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big/little problems: little has gone her own way…

Q: I am starting to get really frustrated with my little. I try to spend time with her and it seems as if she just doesn’t have time for me. Believe me I’ve tried everything and i’ve spoken to her about it twice but still nothing has changed. She doesn’t even seem to have time for our organization. It’s so bad I’m starting to think about taking another little. I don’t want to hurt her but I’m not happy either. what should I do?

A: When you have honestly done ALL you can in any situation, what’s left? You can’t make someone be nice, join the fun, love your sorority and be a part of chapter life and your life. Sadly, your little seems to be going a new direction. I don’t think it’s personal, I think she has lost interest in the sorority right now and it distracted by other things. It doesn’t mean she won’t come back around one day. Membership ebbs and flows. One year you can be really into it and then get busy with other activities the next year. Or, maybe she had a falling out with another sister, and is distancing herself because of that. It’s hard to say why a perfectly pleasant sister drifts away. 

But since she is basically out of the picture, I don’t see why you can’t take another little. In some chapters it’s normal to have more than one! I say go for it and have more fun in your sorority. You don’t have to wait on the sidelines just because your little disinterested. Don’t disown your first little ~ just ADD to your family.

Presented the right way, I don’t think she will be hurt. If you view a new little as a totally positive addition to your family line ~ there should be no problem. Have a happy outlook about it. Instead of moping about how you “have” to take a new little because the first one bombed out, consider it a terrific opportunity to spread your sisterly love to more members. You are blessed to have two littles to love, love, love! If you treat the situation as all good ~ it should be perceived that way by your first little and the chapter. Many times it’s “how” you do things that matters most. xoxo :)

"Trust your hunches…. Hunches are usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level." ~ Joyce Brothers

"Your world is as big as you make it." ~ Georgia Douglas Johnson

☆ top 12 tips for being an ORGANIZED sorority leader! ☆

Q: I’m head of rush for a local sorority and I’m just feeling so overwhelmed with responsibility. Do you have any advice? School hasn’t even started and I’m already having anxiety over it. :(

A: The key to not getting overwhelmed is ORGANIZATION! If you are organized and detail oriented, planning will be more exhilarating… and not so agonizing! As a huge FAN of being organized, I can tell you it works. You need a planner, or your laptop/ipad to keep notes and lists, lists, lists! If you make continuous lists, you can check things off as they are accomplished, remember what needs to be done, delegate assignments, make plans, etc… etc…

☆ top 12 tips for getting recruitment organized: 

  • Use a Planner. Either electronic or paper, a good planner is a must. Having one place for your dates, days, tasks, assignments and things to do each day is very important. Lilly agendas are my favorite. Use the planning calendar and all the pages to your best advantage. 
  • A Master Recruitment Timeline is vital. Start 4 months out and break down what needs to be done each month, each week and then as rush gets closer, each day and finally each hour. Your master schedule is your blueprint for staying on course when things seem overwhelming. 
  • FIle Folders & Notebooks Help. Even if you like to work electronically, notebooks and files are handy for taming paperwork and keeping samples, invoices, schedules and other information organized. Don’t feel bad about getting the right tools to make your job function. There is no shame in using the business like materials to be professional in your recruitment position. 
  • Make it CUTE. It’s Ok to decorate your notebook with cute stickers and a custom cover sheet. Add decals or graphics to your schedules. Theme your organization materials in your favorite color. Being organized does not mean boring and dull. You will be more excited about using your tools if they are perky and bright. 
  • Enlist a Deputy. Every successful chair has an assistant. Working in a team is more productive. You can share the burdens and have fun doing even the most unpleasant tasks together. It’s also great to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Don’t shoulder all the pressure of recruitment on all alone. Get a help-mate ASAP.
  • Assign Tasks to Reliable Sisters. The more you can delegate the better you will feel. If you organize your team, give them work to do and then follow up on the results, you load will be lightened. Monitor your helpers, but don’t micro manage. Pick the right people and your life will get less stressful.
  • Organize Your Space. You will need a spot (hopefully a desk) to be your recruitment HQ. A place where you can keep your files, notebooks, agenda and other planning materials. A place where you can review your to do lists, make phone calls, use your laptop, send messages, etc… Handling a complex project cannot be done on the fly from the coffee shop or in between classes on a campus bench. That’s find for quick updates, but to fully concentrate you need an organized space. 
  • Visual Reminders are Very Helpful. In addition to your planner, a cork board or memo board with post-it notes, samples, lists, diagrams and reminders is extremely beneficial for visually cueing your memory. I’m a very visual person, and I like to SEE what needs to be done. It’s also inspiring to have a print out of the bid day tee shirt design, party colors, photos and the weekly schedule displayed where they can inspire and motivate you. 
  • Combine Similar Activites. For maximum efficiency, combine tasks instead of running all over the place. Make all of your phone calls at one time, Do all your errands on the same day. Send emails at one time. Do all your shopping for party supplies in one trip. This will reduce headaches and keep you from becoming scattered. 
  • Make Decisions. As a leader you must make decisions and move things off your plate. If you dither and hesitate, many things on your ‘to do’ list will languish there undone. Committing to firm decisions is a must for making progress. Be informed and then be decisive. Nothing hurts a well organized project more than indecisiveness, multiple changes, and second guessing. It’s also expensive and frustrating to have things up in the air, or redone over and over. Make a wise decision and stick with it. 
  • Be Flexible. Recruitment will not go as planned. Be ready for the unexpected. Your stress will be reduced if you actually anticipate things not going perfectly. Don’t be pessimistic, but do be realistic about sudden problems popping up and the need to solve them as they occur. If you bend with the winds of change, you will maintain your sanity. Stay calm and tackle one issue at a time. 
  • Take Some Time Off Here and There. Planning recruitment can swallow you up. The project is all consuming. Don’t let it take over your entire life. Plan an afternoon off and sip a latte in the park. If you’re smothered by your sisters 24/7, carve out some “alone time” to just sit and relax. Watch a movie and eat popcorn. Whatever you can do to take break from the ongoing responsibility with refresh and revive your spirits. 

