Sorority recruitment is a huge deal at most southern universities. The summer before your freshman year in college is crucial time to prep for recruitment. You must create “the packet” and if you graduated from a small private school in the south then you know exactly what I’m talking about. In this packet you include your resume, a few glamour shots of various types, a letter requesting letters of recommendation from alumni, and thank you notes to the writers of your recs. When you arrive a week early at school in the fall, hell week begins. You have just settled down in your shoe box of your new freshman dorm and are quickly discussing game between your new roommate and a few other girls who live on the same floor as you. As you lay in your tiny twin bed, looking up at your bare walls that will soon be plastered with your sorority letters, you imagine your round one outfit and pray that no other girl in your rho gamma group will be wearing the same patterned shorts as you so you can stand out to all of the chapters. Get ready for sorority recruitment at Texas Christian University!
At TCU, you wake up bright and early on the first day of recruitment and hike over to the Schollmaier Arena and find your group and your rho gamma. Once everyone has come in and all is accounted for, the Panhellenic Exec board gets up and goes over what your day will look like. You stay in the group you have been assigned for the first two days as you go to all 12 chapters (now 13 as we added Phi Mu this past fall). You are given two t-shirts that you are required to wear the first two days with any type of shorts or skirt and then any type of shoes (although this year we were required to wear closed toed shoes to the Greek due to the construction of our new Greek houses).
Finally, you trek over to the Greek and round 1 begins. You go through about six houses your first day with only small breaks and lunch. Every house is screaming their chants and telling you to “go kappa” or “be a tri delta” or that their sorority is the best. Every house you enter, you realize that your personal space bubble is going to be popped. You’re not allowed to touch anyone in each house, very awkward, and they sit right in front of you kneeling screaming because of the boom of the chants and other conversations are drowning out your own voice. They offer you a water because it is actually over 100 degrees outside and you better chug it while the member in front of you speaks or you’ll regret it. Unfortunately, if you’re a germaphobe, this little piece of advice isn’t going to make you too happy, but that little glass of fruit water they have just handed you has not been washed from the previous five or six girls that have had it before you and the straws are usually just turned upside down.
Hey, each house only has a few minutes to gather themselves before they open their doors and welcome you into their homes, cut them some slack and pray you don’t get mono. You have only seen half of the houses but you are starting to form opinions on which houses you enjoyed and which girls you connected with. Overall the first day is a blur of screaming girls, patterned shorts, and lack of personal space. You are not allowed to discuss recruitment with anyone but your rho gamma but of course you have to tell your roommate all the houses you saw and all the ones you liked or disliked before passing out from exhaustion and realizing tomorrow you’re going to have to do it all again.
Round 1 continued
It is the second day of rush, but it is still the first round. You go through the remaining houses and hear more screaming and drink more fruity water and wear more patterned shorts with your terrible Panhellenic t-shirt (ps. it’s not comfort colors. Disappointing I know.) This day is basically déjà vu of yesterday but with different Greek letters being yelled at you. After you finish touring your last house, you go back to the basketball arena and rank your favorite 9 houses that you absolutely want to see again and then rank the three you do not want to return to. Tomorrow is the first day you get your own personalized schedule so its game time now. Tomorrow is also the first day you get to pick out your full outfit, be careful, make sure you’re comfortable but also make sure you look like a movie star because most girls at TCU do on a regular basis.
Round 2: Philanthropy Round
Today is the day you finally receive your own personalized schedule and have officially been cut from some houses, or you have a full schedule which is sort of unlikely, but those movie star girls (aka cheerleaders and showgirls) usually never get cut. IT IS OK IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A FULL SCHEDULE! I cannot stress this enough! Do not feel bad and think that the houses didn’t like you because that really isn’t the case! You are just one step closer to knowing which house you are meant to be in. This is usually the day when the tears start as some girls who were legacy’s to houses have been cut and grade cuts have also been made. It seems like the end of the world when you get your teeny tiny little piece of paper with those 9 spaces and more are empty than you thought or you don’t see the letters you were hoping for.
It broke my heart to see that some houses I really loved had not felt the same way about me, but as they say you just have to “trust the process.” They’re right. In the end you will end up where you belong even if you don’t see it at first. Anyways, this is the round where you better have your resume memorized as you are talking about service. Each house tells you about their philanthropy and how passionate they are about it. Some houses have girls who have been personally affected by the organization they support and will get up and speak. It is incredibly moving to find a philanthropy you care about or have been affected by and see these incredible women who are so passionate about service.
