Sorority Parents Blog

What Dads Should Know About Sorority Recruitment

So you’re getting ready to pack up the car(s) to take your daughter off to college and sorority recruitment. All the new dresses, shoes, jewelry, last trip to the hair salon, nail salon, the rec letters, last-minute goodbyes, etc. Most likely Mom has taken care of most of these important tasks and you will be relied on for the heavy lifting. Well, I’ve got news for you. That’s just the beginning. The beginning of what was, for me and my daughter, a truly great experience.

I confess, I had heard about recruitment for many years. I even knew that it’s a big deal. What I didn’t know is just how intense it can be; at least it was for me anyway, as I didn’t realize there is the possibility of “mismatching” or not getting selected. It didn’t help matters that on our return home from Athens that Sunday morning there was a feature front-page news story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about…yea, you guessed it…sorority recruitment. And not just any sorority recruitment mind you, but sorority recruitment at UGA. And as many newspapers do, they put every negative spin possible in that article to make Greek Life seem like the cause of every evil in the world today. Needless to say, I got a sick feeling in my stomach to go along with all the other emotions I was experiencing.

I have good news though. Recruitment went very well for my daughter-and for me, too. I became so interested in the whole process that I researched everything. So much so that by the time bid day rolled around, I actually knew more about the philanthropies of the AOPi’s than I did about the depth chart of the UGA football team; more about the GPAs of the Zeta’s than who was going to start on the offensive line; I knew the flower of the Pi Phi’s and the Phi Mu colors but not who was leading the FedEx cup on the PGA Tour. And for an avid sports enthusiast like myself, that is saying a lot.

My point to all this is . . . Dads, you have a very important role in recruitment. Be there at the end of the day for encouraging words. Even though your daughter can’t tell you much, you should be able to get a general feel for how things are going. Just show the love and support. And most importantly encourage her to keep an open mind and to not get her heart set on any one sorority because the truth is, all of the sororities are great and do great things. It’s all about finding the right fit for her. My daughter did, and two years later I can honestly tell yo that it has been an incredible experience for her in many ways that I look forward to sharing. Hope this helps and best wishes to your PNM. Yea, Dads . . . you’re about to find out what that means-haha!

Davis Burwell - 08/15/09 @ 10:26 pm

My daughter is currently participating in sorority rush at UGA. Let me share a few specific observations about rush at Georgia. First of all, I’ll give you a little background about how we got to where we are. My wife and I both attended college at Ole Miss, aguably the site of the most competitive, cut-throat Greek system in the free world. We anticipated rush at any other school to be tame compared to what we were used to (misconception number one).

My daughter got accepted to UGA (and the Honors Program) against tall odds. With so many Georgia residents staying in state at UGA due to the Hope Scholarship, admissiion for out of state applicants is HARD. So admission was the biggest hurdle, right? WRONG! (misconception two) The worst odds have proved to be breaking into a Greek system that is too small for the number of eligible rushees going through “recruitment.”

Now obviously I’m partial, but trust me when I say that my daughter would be an asset to the “best” sororities on campus. She’s intelligent (Honors Program), she has a great sense of humor, and she’s attractive. Ask anyone who knows her, and you will find that these are consistent descriptions. However, she is going into Pref Day with a distinct likelihood that she will withdraw from rush. Say what you want, but no one should be advised to accept a bid to any sorority that they aren’t completely happy with.

The problem? The University of Georgia is becoming, on all fronts academic and social, a university exclusive to Georgia residents. You might think that’s great if you’re the parent of a Hope Scholarship child, but it certainly doesn’t breed diversity. This exclusivity has influenced the Greek system. Although there is a large number of sororities at UGA, the quota (about 56 this year) is half of what it should be. The number of sororities shouldn’t influence the quota; rather, the quota should be determined by the population of the student body. With less that 15% of students coming from out of state, there just aren’t enough spots for even the most competitive rushees when they’re competing against girls who have fifty friends from high school in the system already.

All I want to say is this: If your daughter is not from Georgia and doesn’t have friends in sororities at UGA, she is staring at a huge disadvantage compared to Georgia girls in rush. We’ve seen this with many other girls in rush this year, not just my daughter.

I was elated when my daughter wasn’t going through rush at my alma mater….little did I know we were jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Sometimes your job as Dad is to explain to your daughter that she was a victim of the numbers and that there was really nothing she could do to change the results of her rush. Unfortunately, this won’t make her (or you) feel any less slighted.

Ashley - 09/09/09 @ 12:28 pm

I am an alum of a sorority at LSU, having just graduated two years ago. I was on all sides of the recruitment process during my four years. As a freshman, going through formal recruitment as a potential member, as a sophomore being active in the recruitment process as a Greek member, junior year as a Gamma Chi (recruitment counselor), and my senior year as the Recruitment Chair for my sorority. So, needless to say, I have seen all sides of recruitment.

Of course there were always stereotypes and misconceptions going around about how it was harder for out of state girls to get into a sorority. However, I can stand by the fact that almost half of my sorority was made up of girls who lived out of state, and rang true for many of the other sororities on campus. Along with this statement, the number of girls who dropped the sorority or transferred schools was astonishly and overwhelming majority of out of state girls.

I had heard other sororities on campus say that take in a select number of out of state girls each year due to this very fact – that they fear these girls won’t put in their four years as a sorority member. Obviously there are numerous things that factor into why girls are invited by the houses, and each campus sorority is different.

Also, you mentioned quota. Quota is based on how many sororities there are and how many girls are going through the recruitment process – this has nothing at all to do with the population of the student body.

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