First of all, thank you all for your responses to the first part in this series, The Ultimate Guide to Sorority Recruitment: Part 1. I already had topics planned for Part 2, but before I started writing, I realized that I had forgotten some important points just by reading your questions!
So today, I'm going to go over the dos and don'ts of rush parties, something you guys asked about last time. I'll also give you guys some tips on how to decide on a house, and give you some questions to ask yourself to make your decision easier. Now, on to what we're really here for...
Sorority Recruitment Tips: The Dos and Don'ts of Rush Parties
When you're going through recruitment...
You may be nervous to talk to people you have never met before. I certainly was! However, rest assured that the members are just as nervous about talking to you! As someone who's been on both sides of recruitment, take it from me: while your mind is racing and trying to figure out what to say to us, our minds are racing, too, trying to think of interesting conversation topics. It's really a bunch of "Oh my goodness, what do I say next?" in our heads.
- It is the member's job to keep the conversation going.
- On that note, talk back to us! Ask us questions, talk about what ever you want to!
At the end of the day, rush parties are your chance to get to know the girls you may be spending your next four years with, so be sure to take them seriously! Take advantage of the time and really take it all in, but be sure to let your authentic personality come through, too.
5 More Tips for Navigating the Parties:
- Keep an open mind! You never know what you might have in common with someone, or how much you may like a house that you had initially written off.
- Watch your body language. You may be comfortable folding your arms in front of you, but it does not make you seem open to conversation.
- Keep good eye contact. If you are gazing everywhere but at the person you are talking to, it may seem that you are uninterested.
- Don't talk about boys, bars, or going out. It's just not kosher. And take off your bar-tags from the night before, please.
- Listen! Preferably more than you talk.
For more on this subject, make sure to check out our past post, Rush Tips: The Dos and Don'ts of Sorority Recruitment.
Making Your Decision
A few of you guys asked for tips on deciding on a sorority and knowing which house is right for you. Below, I've compiled a list of questions to ask about your prospective houses, as well as some tips from my own experience to help you make your choice.
Questions to Ask at Rush Parties:
There are so many things to consider before you make a decision on where you want to spend the next 4 years of your life. Here are a few good questions to ask at the parties to help you narrow it down.
- What is their philanthropy/charity? How much involvement do they have with that organization? What types of events do they have for fundraisers? If you're interested in a charitable organization, these questions will help you find houses that align with your values.
- What is the required GPA for members? What is the required GPA for officers? What are the penalties if a member does not meet the required GPA? What position is the organization in grades on campus? If they are 1st in grades, know that if you become a member, you will definitely be expected to keep your grades up!
- What other organizations are the members involved in on campus? Are you required to participate in another organization on campus? If you join another organization on campus, which one is considered the priority?
- How much are dues each quarter/semester/year? Is there a payment plan? Are dues paid all at once or are they staggered throughout the semester?
- Are you required to live in the house for a certain amount of time?
- How much time should you plan to devote to the organization each week? Are there events throughout the week that are required and some that are optional? These expectations are extremely important to understand before you pledge.
- Does the organization have a brother fraternity? (Example: Some sororities only ever have socials or mixers with 1 other fraternity.)
- What are the opportunities for leadership positions in the organization? At what time can you run for an office?
These are just a few examples to get you started. If you have any other questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask a member or your Panhellenic representative! They are there to help you understand! This is a huge decision, so make sure to inform yourself before you make your choice.
The Skinny on Preference Parties
On the last night of recruitment, the party is generally more serious. The members want to show you what their organization means to them and how much they love it. This party is usually called Preference.
When the party is over, you will probably meet your Panhellenic representative to make what we call a preference list. You will write down your first and second, sometimes third, choice of organization. Know that you may not get your first choice. It is all a numbers game. But, rest assured that you will be happy where ever you go! You wanted to be with those girls long enough to go to their Preference party, so you must have liked them at some point!
How do you make your decision?
It's different for every person, but you want to be where you feel the most comfortable. These ladies will become like your second family, so ask yourself, who would you want to spend your time with?
I remember going to my two Preference parties knowing which houses I wanted first and second. When I walked out of the parties, however, my mind changed. I don't remember signing my preference card or writing my choices down, I only remember calling my mom afterwards to tell her my choice. It sounds cheesy, I know, but I just knew where I would be happiest and grow the most as a person. When I let that factor into my decision, it was easy!
Do you have any questions or concerns about going through recruitment? Do you have any funny stories about recruitment to share? How did you make your decision? Leave a comment and let us know!