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sorority Q&A: what to do when chapter rules are overbearing…

Q: I am feeling really stuck. I am in sorority X and think of dropping almost everyday. I am 23 years old, much older than your average sorority girl, and I can not handle the “mandatory this,” “watch what you post,” “no drinking pics,” etc. I’M FREAKING 23. I know being in a sorority comes with rules, but I literally feel like these younger girls are trying to tell me what to do.

I was put on academic probation for below .02 below the minimum gpa, but yet my university still has me in good standing. i just feel like the longer i stay in this sorority the more resentful I am becoming and the more things I find wrong and annoying.

What should I do? I’ve made some really good friends already (I rushed in Spring) and I’m scared of being shunned if I drop, but I literally can not take this seriously. I find it corny, overbearing, and annoying to have to answer to sorority X and everything it expects from me. I mean, I have to send PROOF if I miss chapter! What am I? 12? HELP!!!!!

A: Sororities have LOTS of rules! Some chapters are more strict than others, but everything you describe sounds normal. Chapters have to keep their members in line, avoid legal problems, side step bad publicity and stay in good standing with the college administration. Any negative behavior can cause a media firestorm as you’ve probably witnessed every time a sorority sister wears the wrong costume, or posts the wrong photo. The rules come from national headquarters, not just the young girls in your chapter. Sisters can get snotty and power mad, but they are trying to enforce the standards which your organization insists upon. 

There has to be a line somewhere for GPAs and member behavior. You are getting agitated because you’re stepping over that line and then freaking out when you “get in trouble.” The #1 way to avoid all this stress? FOLLOW THE RULES! If you don’t post drinking photos online, don’t get low grades and don’t miss chapter meetings, guess what? No agitation, no anger, no anxiety, no problems. Peace can be yours if you just stay on track. Your sorority wants what’s best for you and being more disciplined is a very useful trait in life.

I don’t know where your intense rebellion comes from, but if you will get past your stubbornness, you can still remain loyal to your initiation vows. Think of it this way ~ when you are employed in your career one day, there will be lots of rules. You will have an entire company handbook to follow. Younger managers may boss you around. You will be told what to do, where to park, how to represent the company image, who you can or cannot date within the organization, what you need to wear to work each day, and much more. I recommend you think of your sorority experience as a training ground for real life!

There is no such thing as total freedom, unless you want to just hang out and sit on your sofa all day. Your professors expect you to perform, coaches and bosses have rules, clubs and organizations have standards ~ you can’t escape it! It has nothing to do with your age. When you’re 60, your much younger boss will demand you attend a company meeting. Even families “make” you do things. It’s called DUTY.

Escape from your controlling sorority will give you more freedom. You can do things alone and you’ll have no behavior guidelines of any kind. I can guarantee you that will loose the sorority friends you’ve made if you turn your back on your sisters. And for what? So you can post inappropriate pictures on Instagram? To sit and eat ice cream instead of going to chapter? Everything has a price. Enjoying the blissful parts of sorority life come with responsibilities (and yes, some annoyances.) 

Also, when you join greek life as an older PNM, there may be some extra agitation. Change your ‘attitude’ towards sorority standards, and I believe this could be a REAL growth moment for you! Getting along with other women in any organization is challenging. If you turn this around, you will have learned soooooo many life lessons. I believe it will be a tremendous blessing for you in the future. xoxo :)

"Discipline yourself to do the things you need to do when you need to do them, and the day will come when you will be able to do the things you want to do when you want to do them!" ~ Zig Ziglar

"I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty." ~ John D. Rockfeller, Jr.

I'm so conflicted& upset I don't know what to do. I got into my last choice chapter. I've tried it out & I've met a few nice girls (6/a lot) but I really don't see myself connecting with others since we're so different. They're a bit weird/quirky. Their chapter really doesn't fit the "sorority image" which is what I actually wanted. I know I should leave before initiation (I already let them know I can't) but I feel guilty and sad. I had a big assigned who seemed great but it's not what I want:(

Asked by

Sometimes it’s very hard to tell when a chapter is truly a mis-match and when it has potential to be rewarding. It can take a year or two to feel at home and grow to love your sisters if you start out from a low level on bid day. I think your conflict comes from your sorority not having the “image” you wanted. They also don’t fit your “self-image.” If you can’t get past that, then you are probably right to leave. That doesn’t mean things will be better when you’re not greek any longer, or better if you rush again next year. There are no guarantees for future happiness with the chapters you didn’t make a match with the first time.

