Friday, August 3, 2018

LET'S BREAK DOWN SORORITY RECRUITMENT


It's the most wonderful time of the year... recruitment season!!! If you for some reason you do not know what recruitment is or are going to a school with a huge Greek life, but you have never been exposed to any Greek Life, let me break it down for ya. Big disclaimer: recruitment is different at every school, especially depending on location and size of the school! I go to a big SEC school, University of South Carolina, with a big recruitment. This year we are expecting a little under 2,000 girls to rush, aka PNMs (potential new members)... yeah, crazy.

This post is long, and there is a lot of information! I really dove into the different rounds and what recruitment is like. So, if you are rushing in the fall, I promise it is worth the read!

For starters, recruitment is almost like this insane summer camp. You are outside most of the day, and if you are in the South, it is not quite the most enjoyable weather to be in during August. But you power through! The houses will have water outside and your Pi Chis will most likely have quite anything you could need to freshen up. You will be put into lines, and yes, the order does matter. You will walk into the houses and everyone will be cheering, girls will be greeting you, and you will definitely feel either overwhelmed, annoyed, or so overjoyed and fall in love with every girl you talk to. I was not the biggest fan of all the cheering, just because I hate loud noises when I am not expecting it (lol), and am not into the overly happy girls. However, once I got into conversations, I LOVED it.

Most likely, you are going to be split into groups, at USC, we call them Pi Chi Groups. This is a group with about 15+ girls all going through recruitment. You will also have two or so recruitment counselors, called Pi Chis (at my school, but are also known as Rho Chi/Gamma Chi, etc)! These Pi Chis have disaffiliated from their chapters to help you find your home. Tender, I know. Do not take them for granted! They are there to help you process go by smoother, and do not forget they were in your exact shoes a few years ago. Their advice and support will be invaluable during recruitment.

I am going to dive into each round, talking points/what not to talk about, and my overall best tips for going through recruitment!


WHAT DOES EACH ROUND ENTAIL?

Recruitment consists of multiple rounds. Each round has a different purpose, and as the rounds continue, you will go to fewer and fewer houses, where the time spent at each house gets longer and longer. At USC, there are 4 rounds, but also two days per round, so they are not particularly short. Each round varies in time and topic. Here is a little breakdown of the different rounds {specifically at USC, but are pretty standard nationwide in terms of types of rounds}:

  1. Round 1 has the shortest events, but the most. You will go to every single chapter and this round is basically the closest thing to speed dating per say. You will talk to one or two girls in the sorority and it flies by. For this round, come prepared to talk about your summer, goals for college, and maybe what you were involved in high school (or freshman year of college)! For me, I had gone to a camp in Greece the summer before college, so I had plenty to talk about, especially since I couldn't shut up about IV in general anyways. This round was really easy for me and really enjoyable! I have no issues talking to a complete stranger for 20 minutes straight, but it also couldn't be a complete stranger. Sometimes during rush, you will get rushed by a girl who you have mutual connections with, which is always fun. On the contrary, there is no shame in talking about if you worked all summer! It shows you care about your future, can be committed, or you just needed to save up money before college. This round may be the most intimidating, as it is your first impression on the sororities, so make a lasting one. They will be talking to way more girls than you talk to this day - give them something to remember you by!
  2. Philanthropy Round (2)... get ready to cry! No seriously, wear waterproof mascara, and thank me later. If you didn't know this already, sororities do a lot of good. Each sorority has their own unique philanthropy that does real work and makes a real difference. You will most likely watch a video showcasing their cause, different events they hold to raise money, and personal testimonies. There is a very high possibility you will have a personal connection to one of the philanthropies you encounter. If this is the case, open up about your connection, if you are comfortable. Typically, a lot of other girls also have a personal connection to the philanthropy too. My sorority's philanthropy really hits home to me, which ultimately played a huge deciding factor in my choice, without me really even knowing it. Then, once I joined, I realized how many other girls also had close ties as well. BUT, do not worry if you still want a specific sorority, but you don't feel super passionate about their philanthropy. You will become passionate, as you get more involved. One of my best friends is VP Philanthropy for her sorority and never has had a personal experience or connection to the cause, but she grew to hold a huge place for it and the work her sisters do in her heart. Ask the girl who is rushing you questions about their philanthropy and her favorite event they hold, it will help give you a better glimpse into it all.
  3. Sisterhood Round (3) the time you get to really experience what it could be like to join that particular sorority. You will see and hear what they do for fun, how they interact with each other, etc. You will also most likely watch a video during this round - one of my favorite parts about this video is getting to see all the travel the sisters do and their personal styles! This a very light-hearted round, enjoy it! Definitely ask their best memory with their sisters, what kind of sisterhood event is their favorite, how the meals are, about functions, etc. At USC, every person in a sorority is required to be on a Greek Meal Plan. So, the houses are used basically every day by the whole sorority! This isn't the biggest deal, but think about how you like the house, it and the sisterhood could become your home. This is a great time to dive into housing and meal plan questions related to their house. During this round, you will be having longer conversations than before so dive into the questions about their values and core principles of the sorority. This is a great round to get to know if you can really see yourself fitting in, after this round you typically narrow it down to your top 2 chapters!
  4. PREF, ah the last straw. You will only go to one or two houses, with one being your future home! Eeeeekkk!!! Pref is so special. You get to have meaningful, deep conversations, and usually, it could be a girl who has rushed you before which is really sentimental. If you get invited back to pref at a chapter, it means they could see you joining their chapter. In this round, find out why the girl rushing you chose the sorority and why she stayed in it. Pref is one of the toughest rounds, especially if you are really torn between your two houses (like I was)! Take what they tell you to heart and enjoy the moments spent in the house. Feel free to let them know if you could see yourself in their sorority and why! They also have decisions to make, so give them a fantastic reason to remember you, especially if they are your top house. Pref usually lasts about an hour! It is a lot of time to talk and even just get to know the girl(s) who is preffing you. Most likely, you will leave pref knowing which sorority you want to be in, and well if not, you'll have a lot of thinking to do just like I did. I was so torn after pref, I sat in voting trying to decide for so long, but I promise everything works out in the end! 

