This week is sorority recruitment season at JMU, and as a senior, I would consider myself knowledgeable in the world of recruitment. I’ve obviously experienced the process as a Potential New Member (PNM), and I’ve also recruited women in person and via Zoom. When I was a freshman, I knew I wanted to be in a sorority, and I put so much pressure on myself during recruitment. I had every outfit planned out months in advance and asked my Rho Gamma (Recruitment Guide) about a million questions the second I got in contact with her. I’m here to tell you four tips I wish I would’ve known before sorority recruitment.
This is one of those things that I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of times by now, but I cannot stress how true this is! You want to join a sisterhood with women who share the same values as you, vibe with you, and will ultimately become some of your closest friends. If you’re trying to put on a front that is different from your authentic self, you may not be happy in the chapter you run home to on Bid Day. I also think that being yourself is exponentially less nerve-wracking. Let the conversations flow naturally! Some of my favorite conversations during recruitment have been the ones where we start talking about random topics such as Tik Tok, Starbucks drinks, and E-Hall brunch.
keep an open mind
Push every stereotype or rumor about any chapter out of your mind. This is your experience and your future. No one else’s opinion should matter but yours! There are 12 wonderful chapters on our campus, and each one of them has 200+ girls that continue to stay in their sisterhood. Maximize your options by being completely open-minded to each one.
Also, if you have hall mates or friends also going through recruitment, I would highly recommend not discussing your feelings about the chapters with them. You shouldn’t be voting on chapters based on how your friends are ranking them. It’s fairly possible that they didn’t love a chapter that you did. A sorority is a lifelong commitment and will be a part of you forever. It sounds dramatic, but this decision needs to be 100% yours. And that decision will become much easier with minimal outside influence!
Recruitment is back in person this year, YAY! This means you’re gonna have to choose outfits that fit the dress code for each round. I remember spending hours scrolling through online websites, looking for the perfect dress, skirt, shoes, etc. During my recruitment, I wore heels that were so uncomfortable during the third round, that on preference night I wore sandals because my feet hurt so badly. Choose comfort! While recruiting, I’m more worried about remembering the names of the PNMs I spoke to, rather than the heels they had on. Take this advice as your outfit doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable, confident, and are true to yourself. As long as your outfit is fitting the dress code, I’m sure whatever you have in your closet is just fine.
Prepare questions that matter to you
I highly encourage you to have a few questions in your back pocket to ask sorority women in each chapter. Think of what’s the most important thing to you when it comes to joining a sorority. What kinds of philanthropies are special to you? Do you have concerns about the time commitment or financial obligations? Do you want to ask a sister how their sorority has impacted their undergraduate experience? Having a few questions in your back pocket is a great way to ensure that you are learning all the information you need. Also, I’m sure once or twice a recruiter is going to ask if you have any. Be prepared for when that happens!
If you take anything from this. Take a deep breath, relax, and have fun with it! Everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. Good luck and happy recruitment!