NYU Sorority Insight: From PNM to Recruiter and Rho Gamma

Making friends and finding community can be difficult at a university as large as NYU, especially as a new student. Joining a sorority is a great way to meet new people and find a sense of belonging, but the process can be confusing. Read on for a deep dive into NYU’s sororities from the perspective of a current member.

What exactly is recruitment like at NYU?

NYU’s Panhellenic Recruitment is the first two weekends after the school year starts. The first weekend consists of Orientation; Round Robin, the introductory rounds where the young women visit each of NYU’s seven sororities; and Sisterhood, where the PNMs hear about all the ways each organization’s women bond with each other. The next weekend includes Philanthropy Night, where PNMs learn about each organization’s philanthropy; Pref Night, the final night of recruitment that will often have different ritual components depending on the organization; and Bid Day, where the PNMs receive their bids from organizations.

Being a PNM:

Much like a large part of the NYU community that decides to go through Panhellenic recruitment, I was a sophomore. In all honesty, the only reason I ended up going through the process was because my twin sister went through it at her school the previous spring. Although she was absolutely freezing the whole time (a combination of winter in Chicago and the dress code necessary to impress your potential sisters), she loved the sorority from whom she accepted her bid, and that was enough to convince me to give it a go.

What is a PNM? PNM stands for Potential New Member. My year there were around 600 girls going through the process with me, and we were all packed in Kimmel E&L together to learn about the process. Afterwards we got our Rho Gamma groups, introduced ourselves, and went home for a restless night of sleep before the rounds began. Looking back, being a PNM was definitely the easiest “position” I had in terms of workload, but it was without a doubt the most stressful. You enter different rooms, and girls are chanting and smiling and whisking you off to a corner of the room where you can talk, but not really because you’re hungry, sweaty, and can barely hear them. Round Robin is definitely the toughest day, but as the weekend goes on and the rounds get longer, you start recognizing people in the rooms and it gets much better.

Best Part: My Rho Gamma group. Because I’m towards the end of the alphabet, I was often paired with other girls from my group to talk with a recruiter. We came to know each other so well that one of us would be eating a snack and the other would answer a recruiter’s question for the both of us.

Worst Part: Trying to remember the different organizations after Round Robin. I remember talking with my Rho Gamma group and them saying things like, “I had the best conversation with a woman in PiPhi!” and “The decorations in DG were so cute,” but all I could muster was something along the lines of, “One of the rooms had Insomnia cookies and they let me take two.”

Being a Recruiter:

Because I wanted to be part of choosing my organization’s next class of new members (which would include my future little), I was a recruiter my junior year. We had training sessions where we learned what we needed to wear, tips on good things to talk about, and my sisters and I were put into smaller groups so we could easily meet more people.

What is a Recruiter? Recruiters are the girls chosen to represent their organizations “in the room” during each day of recruitment. We have trainings to prepare us, arrive early to decorate our rooms, and set up snacks. I felt prepared going into the room the morning of Round Robin, but I have never been more exhausted. Meeting girl after girl with only small snack breaks in between was rough, but our collective group exhaustion bonded us all together. As with being a PNM, as the rounds got longer, and we got to sit more, it became a lot easier. The conversations went from simple questions about hometowns and majors to discussing our passions and goals, and we got to give the girls more information about our organization.

Best Part: I loved meeting all of the potential new members and having fantastic conversations with a lot of wonderful ladies! Even though some of them didn’t end up in my organization, that just means that I have more friends in the Panhellenic community!

Worst Part: High heels. 7 hours. Enough said.

Being a Rho Gamma:

I’d been a PNM, I’d been a recruiter, and as the spring semester came to a close, I had to decide how I wanted to be a part of recruitment my senior year. My big had been a Rho Gamma and she highly recommended the position to me. An application and an interview later, I had been chosen. I didn’t know what to expect, but I had a great Rho Gamma when I went through the process, so I knew I wanted to be as kind, understanding, and encouraging as she was.

What is a Rho Gamma? Rho Gammas act as unbiased guides for potential new members as they go through the recruitment process. We’re given a group of young women (the number depends on how many women sign up for recruitment divided by how many Rho Gammas there are) that we meet the night of orientation, and we’re there for them through all of the different emotions that they experience as the process goes on. Before recruitment started, we all picked decorating themes so that our PNMs would have cute name tags to wear throughout the process (my theme was One Direction, which coincidentally allowed me to wear a 1D onesie on pajama day). In terms of what we do day of, we get our PNMs ready to go through the different rounds of recruitment before we head to stand outside of the different organizations to take attendance and make sure the PNMs know where they’re going.

Best Part: I can’t choose just one so I’m going to choose two, the first being meeting so many different people in the Panhellenic community. All of the Rho Gammas were put into groups with women from organizations that are not our own, and my group was filled with incredible women. We had so much fun sitting outside the room together and getting to know each other. My second favorite part would have to be seeing the look on all of the ladies’ faces as they went from potential new member to new member when they got their bids.

Worst Part: Not being able to see my sisters! In order to effectively be an unbiased member of the Panhellenic community, Rho Gammas not only had to make all of our social media private to hide any evidence of what organizations we were in, we also had to be disaffiliated from our organizations. We couldn’t be seen in public with anyone from our organizations from mid August until Bid Day. However, the rules were a little different for me because I live in my organization’s penthouse in one of the dorms with six other sisters.

We hope this peak into NYU’s sororities and the recruitment process gave you a better idea of what Greek Life is like at NYU.

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