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☆  More posts about planning recruitment: 

 Formal Recruitment Master To Do Checklist

big/little problems: life goes on after a change….

Q: I joined my sorority last fall at the school I was attending and it was great! I loved all the things we did and events with my big and family! However, due to a really unfortunate turn of events second semester I didn’t return to the school this year and am currently attending community college for now. I still talk to my big but it’s hard to visit because the school is about an eight hour drive from where I live. AND she might be getting another little. Any tips on how to stay close/what to do?

A: Sometimes unforeseen and unpleasant things happen in life that are totally out of your control. Change is thrust upon you. Which results in limited solutions to your new problems. You can stay in touch with your big, and your other sorority sisters, but their lives will be going forward at your former college. Sadly without you there. The truth is painful, but your big wants a new little so she can fully enjoy the years she has left in the chapter. That wish is nothing against you in any way. But when you depart, the world inside your sorority keeps on going… full speed ahead.

Long distance relationships have their limitations. But with social media, it’s easier to stay connected than it used to be. You can keep friendly contact with your sisters, but at the same time, you will need to make the most of where you are now. Somehow you must make the best of your community college, meet new friends and get involved with a hobby or activity you like. If you become happier in your own life, you won’t feel so depressed about missing your sisters. If you have returned to your hometown, maybe you can reconnect with some old high school friends. If you maximize your personal good times, it will ease your longing for greek life. 

I HOPE you have plans to return to your original college sometime soon. If finances are an issue, consider working to pay part of the bills. Reuniting with your sisters would be ideal. But in the meantime, be unselfish, loving and kind when it comes to your big enjoying her days in the chapter without you. By wishing her the best ~ your heart will be in the right place. You want HER to be happy, irregardless of your own personal situation. That’s what true friends wish for each other! xoxo ;)

"Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again." ~ Og Mandino

rush talk: formal & informal recruitment problems…

Q: Last year as a sophomore, I came out for Spring Formal Rush. My school is smaller and only has 3 sororities, so rush works a bit differently (Mon, Tues, Wed you go to all 3 houses, then you get prefs for Thursday). I knew rather quickly which sorority I liked the best and felt comfortable in. One of the seniors in the sorority said she felt I was only going out for Greek life because my boyfriend was in a fraternity. This couldn’t have been more false, many of the sisters knew that and a large argument broke out amongst the sorority.

One of the sisters who I am closer with later told me that I should come out again in the Fall and another sister said the same thing earlier this semester as well. So I was planning on attending Fall Informal Rush ~ (you can go to whatever house you like and however many as you like) until I was just told that a standard was called and I’m not able to come out again for a full year.

This would make me a second semester Junior rushing in the Spring with all the Freshmen. I’m a little confused as to what a standard is, so I looked it up and I’m still really confused how it would apply to non-sorority members. I really wanted to come out this Fall because I thought I had a chance, but the Spring seems like I have less of a chance and I’d waste time going to the other houses again. We were told we could come out in the Fall as long as we didn’t get a bid and reject it, which I didn’t even receive a Preference. Please help me figure out what I should do and help me understand why a standard would be called against me.

