Counting down those last few weeks before recruitment starts can be AGONIZING!!!!!!! Your mind begins to wander….you look at your outfits you’ve chosen and begin to worry…did I choose the right dress for Pref? ….Are my shorts too short?….Should I have gotten the slightly bigger pearl earrings?  Then there’s the worrying about how YOU look?  Should I cut my hair?  To tan or not to tan?  French tips or nail polish and if nail polish what color??????  You can drive yourself CRAZYYYYY second guessing all of your recruitment decisions up to this point.

You all know my obsession with Look Books (Recruitment Manuals) :).  Got up this morning with a HUGE smile 🙂 on my face because TODAY is the day that Alabama’s Greek Chic is supposed to be posted on-line for all to see.  YAY!!!!!  I can hardly wait!!!!

One component of most Look Books is a section called “Potential New Members Bill of Rights”.  I wanted to list these…chat about a few and dispell some great recruitment rumors that have come my way in the past few days!

PNM’s HAVE THE RIGHT TO:

…be treated as individuals.  Yes Ladies that means that houses will not bid you just be cause you have blonde hair and blue eyes.  I love this rumor…certain houses only take girls with certain hair color.  There is always a house on campus that has this reputation.  While it may “look” like this is a fact because the majority of its members are blondes I assure you that a PNM’s hair color was not the deciding factor for receiving a bid.  Likes attract…that’s a fact, so in choosing girls this sorority will gravitate towards PNM’s that are similar to themselves.

…to be fully informed about the recruitment process.  This is Panhellenic’s job.  It will start when you register for recruitment and conclude when you receive a bid.  Some girls “know” more than others because they have had, family members who have gone through the process before them.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions!  I think my biggest pet peeve that falls under this category is when it says, “while recommendations are not required they are strongly recommended”  Ladies…this is code for “YOU NEED RECS!!!” I don’t know why some campuses are so afraid to just come out and say it…we all know it’s true.

I loved the rumor that a particular sorority would only take girls that had been cheerleaders and that they called your high school to check and see.  With over 2000 girls going through recruitment trust me….they didn’t call!!  Again likes attract so there were probably a lot of girls who had been cheerleaders in this house and one of their focus groups for recruitment might have been that they were looking to add a collegiate cheerleader (or two) but that is/was not the only deciding factor for issuing bids.

…to ask questions and receive true and objective answers from recruitment counselors and members.  Don’t be afraid to ask about some of these silly rumors. I think your best “go to” person is your recruitment counselor when it comes to rumor mill questions.  I probably would point-blank ask a member if they took a black sharpie and circled places where they thought you had excess fat.  which by the way is a huge rumor that we hear every year about a particular house.  No…this does not happen!!!  You can ask members questions about their philanthropy, sisterhood events..just don’t get into specific membership selection questions or ritual practices.

…to be treated with respect.  There have been instances where a PNM might not “mesh” with a particular house and the member she’s talking to might show some disinterest.  It is that member’s duty in this situation to still be polite and courteous. It is also the PNM’s duty to behave the same way when attending a party at a house where she feels not connection and knows she’s most likely not going to return.  My favorite rumor here is that is you get put in a certain room you will not be invited back the next day.  How would they know this???? They just picked you up at the door!  You are taken to a particular room because that’s where the member’s bump group is.

…to be treated as a capable and mature person without being patronized.  Sometimes recruitment doesn’t go the way you planned.  When you get your party schedule it may not have a house or houses that  PNM thought was a match for her.  Recruitment counselors are there to comfort and give advice but saying things like “oh you’ll get over this” or “I know you’re sad but come on put on that happy face” doesn’t make the situation any better.

…to ask how and why and receive straight answers.  When discussing recruitment, how party invites are decided upon and bids are given the language used often sounds like a foreign language.  RFM, legacy status, COB, LOR’s, grade liability….they are all defined and discussed on different chat boards about recruitment or in some cases you might find them defined in a Look Book when emotions are flying high it’s all vegetable soup to some girls.  PNM’s should know that some information will not be able to be specifically shared if it has to do with a chapters membership selection process but the recruitment counselor or panhellenic rep needs to be hones and forthright and tell the PNM this.  One rumor that often comes up is that certain chapters on campus already have their pledge classes set and chosen even before recruitment begins.  This of course would be ridiculous if they had a pledge class picked and were not open to the possibility of an “all Star PNM” coming through and surprising them.  However, there are some chapters on some campuses that will have LARGE numbers of legacies coming through.  Being a legacy does not guarantee a bid each one is carefully considered.  In addition some chapters will have large numbers of girls coming through that have “connections” from their high schools or hometowns.  In these circumstances many girls will be “on the radar” of that particular chapter and when looking t the bid list it might appear that they had possibly been pre-selected.

