I realize that many of you come looking for help and information when it comes to going through recruitment across the United States. I hope that the information you find here is helpful :). I wanted to set the record straight on a couple of items this morning.
The first is on the subject of recommendations. I know that I periodically climb up on my soap box and get all preachy about getting recommendations. On Monday I listed a big ole list of schools where you absolutely needed recommendations. (Sorry to my Mizzou peeps…when I originally did the list they were in the Big 12 but now they are in the SEC…corrected the problem. thanks to a good friend) And you do need them for those schools, but I wanted to clarify that just because you have recommendations doesn’t mean you won’t get cut from a house. A recommendation puts you “on the radar”. It lets the sorority know that YOU, the PNM, is coming through recruitment. Remember that many sororities use the recs to highlight PNMs that they want to (for lack of a better term) “RUSH” hard. Usually this decision is made because the PNM has the “Qualities” that the sorority is looking for as determined by the needs assessment they did as a chapter. So you can see if you don’t have recommendations then they have no way of knowing anything about you. You start at a disadvantage. Once you are on the radar then it’s up to YOU to turn on that charm and get those party invites.
So now… about “those” invites. So many times PNMs go to houses where they feel they really “fit”. They have a great time and leave thinking that they have made great connections :). The next day when they get their party list they are SHOCKED because THAT HOUSE isn’t there!!!! What happened???? At that point it’s hard not to take the rejection personally (heck I took it personally when my daughter was cut by “THAT HOUSE” and it wasn’t even me!) but I am telling you that I am 99% positive it wasn’t personal…it was a matter of numbers. Remember that Panhellenic tells the houses how many girls that each sorority can invite back to parties. Those numbers are based on the return rate from the pervious year (return rate= how many PNMS wanted to return to that particular house for that particular party). So the sorority makes a list and checks it twice..(oopss..sorry…the guy down the street is putting up his Christmas lights and I just kind of got in the mood there for a moment). So the fact is YOU more than likely were on that list (unless you were cut due to grades ect) but perhaps you were a little too far down and so when matching occurred their party list was full before they got to you.
Trust me when I say that the member who you made the connection with will have the same sadness and remorse as you did. She sis have a connection with you and she wanted to see you return but remember she’s just one member in whole house. I remember standing when the list was read at a party and I watched members cry because certain girls were not on it. We have no way of knowing how many girls at the top of the list will “match”. Of course sororities want those girls to match with them because then their “top” girls return and that’s a good thing 🙂 for them.
Now to clarify the rumor that if YOU are from out-of-state and you go to one of “those” competitive schools that you will not get a bid. Let me just say that every campus has houses that take primarily girls from their area. If you look at their rosters you will see girls from the same hometown and even the same high school. That’s a fact. Can you get a bid from one of “those” houses? Sure you can but it might be a long shot…hey I have seen it happen.
So you know that “those” houses exist but remember there are other houses on campus that welcome out-of-state girls with open arms. You need to keep an open mind…give every house a fair chance…..and don’t listen to any of the rumors. You be the judge..don’t let others judge for you. I know, it’s hard to do. Inevitably many out-of-state girls fall in love with “those” houses and they get hurt because they are not invited back. I really dislike when “those” houses carry a girl all the way to right before Preference and then drop her. So not fair! Why does this happen you ask? Well it has to do with “the list” and how girls matched up. Often times these houses will have to make pretty big cuts right before Preference and that’s when these casualties occur.
So RUMOR…..out-of-state is not a death wish for a successful recruitment at a competitive recruitment school. Now I have to tell you ..if you didn’t get recommendations for each and every house (ok multiple recs) then being out-of-state can hurt you. Ladies, ladies, ladies…YOU have to be prepared!!!!!! Seriously…I am not preaching this to hear my self talk. I can’t begin to tell you how many mothers I have talked to that have lamented, “If only I had known to get recs”. Truth is they didn’t know…and so in some cases by the grace of God things turned out ok and in other instances they did not.
Finally….being a legacy at a competitive recruitment school (or at any other school for the most part) does not mean that you will receive a bid. As a courtesy chapters will keep legacies through the second round of parties. At that time they are advised if they do not think that they will be offering the legacy a bid then they should let her go. If a chapter invites a legacy to Preference, in most cases (I say this because I do know all of the different membership selection rules for each sorority) that chapter has to put the legacy on their first list. I have seen it in some campuses where legacies are cut right before Preference but that is not a common practice. I usually tell legacies that is they attend parties up to and including the party before Preference that they will most likely be invited to Preference.
So lets review…
1. Having a rec does not =bid.
2. Having a rec does not=not getting cut.
3. Being from out-of-state does not mean you will not have a successful recruitment.
4. You have to do your homework.
5. If you are going through recruitment at a competitive recruitment school then you need recs (more than one) for each sorority.
6. Keep an open mind.
7. If you are cut from a house..it’s not personal.
8. Maximize your options.
9. Being a legacy does not=automatic bid.
There they are…the facts :)..plain and simple. Recruitment is like speed dating….it’s crazy and fun and sooo emotional. However if you take care of business before you go then hopefully the process will be more enjoyable.