To Sorority or Not? Is Rush The Way?
For parents of incoming freshman, you are probably starting to hear whispers about sorority rush. The way rush 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 when your child is far from home.
In order to participate in Sorority recruitment, you must be enrolled in 12 or more credits for the Spring 2018 semester and have earned a 2.5 or better cumulative GPA and 12 or more credit hours already earned as a full-time college student. No exceptions will be made regarding these eligibility requirements. Your GPA will not be rounded-up, therefore a 2.499 will still not be considered eligible. It is in your best interest to remain aware of your grades throughout the semester as well as when they are released after fall semester 2018 grades have been finalized.
All transfer students must send a copy of their complete unofficial transcripts (including the Fall of 2018) to the Dean of Students Office at the University of Miami no later than January 2nd, 2018. Screenshots from other college/university portals are welcome. Please send them to Dean Dayle Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org. Students who are unable to provide complete academic information from previous colleges will not be permitted to participate in recruitment.
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 UM seem a little smaller. I was not in a sorority, however, my daughter rushed her freshman spring semester because UM has spring semester rush only. She has already made friendships that will undoubtedly stand the test of time. (Can you say, future bridesmaids?) Her big sister and sorority “fam” are some of the most important people in her life at college.
Many college campuses have both Sorority and Fraternity houses. At the University of Miami the eight sororities do not each have a sorority house, but instead, have their own individual, the beautifully decorated suite located inside the PanHellenic building (Panhell as the kids call it) on campus. This is where sorority recruitment will take place and a great deal of sorority life and socialization. The girls rotate throughout the building from suite to suite during formal rush.
My daughters and several of her friends went through rush and they each had different experiences and expectations. My daughter rushed her freshman year and got accepted into the sorority of her choice; however one of her friends did not get the bid she was hoping for 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 for these girls. It is times like these the students may call and text you more often and need a bit of extra encouragement from home. Collective sighs of relief came when she was initiated into the sorority that was the perfect fit for her.
Most girls begin recruitment already having heard about the different sororities at UM. This is definitely an advantage over the typical fall rush that most schools employ because the girls get a good idea of which sororities may be a better fit for them beforehand. 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 sorority where they would feel comfortable. It becomes more about being selected. My daughter and many of her friends have made so many wonderful connections both in her sorority and in other sororities through her involvement in campus events such as Greek Week, individual sorority Olympics, Fashion shows and Philanthropy Week.
I am not going to chocolate coat sorority rush- 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)
If I am speaking Greek, let’s address some of the particulars. Registration for spring rush begins in the fall and formal recruitment runs the week prior to the start of the spring semester in January and ends right before the first week of classes. Girls will return one week earlier from winter break to participate in formal spring rush. (Dorms are open to those students). There are many long days, especially in the beginning rounds.
ALL participants must plan to participate in each round of recruitment starting on Monday, January 7th through Sunday, January 13th, 2019. The Residential Colleges will open only for those participating in sorority recruitment starting at 5:00 PM on Monday, January 8th, 2018. NO EXCEPTIONS will be made for an earlier arrival, and only those women registering prior to or on November 15th will be granted this accommodation.
An application fee is required. All women who register before the deadline of November 15, 2018, will be assessed a fee of $75. Registrations will not be accepted after November 15th; there will be no exceptions. A portion of each registration fee will be donated to the Panhellenic Philanthropy, Circle of Sisterhood.
Recruitment involves four rounds and a bid day. As your daughter goes through each round, she will go to fewer sorority suites. She may not get invited back to every suite; chances are likely that she will not; however, she will have options that hopefully are sororities 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 daughter is to be true to herself. Creating a false persona just to get into a specific sorority would not result in making true friendships. I even recommended she ask how they had to dress for chapter meetings because I knew my daughter would want to be able to show up in track shorts, sneakers, and a t-shirt.
When my daughter had her selection narrowed down to just a few, she called me asking which sorority she should choose. I simply told her 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 sorority where she could truly see calling them family. 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. After my daughter was initiated, I did get her a sorority bracelet from Alex and Ani. We found some cute sorority merchandise here.
Learn the facts about University of Miami sorority recruitment here.
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