Rules for Sorority Rush!
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. Rush is where the house active members are recruiting new members using techniques similar to an interview for a job or going out on a date. As an Area Recruitment Information Chair for the State of Washington, I enjoy preparing young women for rush in Washington and across the country. As an alumnae of Chi Omega it is a pleasure to help, inform and encourage young women to go through rush. The friends one makes are for life, the memories forever and the unity and connection at home and across the country is profound. Besides helping young ladies with resumes and connections - their number one questions are "What do I talk about and what do I wear for Rush?"
Myth: Sorority gals are NOT Elle Woods contrary to the myths across the land
Forever Chic Style - ConversationTips
"The art of conversation consists as much in listening, as in talking agreeably" - Hayley Atwell
What to Say!
Remember interviewing for a job? Same idea!I. Be yourself: Discuss your summer, what you want to do in college, what you did in high school that you enjoyed. Mention your accomplishments, your job, your sport or whatever you did that you enjoyed. Be ready to answer the following question? Why do you want to be in a sorority? My mother, father, brother or friend was in a sorority or fraternity and they loved it. 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. Get the idea? Also, keep the answers simple and do not ramble on about yourself. There is nothing more boring than listening to someone go on and on about themselves. Keep every comment quick, simple and with an open heart. Do not judge. Be nice, kind, considerate and forthcoming.
Joyful and Enthusiastic
II. Show Enthusiasm: Be excited and show passion when you are talking. Be upbeat. Think of small talk that can be used to break the ice quickly. Start with the weather is fabulous, your house is pretty, the campus is incredible and then answer their questions with enjoyment. Don't be over the top - don't embellish. Think of yourself on an interview. Prepare for each sorority, review the house website and know their philanthropy. Store on iPhone or smartphone and review before you enter into sorority.
III. Compliment: Give a compliment if you feel it is appropriate. For instance, "I like your dress, shoes etc.", Maybe it is a piece of jewelry or anything simple. Remember to be sincere and if you feel uncomfortable do not do it. You will know if the time is right.
Smiling is Contagious
IV. Smile: A real and genuine smile is a thousand words and demonstrates that you are open and friendly.
Interested is Interesting
V. 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? Do you all study together? Go to football games together? They will remember you. The questioning someone else skill is the key to being likable and remembered. Think of people you have met and really like. Chances are you will not know much about them but they know everything about you. Thus, you remember the person and like them. The person who is interested is always interesting and will be unforgettable.
Be Well Read - Newspapers, Magazines, Books, Fiction and Non-Fiction
VI. Read, Read, Read: Read a bit and have a few things to say at the tip of your lips. For instance, maybe you read a great novel this summer about the lions in Africa or are following the Olympics or aware of the universities football team standing for the year or have an understanding about local issues. Reading anything besides Facebook and social media demonstrates engagement if needed. You will be talking a lot for the next few days so be prepared. Topics to Avoid: Politics, Religion and anything controversial.
VI. Thank you: Thank the people you interact with at the houses. State, "It was nice to meet you." Give them a handshake if inspired. This signals connection and warmth.
"Good manners reflect something from inside-an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self" - Emily Post
What Not to Say!
I. Lucy Loud Mouth: Refrain from swearing, slang words or short acronyms. Additionally, do not be overbearing and loud but rather self confident with a in-house voice and not an outside voice. You will not be seen as hip, cool and likable swearing with a smile or acting crude. It doesn't attract others and in fact will be remembered in an unfavorable light.
Nancy Name Dropper - No, No, No!
II. Nancy the Name Dropper: Do not name drop all the girls you know in the house. Instead focus on representing youself to the house rusher. The gals that do know you will fight for you behind the scenes. Thus, no need to mention them at all.
Money - No, No, No!
III. Money Makes the World Go Round: Do not talk about money. Do not mention that you 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. Or that I am on financial aid. WHY? Because no one cares, seriously no one cares and it makes a bad impression. You are not showing the best of you and rather displaying a crass side of self that leaves a bitter taste to all.
IV. Penny the Party Animal: Do not discuss how you love to party. Or that you are looking forward to the exchanges with fraternities. Again this is a subject that isn't accepted in polite society. You are on an interview. Would you tell a potential employer that you are a major party animal who swills beer, wine and flirts with young men? No, never. The same rules apply to going through rush. You are selling yourself to others.
Mother Made Me Do It!
