So I was recently asked to put together a presentation for our Rho Gammas (Sigma Rho Chis for my NCSU Family) about what it like going through recruitment with no experience. This was a challenge on a few levels. First, Sorority Recruitment is its own special little terror (I have always said I would love to have a sorority woman teach my brothers how to recruit and then go through fraternity recruitment). For those who may have never gone through it, it is 12 hour days with themed outfits where you spend hours on buses travelling from house to house (with in our case about 1,200 women) where you line up outside and wait for the women to escort you in where there is a particular individual who has memorized your application and you go from one to the next. There are at times skits and songs involved as well as more drama than you care to imagine. At least coming from someone who never went through formal recruitment and had not even observed one until last summer, that is what it looks like. To call it chaos is disrespectful to chaos. Leading up to all of this, these women are getting stories about people getting cut for x, y, or z reason that all seem very petter or simple to repeat, they are told the way they need to apply eight different times and each one is different and usually mutually exclusive. Then comes the fright of rec letters…You WONT get in if, you NEEEEEEED….I cannot tell you how many women call our office freaking out about these. As a side note on that, women, please call your inter/national orgs about whether those are required or not. Believe it or not, there is a purpose to all of this but often times it gets lost in the story of women trying to relive their days or “protecting their letters” so forth and so on. And men, don’t get comfortable. You rarely make it any easier. You spend your days feeding guys and seeing who is the most physically fit only to lead them to celebrate by getting drunk.
I was a first time fraternity man. I was asked twice to become a founding brother, but everything I had seen about fraternities and recruitment scared me and turned me off. They did not make it look like fun or enjoyable or worth my time in any way. When I did find the place to get involved, the brothers showed me how wrong I was. But why was that their responsibility and not the entire communities?
So how does all of this factor in to my presentation? See, understanding that chaos. Understanding that these women either have no idea or are being told by sources who are not connected to you is important. How can you help and support these potential new members, ladies and men who will be joining your council hopefully regardless of which letters, if you are not willing to come meet them on their level?
So what I am asking is this. Take some time. Talk to these women and me and others who have been through it. Know that not everyone has it easy even getting to recruitment. Then it gets harder as they move through recruitment. Have patience. Love them. Be what your founders wanted you to be and make this community great.
(as a side note, local Panhellenic Councils, please check with the university for what is required before you go off telling the women how we do it…many times, you are very wrong)