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 well 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 ;)
Hi! I just signed up for recruitment at the University of Rhode Island this fall and have been doing some online research and your blog made me feel so excited for greek but as soon as i looked anywhere else i got super nervous, with every website saying that it's a contest to do with how attractive the pledges are. I'm confident with how i look but i'm not 100% preppy and have thick brown curly hair, and am not sure if i look like a traditional sorority girl. Will I fit in?? thank you xxxx
My favorite saying when it comes to sorority recruitment is: "There is a place for everyone!" Thank goodness not all chapters are alike. How boring that would be. And impossible to recruit if every sorority was a carbon copy of each other. There are hundreds, if not thousands of other girls just like you waiting to rush at URI who are also not 6’ tall, blonde and models for Victoria’s Secret on the weekends. MOST PNMs look like “average” girls. If you browse my blog, you will see sisters and new members from all over the country. A very high percentage of them are in the normal range of attractiveness.
Yes there are some individuals and some colleges that seem to have an above average amount of gorgeous greek girls. USC, UF and ASU come to mind. But even on those super beautiful campuses, there are plenty of pretty girls with brown curly hair! Everyone will be looking their best during recruitment, but keep in mind, they don’t look like that every day. Rush is a time to wear a little make-up, style your hair and wear fashionable clothing. Stay true to your personality, but step it up a notch. Rush IS a competition at its very core.
I am certain you will fit in with several chapters at URI. Not every sorority will be a match, but I’m sure there will be many sisters who you hit it off with. Maybe you’re not the preppiest, but you can look classy and stylish. Be the BEST that you can be, let your personality shine and fill the room with your winning smile. Sororities don’t pledge designer labels, straight hair, or expensive shoes ~ they pledge PNMs who they fall in love with and can’t wait to spend more time together. If a girl has all the “right stuff” she will be a desirable PNM to many chapters. A boring, flat, unexcited PNM will not ~ despite her wardrobe or facial beauty. It’s all about an ideal MIX of inner and outer attractiveness that makes for a successful recruitment. Keep your confidence high and do your BEST! xoxo ;)
"Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." ~ Lou Holtz
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!
I have LOTS of tips and headshot examples under the tag “headshot.” Please go to my blog homepage and enter headshot (one word) in the Search bar and many helpful posts will come up. That way you can see more than one example and read the advice too. A PNM photo should be attractive, look like you, clearly show your face, etc… xoxo ;)
Or LINK here:
Hey Sorority Sugar! For recruitment, do you have any questions to keep in your back pocket for lulls in conversation when touring the house? It's our second day of recruitment, so hopefully a little deeper than the basic "getting to know you" questions on the first day. Maybe something related to home, family, etc and easy ways to segway?
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?
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
i'm meeting my rho gamma sometime this week and i'm super nervous! we are meeting in the evening so we may meet at a local restaurant or something (i'm in a cute little college town). what do i wear, and what are some good topics/questions to discuss?
Technically your Rho Gamma is NOT evaluating your for membership, but you still want to look well-groomed and presentable. So wear something nice-casual. When you are in the recruitment-zone you want to look attractive wherever you go. You never know who will see you out and about. There are eyes everywhere.
There is no reason for you to be nervous meeting your Rho Gamma! She is your guide, your counselor and your biggest cheerleader in going greek. There may be a group of PNMs at your dinner meeting and you can discuss the procedures of rush week. She will probably pass out information and have some instructions to share. If you have any specific questions about how rounds work, when you get a break, what to wear, or other details on ‘how it happens’ on your campus ~ she’s the one to ask.
She will not tell you inside secrets about each house, gossip about chapter rankings, or chat about frat drinking parties. Your recruitment counselor is there to help you through rush week in an unbiased way. Think of her as a help-mate and advisor ~ not a spy or recruiter. She’s on your side. Her goal is to assist you in finding YOUR ideal chapter match. Make the most of all the assistance she can give. xoxo :)
Would you know why schools ask for recommendation letters prior to recruitment? Cause I thought their profile with information would be more self explanatory. My school doesn't ask for them, that's why it's so unfamiliar for me to see. Because when I'm on message boards, so many people ask for them from basically all the sororities they are rushing for!
It’s a tradition at many schools, but personally I think the pressure of rec letters sometimes gets out of hand! Especially when PNMs have to track down strangers to write them. Personal letters from greek family friends, teachers, coaches and others are valuable, but when there are 18 chapters on campus, it does get quite stressful for PNMs to meet their letter requirements.
The basic premise is that there is a initiated member who refers a PNM for membership and vouches for her character. The member is saying she has evaluated the PNM’s qualifications and determined that she matches the values of the sisterhood. If a PNM has been “pre-screened” and approved ~ it assures the local chapter than she meets the characteristics they are looking for. Having PNMs Ok’d before rush starts is helpful to many chapters. Someone other than the PNM is vouching for her reputation and experiences. It’s another way to verify the backgrounds of PNMs, especially in a large and very competitive panhellenic. Since most PNMs are total strangers to the chapters, member recommendations confirm that the profiles are accurate.