A: Joining a sorority shouldn’t be this upsetting! It is panhellenic policy for a PNM to wait 1 year to rush again AFTER being offered or accepting a bid. If you get to the point where a sorority extends a bid, even if you don’t open the envelope, it can be considered “receiving a bid.” That is why PNMs often drop out of recruitment right before the preference round. That leaves them free to attend informal rush the following semester. 

That seems to be the situation you’re in, except you say that you never got to the bid point in your formal recruitment!? Yet, from what the sorority is saying and doing, they are acting as if you did. For some reason they have decided you must wait the full year to rush. I don’t know what else that decision could be based on. Maybe you didn’t officially withdraw from formal recruitment? Since your 3 sorority system is handled a little differently, possibly there is some PNM technicality that you’re missing. For example, you didn’t formally remove your name from the PNMs roster when you dropped out, and the sorority is basing their ruling on that. 

I strongly advise you to contact your Panhellenic Council and ask about the policies which are effecting your recruitment. I hope you have a governing council that will validate the actions of this one sorority. But whatever the reasons behind this chapter’s behavior, I have some serious questions for you to ponder before you rush again! 

  • Do you REALLY want to be a member of a chapter that goes to these lengths to not have you as a sister?
  • Do you want to keep pushing into a sorority where there are arguments, meetings and policies taken against you?
  • Could you be missing some good qualities in the other two sororities which might be a better match for you?
  • Are there a few nice sisters in one of other sororities who you could befriend, even if you don’t love the entire chapter?

With your small greek community, rushing as a Junior should not be too much of a problem. But please give some consideration to the other sororities on campus. Being WANTED and adored as a new member is important. Hopefully you can sort this out and go greek with a house that loves you for who you are and strongly wants you as a sister for life.  xoxo ;)

sorority Q&A: a chapter in deep trouble…

Q: Last night, our chapter found out that we are on probation. Our advisors have been taken away and we are on our last leg. We have attendance and grade problems. As a sophomore with a position, I feel helpless. I have to ask, is there hope? Have sororities survived this? We can’t have a single risk management issue, yet we are keeping the two girls that got caught at a bar as minors last semester. I’m scared. We are on probation until April 2015. Also, worse case scenario, would we younger members be considered alum, or be stripped of our pins?

A: I am so sorry your chapter is having such problems! You definitely need stronger leadership and better supervision. I hope some new advisors are on the way to help your sorority ASAP. Maybe being on probation will put the fear of god into your disruptive members and they will start flying right. This should be a serious wake-up call for your sisterhood. 

It’s totally possible to bounce back from this! Sometimes chapters are put on probation for four years and still manage to rebound. So to be disciplined for less than a year is not too bad. But behavior must change. Now is the time for reflection and a rearranging of your chapter values. I hope your members rally, bond more closely and are ‘reborn’ better than ever next spring. Time for more education, meetings, retreats, policy reviews, sisterhood strengthening, etc… A wake up call can really help a chapter get back to their core values. This can be a blessing in disguise.

As far as what happens if your chapter is closed on campus ~ each sorority has it’s own policies regarding membership status in extreme situations. I do not believe all the sisters would be striped of their badges. You just wouldn’t have an active chapter at your school to participate in. The members who violated the rules might be removed, but I hope that the entire chapter would not be permanently punished. Every organization has it’s own bylaws for membership issues, so I can’t speak to how each sorority would handle it specifically. Most likely you could retain your membership, but not be an active collegiate member at your university. 

Let’s hope things don’t get to that point! Some tough talk is needed so your sorority doesn’t have any more trouble. It’s possible to ride out your probation and function normally afterwards, but it takes hard work, patience and a big change in attitude. xoxo ;)

"While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions." ~ Stephen Covey

"It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities." ~ Josiah Stamp

rush talk: gearing up for a “re-rush”

Q: First of all, thank you for all of your advice on here! I tried following it the best I can but sadly I just went through formal recruitment at FSU, and long story short, it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. I got dropped by all the chapters I loved and felt happy at so I decided to drop out. I knew I wouldn’t be happy in the chapters I was left with and even though I really want that sorority experience, I don’t want to force something that doesn’t come naturally. I decided to drop before bid day so that way I can do informal recruitment in the spring instead of waiting an entire year to do formal rush again. What advice do you have for me that can help me during informal recruitment in the spring and might get me into a chapter I feel more comfortable and happy at?

A: I’m so sorry things didn’t work out for you during recruitment. But you have the right idea about trying again. First, I recommend you take some time to reflect on what happened and see if you can pinpoint some areas for improvement. I know it’s hard to analyze yourself, but while the experience if fresh in your mind, write a list of your possible trouble areas. For example, you felt really nervous and forgot to ask any questions. Or you believe you could have been more open and talkative. Now that your frightful first time experience is over, you can “fine-tune” your personal presentation. Take what you learned this time and apply it to your next rush. Many of the qualities you need for formal rush are also important for informal. 

