I had a young woman tell me the other day that I knew more about sorority recruitment than anyone she had ever met. I laughed, said thank you but the truth is that I have barely touched the tip of the iceberg. There is so much that I don’t know and today is the perfect example.
Yesterday several of us had a discussion on whether a recommendation from a Chi Omega Alum had to come from and alum in the young woman’s home town. Ok let me back up…the original discussion was that there was a sorority that required their recs to come from the home town of the young woman needing the rec. I called it as Chi Omega…. and I was right…but shocked! I mean really??? I knew that Chi Omega was an old “southern” sorority and pretty picky but this was wayyyy picky.
I had always been taught that the protocol for sorority recs went like this…
1. Preferably recs should come from someone who knows you personally.
2. If you cannot find someone who knows you personally then it should be someone who knows your family or a family member or a friend of the family.
3. None of the above then the rec should come from a local alumnae.
4. If you do not have a local alum association then the closest alum association is next.
5. Finally if you have exhausted every single option then you can reach out to the national chapter for help.
Well….what I learned today is that this is not true for all sororities….
After spending 45 minutes on the phone with a darling woman at Chi Omega (whose national headquarters is in Memphis Tennessee) I learned that Chi O’s PREFER that a rec come from a person who knows the young woman but that woman also has to come from the girl’s home town. My Chi O friend (by the way she was 72, was a Chi O and had been working part time for them since 1972).informed me that in the south there was a Chi O under every rock. She said it just wasn’t possible to not find a Chi O rec in your home town unless you lived in Podunk Tennessee (does that town really exist??).
We chatted for quite a while about the “northern” girls…how they worried about being cut if they didn’t have the right recs and then she dropped the bomb shell. She first asked to put me on hold (I am assuming to go to a private space) where she informed me (in her very southern voice) that when it came to schools like Alabama and Ole Miss those northern girls just weren’t going to get bids. I was shocked, but knew that both schools were pretty picky when it came to membership. She also informed me that both schools had so many legacys coming through that they could have 3 or more pledge classes of 100 girls (remember a legacy for Chi O is a mother or sister).
I had heard a similar scenario echoed in a conversation I had with Kappa Delta when I called about my daughter’s rec. Her grandmother was a Kappa Delta and they were very nice but they informed me that it didn’t count. They too echoed that they had tons of legacys come through every year.
So I learned today that all sororities are not created equal and if you are an old “southern” sorority and are on a SEC , competitive recruitment campus then you are more equal than others…hmmm am heading down for Mom’s Weekend at my daughter’s sorority…wonder what I will “learn”??? Stay tuned!