important to you.
At the end of this day, you ranked your top 4 houses and the sororities again selected the women they were interested in.
Day 3- Philanthropy Day: Around 10:30 AM, we met with our Rho Gam groups and received our schedule for the day (going to up to 4 houses). We went to each house for 45 minutes and learned about the philanthropy of each chapter. In some houses, we would watch videos, do an activity or simply listen to a speech about the philanthropy the chapter was involved in.
This gave us the opportunity to talk about causes that were important to us and learn about how involved the sorority was with its community. Some houses got very emotional about the causes which helped show just how much philanthropy means.
At the end of this day, you choose 2 houses to go back to. For many of my friends, this was a really challenging decision but for me, it was incredibly simple.
Day 4- This is a two-part day.
Preference Morning: At 8 AM, we met our groups and received the schedule of the 2 houses we would return to. This morning was the most emotional by far. Each chapter will talk about how much the sorority itself means to them. In some chapters, you will receive a letter or flower to help you remember them.
This was my favorite day by far because up until this point, the sororities have most of the choosing power, however, on this day, you actually get to make the choice. At the end of your morning, you select the house you want to be in.
Bid Day: Around 4 PM, we went to an auditorium, reviewed the process and received our bids. We all opened them at the same time and then were divided up to run to our new homes. This was an incredibly emotional and exciting time because we were able to finally relax and run home.
There was then a Bid Day party that celebrated us joining the chapter and welcomed us with food and music. We were also able to meet the other girls who would become our sisters.
The whole process was really fun for me and helped me to grow as a person and develop my confidence. However, that is not the case for everyone. Many of my friends hated the process because you WILL experience rejection.
Here are some things to remember when going through the process that helped me enjoy it:
You only need one. This specific comment helped me so much. On certain days, I wouldn’t get invited back to a chapter that I wanted and it hurt. Then I remembered that I only need ONE chapter. You can’t join multiple sororities so there has to be a method of removing you from some.
Trust the process. There is a reason that the recruitment process has been so similar for so many years, it works. While it may not be the easiest process, by the end of it, you may find the place that you were always meant to be in.
Sorority life isn’t for everyone. There are many girls who went through the process only to realize they didn’t fit in any sorority. And that’s okay. Sorority life works for many women but for some, it just doesn’t. It is okay to not join a sorority, even if all of your friends do.
Do what’s best for you. If all of your friends are going through the process, the likelihood of all of you joining the same one is incredibly slim. Different sororities value different things and are built of many different kinds of people. Some of my best friends are in chapters I never could see myself in and visa versa. Don’t feel pressured to join a house you don’t want to join, just because your friend likes it.
Stay true to yourself. During the whole process, it will seem like EVERYONE is being super fake. Please try to remember that everyone is on their best behavior and you should be too. However, don’t lose sight of who you are as a person. Don’t say something just to impress the girls in the sororities. If you stay strong and hold true to yourself, you will find the right place for you.
I hope this helped you understand the process a bit better. If you have any questions, let me know and I will be sure to get back to you. I’m sorry if this post seems a bit unorganized. The recruitment process itself is a bit hectic as well.
I will see you tomorrow to answer one of the biggest questions I had going through recruitment: What do I wear?
Lots of love,
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Have a burning recruitment question? Ask it in the comments below or on any of my social media accounts. You may even see it become a post!