August 01, 2017

The most wonderful and hectic time of the year is upon us… and I am not referring to Christmas.

So often, advice for surviving sorority recruitment is directed entirely at potential new members or PNM’s. But what about the rest of us? What about active chapter members? What about the women who have the pressure of recruiting the future of their chapter?

Here it is, what we all needed and wish we had sooner: a Sorority Recruitment Survival Guide for everyone else besides the PNM.

For the Recruitment Chairs

Trust your chapter members. All of the training, the workshops, and the never-ending prep will ultimately rest on you releasing your sisters to do the job you have prepared them for. Trust them and ultimately trust yourself that you did a job well done. But also:

Prepare for worst case scenarios. What if it rains? What if a woman is late to the party? Make sure your chapter members are prepared to wing it if necessary and to roll with the punches.

Know your recruitment staff. Have the Panhellenic Recruitment Staff and Greek Advisor on speed dial this week. They can answer questions and will be your contact if something goes wrong.

Prepare for hangry sisters. Long hours, little food and consistent smiling practically equals sass. Be understanding, especially because you’ll probably be in the same boat. You will also gain points if you have food on hand occasionally.

For the Recruitment Counselors

This was one of my favorite positions to serve in. At my school, we call them Gamma Chi’s. They are the PNM group leaders, the bag ladies, the strangers-turned-friends and the counselors. Here is my advice to you:

Prepare to get invested. Even when they aren’t attending your chapter, you will want to know every detail. What did they like? Who did they like? You will be anxiously waiting to see who they write down on their bid card, probably more so than when you were going through the process yourself.

Truly disassociate. Don’t cheat and text your friends in your chapter. Focus on your job. It will make bid day so much sweeter when you run to your chapter and see your best friends waiting.

Take the time to get to know women from other chapters who are also counselors. My Gamma Chi Director told us something I learned to be too true: you will learn that you could have fit in and flourished in at least three other chapters, besides your own.

Buy extra snacks for your bag and then buy some more. My group of PNMs was ravenous. So bring on the gummies. They’ll like you more for it.

For the Seniors

I’m with you here. I will be going into my senior year and I am currently calling it my “year of lasts.” It’s my last Bid Day, last Diamond Sister Reveal, last football tailgates, last initiation and last chapter meetings. Every single senior told me the same thing: Cherish every moment, leave a legacy and pass on the sisterhood that was granted to you.

For the First-Time Recruiters

As a PNM, I was told that the chapter members were more nervous than me just like an animal is more afraid of you than you are of it.

Prepare to be anxious every day when they read the women attending the parties that day. Your feelings will get hurt when someone doesn’t show up the next day. How could they not love your organization? How could your organization not see her as a fit? Remember it’s a mutual selection process and focus on how you want them to find their home.

Don’t look for your little. If you are too busy looking for your little, you may miss someone who would be an amazing addition to your chapter. Worry about the other stuff later.

Don’t spray tan. You will be sweating…a lot. Sweat does not mix well with spray tan solution, resulting in both an off-putting smell and color rubbing off awkwardly onto clothes.

Remember why you chose your organization. Recruitment is a wonderful time to reminisce and become rejuvenated for the upcoming school year. Remembering why you chose your organization will help you express similar sentiments to PNMs.

Recruitment is a well-oiled machine with lots of moving parts. No matter the position you are recruiting from… enjoy it! Let it warm your soul to see women finding their homes. Let it remind you of your own journey and how far you have come.

Sure, recruitment isn’t Christmas… but it’s pretty close.

About Laryn Hilderbrandt:
Laryn is an Alpha Delta Pi and senior at Western Kentucky University studying public relations. Along with being a conference coordinator, she is currently her school’s Panhellenic President, a member of Order of Omega and Rho Lambda, and VP of Internships and Jobs for PRSSA. In her spare time, she enjoys staying up to date on everything pop culture, Facetiming her mom back home and trying new workouts.