Sorority Recruitment 101

Monday, July 31, 2017

Sorority life and the idea of Greek Life has been showed in countless movies and television shows. From the show "Greek" to movies like "House Bunny" and "Legally Blonde", there are so many misconceptions about what being in a sorority is really like. It's not for everyone but for the people that are in it, they can tell you they wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I was lucky enough to be a colony class member of Sigma Kappa at the University of West Georgia and that was one of the highlights during my duration in college. I get lots of questions about my experience of what it's like being an active member in a sorority and what sorority recruitment is really like. I thought it would be best to write a post dedicated to answering some of those questions as well as give my tips on recruitment if you're a PNM (Potential New Member) going thru formal recruitment. Here is a list compiled of all my tips and thoughts about sorority recruitment that can be a good source to refer back to when needed. Any terms that I refer to are what was used at my University and might vary across college campuses so keep that in mind when reading, but they pretty much refer to the same things.

Ok, I thought I would start with this one since every girl is thinking about what she is going to wear. At most Universities the Greek council will give a guideline of what to wear for each day. Take that and choose an outfit that fits properly; nothing too short, no plunging necklines. You're not trying to attract a guy, you're in a house full of women. They don't care what your cleavage and butt cheeks look like. Now they're not asking you to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe but find something in your closet that matches the criteria and makes you feel good. Whenever you really like your outfit, you stand a little taller and appear more confident. Make sure that your shoes are comfortable and you've work them before. Don't wait until the day of recruitment to break in those cute heels you just bought or that you have left sitting in your closet for just the right occasion to wear them. You're going to be doing a lot of walking around so you don't want to be worried about how your feet are hurting versus the conversation you're having with the girls from that particular chapter. 

Keep your makeup simple and natural. You might be the best at creating an amazing smokey eye and cut crease but this isn't the time to show it off. Depending on when your school does recruitment it's going to be HOT, especially here in the South! You really don't want a pound of makeup sweating off your face as you're walking from house to house. If need be bring a little powder for touch ups and if you can't leave the house with your lipstick, definitely reach for a long lasting liquid lipstick that won't wear off after an hour. You want low maintenance.

 Keep an Open Mind!
Go into recruitment open minded. You don't know how may times I've talked to girls who "knew what chapter they were going to join" based on what they had heard, what chapters they had friends in or the perception they got of the chapter. You never know how you're going to personally feel once you meet girls from each house. You might be surprised and wind up loving a chapter you didn't even think you would click with.

Piggybacking off of that, DO NOT READ GREEK FORUMS!! This is probably one of the worst things you could do! Around the time of recruitment the things that get posted can get really catty and people know PNM's are reading these pages so it's used as a tool to bash things about the different chapters. This can leave you with a really bad taste of what being Greek and in a sorority really means. So do yourself a favor and avoid them at all cost. So ignore the drama and the reputations that might be going around and choose the house that is the best for you. This is pretty plain and simple. You want it to feel like home!

Do Your Research!
Before you start recruitment try to check out each chapters social media pages; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They do their best to update these pages to give you a glimpse at their sisterhood and what sets them apart from the others. Using these can help you learn more about each sorority so you don't have to waste time asking the basic questions and can spend more time asking more serious and interesting ones.

 First Impression
The first 20-30 seconds are super important when walking into a house. It's the first impression they get of you and vice versa. You'll get to learn more about them once you start conversation but those first few seconds is your chance to make an impression and show you're different than any other girl she's met that day. Think of it like speed dating. You're trying to let them learn the most about you in a small amount of time. With that being said, BE YOURSELF! This is the one thing I stress the most! don't try to act like what you think they're looking for in a PNM, show them the real you!

