There’s a lot of buzz out there about sorority recruitment.  There was the NY Times article in July about sorority coaches (rumor has it the Today Show is going to do a spot on Sorority Coaches soon) and now Teen Vogue has an article discussing whether joining a sorority is for you. I have mentioned over and over again that this is not a membership and recruitment is not a process to enter into lightly.  There’s a lot of “if’s, “ands” and “buts” that need to be considered.

So ladies lets talk a little about making the decision to head the recruitment road because guess what?????  It’s time to get started. Seriously…IF you are planning on going through recruitment at a competitive recruitment school then NOW is the time to begin the planning lists.  I am going to address the process from the stand point of a girl who is going to go through recruitment at a competitive recruitment campus.  If you are not at a competitive campus the advice on planning and being organized is still something you should take to heart.  You can never be too organized in my book.

First things first…many campuses across the US saw a rise in the number of young women who registered and went through (ok still are going through) recruitment. Alabama had the largest recruitment in the US with 1957 young women attending Round One parties and at the end of a very emotional week over 1687 girls received bids..that’s a whopping 86%!!!  Oklahoma State started us off and they too had a stellar rush with quota being 61 and out of 853 young women beginning the process 754 were offered bids…that’s a 89% placement rate…amazing!!!!  The University of Kentucky followed along with another competitive yet successful recruitment and they still continue with the Texas schools, Arkansas, Clemson,  South Carolina, Arizona State, USC, UCLA, Ole Miss and Indiana…(I could just keep listing and listing).  From the amount of young women who are participating or have participated in this process joining a sorority seems to be on the upswing.  So is it for you????

Ask yourself this question, “Why do I want to join a sorority?”…the question is simple enough but it’s the answers that are important.  Going through recruitment at a competitive recruitment campus is A LOT of work.  I am really serious about this…to do this process and do it right you will need to be prepared to spend a good amount of time.   I can’t even begin to count how many parents and girls have emailed me and lamented over and over again how they wished they’d really known that getting recommendations for each house on campus (and YES….get at least two!!) was an absolute MUST….I will say it again..IF ANYWHERE on the panhellenic website it says anything about recommendations…GET THEM!!!!!!!

If you want to join a sorority for a ready made group of friends on a college campus that you are attending…okay, I’ll take that…. especially if you are far away from home and really don’t have any friends making the move with you.  The process of recruitment is not perfect and there is an occasional “blip” in the process where a girl goes through the whole week, pledges her first choice only to find her self standing on a lawn and feeling like she just entered the twilight zone.  This is the exception..not the norm.

I would also tell you that just the act of going through recruitment is a great way to make friends.  You will meet girls in your Rho Chi group as well as just girls who are experiencing this emotional roller coaster with you. I know of several girls who in the end felt that joining a sorority wasn’t for them.  Yep..I can see you now….you’re shaking your heads going SERIOUSLY…they went through this whole process and then decided this???  They took a bid from a girl who maybe didn’t get her first choice and then quit!  Granted this is not the norm and in their defense as I spoke with them through out the process they really didn’t realize that this wasn’t for them until after Bid Day.  When we talked they all said that it wasn’t fair to the sorority or to themselves and it was better to terminate the relationship.  In some cases these sororities will be able to Spring COB and I even know of girls who then got bids to their “dream” houses.  WORD OF WARNING!!!!!  Don’t count on Spring COB to get a bid.  Many sororities don’t COB…it’s not a first choice but a distant back up option.

Another reason for joining a sorority would be that it can be a segue to memberships or involvement in organizations and clubs on campus.  If you have a sorority sister who is a member of a certain club that you are interested in or has a position in student government there’s a good chance they can pull you into the organization…connections are everything.    You are able to network with upper classmen in your major, develop study buddies,  find out which professors are the best and which to avoid.  In addition not only will your sisters be there to offer advice but they are also excellent resources for internships and job opportunities.

So let’s be totally honest…there’s the social aspect as well.  You have an instant social network of friends, possible dates, places to sit at sporting events, tailgate parties as well as social connections that will last after college ends.  I know that my sorority alum group has a “mommy play date club” as well as a group of moms who trade babysitting. Yes..the social aspect is a big deal but not the whole deal..okay???

Speaking of my alumnae group there’s the fact that you will be a part of this sisterhood for the rest of your life.  I could tell you story after story about times I have been in different situations where I would mention I was an Alpha Phi and the next thing you one of more women would share they were APhi’s as well.  There’s a connection to these women even though I didn’t know them personally.  Even through this blog I have met, spoken with and still talk to, APhi sisters who have had questions about recruitment or shared recruitment experiences with me.

Lots of good reasons to join…however IF you want to join a sorority because…..

  • you want to met and marry a fraternity guy.
  • you want to live in one of those big beautiful houses.
  • you want invites to all the prestigious parties.
  • you want to party in Destin for Spring Break.
  • you want to share other girls designer clothes.
  • you want to be popular.
  • you want to be the “it” girl.

Yes…people …girls REALLY gave the above reasons for joining a sorority..then you need to sit down and have a little heart to heart with yourself.  I know I am sounding a little blunt but a sorority is NOT cheap and using your parents money  (or even your hard-earned money) to further your party skills is just not an intelligent decision.

So you’ve had a heart to heart with yourself (hey..I’d also talk to others who have important roles in your life..parents, siblings, grandparents, friends) and you know that you are in this for the right reasons AND you are ready to commit to the process (remember it’s a lot of work) then lets spend a few days talking about more of the process and a time line..sound good…see you tomorrow.

Okay confession time…I am a TOTAL football addict..was a cheerleader for a really long time…and I am so excited football season is here. AS much as I would LOVE to sit and write more our local football team is going to kick off against a cross town rival on ESPN and I just have to watch.

Love and hugs to all of you who are going through the recruitment process right now…I am sending you lots of positive thoughts..Love and hugs to my girls out there who are preparing to go through recruitment…it’s almost here and all that work that we’ve done together is going to pay off…no second thoughts or got this!!