Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sorority Rush Tips | What to Wear, Chit Chatting, and Finding the House that Fits!

So you want to join a sorority? These alums have tons of info about the recruitment process, chit chatting tips, what to wear, and defining those confusing Greek Life terms. Keep reading for our ten top recruitment tips.

(scroll to the end for a helpful glossary of terms!)

Ten Top Recruitment Tips:

1. It's a mutual selection process. You will choose your favorite houses and the houses will choose which PNMs are their favorites. Think of it like are hoping to meet your match! 
2. SHOW UP to every party or you will be removed from the recruitment process.
3. No one can promise you a bid. If the sorority woman says “I hope to see you tomorrow,” she is being genuine and hopes to see you tomorrow, but she cannot say “I will see you tomorrow,” because she cannot promise that you will make their list. Know that even if she breaks this rule, your place is not guaranteed. 
4. Learn the Greek alphabet, it will come in handy.
5. What to keep in your bag: Lip gloss, breath mints, blotting paper, and your cellphone (to use as a mirror and to take notes). 
6. Be sure to eat during your lunch break. Nervousness makes it difficult to think about meals, but you will need the fuel come party seven.
7. Try your hardest to use the restroom during your breaks and not during the parties. It can be seen as a sign of disinterest if you use the restroom during the party, because some (majorly rude) PNMs do this just to duck out of talking!
8. Don't feel down if your current "top house" doesn't request you back the next day. Brush it off and know that this process is designed to place everyone where they fit best.
9. Keep your hair pushed out of the way of your name badge, so the women talking to you can remember who you are! 
10. Understand that this is a financial commitment. Dues range anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars per semester. This varies on the size of your chapter, the school you go to, the number of shirts you get, events you attend, etc.

Recruitment Process:

A Note About Rec Letters: These won't make or break you, but if you can get them, you should. It gives the sorority women more time to hear your name and get to know about you. Don't be shy to reach out, as most alumnae are thrilled to write a rec letter.

Every school is different, but your days will likely include:

Open House
  • This day feels a bit like speed dating, because you're talking to several girls in as little as 10-20 minutes.
  • Make notes after you go to every house on the first day. Pay attention to specific details about the house that you can remember, so that you can better reflect back when it comes time to do your first round of voting. Some easy things to remember about the houses include their colors, their symbol, their philanthropy, etc.
Open House Day Outfit: You may be given a T-shirt from your university to wear with either shorts or jeans. Do not go overly casual with workout pants! If your university doesn't provide a t-shirt, stay clear of any tops that are overly revealing. Keep your look pulled together with stylish sandals or boots (no ratty flip flops), and accessories that show off your personal style.

Philanthropy Day
  • On Philanthropy day, you will most likely watch a video or slideshow detailing that houses' philanthropic endeavors and do some sort of craft that is applicable to their philanthropy. Don't get too caught up in the craft that you forget to ask questions and participate in the conversation. You won't be graded on your glittering abilities.
  • Your recruiter will, no doubt, ask you about previous volunteer/charity work you've done in the past. Don't feel self-conscious if you don't have much volunteer experience. On this day, your recruiter is most likely looking for certain personality attributes like teamwork, leadership, loyalty, and dedication, rather than specific dates and times that you've volunteered.
Philanthropy Day Outfit: You may be given a Panhellenic T-shirt to style again. If not, wear something similar to Day one. If you wear jeans the first day, feel free to change up your look with a pair of shorts or a nice skirt. Keep your accessories tasteful and let your personality shine.

Sisterhood Day/Skit Day
  • On Sisterhood Day, your recruiters are going to ask deeper questions. This round will be longer and include some sort of slideshow or activity that will give you a better insight into this specific house.
  • Skit Day is common in the South and is one of the most fun days! You will get to sit and watch a skit the sorority women have worked countless hours on. Enjoy yourself while you watch (no frowning faces!) and be sure to tell the women what you loved about the skit.
Sisterhood Day/Skit Day Outfit: On this day you will get to show more of your personal style. Opt for a polished, dressy casual look appropriate for brunch. Choose wedges or kitten heels to dress-up your ensemble.

UPDATE: Due to a new values based National Panhellenic Council policy, Skits are no longer allowed in the recruitment process. This "no frills" policy was established to place a higher emphasis on meaningful conversations and organizational values, rather than material interests. If you were excited about this, don't worry! It's more than likely that you'll have the opportunity to participate in a skit or dance of some kind for a philanthropy or Greek Week event.

Preference Day
  • Preference is a special day for every sorority. On this day, you'll get a glimpse of the house and their ritual.
  • Know that because this is the last and most meaningful day of sorority recruitment, your recruiters may be emotional, so don't be alarmed if you see someone shed a tear.
  • Expect to hear from the sorority women about why they chose this particular chapter. Conversation will focus on where you see yourself within this particular sorority.
Preference Day Outfit: This day is the most formal, but steer clear of sequins or anything fit for the club. You will want to keep your hemlines and cleavage in check, but don't be afraid to stand out with an amazing pair of shoes or an on-trend dress.