You're going to be asked a bunch of questions in every house. When giving your answers try to give more than just a yes or a no response. It's kind of hard to have a conversation with someone when all they say is yes or no. If you do happen to give an answer that creates a lull in the conversation this is a perfect opportunity for you to ask your own questions! Ask things like:
*What's your favorite thing about your chapter?
*What drew you to joining that particular chapter?
*What other things are they involved in on campus?
*How hard is it to balance Greek Life and school?

Other questions you can ask are:
Why did you decide to go through recruitment?
*What was your favorite philanthropy that you participated in and why?
*Were you an in-state or out-of-state student?
*If they say out-of-state ask, How was the transition moving to a different state and how did your sorority help with that situation?
*If in-state ask, Even though you are close to home do you ever get homesick, if so how does your sorority help with that situation?
*Are you involved in any other organizations, if so what are they?
*Ask they to define terms that you are confused about, for example, What is a philanthropy event?
*Are you required to have a certain amount of study hours?
*Do you have a specific place for studying in the house?
*How much of a time commitment is a sorority
*What are some of the values that are associated with your sorority?
*Does your chapter plan sisterhood events? If so, what were some of your favorite?
*Does your chapter keep in touch with alumnae? If so, what are some events that you put on?
*If the chapter has a house on campus ask, Do you live in the house or do you plan on living in the house?
*What makes your sorority unique?
*What are some of the traditions of the university that you have participated in?
*How much are sorority dues per semester? / Do you offer payment plans?

Ask questions. If you're really curious about something involving that chapter who better than to ask than an active member of that sorority?! Obviously don't ask things that go beyond what is allowed but I'm sure she would be glad to answer them for you. I also suggest having a small mental list of your interests and hobbies already in your mind so you never feel like you're being put on the spot. You'll probably get asked this a million times but having that list already curated in your mind will come in handy. Trust me!

P.S DO NOT talk about boys, alcohol or partying. End of story.

Ok, weird I know but this is the one thing I don't think people really talk about. Posture can tell a lot about you; are their arms crossed?...Are they making eye contact and actually listening to what I have to say? Those are all the things they are looking at. If you have your arms crossed and have no desire to be at a certain house because you've already realized it's not for you, at least give them the respect by still listening and engaging in conversation while you're there. You never know, you might actually really enjoy that house or come out of it with a different perspective.

Keep Notes
At the end of every day, keep notes about what you did and didn't like about each chapter. What about them stood out to you? Did they ask you questions that was outside the normal small talk? Did the girl you talk to remember your name? It can get very overwhelming when you visit so many houses in one day so jot your thoughts down so you stay organized.

Utilize your Rho Gamma (Recruitment Counselor)
Your Rho Gamma is there to help you thru this entire process. "She gives up her letters to help you find your home." She is your hub for all things recruitment so if you're every confused about anything, she is your go to gal. Don't feel like you're bothering her and asking too many questions, that's what she's there for. Don't ask her what sorority she's in, you'll find out on bid day! :)

Eat & Sleep
Yes, the excitement of recruitment is in the air and you're bursting at the seams and can't fall asleep. You have a long couple of days ahead of you so you want to make sure that you're getting enough rest to make it thru. You don't want to be in a house and constantly yawning in a girls face because you didn't get enough sleep. Also make sure that you're eating breakfast, at least something before the start of each day. They don't want girls passing out because she didn't eat enough or anything at all. Some schools have snacks they provide during your breaks but just in case bring yourself an apple, a bag of trail mix and some water to hold yourself over.

Ok, so this was quite lengthy but I wanted to share everything I knew that would be helpful. I'm sure I'm probably leaving some things out but I hope that this post was helpful and very informative. If you're going thru recruitment or know someone who is, share this with them. Recruitment although stressful is one of the most exciting times. Enjoy the process and show them your best self! Don't forget that the girls in each chapter are just as nervous as you are. They're showing their chapter off to you as best as they can in hopes to gain new sisters. Take in everything and good luck!

If you have any other questions leave them in the comments, shoot me a message or send me an email. I'd be glad to answer anything else you're curious about!

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