After recently becoming a proud pledge of the Beta Delta chapter of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority here on the IU campus, I thought I should share my experiences with sorority recruitment and all of the things that I felt as I went through the process here. For any girls who are thinking about rushing next Spring, as formal sorority recruitment is only offered during the spring semester, hopefully this will give you some insight on what goes on during recruitment!
During the fall semester prior to recruitment, you will need to sign up for PanHellenic and pay a fee to be officially enrolled for recruitment! There will be a couple Q&A sessions that you can go and sit in to learn more about the process, and they will give you all the deadlines and dates that you need to know! Once the deadline to sign up has passed, it will be really hard to get into recruitment for the following semester!
Some schools call them different names, but here in Indiana, we have selected women on campus known as Rho Gammas. These women are usually seniors and disaffiliate from their chapter for the fall semester, sometimes going by a different name, deleting their Facebook, and hiding their true identity from social media. These women are here to help you through recruitment, as they have been on both sides of the process. When spring rush comes along, these women will guide you and are here to help you with the process of ranking and going to the right houses. I got so close with my rho gam, and we still talk all the time. Sometimes the chapter that you end up in also is their chapter as well!
But to keep in mind, these women are supposed to be an unbiased party and go through an entire semester of training just to be a rho gam. These women want you to have a totally open and unbiased opinion of the houses, so they won’t be telling you their real names or anything that could potentially give away their real identity.
So you spent all of winter break worrying about rush – don’t worry I did, too – and now you’ve come back to campus way earlier than all the other people on your floor, and you’re not knowing what to expect.
Here is a breakdown of your schedule:
22 Party: 11 chapters a day, for two days, you go around (click here for a list of the sororities on campus), and you have one break for lunch. By the time you’re done, you’re exhausted and just want to eat and sleep. (I recommend ordering food earlier in the day so that you can just pick it up when you get home and scarf it all down).
Ranking: At the end of your second day, you will be ranking all of the chapters, but the ones that matter are the bottom six, and the order of these are super important!
16 Party: The very next day after 22 party, your rho gam will come around to your room in the morning to deliver your list, cut down from 22 to up to 16 houses. You ranked these houses, and these houses that you receive want to see you again! You go to your list of houses, even though they’re sometimes way across campus from each other, and by the end of the second day, you’re feeling exhausted and that you’ve had the same conversation all day long.
Ranking: Just like 22 party, the end of the second day is where ranking comes in, where you will once again go in a room alone with your rho gam where you can talk about what you felt at each house and really decide on how you want to rank your houses.
**Just a reminder: you are free to talk about any chapter with your rho gam, just as long as you’re not bashing chapters. Stereotypes and the “Tier System” and any other factors about sororities should not affect your decision. If you go to a chapter or a rho gam hears you bad mouthing a certain sorority, you will immediately be dropped from recruitment!**
9 Party: Because of the timing of recruitment, you will have a break for the first week of classes, meaning that you won’t get your next list until the day of 9 party, yet another early morning. Again, your houses on your list will be smaller, and can only amount to 9, and this is usually when the process of recruitment seems to get more serious. Many girls, including myself, didn’t get their favorite house back, which is cause for a lot of hurt feelings or mixed emotions about continuing recruitment. From personal experience, it’s good to just go to the houses you got back, regardless if you like them or not, just to see if your feelings about any of the houses change.
Ranking: 9 Party is only one day, so ranking happens that night after your last chapter. If you don’t receive 9 houses back, you are subject to getting breaks throughout the day, which is really helpful for eating or getting some homework done. In this ranking, it’s good for you list your houses in the order you’d like them, even though it doesn’t matter the top order. This way you can more clearly decide which houses you like and which you couldn’t see yourself in.
3 Party: This is the most serious and emotional round, which sounds very dramatic, but is really shown in the houses you get asked back to. Because you only have up to three choices of houses, the idea of being in any of the ones you receive back is a more solid idea. It’s good to really take a look at the pledge class around you and the girls you’re interacting with, as these can be your sorority sisters in the near future.
Ranking: This is the most important ranking, and is usually met with tears and lots of really big decisions. You rank your houses in order from top to bottom, even if you don’t get three houses back, and then you wait for bid day!
All throughout recruitment are Rush buses, one running clockwise and the other counter-clockwise, and those are the buses that will be dropping off girls at their respective houses. Your rho gam will come to your room (hopefully) holding an envelope of the sorority that you’ve received a bid from. And then you board the bus, get off at your stop, and are met with loads of screaming girls and lots of hugs and smiles.
Sometimes you might think that sorority life is for you, but sometimes things just happen and you don’t get back what you expected. The biggest thing to remember is that EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. If you decide that you want to drop from recruitment, please make sure that you do it within enough time and you’ve really thought long and hard about it, because once you drop you cannot rush again until the next spring semester!
Hopefully that clears up any questions you might have about sorority recruitment. Not all the chapters here are the same at other schools, and all schools do rush differently. I hope that if any girl goes through this, that you will go through it with an open mind and have a really great experience! If anyone has any questions, I’d be more than happy to help!
Have a great semester, y’all! Until next time,