All You Need to Know About Formal Recruitment

Hello PNM’s! (aka potential new members). Rush week is on its way and if you’re going out for recruitment this year, I’m sure your feeling a TON of mixed emotions just as I did when I rushed. Recruitment is so exciting, but also so nerve wracking. You want to make the best impression you can with your fave sororities, while still being true to yourself and it’s intimidating. But one thing you need to know is you WILL find your home. You might not end up exactly where you thought you would, and you might end up favoring a sorority you never thought you would. No matter what happens, I assure you everything will work out the best it can for you.

Alright so if you are unfamiliar with the way formal recruitment works, here is a rundown of the events. Please keep in mind every school works a little differently and the way my school does formal recruitment may not be exactly the same as the way yours does. For example there may be more rounds or more sororities to choose from at your school. Still, I’d assume each school has a very similar recruitment process, so here was mine!

For me, I went out for recruitment in the winter/spring because as a freshman, you are not allowed to rush your fall semester because it would be best to make friends outside of greek life and to get involved in other clubs. This was great for me because I made loads of other friends and got involved in really cool clubs, like my school’s magazine. Along with this, I was given a whole semester to learn about the sororities. If you aren’t rushing until spring semester, I would highly recommend attending different sorority open houses and such so that way you have a feel of where you belong before formal recruitment. Also, if you’d like to hear more about my personal experience, please let me know in the comments because I’d love to write a post about it!

Before recruitment, you will be put into a group with several other PNM’s and you will be assigned a Pi Chi. I know the name of this may be different at other schools, but they all do the same job. Basically what a Pi Chi, or whatever it be called, does is help guide you through recruitment. They are girls who temporarily disaffiliate from their sorority in order to help you feel at ease and help you though the entire process. They walk you from house to house, hold your bags while your inside, are there to listen and give you advice when you’re upset or confused, and give you advice on what to wear. Basically they are your best friend during formal recruitment. The catch is that you don’t know which sorority they belong to. Think about it this way, if your Pi Chi is in ZTA and you go to ZTA and hate it, you won’t want to tell your Pi Chi that. However, it’s totally okay to be open and honest with your Pi Chi because they are only there to help you and your decision.

During Round One of recruitment, you will most likely, depending on your school, be given a tee shirt to wear from house to house. Your Pi Chi will walk you and the rest of your group to each sorority house and you will rush each one. You’ll be put into a line with the rest of the girls in your group and it’s important to stay in this order! The sisters you will be talking to are also in this order and are already expecting to speak to you. The sisters will welcome you in with singing and dancing and you will match up with your sister. You guys will talk for awhile and it’s pretty basic conversation such as “where are you from?” and “what’s your major?” and then soon another sister will arrive and take her spot. This round only lasts about half an hour per house and is very casual. Not too bad. However, round one can take multiple days depending on how many sororities your school has. Once you see all of the houses, you will rank the houses and they will rank you. At my school, there were seven sororities and I ranked my top 5 to go back to. So this part is a little confusing, but here is my best explanation: if you’re going from 7 to 5, you would rank your top 5 in no order and eliminate 2. Those 2 you eliminate you would rank in order. If one of the 5 you chose did not choose you, but the one you ranked as #6 did, you would go back to the #6 house instead. At most, you can go back to 5 houses, but that doesn’t mean you will. It depends on who calls you back as well. I REALLY hope this makes sense.

Okay, Round Two. This round is the more business casual round fashion wise. You will be slightly more dressed up and you will have more time talking at each house. If you need ideas of what to wear, you can check out my previous post here. This round is called Philanthropy round. What you do is you will be given a schedule from your Pi Chi’s and you will go to each remaining house. If you are wearing heels or anything, there will be Pi Chi’s out front of each house that will hold any bags for you so that way you can wear comfortable shoes to walk to each house and change when you get there. SO Philanthropy round. During this round you will talk to a sister and she will tell you about the sorority’s philanthropy. You might be asked to do some sort of craft with the sister to support the philanthropy. Again, you will most likely be talking to multiple girls. Also, if the sorority has a house, this is the round where you will be given the house tour. This round you will learn a lot more in depth detailing about each sorority. Once you visit each house, you and the sororities will rank again. The next round only allows 2 sororities which means at most, you’d be eliminating 3. But again, this varies from school to school.

Round Three is the final round before bid day and definitely the most formal. This round you will be expected to dress up in formal attire, but remember to keep it modest. The final round is called Preference round and you could be at the house for an hour depending on your school. You will most likely be with one girl the entire time, but another girl you may have met in a previous round might also come to join you guys. There will be a very sentimental presentation where sisters will give speeches and you might cry. It’s an emotional and personal round that has a huge impact on your decision. After visiting each house for the last time, it’s time to choose.

Bid Day is the most exciting, yet also the scariest part. You ranked your #1, but the question is, did they rank you back? Will you end up at your #2? Will you be okay with that? What if you don’t get a bid at all? All of these questions will run through your mind, whether you feel like you hit it off with that girl or not. However, just know that if you didn’t get a bid, your Pi Chi will most likely call you beforehand to let you know. Once you’re at bid day, it means you certainly have a bid from either your #1 or #2. You’ll be given an envelope with your invitation inside and open it and afterwards you’ll all run to your new sororities house and take your bid day picture and it’ll be a dream come true.

Formal recruitment is such an incredible experience. No matter where you end up, you’ll meet so many diverse people in each sorority and make so many new friends. Get excited and be confident because it’s only a matter of time before you find your family.

If you have any requests involving formal recruitment posts, please feel free to let me know!




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