Inspired by a recent post in our awesome Future Female Leaders Network group, I would love to impart a few things about preparing for sorority recruitment. The actual recruitment week(s) in an of itself is a whole other beast that needs to be tamed at its own time, but as my parents always said, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” So this bite, is about the over the summer preparations that go into successful recruitment.
First, let me define what successful is when it comes to recruitment— it’s your own definition.
Recruitment can definitely end in a multitude of ways:
you happily running to your new sisters on Bid Day
you being crushed at ending up with your second choice (or no choice at all)
you dropping out of the recruitment process because it didn’t seem like the right fit
Honestly, looking back on the process of my own recruitment, almost 7 years ago now, I am proud of the fact I was able to handle being thousands of miles away from home and meet countless girls, and put my best foot forward everyday. The fact that I found my true sisterhood, and now what I consider to be some of my best friends is a cherry on top.
A couple of key terms to know:
Panhellenic: This is the organization on campus that is the managing and governing board for all the sororities on campus. There is also a National Panhellenic Conference made up of the 26 national sororities, that helps to dictate fair policies like recruitment rules, hazing, etc.
PNM: potential new member, aka you.
Formal recruitment: this takes place at different times depending on your campus. This is the formal process where a PNM must visit all of the sororities on campus at one point, and the mutual selection process occurs.
Informal recruitment: also known as COB, or Continuous Open Bidding, this process occurs when a chapter is below the average total (amount of sorority members in each chapter) of chapters on campus. Individual chapters have different ways of doing informal recruitment, including simply just inviting members’ friends to the house or to coffee dates. It’s a less structured recruitment process.
Membership selection: the way that sororities choose their new members. This is actually a secret process that sororities do not disclose. Common things, I assume, to vote on include your academics, leadership activities, volunteer service, personal excellence (morals but also appearance in the sense of do you look like you put effort into your appearance), and the way you interact with chapter members. The overarching question that people like to joke about is, “Could I brush my teeth next to this girl in the sorority bathroom?”