If you’ve stumbled upon this article, a few things are likely true:
1.) You are set on rushing and are seeking tips for a successful run
2.) You are curious about joining a sorority, learning about the sorority rush/recruitment process, or the Greek life system as a whole
3.) You are eager to know how integral joining a sorority is to the college experience
Before jumping into the logistics surrounding everything sorority, you should first become relatively familiar with two terms:
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)
The National Panhellenic Conference is an umbrella term given to 26 national and international women’s sororities. The NPC is present on more than 670 campuses in the U.S. and boasts over 380,000 undergrad members across 3,234 active collegiate chapters. The likelihood of rushing a NPC sorority is high, so this guides focus will be centered on these 26 organizations.
Potential New Member (PNM)
A Potential New Member is a woman both interested and eligible to participate in recruitment. Many sororities offer a brief welcome message to their PNM’s.
Sorority rush is divided into 4 distinct rounds. Here is the breakdown of what typically occurs during each (spring rush may differ).
Round 1: “Open House”
Potential New Members (PTM’s) meet with their Rho Gamma (A recruitment counselor who helps with answering questions while guiding girls from house to house throughout rush week). After meeting up with your Rho Gamma at the specified time, prepare for a long day of walking from house to house while trying your best to bond with hundreds of girls you’ve never met before in your life.
BEWARE: Entering your first house can be an intimating experience. Prepare to JOIN IN on dozens of sorority girls clapping, chanting, screaming, and dancing to music.
After finishing up the tours of each house and briefly connecting with the sisters (typically on day 2), you will be ushered out to compile your list of most preferred and least preferred houses.
Tips for round 1:
– Remember girls names (write them down in your phone if need be)
– DON’T BE NERVOUS! Girls tend to overthink open house as a make-or-break moment when in reality that could not be further from the truth. In fact, those on the recruiting side are more stressed out than you are, and that’s a promise 😉
– Always have back-up questions handy, because the recruiters want to know if you are genuinely interested in what their sisterhood has to offer. Questions like: “What was one of your favorite memories with your sisterhood?” are perfect.
– Look as presentable as possible while still being comfortable.
Round 2 “House Tours”
House tours vary by school and sorority, but typically consist of talks about finances (dues) or getting to know the sorority’s main philanthropic cause. House tours give PNM’s a better sense of what they like about each sisterhood while getting to know the sisters of each house a little more personally than in round one. As with round one, you will end the day with knocking off a few more houses based on your most preferred and least preferred.
Tips for round 2:
– If you feel that you “clicked” with someone or a group of girls at a particular house but ended up not being chosen by that house, DO NOT feel discouraged!
– At this point, your Rho Gamma will likely not be walking you from house to house. Avoid feeling intimidated while approaching houses alone by making small-talk with girls who are walking in your direction.
Round 3 “Preference”
Think of preference as your final decision. By this point, expect to have one or two sororities in mind that you can truly see yourself in. Preference is much more serious than rounds one and two; prepare for less music, clapping, chanting, screaming, and dancing, and more going through scrapbooks and having deeper conversations with each sister understanding why they decided to join the sisterhood that they did.
Tips for round 3:
– Because each house invited you back for preference, expect this to be one of the more emotional times of the sorority rush process, as you can only belong to one sisterhood.
– Girls tend to dress a little nicer than semiformal, so think dress, heels, and a nice necklace.
Round 4 “BID DAY”
The day has finally come! By this point, the anticipation is likely killing you anxiety levels are higher than ever. Opening your letter is THE moment you discover where your fate will be for the next four years (or two to three years if you’re rushing sophomore or junior year).
Tips for round 4:
– Be sure to wear a t-shirt/tank top with jean shorts as you’ll be receiving a new t-shirt/tank with your new greek letters on them
– Wear sneakers (you will be running to your new home!)