Being in university is all about trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone. For most, you are now on your own, exercising the feeling of independence. For others, it is a fresh start with new people. Whether it’s your first year, second year or third year, trying new things is an ongoing process at university. One of the new things you may try is joining a sorority. At the University of Toronto, joining one of our 7 amazing sororities is a different experience but a rewarding one. Let me take you through the steps of the seemingly scary but realistically, easy parts of sorority recruitment at The University of Toronto!
One important thing to keep in mind is that sorority recruitment at The University of Toronto is different than Texas State, UCLA, or UBC, our recruitment process and greek life are much different to these greek life revolving schools. Texas State and UCLA are just a few school that have huge greek life with sorority pledge classes of 75 ladies. The University of Toronto’s greek life is more personal.
Days Leading up to Recruitment
First thing is first, you have signed up for sorority recruitment at The University of Toronto. Following your sign up, you’ll receive an email from our panhellenic VP Recruitment welcoming you to the entire process. If at any point you are worried about something or have any questions, the panhellenic VP Recruitment is one of your main sources of contact. Following her, anyone else on the council would be more than happy to help you whether that’s President, VP Communications, VP Programming, VP Operations or VP Finance.
We encourage you to check out U of T Sororities at uoftsororities.org, on Facebook and on Instagram (uoft_sororities) to find out more information the process, chapters on campus & information sessions.
From our website, you will be able to understand what our panhellenic council stands for, you’ll have links to each sorority’s website & social media platforms, and you will be able to view recruitment videos from all houses. At this point, I would suggest following U of T Sororities on all social media platforms to learn new information and find out when info sessions will be held!
Attending one of the info sessions is a great way to meet women in sororities, find out what their experience was like and get excited about recruitment!
At the info session, you can pay your $20 ICS fee which is something you have to do regardless but you can get it out of the way sooner which will save you time come recruitment weekend.
Around the time of info sessions, you should also be getting a phone call from one of our lovely Recruitment Counsellors.
These lovely RCs are women who come from a mixture of all 7 houses and they have disassociated from their house during the process to help you. The reason why they disassociate is so that they can be impartial and help you along the way. They become your main point of contact and will guide you through the process. If you are ever in doubt, nervous, thinking about dropping out of the process, also talk to your RC; they care a lot about you and are there for you!
Day 1, Round 1
Unlike what you may think, we do not just throw you into the lion’s den for recruitment.
So it’s day 1 and you arrive at the recruitment headquarters. You’re nervous and have no idea what to expect. You may be going through the process alone or with some friends, either way you’re still nervous. Don’t worry, our process does not leave you alone or in the dark.
On day 1, I would recommend keeping it comfortable and casual in terms of clothes.
You will be doing a bit of walking so keep that in mind. For day 1, at the recruitment HQ, you will pay your $20 ICS fee then you will be placed in a group. In your group, you will meet other potential new members, or PNMs for short, and your RCs. On day 1, you are with your RC all day. At recruitment HQ, your RC will explain common recruitment language, go through your PNM manual, remind you of ways to remember different houses and inform you about questions you will want to ask or look out for to make informed choices. Your PNM manual is a useful tool to help you through sorority recruitment at The University of Toronto.
In it, you will find dues for each chapter, location of each chapter, common recruitment language , and much more.
Your RC will also go over rules for the recruitment process like no dirty rushing or talking about houses between rounds. The talking rule may seem harsh but it isn’t because we want you to be silent but it is because we don’t want potential negative attitudes to sway or alter choices for other women. Your RC will also remind you to be respectful of the ladies in each house, you may not get along with everyone that you meet but that one experience does not mean that all the women in that given house are terrible or fit a specific stereotype. Remember, the members in each house are nervous & really want to make a good impression on you.
You finish up at HQ and proceed to head over to round 1 at your first party.
Your RC will be there showing you exactly where to go and when. There is also RCs positioned at different locations on campus, just in case you get a little lost. Round 1 is split up into 7 parties, where you visit all 7 sorority houses we have on campus. You must visit all 7 houses in order to continue the recruitment process, this is so that we can ensure that you are giving each house a try and making the best decision possible for you. If you have a conflict, talk to your RC, the VP Recruitment for the Panhellenic Council or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For round 1, each party lasts 20 minutes long with a 15-20 minute break between each party.
At each chapter house, you will get to meet some of the women in the chapter. The first day always feels like the longest because you are meeting a bunch of new people and you may some repeat conversations like people asking you your name, year, major, etc. The houses are trying to get to know you, do not be alarmed by the lack of deep conversation, time is limited & ladies want to get as much information about you so they can remember you. Since the day is quite long and may be a blur, in your PNM manual there is space by the name of every house, it is really good to jot down notes about each house as you visit them so making your decisions can be easier at the end of day 1.
Once your group has completed all 7 parties for the day, you will head back to recruitment HQ to make your selections.
Selections happens in silence, again so that no one is influencing another person’s decision. During this time, you will log onto ICS which is a system that our panhellenic council uses for selections. At least time ranking does not necessarily matter except for the bottom 2 houses you chose. The top 5 houses you select do not require to be in order, however your bottom 2 need to be in order of 1 being I like it more & 2 being I like it least. At this time, your RC will remind you to keep an open mind and look out for a email regarding your schedule for the next day.
