I had a friend ask me today if I could make a list of the 5 most important things TO DO during recruitment and a list of the 5 most important things NOT TO DO during recruitment. I said “sure..I can do that”..so here goes!
5 THINGS TO DO DURING RECRUITMENT:
1. Relax and smile :). Being stressed out and unhappy will only make you miserable and the process unbearable. RELAX!!!!!! If you are relaxed you will have better conversations. Better conversations equals connections and connections equals party invites. SMILE. Even when its the 16th house in two days and you have been asked over 30 times what your major is…SMILE. Have you ever just walked down the sidewalk and randomly smiled at people. In many cases they smile back. In some cases they look like a burden has been lifted from their shoulders. So SMILE at the girls who pick you up at the door, SMILE at the girls who bump you and SMILE at you recruitment counselor and the other PNMs.
2.Play conversation tennis. Answer questions with more than a one word answer and follow that by a question. Think of your conversations as if you very volleying a tennis ball. For example: Sorority girls asks: “What did you do this summer?” (she hits the ball into your court) PNM answers: ” I went on vacation with my family up to the Lakes District of Minnesota. It’s always a crazy time because all of my cousins and aunts and uncles come. My grandparents have a house right on the lake so we fish and go boating. How about you? Did you do any vacations this summer?” (PNM returns the volley) Member answers; “I wish (sigh) I was stuck taking an anatomy class at my local junior college this summer because I needed the credit and I am so not a science person. My major is Nutrition so I have to get his class out of the way. What’s your major?” ( she sends the ball back over the net to the PNM). And so it goes. When the sorority members sister comes to bump there will be a transition (change of challenger) and the volleying will continue.
3. Act interested even if you’re not. I am not one to pretend that every PNM will make a connection to every house. That being said if you find that you have no connection please don’t act bored or be rude! When you talk about something you truely care about you want people to act interested, the same holds true for sorority members. So act interested! I am not telling you to lead a sorority on but be polite,engage in conversation and be mindful of the body language you are sending. A reminder…sororities talk to one another. If you exhibit un acceptable or rude behavior you can bet other sororities will hear about it as well.
4. Prepare for the next day before you go to bed. Be prepared. Find out who is going to shower when. Make sure you look over your clothing for the next day. Is everything clean and pressed. Do you know where your jewelry is ? Even the best laid plans can go hay wire but the more organized and prepared you are the better your morning will go and the more relaxed you’ll be. A relaxed you will make better conversations and connections :).
5. Don’t take it personally. There will be cuts. There will be houses that you aren’t invited back to. It is the nature of the beast called “Recruitment”. What ever you do don’t take it personally!!! I promise that sorority women aren’t all sitting a room at the sorority house discussing how ugly some PNM’s shoes were and how she shouldn’t get a bid because they weren’t a designer label. If you are not invited back it’s because of where you fell on their list. It’s not that they didn’t like YOU it’s just that they liked others better and so when they made their list you were far enough down that their invite list was filled by those before you. (The exception here is GPA..if you have below the GPA that is recommended by Panhellenic then you should expect that to compromise you situation with some houses. Expect cuts!)
THING NOT TO SAY OR DO DOING RECRUITMENT
1. If you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all..period. Ladies the walls have ears and they are listening to you! Do not join into any tent talk of any kind. Do not gossip about sororities. Do not talk negatively about the sorority members you talked to. A Rho Chi shared with me once that a PNM in her group was saying horrible things about a member she had been paired with. The girl had a very obvious red mark on her left cheek and the PNM was referring to her as bullseye face. In addition the sorority member had a very slight lisp. This PNM went on and on about this girl, making fun of her and giving her unattractive names. The fact was that this young woman was a member of the Rho chi’s house and even more..she was her fraternal twin sister! The red mark and slight lisp were due to radiation that the young woman had experienced as a child because of a cancerous growth on her cheek bone! So be careful what you say and to whom you say it!
2. Now is not the time to introduce yourself to fraternity guys. Fraternity row, houses and guys are off limits..period. No parties, no stopping by to say “hi” because you met him on Facebook. If you have a boyfriend who is in a fraternity you will be able to see and talk with him in a public space (no PDA please). In some cases on some campuses he may be able to visit your dorm but DO NOT GO NEAR HIS FRATERNITY HOUSE! If you have any doubt about this topic ask your Rho Chi (recruitment counselor).
3.Do not SIP ie: suicide a house. Suiciding is when you can return to a certain number of houses for the next day of parties and instead of writing all of their names down you just write one. They call this suiciding for a reason…it’s just plain not smart!!!! The PNMs chances of actually getting a bid are not great. Has it happened before? Yes, PNMs have done this and gotten bids but the ratio is very low. ALWAYS write down EVERY house. Maximize your options!!!
4. Don’t write about you recruitment process on any social media. You are certainly welcome to”tell your story” after recruitment is over but not during. You have no idea who is reading you Facebook, twitter or any other social media you have. That goes for your family and friends as well.
5. Finally…don’t turn this experience into a negative one. Things happen…and most times they happen for a reason and for the best. I’ve said it before ..don’t mourn the losses but celebrate the successes. If you are released from a house you love but kept by a house you don’t like give that house a chance. Look for the positives in what those sisters have to offer. they didn’t invite you back because they “had to”. It wasn’t a pity invitation. They invited you back because they liked what they saw and they wanted to get to know you better!
So there it is..”The List”. Read it and I hope take it t heart. I truly hope for all of you that recruitment is a wonderful experience. Let me know how it goes:).