There's something about sisterhood that really sticks out to university students. On the outside, it all seems like matching shirts and mixers. Girls dress up for events and take tons of Instagram pictures, and that's really the extent of what most people know about being in a sorority. While sorority life has the social appeal to students, it has so much more to be valued in its membership.
Sororities recruit every year for their chapters on campus through a formal recruitment process. Potential new members, typically Freshmen and Sophomores, will sign up through their university for formal recruitment. Each university will have a designated time for formal recruitment, usually before the start of a semester.
Formal Recruitment activities can be an educational experience for anyone; from the freshman who just moved away from home, to the senior Chapter President who knows these events like the back of her hand. Meeting new, different people broadens everyone’s horizons. Engaging in conversation with women from every corner of a campus can be enlightening to anyone who participates in recruitment. It isn’t all about small talk; it’s about finding common ground with people that may have been complete strangers a few minutes ago. It’s about practicing how to be an active listener and a skilled speaker. Most importantly, it's a chance for chapters and potential new members to find the best fit with their beliefs and values. Once she’s participated in formal recruitment for several years in a row, a sorority member knows what it means to be a good host as well as a good guest.
For both sides of recruitment, the potential new member and the chapter member, the goal is about finding the best fit. A prospective member will learn about a sorority's values, beliefs, and culture during formal recruitment. This allows a member to make an informed choice about accepting an invitation to join a house. During the week, chapters will often share their love for philanthropy and leadership on campus, as well as the ways that being a sorority woman has positively impacted their lives. These types of stories are valuable to hear as a potential new member, because they can create a feeling of comfort during a hectic and stressful week.
Formal Recruitment prepares sorority women for life after graduation by encouraging them to hone social, communication and decision-making skills that last a lifetime. This is a time for creating relationships, memories, and self-improvement for all involved. The week of formal recruitment can be stressful and overwhelming, but the reward of joining the right house or recruiting the right members can make it worth it.
Sorority alumnae take what they’ve learned from their recruiting and membership experiences, and maintain fulfilling relationships with themselves and the people around them. So many important choices in life; like deciding on a new house, job or spouse, ultimately come down to finding the best fit. Life takes practice, practice makes perfect, and the collegiate Greek experience makes for a great training ground. Graduation is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate everything a student has achieved during her years enrolled at a university. For sorority women, that achievement goes beyond the degree they hold in their hands on graduation day.