What Sororities Are NOT!
First of all, let's clear the air about sororities. Sororities are a lifelong commitment where a group of intelligent, savvy and amazing young women live together, build lasting lifelong friendships, walk to class together, eat together and watch out for one another when going to school on a large campus. Additionally, let it be known loud and clear, "sorority girls are not Reese Witherspoon's character, El Woods from the movie, Legally Blonde!" Many young ladies work off campus during the school year and summers, give back to society, are in leadership roles within the house and basically are high achievers. The resumes I receive as a Chi Omega Area Recruitment Information Chair in the State of Washington are mind boggling. These young ladies are smart, philanthropic and go getter's. They have achieved more by the time they are 18 than most people in a lifetime. Additionally, sorority life today is rich with diversity, which is important in a changing world.
Why Join a Sorority?
- Connected: Way to easily navigate and fit in on a large campus when apart of a sorority
- Safety: Walk on and off campus together to classes etc., - safety in numbers
- Friends: Instant friends obtained
- Sisters for Life: Lifelong friendships
- Give Back: Involved in the local community during college years and beyond
- Work Connections: Develop strong connections for job opportunities and community organizations
- Superior Study Habits: Study together - often libraries in house and also walk to campus together to study
- Maintain High Grade Point: High grade point must be maintained to remain in sorority
- Leadership Skills: Develop skills for leading groups and participating in groups
- Different Personalities: Learn how to deal with all types of people - difficult, easy going etc.
- Parents & Safety: Understanding that someone is always watching over your daughter, studying and school is important and that they are in a "safe" environment
- Security Alarm on Houses: Most have key pads for extra security on all entrances and on each floor in the house
- House Mothers: There is often a house mother that lives in the house and is in charge of a variety of house issues. This is an additional person who is also aware of everything going on in the house.
- Live In House: 4 year commitment. Sometimes there is an annex house for the seniors.
- Sororities Age: Prefer new members to be Freshman or Sophomores when joining a sorority. There can be exceptions.
- Goal - College Degree: Obtain a college degree, while building lifelong friendships and connections, work hard and play hard in a safe and memorable environment.
"In other words - A Sorority - Greek life prepares one for the world beyond the college years".
Expectations of a Sorority
"A Sorority is Not a Dorm nor an Apartment"
- Team Player: Must be a team player. There are lots of required group activities
- House Rules: Some rules for the house
- Group Dynamics: Weekly meeting with sorority sisters that oversee the ladies in the house. President, Vice President, Secretary, Rush Chair etc.
- Be a Leader: Opportunity to be in a Leadership Role
- Meals: Dinner together in evenings with lunch and breakfast provided during day
- Socializing: Exchanges with Fraternities and friendships formed from other sororities
- Philanthropy: Each house has a fundraising campaign with the opportunity to give back
- Study Hard & Play Hard: Yes, one can do both in the Greek System.
- Accountable & Responsible: Part of a team and your actions do matter in the house and in the community.
- Fun & Physical: Football games, Basketball games etc., and lots of physical activities such as running, biking, tennis and much more.
What is the Rush Process?
It is that time of year when young ladies are sent off to college for rush recruitment in the Greek system at local universities across the country. It is wise to obtain alumna recommendations for each sorority. Rush is where the house active members are recruiting new members similar to an interview for a job or going on a date. The process lasts for about a week and consists of visiting each house. The houses have procedures that helps select the new members for the incoming year. It is important to send the appropriate information to Alumnae Only prior to the start of Rush. Most sororities require a resume and photo that is sent in ONLY by Alumna. By sending the appropriate information to the alumna - the alumna contacts will be able to enter the information online and or send hard copy to the Recruitment Chairs at their house. The goal is help the active members learn about potential new members prior to formal Rush.