Day 2, Round 2
Look at you, you did it! You came back to continue your recruitment journey!
For today’s look you want to keep it business casual but still dress to your comfortable level. In the morning of day 2, you will receive an email from ICS about what houses you will be returning to for day 2. You have the potential to visit up to 5 houses but not necessarily that much. You’ll start your day with everyone meeting at recruitment HQ, from there you will break off in groups based on what house you will be visiting first. You may not be with your RC for most of the day but if you have any concerns or questions, feel free to call or message them.
Rounds for day 2 are 45 minutes long each but at this point, you want to get to know the ladies in the house better.
During this round, you will get a house tour, philanthropy presentation and finance presentation per house. This is where you want to be engaged and ask any questions you might have. Get to know the ladies on a realer level and make serious inquiries about the financial obligation so you can make informed choices when selecting your top 2 houses.
As you move on throughout the day, you will notice RCs spread out around campus taking you to each house and helping you if you get lost or have questions.
Once you have completed visiting all of your houses for the day, head back to recruitment HQ to make your selections. At this point, you will be choosing your top 2 houses in no order and ranking your bottom houses in order from maybe being 1 to no being a higher number.
Go home and rest up because day 3 is a longer & more exciting day!
Day 3, Round 3
You made it! It’s the final day of recruitment!
For today’s look, you want to again keep it business casual but a bit more dressy. Note: if you are commuting, bring a change of clothes for Bid Day since that is more casual! For day 3, you will be meeting at recruitment HQ again. By now, you will have received another ICS email informing you about what house or houses you will be visiting. You may be visiting up to 2 houses, if you are not, don’t be alarmed just try to really enjoy that house.
At recruitment HQ, you will break into groups for the houses that you are going to visit and you will proceed to your first house. If you are only visiting 1 house, you will return back to recruitment HQ to make your selection. If not, you will proceed to house number 2 then return to recruitment HQ following that. Be aware that parties are an hour long each. Use this time to really get to know ladies on a real level and enjoy the different preference ceremonies.
Making your final selection can be nerve-racking because this is the end of the process.
Think about it this way, you gave it your best shot and if you truly found a connection with a house, you’ll know. Make sure when you make your decision you are choosing for yourself and not to match what your friends are choosing or to match the opinions of others. This decision is for you and not a group, remember that it is you who will be committed to the house dedicating time & money. This is also why we encourage making selections in silence and not talking negatively about houses because you do not realize it but it can have an impact on someone else’s decision or experience. Once your decision is made, go home take a nap, or grab some lunch with your new PNM friends! There will be a few hours to go by before bid day!
Day 3, Bid Day
This is one of the most exciting parts of recruitment.
Some time has passed now and you have been nervous, excited and just ready to know already! You meet at a designated location; this year it was the East Commons Room in Hart House. Music is blasting, your RCs are excited for you and in a few minutes you will find out your home! During Bid Day, all 7 of the sororities are outside chanting and waiting for you to come down & run to your new home! Inside, the RCs are patiently waiting to reveal what house they belong to.
Moments before you receive your bid day card, the RCs are ready to do their big reveal.
All the RCs will line up and start to do their house cheers in alphabetically order. You have probably noticed by now that your RCs are wearing sweaters; this is to cover up their bid day shirts that reveal their house. AGD’s 4 RCs will start us off with their chant followed by showing off their bid day shirts, Alpha Omicron Pi will follow with their chant & reveal, then Alpha Phi, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Tri Delta, & Pi Beta Phi to finish it off! Most PNMs will have guessed the whole weekend what house their RC belongs to; now that you know, the excitement intensifies because maybe you’ll be in her house too!
Bid Day cards have begun to be handed out and we always ask that you wait till everyone has received their card in order to open it.
On a count of 3, the cards are open and now you know where you belong! You run outside to meet the rest of your sisters and receive a welcome bag with a bid day shirt & more! At this point, you head back over to your new home, get to know your new sisters and have another mini celebration!
Recruitment is one of the most intimidating processes, not because it is scary but because you want to be accepted and the thought of now being accepted is terrifying. By giving the process a chance, you are already taking such a huge step! Remember keeping an open mind and staying true to yourself are the easiest ways to thrive during sorority recruitment at The University of Toronto!
You may not have an amazing connection in every house but that’s okay! You have have doubts during the process and that’s okay too! Being in a sorority is nothing like what you would think from the outside looking in. You grow as a person, a woman, a student and gain value skills. Sisterhood is not these 4 years, it is a lifetime. It is a lifetime of friendships & connections! The best part about being in a sorority at the University of Toronto is that you are not limited to just your house but you will have bonds with women in other houses too!
What else do you want to know about sorority recruitment at The University of Toronto? Comment below!
Featured photo source: weheartit.com and pinterest.com
Hi my name is Danika and I am a second year U of T student doing a double major in Indigenous Studies & Philosophy with a minor in Spanish. I am an avid traveler who's lucky to call Toronto & Croatia home. When my school isn't taking over my life, I do my best to get involved in U of T's many communities whether that be student politics for my college Woodsworth or campus Greek life as I am in a sorority. Journalism has always sparked my interest and what better way to enhance my university experience than to enhance yours. Keep updated about campus life with all the tips, tricks and new ways to view U of T!