If you’re reading this, chances are you either are planning on or thinking of going through sorority recruitment. While rushing my sorority has been one of the best choices I’ve made in college so far, all I can say to you is oh boy get ready.
Here at Syracuse like at a lot of other schools in the North, formal sorority recruitment is done in the spring semester after returning from winter break. This is done to make sure that potential new members have time to make friends outside of greek life, as it can be quite all consuming, but really it at SU it just means you risk hypothermia running from house to house (a problem resolved by virtual recruitment! yay!).
What to Know
Recruitment is broken down by rounds which vary from school to school, but at Syracuse, the rounds are Meet the Greeks, philanthropy, house tours, preference or ‘pref’, and the last day known as bid day is when you find out what house you have been invited to join.
Panhellenic recruitment is a mutual selection process, meaning each round you choose a certain number of houses to return to and drop the rest. What makes it mutual, however, is houses also drop potential new members each round, meaning that while you might have the maximum amount of houses a certain round, another girl might have a few less than the max.
It is very rare for you to not get a bid if you go through the entirety of recruitment. What is much more common to see is girls dropping out of the process entirely because they do not like their choices after a certain house does not call them back. Being completely honest, it can be pretty heartbreaking to see. Watching as girls around you cry over their schedules is tough, and no matter how many times people tell you to “trust the process” it can be easy to lose faith. Don’t.
What to Wear
Meet the greeks
This is the most casual of the rounds. At Syracuse and at most schools I know, you’ll be given a t-shirt and told to style it in whatever casual way you choose. Most people will do some sort of cute patterned pant and a jacket because ~winter~. At SU it is split into two days, so the first day I wore a pair of black and white paper bag pants and cute tennis shoes, and the next I opted for some green jeans and a vintage jean jacket with some boots. This is all about making it your own.
Round two of recruitment they tell you to wear your favorite outfit for class, but I either roll up to class very dressed up or in a hoodie and leggings, neither of which they are looking for. Instead, I chose a green cashmere turtleneck that I stole from my mom several years ago (hi mum if you’re reading this) and ripped jeans with my Bean Boots
The third round of recruitment is “business casual” (please don’t wear a blazer though). I originally wore a jumpsuit and flats for round three, but felt uncomfortable, so I changed into a white sweater dress and above the knee boots. My year on the recruitment guide they showed turtlenecks with skirts and booties as the example of what to wear, so every girl and her mom showed up in that same thing. If what they show on the guide is really your style, then all the power to you, but if not wear something that actually shows your personality! It helps you to stand out!
For pref you wear cocktail attire, so I wore a black ruffle sleeve dress with black heels and blue statement earrings, but really any cocktail dress is a good option so long as its your style. You could also do a formal jumpsuit if you wanted/ if dresses aren’t really your vibe.
On bid day when you find out what house you received a bid from, you will be given a shirt to wear. This means all you really need to do is get ready and put on jeans and a t-shirt.
What to Keep in Mind
Sorority recruitment is weird and chances are it’s unlike anything you’ve ever done before. Go in with an open mind and don’t take anything personally. Much like at a job interview, you might not get asked back to somewhere you really loved and that’s ok. You will find where you’re meant to be.