We’ve all heard about sororities one way or another through media, friends and family, or fellow classmates. Greek life is talked about so often, but very few people actually know the process that one has to go through to join a sorority. Sororities aren’t for everyone, but if you are interested in joining, here’s a few tips on how!
Research the sororities at your school
If you know that you’re interested in joining a sorority, the first thing you need to do is look at the sororities available on your campus. Every school has a different number of chapters, and each chapter at that school varies from the next. Consider what you personally want to gain from sorority life and what you feel you can also offer the chapters. Research each sorority, but remember that this online presence is only one aspect of the chapter. You’ll need to continue to weigh your options as you go through recruitment. Feel free to ask any friends or family members who are in or have been in sororities questions about the process and their own experiences.
Go through the formal recruitment process or participate in COB (continuous open bidding)
Some sororities will allow you to sign up for recruitment online. This process is kind of similar to college applications because you’re trying to present yourself in the best way possible. While applying online, you have to include your resume and answer questions about academics, involvement, and values. The recruitment process is different at each university, but ultimately you’ll have the chance to meet every Panhellenic council chapter at your university.
The Panhellenic recruitment process is broken up into different rounds, and each round you’ll rank sorority houses according to your preference. If you ask to visit a house again and they ask for you to come back, then you’ll return for the next round. The recruitment process allows for you to learn about the chapter’s sisterhood, philanthropy, and values. The process is essentially speed dating as you decide which sorority is your best match. You’ll need to consider things such as the cost of sorority life as well as the time commitment involved. Although the girls in each sorority will be asking you most of the questions, you should ask questions of your own.
For those who might be intimidated by the formal recruitment process or already have an idea of which sorority they want to join, COB (continuous open bidding) is the best option. Usually a friend within the sorority can recommend you to the chapter and invite you to casual events where you will informally get to know the girls of the sorority and can have the chance to join at different points throughout the year.
By the end of the recruitment process, you may receive a bid from a sorority. It’s up to you whether you accept or decline the offer to join. If you do choose to join, from then on you are a new member. The new member process allows you to become acclimated to sorority life. You’ll be educated on the history, rules, and values of your chapter. There will be volunteer, social, sisterhood, and philanthropic events that allow you to become familiar with your new sisters as well as the commitment of sorority life. It’s important that you’re becoming involved during this time so that you can really see if you’re a good fit with this chapter and if the chapter is a good fit for you. After the pledging process is done, you’ll go through an initiation process and officially become a full member of your chapter.