Sometimes a ‘nice’ sorority is perfectly acceptable and a beautiful place to grow emotionally. You have made friends and even like your potential big. I think that’s amazing! If only you could look past some of the superficial judgements, you might be able to continue your membership. No one adores every member of their sorority! Some sisters can’t stand each other. So if you are looking for total harmony, you probably won’t find it. A smaller group of good friends within a chapter is common. You are feeling sad, because you will be leaving some friendly girls who could become close sisters, if only……..

Let me share a sorority story ~ A friend of mine is currently active in a sorority. I’ll call her Tory. Last year she was sobbing and crying on bid day because she got a bid from a sorority she didn’t want (her 3rd choice after Pref.) Tory’s top pick didn’t come through and the girls in her pledge class are really not her type. After several good cries, she stuck it out and a year later, she’s just starting to appreciate her chapter more and beginning to feel at home. She’s still not crazy about her pledge class, but she has made good friends with her older sisters. And when she sees how “rough” it’s been on her friends who got into the “top” chapters, she appreciates her nice chapter more. She knows now, had she gotten her #1 choice, she wouldn’t have fit in and she wouldn’t have been totally accepted.

The chapter where Tory accepted a bid has turned out to be the ideal place for her after all. It took over a year for her to realize this. She is getting more involved at her own pace, her feelings have grown and she now says "I’m glad I’m a XYZ." Most importantly she has finally developed pride for her organization. She didn’t let one group of girls in her chapter stop her overall opinion from improving. She made the best of things and in return has grown to appreciate her sorority much more. After the bid day from hell, you would never guess this could happen. But it does!!

Soooooo, if you decide you can ~ get past the quirkiness of some of your sisters, you can readjust your expectations, you can enjoy the members you do like, you don’t want to forfeit your greek membership and you’d rather avoid an uncertain future recruitment…. let me assure you it IS POSSIBLE to bloom right where you are! Giving your sisterhood a chance is an option. Please just think about it before you depart!  xoxo ;)

♡ big/little get-to-know-you date ideas for NEW pairs! ♡

Q: I just got a little this year and I’m super excited to get to know her and be someone’s big, but I’m also super nervous. What are some good big/little date ideas in the beginning, to get to know each other?

A: I think ‘doing something’ to ease the initial awkwardness of a new relationship is an excellent idea! You might not be ready to just sit and chat over coffee. Adding a fun activity as a ‘buffer,’ while you get to know each other, helps most bigs and littles relax. This is hopefully just the beginning of a long friendship and many good times. xoxo ;)


♡ 48 ‘New’ Big/Little Things to do Together: 