Rec letters may have become more of a ‘requirement’ than anything else, but even so, they serve a purpose at some universities. How much the sororities use them, is up to the private practices of each chapter. PNMs need to view them as a necessary part of rush and the first test of how well they can complete requirements. The first challenge of many! xoxo :)
Even though they are not under the umbrella of the NPC, other sororities recruit in a very similar way. PNMs attend rush events, talk with sisters, the chapter votes and you may be offered a bid at the conclusion. The ABCs of rush are very similar from sorority to sorority. There may be some open events and then one or two which are by invitation only. Bid day will be just as happy and thrilling as any other sorority!
Non-NPC make membership decisions basically the same way other sororities do. They are looking for compatible future sisters who share their values, lifestyle, interests, personality and goals. When sisters vote they ask themselves "Is Polly PNM XYZ sorority material? Does she meet the standards of our chapter? Can I see her as a XYZ sister forever?" If the answer is yes ~ you will be invited back! And hopefully a match will be made on bid day. xoxo ;)
As a minority woman and hopeful pledge, I find that I'm discouraged to even try in light of all the news coverage and media hype about minorities being rejected during the first rounds of rush week simply because of their nationality. Any advice?
Don’t believe everything you read or hear in the media. They have an agenda and a real bias when it comes to greek life! Personally, I am not aware of the news stories you are referring to. I did read that this year the University of Alabama pledged a record number of black women to NPC sororities and an outstanding amount of other ethnic groups too. Minorities of every background pledge sororities all the time ~ in every part of the country.
There are other options for minorities as well. Multicultural sororities are on the rise for PNMs who want more of an emphasis on their ethic identity. A multicultural chapter might be just what you are looking for! There are sororities for specific groups such as Asian or Hispanic, and there are chapters which spotlight broad diversity as their mission statement. There are also terrific Service and Christian sororites which attract minority PNMs. If you are an African-American, the traditionally black sororities provide a historically rich and rewarding greek experience. There are so many ways to go greek!!
Between ALL the NPC chapters, multicultural sororities, service chapters, Christian groups and black sororities ~ you are SURE to find a greek home. There is no reason to get discouraged at all. The “flavors” of greek life are unique, numerous and created to match all different kinds of PNMs. There is a place for everyone. Every sisterhood is looking for matches, so all you have to worry about is clicking with a chapter in terms of personality, achievement, leadership, lifestyle and personality.
LOTS & LOTS of PNMs are cut during the early rounds of recruitment for zillions of reasons. Skin tone is not what sororities are thinking about. They cut many more Caucasian PNMs than any other group. Everyone is evaluated on their suitability for membership, compatibility, GPA and fitting in with the entire sisterhood. If they love you as a PNM, you will be asked back no matter what your ethnic identity. So shine bright and look for a sorority where YOU feel the most at home. Membership is about feeling welcomed and appreciated for all of your finest qualities. xoxo ;)
Hi! I may be transferring to a university in the spring (I go to a community college now) & I want to rush! But I was told my top choice doesn't do spring rush. Should I wait till next fall? I'm just so anxious and I really want to rush ASAP! But I don't want to do spring recruitment & think "what if" for not waiting till fall. I want to give each chapter a chance but I don't want to wait. Thanks so much!
Your situation is a common dilemma for transfer students! Should you rush some of the chapters, or wait until they all participate? Because you are an older PNM, and you may end up loving a chapter that is recruiting in the spring, I vote for trying spring recruitment. It’s very possible that you will make a wonderful match. If you don’t click with any of the sororities, you don’t have to pledge. Drop before bid day, you will be free to rush again in the fall. But if you DO find a fabulous chapter, you can get started on your greek life. If I were you I would give spring recruitment a try and see what happens.
From the outside, it’s difficult to choose a favorite sorority. If you wait until fall, that still doesn’t mean you will receive a bid from your current top pick. There are no guarantees either way, so why not try in the spring? I say ~ seize the day and see what happens! xoxo ;)
"When nothing is sure, everything is possible." ~ Margaret Drabble
I'm rushing in the fall and my mom also rushed at the same college but her sorority isn't there anymore does that still make me a legacy? Also after the first day to see if you got invited back will your rho gamma let you know? Also can you send the questions to ask during our interviews! That was really helpful
Q: I just got an email from panhellenic with the details for recruitment. PNMs have to be there at 7:45AM and don’t get released until midnight and then have to be back at 7:45 the next morning and we go until 10PM! There’s an hour and a half break around 2pm but that’s it! Do you have any tips for staying animated and happy throughout these long hours?!
A: Going until Midnight is a very long time! But the good news is, the days get shorter as the week goes by. You visit fewer and fewer sorority houses and it gets easier. The first couple of days are always the longest and the most exhausting. The sorority sisters are keeping even longer hours than the PNMs if it makes you feel any better.
The #1 thing that will keep you going: ADRENALINE!! Recruitment is so stressful and exciting, your adrenaline will be pumping. Every time you reach a sorority house, hear that chanting and clapping, your nerves will be on high alert and your heart will be pounding in your chest. Here are some tips to keep you going ~
♥ LONG HOURS PNM SURVIVAL TIPS: ♥
- Drink water and stay hydrated.