what not to talk about

Since I mentioned a lot of different talking points specific to each round above, I want to dig into what not to talk about during rush. Major conversations to avoid that are kind of considered universal across Panhellenic Recruitment: 
  • Alcohol/Parties/Tailgates: I think this is pretty self-explanatory, but it is not an appropriate topic during rush. They want to know you, and you want to know them! It's college, some of this is sort of understood. Asking about the different functions they hold, is totally OK. Just be careful not to mention alcohol. If you are worried a sorority won't like you because you don't drink, DO NOT WORRY. No one will dislike you because you do not drink, it is your personal decision and you will never get condemned for that. 
  • Politics/Religion: Everyone knows these can be touchy subjects even between family and friends. Save yourself some awkwardness and controversy, just avoid bringing it up. Sororities are very diverse, which is the fun of it! Not everyone will have the same beliefs as you, which is fine, it opens your eyes to new perspectives, but these are things to learn once you join a sorority. However, mentioning you were a counselor at your church camp or how religion is a big value in your life is alright because that is important to you. 
  • Boys/Fraternities/Boyfriends: I've said this before and I will say it again - the girls want to get to know YOU, not your boyfriend, and you should want to get to know them, not the boys at USC, yet. There is just no place or reason to talk about boys during recruitment, that is kind of the fun of it - like the girl's bathroom - no boys allowed! I understand you could be right next to a frat house, but no need to ask about them. Also, little tip, every girl/friend group has a different preference for fraternities! Freshman year I hung out with a completely different fraternity than I did sophomore year, so it can always change, not something to worry about right now.
  • Name Dropping: I know you are probably so excited to go to the house your best friend from high school is in, but you don't need to talk about her the whole time. You can mention oh, my friend Tori is in this sorority! Well, the girl rushing you may not even know Tori, or she could be her best friend and already know you are friends with her too. It is just kind of a waste of a conversation, trust me. The girls in the sorority already know who you know in the sorority, trust me. Also, if you know someone who you strongly dislike in their chapter, definitely do not mention that or gossip at all, it makes you look very bad during rush. 


THE BEST TIPS

  • ✮ With every conversation you have, it is so so so important that the number one thing you do is be yourself. Everyone wants to know the secrets of rush, well one secret to standing out is being unapologetically yourself! 
  • Go in with an open mind, it will honestly make the process so much easier for you. My sister was in one a sorority at USC while I was rushing, but I still went in with an open mind even though she was giving me her opinions of each chapter before rush even started (lol). This is your process, if you go in with an open mind you can make your own outlooks and your own decisions. Recruitment can be a very empowering process. With this said, do not read Greek Rank either, it is comical, but nowhere near accurate. Try your best to not let anything clog your mind and get to know each chapter equally! Also, during all of this, try to maximize your options. Don't get discouraged because one house you loved dropped you, stay in and feel it out, keep that open mind honey! 
  • Don't shy away from girls (in your Pi Chi group) or any girl just because you don't want the same sorority. At South Carolina, at least, has a very strong and tight Greek Community as a whole. It is so normal and okay to have friends in other sororities. To be honest, it is kind of weird if you don't lol. But seriously, our chapters are huge, so it is not likely that you will genuinely like and be friends with every single girl in your chapter, which is completely fine. I am sure it is this case at other schools too! Some of my best friends at USC are in other sororities. I think I have at least one friend in almost every sorority, whether that girl is from a class, another on-campus activity, mutual friends, past suitemates, or my Pi Chi group. One of my absolute best friends is from my Pi Chi group, as well as one of my Pi Chis who became a huge part of my life. You will spend so much time with these girls, might as well enjoy it!
  • ✮ Rush is not a competition. This is so important to remember because rush is a stressful and long process. You have to keep in mind that everyone will have a different rush experience. I had friends who got dropped from almost every house first round, asked back to every house even when they did not want to go to some of them, and dropped from the one sorority they thought was the one. You cannot compare your rush experience to your best friends or even the girl you cannot stand! You will be talking to so many people about your experience, but really try to stay focused on you.
  • ✮ Trust the process is something you will hear A LOT. Everything has a reason and the process works the way it does for a reason. I know it is really hard to understand the ins and outs of recruitment, but it will all make sense when you are on the other side, trust me. I was someone who, on BID DAY, didn't understand the process that well and I got very upset when things did not go my way, but that is the beauty of the process, it all worked out in my favor and I was given friends and opportunities I could have never imagined. 

Well girly pops, that is all for today. Go you if you read this whole post! A rush outfit guide will be coming soon ✮✮✮ For now, I wish you the BEST OF LUCK for recruitment, it is a blast. I wish I could be a PNM again, I feel washed up. Thanks for reading! 








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