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Recruitment Edition: Sorority Misconceptions

Parties, gorgeous girls, and hazing. These were all words I thought of when I thought of sororities and Panhellenic recruitment my freshman year. Shallow as they may be, the media had filled my head with common misconceptions of what recruitment really was. Sorority recruitment is not what its cracked up to be. There are so many misconceptions about recruitment that it’s hard to know what to believe. Here are some common misconceptions of recruitment, and how they differ from the real thing.   


Misconception: Recruitment is by choice. You choose the house you want to go to.
Truth: Panhellenic recruitment is set up so that everyone goes to the same house. There is no “choosing” of which house you want to go to first or last. You get a schedule and you stick to that schedule. So, if you were thinking you got to choose the three houses you wanted to go to and not any other ones, sorry to inform you otherwise. Everyone has to go through the same process and gets the same treatment. Recruitment is also not a huge “tea party” like in the movies, where everyone walks around in formal outfits and gets to pick with whom they want to talk to and when. You get matched with one girl in recruitment and most of the time you are with another pair or in a group of people.
Misconception: Recruitment can involve alcohol.
Truth: So many movies make recruitment seem like one huge massive party. In the movie Sorority Row, Theta Pi throws a huge party at the beginning of the year as one of the “recruitment” events. Recruitment doesn’t allow any alcohol in any way, shape, or form. It’s also best to stay away from drinking the weeks of recruitment as the process is long and often tiresome.

Misconception: “Dirty rushing” is allowed.
Truth:  Sororities aren’t allowed to “dirty rush” like in the movies. So many times in TV shows/movies we see the sororities trying to convince girls to join their house by “dirty rushing”. If houses are abiding by the rules, then it really doesn’t happen.
Misconception: All houses are the exact same.
Truth: Every house is unique in it’s own way. Some are more social houses while others are more into academics. However, no house is the same, and if you are worried about finding a house for you, chances are you will.
Misconception: You will get hazed during recruitment.
Truth: You can take a deep breath now. Hazing doesn’t happen and won’t happen during recruitment. So many movies make it seem like this is a standard part of the process. But, it actually doesn’t happen and is against the rules.
Misconception: Every house is a dream house (huge rooms, massive kitchens, and state of the art interior).
Truth: There are tons of nice sorority houses on campus but not every house looks like the house Zeta Beta Zeta has in the television show Greek. Not every girl gets her own room and there isn’t enough space to throw a concert in the living room. Many houses are extremely nice, but not all houses are the dream houses of the century.


Misconception: Every sorority girl is the same.
Truth: In movies and television shows, sorority girls are often “airheads” and party animals- minimal GPA required. This is far from the reality.  There are different types of girls in every sorority out there – smart, funny, shy, outgoing, independent, sensitive, strong, athletic and SO many more characteristics are represented.
Misconception: There is only one “top house”.
Truth: There isn’t only one “top house” that everyone is trying to get into. When I came to U of I freshman year I assumed that there was one top house that everyone wanted to be in. There are tons of great houses that offer something for everyone. There isn’t just “one house that rules them all.”
Misconception: You automatically get the house you want.
Truth: Hate to say it, but recruitment is a mutual process. You pick the house and the house picks you as well. You don’t always get the house, and the house doesn’t always get you. But, don’t be worried because most of the time you end up getting the house that is right for you in the end anyways.
Misconception: The conversations during recruitment don’t matter.
Truth: There are so many misconceptions that Recruitment is solely based off of what you look like and what you are wearing. This is completely false. Obviously the way you carry yourself is important, but the conversations you make with the girls throughout recruitment actually matter. It’s best to just be yourself and just talk about things you normally would with another one of your friends.
Bottom Line: A lot more goes into the process of recruitment than just “looking pretty” like we see in the movies. What you don’t know is that the sororities spend a significant amount of time practicing for the potential new members (PNMs), and making sure that everything runs smoothly. If you are worried about not finding a house for you, don’t stress because there are tons of different houses for everyone. Don’t believe everything you hear or see in the movies and on television, because chances are it’s not the real deal.

TV Shows about Greek life:
Saved by the bell, Greek, people in law and order
Movies about Greek life : Sorority Row, Pledge This (National Lampoons), Sydney White, Sorority Wars, Scream 2, Black Christmas, and The House Bunny

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