June is here and many girls are in full “SORORITY RECRUITMENT” mode.  What does that mean?  For the most part it means they are finishing up getting the recommendations they need (or in some cases scrambling to get recs because they procrastinated a little), putting together their recruitment wardrobe, getting everything they need for a great dorm room, did I mention shopping, shopping and more shopping….???

Some girls already have a bad case of the “worries” about getting a bid while others are confident that the process of recruitment will work out like it should.  I don’t want to make anyone worry more but I thought I’d write a bit more on exactly “HOW” the concept of “mutual selection” works.

At Convocation Panhellenic will stand up and give their spiel about how recruitment is a mutual selection process.  They tell the girls that they need to maximize heir options and keep an open mind. It’s my opinion that after this “rah-rah” speech many PNM’s go into the process thinking that they are actually choosing the sororities they want.  they think the process is about them and if they keep an open mind and list all of the sororities that they will have control of their future and get a bid.

I hate to say this and i know once the words go to print here for some it will cause get worry, but this IS NOT THE CASE, especially pertaining to the first couple of rounds of recruitment parties.

Let me explain.  During the beginning rounds of parties the sororities make most of the selection decisions.  It starts with recommendations and connections.  Before recruitment ever begins there are PNM’s who have the “advantage” in getting invited back to chapters after the first round of parties.  Each sorority, on a competitive recruitment campus, most likely already has predetermined a list of girls who will be invited back after the first round of parties simply due to the fact that they are known and well liked by current members, are direct legacies and have OUTSTANDING resumes and recommendations.  These ladies move to the “top of the list”.

Let’s talk about this in a numbers example….(have to thank Greekchat..KSUViolet for this example).

For example, let’s say that ABC at Big Southern University has 100 members (not using big numbers because I’m tired.) Each of them personally knows 2 PNMs from church/camp/high school/etc. that they think would make great ABCs.

100 x 2 = 200 women that they vouch for and really want back for next round.

For the next round, they can only invite back say, 300. Out of that 300, there are 200 girls with personal connections whom members already know of and want.

Assuming that all 200 of those are issued an invite, that leaves just 100 spots for “newer” PNMs whom no one has heard of prior to recruitment.

Does this make sense?

I think many girls go into recruitment with a false sense of recruitment desirability.  They think they have a great resume, good recs and can carry a conversation so “of course” each and every sorority on campus will want to invite them back.  Ladies..hate to burst your bubble but the truth is this.

A couple of things come into play here. First of all sororities work on how to have sincere, meaningful conversations with PNM’s starting as early as November and continuing up until the first day of Ice Water Teas.  The girls you talk to at each sorority are VERY GOOD at talking with PNM’s and making them feel secure and comfortable.  Yo may feel like you “have a connection” with the girl you spoke with or that you “clicked” with a certain house.  That may be the case but for some houses you may  have been lulled into a false sense of security.

in addition many large, popular southern sororities have enough legacies come through recruitment to fill an entire pledge class.  Just so you know…being a legacy DOES NOT guarantee you a bid to that house.  I see you nodding your head “yes…I understand” but I think that you might not totally.  Last year I know of girls who went through recruitment at a large, competitive campus, they had legacy status (two had sisters who had been members on that campus) and all girls were cut after Philanthropy Day.  Needless to say they were devastated.  Their legacy status was their safety net…they were sure that they had that house to fall back on if the others didn’t work out.  I know what you’re thinking..did they all get bids and the answer is “yes”..they all found their letters at other houses but it didn’t minimize the pain of getting their party card only to not “see” that particular legacy house listed.

What I would like you to take from this post is this: Don’t focus on the “popular” houses  on campus, you know which ones I am talking about.  They are the “BUZZ” houses, the houses that everyone wants to be a part of.  If you list those houses at the top of your list when you go to vote there is a pretty good chance you are going to be VERY disappointed the next day when you get your party list (especially if you are “OUT OF STATE” and have no connections to those houses at all).  It’s a very real possibility that those chapters will fill their invite list before they ever get to your name.  By listing those houses first you are letting other chapters who do not have a predetermined invite list already set, slip through your fingers.

So what should you do?  Be honest with yourself.  If you are OUT OF STATE be aware of the chapters on campus that are predominately filled with local girls, in-state girls, strong legacy houses.  It is not a 100% given you would not receive a bid but yo might focus on and be more open to the houses that tend to take more OOS girls, a more diverse group.  Many campuses list the girls who pledge, where they are from and what houses they have affiliated with.  Get on-line and see if you can find this list from the previous year, it will help you to determine which houses are more local girls and which have a more diverse population.  Greek Chat made a list for Alabama and Auburn last year.  You can go to their site and search those lists.

Be open to the fact that at least for the first few rounds of parties it is a very real possibility that you may not get invited back to some of those houses that you loved. I think keeping an open mind here allows you to be more open to the houses that granted may be farther down on your list but offer the greatest opportunities.

This was the case for our youngest.  Her sorority home is not where she initially pictured herself at the beginning of recruitment.  She was focused on one of “those” houses..the one that most likely had the pre-determined list (and she wasn’t on it).  She was DEVASTATED when she got her party list for round 3 parties and that house as well as two others she had loved (again the same type of house) had let her go. We thought she was “FANTASTIC” on paper.  She had multiple recs to each and every house, she had personal letters of support …we were out of state, she had no connections to any of the girls in any of the houses and so “those” houses were not ones she was even on their radar.  Did we know this at the time?  We had “heard” things but in a hands over our ears, this won’t happen to me attitude, we chose to ignore it.

This “wake up call” cause her to re-evaluate the houses she had left and her eyes were opened!!!  She found that she LOVED ADPi.  She had totally written them off because she was so focused on the “other” houses.  So take my word for it ..”don’t fall in this trap”!  Be open and honest with yourself. If you are then when that card comes that is missing “those houses” you won’t be as upset.  I should add that it’s at this point some girls drop from recruitment because they are so unhappy that the “it” house dropped them.  Don’t be that girl! As I told my daughter “The houses that invited YOU back wanted YOU for who “YOU” are.”

I should tell you that after all this rant, this really pertains to just the first rounds of parties.  When you get to Preference (Serious Day) then it is mostly mutual when it come to the actual process of Bid Matching.  By the time you get to this part of recruitment the “weeding out” so to speak has ended and the connections you now have with the girls of each house are for the most part real and genuine.

Okay…climbing off the soap box once again.  I REALLY want you to be realistic in your expectations as you enter recruitment.  Don’t sell yourself or the other houses on campus short just because they don’t fall on the “IT ” list.