This day usually isn’t as long as the other two as you have more breaks usually. This is also the day were connections are really formed. The conversations are not just “what year are you?” “what’s your major?” “where are you from?” but are actually questions geared towards you and your high school experience. Now is the time to dazzle the the girl kneeling before you with all the community service you did in high school and how their philanthropy interests you. Make every word count as the rounds are very short even though sometimes they seem longer. After you have visited all of your houses for the day you return to the arena and again make your selections for the day. You can have 6 houses at max, meaning you can cut up to 3 if you had a full schedule. If you didn’t have a full schedule, you must fill in all 6 mandatory spaces and can cut however many you have past 6.
Round 3: Leadership Round
You can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! This is the second to last day of recruitment and by now you are probably starting to really be in love with about two or three houses. This is totally normal, but don’t forget you can only be in one. This day used to be called skit round and the houses would put on little performances for you, which were actually really fun and a huge stress reliever in my opinion. When I was a freshman, my sorority put on Legally Blonde, and I laughed the entire time and felt so comfortable in doing so. I know now that that was a big sign that I was meant to be in my sorority.
You want to feel comfortable in your house; you don’t want to feel any judgment what so ever. Now, since we no longer do skits, you get to sit and chit chat for quite awhile on qualities you want in a sorority and any type of leadership positions you have ever held. The conversations are even more serious this day as the houses are really trying to decide who they want to take into pref round. As you’ve done the past two days, when you finish out your schedule you must trek on over to the basketball arena and make your selections. You can only write down 3 this time if you had a full schedule of 6 and if not you must write down as many houses as you had on your schedule and can cut past 3.
Round 4: Pref Round
The last day of recruitment, yay! Tomorrow is bid day and the day you will be running into your sister’s arms! I’m getting chills just writing this out. On pref round you want to look your absolute best. No sweet skirts or sundresses, we’re talking cocktail dresses and high heels. All the houses are dressed up as well and take this round very seriously. During this round each house shares with you something incredibly special about their chapter. I will be 100% honest, I cried during pref in 2 different houses because the sweet rituals they shared with us were so beautiful. These rounds are about 40 minutes and very serious. You are given an amazing ore drink usually and in some houses you are given a token of the chapter to hold. In my sorority I was given a small pearl on a ribbon that I was allowed to hold throughout the ceremony. There’s really no way to prepare you for the conversations you have this day because each conversation is different.
The one piece of advice I cannot stress enough is this though: if you truly love a house, let them know! If you know deep in your heart that you have found your home let that house know so that they can return the favor and give you a bid! This isn’t a guaranteed way to get a bid, but if they are on the fence about giving you a bid and you tell them this then it helps them decide. After you have preffed all of the houses on your schedule you go and sign a super official document that binds you to the chapter you receive a bid from if you accept it. You write down all of the houses you would want a bid from. Write down all the houses you preffed, you have a higher chance of getting a bid. DO NOT SUICIDE A HOUSE. I don’t care if the girl looked you in the eyes and swore that you’re getting a bid, unfortunately it isn’t her decision! Don’t just write down one house unless that’s all you have left on your schedule; it messes up the whole system if you suicide a house and you could end up getting a call on bid day from your rho gamma saying that there wasn’t a bid for you, so please please PLEASE write down all the houses you have on your schedule.
The day you thought you’d never see has arrived! You have made it through hell! All you need to do today is put on your white t-shirt and some shorts and head on over to the BLUU ballroom where you will be given an envelope that has your future home on it. The worst part is that they make you sit on it for literally 20 minutes and the anticipation might just kill you. All of the rho gammas are allowed to re-affiliate with their houses and you learn which house yours was in. Finally, the time has come and you are allowed to rip open that manila envelope and pull out your small white card that reads those letters you were dying to see. Once you find out your sorority you are set loose to run to your sisters in the commons and find your name on a cute poster and receive your very first sorority t-shirt. The rest of the day is full of pictures, sisters, laughs, and GLITTER. Get ready for all the glitter and welcome to the sorority life!
Are you ready for sorority recruitment at Texas Christian University? Comment below.
Featured photo source: weheartit.com
TCU '19 // alpha chi // dallas