The Anatomy of Sorority Recruitment

The moment you have all been waiting for is here! After weeks of anticipation and annoying profile pictures, fall 2012 sorority recruitment begins tonight. After orientation last night, girls are assigned to their Pi Chi groups and prepared for the long week ahead.

Starting tonight and ending on Thursday are open houses. During this round, potential new members (PNMs) will visit each of the 19-sorority suites. Unlike previous years, these fifteen-minute rounds will no longer have an introductory video to the sorority, but instead are filled with speed dating-like conversation.

Prepare for the following questions: What’s your major? Do you live in East? Where are you from? This style is very awkward but gets easier as the days go on. Wardrobe for this round includes the Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment T-Shirt and jeans. After the third day of open houses, PNM’s will rank the sororities in preferential order in a process called “post office.”

First rounds, also known as philanthropy rounds, start Friday and end after an extremely long Saturday. After meeting your Pi Chis at home base, they will give your specific schedule of parties, and you will be on your own traveling from house to house.

Sorority members will inform the PNM’s of their philanthropy mission. Some sororities play games and decorate, so prepare to do some crafts! These parties are slightly longer than open houses. The maximum number of parties that can be attended is fourteen. There is an hour lunch break starting at 1:45 p.m, but a girl might have more time depending on her schedule. Wardrobe for this round has a style of cute and casual, including nice sandals. On Saturday, after the last party, there is another post office session.

Second rounds, which take place on Sunday, consist of a maximum of eight sororities. These parties are usually around thirty minutes. A new change to recruitment this year is that instead of a skit made up by sisters, there will be a documentary defining sisterhood. Wardrobe for this round is more formal, with sundresses and maybe even heels. Again, after the last party, the PNM’s will rank their preferences and dwindle away from eight to a top three.

The third and final round of formal recruitment that takes place on Monday is preference night. Each party is an hour long, and a girl will attend a maximum of three parties. During this night, each suite is decorated to the nines and girls will get to go up to the sorority floors and see how the sisters live.

There is food, drinks and a sneak peak into the different rituals practiced by each sorority. Wardrobe usually includes a semi-formal cocktail dress and heels. After the third party, a final post office occurs in which you rank the three sororities in the order that you want to join them.

When Tuesday, September 11th rolls around, recruitment finally comes to an end. This day — affectionately dubbed “Bid Day” — is when all of the Pi Chi groups gather inside the HUB with a sealed envelope. Inside this envelope is an invitation to join a particular sorority.

After some speeches and anxiety build-up, you are finally allowed to open your envelope and then will join your sorority members on the HUB lawn. You then join your sisters and fellow pledge class back at the suite for pictures, food, and bonding.

Congratulations! You have mentally made it through all of the rounds of recruitment.

Here are some overall tips for surviving the rigorous formal recruitment.

  • Do not wear watches or bring your cell phone into the suites.
  • Keep an umbrella and a pair of flats in your bag.
  • Bring deodorant, a hairbrush, and makeup to touch up in between rounds.
  • Since you can’t chew gum, bring breath mints to refresh.
  • Make sure you eat something before the rounds start, as there is limited time to eat once the night starts.

Make sure to visit Panhellenic’s website for more information.

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