Sorority recruitment is a wonderful, magical, and unusual time. Maybe you spent several days walking around your house in socks and heels to break them in, or practicing your favorite chants in the car with your best friends, or even finally learned how to curl your hair. Whatever the situation, it was different than your normal day. One thing that shouldn’t change? How you talk about other chapters during recruitment.
When recruitment workshops take place, they focus on Sigma Kappa, and rightly so, as you are a member of this organization. But where things get tricky is learning to be proud of your organization, while also not degrading another women’s group. Young women often forget that their chapter experience may not be the best possible for everyone else who goes through recruitment, just as the same was true for you. Maybe you knew after a few rounds which chapters you just wouldn’t fit in with, and others where you felt right at home. Every PNM will have a similar experience, so it’s important to remember to speak positively about each chapter. Any woman interested in being a part of the Panhellenic community should think and speak highly of all other Panhellenic groups, regardless of where they find their home, as should the women who have already joined their chapters.
So, how should you react when a PNM hints they are not interested in your chapter, but a different one? You help find the right home for them! Ask them what they like about that chapter, what kind of connections they made, and how they see themselves contributing to it in the future. Not only does this encourage the PNM to be honest with herself, and decrease the pressure they may feel to act interested in your chapter, it also helps you learn more about a different chapter through someone else’s eyes. This is also a great way to learn about what chapter elements your chapter could improve upon in future years.
Maybe you have friends in other chapters, your best friend even. Though their letters and ritual may be different, there are so many opportunities for shared experiences. The wonderful thing about the Panhellenic community is the amount of interaction you can have with women in other chapters. From Homecoming to Greek Week, philanthropy events to football games, the chance to meet and spend time with other Panhellenic women is part and parcel of your sorority experience. Getting to know those women during recruitment, by meeting all the PNMs who go through and chose to join a chapter other than your own, is a wonderful introduction to the community, and can serve as an example to them of what those relationships might look like for them in the future.
At the end of recruitment, remember to congratulate the other Panhellenic chapters on your campus, because they worked just as hard as yours did! Your chapter can write a congratulations note, or send a vase of flowers over to them after your event has ended. You can also post a photo with other Panhellenic women during pre-recruitment season to remind PNM’s that you absolutely can be friends with women outside your own chapter, and encourage your chapter’s social media to do the same!
At the end of the day, Panhellenic community and friendships can be some of the most rewarding, and can contribute to an even more fulfilling collegiate and alumni experience. After all, who wouldn’t want more sorority women friends?
Yours in Exploration,