Why didn’t I get a bid? I get asked that question many times during a recruitment season.  It’s a double-edged sword for it can mean “why didn’t I get a bid from my #1 choice” or “why didn’t I get a bid at all?”

I wish I had “THE ANSWER”. but of course I don’t.  The only people who know the exact answer are the members of the sorority that did not offer the bid.  I can only offer speculation and generic reasons for the PNM who asked the question to ponder.  So….today I thought I would throw a few of those rather vanilla answers out there…just something to think about.

Why didn’t I get a bid?

The first deal breaker for many sororities is grades.  When a PNM signs up for recruitment panhellenic will give GPA guidelines.  I absolutely love the Ole Miss approach.  If you go to their website and look at their GPA guidelines they use a stoplight approach.

GPA Zones: Green Zone = your options are not likely to be limited based on GPA. Yellow Zone = your options are more likely to be limited by GPA. Red Zone = your options are very likely to be limited based on GPA.

Green Zone (aka Safe Zone): 3.0+

Yellow Zone: 2.8-2.99

Red Zone: 2.79 and Below

It’s straight and to the point….there is no wishy-washy language just the facts.  What about grade exceptions you ask?  Yes…some sororities take them but don’t count on it or lull yourself into a sense of false security…if your GPA is in the red zone at ANY competitive recruitment campus then chances are YOU will be in danger of drastic cuts and few choices.  At one large, VERY competitive campus this fall over 600 PNMs had below a 3.0….many received very shocking cuts after the first round of parties.  GPA…it’s a big reason many girls do not receive bids.

Why didn’t I get a bid?

Perhaps you are a standards liability.  For lack of a better scenario “Standards” like the sorority police…they enforce the rules and deal with those who break them.  Even before a PNM registers for recruitment sororities will begin to do a little checking.  As soon as a PNM comes onto the sorority radar any sort of social media becomes public knowledge.  Sororities will look at a PNMs Facebook page, her twitter account, they will google her name and yep some even Google earth her address.  They are checking to make sure that this young lady is not out there creating a scene, acting in an immature manner, being morally corrupt….in other words they are not going to take a young woman who they have to babysit 24/7 and clean up her social messes.  Trust me on this.  When a sorority gets the list of PNMs going through recruitment they ask their members if they know any of the girls and if any are a standards liability.  If a member knows of a girl who is questionable she fills out a form and it is discussed by the WHOLE CHAPTER.  It’s not things like “She stole my boyfriend” or “I hate the way she dresses” but more like…”She has three Minors in Possession of Alcohol tickets” or ” She was suspended from school for coming to school drunk”. So if you didn’t clean up your Facebook, twitter of if there’s some lovely YouTube video lurking in your past then that maybe why didn’t receive a bid.

Why didn’t I receive a bid?

Honestly ask yourself..”How did my conversations go?”  Conversation is the way that members of the sorority get to you.  Initially the conversation is about regular old life.  It’s those Round 1 conversations that can be killers for some girls.  I remember a member telling me about a conversation she had with a PNM during the first round of parties.  She asked the PNM what she did that summer.  The PNM answered a one word answer “worked”…that was it.  She didn’t elaborate, she didn’t say where she worked, what she did, if she liked it, if her parents made her work..nothing.  The member then asked the obvious question, “Where did you work?”…PNM answer…”a store”.

Ladies you have to chat it up and if you don’t know how to chat it up then you have to practice and practice and practice some more.  These one word answers make the PNM come off as disinterested, bored, and can even be interpreted as rude.  Come to find out this little PNM was painfully shy and a nervous wreck.  She couldn’t answer because she later shared she thought she was going to throw up all over the sorority member.  After the party the member went and looked to see if this particular PNM had a recommendation.  Luckily she did!  Noted on the recommendation was that she was VERY shy.  The member shared with me that she would have rated this PNM low and undoubtedly she would have been dropped because of the lack of conversation.

Why didn’t I get a bid?

It could be that your mouth got you into trouble.  There is a saying “The walls have ears.” Yes..they most certainly do!!!!  If you expressed an interest in several houses only, tent talked or bad mouthed others or made it know that you would accept invitations from certain “top-tier” houses then chances are that this may have gotten around and those houses you disrespected would most certainly not invite you back.  Several years ago there was a young woman who went through recruitment at a competitive recruitment school and made it known that she was going to get a bid from one house and so they didn’t have to worry about inviting her back.  Seriously…this is a true story.  Of course almost every house did drop her and she did get a bid from “the house”..but had something happened to make “the house” disinterested she would have been left with nothing.  Posting on chat forums about yourself, what houses you like and dislike is jut asking for trouble.  Sitting and talking negatively about houses with other PNMS is not advised.  Remember recruitment counselors are members of sororities and while they are supposed to disaffiliate with their house I for am not sure I wouldn’t want my sisters to know if a particular PNM was not someone I would want as member.

Why didn’t I get a bid?

Sometimes as much as you think that you have made a connection for the sorority it’s just not here.  In some cases it may not be that they don’t like you personally but they just liked other PNMs better.  Don’t be lulled into the hugs from members (they really aren’t supposed to do this), or the “I hope I see you tomorrow” or “I can see you as my little”..language.  Members have been told repeatedly not to say or do anything that will lead a PNM to believe that she is being invited back but we are all human and in the emotional heat of the moment sometimes things are said.  Remember on member does not have all the power.  Sometimes it just isn’t meant to be.  Don’t be focused on just a select few houses but be open to each and every house on campus.  Give everyone a fair chance,  Keep and open mind 🙂