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Sorority Recruitment Through the Eyes of Pi Chis

Any Potential New Member (PNM) rushing a sorority knows exactly what a Pi Chi is — their best friend, for two weeks at least. They answer any question you might have through the recruitment process, handle drama, and most importantly, they have a ton of patience.

Going through recruitment is time-consuming, often stressful, and the cause for many girls’ anxiety. But let’s not forget the girls who gave up being in a sorority for a month to help coach other girls through the recruitment process. These girls are known as the Pi Chis. Four weeks before every Bid Day, the Pi Chis “give up their letters”, which essentially means they disaffiliate from their sorority for the entirety of recruitment. Their goal is to help the PNMs select a sorority without any bias.

Pi Chis each take on a group of about 40 girls. Most of the time, two or three Pi Chis work together to manage the group and to keep the potential members as calm and informed as  possible. Pi Chis are often the most experienced members in the Panhellenic community and include select juniors and seniors from every sorority.

Anyone having a part in dealing with 1,500 freshmen trying to impress one of the 19 National Panhellenic Conference sororities on campus has every ounce of my respect. As a sorority member myself, I don’t think I could handle that task.

Pi Chis are required to act discretely and not give any indication of bias during recruitment, and therefore only provide their first names to PNMs. Conversely, PNMs will go to great lengths to discover their Pi Chi’s sorority, often in the form of full-blown social media stalking. Some Pi Chis even go as far as to temporarily delete their Facebook accounts and change their Twitter and Instagram names to stay hidden.

I asked some Pi Chis from the most recent recruitment cycle to talk about the buildup for the record-breaking Bid Day. To protect the identity of the Pi Chis and their PNMs, the comments will remain anonymous.

“I am able to relate to the girls and make them feel more comfortable and less stressed,” said a Pi Chi.

“All I want is for the girls to end up where they want to be. That’s my job and that’s why I do what I do! Someone helped me find my place in my sorority, so being a Pi Chi was the ideal way for me to give back,” said another.

“Giving up my letters was easy knowing that I helped girls find theirs,” said a third.

Sure, girls will cry hysterically if they don’t get asked back to the sorority they wanted. But their Pi Chi will handle it like a charm, because that’s why they were chosen. These girls have learned incredible patience, and like I said earlier, I certainly couldn’t do it.

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About the Author

Sarah Peterson

Sarah Peterson is a junior from Bethlehem, PA majoring in print journalism and minoring in reruns of Breaking Bad and traveling everywhere she possibly can.

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