Spease: Sorority versus Fraternity recruitment, and why it sucks.

Holly Spease

Although I am a sorority girl, I think our recruitment system sucks. In no way am I bashing Greek life; I think the men and women who dedicate their time and money to their chapter should be proud of themselves and all that they do for their community. Yet when it comes to recruiting new members, the system is flawed. For women, they have to arrive a week before school starts in order to go through a process known as “recruitment school”. Imagine all the movies where girls are singing, dancing, and making small talk and that sums up our week. This is very different from fraternity rush events. Although I love my chapter and am all about women power, the frat boys win when it comes to recruitment.

For fraternities, they hold various events such as basketball tournaments, bowling competitions, cigars night, etc. Fraternity men do not have a formal training school, but they do talk about recruiting guys based on their values. Thus, when the brothers hold their recruitment events they are completely focused on getting to know the potential new members, and learning more about their character rather than on outfits and songs. Casual events like barbecues and football games allow for a relaxed environment where men can truly get to know each other. There are no fake conversations and high expectations. Fraternity men do not have to wear matching shoes or wear their hair a certain way. They are purely focused on recruiting guys who will reflect their core values, and who they enjoy spending time with.

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In my experience, sorority recruitment is much different. Starting the year before rush week, women from different chapters meet to discuss the logistics of formal recruitment. They decide how long each sorority will talk to a group of potential new members, what day house tours will be held, what sorority can use what song for their door chants, etc. It’s absolute madness and hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars are spent on recruiting girls for a sorority. In addition, women are required to go to their chapter’s training where they learn how to hold a proper recruitment discussion, outline outfit expectations, talk about what to say on a house tour, etc. Although sororities do focus on choosing women who represent their values, it is emphasized that these characteristics should be the focus of rush week; it gets lost behind all the formal clutter. Women are so worried about not messing up the door song or tripping when they walk up the stairs that the entire point of recruiting women for their character is lost. I’m not blaming sororities, Greek life, or any women, I am simply pointing out that the recruitment system is flawed.

If women were to hold barbecues or soccer games as their rush events, then it would take the pressure off everyone. New members would be more comfortable talking about their interests, and sorority women would be focused on nothing else other than finding amazing women to join their chapter. This would also crush any thoughts that sororities choose women based on how they look and how awesome their social media is. That is a lie, but potential new members might think this way because they have to wear a certain outfit on each day. If there were no rules about what to wear or how to act, then it would be much easier to dispel stereotypical sorority girl rumors and find women based on their connection with the chapter. I love my sisters and there are a lot of great things about formal recruitment, but in my opinion, sororities should follow in fraternities footsteps and make rush week a little more casual.