SORORITY RECRUITMENT: Your Ultimate Guide

Here it is. Your one stop for all things formal recruitment! When I was preparing to rush, I spent hours and hours scrolling through Pinterest and reading everything I could find on recruitment. No worries, ladies. I’ve got you covered. This guide talks about

  • Frequently asked questions, like how the process works, how much it costs to be in a sorority, what to expect each round, hazing, how to choose the sorority that’s right for you, and what to do if you don’t think you’d fit in
  • What to wear
  • Where to buy clothes, shoes, and jewelry for recruitment
  • What to pack in your bag to bring during the day
  • What to do
  • … and what NOT to do
  • Bloggers to follow for outfit inspiration

Questions when you read? Comment below and I’ll do my best to answer OR I’ll pass you along to someone who can J If you’re reading this from another school outside of UNC Charlotte, hey! Welcome! Some of the questions below might be unique to UNCC, so I encourage you to check out your Greek Life office if you have a question about your specific school.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How many days does recruitment last?

Formal recruitment at UNC Charlotte lasts a total of 4 days, including Bid Day.

Are there themes for each day?

Yes! Each day there is a theme. First is Values Night, next is Philanthropy, and the third day is Preference. Values night gives you the opportunity to get to know each sorority and what they stand for. You’ll get to know a couple of their members and hear about what they hold near and dear to their heart. Philanthropy night talks about just that: each sorority’s philanthropy and how they give back to the community. Preference night is a more intimate and exclusive night of recruitment. It allows you to get a glimpse into the sorority’s rituals and secrets as well as gain a better understanding of whether or not you’d be a great fit. Preference night is usually emotional because sisters will share why they call their organization their home and we are SO excited to let you in on our ritual. Preference night is the night before Bid Day, so at this point you’ll have a really good idea of where you’d like to go.

What is a philanthropy?

Philanthropies allow sororities to connect with those outside of Greek life but also those off of UNCC’s campus. Philanthropies are organizations and causes that sororities stand behind and represent. For example, Zeta Tau Alpha’s philanthropy is Breast Cancer Education and Awareness. We partner with organizations and have fundraisers/events on campus to raise awareness and encourage others to get involved in service.

What do you wear each day?

Whatever you want! J Recruitment style increases in formality as the days go on with Values night being pretty casual and Preference night being the most formal. No matter what you wear, it is important not to stray far from your style because you want to find a home for YOU and who you ARE, not how you dress. Below are some basic ideas for each night:

Values night: The most casual day of recruitment but also the first impression. Think a cute, simple dress or nice, appropriate shorts and a cute top with pretty sandals.

Philanthropy night: A cute, simple dress and pretty sandals with a little jewelry. Maybe wedges if you’re feelin’ it.

Preference night: Cocktail wear! A nice dress with heels or dressy flats/sandals. Jewelry. Nice makeup and hair. Don’t go TOO formal, like floor length or a ton of glitter, but look nice.

What is Bid Day?

Have you seen sorority videos where girls run across big fields or their campus quads to “run home” to their sorority? That’s Bid Day. The BEST, BIGGEST, MOST AMAZING DAY OF THE YEAR. I’m not kidding. Everyone is SO pumped to have you run home to your organization and the day is filled with so much love. Ask any sorority woman on campus about Bid Day and watch her freak out.

Why does recruitment last so long?

The days of recruitment give you the chance to get to know each organization, but it also gives our 7 sororities the chance to get to know YOU! We want to talk with you over the course of a couple of days to see who you are, what you stand for, and why you’re interested in Greek life. Recruitment is 4 days long because we want to make sure the home you find is the one you belong with.

How much does it cost to go through recruitment?

To sign up for formal recruitment, there is a one-time fee. You pay this when you register for recruitment (more on that later). Keep reading to learn how much it costs to actually BE in a sorority.

What is a SRC and how can I get one?

When you sign up for formal recruitment, you’ll receive an email from your SRC: Sorority Recruitment Counselor. These girls are part of Greek organizations on UNCC’s campus, but for the duration of recruitment they have disaffiliated with their sororities in an effort to help you find your home in a neutral and unbiased way. They’ll help get you prepared for recruitment, organize meet ups with you and the other girls that they’re leading, and be with you every step of the way. Trust these girls and trust the process.

 What if I don’t know anyone else going through recruitment?

