Sorority Rush is a confusing process, but I'm going to take you through it step-by-step so you'll be ready for the whirlwind that rush can be! "Sorority": an eight-letter word that has a different meaning to every girl who is a member of one. Sisterhood, tradition and my home away from home are a few things that come to my mind. About 7 months ago, I started the process of becoming a sister of Alpha Epsilon Phi, also called AEPhi, at Indiana University. For me, joining a sorority was more than just the Greek letters on my sweatshirt, it is, and will be, something that I carry with me my whole life.
Everyone goes through sorority rush or rushes (goes through sorority recruitment) for different reasons, and everyone’s experience in a sorority is unique. In my case, a school with a prominent greek life on campus was one of my top priorities during the college search process. With my Mother, Father, Brother, Aunt and Grandmother all being a part of Greek life during their college years, I never envisioned anything but. Although there were many great sororities to choose from at Indiana, I ultimately decided to continue a tradition, as both my Mother and Aunt were members of the very same chapter at Indiana University.
Enough about me! Here’s my take on the sorority rush and the recruitment process: sorority rush / rushing is scary and intimidating; I would be lying to you if I told you otherwise. The recruitment process varies at every school: there are special rules, different numbers of sororities, and all Pan Hellenic councils (top leaders comprised of girls from all sororities) run according to their campus’s needs. Sorority rush is an emotional process, but as cliché as it may sound, everyone ends up where they are supposed to be, whether they believe that at first or not.
Although sorority rush is very different at each university, the gist of it remains relatively the same. While going through sorority rush, you attend most of the sorority houses on campus within a very short period of time. You are asked question, and gauged how you connect with girls in the sororities. During sorority rush, there are different rounds (see below) and after each round both you and the sororities will make cuts.
You may be a little confused as to what I mean by “rounds.” Every campus calls the steps of recruitment different names. At Indiana they are called “parties.” I started the recruitment process with “20 party.” During 20 party, I went to all 20 sororities on campus (hence 20 party). After 20 party, came 14 party, then 8 party, then 3 party then Bid Night. After each “party” I would rank my favorite houses and the active members (girls already in the sororities) made lists of the girls they believed would best fit into their house. Through a computer process, the lists are compared and which houses one will be attending at the next round or party will result. It’s confusing, but your Rush Guide (mentor) will be there to help out. Rush Guides have different names at every campus; at Indiana they are called “Rho Gamma’s” (from the “R” and “G”). They are trained, unbiased members of sororities who give an unbiased opinion to PNM’s (potential new members) during the recruitment process.
But back to the Sorority Rush process, towards the end of recruitment will come emotional days with tough decisions. You may have decided what house you prefer: a certain conversation or moment may stand out in your mind and give you “the feeling.” The feeling of "this is where you belong," or a feeling that you just don’t get at any other house. For others, it might not be as clear. My best advice for you would be to follow your heart. Don’t decide on a sorority based on their reputation or what your friends are doing. Decide for yourself!
Bid Day, the most nerve wracking, stomach churning day for every PNM. Thoughts running through your mind might range from “What if I wanted them but they didn’t want me?”, “Will my life be over if I don’t get in this house?” There is always that possibility of not getting into the house you put number 1, and it happens often. But your world won’t end and all girls end up where they should!
Then comes the fun, Bid Night. A night full of hugs, laughter, smiles, screaming, singing, presents, yummy food and SO much more. During Bid Night you’ll meet the members of your pledge class and the older members of your house. The night is stress-free and is all about getting to know the girls (now sisters!) in the house. Who knows, you might just meet your bridesmaids that night… my mom did!
After bid night, you have begun the process of becoming an official member of your sorority. You will begin the pledging process, where you will be spending a lot of time with your new sisters and getting to know them. You'll also learn about the history of your sorority and the principles it was founded on. Being a part of a sorority is more than just a non-stop party. As a member of a sorority, you will have the opportunity to be a part of its philanthropy, sisterhood events, programming, leadership development, and the list could go on and on. Being in a sorority will challenge you to work harder than you may have in the past, but you will forever have your sisters behind you ready to catch you if you fall. ~Sarah