Throughout the fall recruitment season, I saw many blog posts and articles about how to make sure your daughter gets through sorority recruitment and into the house of her dreams. Apparently some people even hire consultants for this very purpose. Um…what? While I understand that at some schools recruitment is VERY competitive and you do need rec packets and all that sort of fun stuff, there are plenty of schools that are not, but I find very little information telling young women how to navigate recruitment at these schools.
The majority of schools I have worked at have deferred recruitment, meaning that first year students are not allowed to go through recruitment until they have completed a semester. The good news? If you are unsure about whether or not you want to join a sorority, you don’t have to make that decision right as (or even before!) you set foot on campus. The bad news? If you don’t do so well academically in your first semester, you may not be eligible to join your second. The somewhat better news? If you do better in the spring, they do have fall recruitment for non-first year students.
So you’re attending a smaller school or a school with a smaller Greek system. How do you find out information? ASK! Policies and procedures differ from school to school to some extent. I bet you have at least one sorority woman in every single one of your classes. Each campus also has an office that deals with Greek Life, whether it’s its own office or lumped under “Student Life”. You’re going to need to know when recruitment is and if you need to register. Other things you might want to find out – what happens if you can’t make an event due to evening classes, if there is a registration fee, how many credits you need, if there is a minimum GPA…some of these things may be posted online but some might not. There are two main types of recruitment – formal and informal. Both of these styles can happen at the same school (although at different times). Formal recruitment usually means you will see all of the organizations and have a set schedule. Informal recruitment usually means you can pick and choose what events you want to go to. As a first year student, you might want to go through formal recruitment in order to get to know women from each organization. As an older student, you may already be friends with women in one organization and want to primarily check out their house – informal might be a better route for you!
Even if you are at a smaller school, some of the advice coming from these articles and posts is still relevant. First impressions mean a lot when you are meeting a lot of people in a short amount of time. Make sure your outfit looks neat and clean and is appropriate! Just like you wouldn’t show up to a job interview in pajamas (although some wannabe-RAs showed up like that recently…) you are not going to go to a recruitment event in sweats or worse, something that looks like you’re heading to a club. Also, stay on appropriate conversation topics. Don’t talk about who you’ve hooked up with or how hungover you are. These are seriously things I’ve heard women bring up in conversation at recruitment!
The golden rule at recruitment is to be yourself. You ultimately find the house where you feel at home. At the same time, try and give every house a fair chance! You will generally have a sense of where you feel welcome and where you don’t. Feel free to leave comments with general questions, but you will get the best answers from your on campus resources.