If your GPA was a concern, work hard fall semester to bring it up. Next time you will have college courses to factor into your grades. Make sure to join some other clubs this fall and get to know people on campus. Attend parties, join a study group, make friends in your dorm, etc… The more you can become involved, the better PNM you will be for spring rush. If you meet sorority members in your classes, at the gym, or at social events, be warm and charming. Having some acquaintances in the sorority houses before rush will be beneficial.

This semester is the time for you to achieve and lay the ground work your next attempt at going geek. Keep your spirits high and stay positive. If you “train” this fall, improve your PNM resume and keep an open mind about all the sororities ~ I’m sure you can make a match next time! xoxo ;)

♥ RECRUITMENT Q & A BLAST! ♥

As you can guess the sorority sugar ASK is still overflowing! I thank everyone for writing, and I do my best to answer as many questions as possible. I cannot get to them all and some subjects are repeated, but I appreciate everything that PNMs and sisters are going through right now with formal recruitment. I wish everyone the very, very BEST!

Here are some quick Recruitment Q&As that will hopefully be helpful to many PNMs ~

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TOO OLD TO RUSH?

Q: Right now I am at a community college and I don’t think I will have my AA completed in time to transfer for fall semester like I had planned. Right now it looks like I’ll transfer either the spring or fall of 2016. I’m worried it will be too late for me to rush then. I would be 21 going on 22 that fall. Do you think I will be to old? I’m confidant that I could get a long with people younger than me, but I’m worried I wouldn’t be accepted. 

A: I get "Am I too old to rush?" questions about once a week. Being in your early twenties is NOT too old! Girls even older than that have gone greek. Grad students sometimes pledge. It’s all about your attitude and how well you fit in with the pledge class as a whole. Joining may be more challenging, but transfer students and older PNMs are offered bids every year in fabulous chapters. No worries!

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HOW DOES RUSH WEEK WORK?

Q: So I’m pretty unclear about how rush week works. There is a basic schedule: orientation, round robin, sisterhood night, philanthropy night, preference night and bid day. What do all these mean and what do you wear to each?

A: Everything will become clear once you participate in recruitment. First all the PNMs are given an overview of the week at Orientation. Then the PNMs visit ALL of the sorority houses. Following that, the chapters spotlight their sisterhood during the next round. On philanthropy day they will explain everything about their special charity. Pref Night is when the sororities hold serious ceremonies for the PNMs they want as sisters. On bid day, the PNMs open their bid envelopes to find out which chapter invited them to join. The fashions go from casual to very dressy. Please visit the sorority sugar Recruitment Style Guide for a basic outline of what to wear! 

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WHEN TO SUBMIT REC LETTERS FOR SPRING RECRUITMENT?

Q: i’m going to be a freshman at a large university in the fall, but we have deferred recruitment and don’t rush until January. When should I send in, or have the writers send in, the letters of recommendation I have secured over the summer? Some of the chapter’s websites say asap during fall semester, and others don’t specify. Obviously I know they should be turned in before January, but how soon is too soon? I don’t want it to be forgotten about because the chapter is busy and isn’t preparing for recruitment yet in the fall. So when’s the best time to send my rec letters so they won’t be tossed in a pile and forgotten about? 

A: First of all, the rec letters should be mailed or electronically submitted directly from the letter writer to her corresponding chapter on your campus. Once fall semester starts, hopefully your Panhellenic will publish a Recruitment Guide with ALL the information you need. There should be a master list of chapters, with contact names and addresses (or other submission instructions.) The best time for your letters to be mailed/sent is before the winter break. Probably in October or November. That gives time for the letters to be considered, but not too far in advance. The final deadline may be in December. Look for specific instructions to come from your Panhellenic in the late fall. 

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CAN YOU BE A NURSING MAJOR AND IN A SORORITY?

Q: I’m a sophomore nursing major, and people keep telling me that I can’t be in greek life and nursing at the same time. I know I can do both, I’m just not sure how.

A: PNMs with challenging majors, athletes and others with really active schedules find ways to make it work! But it does take some strategic planning and careful time management. There are mandatory requirements in a sorority. So you want to be open and honest when you’re rushing. You need a chapter which is flexible and will accommodate your special schedule. Some PNMs with demanding obligations choose to not go greek. Their sports team, or girls in their major, become their “friend network.” It all depends on how energetic and dedicated you are. And joining an understanding chapter also helps. 

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WHAT TO WEAR DURING RUSH AS A PLUS SIZED PNM?

Q: I am a bigger girl, and I am nervous about what I should wear during recruitment. Most of the time when I wear a dress or a skirt, I always match it with a cardigan. Although, I am trying to find a nice dress with at least quarter sleeves. Do you have some tips for the bigger girls going through recruitment?

