After reading the “Mean Girls” recruitment story I started to think about recruitment and the “type” of girl who each house on campus might be looking for.  As girls go through recruitment they will become aware there are “certain” houses that have a “look’ or a “type” of girl.  Those houses then get the reputation of the “hot blonde house” or the “smart girls” house.  What’s the rationale behind this type of recruiting and does it really exist?

Membership selection varies from house to house and campus to campus.  We know that each year sororities ask their members what “type” of girls they think they would like to make up the composite of their incoming pledge class but do they really go so far as to put girls on the list according to “physical attributes?”

We all know that likes attract and so it certainly makes sense that there would be sororities that had girls with similar interests and yes…even looks.  Remember the “home town” connection….girls who went to high school together as well as just being from the same town have a “connection” that can cause them to bid the same house.  When the infamous “pre-recruitment” tea invitations come out starting in January many “hometown” girls receive invites to sororities where there are girls that “know” them by their hometown or high school.

My oldest daughter went to an Ivy league college. When we sat down with her high school guidance counselor it was explained to us that this particular Ivy had made a “composite” of what they wanted their incoming freshman class to “look” like.  Not necessarily “look” as in physical looks (although physical looks were used in the description of the process) but rather race, hometown logistics, possible major, High School GPA, National Merit Status and standardized test scores all came into consideration.  We were lucky!  Out of 18,000 applications this particular school accepted about 2300 applicants.  Our daughter was one of the “chosen” few.  We joke that apparently that year they wanted a brown-haired, blue-eyed, engineering major from the Midwest.  She had the attributes that this particular Ivy was looking for in their freshman class that year.

Sororities do a similar process.  Perhaps they are interested in winning intramurals, they are then going to be looking for athletic girls.  I know of one sorority that really wanted to boost their house GPA and academic status on campus so that particular year they tried to bid girls with high GPA’s who they knew would continue to do well academically at college.  One house had many girls who were “pageant girls” and they consistently took the homecoming queen title year after year.  There are also sororities who are just interested in being well rounded.  These particular sororities will take girls from a variety of backgrounds and interests.

When you go through recruitment and are visiting each sorority house on ice water tea day or whatever is the first party day ask the girl you are talking to tell you a little about what her sisters are involved in on campus as well as in their free time.  Some houses you will find are quite diverse but others will have a definite “type of girl.  Those girls might not be every girl in the house but you will most certainly see a theme going on.

So you are now saying to yourself, “What about me? Do I fit into a particular group?” Or…even more importantly, “What if I don’t fit into a particular group?”  Don’t worry!!! You will find your home.  At the big flagship schools where house totals can exceed 250 girls rarely will you find a house of entirely one type of girl.  I always tell girls as they are going through recruitment and they have commented that a certain house is absolutely not for them after the first round of parties to keep and open mind and give them a second chance.  It might be that you did not form a connection with the girl or girls you talked to that day but with that many members I am willing to bet that there would a group that you would become friends with.  Have I ever had a girl who didn’t find this to be true, especially after accepting a bid from that house.  Yes…I have to be honest I have but it is definitely the exception..not the norm.

I had a girl ask me the other day if there was a way to know “what type” of girls a particular sorority was looking for.  I suggested she look at their website and see what the current members were involved in. Looking at pictures they have posted will help, however many sororities will usually do a little bragging about the different activities their sisters are involved in.  I also suggested to “google” that particular chapter to see if there were any articles written about that sorority.

I cautioned this young woman on preconceived ideas.  Just as the young woman who wrote the “MEAN GIRLS” recruitment story many young women do their homework or listen to “tent talk” and come into recruitment with the idea that  certain sororities only take certain girls.  I am embarrassed to say that I have actually advised certain girls going through recruitment at a very competitive university that several house traditionally took a particular type of girl and that their chance of receiving a bid from those sororities would be slim.  I will share with you two items in my defense.  First of all I was using the recruitment data from the previous years that showed hometowns and high schools of the girls who received bids from these houses and he evidence doesn’t lie…in this case over 2/3 of the girls were from the home state and in addition out of those 2/3 over 1/2 were from the same hometown or surrounding towns.  Does that mean that this girl would absolutely NOT get a bid…no but the statistics don’t lie and the odds were not in her favor.

Secondly, I also shared that I REALLY felt that despite the statistics and facts, that nothing was impossible AND that the young woman should go into the recruitment process with and open mind towards EVERY house on campus.

That would be my advice to all of you.  Yes…some sororities will recruit certain specific types of girls.  Yes…it is possible that you many not posses the qualities, physical or otherwise that this sorority might be looking for.  BUT…….it is VERY important that you keep an open mind about each and every sorority on campus.  In addition you should be open to the opportunities that each and every sorority presents.  Don’t be closed minded to any of those opportunities.  Be open and willing to embrace new ideas, opportunities and new sisters.  If you do this you will find that the recruitment process will go much smoother.  Remember…. “Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try”.