…to have and express opinions to recruitment counselors.  REcruitment counselors have disaffiliated  from their sorority, so they really can listen with an unbiased ear.  While a PNM should be mindful of  “gossiping” about a particular sorority they certainly have the right to their opinion as to whether a certain chapter is a good fit for them.  A rumor often heard is that recruitment counselors have a secret code with their chapter and use it to communicate during recruitment. This is os false.  One of my daughters was a Rho Chi her senior year.  She was living in a house with 5 of her sorority sisters.  Two weeks before recruitment she was moved to a hotel.  She was not allowed to call, text, chat in any way with her roommates.  Another rumor is that if a recruitment counselor really likes a PNM and thinks she’s the right fit for her sorority, she will find a way to let her chapter know and try to get that PNM a bid.  Nope again…this is against every recruitment rule there is!!!  Recruitment counselors are carefully interviewed and chosen…this does not happen!!

…to expect confidentiality when sharing information with recruitment counselors.  See may rant above :).   Also….I would go even farther to remind recruitment counselors that just as you remind PNM’s not to “tent talk” about the sororities you should not gossip with one another about PNM’s…and that means sharing information about a PNM in your group.  We had a girl go through recruitment one year who had a third breast.  I am not kidding!  It was a problem with her glands under her right arm….but it looked like a third breast. She shared this information with her recruitment counselor when asked why in 100 degree heat she didn’t wear a sleeveless dress.  Bless this poor Rho Chi’s heart…she spent all week helping that dear girl not sweat to death.  It wasn’t until after recruitment was over (yes..the PNM got a bid to her first choice 🙂  ) that the Rho Cgi shared this information with me.

…to make informed choices without undue pressure from others.  This is where all of the “tent talk” about sorority reputations comes in.  Rumors that if you have below a 3.0 that you will be dropped from recruitment after ice water teas are false.  while having a GPA below a 3.0 can be the kiss of death on campuses where recruitment is very competitive I do not know of one instance where a PNM was dropped by every house after the first round of parties (ok…if she had a 1.9…maybe but I would hope panhellenic would step in and have her withdraw before the process even started.  Another rumor that floated around was that if you were a sister/sister legacy for a house on campus that the only house you could receive a bid from was that house.  Nope again.  While some houses might assume that you are going to pledge your sister’s house a PNM has the right to join any house that extends her a bid.  It is now common for sisters to ask that their chapter not divulge that their sisiter is going through recruitment so as to give her a fair chance to find her sorority home.

…to be fully informed about the binding agreements implicit in the preference card signing.  If you sign a preference card and one of the chapters listed on that card offers you a bid and you choose not to accept the bid you cannot pledge another house for 1 year!!!!!  Rumor..if you transfer to a different school you can go through spring COB..no..you cannot pledge any house for one year. I would caution PNM’s to make sure that they understand the whole process and if they do not or have any questions they should ask their recruitment counselor.

…to make one’s own choice and decision and accept full responsibility for the results of that decision.  Sometimes during recruitment the heart gets in the way of the head.  Girls go in with preconceived ideas about houses and some are so stuck on a particular house that they limit themselves tremendously and often times are very disappointed.  These young women will often pull out or quit recruitment. Remember recruitment is a mutual selection process and it is very important to maximize your options during this process. Rumor….if you quit during the week sororities will feel bad and offer you a snap bid on Bid Day.  NO!!!!!!  You cannot be offered a snap bid at all if you quit during the week of recruitment.  Rumor….if the house you love doesn’t invite you back just quit and go through COB in spring. NO!!!!! Especially on competitive recruitment campuses most sororities don’t participate in spring recruitment.  Rumor…an Executive officer (President , VP ect..) has the power to make her sorority give a bid to any girl she wants and so if you are friends with one of those girls you are guaranteed a bid.  NO!!!!!!  EAch sorority has a specific process they go through after each round of parties where they then decide who does and does not get invites.  No one girl in ANY SORORITY has that much power.

…to have a positive, safe and enriching recruitment and pledging. Recruitment can be a stressful experience. It is the goal of every panhellenic on every campus across the United States to make sure that every PNM has the best experience possible.  while no panhellenic can ever guarantee a bid to any PNM they work very hard to make sure that as many girls as possible find their letters. If a PNM follows their suggestions, maximizes their options and goes through recruitment with an open mind they should have a positive experience.

So that’s the PNM’s bill of rights :)….and a few rumors thrown in for good measure.  I wanted to share just a few more rumors that always come to the surface each recruitment season.

Here’s some of the favorites :)…

When you join a sorority they will do clothing and makeup makeovers to make you look like them.

Certain sororities require bible study hours.

You have to be Jewish to join DPhiE or SDT or AEPhi.

You have to a Christian to join Theta Phi Alpha.

When a member puts her hand on your shoulder, the shoulder places it on means whether you are a keeper or a dud.

Some sororities require you to take off your shoes so while you are inside at the part a member looks to see who has designer shoes or not. Those who do have certain shoes are kept and the others are released.

There are hidden cameras that take pictures of PNM’s clothing so that they can tell if it is couture of not.

One rumor that really made me laugh is that certain sororities will run financial back ground checks on PNM’s families to make sure they can “Afford” to be a member. While I will admit sororities do “creep” on girls Facebook pages, twitter accounts and the internet (remember nothing that you wouldn’t want your conservative grandma to see or read) I have never ever run a financial back ground check on any one!!!

So that’s just a few rumors..I could go on and on and on…Don’t worry about what you “hear”.  Be yourself….that’s the girl who will get a bid 🙂

 

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