A Q&A on Lafayette Sorority Recruitment

The Panhellenic “Preview Day’ slides have been sent out and recruitment registration season is officially upon us. Read along for a Q&A about the sorority recruitment process and an inside look on what being in a sorority has been like:

 

*Disclaimer: this is my personal opinion and not affiliated with Lafayette’s Panhellenic Council

 

Q: Why did you decide to go Greek?

 

*Sappy alert* I decided to go Greek because I wanted to find my home away from home at Lafayette. After going to boarding school, I longed for the same inseparable bond with a group of girls that I could call up to go on any adventure with. I wanted a group of best friends who I knew would be by my side through all of the ups and downs and inspire me to be the best I could be. Greek life has definitely provided me with this sense of family, community, and so much more.

 

Q: How does each day of recruitment typically go?

 

The first day of recruitment is Friendship Night and this is the night you will go to all of the sorority houses and learn a little about their sisterhood and start getting to know sisters more generally. You might get a lot of the same questions like “What did you do this summer?” or “What major are you?” or “Where are you from?” but this is just a way to start off your conversation and find common interests. You may know some girls in the house or you may not know anyone in the whole sorority. Regardless, try your best to make a connection and a lasting impression. At the end of the night, you will select a maximum of four houses to go back to the next day.

 

On Philanthropy Night, you will be asked back to some houses and learn about each sorority’s philanthropy and the various philanthropic events they host each year. Philanthropy night is also the time you get a tour of different rooms in the house and get to speak to different sisters on a deeper level. You might be asked questions like “Why do you want to join Greek life?” or “What was your freshman year like?” and these longer conversations are a chance to get to know each other more! Tell them about any of your questions or concerns involving recruitment/being in Greek life, and maybe even ask them about their recruitment experience. At the end of this night, you select a maximum of two houses to return to the next day.

 

Now for the most special night, Preference Night! On this night, you will likely be talking to a sister that you’ve spoken with before and really hit it off with. You will probably feel a little more comfortable and relaxed around them, so now is the time for you to ask them more questions about their experience in that particular sorority. What last questions have been on your mind and what are you wondering about their sorority experience? This night is definitely more serious and the house will look completely transformed, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise so I won’t reveal too much. Be honest with the sister about how you’re feeling and let your walls down, but don’t forget to have fun and don’t stress yourself out too much about everything. The following day is the best day of them all, Bid Day!

 

Q: What should I wear each day of recruitment?

 

What you wear each day of recruitment is completely up to you, your comfort level, and your own personal style. Personally, I wore  the mandatory Panhellenic recruitment shirt and a white skort paired with sandals the first night because there was a lot of walking back and forth. I definitely recommend some sort of nice shorts and comfortable shoes to make a good initial impression on all of the houses while staying comfortable on your feet the whole night. Then, I wore a red and white floral romper paired with sandals the second night, and on pref night I dressed it up with a baby blue sundress and platform sandals! I remember I saw girls wearing a whole range of outfits each day, but you should think of each day like this: friendship night is what you’d wear for a casual first day of school outfit (but with a recruitment shirt on), philanthropy night is what you’d wear to cute brunch place with your girls, and preference night is what you’d wear to a nice ~more modest~ graduation party. 

 

Q: What are housing requirements? Can I still be an RA while fulfilling housing requirements?

 

Yes, you can continue to be an RA in your sorority’s house after you join! Housing requirements differ for each sorority, but they all require at least one semester and a maximum of two semesters. Even though only two semesters maximum may be required for some, there is a “points” system based on participation in chapter events that differs for each sorority that will determine the order sisters get to select their rooms or opt-out of Greek housing (after the requirements), thus if you don’t have as many points, you may live in the house more than the required time, but this is rare. Living in the house is such a great way to bond with girls you might not have necessarily gotten close with otherwise so I definitely recommend it! For more details, check out the Panhellenic “Preview Day” Google Slides that was sent out.

 

Q: How big is each pledge class?

 

Pledge classes can range anywhere from 20-30 girls, it’s hard to predict the number until it comes to Bid Day. With the increased student enrollment, they are predicted to get slightly bigger.

 

Q: How much time commitment is being in a sorority? Is it hard to balance with other involvement on campus?

 

Coming from the girl who is involved in a little too much on campus, it is not hard to balance it all. Something to note is that being a general chapter member of a sorority is a different time commitment than being a director or Vice President on your sorority’s executive board. With a position comes more responsibilities to juggle, but every position has a whole team it is a part of so you will never feel overwhelmed or like you are alone. When it comes to being a general member, you will be required to go to things like weekly chapter meetings and philanthropy events. In my experience, no matter what I have going on, these commitments never feel like a burden because they’re just another excuse for me to hang out with friends and catch up on each other’s weeks. Other than required meetings, the amount of time you spend with your sisters is entirely up to you and I know plenty of people that are still able to branch out with other involvement and hang out with friends outside of their Greek organization. Plus, once formals roll around you can invite each other to your organization’s formal! 

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about being involved in Greek life or your organization’s connection to philanthropy?

 

Personally, my favorite thing about being involved in Greek life has been getting to know the girls in my class year and upperclassmen. In just one year, I have been able to bond so much with seniors I didn’t even know existed and sophomores I only knew vaguely through a mutual friend. No matter where you go on campus, you’ll always have a friendly face, a study buddy, a lunch date, or someone to take that workout class with you. It is incredibly comforting to know you have a whole group of girls ready to support you at any moment. It’s hard to describe the sense of infectious energy and unity I feel when I’m in a room with all of these fun-loving and accomplished girls. I’ve gotten to meet so many people from a variety of backgrounds and majors I otherwise may have never met to help people in the local Easton community and worldwide. On top of that, being a part of a national philanthropic cause definitely makes you take a step back and realize you’re a part of something way bigger than yourself. Another great aspect of Greek life is being able to team up with other organizations for different events and causes. Whether it be a flag football tournament, a game of soccer, or a haunted house, there are endless philanthropy opportunities you can get involved in regardless of your organization.

 

So, what are my final recruitment tips? It sounds cheesy, but reflect on what you really want to get out of recruitment and being in Greek life before the whole process even begins. Do you want to find people you’ll get you out of your comfort zone and try new things? Do you want to find people who you feel like you can be 100% yourself around? Everyone has their own reason or set of reasons. It can be easy to feel confused or lost in everyone else’s opinions, but at the end of the day, it’s YOU who picks your home for the next three years. Another thing to reflect on during formal recruitment is how you are feeling at each house during recruitment; trust your gut. Do you feel a little out of place? This might be a sign that it may not be the house for you or you might just need to take a deep breath, either way, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still make the most of it while you’re getting to know their sisters. Also, people often don’t think about this, but you can definitely become and remain friends with the sisters you talk to during recruitment, regardless of what house you end up in. We’re all one big Greek community so you’ll be sure to see them around. My last major tip is: please do not be disrespectful to any of the houses by barely making eye contact or contributing to a conversation. No matter what thoughts are going on in the back of your mind, each house has put in a tremendous amount of time and effort into recruitment so the least you can do is be present and active in the conversation. 

 

I was in your shoes last year, and I know how nerve-racking the anticipation and the recruitment process can be, but trust me, we’re just as nervous as you are! My final piece of advice is to stay true to who you are and you will be sure to get that gut feeling that you’ve found your future home.