A: I say, wear whatever YOU are most comfortable in! What counts is that you feel confident and attractive. If a lightweight cardi over a sleeveless sundress suits you, it will look totally appropriate. Dresses with sleeves are very acceptable too. Not everyone wears tank tops and sundresses with spaghetti straps ~ no matter what their weight. It’s Ok to wear your most flattering styles each round. Pick fashions in lightweight fabrics so you stay cool, even with some sleeves. As long as you go from casual to dressy during the week, you will be looking A+.

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IS ADDING MY LEGACY STATUS LATER OK?

Q: What if I forgot to put that I’m a legacy to a certain sorority on my registration form because I didn’t know at the time, but I had that member of my family send a recommendation letter including the information that I am in fact a legacy? Is that a super bad mistake or will they still accept the information?

A: However the legacy information gets to the sorority is Ok. They should read your family member letter and make note of your legacy. These things happen, but now the chapter should be aware. You can also bring it up in conversation during recruitment. When asked about why you are rushing, you can say "My grandmother was an XYZ sister and she always spoke so highly of her sorority. I am thrilled to be rushing her organization here at ABC University." 

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CAN YOU BE IN A NPC SORORITY AND A SERVICE SORORITY?

Q: I’m going to a smaller school, and I was wondering if it was against any rules to be in an NPC sorority and a service sorority? Or do you have to choose between the two?

A: Yes, you can have dual membership in a service or special interest sorority and a NPC chapter. It’s time consuming, but possible. You just can’t be in 2 NPC chapters. Once an initiated NPC sister that’s IT for the council of 26.  

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I've been in my sorority for going on three semesters and I'm not super close to a lot of my sisters... I know it's hard to be super close to them all but I'm only somewhat close to a few. Do you have any tips on how I can be closer to my sisters?

Asked by
its-katie-lol

Participation at a higher level is the answer!  Just attending meetings and sitting next to sisters is not a very easy way to bond. But jumping in and getting your hands dirty is an excellent way to become closer! I personally have always liked getting to know other girls when there is something to DO together.

For example, you and some other sisters are decorating for recruitment and you have a blast working together. You volunteer to staff the check-in table for the next fundraising 5k and you get to know the other sisters you staff the table with. You pitch in to paint the new lawn letters, staff the go-greek table, distribute bid day tee shirts, etc… etc… There are hundreds of ways to take your membership to the next level and get more friendly with sisters at the same time. That approach has always worked for me! 

The other way to get closer is to be more outgoing and instigate social activities. Invite sisters out for a drink, go to dinner together, attend a frat party together. Put yourself out there in the social scene. But that’s sometimes difficult to do if you don’t know the sisters very well. Bonding over chapter activites FIRST, sets you up for more social interaction later! Also make sure you ATTEND every retreat, philanthropy event, sisterhood social, guest speaker event, alumnae/chapter social, etc… Being actively present gives you maximum exposure to other members who are engaged with chapter life too. You need to BE who you want to meet. 

More tips: take a new little • socialize more with your family line • get involved with some all-greek committees • run for panhellenic office • run for chapter office • do things with the sisters you are close with and step closer to more sisters through them. Networking can happen inside a chapter too. If you try all of the things I have suggested, I guarantee you will will connect with more sisters (and more greeks) than you ever thought possible. Chapters are there for members to get involved and take advantage of the social opportunities. Take steps this fall to DO MORE and reap the rewards!! xoxo ;)

What are some appropriate answers when asked why do you want to go Greek/join this chapter when rushing? Also what kinds of things should you say when asked to tell them about yourself--what should that include?

Asked by
luxuryhearts

"Honesty with a positive spin" is the best way to go! Meaning you should stick to the truth and be authentic ~ yet you don’t need to drag up every difficulty in your past for the sake of total honesty. There is such a thing as PNM TMI. When asked about why you are rushing you don’t need to go on and on about your first failed attempt, your family’s financial problems, your crazy aunt who bribed you to rush, your doubts and fears, etc… etc….! Instead, you can say, "I’ve heard so many fabulous things about greek life at XYZ University and I can’t wait to find my new sorority home. Everyone is so friendly. I am really excited to be here!"

The same holds true for sharing personal information. Avoid telling sororities about the time you missed the winning goal, the school club you dropped out of and the year you struggled in chemistry class. Instead share how proud you felt when your team won the championship, the time you were club president and how you enjoyed French class so much, you plan to live in Paris one day. You can be selective about your own personal details. Just like college admissions and job interviews ~ accentuate the positive. 