  1. Shopping - of course! 
  2. Can’t beat a good movie.
  3. Museum trip for a special exhibit.
  4. Campus concert or musical performance.
  5. Art gallery hopping.
  6. Attend greek mixers & parties together in matching costumes.
  7. Lunch or dinner at your favorite spots.
  8. Attend a football game & tailgating together.
  9. Go to a campus play, or other performing arts event.
  10. Mani/Pedis with ice cream, smoothies, or frozen yogurt afterwards.
  11. Amusement park day with a group of other big/little pairs.
  12. Picnic in the park - pack her favorite foods.
  13. Chic Flick movie marathon and slumber party.
  14. Bike riding - explore your area on two wheels.
  15. Take a yoga or other exercise class together. 
  16. If you have access to a kitchen, cook together - cupcakes, cookies, individual pizzas, gourmet salads, etc…
  17. Go to a comedy club - see if you have the same sense of humor.
  18. Study together in the library - help each other with tough subjects. 
  19. Attend a weekend festival or farmers market in your town.
  20. Binge watch a favorite TV show online.
  21. Paint ceramics or canvases at an art studio. 
  22. Give up bad habits together. Help each other stop smoking, stop drinking too much. or stop eating fatty foods.
  23. Get make-up applications together at a department store cosmetic counter. 
  24. Go for afternoon tea at a tea parlor. 
  25. Take a weekend trip together to the mountains or the beach.
  26. Go rock climbing at an indoor rock wall.
  27. Go wine tasting or on a pub crawl - if legal age of course.
  28. Take a jewelry making or pottery class together.
  29. Attend a local flea market and buy some vintage bobbles. 
  30. Give each other nicknames. 
  31. Host a poker night and invite some other big/littles to play.
  32. Fly kites in the park. 
  33. Plan an informal scavenger hunt at a funky used book store or thrift shop. See who can find the weirdest old books in different categories. 
  34. Go swimming or boating together. 
  35. Take a helicopter ride together. 
  36. Plan an afternoon of horseback riding. 
  37. Volunteer together and work side by side.
  38. Enjoy a trip to the zoo. Act like little kids again.
  39. Depending on what’s in your area, go to: an aquarium, water park, go-cart race track, mini golf, a zip line, ski slopes, ice skating rink, or kayaking/canoeing.
  40. Create and share a big/little Pinterest board together.  
  41. Try a new coffee shop, or new restaurant together, and have fun playing food critics. 
  42. Pretend you’re tourists in your college town and go on a photo shoot. Share your pictures at the end of the day. This could also be a photo scavenger hunt around the city. 
  43. Pick fruit together: apple picking, berry picking, pumpkin picking.
  44. Buy a challenging jigsaw puzzle and spend time putting it together, with a little wine on the side. 
  45. Write together as big/little. Write your own Life Plans and share your goals. Write your “bucket lists” and share your wishes and dreams. 
  46. Go dancing or take a dance class together. 
  47. Throw a board game party and invite other big/littles. 
  48. Swap clothes you no longer want. Have your own big/little fashion exchange. 

♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ 

I go on different websites and see people talking about top, middle, and bottom tier sororities. What does that mean exactly and is being in a bottom tier sorority really that bad?

Asked by

Tiers are mostly in the minds of the beholders. Outsiders and other greeks like to assign rankings to sororities on campus, but those opinions are not always based on reality. Tiers are a mixture of gossip, personal opinions, tradition, reputation, some truth and what a chapter’s status is that semester. Some are hot and some are not. But if you live within the sorority, being happy, accepted and appreciated is much more important. 

There are sororities which are large, strong, successful, and achieve on every level. They may legitimately be the top performers. But that doesn’t mean every PNM would be happy joining them. There are different tastes for different girls. In fact the worst thing you can do is join a sorority “just because” it’s perceived to be top tier. After pledging you could find yourself lost, lonely and stressed that you can never really relax around your sisters. A type-A personality might flourish in that kind of chapter, but a more laid back girl would hate it. Thank goodness there is a variety of options at most universities. Choice doesn’t always mean better or worse. In greek life it can just mean “individually unique.”

That’s why I tend to look at sororities as being distinct. There are a variety of houses for a variety of PNMs. Not everyone wants a super competitive, expensive, heavy partying, or sexy sisterhood. Other girls would be bored silly in a sorority that crafts all the time or does extra community service. All PNMs should go where they genuinely feel at home, where they can blossom and where they find a lifestyle match.

While it’s true that some sororities are smaller, and not as flashy as other houses, that doesn’t make them the “bottom” or less worthy to the sisters who belong. They love each other, they have a blast together and for them it’s a perfect fit. Every NPC sorority provides it’s members with an enriching  experience, inspiration and close friendships. All houses, large to small, express their own “style” of sisterhood. Thankfully ~ to each her own! xoxo ;)

rush talk: should an older PNM rush a 3rd time?

Q: Should I even bother rushing again? I attended formal recruitment in the Fall of my sophomore year but I ended up dropping out due to financial reasons. Then my school changed formal recruitment from the Fall to Spring. Therefore I informal rushed as a junior with a sorority I was extremely fond of. Out of 44 girls, only 9 were chosen. 2 were juniors like myself. I didn’t receive a bid.

I’d love to be part of a sorority and be proud to represent a strong sisterhood. But at this point I don’t know if it is even worth it. My friends who are in the sorority were really rooting for but unfortunately were not part of the recruitment committee. They said I carry all the same values as their sorority. I’m just bummed that I didn’t make it because of my age. And I’m not sure whether to try again as a second semester junior.

A: Since your upcoming spring recruitment is now “formal,” if you participated again your odds for making a match would be improved. I wish you could have stuck it out when you were a sophomore, but things happen. Then your informal rush experience was a real looooong shot with only 9 openings out of 44 PNMs and being a junior. Don’t feel overly sad about that experience, because the odds were not in your favor at all. 

