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RUSH 101: A PNM’s Guide to Formal Recruitment!

Congratulations; you’ve already made one of the best decisions of your life – you decided to attend James Madison University! OK, I might be a little biased, but ask any student on campus and you’ll be greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm about “bleeding purple.” So now that you are a part of the most wonderful college in the nation, you might be thinking about “rushing” a sorority. Here for your knowledge is a complete guide to formal recruitment at JMU!

Rush? PNM? Bid Day?
While it may feel like sorority women are talking in a different language, soon you will probably be throwing the lingo around too. Formal recruitment is the process that sororities on campus use to recruit and obtain new members. These new members are often referred to as PNMs, or potential new members. If you are offered a bid after recruitment ends, on Bid Day, you will be greeted by your sorority and start your Greek Life journey.

What do I wear?!
As girls, we always think about what to wear and usually end up emptying our closets and still feel like we are left with nothing. For recruitment, you should strive to look polished, comfortable, and most importantly, like yourself! You don’t want to end up wearing you roommate’s adorable dress if it isn’t you! You should feel comfortable in your outfit so that all of your focus is on finding the house that fits you best and not on tugging at your shirt.

I’m not positive I want to be in a sorority yet. Should I still go through?
Do it! A lot of women go through recruitment and are not completely sure if they even want to join a sorority. You owe it to yourself to at least try it. Register and sign up for recruitment. If you absolutely hate it, you don’t have to join one. But with all of the different houses, there is a good probability that you’ll find a house that feels like home for you. Also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t return to certain houses. Keep an open mind and keep going! Recruitment can be tiring, but it is all worth it. In the end, everything works out! The old saying holds true: “You’ll never know if you don’t try.”

XOXO Gossip Girl?
During recruitment, you may hear gossip from other women on the row. As difficult as it is to not let these conversations skew your opinions, it really is in your best interest to form your opinions on what YOU think about each house based on YOUR own experience. Even if your friends insist on you joining the same sorority, try your hardest to find the one that fits you best. Besides, there’s no rule saying you can’t be friends with people in different sororities!

Your lifeline for the week – Rho Gammas and Panhellenic Council!
Use these lifelines! If you have any questions about the process, ask your Rho Gamma or a member of the Panhellenic Council (Panhel for short). These women are here to help you. They have been trained to give you unbiased advice and help you find the best house for you. Also, use the book Panhel provides! It may seem silly to run out of a house and jot things down, but come the end of the first day, it can be too overwhelming to remember it all. This book will help you remember what you liked and didn’t like and can help you make the best decision!

Why should I join a sorority?
These organizations give you endless opportunities. Joining a sorority can make a big campus feel cozy and give you a home away from home. You will find friendships stronger than any others, connections with alumnae all over the nation, a fun social calendar, and so much more! What other organization could land you a job in the future while also allowing you to play flag football and practice an intensely choreographed hands routine for Greek Sing? If you don’t know, Greek Sing is a big Greek-wide competition complete with dancing, singing, and “hands” – choreographed routines using only hands while standing on bleachers. Sound crazy? It is! But it’s also so much fun!

So, all in all, if the thought of ever joining a sorority has crossed your mind, try it! You never know what will happen.


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