Spring time is so exciting!!!!  Not only are the dark dreary days of winter over (at least for the most part) but it’s getting warmer and warmer means t-shirts and shorts and sundresses and sundresses reminds us that recruitment is just around the corner.  Also…Preview weekends are springing up (pardon the pun) all over and there’s alot of “talking” going on.

For many of you who have already attended pre-recruitment invitation parties, you have met some wonderful sorority women who some of you have made a “connection” with.  It’s exciting because all of a sudden some of that nervousness about not being “wanted” by anyone goes away.  I remember with each one of my girls how excited they were when they had a sorority girl ask to friend them on facebook.  In some cases it was someone they had talked to at a recruitment tea and other times it was just random but just the same they were so excited when this happened.

This was especially true after having gone to my youngest daughter’s Preview Weekend.  She had stayed with a sorority girl in an all girls dorm by sorority row.  Her hostess for the weekend did a great job of introducing her to many girls from lots of different houses. Almost immediately many of these girls friended my daughter on facebook.  She was thrilled….I was a little more cautious.  I had gone to lunch with a friend from our local panhellenic board before we left for Preview.  she had quite a few connections to SEC schools and so she was sharing some of her knowledge with me.  She warned me that many girls would want to facebook friend my daughter after preview.  Of course, these girls were genuine but they also were interested in “checking out” my daughter.  Was she the type of girl they wanted or desired as a part of their sisterhood?

So although my daughter was friendly and chatted with these girls there were several rules that she followed and so I thought I would share them with you.

1.  ALWAYS make sure that your facebook, twitter and any other type of social media that you use is squeaky clean!  As I have said before if you wouldn’t want you Grandma to see it or read it then it shouldn’t be there.  I could tell you so many horror stories about girls who had inappropriate pics and language on their facebook page.  These girls were labeled “liabilities” but some sororities and were cut before the girls even got a chance to know them!  In one case it wasn’t even what the girl put on her own facebook page but what a friend posted as a joke!!!!

2.  Tell your friends not to post anything that is questionable as well.  Have a sit down and explain to them the situation…..this is especially true if you are going through at a competitive recruitment school.  If you think that this is going to be a problem then make your facebook page private.

3. Be careful what you say!  When you are “chatting” with sorority members..whether it is in person or while using social media make sure that you don’t talk about any other sorority.  There are several reasons for this.

First of all if you are talking negatively about another sorority on campus then what’s to say that you won’t do this about any sorority on campus.  If the subject of other houses on campus come up then the appropriate comment is , “I am going through with a totally open mind and keeping all my  options open”…..period…end of comment.  The sorority member should not ask you to comment on other sororities but it has happened. Don’t do it!

Secondly, if you talk about another sorority and how much you like attending their event, or how much you like their house, or that you have been talking to some of their members then this particular girl might get the idea that you are “committed” to that particular sorority.  She will then share this information with her sisters.  When it comes time for formal recruitment there’s a chance that you might get cut from that house because they think you aren’t interested!  I know….you never said that but they got the opinion because you gushed about another house!  Again…..just be very careful what you say.  Of course you can talk to any sorority member but keep the conversation focused on topics that don’t concern other sororities.  Just remember to convey that you are giving all of the houses an equal chance.

4.)  Even if you have already decided that you “don’t like” a particular sorority don’t cut them loose during the time before formal recruitment begins.  What I mean is to use your manners.  You don’t need to be super friendly with them but if they attempt to talk to you on facebook, answer and be polite.  My daughter had this problem when she was going through recruitment.  There was a particular house on campus that kept sending her mail, trying to talk to her on facebook and invited her to many pre-recruitment events.  She wanted nothing to do with them because she had “heard” it was not a good house  Even though she new she would not want to become a member (I have to tell you that this was great stress on me..what i everyone cut her and this was all she had left….and she burned her bridges and they didn’t want her!! Of course that didn’t happen but my how I worried!!) I made sure she was polite, even when she turned down their invitations.

5.)  Many sorority members have friends in other houses.  Face it ..girls talk.  They will get together and in some cases they will compare notes. Enough said.

6.)  If you visit a particular campus for Preview or just a visit and you take pics…make sure if a particular sorority house is in that pic and you are in that pic…don’t post it on facebook.  If another sorority sees it again a message might be sent that you don’t want to send.  I know a young lady this happened to.  She went to visit campus and had her pic taken in front of a sorority house where she had some friends from her local high school.  She posted this pic on her facebook page.  She didn’t really think anything about it.  When formal recruitment came she ended up being cut by every house…even the house that she had known some girls in.  The girls later explained that they didn’t think she was a right fit.  But what about all the other houses?  Well, they thought since she had posted the picture and had talked about being friends with those girls that she was going to “go” that house and so they cut her to make room for other girls who they liked and who they thought they had a better chance to get!

I can tell you so many stories about this.  I had a girl ask me recently about wearing her Tiffany Key to preview..she was worried since the key is a symbol for a particular sorority on campus that the other houses would think she was sending a signal that she was interested in that one house.  Of course I told her to wear the key.  Now if she wore the key, key earrings, a shirt with a big key on the front of it…well then she might just be sending the wrong message.  I know you are shaking your head going “really” but people have actually done that type of thing.

What do you do if you REALLY like a house and it’s members?  Be genuine when talking with them.  It’s ok to say to them things like “I really had a great time.  Thanks so much fro inviting me.  I am really looking forward to talking with you again.”  Then don’t go gushing all over facebook or twitter how much you “LOVE” that house.  Again if they contact you..talk to them, be polite,  express that you enjoy talking to them. They will be able to tell if you are being genuine in your comments and interest.

Finally the contacts will all stop as of May 1.  this begins the “no contact” portion before recruitment.  So if you are friends with sorority women on facebook they might unfriend you.  It doesn’t mean they don’t like you or you are cut , it just means they are following Panhellenic rules.  Don’t go reaching out to them….respect the process!

Final word….. just be smart about what you say and do…..you never know who is listening and watching.