It’s that time of year at UD when girls all over campus have the opportunity to register for sorority Formal Recruitment coming up in February. Formal Recruitment is the process PNMs (potential new members) go through to meet all 13 social sorority chapters at UD and find the best one for them. Maybe you’re wondering whether joining a sorority would be a good fit for you or you’re curious about the process of recruitment. This article will help explain exactly what to expect, and hopefully help you make your decision.
Registering for Formal Recruitment
Registration opened on December 3rd and is open until February 11th at 11:59 pm. This is an easy and simple process but it is required that you get it done on time, as no late registrations will be allowed. You can register at http://delaware.mycampusdirector2.com/landing?fbclid=IwAR24LBNNBuLvugVXZseOoo3JiQeU0aerFnCeIB3plFZ0Gu7TNOQk17j0dM4 . All requirements to register are listed on the registration page.
You must be a full-time student, have at least a 2.5 collegiate GPA, have completed at least 12 credits during the Fall 2018 semester, and be able to attend all recruitment events (Feb 15th-17th and 22nd-25th). You must not have already been fully initiated into any National Panhellenic Conference Organization.
There is also a $95 registration fee that pays for your t-shirt, bus transportation, facility rentals, and supplies like snacks and water that are provided for you. Please make sure you meet all the requirements and can afford the financial obligation before registering.
Orientation occurs before recruitment starts. All the PNMs will gather and be assigned their PNM number and then break off into their Rho Gamma group to go over basic information. You will also get your t-shirt, which you will wear every round except preference and bid day.
Your Rho Gammas are sorority members who temporarily disaffiliate from their sorority to help PNMs through recruitment. They can answer any questions you have at any time and will guide you through your schedules during recruitment.
After orientation, you will make a nametag that you will wear all throughout recruitment to identify you. It also has some talking points like your hometown and major. This is your chance to get creative and express yourself, but don’t worry if you’re not artistic. Mine was just a drawing of a palm tree (I used to live in Guam and love the beach) with the info on each leaf. Ask your Rho Gammas for examples and don’t sweat it too much, it’s just a talking point.
Basic Rules and Outfits
Before you go into any rounds of recruitment you should understand the basic rules.
First of all, no watches or phones. There will be assigned places for you to leave your belongings before going into rounds and you will need to leave your phone there. It is rude to check the time during rounds and certain parts of sorority rituals may be shown during rounds, especially preference round, that should remain a secret. Please leave your phone in your bag.
You should also avoid certain topics during rounds. Try not to talk about boys, partying, religion, politics, other sororities, or anything controversial or negative. Conversations should stay positive and serve as a chance for the chapters to get to know you.
Next, you want to look nice during rounds. You will be wearing your recruitment t-shirt every day, along with nice jeans or pants, and flat shoes. You should not wear ripped jeans, sweatpants, or leggings. Your shoes can be basics, like white converse or flats, but you should not wear heels except for preference round. Basic jewelry is awesome, but don’t overdo it. And remember to bring your nametag to every round.
You should put effort into your appearance but don’t worry about looking like everyone else. If you want to style your hair and put on makeup, definitely go for it, but if that’s not your thing then don’t sweat it. Just make sure you look presentable and put your best foot forward. Each sorority wants to see that you put in an effort and didn’t just roll out of bed.
For the first three rounds, you will wear pretty much the same outfit. Preference round, the final round before bid day, is more formal. For this round, think brunch or business casual. Most girls wear dresses, but you can also wear a romper, jumpsuit, or a top and skirt. Fancy or statement jewelry is acceptable and you can wear heels, but just remember that you have to walk about in them. Some quick tips: remember to wear a warm coat and send a pic to your Rho Gammas if you are unsure, they’ll steer you in the right direction.
Finally, for bid day, you can wear jeans or leggings, any shoes (I wore white converse), and a t-shirt or top that is easy to change out of because you will be receiving a t-shirt from your chapter once you get your bid.
