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To Sorority or Not? Rushing In…
Are you rushing in? For parents of incoming freshman, you probably are starting to hear whispers about sorority recruitment. The way recruitment is handled for sororities are very different than fraternities. Talk to any parent at any school, and you will not find too many who love the process. But like the process or not, sororities and fraternities do have their advantages, especially at a large college.
At this point, you may be thinking why would I want my daughter to subject herself to going through this process? Personally speaking, while sorority life may not be for everyone, they do offer a lot of benefits including being extremely visible and active on campus, involvement in philanthropies, high academics and most importantly, they make the massive size of UF seem a little smaller. To this day, I can say I made lifelong friendships in my sorority at UF and, thanks to social media, have reconnected with some that I lost touch with over the years.
Both of my daughters went through recruitment and they had two completely different experiences and expectations. My older daughter rushed her freshman year and did not get accepted into the sorority of her choice so she dropped out. It was a very heart-wrenching experience, listening to the highs and lows and then tears. Feelings of rejection took center stage especially since she had friends that were invited back to the sorority of their choice.
Most of her friends joined that year and she felt a little left out but stood by her decision. She did go through recruitment the following year and joined the sorority she wanted her freshman year. Collective sighs of relief lead to three years of her making some lifelong friends both in her sorority and in other sororities through her involvement in campus events such as Gator Growl, Dance Marathon, Her Campus, and other organizations.
Her sister, albeit a legacy now in two sororities (her sister’s and mine) went through recruitment with a completely different attitude; some of it was based on preconceived ideas about each sorority, but she knew which houses were most likely not going to invite her back and did not take being dropped so personally. Speaking of legacies, if you were in a sorority or your student has a sibling that was in a sorority, no matter the college, you can send a letter of recommendation. Click here for the email addresses for each chapter.
Most going through recruitment already have heard about the different sorority houses at UF. In their mind, they know which ones are considered the most popular. That is exactly what makes this a difficult process.
There is a preconceived belief amongst those going through sorority rush that they want to wear certain letters (all of the sororities have different combinations of Greek letters). It does not matter that a particular sorority may not share the same values, beliefs or even be a house where they would feel comfortable. It becomes more about being selected.
I am not going to chocolate coat sorority recruitment- it is based on first impressions, judgments, and appearances; certainly in the first few rounds where conversations last about 10-15 minutes. The Panhellenic Council tries very hard to promote the positive aspects of joining a sorority and even have all potential new members wearing the same t-shirt for the first round to eliminate any prejudgment. (of course, that does not preclude them looking at the rest of their outfit – think shoes, shorts, jewelry and so forth).
Our interns have some great recommendations for what to wear for sorority rush.
If I am speaking Greek, let’s address some of the particulars. Recruitment runs the week prior to the start of the semester and ends during the first week of classes. There are many long days, especially in the beginning rounds.
Recruitment involves four rounds and a bid day. As your daughter goes through each round, she will go to fewer sorority houses. She may not get invited back to every house; chances are likely that she will not; however, she will have options that hopefully are houses she was considering.
Perhaps your daughter will be able to look past the process and focus more on finding like-minded young women and a place where she will fit in. I have witnessed girls joining sororities because of specific Greek letters only to realize after a few weeks, their choice was not the right choice for them.
Yes, there are judgments being made based on the brand of clothes being worn, disingenuous conversations and misrepresentations. The advice I gave my daughters is to be true to themselves. Creating a false persona just to get into a specific sorority would not result in making true friendships. I even recommended they ask how they had to dress for dinner because I knew my daughter would want to be able to show up in track shorts, sneakers, and a t-shirt.
When one of my daughters had her selection narrowed down to just a few, she called me panic-stricken, asking which sorority she should choose. I simply told her that I did not go through rush so to think about the girls she went through rush with and formed a new friendship with because they were going to possibly be in their class and pick a house where she could truly see calling that house a home.
Many parents like to send their daughters a gift on Bid Day. We recommend holding off as they will be getting gifts from the sorority they pledge on Bid Day and continually going forward from tank tops to water bottles and everything in between.
Should you decide to get them a congratulatory gift, we have some suggestions here from:
Learn the facts about recruitment. Registration for Fall 2019 recruitment opens April 30, 2019, with Recruitment Dates running August 15-22, 2019. Potential New Members (PNM’s) have to go to recruitment orientation on August 14th. They are able to move into dorms early to accommodate their schedule. There will be an optional Parent orientation on August 16th which will require registration. That form will be posted on June 1, 2019.
And, once they have joined, read our Sorority Girl blog for additional information.