- Keep some protein bars, nuts, crackers, or dried fruit in your handbag for snacking between rounds. (Check your teeth afterwards.)
- Eat breakfast before you arrive. Do not start the day on an empty growling stomach.
- Eat a solid lunch. This is NOT a time to diet and become light headed from hunger. Eat dinner too when you can. You need fuel to make it through a 16 hour day.
- Avoid too much caffeine - it will make you jittery when combined with your stress level.
- Listen to music with your earphones during your down time.
- Chat with the other PNMs in your group. If you are having a good time, it will keep you perked up.
- Put your head down and nap briefly during your 1.5 hour break. But only a short cat nap. Any more than about 10-15 minutes and you will feel groggy. A few winks can be refreshing.
- Run cold water on your wrists. This really helps when you are hot and tired.
- On your break, take off your shoes and give your tired feet a much deserved rest.
- Don’t drink alcohol. It may be tempting after 10 hours of recruitment, but it will make you tired and loopy for the nighttime rounds.. Booze and rush DO NOT mix.
- Chat with your Rho Gamma/Gamma Chi. It’s a good idea to get to know her during rush.
- On your break, watch a favorite TV show, play games, or browse your fave websites on your phone/iPad.
- Don’t fight the schedule. If you are angry and frustrated from waiting around, or the long distances between sorority houses, you will feel worse than if you just surrender to the process. Accept the hours and just know you will have some very long days at the beginning of the week.
- When you finally return to your room, don’t get wound up complaining to your boyfriend about the day’s events, don’t start watching a movie, don’t chat with your mom and don’t down a bottle of wine… Just go to sleep as soon as possible! When you are immersed in recruitment, there is NO time for the outside world. Your rest is more important than anything else to keep you strong and healthy all week.
I'm really embarrassed about asking this, but I withdrew from rush last year on preference night because I couldn't afford it (since I was paying for it myself). Now I'm rushing again (now that I've saved enough money) and am super excited! If a sister asks me why I dropped out of rush/ why it didn't work out, should I just be candid and say that it just wasn't a good time for me financially? Thanks for your help!
Nothing to be embarrassed about. I admire girls who work hard and pay for part or all of their sorority membership. It will help you value greek life even more.
Many PNMs leave their first recruitment for a variety of reasons. You probably won’t be asked about it a year later. But if you are, I think a broad positive statement is best. You can say lightly something like, "For several reasons I wasn’t able to join last year, but now I am super excited and committed to going greek!" That is the truth without getting into a long discussion about money issues. You always want to end on a “high note” about how thrilled you are now. The focus should be on what you want to do in the present, not about difficulties in the past. Highlight good news, not past problems.
Sororities want members who will be very reliable about paying their dues. If you start talking about your former financial problems, the sister you chat with may misunderstand and think you are a risk! People frequently hear things incorrectly. You don’t want her to describe you to the chapter as "The PNM who dropped out because she couldn’t pay the dues, now she thinks she can afford it, but I’m not really sure." See why it’s best to NOT bring up topics that could be misinterpreted? Don’t put a grey cloud over your head for any reason. How you handle your finances is your private business. No need to share TMI during your recruitment conversations. Stick to happy, enthusiastic, friendly talk filled with sunshine! That’s who you are TODAY! xoxo ;)
Q: My friends think i’m psyching myself out/trying to hard to get into a sorority because I’ve done tons of research and have been worrying about the right things to wear and such. Sometimes i feel like they are right. But i just want this so badly! What do you think?
A: Let me answer your concerns with a few questions of my own:
- Would you prepare for a major sports competition by studying your team’s plays, researching the maneuvers of the other team, practicing your own game, wearing the proper equipment and attending team motivation sessions?
- If you had a top college admissions interview would you research the campus in advance, prepare some intelligent questions about your field of interest, spend time reviewing the university website and wear your best outfit to the interview?
- If you competed in beauty pageants, would you style your hair, apply attractive make-up, work out to keep fit, wear flattering fashions, learn to walk and talk correctly, study up on current events for the interviews and practice the skills needed to compete?
- Would you practice your vocals before a singing competition, train for a marathon before you start running, learn how to ride a horse before you enter a rodeo, research a company before you interview with them for a big job? YOU GET THE IDEA!!
Whatever you want to do in life requires learning, knowledge, practice and dedicated effort. If you are going to compete for something you really want, it’s worth doing WELL. Things will not be handed to you on a silver platter. The other PNMs are doing all it takes to get into their top pick sorority. It’s perfectly OK for you to prepare also. To look and feel your best inside and out, you should spend some time on picking the right outfits, learning about the chapters and rehearsing your small talk.
Preparation is powerful. Knowledge makes you less nervous. The more you know, the more you will feel relaxed and in control. It’s the unknown that’s super scary and stressful. Of course don’t stress out to the point of making yourself sick. But a decent amount of prep is absolutely necessary for most PNMs. Don’t let your friends cause you to second guess yourself. Do what makes YOU feel the most secure. It’s your future greek life, not theirs. xoxo ;)
"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now." ~ Alan Lakein