I recommend reviewing and practicing your own personal “story.” Be ready with your own background of accomplishments, so you don’t stammer and go blank. Think about what you like and don’t like. Sisters will hopefully ask you more pointed questions, instead of just “Tell me everything about yourself.” If you prepare ahead of time, you will shine!

❀ These are some things to decide on before your recruitment conversations:

  • Your opinion on sororities and going greek.
  • How you feel to be going through rush. 
  • Your top 3-5 accomplishments in high school.
  • Your proudest moments.
  • Your role models.
  • What makes you warm and friendly.
  • How you want to make the sisters feel.
  • Details of your volunteering and leadership with specifics, such as "I raised $2,000 for Save Our Beaches and I was Historian of the Girls League."  Instead of, "I like to volunteer and keep busy." 
  • How you are going to handle questions. Ask your mom or sister to role play some Q&As with you. Have them ask you standard questions and practice turning them into interesting shares about yourself. For example, if you are asked "What’s your favorite color?" Work your answer into one of your personal passions. Your reply could be, "I love the color pink and happily I have been involved with the Pink Ribbon cancer campaign for three years, which means so much to me.”
  • A few endearing funny stories about yourself. Rush conversations should be light and humorous too. 
  • Your major and course of study.
  • Your future goals. 
  • Practice conversing in complete sentences. A lost art these days.
  • Ways to reflect who you really are. 

❀ For examples of PNM and sister questions for recruitment, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page! xoxo ;)

(Ref. previous ask) "First of all your odds on not getting a bid are almost zero" How is that so??? There's a ton of gals that rush but only so many spaces!

Asked by
mcbillionaire

It is a mystery of greek life! But somehow MOST/Almost All PNMs who stick it out to Preference Night receive bids. At some schools a bid is even guaranteed by the Panhellenic if you make it to the Pref round. They tell the PNMs they WILL receive a bid from 1 of their 3 final choices. It may not be the PNMs 1st or even 2nd choice, but hopefully #3 is fabulous too.

The number of PNMs basically fit the number of chapters and membership openings. For example, a big southern school will have 2,000 PNMs going through rush, but they also have 18 chapters will large pledge classes. A small private school in New England may have only 3 sororities on campus and 20 girls in each new member class, but they do not have 2,000 rushees! It’s basically proportionate.

When a college starts having placement problems and demand outstrips supply, that’s when more chapters are allowed to colonize. If there are new colonies on campus, that means it’s been determined that interested PNMs need more places to pledge. It’s a sign of a vibrant and growing greek community. Today, more girls are interested in joining a sorority than ever before, which is excellent news for all the national organizations who want to expand their numbers. 

Another reason that most everyone matches for bid day, is many PNMs leave before the very end. If they have been cut by their favorite houses, they have second thoughts about the financial obligations, they discover greek life if not for them, they have an attack of nerves ~ whatever the reason, girls usually drop before Preference. I advise against this, since you never know what will develop as the week progresses. Pref Night has changed many PNM’s hearts. Even after bid day love can grow.

But it’s normal  and expected that a certain percentage of PNMs will drop out during rush week. It’s unfortunate, but it does help the remaining PNMs find sorority homes. In the end, the magic of recruitment takes place and PNMs are blissfully matched with sorority chapters. This happens every bid day, year after year. It’s amazing how that works! xoxo ;)

sorority Q&A: being behind the scenes during rush…

Q: This is my first year on my sorority’s side of recruitment and I was asked to be in charge leading the PNM discussion and the voting process, b/c I’m already really familiar with the process. The Recruitment Chair seemed really passionate about assigning it to me, but it means I won’t be the room at all for the 3 days of our recruitment and I won’t get to meet any of the new girls one-on-one. I. How can I still feel involved in recruitment when I’m behind the scenes?

A: You have the same issue that the Rho Gammas/Gamma Chis have. They are not part of the actual recruitment conversations at their house. Floaters also don’t always have much one-on-one time with the PNMs. The Recruitment chair herself and other officers may be really busy with operational activities. It takes a lot of teamwork to stage formal recruitment and everyone has to play their part. You will have several more formal recruitments ahead of you, so this will not always be your job. Just this one time. And you should be flattered that you were so passionately asked to do it. I am impressed! 

Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • You WILL be meeting many (if not all) PNMs through your education sessions! And they all will know who you are. 
  • Value your position and know that it’s important to the rush process in your chapter. You are doing a good thing. 
  • Consider what you can “give” to your sorority instead of what you can “get” out of rush. 
  • In any sorority event, fundraiser, formal, or retreat ~ the “important” people are making it happen behind the scenes. If you enjoy leadership and want to stand out in your chapter, this is the crowd you want to be with. I personally always love being in a chair position, or an officer, in any group. There is something exciting about "putting on the show" that I love.
  • Enjoy being an authority. The PNMs will look up to you and admire your expertise. Revel in the fact that you know so much about the process and you can share your smarts with others. 
  • Maybe you can still clap and sing and be a part of the general hellos and goodbyes for each round. That would help you feel more involved and a part of recruitment overall.  
  • As long as you are in a ‘different’ position, see if you can help in other ways behind the scenes ~ such as setting up the buffet table, decorating with balloons, hanging banners, etc… Every chapter needs more helping hands. Make the most of your availability. 
  • Make sure to work the room on bid day and welcome the new members you recognize from your discussion groups. They will remember you. Put some extra effort into getting to know the new girls from that day forward. You can make up for lost time quickly!

xoxo ;) 

I really want to join a sorority this coming year. I wish I would have last year but I decided not to. I'm nervous I'm not good enough to be in a sorority or the girls won't like me during recruitment. I have a big lack in self confidence and it makes me question if I will belong with gorgeous sorority girls. Do you have any advice on how I positively go into recruitment?

Asked by
sammyxpoo

There is only one way to overcome your fears and that is to FACE them head on! You won’t gain self-confidence by sitting in your room. The only way to grow as a person is to put yourself out there and try your hardest. Doing what you’re scared of is the best way to work through your self-esteem issues. Everyone is nervous! Even the most beautiful girls are stressed and have butterflies in their stomach. Any competition is nerve wracking. That doesn’t stop PNMs from participating. 

Some of your fears will come true ~ several sororities won’t click and you will be cut. That happens to every PNM. Even the most secure girls are not a match for all chapters on campus. So the narrowing process effects everyone equally. It’s more about matchmaking than winning a contest. You are selecting your favorite sororities, at the same time they are assessing your qualifications for membership. Both sides are looking for mutual love!

You will need more confidence as you complete your college education, apply for internships, start your career and search for employment. Why not let recruitment be the first step in your journey to becoming more self assured? Joining a sorority builds inner strength, develops your personality, helps you blossom and much more. Push through your nervousness and reach for your goals! xoxo :)

"I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be." ~ Ken Venturi 

"I am still far from being what I want to be, but with God’s help I shall succeed." ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Hi! I'm going to be rushing this fall, and before I found sororitysugar, I was directed to that website greekrank, which I now know is mostly false and should be taken with a grain of salt, if anything. However, many of the posts about XYZ chapter at my school mentioned that it was losing its house due to a hazing scandal. This is a serious allegation, and I was wondering how I should approach this during rush? Will it be addressed at our Greek Life orientation? Thank you!

Asked by
daylightism

If there is a hazing issue with a sorority, it’s something you should know about as a PNM. It’s different than ‘who are the hottest girls’ on campus or ‘who throws the best parties.’ I think it’s a question that should be asked at your PNM Orientation, if not before. I don’t know the privacy policies at your school, or how much the Greek Life office/Panhellenic will tell you, but it would be a good idea to get the facts. Keep in mind the information could be totally false coming from Greek Rank. Some disgruntled students could have posted that rumor just to cause trouble for a sorority they don’t like. You never know!

The accusation that a sorority is loosing their house completely is a big deal. Chapters are put on probation now and then, but to loose their sorority house means a very serious incident took place. If hazing did happen, but the chapter can still recruit and function on campus, you need to know the truth of the situation. Just because they don’t have a sorority house any longer doesn’t change the behavior of the sorority. The offending sisters may still be there. Usually if a chapter gets in trouble like this, they must stop recruiting for 4 years (for example.) The house is not the root of the problem, it’s the culture of the membership. 

Bottom line, all the PNMs should know the real story before considering a bid from this chapter. I would hate for false gossip to hurt this sorority if it’s not true! If it is true, then you need to carefully consider your options. Follow up questions should include asking about what this chapter is doing to improve, what steps are they taking to get back on track, how does their organization insure that this will never happen again, etc… Everyone needs more information on the good and the bad facts surrounding this accusation. I hope you can get the answers you need ASAP. xoxo ;)  

my freshman year I wanted to be in this sorority so bad, but I didn't get a bid from them. after bid day was over, I got contacted by one of the members and they told me I "slipped through the cracks" and should've been in the sorority. (what does that even mean??) My sophomore year I rushed again & made it into the sorority. But I know there were girls who had voted me 'no' during voting but I still got in. Is it weird that i sometimes feel like i don't belong because of those girls?

Asked by
starfish-skies

I am sorry you had so much trouble going greek! The first attempt sounds really odd. But at least you ended up pledging. Some sororities require a unanimous vote for each PNM and others don’t. The fact that you didn’t get 100% of the votes does not make your membership any less valid. I’m sure there are many sisters who are in the same situation. If your sorority has majority rule, or a committee votes on the new members, it’s totally Ok. That’s the policy in your chapter, so there is nothing to feel bad about. 

