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Your Complete Sorority Rush Guide


The time you have been dreaming about is finally here. It has been months of researching sororities, following updates online, wondering if you have what it takes to become a sister. Sorority recruitment has finally arrived. Even if you have been freaking out or completely confident about the process, chances are, you are still unclear of the expectations, and everyone you ask has a different experience to share.

At the end of your recruitment process, you will be able to determine which sorority house will become your home and which group of gals will potentially develop into your lifelong sisterhood. These are big decisions so it is vital that you understand what you’re getting yourself into to be able to bring your best self to the table.

How do put your best self forward? What tips and tricks can help you succeed? Remember, each school handles recruitment differently and the following is simply an outline. 

Open House Expectations

At the open house, you will be led by an older sorority member who will be your guide or Rho Chi or Rho Gamma. This is someone who has disaffiliated temporarily with the sorority. They will take you and other potential new members from house to house.

At a specific time, the door will open, and you will witness numerous sorority sisters dancing and screaming. Next, one of the sisters will take your arm and lead you to a chair where you will chat for approximately 5 minutes. Afterward, another sister will approach, and you can speak with her for a bit. This process repeats for about 20 minutes and gives you the opportunity to speak with 3 to 4 girls. The rush chair will make a speech when this intro is done. You may need to complete short activity or hear a funny story prior to being ushered out. Once the day is done, you will write down which chapters you enjoyed the most and make a few house cuts.

What To Wear?

Round 1 Wardrobe Expectations

For your best recruitment chances, try to overdress a little. Don’t look so casual that you could be mistaken for running to the grocery store. Try starting with a skirt or a pair of dark jeans and match up with some cute boots, wedges, or flats with a stylish sweater or top. Avoid too many accessories.

Round 2 Wardrobe Expectations

Note that every round gets a bit more dressed up. Think of having a family brunch for Round 2. Opt for a flattering top and pair it with a sweet skirt or fitted shorts. Wedges or flats are great. You can have a bit more flair with your makeup and experiment with some bronzer or soft lipstick shades. Subtle jewelry is fine, however, don’t go over the top.

Round 3 Wardrobe Expectations

Imagine you are preparing for a supper date for Round 3. You could try a statement necklace with a sundress and wedges. Try to look put together but not excessively formal. No satin prom dresses just yet. A stylish pants suit or business attire skirt suit could also work. Go through your wardrobe and see what looks and feels comfortable and stylish. You don’t want to be oozing sweat or adjusting your outfit all night. Pick something that you feel confident in.

Round 4 Wardrobe Expectations

Semiformal is the dress code for your Round 4 meeting. Imagine attending a rehearsal dinner for a wedding or going to a bar mitzvah. Classy dresses are your best friend. Slip into your best high heels and finish your ensemble with a stylish necklace. A strand of peals could provide the sleek, polished vibe you are seeking.

Discussion Expectations

Rounds 1 & 2 Conversations

Keep the conversation light and friendly during Rounds 1 & 2. Remember, you only have a chance to speak with each member for a couple of minutes. You may find yourself repeating your major and your hometown to each person that it feels like you are going crazy. Try to incorporate some interesting facts that will help you stand out from the competition. You want the sisters to remember that your conversation was more intriguing than the others. Talk about a campus club you are involved with or relate something exciting that happened over the summer. Aim to distinguish yourself to get noticed for the right reasons.

Round 3 Conversations

At this point, you have learned about the sorority’s interests, structure, philanthropy and activities. If you have any questions, this is a great time to ask them. Be sure to advertise what your goals and activities are during this round. Give feedback about rush and ask general sorority questions. Don’t speak about other houses or make any strong references regarding how much you wish to be involved with a certain chapter. Convince the girls interviewing you that you will fit in great with their team.

Round 4 Conversations

By this last round, the conversations will get much deeper. Discuss what drew you to become interested in each chapter. Talk about your feelings regarding rush in general and why you think you will be a great fit. Speak intelligently and offer reasons why you will be an asset. Display your depth and personality. They don’t want to admit any girls who won’t be a good fit or bring a lot to their chapter. This is the final round where you can close the deal. You will have one hour to show the girls your inner side and why everyone will benefit if you spend the remainder of your college experience together.

Off-Topic Discussions

Avoid the 5 no-no topics, at all costs. The five off-limit topics for rush include:

  • Bible
  • Boys
  • Booze
  • Bids
  • Ballot

Droning on about the latest frat guy crush can really hurt your prospects if he used to date another sister. Politics and religion are simply too controversial for recruitment topics. You can revisit these subjects later once you have become sisters with these current strangers. Talking about how many shots you took the other night at the club will not leave you with the classiest image and may relate that you don’t have enough poise for the chapter.

The main conversation no-no flaw during rush is to speak about other sorority houses. Some girls even ask if they can get a bid into a certain house. This will imply that you are underhanded, catty and desperate. It also totally ignores the rules of the Panhellenic Council. Avoid making it this far and letting it all unravel. Relax and take a deep breath. The best place for you will reveal itself soon enough. Don’t be fake and don’t try too hard. After all, you are looking to join a like-minded group of ladies. You want to find a chapter that feels like home and is not superficial. Stay true to yourself and the right opportunities will prevail.

Next Step, House Tours

The house tours are the second round. These activities vary from school to school. They may include a skit, a philanthropy presentation, or a craft to complete and typically occur at each house. You most likely will have cut certain houses by this round and some houses will have already cut you. Avoid wearing too much jewelry and extra-tight clothing. Remove your watch and just be yourself. If you are constantly looking bored by checking the time or look like you are hitting the club, you won’t make the impression you are hoping for.

This step showcases visiting fewer houses each day and incorporates longer rounds, typically forty minutes. You get to enjoy discussions with multiple girls, often up to three individuals prior to taking a house tour. This allows you to learn more about their structure and their activities. You may learn about how much the cost of living is and which local and national philanthropies they are associated with. At the end of this day, you will rank the sororities once again and cut more houses from your list.

Round 3 Skit Breakdown

Of course, the activities for Round 3 will vary. There will be numerous schools that don’t offer a skit. This may instead be referred to as the “Philanthropy Round,” if the skit is avoided. These house tours may occur during the 3rd Round for some places.

If a skit is on the menu, you will speak with 2 or 3 girls and then watch some of the most talented team members from each chapter put on a funny performance. The skit typically involves songs and pop culture references. This is an ideal way to view the house’s personality and see if where your comfort levels lie. At the end of this day, you will once again rank the sororities and only have 3 houses left to choose from.

Round 4 Preference 

The 4th round is the most serious. During this phase, you may only speak with one girl for the entire timeframe, which is a complete hour at most places. During the other rounds, you will see girls cheer, dance and try to showcase how much fun their sorority is. However, the “Pref Round,” is all about the values, principles and traditions associated with each chapter.

During the Pref Round, you will hear from ladies about what being a sister means to them. There is a special ceremony during this round that captures the essence of each house. Typically, you will view a presentation delivered by senior members and learn about the chapter’s traditions. By the end of this day, you will “pref” or prefer 2 to 3 sororities in the order that you would like to pledge. There will be a computer system that this information runs through to match you up to your specific house.

Speak With Other Members

This is a general outline of what you can expect. Of course, you can speak with other sorority sisters and learn more information regarding rush, expectations, dress code, chapter interests, etc. by networking on campus and speaking with friends or family who have already undergone the process.