Today’s conversation is one that I don’t particularly like to talk about but feel that since we are so close to recruitment time, it’s a conversation that needs to be had.  The subject: Dirty Rushing.

First of all…What is Dirty Rushing?  A little tutorial first :).

On each and every campus across the US is a governing board called ” College Panhellenic Council” or Panhellenic for short.  This board is part of a larger national organization called The National Panhellenic Council or abbreviated NPC.  NPC makes the “rules” so to speak that sororities have to adhere to while performing the process of recruitment.  These rules are then distributed to Panhellenic Councils on each and every campus.  The College Panhellenic Council then takes the NPC rules and uses them as a template to write their campuses rules for recruitment.  These rules are then given to each sorority and they are expected to follow them explicitly.

Whew!!!  Sorry for all the technical stuff but I wanted you to understand where the recruitment policies (I like that word better than rules) came from.  You should also know that they differ slightly from campus to campus and across the various regions of the United States.  However…there are some very basic ones that sometimes become the culprits of “dirty rushing” and it’s those that I am going to talk about today.

First and foremost no sorority is to EVER bad mouth or speak poorly of any other sorority on campus to a PNM.  Comments like, “Oh XYZ sorority has the dumb girls and you are so much smarter than they are.”  Yep ….not okay!!!  I know you are thinking that there is no way a sorority member would say that type of comment but has happened. Best rule..don’t listen…form your own opinions..these may not be true!

A sorority can send no gifts, notes anything that can be construed to be a “bribe” to join or favor that sorority.  In the same respect PNM’s or any member of their family should send any sort of gift to any sorority.  One year we actually got a huge basket of cookies that had a note attached that said , “remember my grand-daughter Suzy PNM”.  As wonderful as those cookies looked we had to send them back :(.

There are specific rules set in place for where and when a PNM can visit a sorority outside of formal recruitment.  As I said before each campus has their own policies.  If you are planning a visit to a college campus and would like to visit a particular sorority house a quick phone call to the campus Panhellenic office and even to the National organization for that sorority is probably a good idea.  I would suggest this for all PNMs including legacies and girls who have sisters who currently reside in the house.  While reading recruitment rules (sigh….I know y’all are thinking I have no life but hey…I find this stuff interesting!) for a variety of campuses I found that some will let a sister stay and eat at the house but that might be limited by a specific time period.  Best advice..if you don’t know…call and check.

Piggy backing onto the above …there are specific rules as to when a PNM can have contact with a sorority member.  Most campuses have a “no contact” date that usually is about May 1.  After this date PNMs who are going through recruitment cannot talk to,  hang out with, Facebook chat, talk on the phone, email (you get the idea..right??) with an active sorority member.  There are exceptions (of course there are!).  Many campuses have a form that an active member can fill out if she has PNMs who she will come in contact with on a regular schedule due to work, church, family ect.  The form is filled out and given to Panhellenic who then either approves or denies it.  EAch situation is looked at separately.  My daughter actually did this for a PNM who is a family friend and is going through recruitment on her campus.  She wanted to attend the girls graduation party…request was denied…but my daughter understood and looks forward to chatting with this young woman when recruitment begins the next week.

This “contact-no contact” rule can be a little fuzzy and is one of those “dirty rushing” rules that tends to get broken either on purpose or by sheer accident.  We witnessed this actually happen earlier in the summer.  While out a local restaurant my daughter noticed a PNM eating with an active member of another sorority.  The member was actually wearing a t-shirt that had her letters on it!  Now you should know that the member was from the PNM’s home town.  However they had not been friends in high school and although we are not sure who contacted who this little meal falls under the category of “dirty rushing”.  My daughter could have contacted panhellenic and reported this girl and sorority but she chose not to.  Still…unfair advantage is sororities can wine and dine PNMs during “no contact”.  What would happen if panhellenic was informed?  Most likely the sorority would be assessed with a fine.  What about the PNM? It all depends on the panhelleinc and the campus.  It’s possible she would be spoken to…could keep her from participating in recruitment…probably not.

Really quick…. I also wanted to let you know that under absolutely NO circumstances does a PNM text,or call or have any contact with an active member during formal recruitment. does happen.  Sorority members will text PNMs after parties and tell them that they want them to return.  If caught it’s again a big ole fine and the PNM will be in trouble as well.  PNMs…as flattering as is it is to receive this attention DO NOT participate.  I had a PNM ask me what to do in this situation.  She was worried if she didn’t text the sorority member back that they would think she was not interested in this house and would drop her.  She LOVED the house and the sisters and didn’t want this to happen.  Ultimately I had her text the member and simply say that she was flattered that they were reaching out to her but that she (the PNM) knew this was against panhellenic rules and so she would talk with the member when she returned for the next round of parties.  Even having her do that made me VERY nervous.  I knew that she wasn’t going to “not text” so this was the best non-solution but I would have preferred if she had not responded at all!

Finally Bid promising and language are the last two “dirty rushing”areas I’s like to talk about.

Language…what’s okay to say and not okay to say.  Comments from sorority members like “I enjoyed talking with you and hopefully we can continue  our conversation tomorrow.” or “See you tomorrow.” or “See you later.”…..not a good idea.  They have been instructed NOT to say these things.  These types of statements can lead a PNM to believe that she is being invited back when in fact that is not necessarily true.  Ladies…if you hear these words do not think you being invited back to this house is a done deal because it’s not!

So can a PNM say those words to a member? Sure if she wants to.  It’s okay for you to let the sorority member know that you like their house and it’s members.  But REMEMBER….don’t talk about any of the other houses while you are at parties.  Sorority women are very good at “listening” and if they get the impression that you are favoring another house over theirs you can bet that when they discuss PNMs that evening this fact will be brought up and you could potentially find yourself not invited back!  This also then leads to the fact that the sorority member is NOT SUPPOSED to ask you what houses you like, what parties you were invited to that day or if you are a legacy to any house.  These are big NO NO’s and are considered “dirty rushing”.

Sometimes sororities will do what is called “hot boxing”  Hot boxing is when several sorority members isolate a PNM and speak to her.  Sometimes that PNM is taken to another room in the sorority house or a specific area of a room.  If you’re the PNM in that situation it’s definitely uncomfortable and it’s not ok!

Lastly …sororities may not promise you a bid.  It is strictly forbidden.

So what do you do if any of the above situations occur.  In some cases if it fall out side of formal recruitment you should talk about it with your parents and decide if it warrants a call to your campus panhellenic.  That’s a decision that only you can make and admittedly it’s a tough one.  My biggest piece of advice..don’t become involved.  If a sorority inappropriately reaches out to you don’t respond.  They know what they are doing is wrong 99% of the time.  If you participate then the only person who you are going to hurt is you.

If during formal recruitment yo think you have experience “dirty rushing” talk to your recruitment counselor.  Together the two of you can decide what the next step is.  Recruitment is stressful enough without having to deal with situations that make it even more stressful. Keeping track of times, dates and instances is a good idea.  A PNM is certainly able to file a complaint with panhellenic but might be wise to wait until after formal recruitment is over (that goes for “dirty rushing” that occurs before formal recruitment as well).  There is a real possibility that the sorority could find out and well…it could have a negative impact on that PNM’s formal recruitment. Talk to your Rho Chi or your parents…together you can make an informed decision on what to do.

So we’ve had “the talk”.  Whew!!!  I for one am really glad that’s over with.  More exciting topics and conversations to come :)!!!!