Oh girl, don’t even worry. You’ll have PLENTY of opportunities to meet new girls. Your SRC will arrange a meet up or two before recruitment starts, and you go through recruitment with your SRC and your SRC group, so if anything you’ll have a close group of girls to talk to and ask questions. Personally, I’m still really close friends with a girl in my SRC group. I even met girls standing in line to go into sorority rooms and we are still friends almost a year later! If you’re nervous about signing up alone, know that there are more girls than not who go into the process not knowing anyone.

I don’t think I belong in a sorority or fit in to that crowd.

I’ve heard this 987 times, and I was that girl at the beginning of college who pushed rushing (FYI another word for recruitment is “rush”) away because I deemed it too glitzy or preppy or expensive. I thought that no one would be adventurous (like I was looking for), or love to travel like I do, or no one would be down to earth, or everyone would have brand name clothes and expensive bags…and that wasn’t me. I went through recruitment and my mind was BLOWN. There are girls who have traveled to more countries than I’ll probably ever be able to, there are girls that are always down to thrift shop or search for a good deal, there are girls that buy their bags and shoes and clothes from Target (I don’t think Target is cheap, but keep in mind this was an impression I had in my head) …it turns out that I DO fit in. And I DO belong in a sorority. The truth is, being in a sorority isn’t about what you wear, how wealthy your parents are, the car you drive…CLICHÉ ALERT! BUT IT’S TRUE! Sororities foster a community that you can’t get anywhere else. Yeah, I know. You hear that everywhere. But I really believe it when I hear a girl say that because for me it is true and for me I did find a community I was looking for.

I don’t like girls/girls are mean so I don’t think I belong in a sorority.

Oooo I am the QUEEN of “I don’t like having girl friends.” When I was in elementary school I was the girl in the middle of the boy’s lunch table and when I was in high school I had a close boy friend I would call and complain to or vent to instead of a close girl friend. I had such a hard time in high school with mean girls that I left a year early and completed my senior year online. It got THAT bad. I’m going to be REALLY honest with you right now: there are really mean girls out there. There will ALWAYS be mean girls. They’re bitchy and uptight and passive aggressive and rude but guess what? You can find those outside of a sorority too. Yes, there will be mean girls in your sorority. There, I said it. But the nice girls and supportive girls and encouraging girls trump those nasty ones without fail.

Do I have to go to every day of recruitment?

You bet. It’s important that you go through each day of recruitment so you can get a better understanding of each sorority’s purpose and values. Additionally, we want to get to know you and three days is such a short time to do so, so give us those three days to help you find your home!

Do I have to go to all of the sororities everyday?

No. At the end of each day you’ll put in your preferences. You meet all 7 sororities the first day, then you’ll go to a computer lab on campus and only choose some of your favorites. The day of the philanthropy round, you’ll get a card that gives you your schedule for the day and the list of sororities you’re going to go back to. After philanthropy you’ll do the same thing in the computer lab. After preference night, you pick two sororities. Then, either one of those two will be your home when you go to Bid Day!!

Hazing

Honest answer on behalf of my organization: we don’t haze. It isn’t safe to do so or acceptable or nice or legal or fun or what Greek life is about. Sometimes someone says “we don’t haze” and that isn’t the truth but I can tell you right now that it’s a big no-no from me. And from my whole entire chapter. And from any other sorority on campus. Bottom line: hazing is not okay and I can speak for my chapter when I say that we do not condone any behavior that is deemed as or appears to be hazing. We aren’t going to force you to do anything you don’t want to do, or drink an obscene amount of alcohol before you go to a party, or do drugs to get in, or make out with a frat guy, or make you break up with your boyfriend, or vandalize property…none of it. Ever.

How do I choose which sorority is right for me?

This is a loaded question, and there are so many answers. It really depends on what you’re looking for and the relationships you form with sorority women throughout recruitment. When I was in the computer lab to put in my preferences, I thought:

  • Who are the women I want to be associated with? (Not based on physical appearance, campus stereotypes, or anything materialistic like that, but who could I see myself hanging out with?)
  • Which organization could help me become a better version of myself?
  • Which organization accepts who I am and as I am right now?
  • Which organization has values than align with mine?
  • Which organization’s philanthropy carries weight for me or makes me want to be involved?
  • After I’ve talked to the women in each sorority, who could I picture myself being friends with? Who could I see as my support system?
  • When I see myself in a sorority, who are the women I am standing next to?

What if I decide that I don’t like it?

That’s totally fine. Greek life isn’t for everyone (even though we’d LOVE to have you!), and that’s okay. If you’re going through recruitment and you’re not feeling it, you’re encouraged to talk to your SRC to make sure you’re making the right decision and discuss the next steps.

*VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: If you open your card on the morning of philanthropy, for example, and the sororities there aren’t the ones you had in mind, KEEP GOING. Seriously. I can’t tell you how many girls go through recruitment with a one track mind and only one sorority in their sights but then their mind changes and they end up in a different organization. This is normal and this is OKAY!!! But you’ll never know if you drop out. Read the next question for more.

What if I get called back to a sorority I don’t like?

That’s okay. It happens. Maybe you’re called back to an organization that you really don’t see yourself clicking with. Talk with your SRC about it, and give it a go anyways. Go to that organization and make the most of it. You never know: you may leave that room with the organization you didn’t like at first thinking that you have a place in that sorority after all.

What if my boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t want me to be in a sorority?

Here’s the thing: who is in the sorority at the end of the day? You, girly pop. Not your S.O. My advice? Go through recruitment because YOU want to. It isn’t binding or required so it’s not like you HAVE to be in a sorority at the end. I would tell your S.O. that if they’re having a heart attack. And you might want to have a come to Jesus talk with them after you sign up because he or she should be encouraging you and pushing you to do what’s best for YOU, not what they think is right or the best choice. I get it though. It’s scary and overwhelming and maybe they’re worried about losing time with you or you making more friends or meeting someone else. But what did I tell you? TRUST THE PROCESS. And if they’re on the fence about you being in a sorority, they need to trust the process too.

What happens if I have an emergency during recruitment?

If you are in the middle of a day of recruitment, find the nearest SRC and tell them. This can be a sickness, a family emergency, etc. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to TALK TO YOUR SRC. They are here to HELP you and guide you through this process, and this means they’ll help guide you over any obstacles you face throughout recruitment. Personally, I had a family emergency during recruitment on the last day. My SRC (hey Kelsey J) was the BEST at making sure I was okay and the Greek Life office staff helped me put my family first.

How much does it cost to be in a sorority?

Honestly, I can’t tell ya because I don’t know the exact answer. Each sorority has a different cost and each sorority sets up their finances differently. A couple of things to remember if you’re worried about money:

  1. Most sororities offer a payment plan. If you want to be in a sorority and money is your only obstacle, let us help and work with you to make sure you can be part of our organization. There is a treasurer in each sorority whose job is to work with you and your money. Don’t worry. We’ll take care of you!
  2. The first semester 99.2% of the time will be the most expensive. This is because you’re getting settled into your organization and there’s a lot of stuff to catch up on.
  3. We don’t want to lead you on or be sneaky about how much it costs. We’re upfront about what it takes financially when you go to the first recruitment meeting before everything actually starts. You’ll get a brochure with information about each sorority including their dues.
  4. Save money in a sorority by passing up on buying t shirts. I have 3 drawers full of t shirts…do you think I need any more? No. But do you think I convince myself that I NEED that ONE sorority shirt? Yep. But $20 here and there for shirts goes a long way, so if you’re looking to budget, this is the best advice I can give you.

Where can I sign up for formal recruitment?

uncc.campusdirector2.com is the place to sign up. YAY!!!!

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you’re signed up for recruitment already, ask your SRC. If you aren’t and you’re still considering recruitment OR if you need help outside of your SRC, you can ask any members of the Greek Life office staff. You can also comment below and if I can’t answer (for example, if you have a specific question about a sorority that isn’t my own) I’ll get you in touch with someone who can help you out 🙂

GOOD LUCK! Seriously. You’re going to rock it at recruitment this year, I know it. Like I said up above: TRUST THE PROCESS. I can’t stress this enough!!!! So many girls find their home away from home during formal recruitment. I promise you: we know what we’re doing. And you should GO GREEK! You won’t regret it.

WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR BAG

  • Gum
  • Snacks (for example, peanut butter crackers or PopTarts)
  • Water bottle
  • Deodorant
  • Notebook + pen (if you want to take notes during breaks)
  • Tampons
  • Bobby pins
  • Hairspray
  • Dry shampoo (a mini bottle if you can find one)
  • Portable phone charger
  • Lip gloss
  • Mascara (try to freshen up half way through, it always made me feel better to do this!)
  • Change of flat shoes (If you’re wearing heels, bring shoes to change into so your feet won’t hurt in between rounds)

DURING RECRUITMENT, DO…

  • Ask questions. No question is a stupid one.
  • Open up. Be yourself! We want to get to know you and what you can bring to our organization.
  • Remember names. Don’t stress if you can’t, but try to remember who you talk to, if anything so you can say hi to her later! To help remember, when a girl introduces yourself, repeat her name before you introduce yourself. Saying her name out loud will help it stick.
  • Do your research! Take some time to go through each organization’s website and social media accounts to get an idea of who they are. And if you’re looking at Zeta Tau Alpha’s stuff…hi, I’m in charge of our social media 😉
  • Get good sleep!!! Nothing is worse than being on your feet all day and talking to new people when you’re tired.
  • SMILE! Even when you’re nervous or tired or bored or hungry or thinking about that cute boy you just passed on campus so you’re kinda zoned out or if you’re in a sorority’s room that you’re not a huge fan of.
  • Take notes at the end of each day so you remember what stood out about each sorority, good and bad.

