Oftentimes women going through recruitment fail to recognize that a few indiscretions or poor choices can mean the difference between joining the sisterhood of their dreams and ending up with no bid at all. There are four areas where it is easy to avoid making this mistake.
Guard Your Reputation
Sororities are always on the lookout for information that will help them choose the best women to join their organization. Putting out negative information about yourself on Facebook or other social networking sites can be disastrous. Make sure everything about you on the web is an asset and not a reason for the sororities to drop you from their invite list. This includes photos and information that friends may have posted about you on their blog or webpages.
It is also important to watch how you act in public both before and during recruitment. Sorority women are always out and about, usually without their letters on. They will be aware of how women conduct themselves at social events and on campus. Don’t ruin the opportunity to be Greek by making unwise choices in public. Women who are seen as an asset are extended bids. Women who will be a liability are dropped.
Plan Ahead and Secure References from Alumnae
It is critical to plan ahead for recruitment and, the more competitive the recruitment, the longer you need to prepare. Check all deadlines and make sure you submit every document, fee and reference ahead of time. Although references may not be needed on every campus, at some colleges and universities it is almost impossible to receive a bid without references.
Most sorority alumnae are more than happy to submit references for women going through recruitment. Ask around and find women who are members of all of the sororities represented on your campus. Try to meet with them one-on-one and see if they would be willing to write a reference for you. Securing a reference for every chapter you will visit during recruitment will be beneficial in terms of helping the chapter members get to know you ahead of time.
Avoid Tent Talk
Tent talk is the term given for what the potential new members discuss between recruitment parties at the different sororities. Although frowned upon and not encouraged by the PanHellenic council, it still happens.
Tent talk is destructive in two ways. First, it often reinforces negative and incorrect stereotypes about different sororities. In this way, it can sway women who might have preferred a certain sorority until they heard so many negative comments about the chapter. Second, tent talk is usually heard by the rush counselors.
Although most rush counselors will maintain the strict separation from their chapters during recruitment, some of them will pass along information about potential new members who are troublesome. This can lead to sororities dropping women from their invite lists. It is always best to take your own notes and avoid tent talk because you never know who is listening. Make your own choice as to the best place for you.
Go into Recruitment With An Open Mind
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes women make is not going into recruitment with an open mind. Some women have their hearts set on a certain chapter or chapters they view as “top tier” on their campus. This works against them in two ways.
First, women who are dead set on a particular chapter often fail to take in what the other sororities on campus have to offer. If they are subsequently dropped by all of their “must have” chapters, they are left with little. Second, women who choose to be rude to chapters they feel are beneath them often find that their attitude becomes known to more than just the sorority women they slighted. Again, sorority women talk and this can include rush counselors and friends in different sororities. Potential new members who are rude in one sorority party and all sweetness in another can find that their reputation precedes them and it can work against them when bids are extended.
Sorority recruitment is an intense time that can have a tremendous impact on a woman’s college experience because there are so many benefits to joining a sorority. By making the most of the opportunity and avoiding these four pitfalls, potential new members can greatly increase their chances of receiving a bid and finding happiness with their new sisters!