UMass Amherst recruitment advice coming at you live from a former recruitment chair. Here is the ultimate guide to sorority recruitment at UMass Amherst!
Recruitment season is the most wonderful time of the year.
Recruitment at UMass Amherst was probably one of the most exciting and terrifying things I have ever experienced on both sides. Whether you have wanted to be in a sorority since you were ten, or just curious about the thought, recruitment is the best way to figure out once and for all if Greek life is for you.
Unsure about Greek life?
Let’s not beat around the bush, UMass Amherst is huge. It’s intimidating, but it’s also a magical place full of amazingly awesome people. With so many people in such a little space, you would think making friends would be easy right? Well (sometimes) not so much; at least for me it wasn’t. If you’re a freshman or a transfer, Greek Life is a guaranteed way of having over 100 friends, and who doesn’t want that?
Being a transfer, I was coming from a small liberal arts school where everyone knew everyone else. Within my first week at UMass Amherst, I had come to the conclusion that my floor was the most anti social group of people I had ever met. Panic began to set in and I had my entire college career flash before my eyes: eating alone in the dining hall, staying in my room all day only to leave for class, and finally graduating only having no one to invite to my grad party. But all of a sudden, a beam of light showed up at my door; one of my hall mates was in a sorority and she convinced me to give recruitment a try, and the rest is history. Everyone goes through recruitment for different reasons – some for the parties, others for the philanthropy – but there are so many positives to Greek Life that they far outweigh any negatives.
Greek life gives you the opportunity to always have new friends. When you join a sorority, you’re not just joining one organization, but a network of sororities and fraternities. Not only are you joining a community, but a sorority gives you the opportunity to gain more friends within your organization every bid day. Your friend network is constantly expanding, and your professional network expands with it.
Philanthropy is amazing.
When we are at college, we are slaving away to earn our degrees, but it’s so nice to just take a step back and help organizations that you’re passionate about. Philanthropy events from other sorority and fraternities nine out of ten times will include an all-you-can-eat food event. Hey, if me stuffing my face means I’m helping someone else, bring on the food.
Greek Life is a great way to gain important life skills. There are positions such as sisterhood, philanthropy, finance, public relations, Panhellenic Council, and so on. It’s pretty much impossible for your sorority not to have a position that interests you. Not to mention that these positions look good on a resume, so you can get that money in the future.
The Information Session is a day when you will hear from every sorority’s recruitment chair and get a brief summary of every chapter on campus. After you will get 45 minutes to make your way around the room and talk to each sorority. My advice is to make it to every sorority’s booth and to keep an open mind. For this day, keep it casual yet classy.
Philanthropy Day is split up into two days. This is the first and only day you will meet every chapter on campus, so this is your day to shine! Make a good first impression. This means dressing like you’re going to an interview for a major fashion magazine.
Pro tip: you will be walking a lot, so only wear heels if you are comfortable walking long distances in them.
At the end of the second day you will meet with your Rho Gamma and rate each chapter from first to last. This is a mutual selection process, so you may be going to a house that you put last on your list, but keep an open mind! It’s hard to judge an entire house based on talking to one or two sisters for less than 30 minutes. Just sit back, relax, and go with the flow. Trust the process.
Sisterhood Day is important for both you and each chapter. This is the day where each chapter will show you who they are and girl, it’s time to show them who you are. Be unique and show your own style with your outfit; keep it appropriate, but put your own spin on it.
Depending upon if you are going to a housed or unhoused chapter, you’re going to want to wear shorts. All of the houses on campus have stairs and it’s not the best impression to flash your you know what when you’re on a house tour. Because you’re going to less houses by this day, it’s time to break out those heels. Wedges are great for house tours and make you look put together!
Preference Night is the finish line. This night you have one or two chapters left. These chapters will share a ceremony with you, and you will talk to a sister whom you have a connection with and you will meet with your Rho Gamma one last time to decide what chapter you would like to become a part of. I suggest bringing your A game – cocktail dresses, heels, pearls, the works. You want to convince your first choice to give you a bid, and your outfit is the first thing that tells them “I belong here.”
Congrats girl – you made it! Make sure to wear jeans or shorts and a tank top so that your very own bid day shirt can go over it. This will be the best day of your life, and you get to meet your new member class as well as be a part of a sisterhood full of awesome girls.
Recruitment Tips And Tricks
In order to get to bid day, here are some tips and tricks to master the art of recruitment in September.
What You Shouldn’t Do
As a PNM (potential new member) your job is to be yourself, but also present yourself in the best light possible. With that being said, there are some conversation topics that will make things very awkward, very quickly. Under any circumstance, you should not discuss parties, sex, other sororities (it comes off as rude), or hazing (UMass Amherst has a strict no-hazing policy, so talking about hazing gets awkward and is a stereotype we are trying to fight against!).
Other Things To Avoid
Do not be rude! It seems like a given, but every year there is a girl who rubs a sister the wrong way. Don’t let this be you. If you do not want to be there, make sure the sister does not know it. Some houses aren’t for you, and that’s okay! But keep in mind, every chapter is looking for a girl they think is going to be the best fit too. Sisters have to talk to girls they don’t vibe with all the time; just don’t let it get you down and go with the flow. You never know what could happen the week of recruitment. You could go from hating a house to loving it within ten minutes.
What You Should Do
Smile – a lot. Smiling is the best thing you can do to give off a great first impression and show you’re interested. Talk about what you’re passionate about. Sisters are going to be talking to girls all day, so tell her why you chose your major, and what makes you, you. Getting personal is the best way to stand out. What makes you unique? All of your quirks, favorite foods, and weird and funny encounters are great ways to make your conversation colorful and interesting for both parties. Try and find a common interest with the sister you’re talking to. Ask her about herself; why did she join her chapter? What’s her major and what’s her favorite song? These things will make small talk turn into a deep conversation that the sister will be guaranteed to remember. If you are in a dull conversation, the best way to liven it up is talking about her chapter, get more information and study up! It’s a great way to transition into other topics as well.
Aside from the excessive amounts of talking you have to do each day, recruitment can be a roller coaster of emotions. Here’s some advice to get you through.
Use your Rho Gamma.
A Rho Gamma is a member of one of the seven chapters on campus, but has been temporarily disaffiliated to give you an unbiased viewpoint. She is there to guide you through the process and, if you are questioning your decisions or need an extra push to commit to a house, she’s the one you should turn to. Rumors spread like wildfire during recruitment; it’s in your best interest not to listen to them; 99% of the time they are false. Listen to your heart instead; rumors can get in the way of where you truly belong.
Receiving a bid is not always guaranteed.
The recruitment process is all about trying to get every girl paired with a house, but some fall through the cracks. If this happens to you, it’s okay. This fall we have a sorority – Tri Sigma – colonizing, and you will be able to get to know them at info. day. If you do not receive a bid, you can go through informal with Tri Sig and see what happens. Some sororities also recruit in the spring as well. If you feel Greek life is truly for you, there is always a plan B!
Everyone’s recruitment experience is different.
Some fall in love with a chapter on the first day; for others it takes until bid day to fall in love. The biggest piece of advice I can give is trust the process. In the recruitment world, everything happens for a reason, and you will find the house that you belong in. Just keep an open mind and focus on what you are looking for; this is the one week where you are doing something amazing for yourself. Feel out each house and the rest will fall into place.
And here is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Below is information on each individual chapter on campus.
Alpha Chi Omega
Alpha Epsilon Phi
Iota Gamma Upsilon
Kappa Kappa Gamma
Sigma Delta Tau
Sigma Sigma Sigma