If you’re up for it, you could rush this spring and give ALL the chapters one more try. But only if you are mentally and emotionally able to. At some point, it’s better to get on with life and focus on other things. Sometimes the timing for going greek just doesn’t work out. Life events don’t run smoothly for every single PNM. There are other groups which can bring you lots of friends and personal satisfaction. For your own sanity you might start fresh and join a totally different type of organization. 

That said, I would never discourage a PNM from trying to join a sorority (even as a senior.) So if you still want to go for it, I would support one more effort. But don’t put all your eggs in one chapter basket. You’ll need to connect with ALL of the sororities to increase your chances of success. The chapter your friends are in may not be right for you in the end. One more attempt would not be unusual, but after that, I would call it a day. Let your heart and head guide you to what’s the right choice. Think about it carefully and decide when spring gets a little closer. xoxo ;)

I'm interested in doing informal spring rush at my school. I went through formal fall rush but had to drop out due to financial reasons. I will be classified as a junior but will be graduating later. How do I approach a sorority girl without being creepy or them thinking that I'm just talking to them because they are in a sorority? What if they don't seem approachable? There are a couple I'm interested in but I'm open to all of the chapters. I don't want to miss out on a great experience.

Asked by

Even though “informal” rush is more relaxed, there is still a process for connecting to the sorority sisters. There should be several “parties” hosted by the chapters who are recruiting in the spring. They usually post a schedule of events that are open to interested PNMs. A typical offering will be something like this ~ event #1: Ice Skating With the Sisters, event #2: Crafting Party at the sorority house, event #3: Invitation Only Dinner. You can attend the socials at the houses you are interested in. Each sorority will be hosting their events separately, not all together like formal recruitment. The final day/night is normally invite only. Then they will offer bids to their chosen PNMs. 

Please look for spring rush publicity from all the chapters. They will publish a ‘flyer’ on their social media with the dates, times and details. Your Panhellenic Council may also promote the information for the individual chapters participating.

There may be chapters who have no events at all and just invite friends to join. That’s usually called Continuous Open Bidding (COB). Under that system you would need to “naturally” make friends with a sorority member in your class, dorm, or gym and be invited to casually meet her sisters. You might socialize one-on-one a few times, meet more members and be invited to pledge. That method happens through a friendship you establish through your other campus activites, club memberships and sports teams. 

But with the regular Informal Recruitment program, you don’t have to personally make greek friends ahead of time. While connections are nice, it’s sometimes difficult to break through. By attending events in the spring which are open to all interested PNMS, it’s a much less stressful way to join a sorority. Participating in a series of hosted get-to-know-you socials is the way to go! xoxo ;)

This is the type of publicity you should look for from the sororities:



rush talk: dealing with the uncertainty of informal recruitment…

Q: I’m getting a bit anxious about informal rush at the moment. I went to a sorority open house and a “sister date” (which is part of their informal rush). I thought both events went really well. I really like the girls and I thought they liked me. Now, I’m nervous though, because I haven’t heard from them in over a week and their bid day is scheduled on their chapter calendar as the 6th.  I’m a bit anxious that it might not work out. Should I stay optimistic or prepare for the worst?

A: I am not a fan of “uncertain” informal recruitments. I like an organized system where PNMs know what to expect and when. Even if it’s bad news, I personally would like a schedule for finding out. The loose, not knowing what’s happening approach, is not my fave. In your case, I don’t know if there is another “invitation only” preference type of round left to go? Or was the two rounds you attended all they planned?

Usually for an informal recruitment there will be a total of 3 evaluation rounds and then some sort of bid day. The open house, the sister date and then one more event would normally round it out. But that’s not for sure. Each chapter does it a little differently. I recommend that you research the sororities calendar of informal events and see if you missed one or not. If there was an invitation only party recently, and you were not invited back, then you will have your answer immediately. I hate to think of you waiting for bid day on the 6th, if you’re not in the running at all. 

On the other hand, if you completed all the requirements and are just waiting to hear something, it would be nice to know when they will be contacting PNMs. If there is a recruitment chair, or an email address available, you could send a brief and upbeat note asking about what’s happening and when. Depending on your rush system, an inquiry might be Ok. First try to find out the information on your own.

