Even though sorority recruitment was over five months ago, I still have so many people asking for me to break down the week and explain what each day was like. I understand that recruitment is a scary and crazy few days so it's best to be prepared. If you are planning on rushing either this fall or planning on some form of CoR recruitment, I wanted to give everybody plenty of time to learn about the experience and understand what to expect.
I have a few disclaimers before jumping into the post, and I hate disclaimers as much as the next person, but I feel it is necessary that I throw just two things out there. One, each recruitment varies. Although JMU is pretty similar to most processes, there are always going to be a few different details everywhere. Two, I agree that when you look good, you feel good but please remember that you are trying to find a group most like you. At the end of the day, you're going to join a group of girls where it's more personality based instead of based on material items. When going into each round, continue to ask yourself "Can I see myself here, can I see these girls as my sisters?". If you continue to make mental checks like this, you will understand how to rank each house at the end of each round! 💖
James Madison's fall recruitment was a total of six days and nights. Let me break it down for you...
Thursday 5pm - Open House Round 1
During Open House rounds you visit each sorority house. This is the typical scene where around 100-150 girls file into the sorority house and you stand there and talk to sisters for about 30 minutes. Because sometimes there were upward of 300 girls in the house basement, you were screaming in each other's faces trying to hear one another. It was also extremely hot and crowded so be prepared. This is the round where the sorority gets to know a little bit about you. They will ask you questions wondering where you're from, what you're studying, and what you're interests are. Don't be afraid to brag about yourself! Because there are twelve sororities on campus, we visited six on Thursday. I left the row at around 10PM this night.
Friday 5pm - Open House Round 2
This is the exact same thing as the day before, you just go to the other 6 houses. On these two days you were allowed three 30 minute breaks total. This gives you the opportunity to get food or go back to your dorm and freshen up. I actually had class on Friday from 5-8 so used all of my breaks to go to class. I left the row at around 10Pm this night.
Saturday 10am - Philanthropy Round
On this day you are called back to up to 8 houses depending on who you drop or who dropped you. I will be posting soon about how the dropping process is done. I was called back to eight houses so I had to attend eight 45 minute rounds learning about all of the charities that each sorority works with. The amount of time you spend on the row will change depending on how many houses you get called back to. I left the row at around 8PM this night.
Sunday 10am - Sisterhood Round
On Sunday you can be called back to up to 6 houses depending on who you dropped or who dropped you. I was called back to 6 houses so I was required to stay on the row longer than some who might have been called back to fewer houses. On sisterhood round, you learn all about what the sisterhood in the sorority is like. You will hear about the fun activities that the sisters do together and this was the day that all the cute videos that you see all over YouTube are shown. Don't let those videos fool you, as fun as it is to see a great sorority with a great video do you really think that girls sit around and blow glitter out of their hand on a regular basis?? Probably not. I will admit though, those videos are so awesome looking. This is the ADPi one from this past year. You can see it's much more low-key but greek life at JMU is low-key in itself. I left the row around 6PM this night.
Monday 7pm - Preference Round (Pref Night)
This is the biggest and most important night of recruitment week. This is the night where you have narrowed it down to two sororities and need to make a decision. I was down to Zeta Tau Alpha and Alpha Delta Pi. Typically, this is the night where you dress the fanciest and there is total silence on the row. The sororities are much more serious and there is no more changing or cheering. At this point, you have shown your interest in the sorority and now they want you. In other words, you have impressed them so much and they are very interested in you. At this point, you don't have to sell yourself anymore, they are 100% selling their sorority to you. At the end of the evening you will have to rank them. You are not guaranteed a bid at all, the sorority could decide last minute that they don't want you anymore. This is why even though they sorority is very interested in you because you have made it this far into recruitment, it is still important to be respectful, polite, and kind towards all of the sisters hosting you that evening. I left the row at 10:30 PM this night.
Tuesday 6pm - Bidcel
WOO WOO! You have made it to the end of the week and now it's time for fun! The way JMU did Bidcel might be a little different that other universities. All of the PNM's (girls rushing) met in the main building on the quad, Wilson Hall. That is where we met our Rho Gamma's and were given our BidCards. While this was going on, all off the sororities met on the Quad chanting, singing, decked out in glitter. In Wilson Hall once everyone received their BidCards, we were allowed to open them. In alphabetical order, each sorority was called to run out on the Quad to their new home. Alpha Delta Pi is first so (thankfully) I got to leave Wilson first! That night we took our BidCel photo, ate pizza, dance, and celebrated the new members.
As I said earlier, each sorority differs on how many chapters they have, what type of recruitment is held, and on the little details. This was just my experience and how JMU broke things down. This is the typical way that most campuses hold recruitment but at the end of the day there is going to be something different at each college! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them down below! I would love to hear from you! Be on the lookout for more recruitment and sorority related videos in the future!