Sorority and fraternity recruitment is arguably the most important time for any Greek organization. It is a time for recruiting new members who fit the mold of your organization, and also want to better your organization with the qualities they possess. Most people see it as a “mutual selection process” that is imperative for members and potential members to make positive and accurate choices based on information that is received during the recruitment process. Although there are enormous differences between the way fraternities and sororities recruit, and even differences in the way universities recruit, the process should be alike in one way: Members and potential members should be making decisions based on values and morals, instead of superficial reasons.
Unfortunately, many organizations still choose to recruit members based on looks, money and whether or not they like to “party”. Although these may be aspects to look at while recruiting, these should not be sole reasons to choose any member. These types of things will fade, and when you’ve chosen someone based on these reasons, rather than values and willingness to contribute, your chapter will slowly become one that is not following its original values and principles which the founders set forth.
This past year as a Rho Gamma (recruitment guide) for formal sorority recruitment in the fall, I was definitely shocked and surprised at the way that someone chapters chose to recruit members. Even though Washington State University Panhellenic chose to focus on a values-based recruitment this year, some individual women and chapters still focused on superficial, materialistic aspects when choosing members. Automatically dismissing a potential new member based on what you see can completely make you miss out on a great addition to your chapter. This goes for potential new members as well. Dropping chapters based on looks or how big the house is almost guarantees that you won’t end up with a good fit.
Furthermore, focusing on positive and valuable aspects of a chapter such as philanthropies, why members chose to be a part of a certain chapter and what made them stay, how they connect with and bond with one another, how members have helped each other, and other in depth questions are a great start for a potential member to really know if they want to be a part of such a chapter. As a recruiter, ask questions like, “What are you looking to get out of joining a sorority/fraternity?” or “What is something you are passionate about that contributes to others?” These are just a couple examples of questions that will reveal more about a person than their favorite drinking game or whether or not they are single.
Lastly, try to eliminate all preconceived notions and stereotypes about chapters or potential members. Unless you know something to be absolutely true about a person or group, don’t believe it. When I went through formal recruitment four years ago, I didn’t know any of the houses’ reputations so I was confident that I joined my chapter for the right reasons. Similarly, someone in your chapter might try “boycotting” a potential member because of something they did in high school or because they “cheated on someone’s best friend’s cousin’s boyfriend.” Leave rumors and stereotypes where they belong: in high school. College is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. So let the fun begin!