If there’s no one to contact, then all you can do it wait and see if you get a bid text or a phone call. Agony I know. At least if you knew when they would be letting you know, it would ease your suffering. Hang in there. I wouldn’t give up hope, or get your hopes up. It’s impossible to tell what they are up to without more information or the sorority’s deadlines. xoxo :)

I COMPLETELY love this blog and is EXTREMELY helpful but have one question:) I just transferred and have never been in a sorority and rush is this upcoming week and I was wondering how the big/little process would work for me as a junior transfer. I know it isn't for a few more weeks but that is the only thing that is making me doubtful about the process. thank you and have a lovely week!! xx

Asked by

If you join as a junior you are part of your new member class like everyone else. There will be freshman, maybe some sophomores, juniors and possibly even a senior in your class. Age is not the only factor when offering bids to PNMs. And it’s not a factor when matching bigs and littles either. You may have a younger big, one your own age, or one that’s older than you. Your college class level is not a roadblock for enjoying all the perks of sorority life. And being a transfer students as no effect either. Once rush starts, everyone is a PNM whether they come from out of state, or the dorms on campus. 

Throughout your years in college, you will stay with your “pledge class.” You will do all the same things as the freshman. As an older girl, you don’t jump ahead to be with the other juniors. So when it comes time for big/little assignments, you should look for a sister you love and get along with, no matter her grade level. If she’s younger than you, just enjoy her for who she is. Most big/littles don’t have a problem with age differences. xoxo ;)

Is declining a bid looked down on? I informally rushed two sororities this fall and I'm so excited to say that one of them offered me a bid. As much as I like the girls and the sorority, I have a tendency to doubt myself when it comes to important decisions. I still don't know all of the 4 sororities too well and I'd feel so much better about my decision if I took the fall to get to know them and then rushed in the spring. I'm beyond grateful for the bid, but I want to find the right home.

Asked by

It’s a gamble. A bid in the hand is worth more than several “maybe” bids in the future from chapters you may or may not like better. You could do better in the spring, you could do worse, or you could get no bid at all. That’s the risk you take moving forward and continuing recruitment next semester. There is no crystal ball to tell you what will happen next.  

If you didn’t feel totally at peace with your bid this fall, then you have every right to keep on rushing. If you did like the sisters a lot, and you could see yourself being a member, then I think it’s foolish to turn down an opportunity to start experiencing greek life right now. But only you know if another sorority would be a closer match.

The risky part is, they have to like you as an A-list PNM in return. Sometimes membership doesn’t work out that way. Personally I would take the bid from the sorority you liked this fall and they liked you in return. But you may have better luck in the spring and make an even more ideal match….. No way to know how it will shake out. Roll the dice and follow your gut feelings. xoxo ;)

I joined a sorority this semester, as a sophomore. I have found that a lot of my other friends from both school & home have been very judgmental because I rushed, and have been telling me that greek life is all partying & that their opinions of me are going to change because I have rushed, even though they have known me for years. I am tired of defending myself and the greek system to close minded individuals who I thought would be my friends no matter what. Any tips on how to deal with this?

Asked by

i am sorry that you have such closed minded friends. They really don’t know anything about it. But even if you did join a party chapter, so what? You are free to live your own life in college. Friends can warn against really serious things like drug abuse, or driving drunk, but when you choose to join a respectable organization on campus, it’s really none of their business! Unless you are being harmed, there’s no point in harassing you. I’m sure your sorority is helping you in many ways, not changing you for the worse. 

If your old friends keep bringing it up, you will have to say "enough is enough" and put an end to the criticisms. You don’t have to keep defending yourself. Smile cheerfully and say, "I guess we will have to agree to disagree and I really don’t want to discuss it any more." Followed by an offer to go get pizza. If you nip the attacks in the bud, and refuse to keep debating the issue, they should get tired of nagging. I’m sure they have joined a club here and there, played on a sports team, or participated in some group activities. To bad they can’t see the parallels. 

Time will tell the story. If you continue to be a sweet person, and you don’t become a wicked witch from being in greek life, then you will prove their theories wrong. You may also grow to appreciate more open-minded friends, as you grow away from your judgmental buddies. That’s Ok too.

