I get asked lots of questions about going through recruitment (hence this blog) and it seems like lately may young women ( and their mothers) want to know how it is that they get a bid to a particular sorority.  Ladies, ladies, ladies…..you have so much to learn!!!!

Ok, that sounded like I am scolding you..I”m not…..really…. it’s just that for many of you going into the recruitment process this type of mind set is a death wish, especially if you are going through recruitment at a competitive school (think SEC, Big 12 and in some cases Big 10 and even the Pac 10).  Joining a sorority has come full circle (kind of like wide legged pants) and on many campuses the number of young women signing up for recruitment is at record breaking totals.  Some campuses will have 15 different NPC houses on campus and with 1700 girls going through recruitment pledge classes can top 80 to 90 girls. Unfortunately there will be 500 girls (or more) who will not pledge a house.  Why???? you ask…let me list the ways.

First of all there are the girls who only want house ABC because their momma and grand-momma and aunts and cousins have all been members of that particular sorority.  It’s a promised privilege because THEY are a LEGACY!!!  They were born with a stuffed owl in their hand (sorry Chio’s…but it was what came to mind…I have seen so many owl items when I have been out shopping lately…great time to be a Chio!) or they have donned a tiara from the time it could sit on that perfect head of curls (equal apologies to Zeta’s!!!! I have always loved the tiara!) They heard stories about when their daddy proposed to their momma, how the ring was tied to a candle and passes amongst her sisters as they sang (insert momma singing the song while telling the story) and how those same sisters were her bridesmaids in her wedding, her best friends for life, the Godmother of her child….it goes on and on.

So this dear, sweet girl is groomed to think she will “BE” a member of ABC.  She is a cheerleader, in National Honor Society, maybe Class President, she might participate in Junior Miss Pageants, go on mission trips to Haiti.  She is poised, well rounded attractive..the whole package.  Unfortunately so are the majority of other young women who are going through recruitment.  It is these type of girls who need to take the blinders off and look around.  On a campus with a larger than life Greek system I can guarantee that each sorority will have candle passings, sisters who are bonded for life, fun and engaging social calendars with fraternities and great volunteer opportunities.  Even being a legacy where your mother or your sister is an alum of that particular campus chapter will not “guarantee” you a bid to that particular house. some sororities have enough legacies f=to fill or maybe even two pledge classes.   Recite the mantra ” I will not suicide….I will keep an open mind….I will maximize my options”!

Stereotypes lead us to believe that young women who go through recruitment are blond, unintelligent,  partiers who are in a sorority for no other reason that to have a good time and get their MRS degree…WRONG!!!  Young women who go through recruitment today for the most part have fabulous resumes filled with terrific GPA’s, awarrds, EC’s and philanthropy projects.  Will some of these girls pledge the sorority of their dreams..yep they will, but that is not the rule of thumb.

Secondly there are the girls who are wanting to pledge a particular sorority for the wrong reason.  It could be the address (“old row”) or the perception that a house is a “top tier” house.  These ladies think that pledging any sorority that does not fall into a prestigious category will ruin them socially and impact the quality of their life for the rest of their life.  Oh they will attend the parties of the other houses but may choose to not participate enthusiastically in conversation, giving the impression that they are not interested and would rather be any place but there.  When it come time to list their houses they will only list the houses that are “socially” acceptable.  If those particular sororities do not find these girls “socially” acceptable you can bet your bottom dollar they will find themselves bidless when Bid Day rolls around.  So again recite the mantra “I will not suicide….I will keep and open mind…I will maximize my options!”

There is the third category of young women who think because the “know” someone from their high school (or even more than one girl) that they will automatically get a bid to that house.  WRONG again !!!!!  Does it help to know girls in sororities on the campus of the institution you choose to attend?  It can, but just because you were a cheerleader with Betty Sue So and So and she drove you to practice does not mean that she will fight tooth and nail with her sisters to get you that coveted bid.  Remember in some sororities there can bee 200 plus voting members and chances are many of them went to high school with girls who are going through recruitment.  A word of warning…knowing someone can also NOT be a good thing if your reputation is let’s just say “not pristine”…..if you think that people won’t remember some of the “not so flattering” stunts you pulled…think again.  Ahh… you see it coming don’t you…recite the mantra” I will not suicide…I will keep an open mind…I will maximize my options!”

So now you know what to do right???  You begin and go through this process with an open mind.  Take the blinders off and enjoy the view!  Be open to new people, new ideas and potentially new sisters.  You might just find those letters where you least expect them! (Oh and it might help to recite the mantra every now and then….wink wink).