To the shock of friends, family and just about everyone who knows me; this past spring I decided I was going to rush. Knowing next to nothing about Greek Life or sororities in general, besides clichés I saw in movies, I went into recruitment blind. As someone who’s on the other side of recruitment this year I can’t help but think about things I wished someone had told me before I decided to rush. So I present to you a basic overview of what SJU sorority recruitment entails; common Greek Life terms, which are italicized; and general things you should know, coming from someone who was in your position not too long ago.
1. Recruitment Weekend
Recruitment at SJU is slightly different in the respect that normally during the first night of recruitment, sororities hold what is known as “open houses,” but since our school doesn’t have a Greek Row it’s held someplace like Marillac Auditorium.
Rounds are different days during recruitment, which usually start on Friday and end on Sunday. There are 3 rounds of recruitment at St. John’s, unlike other schools that have a full week of recruitment. Each round focuses on a different topic, like Round 2 which is Philanthropy Day; and at the end of each round, before you leave, you rank each sorority and each sorority ranks you. PNM’s or Potential New Members (that’s you!) will be assigned a group with a Rho Gamma or Rho Gam who serves as your guide throughout the process.
3. PNM’s Are A Lot Like Animals In A Shelter
In the sense that you’ll continuously hear that Panhel is there to help you “find your forever home.” Which reminds me…
4. “Trust The Process”
You will be told to “trust the process” multiple times from a bunch of different people; which sounds like a bunch of BS, but in the end it really does work. (Don’t worry, I was skeptic as well.)
5. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE OR CAN BORROW A DRESS OR SKIRT
I cannot emphasize this enough! The first two rounds are more casual, so for people like me that absolutely despise wearing dresses/skirts you can wear jeans and a cute dressy top. The third round is a little fancier and most people wear a chic, trendy, fashionable dress. DO NOT make the same mistake I made and show up looking like pre-makeover Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada.
6. Round 1: Speed Dating
The first night is basically like speed dating. During each round, you go from room to room visiting with each sorority, chatting with sister to sister, answering the basic questions: where are you from, what’s your major, why did you decide to rush etc. for only a few minutes.
Each sorority sees hundreds of girls a day, thus it’s important you make an impression, which is why I suggest…
7. Prepare What You Want To Say Beforehand
You don’t want to end up being that girl that talks about the weather. Remember, just like how at the end of the night you rate how much you liked them, they’re also rating you! Rule of thumb: treat this like you would an interview. You wouldn’t ask your potential employer how much they party, so don’t ask a sister how many lit parties they attend; they’ll be sure to remember you but not for a good reason.
8. No Talking In The Hallway
When you’re waiting in the hallway outside the room JUST BE QUIET! Seriously just follow the rules and don’t talk. Don’t be that person that makes a Rho Gamma scream at everyone from a megaphone to be quiet.
9. Inside The Rooms
When the doors first open, expect to be greeted with a cross between a stampede and if Justin Bieber just walked into a room of teenage girls. You’re going to see what appears to be a whole group of girls coming at you while yelling and cheering. Remember it might be overwhelming at first but each sister is excited to meet and get to know you and wants to spend time with you.
10. You Will Lose All Feeling In Your Cheeks By The End Of The Night
Be prepared for your cheeks to hurt from smiling so much. For those of you that suffer from RBF, such as myself, I suggest you practice smiling before so you don’t end up looking like this.
11. Round 2: Congratulations! You Have A Match!
The second round is basically like a second date, which focuses more on each sorority’s philanthropy, moto, traditions and values. Usually each sorority will show a presentation and/or their recruitment video to further highlight the special bond each sisterhood has. Unlike round 1 you won’t get to visit all the rooms, just the ones that you matched with.
12. Round 3: End Of The Road
On the last round you most likely have between 2 to 3 rooms to visit that day. It’s the shortest of all the days, but also the most important, as you’re visiting with the girls for the last time before you find out if you got a bid or not. Introductions are out of the way and you get to talk more with sisters you’ve found a connection with. Express any doubts you may have with them and ask them any final questions.
13. Bid Day
After recruitment you should get an email telling you if you received a bid and where to report to. While you don’t know who the bid is from, you don’t have to accept it. If you accept your bid, wear something like what you wore during the first 2 rounds, as there will be A LOT of pictures.