If you’re reading this, hopefully you’ve signed up for Sorority Recruitment if your school holds recruitment in the fall- if you have not, I so strongly encourage you to think about signing up and going through recruitment. If your school holds recruitment in the Spring like my school, I hope you’re thinking about attending Meet and Greets this fall and signing up for Recruitment in the spring.
Sometimes, joining a chapter is not for everyone, but even going through formal recruitment is an experience like nothing else and something that rewards you with friends!
· What is formal recruitment? Formal recruitment is a period of a few days where a person thinking about joining a sorority on their campus can visit every sorority chapter on their campus and narrow down these houses based on a mutual selection process over the course of days.
· When is formal recruitment? Typically in the fall for some schools, a week before classes start, but some smaller schools or northern colleges choose to have their recruitment during January. It will typically be at the start of the chosen semester. Check your school's Panhellenic Council website to learn the dates of your formal recruitment! My school holds recruitment in the spring, while most of my friends’ schools host recruitment in the fall.
· How many days does recruitment last? Every college varies in their length of recruitment! Some schools have a three day recruitment, others have a week-long recruitment. My university was spanned over a weekend- Thursday to Sunday, with Bid Day on Monday night after classes! Also, colleges differ with how long each round will last. My school had Round 1 stretch two days, with Round 2 and and Preference Night lasting only one day each.
·How long do the parties during rounds last? Again, this is unique to each school! You can ask your Panhellenic Council or a Recruitment Counselor.
·I have no idea what I'm doing! What do I do? Breathe first! Recruitment is in no way the end all be all of your life. Going through recruitment can be a little bit overwhelming, but it is so worth it. Look over your campus’ Panhellenic website for FAQ and answers to your questions, and once you find out who your Recruitment Counselors are, feel free to reach out to them!
The Summer or Semester Before...
I definitely recommend some preparation before you go through recruitment- even just thinking about whether or not you want to join a sorority. If you are entering in your freshman year, you'll will be VERY busy moving in, so if your school's recruitment is in the fall, it'll be smart to be prepared. If you are not a freshman, then you've probably heard some sort of overview surrounding greek life or recruitment, but definitely set out some time to plan. If your recruitment is in the spring on your campus, focus on making friends, exploring campus and enjoying your first semester, but keep formal recruitment in the back of your mind, and take any steps you need to prepare for your recruitment experience!
Letters of Recommendation
While these are not required at all schools, Letters of Recommendation definitely don’t hurt. It can seem overwhelming to try to secure a recommendation for every chapter on your college's campus, so do not worry about it. There are going to be some campuses or some chapters that don’t need recommendation letters. Our campus didn’t even do recommendation letters when I went through recruitment!
Be cognizant of the women you are asking to write you a letter. If you do not know them very well, they may not agree to write you one or if they do, you'll need to send them your resume with other credentials so they can fill out the form. If they send in a letter via postal service, offer to compensate them for their postage. I would also send out thank you notes to all the women that write you letters! They are going out of their way to write you a recommendation, so any thank you goes a very long way!
This is hands down one of the hardest parts of the planning process, or at least it was for me! I can definitely do another post on what to wear, if people really want it!
In my personal opinion, you should not buy new clothes specifically for recruitment, because a) it isn’t really necessary and b) you’re looking for a chapter that loves you for YOU, not for your clothes, so wear things that you already own and love!! You want to be 100% comfortable during recruitment, because it is already long days and overwhelming, so your clothes should be a source of comfort for you, not stress! Just make sure to be mindful of the weather. When I went through recruitment, it snowed everyday and was under 32ºF during rounds, but I have friends who went through recruitment in 90ºF weather, so just make sure you’re comfortable for the weather on your campus!
The most important parts of the outfits for recruitment is to WEAR WHAT YOU WANT. Often, people will try to dress like the sorority they want based on what they think that sorority is looking for in a member. You need to wear what you feel comfortable in and you will find a chapter that accepts you for you, not for what you’re wearing! I personally stuck to pants and neutral tops and bright jewelry and neutral flats for my recruitment experience, just to keep myself comfortable! But if you like bright pink dresses and sky high heels, wear that! It's all about what YOU want to represent yourself as and how to keep yourself calm, collected, and comfy!
Do some studying
The best thing to do before recruitment is to understand fully what sorority recruitment entails and the responsibilities of joining a chapter! Read your Panhellenic Council's website as it holds helpful information such as costs, calendar dates, and FAQ's. There are some campuses where you won’t be able to ask sisters about certain information, like exact costs of their dues, but you can most definitely find a range of costs on your campus if you can’t find the exact semesterly cost of each chapter. Before you go through recruitment, think hard and long about the financial responsibility you are taking on by joining a sorority, because your first set of dues will come up quickly after joining, so it’s good to be aware of that before you join! Definitely scan through your campus’ Panhellenic Council’s website before recruitment and never be afraid to ask your recruitment counselors questions!!
Another thing: It's completely normal to look at all the chapters at your school and their social media! It’s a great way to see how chapters keep an online presence and how they like to represent their sisterhood online- however, always keep in mind that chapters look beautiful and perfect on these websites, and it’s probably true that their sisterhood is so, so, so special to their sisters, but don’t necessarily join a chapter based on their social media presence.
The most important thing to keep in mind: Please do not go into recruitment with any preconceived notions about chapters. The best piece of advice I got before going through recruitment is to keep an open mind about every single chapter. If I hadn’t done that, I never would have joined my sorority, which was done through extension recruitment on our campus after formal recruitment ended. Keeping an open mind is the easiest way to go through the recruitment process and you’ll never know which chapter you like the most until you give each one a chance with a fully open mind!
Lots of hugs from Hotlanta,