Friends should show respect for your “good” choices in life and enjoy your adventures with you. Even if they don’t like sororities they should be polite enough to wish you the best. Others don’t have to agree with your views on religion, politics, or sorority life ~ just be tolerant of them. Enjoy your new sisters to the maximum and don’t let anyone dull your sparkle! xoxo ;)

rush talk: which sorority is right?

Q: How do I know which sorority is right for me? - 

A: That’s the million dollar sorority question! Ultimately the answer is pretty short ~ the one which offers you a bid that you accept! You can love several chapters, but they don’t feel the same way in return and cut you. You can dislike some sisterhoods who keep asking you back. The “sweet spot” is right in the middle where you like them and they like you. The sorority which you feel is “right” has to reciprocate the feelings. That’s the tricky part! Recruitment is about matchmaking, not just a PNM’s preferences. But there are some things you can look for during rush to help you rank each choice to the best of your ability…… xoxo :)

❤ Using your PNM HEART, look for:

  1. Sisters who make you feel right at home.
  2. Sisters who make you laugh and relax a little. 
  3. Sisters who are easy to talk to and you don’t have to force conversation. 
  4. Sisters who listen and are interested in YOU.
  5. Sisters who are grounded and authentic. 
  6. Sisters who have a spirit you admire and a personality you click with.
  7. Sisters with character and class. 
  8. Sisters who do things you enjoy and live a similar lifestyle. 
  9. Sisters who are kind and really seem to care for each other. 
  10. Sisters who you can see being your bridesmaids one day.
  11. Sisters who make you feel less self-conscious and you glow just thinking about them.
  12. Sisters you feel will have your back in good times and bad.

❤ Using your PNM HEAD, look for:

  1. A sorority with a mission statement your respond to.
  2. A sorority with strong leadership and good organization. 
  3. A sorority with a philanthropy you can really get behind. 
  4. A sorority with a focus on academics and service, not just partying. (Or a focus mostly on partying if you prefer!)
  5. A sorority where the sisters seem to respect each other and there is internal harmony. 
  6. A sorority with a solid respectable reputation.
  7. A sorority which is anti-hazing, anti-discrimination and anti-negativity of any kind. 
  8. A sorority with dues and fees that you can realistically afford. 
  9. A sorority in good standing and not constantly on probation or about to be kicked off campus. 
  10. A sorority that has attractive socials, activities, big/little program, retreats and other events that are appealing to you.
  11. A sorority with a supportive and involved national organization (if national) to help guide and educate the chapter. 
  12. A sorority where you would be proud to enter the house each week, proud to be pictured in the chapter composite, proud to wear their greek letters, proud to represent them on campus and proud to call yourself a sister for life. 

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 

Do you have any advice specifically for informal spring recruitment? There's so much for formal recruitment so I was just wondering how I can succeed in January. Thanks so much :)

Asked by

My top tip for informal recruitment is ~ never forget you are being evaluated! Informal events like a pizza party or bowling night, may seem like just a casual fun party, but sisters are there to consider you for membership. During formal recruitment it’s always at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but in a relaxed, open, informal atmosphere, a PNM can forget the true purpose of the evening. Don’t let your hair down toooo much, don’t gossip, don’t drink and never get out of control. Informal rush is just as “serious” as the formal system. It’s just presented in a more laid back way.

Also important is having the ability to socialize in a less structured fashion. During formal rounds, the conversations are very tightly controlled. But with informal parties, you may have to take the socializing initiative. The event may be more like a ‘reception,’ where you must be outgoing, chatty, mingle and reach out to sisters in the room. There is less orchestration in informal rush. So prepare your small talk skills especially. And be ready to ‘join the action’ at each event, such as rollerskating, crafting, making ice cream sundaes, etc… You have to jump in and enjoy whatever the sororities offer. 

Since you know the chapters on campus ahead of time (learning about them this fall semester) you can arrive prepared with topics to talk about and questions to ask. Unlike fall PNMs who arrive on campus with very little knowledge about the individual chapters, you have all semester to become acquainted with the style of each one. This as a real benefit.

