It probably isn’t news that Greek Life at Clemson is extremely prevalent – on Bid Day, you’ll run down the hill to 1 of 13 super awesome chapters and even more people watching around Bowman Field! Formal Sorority Recruitment at Clemson University basically consumes the life of a PNM for the first 3 weeks of school. Most conversations will be peppered with rumors and anxious anticipation for the unknown and mysterious rush process — you’ll most likely be given minimal information, so here’s exactly what you’ll be going through during Rush!
Meeting Your Pi Chi Group
Surprise – another situation where you’re put with a group of complete strangers that you’re forced to get to know through awkward ice breakers! In all honesty though, having that group of girls that you semi-know will be v comforting when you have to walk into a room one at a time filled with clapping/chanting girls. After Rush Orientation, you’ll meet with your girlies and basically get a bag of free stuff and a debriefing about everything. Ask any questions you have and for heaven’s sake USE YOUR PI CHI. She’s been through it ALL and she’s an invaluable resource – tell her everything, cry in her lap, FaceTime her while you decide between outfits. Seriously.
Perhaps the most exhausting two days of rush (for both parties), your first round will seem to go on forever. Fortunately, it’s broken up into two days. For some of you, you’ll get lucky and have 6 Friday and 7 Saturday. Some of you will get stuck with 11 on one day and 2 the other. You’ll line up outside the room in order and the doors will swing wide to reveal stomping and chanting girls. You’ll talk to 3-4 girls one at a time for about 25 minutes, so be prepared to answer the same questions multiple times during rounds — What’s your major? Where are you from? What are you excited to get involved with? Answer genuinely and if possible try to steer the convo towards something more interesting. Ultimately, though, it’s the chapter member’s job to keep it going!
Round 2 – Philanthropy Round
You’ll find out Sunday morning what sororities ask you back; depending on how you voted the night before, you can have up to 9 chapters to visit during this round. On this day, you’ll still be wearing a t-shirt that’s provided to you by Panhell, so you don’t have too much to worry about clothes-wise. You go through the same process as the first round, except this time you’ll spend more time with the chapter. There might be a short video about their philanthropy and then most of the conversation will be about how they fund raise and what the charity means to them! Since everyone has different chapters and times, you’ll no longer be going around with your Pi Chi group.
It might be helpful to map out your route beforehand because it’s easy to get turned around on campus. Also, pray that it doesn’t rain, because the *I have my next round in 15 minutes* run from Hendrix to Fike will already have you rolling in lookin like a dead mouse.
Round 3 – Sisterhood Round
Arguably the longest wait in the history of your life (or at least that’s how I felt), the 5-day gap between Rounds 2 and 3 will have you #shook. You voted the night after your second round and you know that the chapters have already voted on you. The decisions have been made but you can’t find out who you still have until Friday night. This round is a bit longer than the last, and you’ll sit down for another video. This time, it’ll just be a montage of sisters having fun together!
This round is very sentimental and special to chapter members as they get to explain what the sisterhood means to them and how it’s affected their time at Clemson! For the first time, you’ll get to choose your whole outfit. They say church attire is appropriate, so a sundress or something similar is perfect. Time to whip out the wedges!
Round 4 – Pref Round
This is a lot of girls’ favorite round — by now you can see yourself really fitting in with at least one of the chapters. With 3 left, you know that they actually really like you because you’ve been asked back to the final round. This day is the most formal, but you get to sit down! You’ll spend 45 minutes talking with one chapter member, and she is probably someone you really connected with in a previous round. You’ll have a more open and honest conversation about where you at with your options. It’s okay to openly express how much you feel at home there!
Today is the day! Thousands of girls will file into Tillman Hall for a short presentation and you’ll be given an envelope that contains a Bid from your new fam! The Pi Chis will reveal their sorority and soon after, you’ll run down the hill at Bowman with your pledge class. You’ll get a shirt and a Bid Day buddy…and the rest is history! Welcome home!
Yes, it’s true – the letter shirt-clad chapter members are required to avoid conversation with you until Bid Day is over. Yes, you’ll most likely make awkward eye contact on your way to class with a girl you talked to in a round who’s in a sorority that dropped you. And yes, while it couldn’t hurt to dress a little cuter than a t-shirt and norts for class during these few weeks, don’t be worried about sororities looking at you while you chow down on stir fry at Schill.
They see thousands of girls during rounds – they can’t keep tabs on everyone! Also, be looking for a black and/or white dress if you don’t already own one. When you’re initiated about a month and a half after Bid Day, you’ll have to wear a black or white dress depending on your chapter. Lastly, don’t do too much research beforehand about the sororities. While it doesn’t hurt to check out their Instagrams once in a while, obsessing over it and trying to decide who you like and don’t like during the summer will stress you out. Just trust the process and keep an open mind…you’ll end up exactly where you’re meant to be.