The Necessary Steps
- The Resume - Online and Hard Copy
Sorority Resume Framework - Example
Address, Cell Phone, Email Address
High School: Graduated Spring
Overall Final High School GPA:
AP and Honors Classes: List out
JOB EXPERIENCE – List Jobs with Descriptions and Dates
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES and ACCOMPLISHMENTS – List with Descriptions and Dates
HONORS AND AWARDS – List with Descriptions and Dates
VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE – List with Descriptions and Dates
CONNECTIONS TO OTHER SORORITIES & FRATERNITIES – List Connections – Who, When and Which Greek house and School
- Senior Photo - Online and Hard Copy - Pocket size is sufficient
- University Website - Locate a list of all sororities on campus. Review Panhellenic Recommendations for Rush.
- Locate & Contact Alumnae:
- Begin with parent's friends and high school teachers
- Moms who are alumna of a sorority: It is okay to write a recommendation for your daughter!
- REMEMBER: Only Alumnae can write recommendations. Does not accept recommendations from active sorority women.
- Send Materials to Alumna: Resume, photo & short cover letter to alumna for recommendation online or hardcopy.
- Thank You: Thank Alumna for helping you.
- DO NOT: Do NOT send information in yourself to the sorority or contact sorority sisters to help you out.
- Follow Up with Alumna: Send a follow-up email or phone call to the alumna - check-in on the status of your recommendation.
NOTE: You will NOT receive confirmation that a sorority received your information.
"What do I talk about and what do I wear for Rush?"
Your New Motto: "Interested is Interesting"
Can you think of someone who you instantly like after meeting them? Have you ever wondered why? Next time, you meet a person that you like - take a moment and examine why? Some people are highly skilled at the "art of conversation". The art of conversation is the back and forth communication between two people that is quick and flows easily. These conversationalists tend to ask lots of questions about the person they are talking too. They rarely talk about themselves. And, when asked a question, they quickly answer and then pick up the thread of the conversation. They will never talk about themselves incessantly. They can also discuss many subjects and are never boring because deep down they are always curious. Additionally, they never talk down to people or ever think they are better than someone else. They look you in the eye, smile and begin chatting.
- Be Prepared to Answer Questions: When asked by the active in the house - discuss your summer, what you want to do in college, what you did in high school that you enjoyed. Why you want to be in a sorority? My mother, brother or friend was in a sorority and they loved it and their best friends were in the same sorority. Or, I had heard about the Greek system and wanted to participate since I am going to a large school. I want to be a part of a community that gives back to society plus enjoy the college life together with my new girlfriends. Answer quickly, honestly and be prepared to ask questions back.
- Ask Questions Back: What is it like living in this house? What is the philanthropy project? How did you like your first year? What year are you?
- Keep Answers Short: Answer questions with enthusiasm - do not drone on and on. No one really wants to know every little detail about your achievements.
- Brush Up on Current Events: You never know. Most likely, will not discuss.
- Think of Summer Experiences: If asked be prepared to mention something interesting from the summer.
- Speak and Listen More
- Practice Makes Perfect: Take a bit of time and practice answering some of the above questions prior to Rush. Perhaps in front of a mirror. Practice does make perfect. And, increases self confidence.
- Knowledge is Power: If you have time research the houses. They all have websites at the college. Knowledge is power and makes one likeable if you know a little bit more about something.
- Show Enthusiasm: Be excited and show passion when you are talking. Be upbeat.
- Compliment: Nice house, your dress is pretty etc. Remember be sincere.
- Smile: A real smile demonstrates that you are open and friendly.
- Again think of this motto - Interested is Interesting: Ask the person talking to you about themselves. Where are you from? What year are you? What are you studying? What is the Greek life like? They will remember you.
- Thank you: Thank the people you interact with at the houses. State "It was nice to meet you and speaking with you. Have fun during Rush."
- Mints: Have mints on hand and pop them in before entering a house.
- Water: Keep hydrated.
THE DO NOT'S
- Gum: Do not chew gum. Tacky!
- Swearing or Slang Words: Refrain from swearing or using slang verbiage. It does not make you appear hip and cool in fact is quite the opposite.