You should also be making friends this semester so you have some familiar faces in your favorite chapters. Who you know and having connections is very important for most informal recruitments. For example, your lab partner is in XYZ sorority and she recommends you highly to her sisters. Dorm friends, classmates, gym acquaintances, sports team members, other club members, fraternity connections and more are ALL very helpful. Being on the radar of a sorority before you enter their informal party, or being invited by a sister, is a top priority. Make the most of this fall and you will be a shining star come January! xoxo ;)

sorority Q&A: campaigning for sorority expansion…

Q: I have a question about the extension process. I go to a mid-size school in the Northwest with a small greek system. There is only one NPC sorority within the greek community, and they had such a large pledge class this year that active members were outnumbered. Because of this trend both within our school, and with colleges everywhere, we are opening our campus for extension this year. 

However, because of the small size of our greek system, my team and I are concerned about our appeal to NPC organizations. Would it be appropriate or inappropriate to contact my friends and family involved in NPC sororities/alumni groups and ask them to vouch for us to nationals? If this is okay, how do you recommend doing this? We want to do everything we can to bring another group to campus! Thank you so much!

A: When you are campaigning for a cause, you should pull out all the stops. I think it would be perfectly acceptable to have any and all referrals, recommendations, testimonials, support and influential names attached to your extension project that you can muster! The more wide-spread support for your plans the better. The NPC chapters will be impressed that so many alumni members connected to your campus, or national sorority sisters, are in favor of growing greek life at your school. More voices mean more impact! 

To gather your extra recommendations, I would suggest an email campaign to all possible supporters. Create a master email list of potential greeks from all your contacts and compose an email like you would to solicit donations for a fundraiser. Begin with an introductory paragraph where you outline the issue/cause. Second paragraph is a “call to action” explaining what you would like the recipient to do and how. And a conclude with a paragraph of thanks and appreciation. I recommend that you collect all the rec letters together, and include them in your “presentation package” to the NPC chapters. The more professional you are, the more the national organizations will take you seriously. 

If you need a petition, college administration referrals, an interest group formed, or any other prerequisites ~ make sure to pull out all the stops. It sounds like your school is the ideal place for expansion and it’s just a matter of impressing the right sororities. I think you will find several who will be open to expansion. Good luck with your plans! xoxo ;) 

Hi, I don't know if you received my question so I'm going to ask again. I'm a freshman and unfortunately got dropped from recruitment. We had a large number of girls go out for only the five sororities on campus. I'm still pretty interested in Greek Life and am considering going through recruitment again next year (we only have fall). Any tips for how to approach recruitment as a sophomore? I really want to find my home in Greek Life next year.

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I would take this year to become more confident, more outgoing and more connected. If you make friends in your dorm, get involved in other campus clubs, meet people in class, etc… you will start a very beneficial collection of friends and connections. The more sorority sisters who know you, or receive good recommendations about you, the better!

Some PNMs take awhile to warm up. Many go greek the second time around. So it’s nothing to be worried about… If your GPA needs improvement, or your conversations skills, work on those too. Freshman year is an excellent time to grow personally, academically and in your social interactions. Get to know lots of students on campus, build your PNM resume and you will be in a strong position for recruitment next fall.

Don’t get discouraged. Just take your experience as motivation to work harder for the next recruitment. Also, now that you’ve met all the chapters, focus on the ones that you like and where you also have the best chance of getting a bid! As a sophomore PNM you need to be realistic to improve your odds of success. Dreaming of the top tier “out-of-reach-for-mere-mortals” sorority is fun, but for your 2nd attempt, it’s better to target the chapters where you can honestly see yourself getting a bid. Put your efforts towards the sisters who are warm and welcoming to older PNMs. Look for the kind, down to earth sororities and prepare to shine your brightest again next fall. xoxo ;)

Hi, so I rushed this year but didn't feel that my bid was a good fit for me, so I'm going to rush again as a sophomore. What should I say when asked if I rushed as a freshman? Also, do you think it's bad to rush again?

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No it’s not bad to rush again. I’m glad you’re still interested in greek life! But hopefully your second time will be the last time. If you are asked about participating once more, you can say something like, "I didn’t find my sorority home the first time I rushed, but now I’m eager to join a special sisterhood like yours!" 

Bottom line: when you were a freshman you didn’t make a match. That is the truth and it doesn’t speak badly about your former chapter (or the house you almost joined.) Don’t complain about your previous sorority choices, the recruitment system, the panhellenic, or anything else negative. Keep all of your comments positive and you can’t go wrong. xoxo :)