Open House Round
Open House is the first round. During Open House, you will go around with your Rho Gamma group and visit every chapter. The chapters will jump and chant their chapter’s songs, so don’t let this freak you out. Just go with it and have fun. This round will last for 2 days and you will have short, basic conversations with many different girls. These may start to get repetitive as you introduce yourself over and over, but stay positive. I definitely recommend jotting down some notes on your phone after each round so you remember your impression of each chapter.
At the end of this round, you will rank the chapters. Your Rho Gammas will explain this process, but essentially you just need to narrow down which houses you would least like to go back to and rank those at the bottom. This is a mutual selection process, so you and the chapter each have to pick each other. Follow your gut for this, and don’t discuss your choices with others. Every person’s process is different and each girl will have a different experience.
For this round and every round moving forward, you will meet up with your Rho Gamma group and pick up your schedule. Everyone will be on different schedules so you are on your own to get from chapter to chapter, but you can go to any Rho Gamma for help if you ever need it.
This will be where you get your first round of cuts. Don’t get discouraged if you got cut by certain houses, trust the process.
Sisterhood Round has slightly longer conversations and you will get to know the personality of each sorority better. Be sure to follow your schedule, don’t miss buses, and use your breaks wisely to eat, rest, and get some homework done.
This round has longer conversations and fewer chapters, meaning that you get to know the chapters a lot better. There will be an interactive activity for you to learn about the chapter’s philanthropy and they might show you a video or explain their philanthropy events. This round will be more emotional and intense than the previous ones and should be where you start to get a feel for where you belong.
Preference Round, or Pref, is the last round before bid day and is different than all the rest. Pref is special because you will visit a maximum of 2 chapters and they will show you part of their ritual, which is secret and very important to the chapter. Everyone will be dressed nicely to show respect for ritual, and everything will feel very heartfelt. Conversations will be deeper and more emotional than any other round. You will have either one or two sororities trying to convince you to join them.
After Preference Round, you will rank the sororities 1 and 2. This decision is incredibly important. If you only get one bid (a formal invitation to join a sorority), that will be the chapter you are invited to join. But if both chapters bid on you, you will only receive the bid you ranked number 1, so take your time ranking and be sure that number 1 is the chapter you want.
My best recommendation is to pick the sorority where you can best see yourself. Pick girls who you would get dressed up and go to social events with, but also girls who you can chill in sweatpants with, eating pizza and watching Netflix. This should be a chapter where you can be yourself, grow as a person, and make genuine connections with girls you can trust and have fun with.
Bid day is the most fun part of recruitment because it is when you receive your invitation to join a chapter. You will meet in Clayton Hall where your Rho Gamma will give you an envelope with your bid inside. Waiting is nerve-wracking, but once it’s time everyone will open their bids and run to their chapter. Each sorority will have a different theme and there will be a little celebration where they give you a t-shirt and fun accessories and everyone takes cute pictures and has tons of fun. You will learn one of your chapter’s chants and sing it during Rho Gamma reveal, when the Rho Gammas re-join their sororities.
Depending on your chapter, you will have some sort of reception or bid day party to celebrate, as well as your door getting decorated with posters and streamers so when you go back to your dorm everyone will know which sorority you are a new member of! Welcome home!
My best advice for surviving recruitment is to go in with an open mind and be yourself. The process of recruitment may seem complicated and crazy, but it works and it will get you where you need to be. Don’t go in with preconceived notions of any chapters and take every chapter seriously. Any chapter could be your new home, so don’t get hung up on one.
Recruitment is busy and exhausting so make sure you eat enough, drink enough water, and get enough sleep. If you’re someone who goes out or stays up late, do yourself a favor and go to bed early during recruitment.
I would also recommend taking your vitamins or Emergen-C and using hand sanitizer throughout recruitment, to minimize your chance of catching a cold.
Don’t get too stressed out about recruitment and don’t freak out if a chapter cuts you-it’s not the end of the world. Talk to your Rho Gammas about any questions or concerns or if you’re having doubts.
This process should be fun and enjoyable, so trust the process and have fun!
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