SororityTok, #bamarush, whatever you want to call it has been taking over TikTok. As a sorority alumna, I’m so glad it is.
Tiktok is one of the more favorable forms of social media at the moment, and college students are using it to share their lives, dances, and so much more. However, we’ve all noticed how quickly #bamarush took over. We fell in love and those who are sisters in a sorority (even alumnae!) began rooting for their favorites to find their home.
I did not go to an SEC school, in fact, I went to one of the smaller schools in Virginia. My chapter was the 6th chapter on campus (I’m a founding sister of my chapter). So our deferred recruitment (this just means we do recruitment in the Spring semester), is totally different than what we are seeing all over TikTok right now.
I’m a first-generation college student. Therefore, I knew nothing about Greek Life. I know that I’m not the only one in this boat, so let me share some information.
Every school is not like Alabama, or these other southern schools you’re seeing all over TikTok. Most are way more low-key.
Lingo for Sorority Recruitment
Active- A current initiated sister.
Alumna-an post-grad member of the sorority.
Alumnae- plural of alumna.
Bid- the card the PNM receives telling them which sorority they are joining.
Mutual Process- this is one of the harder terms to define. Essentially, after every round, the PNM is asked to rank the houses. A certain number is dropped after each round. Both the sororities and PNMs “rank” and the computer formula decides which houses a PNM ends up going back to.
Recruitment- the process where sororities “recruit” or get to know PNMs.
Recruitment Counselor- Pi Chi, Rho Gamma, so many names. They all do the same job: they are disaffiliated sisters of chapters on campus who are there to help guide you through the recruitment process. These ladies have gone through recruitment as a PNM and as an active sister. They disaffiliate so they are an unbiased person to help their PNMs. They run back home after all the PNMs.
Recommendation letters (recs)-letters written by current members (some chapters only allow actives from others schools to write recs) or an alumna.
Round- Each round has a name: open house, philanthropy, house tours, sisterhood, preference. The names vary by campus, but most do open house, philanthropy, sisterhood (or some version of this), and preference.
Run Home- when the PNMs “run” (sometimes literal, sometimes figurative) to their new houses after accepting their bid.
Party/Parities- each time you visit a new house during a round is a party.
Panhellenic Council- the governing body of all sororities.
Philanthropy- the nonprofit organization the sorority fundraises for and supports with volunteer hours.
PNM-Potential New Member.
How the Sorority Recruitment Week Works
As a PNM, you sign up for recruitment. You will typically have a week full of events.
Day 1: Some sort of orientation, and it might be called convocation. It’s different at different schools. This is typically very casual (i.e. jeans or shorts and a t-shirt). This is where you meet your recruitment counselor and your recruitment group. You will travel with them for at least the first round (typically Open House) or until your first rounds of cuts.
Day 2: Open House. Different schools do this differently. At my school, we have one day for Open House. Some schools have two, though. Again, this is casual. Jeans or a cute skirt. Often, there is a mandatory t-shirt to wear with bottoms of your choice. Open House is there for you to learn all about the different houses and meet several sisters from each house. Parties are short. You will maybe have 15 minutes in each house.
Day 3: Philanthropy. Again, this is a more casual round. You could wear jeans and a nicer shirt. You will talk with several sisters, and probably listen to some speeches about the philanthropy or watch a video on it. This is often when PNMs start to feel a connection with the house. Philanthropy is often a major reason for choosing a specific house.
Day 4: Sisterhood. This round is dressier. I would wear a nice dress. As we saw on #bamarush on TikTok, Love Shack Fancy dresses, like this one, really took over for this round. This is when you will get to hear more about sisterhood events, and often why sisters stayed in the chapter after joining.
Day 5: Preference. This is the dressiest round. Think classy cocktail dress, and heels or the best ballet flats you own. This is the longest round, but you will probably only talk to two or three sisters.
Day 6: Bid day. This is a more casual day, and you will get a new shirt (or a jersey) from the house to wear that is yours. I would wear comfy shoes, especially if you are at a school that literally “runs” home.
At might school, we made cuts after Philanthropy and Sisterhood, and then we ranked our top two choices after Preference.
If you attend Preference parties, you are guaranteed a bid from a house.
This is one of the most important factors for a lot of people. Price differs based on a lot of factors-how many chapters are on the campus is one of them. I believe Panhellenic made it a rule, that all chapters have to disclose dues and where the money goes toward. You have the right as a PNM to know this information as financials can help you make your decision. Smaller schools are typically around $400-$600 a semester when larger schools can be multiple thousand a semester (Alabama is one of the more expensive schools, and most chapters are around $4000-$6000 a semester, but this includes the mandatory meal plan). A lot of chapters also have scholarships.
Myths Busted for Sorority Recruitment
The myth: I have to be blonde to be a sorority. Absolutely not. In fact, most of the girls in my chapter weren’t blonde. It’s important to be YOU.
The myth: You have to be rich. Again, not necessarily true. I know a lot of girls who worked to pay for their dues. You can also decide not to buy every shirt or merch item that is offered. It’s really up to you! While yes, I linked a $295 dress from Love Shack Fancy, you do not have to spend that kind of money on clothes for any reason.
The myth: your grades don’t matter. False. In fact, GPAs among students that join sororities and fraternities are higher than non-Greek students. Also, your GPA factors into the mutual selection process, so you want it to be the best you can be. There is a Panhellenic GPA requirement on each campus. However, some chapters could have a higher GPA recruitment above the Panhellenic minimum.
The myth: What you did in high school/on your personal time doesn’t matter. So false. Who you are as a person matters. A lot of recruitments are moving toward values-based recruitments, and chapters want new members that have the same values they have!
The myth: the sorority has to become my whole life. Absolutely not. How much time you put in is up to you. Sororities offer you a lot of great opportunities, like intermural sports, study groups, formals, date parties, and so much more. Most chapters want their members to be active (and leaders) in other organizations. There are a few mandatory events-typically chapter meetings each week and philanthropy events. However, this varies by chapter.
The myth: I need multiple recommendations for every house. Not necessarily. While recommendations are helpful, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have them. In fact, sororities do not want recommendations from someone you cold called to write one just because. Make sure they’re meaningful and from someone who knows you.
The myth: I need a resume. Yes, you do need a resume. Include the important things: clubs, organizations, and leadership positions. Also, you will probably need a headshot. If you’re a senior in high school, use your senior portrait.
The myth: Greek Rank is the Bible. Absolutely not. In fact, I would say ignore Greek Rank completely. You want to feel at home in the house you choose. Don’t let random people’s beliefs (that aren’t even in the chapter) determine how you feel about it.
The myth: I need to be in the same house as my friends. False! You need to be in the house that is right for you! The biggest advice my friend, Lili (also Greek, but at another school) had is to go into recruitment with an open mind. You will end up where you are meant to be! You can find Lili on tiktok @misslilirebecca and on instagram.
The myth: I have to be a legacy to join a sorority. NOPE! A legacy is someone whose sister, mom, or grandmother was in the same sorority. You do not have to be a legacy, and many chapters are actually dropping their legacy policies.
The myth: I need to join a top-tier sorority. First, tiers don’t exist. Tiers can’t exist because each house is right for the person that joins them. Now, which house you join might mix more with certain fraternities or sororities, but tiers really don’t exist.
Let me know if you have any other sorority or Greek Life questions, and I’ll try my best to answer them!