Need more inspiration for your recruitment ensembles? Check out the Arizona State University Panhellenic Pinterest board with looks for each day.

Bid Day
  • Be prepared to have fun! 

Chit Chatting Tips

  • Avoid the 4 B's during conversation: boys, booze, bible, bank account.
  • Remember this is a conversation, not an interview. Be genuine.
  • Ask questions. Every chapter is different, so it's smart to think about what's important to you in a sorority and narrow down which house meets those qualifications.
  • And don't freak out if you aren't clicking with the sorority woman who is talking to you. This is just one member! (She might actually be enjoying herself but is too exhausted to show it.)
  • Be open minded about each house, because your opinions will likely change throughout the recruitment process. Don't tell a sorority woman you have already "chosen" another house or have a favorite.
  • Don't stress too much about how many people talk to you during each party. Each house has its own way of bumping -- you could talk to just one woman or a dozen!
  • There will be a natural progression in seriousness from Open House day to Preference Day. Your first day will be very light, surface-y conversations and as you're funneled down to the final days, the conversations will get a bit deeper.
  • If a sorority member brings up a topic that might be uncomfortable for you, just gloss over it. Try not to say anything negative. There is no need to lie or be "fake," but definitely show that you can see the silver lining in anything.
  • Remember why you're there. You may be fascinated to hear how many of their members are on the cheer squad, but don't delve into the cheer tryout process for your ten minutes with the sorority woman.
  • Be kind. Even if you think you're definitely going to be an Alpha Alpha, remember that we are a Panhellenic community and recruitment isn't a competition, it's a mutual selection process. 

Spring Recruitment Do's and Don'ts:

Recruitment in the second semester is undoubtedly a different experience than joining into the sisterhood before the start of school (or even a few weeks into the fall semester). Know that you aren't being judged every single second, but that the sorority women have a lot more time to get to know you. Use this to your advantage!
  • Don't ignore your studies or making dorm friends your first semester.
  • Do respond to emails from sorority women politely and in a timely manner.
  • Do attend recruitment events for every sorority. You will want to get to know women from all the houses.
  • Do continue to keep an open mind about these sororities.
  • Don't be afraid to show up to the philanthropy events, tailgates, parties, study dates, etc. that a sorority woman has invited you to.
  • Don't ditch your fall semester friends once you join a sorority. Panhellenic love!


Recruitment: "Rush" is no longer the PC term at many campuses. The whole process is referred to as recruitment.
PNM: Potential New Member. This is you!
Sisters/Sisterhood: Once you become an initiated member, the women in your sorority become your sisters!
Pledge class: The women in your house who went through recruitment with you.
Snap bid: When a house has not met their pledge class quota, they can add more women into the newest pledge class as a snap bid.
COB: Continuous Open Bidding. When a house has more room in their overall house quota, they can add more women into the sorority as COBs.
Legacy: Generally a legacy includes a daughter, sister, or granddaughter of someone who was in the sorority, but rules vary house-to-house.
Rec letters: Letters of recommendation from alumnae.
Parties: You will go house to house for parties. These are not booze-fueled hang-outs, but short conversations with a few members of each house.
Rho Chi, Rho Gamma, etc.: These women have temporarily given up their letters to help you find yours. Be kind to them!
Panhellenic: The board that governs all of the sororities on your campus. They work hard to make sure recruitment runs smoothly. See also: panhellenic love
GDI: God Damn Independent. A rude phrase to classify those who don't partake in the Greek life scene. You may hear people refer to themselves as GDIs, but don't use this phrase.
Bumping: You likely won’t hear this word going through recruitment until you’re on the other side, but a bump is when the sorority woman who is speaking to you introduces you to a new woman, gets the conversation flowing, and then leaves. It might seem awkward like “Why is she leaving me? What did I do wrong?” but it’s actually just a part of the process.
Bid: If you receive a bid that means the sorority is inviting you to show up for Bid Day and join their newest pledge class. You did it! Hooray!
Suiciding: When you’re down to the final two houses on Preference Night, you will be asked to rank the remaining houses 1 or 2. Suiciding is when a PNM does not mark a second choice. DO NOT do this. If your favored sorority does not offer you a bid, you will not have a house to run to on bid day.

Scroll through some more fun photos from Lauren's time as an Alpha Chi Omega at Southern Methodist University and Tory's time as a Gamma Phi Beta at Arizona State University!


  1. Love this, girls!

  2. Awh thank you, love!! Feeling so nostalgic right now! x

  3. Great post!
    Mademoiselle Coconath

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