What to Expect From Panhellenic Sorority Spring Recruitment

It’s almost that time of year again! The Panhellenic council and the Panhellenic sororities are getting ready to start spring recruitment. If you’re interested in joining a sorority but don’t know where to start, don’t worry, you’re not aloneeveryone is confused in the beginning. To help you get started, I asked Erica Warfield, the Panhellenic Director of Recruitment, to answer some of the most common questions that potential new members (often referred to as PNMs) have each year:

What are the different sororities that PNMs can join?

There are four sororities participating in Panhellenic Recruitment 2016: Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, and Kappa Alpha Theta.  Lambda Pi Chi Sorority Inc. has a different recruiting process, and interested women should look out for their information session at the end of January.

What is spring recruitment? What should I expect?

Spring recruitment is a 3-day process during which female-identifying students have the chance to meet sisters from each Panhellenic sorority and determine if Greek life may be a good fit for them.  Recruitment will take place between January 27th and January 31st, 2016.  Potential new members will attend “open parties” on either Wednesday or Thursday, Philanthropy Night on Friday, and Preference Night on Saturday.  Please see below for more information:

  • The first day of recruitment consists of a brief orientation session followed by a series of “open parties.”  Potential new members will spend approximately 45 minutes with each sorority conversing with sisters and getting to know the chapter.

  • The second night of recruitment is known as “Philanthropy Night” and each sorority will share a bit about its philanthropy, its values, and the events it holds throughout the year.

  • The final night of recruitment is called “Preference Night.”  This is a special night because the sororities will share a piece of their ritual with the PNMs.

  • Following the three nights of recruitment is “Bid Day!”  Potential new members will find out which sorority they have been invited to join, and this day generally includes a celebration with the members of that chapter.

How does the sorting process work?

Following each night of recruitment, potential new members will be asked to rank the sororities in order of preference.  Based on the PNM’s preferences and each sorority’s preferences, PNMs will be invited back to a maximum of three sororities on the second night, a maximum of two sororities on the last night and may only receive a bid from one. Panhellenic recruitment at Tufts follows what is called the “Generally Assured Bid System,” which means that if a PNM maximizes her options by attending all of the events she is invited to, she is guaranteed to receive a bid from a sorority.  If a PNM decides she does not want to attend events at a particular sorority, she will no longer be guaranteed a bid.  

Is there also fall recruitment?

It depends!  Chapters will generally recruit in the fall semester (sophomores and up) if their total membership falls below the campus average. Therefore, whether fall recruitment takes place varies by semester, and not every chapter will participate.

How do I sign up?

Follow this link and sign up by January 24th: http://www.icsrecruiter.com/webservices/appMain_pan.aspx?UID=TFTUNV&mode=enrollment

What are important dates I should know?

Sign-ups for recruitment close on Sunday, January 24th. Formal recruitment will take place between Wednesday, January 27th and Sunday, January 31st. Potential new members will attend open parties either Wednesday or Thursday, Philanthropy Night on Friday, Preference Night on Saturday, and Bid Day on Sunday.

What are important terms I should know?

Panhellenic sororities are those that fall under the National Panhellenic Conference.  On Tufts campus, these sororities are governed by the Panhellenic Council.  The Panhellenic Council consists of women from each of the sororities, who work together to organize recruitment, develop programming for all Greek women, and discuss issues in and improvements to our community.

A Potential New Member (PNM) is someone who is signed up to go through the recruitment process.  After receiving a bid and before initiation, you will be referred to as a New Member.

To facilitate the recruitment process, women for each of the Panhellenic sororities have disaffiliated from their chapters to serve as “Rho Gammas.”  PNMs will be divided into Rho Gamma groups at the start of recruitment with two Rho Gamma leaders.  These women will serve as neutral guides and are available to address any questions or concerns you may have throughout the week.  On Bid Day, their sorority affiliations will be revealed to you.

How much does it cost? Is there any kind of financial aid?

There is no cost to go through the recruitment process, so I would encourage everyone interested to do it! However, there are costs associated with joining the chapters themselves, which will be outlined in further detail during recruitment week.  Most chapters range between $200-$500 per semester, with exceptions for abroad sisters and sometimes seniors.  Don’t let these numbers scare you, many chapters offer payment plans and scholarships to help manage the costs.

I have classes during the first dayscan I still join a sorority?

Yes!  We completely understand if potential new members have other commitments (i.e. class, practice, club, etc.).  If this is the case, just tell your Rho Gamma about the conflict, and we will make sure you are excused.

I don’t know anyone in sororities, is that okay?

Absolutely.  Recruitment is your opportunity to meet sisters from each chapter and other women interested in Greek life to figure out if joining a sorority is right for you.

What does being in a Panhellenic sorority entail?

Being in a Panhellenic sorority means meeting a whole new group of people on campus, having a constant support system, and always having a friend in the dining hall!  Many sorority women speak about how sisters’ leadership positions, passions, academic excellence, and career goals inspire each other to be the best version of themselves at Tufts and beyond. In terms of time commitment, most chapters require sisters to attend their philanthropy events, weekly chapter meetings, and recruitment events.  There are a ton of other events like bonding nights, study hours, and social functions, but they are not required.

Do I have to live in the house?

Living in the sorority house can be a great experience, but members are by no means obligated to do so.  In some cases, members with executive board positions may be asked to live in the house, but general members are not required.

What are your favorite things about being in a sorority?

Being in a sorority and in the Greek community as a whole has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people on campus who I likely wouldn’t know otherwise.  Greek women come from almost every major and are involved all around campus, so you feel like you know people everywhere!

What happened to AGD?

We really enjoyed getting to know Alpha Gamma Delta this past fall, and they were able to connect with a group of wonderful Tufts women interested in being a part of its sisterhood. However, they felt that the short amount of time in the Tufts community and the inability to recruit interested freshman prevented them from creating a successful chapter prior to formal recruitment 2016. Currently under the Panhellenic-approved, revised timeline, Alpha Gamma Delta will return to campus in the fall semester of 2016, and begin recruiting new members in spring of 2017.

Here is a message from Alpha Gamma Delta Headquarters for more information:

“Alpha Gamma Delta’s International Council and staff have been working closely with Tufts University and Tufts Panhellenic Council regarding campus readiness for extension and an updated timeline for our extension efforts on campus. While we were on campus earlier this semester, we found a group of wonderful women interested in joining Alpha Gamma Delta. However, a majority of the interested women were freshmen, who are not able to join Greek Life until spring 2016. At the time, this hindered us from gaining a large enough pool of women to create a successful new chapter for the upcoming spring 2016 Formal Recruitment.

Alpha Gamma Delta is excited to join the Tufts community. Our extension efforts will begin in fall 2016 and will focus on spreading awareness of Alpha Gamma Delta and the process around establishing a new chapter on campus. In spring 2017, we will join Alpha Phi, Alpha Omicron Pi, Chi Omega and Kappa Alpha Theta in Formal Recruitment. Delaying our extension efforts will give us the same visibility as other established chapters on campus and allow us to recruit a similar size chapter. In agreement with Panhellenic Council, moving the timeline back will enable the Tufts community to prepare for a successful new chapter to be established. The partnerships we have created and will continue to build within the Tufts Panhellenic community will be invaluable as we work to bring Alpha Gamma Delta to Tufts University. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Jaimie Ware, Extension Manager, at [email protected].”

Where can I get more information about recruitment or about the individual sororities?

For more information about recruitment, please see the Tufts Panhellenic Council Facebook page, where we will feature updates and FAQs.  Each sorority also has its own social media presence, so feel free to check that out!