BUT DON’T…

  • Name drop (saying who you know in a sorority to get ahead). We know you’re doing it and it’s not the best idea.
  • Talk about X sorority when you’re with Y sorority. That’s just rude.
  • Chew gum during your time with a sorority. Save that for in between rounds!
  • Wear too much makeup. Don’t break from your usual routine! Be you. J
  • Talk about sensitive subjects we like to keep religion, politics, boys, parties, and alcohol out of the picture. Expect us to change the subject if something along these lines comes up.
  • Take it personally. If you aren’t called back to a sorority you loved, don’t freak. Like I said: TRUST. THE. PROCESS.
  • Pay attention to stereotypes. There will ALWAYS be a bad rep for a sorority. Heck, there might even be more than one rumor or stereotype floating around. But what you need to focus on is the positive aspects of that organization and whether or not you picture that organization as your home. Don’t let anyone else’s thoughts or beliefs about a sorority change where you think you belong.

WHERE TO BUY RECRUITMENT CLOTHES

Stuck on where to get outfits for recruitment? No worries. The following shops and boutiques offer the CUTEST clothes! For dresses/cute tops/jewelry…

  • ($$) TOBI has a TON of good sales (I’m talking 50% off or MORE) all of the time.
  • ($$ to $$$) LULU’S can be pricey but I got my dress for preference night here.
  • ($ to $$$) ASOS has everything under the SUN so I’m sure there’s something for recruitment!
  • ($$ to $$$) American Eagle never disappoints. Maybe you can start here for a dress to wear to Values night?
  • ($$$ to $$$$) Revolve is a bit pricey but has great quality clothes and the cutest accessories
  • ($$ to $$$) Francesca’s has really nice dresses that you can wear on more than one occasion and really cute jewelry!

For shoes… Target ($), Steve Madden ($$$), ALDO ($$$), Jack Rogers ($$$$), Tory Burch ($$$$), TOBI ($$), ASOS ($$), Lulu’s ($$$).

BLOGGING INSPIRATION

Need some outfit ideas? These bloggers don’t share outfits specifically for recruitment, but they can definitely offer some inspiration!

Whew. Your eyes tired yet? That’s all I’ve got, people. Like I said: questions can go in the comments below and if I can’t answer them then I’ll hand you off to someone who can!

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  • Miss ALK

    Girl thank you so much for the recruitment outfit shout-out!! I’m hardcore blushing. 🙂 This post definitely brings back some fond memories of college!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • Adriana

    These are such great tips!! I wasn’t in a sorority but they always looked like fun! This is a great post!

  • Great tips!! I am going to pass this along to my friends that will be going through recruitment for sure!

  • Such a great comprehensive post! I totally miss my sorority from time to time and you’re right, bid day was the best day!

  • This is such a thorough list! I didn’t join a sorority in college but this is great advice for anyone who might be interested in that route.

  • this is great! You’re lucky recruitment only lasts 4 days for you guys! It was like 10 days at my college! So exhausting!

  • I didn’t end up pledging a sorority, but I did go through recruitment during my junior year and had so much fun. These are some great tips and would get any girl excited to go through recruitment!

  • Such a great roundup! I’m not in a sorority, but this should be helpful for those that want to join!

  • I haven’t been in college for a few years, but this definitely brought back memories!! Have so much fun xx college is such an amazing time in life

  • Sydney Power

    This is so cool! I always wanted to be in a sorority but here in Canada we don’t have them 🙁

  • What a great post! I was never in a Sorority so it’s so neat to read all about recruitment!

  • These are great tips! I love bid day and running to my sorority!

  • This is an amazing, comprehensive guide Savannah! I can tell you worked super hard on it. Sometimes I regret not rushing because I had such a negative stereotype in my head. So many friends I made within my major were all from the same sorority… if I had to do it all over again I think I would end up there too. I had a good time in my honor fraternity but looking back now that I’ve graduated, it really wasn’t the experience I was hoping for.

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com