- Money, Money, Money: Do NOT talk about money. Do not mentioned that you always vacation in the Hampton's via a private jet. Or that my dad is a famous heart surgeon. Or that I live in a mansion on the lake. Or that you spend a lot on clothes. WHY? Because no one cares and it makes a bad impression. Remember - you never know who you are talking too.
- Embellishing Who You Are: Do not create outlandish stories about yourself. Everyone always finds out the truth.
- Name Dropping: Do not name drop unless it is a mutual high school connection.
- My Mother is Making Me: Do not tell people that your mother is making you go through Rush.
- Already Decided Which House: Do not tell the house actives that you are meant for Kappa, Chi or Alpha house.
- Debbie Downer: Do not be negative or throw a bucket of cold water on a tale. Or tell stories of personal hardship. Again, you do not know who you are talking too. Everyone wants you to be having fun through rush. Discussing your personal life history is boring and shows bad taste. You have already made it over the hurdle and were accepted to the school. Be proud and not a Debbie Downer.
- Mind your manners:
- Do not eat with mouth open.
- Do not sit without crossing legs.
- Do not pick teeth or make noises.
- Understand basic manners such as - "Yes, please"; "No, Thank you"
- Understand cutlery.
- Do not eat all the food placed in front of you. In fact, refrain from eating or drinking much if offered.
- Recommend to Buy: Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette - 50th Anniversary Edition, by Nancy Tuckerman & Nancy Dunnan. The book is filled with tips and information on manners and etiquette.
|Amy Vanderbilt - Complete Bood of Etiquette|
Beauty & Grooming & Essentials
Hair, Nails, Makeup, Cell Phone etc.
- Long hair - Short hair: Recently trimmed. If long curl or straighten. Keep freshly washed.
- Mani and Pedi: Paint your nails in a neutral or a bright fun color as well as your toes. Match the colors.
- Makeup: Keep makeup on face light and not overly made up with lots of black liner, mascara and eye shadow used for a night out on the town. Make sure lipstick does not stain your teeth.
- False eyelashes: If wearing false eyelashes only select those that look normal. They can be a bit too much for daytime.
- Small Purse: Small purse for mints, lipstick & cell phone
- Mirror: Have a small mirror in your purse that you can use to check makeup between houses.
- Sunscreen: Wear sunscreen on your face, arms etc. You will be walking in the heat and do not want to get burned.
- Perfume: Spritz on perfume. Not to much.
- Tattoo's and Piercing: Cover tattoo's and remove visible piercings from the mouth, nose, eyebrow etc.. While you think these symbols make you an unique individual - it instead detracts from you while you are conversing.
- Jewelry: Keep it simple; diamond studs, a couple of bracelets and rings. Nothing noisy.
- CELL PHONE: Turn your phone OFF during rush. You do not want the cell phone to ring or vibrate while talking to people. Keep it in your purse and out of sight.
- Wear a WATCH: Wear a watch to keep track of time. Only use your cell phone when outside walking between houses.
- Do NOT Wear: No scuffed shoes or sandals. Instead - opt for polished and well cared for shoes.
Rush Apparel Choices
- Day 1 & Day 2: Wear flattering shorts or a short skirt with a tank top or a blouse that is light and airy. Wear flats or very low heels. You will be walking most likely to over 10 houses depending on the school and often the houses are spread out. Forget high heels. No cleavage or super tight fitting tank tops. No nylons. Flatter your figure - do not show off the dreaded "muffin top". Chose colors that flatter you.
- Day 3: Skirt with and fun top
- Day 4: Sundress or skirt with a pretty top with wedges
- Day 5: Fancy sundress or an elegant sheath dress with wedges or heels.
- Once in a Sorority - Presentation Night: Some sororities, once you have pledged a house, have a open house event for parents, friends and the new pledges. The dress code varies for each house on this night - could be a long dress or short dress. The house will inform one of the dress code.