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Your Guide To Penn State’s Virtual Sorority Recruitment

Now that Penn State’s spring semester is officially underway, it’s time to think about sorority recruitment season.

However, with the ongoing pandemic canceling most in-person events and placing Penn State into a remote period until February 15, for the first time ever, Panhellenic’s Primary Recruitment will take place completely remotely this year.

In light of this ~ unprecedented ~ move, if you’re going through recruitment this year, you probably have some questions. Check out our walkthrough for the entire sorority recruitment process below.

Orientation

You don’t actually need to do much for this. If we were in person, this would be Open House and involve Potential New Members (PNMs) meeting with every single Panhellenic sorority for the first time. For about 15 minutes, you would talk to a sister from each chapter about pretty surface-level topics — your major, where you live, where you’re from, etc.

This year, though, PNMs have to submit introductory videos and don’t need to actually meet with any chapters via Zoom. Instead, chapters will be watching these videos and choosing who they want to invite back.

Values Round

This is where you actually meet chapters for the first time. When you first join the Zoom call for each sorority, you’ll watch a video that they’ve prepared that’s supposed to showcase what the chapter’s sisterhood is about and what their values are.

These videos are basically like a music video, and they all have the same basic format. You should definitely take advantage of the fact that you’re going through recruitment from your bedroom and take notes when you can. Because every sorority you meet will mesh together into one big blob of sisterhood by the end of the day.

After the video, you’ll go into breakout rooms and talk to sisters about why you want to join a sorority. You’ll notice that as the rounds go on, your conversations will get deeper and deeper. The most important part of these conversations is that you stay honest. It may seem tempting to put yourself in a box of what you think sororities are to increase your chances of being accepted, but the truth is, chapters will be able to see through it.

Panhellenic also put together a handy PowerPoint on what to wear during each round, which you can find on its website.

Philanthropy Round

This round will follow the same format as Values, except this time, you’ll be watching a video about each chapter’s philanthropy. The conversations that follow will probably center around talking about the video you just watched, the sorority’s other philanthropies (if they have any), volunteering you might have done, and THON.

If you don’t have a ton of experience with THON or volunteering, just try to ask them questions about how their chapter participates in service opportunities. Every chapter has its own philanthropy and puts on its own unique fundraising events, so you may end up learning about a cool event or philanthropy that you want to get involved in.

Preference Round

If you were doing this in-person, this is the point where you’d say to yourself, “Oh no! I may be joining a cult.” This is the longest and most formal round of recruitment, as well as your last chance to make a good impression on your final two chapters before Bid Day. Typically, sororities would decorate their suite, set up a snack table, and have you participate in some sort of PNM ritual.

This year will *probably* be a little less cult-ish since you won’t be in the suite, and there will, unfortunately, be no snacks. However, you’ll still want to dress formally, and you’ll probably have to participate in some sort of ritual. After, you’ll go into a breakout room and talk to a sister that you will (most likely) have met before earlier in the process.

Bid Day

Let out a sigh of relief. You’ve finally made it! This is pretty self-explanatory, but you’ll get your bid, (hopefully) be excited, and show up to your new sorority’s Bid Day Zoom.

General Advice

  • Utilize your Pi Chi. They’re here to help you, and they’ve been in your shoes before. Also, they’ve just spent the past few months working on how to help you and support you emotionally, so they have some pretty helpful advice to impart.
  • Trust the Process. Regardless of if you’re a Sixers fan or not, this piece of advice is extremely important. Even though rejection is hard and you’ll be faced with disappointment throughout recruitment, if you go into every day with an open mind, you might surprise yourself and end up in a chapter you weren’t expecting.
  • Be yourself. This was said before, but it’s something you need to take to heart. There’s no one right way to be in a sorority, and there’s no one right person that chapters are looking for.
  • Stay off Greek Rank. This applies both to recruitment and your life after Bid Day. Seriously, the reviews are inaccurate — all the good reviews were most likely written by that chapter about themselves, and the bad reviews are just gossip. You’ll only make recruitment harder on yourself if you care more about a tier system than trying to find a chapter with people you actually want to be friends with.
  • Don’t take it personally. There will always be a PNM crying because they got dropped by the chapter they wanted, and it’s easy to fall into that headspace of thinking you’re not good enough or that you did something wrong. There’s more to life than being a sorority, and so much more to being a Penn Stater than just this. Stay positive!

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About the Author

Katie Moats

Katie Moats is a senior majoring in English, and her goal this year is to get a big girl job. Seriously, though, if you're looking for someone who can write and edit like nobody's business, she's Katelyn Moats on LinkedIn and will literally interview with you tomorrow. You can follow her @k_moats24 on Twitter for stupid content, but if it's something serious, feel free to shoot her an email (preferably in the form of a poem) to [email protected]

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