5 Things I Learned as a Sorority Recruitment Counselor

It's that time of year again! It's the time of singing and chants and thousands of sorority women. Yes, I am referring to the sorority recruitment process. Many colleges participate in a formal recruitment process, and for the girls here at UO, it’s the biggest event of the year. In recent years, there’s been close to 1,000 women who all come together to go on a personal journey. They learn about values, sisterhood, and go through a week-long process with the hope of joining one of 12 amazing chapters they will get to call home. I have done this process, twice. The process is very overwhelming and is not for everyone (there’s no need to feel bad about that). Being a freshman is confusing enough on its own, and recruitment can be a very confusing process as well. That's where the recruitment counselors come in, otherwise known as Rho Gammas. This year, I was one of them. Here’s what I learned.

  1. You quickly find that you can run on no sleep and Emergen-C packets I’m not sure how long the formal recruitment process is at other schools around the country, but here, recruitment is seven days long. That means six days of hard work and the seventh day is where you run home. Throughout the seven days, you don’t get much sleep, and that’s totally ok now that someone invented drinkable vitamin C that keeps you healthy for the time being. Seriously, they are life savers!

  2. Being a therapist comes with the job description When helping hundreds of young women go through the recruitment process, you get to hear about all of their feelings, good and bad. More often than not, they just want to vent and explain how they feel to someone who is unbiased. Other times, you have to guide the conversation, reel them back into a happy place, or think about things realistically.

  3. Teamwork makes the dream work As a recruitment counselor, you tend to work with a partner or a small group of counselors. This makes leading the women through the process a bit easier, as you can delegate responsibilities. Although, when your group of counselors does not back you up, it can make things harder, such as when one rho gamma is a strong leader and the other rho gammas are letting people break rules. One bad cop to three good cops does not go over very well with people.

  4. Sometimes it's okay to be the bad cop During the recruitment process, you will have to listen to women to talk about chapters (houses) that they do not like. Of course, one they do not like will be your chapter. It is totally ok for a woman to not be a fan of one chapter one day, but if they begin to be rude or disrespectful to others, you can stop them. It is ok to let women know they are crossing a line, and if they cannot be respectful to everyone, they should reevaluate why they are in the recruitment process. The Greek community is truly a community, and everyone is there for one another. We as women need to build each other up, not tear each other apart. Conflict is not my strong suit, and recruitment taught me how to be a confident leader.

  5. You can't make everyone happy It's just not possible. In reference to the lesson above, not everyone will be thrilled with the chapters they are placed into. What I learned is that there is only so much convincing you can try and do. At the end of the day, if the woman is not happy at all and is not willing to give any chapter a chance, they are not a good fit for the community at the moment. They might be a good fit later on, but let them have some time to figure themselves out first. Sometimes you can convince some women to stay and try it out for a while longer if they are unsure, and for others, they just need a break.  I had to take a year to myself before joining the Greek community and it was the best choice for me.

After this entire process, I learned that I can pretty much handle anything that comes my way.