The Look Books are out, the Look Books are out!!!! I know…most of you are scratching your heads going “what IS she talking about?” Well I am more than happy to tell you!!!!! I am talking about what we have always called “Look Books” or in a descriptive lesson, they are the recruitment manuals that Panhellenics send out to all of the PNM’s going through recruitment on their campus. Also called Recruitment Guides, they come is all sizes, shapes, colors and formats. Some are the size of a magazine and others are just a few pages but they will quickly become the “bible” to many PNMs! I…personally am obsessed with them. I wait with anticipation each recruitment season for them to come out. I LOVE looking through each different one :).
So what’s in their publication that makes it so special? Why do PNMs race to their mailbox with anticipation? Today let’s talk a little about the contents and then the next couple of day so I will dissect the insides from cover to cover and tell you what is important. Finally I’ll give you links to some of the MAJOR Look Books…you can not only look at yours but others for campuses around you.
Before I begin I apologize to those young women who are going through recruitment on a small, less competitive campus. Chances are this type of publication may not exist or if it does it might be in a two or three page letter format. In that case you are going to have to live vicariously through the “Big” recruitments. Who know maybe you will be inspired to create one for your campus :).
The first pages will contain a table of contents, welcome letters from the Panhellenic President, Director of Recruitment, University President and head of Greek Life ( at least some of these) and Greek Affairs staff. These letters just welcome you to recruitment and are meant to let you know what role Greek Life plays on campus and how happy each individual letter writer is that you have chosen to Go Greek. I call this section the ‘yawn” section :). Oh I know that it serves a purpose but there are so many more exciting things inside!!!
Most Look Books (ok..so I KNOW they are called Recruitment Manuals but they have always been a “Look Book’ to me and so I just HAVE to call them that), will have a section devoted to Sorority Life in General. You will find tons of information about Sorority life on campus. Pages might include what to expect once you pledge a sorority, sorority life in general which will highlight sorority activities on campus like Homecoming and Greek Week. Many books will also contain a brief description on the four components of Sorority Life : Leadership, Scholarship, Philanthropy and Sisterhood/Social.
Since Panhellenic is the governing council of the sororities on campus a section is usually devoted to explaining the different factions, what their responsibilities are and pictures of each group. These will include, Executive council, Delegates from each sorority on campus, Pictures of the Recruitment Counselors for this year (you will notice that their sorority affiliations are not listed for the Rho Chis. Each Recruitment Counselor is asked to disaffiliate as of May or June. That means they have to wipe all social media of anything that would link them to their sorority. In addition they can wear no Greek Clothing of any kind except something that says that they are a Rho Chi), description and pics of the Judicial Board, Sorority Presidents and Recruitment Chairs.
There will be a section that will discuss all things RECRUITMENT WEEK related. This is one of my very favorite sections! There will be a complete schedule of Recruitment Week. I made a copy for myself and hung it on the frig. i loved being able to see what parties my daughter was at every day. I could send up a silent prayer that everything was going well for her! One page will contain a Recruitment Q&A that is pretty helpful along with some really great advice from girls who have gone through recruitment, kind of listing things they wished they’d have known. Included in this section will two very important pages to read, one will list the rules for Recruitment and another will be the PNM’s Bill of rights. Read both, they have great information. finally there will be my favorite part, the pictures and descriptions of what to wear each day. By the time my daughter left for recruitment these pages were well loved. She would stare at the pictures day, scrutinizing her clothing choices with the pictures that had been included. He biggest complaint….more pictures of clothing options. We actually googled for pictures of the previous years PNMs so we could see what they wore.
Since for many young women this might be their first “greek” experience some Panhellenics put in a section that give kind of general Greek info. This usually includes the Greek alphabet, Greek vocabulary and definitions, several pages that will touch on Letters of recommendation (recs), tea cards, note cards, letters of support and the addresses for chapter and recruitment chairs names. Sometimes in section a little blurb on financial information is included. i have seen this be very specific by sorority and in other cases quite genreal..just depends on the school.
And now (drum roll please………) the section you all have been waiting for…..INDIVIDUAL PAGES DEVOTED TO EACH SORORITY!!!! It’s my all time favorite!! There will one or two pages that will have pictures of the girls as well as information specific to that sorority. this information usually includes the date it was founded nationally as well as on this particular campus, the mascot, flower, chapter name, symbol, famous members, a link to the chapter’s website (go there next if you haven’t already) a picture and name of the President and Recruitment chairs as well as GPA information. I know this sounds silly to be so excited over these pictures but its fun to look and imagine..right? And now a word of warning….as exciting as the pictures are REMEMBER to keep an open mind. The old saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover” applies here! I am talking about getting excited about the pictures for EACH and EVERY sorority. These are just snapshots of a chapter…be open to each and everyone. In some cases there might be room for notes at the bottom of each sorority’s pages. Some girls take their look book along with them during recruitment and make little notes after they visit a particular house. This is especially helpful on big party days at the beginning of recruitment when a PNM might visit 8 or more houses in one day. At some point they all begin to run together.
The last few pages are usually devoted to adds for sorority related items. Always fun to check out what cute items might be yours :).
So that’s a brief overview of a Look book. Some of you might already have yours, some are only available on-line and for the poor dear Alabama girls who now have to wait extra long for their since the big change in their recruitment schedule Monday…it will be in your mailbox soon. Tomorrow I will post a few links to some as well as go more in depth about some sections and information i think you need to know.