V. My Mother is Making Me: Do not tell people that your mother is making you go through rush. You are a confident young woman making your own decisions. And, if a sorority girl knows your mother is making a you go through rush they might wonder if you are good candidate for the house? Maybe it is true but do not tell anyone. Keep it to yourself. Remember - sorority affiliation is for life and not for fun or just a place to live during college. If you just want a place to live - chose a dorm instead. Sororities are a community that lives in the house, gives back to the area, have rules, monthly meetings with a peer counsel, who work in unison together. You are part of a collective, though an individual you still are a representative of the house on campus during college and for the rest of your life. It is a commitment. And, your actions are a reflection on the group. Think of team sports or working at a job. You represent the team, the job and yes a sorority.
VI. I Know Which House I Want: Do not tell the gals that you are meant for a certain house. Every house offers lifelong friendship, lifestyle and unity. Keep options open and never try and select one house over another. You never know where you will end up. And, it is more important to get to know the girls in the house to see if it is the right fit for you. Have an open mind.
Debbie Downer - No, No, No!
VII. Debbie Downer: Do not be negative or throw a bucket of cold water on a tale. Or tell stories of personal hardship. There are so many news stories today where we hear about how someone had a hard childhood etc., that it has reached a point of saturation and annoyance. Because - bottom line - everyone has a tale or two to tell. Keep it to yourself. No one wants to hear it. Would you tell an employer or new friends about all your trials and tribulations upon meeting? Never! 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.
VIII. NO Politics or NO Religion: Do not discuss politics or religion. Repeat - no politics or religion. Yes, it is an election year but keep opinions to yourself. Even jokes can be taken the wrong way. You never know who are talking too and people do not all think alike nor should they all be of the same cloth. We are all individuals with our own thoughts, ideas and critical thinking is what makes us unique. Watch your comments and just abstain from making any references about candidates or religion. There is no win in this endeavor even if you think your opinion matters. It doesn't and no one wants to hear it. Nobody likes a loud mouth making comments that inflame others nor do they want to be subjected to a nasty or heated comment. It reflects poorly on the person who opens their mouth with negative bile.
IX. No Food or Health Issues: Do not discuss your food or health issues with anyone during rush. I am confident if you have any food or health issues - your needs will be addressed in the house. In the meantime, it is a topic that is completely out of place and unprofessional.
"Chance made us sisters. Hearts made us friends."
Beauty & Apparel & Technology
"Style is an expression of individual mixed with charisma. Fashion is something that comes after style." John Fairchild
Hair, Nails, Makeup & Essentials - Keep it Simple!
Hair, Beautiful Hair
1. Long Hair - Short Hair: Trimmed and neat. If long curl or straighten. Keep it freshly washed.
2. Manicure & Pedicure: Paint your nails and toe nails in a neutral tones for rush.
3. Simple 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. A little more color on the lips than in the above photograph is great!
No False Lashes
4. No False Eyelashes: Do not wear them.
5. Cover 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.
5. Small Crossbody Handbag: A must for cell phone, lipstick, face powder, mirror sunscreen, small sample perfume and mints.
6. Simple Jewelry: Less is best. Simplicity is key with stud earrings, maybe a bracelet or two and a ring if you must. Nothing that clinks or is noisy as it might become a distraction.
No Cell Phone!
7. NO CELL PHONE: Mute your phone during rush. You do not want the cell phone to ring or vibrate while talking to people. Keep in your handbag and out of sight. Do not look, text or answer your phone at all. The only time you can look at it - is between houses. Seriously - I just heard a story about a young woman while in the middle of an interview for a position who answered a call or text on her cell phone. And, it wasn't urgent. You can guess the outcome of the interview.
I love this painting but never chew gum on an interview of any sort!
8. Mints & Small Water & No Gum: Carry mints to pop in mouth before entering a house. Do not chew gum at all.
9. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter Etc.,: Clean up your technology accounts and make them innocuous. Do it now and not right before rush. Delete or hide questionable photos, statements or posts. Do not show pictures of drinking, political statements or anything that reflects poorly on you. All the women in houses use social media to check out a girl before rush and during rush to gain insight on who the potential rushee is in life. It is best to portray yourself as an upbeat and happy individual. Remember this applies for the working world too. You are on an interview so keep everything light and fun in social media.
"Elegance is not standing out, but being remembered." —Giorgio Armani
What to Wear!
1. Day 1 & 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 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.
2. Day 3: Skirt with and fun top.
3. Day 4: Sundress or skirt with a pretty top with comfortable wedges, sandals or flats.
4. Day 5: Fancy sundress or an elegant sheath dress with wedges or heels. Nylons optional.
5. Other: Do not wear scuffed shoes or sandals or tennis shoes even if in vogue. Unless on the first day - if wearing a uniform of tee-shirt and shorts.