A Review of Rushing at AU: A Weekend You Will Never Forget

Sororities. We all know them and most of us are definitely intimidated by them. Fortunately, I am here to report that the rushing process at American University (AU) is extremely different from many of the horror stories you might have heard before. As a first semester freshman, I was extremely hesitant to sign up for Spring formal recruitment. It took a lot of convincing from others, my roommate (who was also very hesitant), and my best friend from back home who joined a sorority her freshman year and ended up loving it. After weeks of hesitation, I signed up for recruitment weekend and I am so glad that I did!

"The rushing process is extremely overwhelming, but AU Panhellenic does a nice job of trying to make it as stress-free as possible for the girls involved,” explains Maggie Schutte, a Her Campus writer and new member of Delta Gamma. For those who do not know, AU Panhellenic is the group who supervises the entire rushing process and all of AU’s sororities as well. Within AU Panhellenic is a team of individuals who act as guidance counselors for the girls rushing. These girls are called Sorority Recruitment Counselors or SRC’s and they are there for anything you may need. This can be tissues, a mint, sanitary products (which is super helpful in an emergency), and most importantly emotional support as you make your way through the recruitment process. All the SRC’s I met were lovely and I felt very grateful to have them there if I needed to talk, among other things.

Recruitment weekend starts with orientation, which is slightly overwhelming due to the sheer number of girls there. Ultimately, once the presentation started all my worries were immediately eased. AU’s sororities are all “values-based,” meaning that sororities want to recruit you based on who you are as a person; you are not going to be wined and dined by particular sororities (which is how it is at some larger schools). The first thing I realized while the speakers were presenting is that AU’s recruitment process is completely different than that of big state schools or even Southern schools. I was mostly afraid of hazing and any other “traditions” that may have put me in harms way.

AU’s Panhellenic community consists of eight chapters: Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Gamma, Phi Mu, Phi Sigma Sigma, Sigma Delta Tau, and Sigma Kappa. On Day 1 of recruitment, your SRC’s will guide you around campus as you meet with each of the eight organizations. This day was definitely the most overwhelming, but again, all of the groups were extremely friendly. Day 2 consists of a philanthropy round where girls are called back to up to five organizations. This round gives you the opportunity to hear about the charities different sororities support and gives you the chance to know particular groups better. Day 3 is preference round where you receive bids from either one or two organizations and you partake in the group’s special traditions or rituals. Everyone dresses up for this round and personally the traditions shared with me made me enjoy the rushing process even more. These girls are all welcoming you into their homes with open arms because they want you to find your niche within AU Panhellenic. Lastly, you experience bid night where you will receive a bid from one sorority, which you can decline if you do not feel that that organization is the right fit for you. This is the most fun of all the rounds as this is when you open an envelope revealing which organization you are in, followed by you running to meet them on the floor of Bender Arena filled with lots of screaming girls trying to welcome you home.

All in all, the recruitment process is overwhelming yet extremely exciting, but it is not everyone. Indigo Corso, a freshman and new member of Phi Mu, described her experience as “a great way to meet people and get to know a more diverse group of girls on campus.” She also noted that there are a lot of reasons why sororities are not for everyone saying that “some of the drawbacks stem from the… bias people bring to the entire rush process.” Often, people believe that all sororities are the same, but AU’s are very different than those of large state schools.

Many girls who I met throughout the rush process thoroughly loved every minute of it, such as Lauren Anderson, who is also a new pledge in Phi Mu. “Going into [recruitment], I had no expectations which was the best way to do it because then you can really get into the process,” said new Phi Mu member Lauren Anderson. Having a set organization in mind prior to rushing is not recommended because, truthfully, you might fall in love with a group very different from the one you had in mind.

Surprisingly, I loved recruitment a lot more than I thought I would and have learned that the best thing to do if you are skeptical about rushing is to simply go for it! I never imagined that I would rush or even stick with the process, but I think that joining a sorority has been one of the best decisions I have made at AU so far (aside from joining Her Campus). Remember rushing is meant to be fun, so go into it with an open mind, an open heart, and hopefully you will meet a group of kind-hearted individuals who one day will become your sisters!

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