It’s finally here…the crazy and wild recruitment at Indiana University.  Why is it crazy and wild you ask? Well for starters there are 21 sororities that participate in formal recruitment at Indiana.  PNM’s will visit those sororities on December 1 and 2nd (that’s this weekend ladies), splitting the houses over the two days.  Secondly, after 21 party days the next round of 14 parties isn’t until January 3rd and 4th!  That’s a month between party rounds.

14 party days are the first round of invitation parties, meaning after visiting 21 houses PNM’s will list their top 14 houses and their bottom 7 houses. The maximum amount of houses they can be invited back to is 14.  On January 5th PNM’s can attend up to 8 parties.  Preference is on January 6th (a maximum of 3 parties) and Bid day is January 7th.

But here’s the most stressful and different thing about recruitment at Indiana. They have a very unique system where by each sorority’s quota is determined by the actual number of bed spaces available for PNMs in the sorority house.   So for example last year  appx 1600 PNMs signed up for recruitment at UI.  On Bid Day appx 800 girls received bids!!! If you do the math that 50%!  To put it in perspective this last August almost 2000 PNMs went through recruitment at Alabama and appx 87% received bids. Big difference right?

The reasons are simple..Bama uses RFM, a system by which IF a PNM maximizes her options, lists and attends all parties through Preference then she is guaranteed a bid. I should point out that this works great if the PNM keeps an open mind and is open to any house on campus. EAch year we still have PNMs who drop from recruitment because they are unhappy with their sorority choices as they go through the week.

At Indiana they use bed quota.  This is exactly as it sounds, they give out as many bids as they have physical beds for.  Yep everyone lives in the house and so the seniors (maybe a transfer or two) dictate the bids.  I should also note that the number vary vastly due to the size of the different sorority houses.  Last year Phi Mu took 50 PNMs, Delta Gamma took 42.  While a few of the bigger houses were able to take more (ADPi took in the 80’s) some took in the 30’s.  This is an excruciating process.

Each year we hear horror story after horror story of girls who on paper are the perfect PNM going through what is perceived to be the “perfect” recruitment at Indiana, attending the maximum number of Preference PArties (3), only to not receive a bid on Bid Day.  There actually is forum for parents to vent about this process : http://sororityparents.com/2011/01/sorority-recruitment-at-indiana-university_bloomington/.  Gotta admit grabbed a box of kleenex and have been addicted to reading the different accounts of nightmarish experiences.

So the question becomes is recruitment at Indiana that competitive.  To understand the difference between SEC “competitive” (Alabama) and Indiana “competitive” I found this great post on Greek Chat:

Other schools who set quota normally can be competitive, but the numbers aspect isn’t what drives the competition at those schools.

I think that IU competitive and say, Bama competitive are 2 different things.

IU = competitive in the sense that there are more PNMs than spots available. Obvious competition there. You have x spots and y PNMs.

SEC competitive = (and correct me if I’m wrong) differently competitive in the sense of many PNMs only wanting certain chapters and those certain groups only having a limited number of spots (per RFM.) Schools like Bama set quota like anyone else and have the same placement rates as other schools. The difference is that more of the PNMs are jockeying for spots at certain places and aren’t very open to others. So while the system is set up for everyone who makes it to Pref to get a bid, many aren’t going to get that far because their hearts are set on a select group of chapters. Those select few can’t take everyone who wants them. There is also the “who you know” element that makes it competitive. Recs, connections from HS, legacies, etc. eat up the available invites pretty quickly. So an average PNM going into recruitment with the bare min of recs/preparation is going to face some competition. The numbers aspect of competition is there, but there are other things that factor in to make it competitive.

And yeah, COR may be available at those schools, but at many schools like that, it involves one or more of the chapters that PNMs wouldn’t have considered during FR. At some schools, PNMs with unsuccessful recruitments would sooner attempt FR again than pledge a chapter that wasn’t a fave via COR.

Make sense?????

And…the next question is “How do you get a bid at Indiana?”

I think it goes back to a couple of topics that I preach pretty regularly here.  First of all no matter what campus you go through recruitment at the PNM HAS TO KEEP AN OPEN MIND about the opportunities presented by each and every sorority on campus!!!  This hold true and competitive schools like Alabama and Indiana.

Secondly I think that ranking houses come into play.  At schools like Alabama the PNM needs to make sure that she ranks every house and attends every party.  We know that maximizing her options give her the best chance of receiving a bid. At Indiana I think that the PNM needs to be savvy in assessing those chapters that traditionally have larger “bed quota” but may not necessarily be the “most popular” houses on campus.  Just from reading about Indiana’s recruitment there seems to be common thread that PNMs may list those less desirable chapters lower or eliminate them altogether  thus limiting their options.  If you read the parents blog about recruitment you hear a lot about girls who go all the way through and don’t receive bids but what we don’t know is how the PNMs made their selections or ranked their houses.

Thirdly, NETWORKING!!!!!!  I cannot say it enough.  Connections are IMPORTANT!!!!  Can one sorority member pull a girl into a house? No, but if you want a fighting chance in this situation you have have the GPA (also a big deal), look GREAT on paper (recs, and resume both) and the PNM needs to be known.  So ladies you need to work on ways to connect with alums as well as members on campus to get your name, face and foot in the door.  That first starts with really good, solid recs….. introduction recs with no personal connection may not do it here (remember this is true for the “popular” sororities at school like Alabama and Ole Miss).  PNMs…when yo get on campus GET INVOLVED!!!!  I know that it’s an adjustment and you’re trying to figure out classes and college life but the more your sweet face turns up in groups and clubs and activities where sorority women are present the more connections you will make!!! FYI…make sure you “behave yourself” at any social function you might attend….you ARE being watched!

So there you are….I am excited to hear how things go this weekend and will wait the long month to finish the process.  Happy recruitment and the may the odds ever be in your favor!

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