Excuse me…I have a question. This phrase seems to the theme of my “Inbox” these days. I am not sure if it’s because everyone is working on recommendations or because it’s wintertime and we just are all indoors pondering life (sorry warm weather people I guess this one does not apply to you) but it seems like I have been asked SO many questions in the past few days. I really don’t mind answering any of them, in fact when I was in your shoes I had the same ones. Since I like to kid myself that TONS of people are now addicted to reading this blog I thought I would post and answer the “most asked” questions. So here goes…..
Are all sororities the same?
No, sororities differ from house to house and campus to campus. Not only does each sorority have its own motto, badge, mascot, colors and philanthropy but it also will have its own personality depending on the women who call their particular chapter home. As you go through recruitment you will find that you are more compatible with some sororities and less compatible with others.
Do I need a recommendation for each sorority even if I plan on going Greek at a school that has a non competitive recruitment?
No, each college campus is different. The popularity of “going Greek” is cyclic just as wide bottom pants and cropped shirts. Statistics show that Greek life is on the upswing again. With its popularity, more and more campuses across the US are finding record numbers of girls going through recruitment. Read my January 21 post “Plain and simple recommendations part 1” for a list of schools and area that recs are required.
How expensive is it to join a sorority?
There is no magic number for the cost of sorority life. Each campus and actual sorority has its own set of expenses. When you sign up for recruitment and look at all of the Chapter profiles most will give you a financial break down of costs. I can tell you that the more competitive the recruitment seems to relate to the more pricey sorority life is. As mentioned my daughters had totally different experiences. The first daughter’s sorority costs were about 1/3 of the second. You can count on a minimum of about $300-$400 a month and this can go up to $1600 to $ 2000 a month, depending on where you go. Most recommendation forms have a question that asks if the PNM is aware of and is financially able to assume the costs of sorority life. They ask this question for a reason.
If someone in my family was a member of a sorority am I guaranteed a bid to that sorority?
No. Back in the dinosaur days when I went through recruitment if you were a legacy (mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, cousins) then you were 99% assured that you would receive a bid from that sorority. In fact if we were not going to invite a legacy back to a party we had to call the person who had been a member and tell them why (oh I have great stories about this!!). Today, in most cases a legacy is defined as a mother, sister and in some cases grandmother, who is an initiated member. Many houses where recruitment is VERY competitive will tell you that being a legacy will get you invited back to the second round of parties (as a courtesy).
Do I have to accept a bid to a sorority if it is a house that was not one of my top choices?
No you don’t. I always tell girls to give it a try. You need to know that if you accept a bid you will not be able to go through recruitment again for a calendar year. If you find that you really don’t fit in then you can quit before you are initiated. If you accept a bid and are initiated you will not be able to join another sorority.
I have a resume I used when applying for a job at a local hair salon…can I use it for my recruitment resume?
No. Greek resumes are very different from a resume you would use for a job. Your Greek resume should have all of the information the person who is writing a rec for you will need to fill out the entire rec form. This information will include your name, contact info, GPA, high school, class rank. ACT and SAT scores, anticipated graduation date, class entering college and college attending, parents names, occupations where they attended college and degrees, Greek affiliations of family, honors and awards, clubs and activities you participated in, volunteer work, hobbies and interests outside of school . See my post on January 16..”Mirror mirror on the wall..or in this case linen parchment”, for a tutorial on how to write a Greek resume.
Do I send a picture with my resume?
Yes you should send 2 pictures, one head shot and one full body shot. The woman who is writing your rec will need to attach them to her rec form.
Do I have to buy all new clothes for recruitment?
Most Panhellenics will offer suggestions about what type of clothing you might want to wear during recruitment. You certainly don’t need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. I would see if I could find pictures of what was worn by PNM’s the year before. Those pictures will give you an idea of what to bring. This is especially helpful if you are coming from a different area of the country. For example Lilly Pulitzer is very popular in the south but you won’t see it in the Northwest. You might want to pick up a few new things to spice up your wardrobe, it’s up to you.
Do I have to “live in” the sorority house?
Most sororities have a limited number of bedroom spaces for girls to “live in”. Usually freshmen don’t live in. Many houses determine whether you live in with a points system or if you are a member of Exec or hold a position that requires you to live in. This is a good question to ask during recruitment.
Do I have to attend every sorority sponsored function?
No you don’,t but you will find that there are many “mandatory” functions. New member meetings, chapter meetings, required speakers and many homecoming and Greek Week events are mandatory. Many sororities will have required philanthropy projects (usually 1 a semester) and sisterhoods (also 1 a semester). In most cases you are excused if you have class. If you do not have a excused absence then usually you are given a fine. Most sororities have “black out lists” for functions such as date parties, dances and socials. If you have a fine then chances are you will be placed on that black out list until your fine is paid.
What can I be “fined” for?
Each sorority will have a list of fines that can range from not attending a meeting to missing a recruitment event. The fines differ in value and from sorority to sorority. You will get a list of fines when you attend one of your New Member meetings after you accept your bid.
If my college’s Panhellenic holds a Preview Weekend in the Spring do I HAVE to attend?
No you do no,t but I would strongly suggest that you do. These weekends are great for networking, meeting girls who will be going through recruitment and getting a brief glimpse into life at each different sorority. Most are a day long affair where you will get to visit each sorority house for a brief time. In addition many sororities will have invite only events all weekend long. If you get an invite then you are able to actually talk with sorority members. It gives them a chance to get to know you a little bit before recruitment and it gives you a little insight into the personality of each house.
I haven’t gotten a single invite to any of the private teas or parties thrown by sororities on my college campus. Does this mean I will be cut by every house and not receive a bid?
Oh my goodness no! Many houses generate lists of girls to invite to these events through their members and alums. If you do not have any sort of connection to a particular sorority then chances are you might not be put on a list. Most start asking their members for names of girls who are going through recruitment in November or December. A list of PNM’s is then generated and usually some sort of contact is made. Starting in January the pre-recruitment parties will start. Since space is somewhat limited, girls who are in close proximity to campus will be invited first. If a house feels that a PNM who lives a distance would be willing to travel they then might invite her. More invitations will be issued on Preview Weekend and most house will hold several events during that weekend. These are just simply “get to know you events” and by not means have any bearing on whether you will be issued a bid.
How can I get an invitation to these pre-recruitment events?
Most sororities ask their members and alums for names of girls that are planning on going through recruitment. These names are put on a list of potential girls to invite to pre-recruitment events. If you have no connections to a sorority then they have no way of knowing that you are going to go through recruitment. Some Panhellenics have started master lists that girls can out their names on in hopes that sororities will take names off of those lists and invite girls who otherwise might not get invitations. I would suggest you reach out to those women who are writing you a rec and ask them to write you a letter of introduction and send it by email to their sorority requesting you be invited to their events.
My friend got an invite to a pre-recruitment event and it said to bring a friend…can I go?
Of course!!!! Go and have a good time. It’s totally okay in this instance.
Okay so enough questions for today. These are just a few of the questions I have been asked in the past week. I will list some more in a few posts. If you have questions please feel free to comment and ask them I will be more than happy to answer them :).