That said, you should NOT have been told specifics about your vote for receiving a bid! That was confidential and happened when you were a PNM. That kind of “insider” info would make any sister feel uncertain and insecure. it does not need to be shared. I hope you tell your chapter leadership about how this knowledge makes you feel. The policy of telling new members who did & who didn’t vote for them should be changed for other PNMs joining. No one needs to know about their own vote. Or how many sisters were against you. Yikes! That’s no way to feel safe and loved inside your sorority. Please see what you can do to implement a CHANGE, so this doesn’t happen to another girl. 

But since that’s the way your chapter votes, then you must accept it and not allow any weird feelings to get in the way of your happiness. Put the “how” you pledged aside and focus now on all the ways you can experience the best of our sorority. Don’t look back any longer. It doesn’t matter if you squeaked by, or had a landslide of votes. You are IN and proud and you have so much to offer.

This fall start doing things for your sorority which make you feel better about belonging. Prove you are a valuable asset to your organization. Not just for the sake of your sisters, but to prove your value and superior skills to yourself. They are LUCKY to have you. Now make your remaining years in the chapter really count for something! It’s your time and your life! xoxo :)”

"Each of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits." ~ Fulton J. Sheen

big/little problems: triangle troubles…

Q: I’m a soon to be junior in a national non-NPC sorority on campus. I have two littles and a grand little. I just took the newest little this year and there have been issues with my littles getting along. There was a lot of difficult drama regarding my second little’s joining our sisterhood and I had to spend a lot of time with her to help her through her pledge process. That meant I didn’t have a lot of time to spend with either my first little or grand-little.

Things have deteriorated between me and my first little so much since I took the second one and now she basically ignores me and treats me like I don’t exist. Girls in my sorority have accused me of playing favorites, but I have tried to reach out to my first little to spend family time together with her, my other little, and grand little and I’ve also tried for individual one on one time. But was told she couldn’t hang out and she hasn’t reached out to me at all to spend any time together. She said, “I won’t hang out Little #2 unless I see her at an event. I really don’t like her.” It breaks my heart that my second little isn’t liked by my first and it also really bothers me that my first little isn’t helping to make my second little feel welcomed, especially after she had such a rough transition into my sorority.

I’m also really tired of feeling like I’m such a bad big when I’ve tried to talk it out with her and I wrote heartfelt notes detailing how much I cared about her. I explained how the new little wouldn’t affect our relationship and that I want to be able to work together as a family. I know she’s probably got hurt feelings, and I’ve tried to rectify my mistakes and be fair to them both, but it’s really hard to pacify two people. But I just don’t want to loose the special relationship I have with my first little. Do you have any advice on what to do?

A: My oh my. Let’s look at everyone’s part in this drama to help sort things out…….

  • YOU: You DID spend a lot of time and attention on Little #2 to the exclusion of Little #1. Your actions spoke louder than your words. This ticked off Little #1 the most. You have tried to make amends, but it may be too late.
  • LITTLE #1: She never liked the new sister and the trouble surrounding her membership. She does not want to be close friends with Little #2. She will never care for her the way you do. She is a little jealous and feels left out - both seem accurate by the way you describe things.
  • LITTLE #2: I see #2 as the source of much conflict. She had a big problem joining your sorority and that’s red flag to me. Then you swooped in like Florence Nightingale and worked overtime to mend her, at the expense of your other family loyalties. Also, I don’t read anything about Little #2 trying to be friendly and sweet to Little #1. The burden is all on you and your first Little. I think Little #2 has passively done some real damage and not taken any actions to mend fences. She too has responsibility in this situation.

I think you have done all the right things to smooth things over with Little #1. You have expressed your heartfelt feelings and apologized. Your message has been received loud and clear! You can’t force your Littles to be friends and you can’t force Little #1 to come around. Now is the time for some space and peace. Ease up and let the dust settle. All that needs to be said has been said. Everyone can now cool off. 

In a triangle, someone feels less loved. It happens and there are consequences to every action. Be the bigger person and continue to be nice to all your family members. Don’t try to bring the two littles together. Under the circumstances, I would socialize with them separately and equally. If Little #1 continues to be stubborn, just smile kindly and reach out to her another time. In a perfect world she forgives and forgets. And Little #2 becomes problem free and lots of fun to be around.

But until that perfect day ~ just calmly do what’s right, extend the hand of sisterhood and be patient. If Little #1 still refuses to respond, you can sleep at night knowing you tried your best. That’s all anyone can do! xoxo

"Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming to consequences of any misfortune." ~ William James