FINAL POST!! Under Cover Recruitment: A Secret Look into Sorority Recruitment

Grand Central Mag asked a Central Michigan University freshman to go through recruitment, and write about her feelings and concerns during the formal sorority recruitment week at CMU, starting Sept. 10, 2011 thru Sept. 16, 2011. For the next week, there will be a new blog post every day from our anonymous reporter detailing her thoughts. Any questions or concerns regarding this story, may be emailed to our Greek Life editor, Allison Totten at

Potential new members visit a sorority house with their Gamma Chi advisers during the first day of formal sorority recruitment on Sept. 10, 2011. (Christina Locricchio | staff photograpgher

The Final Post: Preference & Jump- Sept. 15,2011

Before I begin to describe the host of events that occurred last night and will occur tonight, I want to say thank you to all those who were supportive throughout the process and all the positive comments I received.  I also want to especially thank all the sororities. Ladies, you all work extremely hard and you keep your sisters as well as the sorority close to your hearts, and in seeing that, my eyes have been opened to reality.  Thank you.

Now down to business.  This will be my last entry.  I’m going to go out and say that I was happy to see all the smiling faces of the sisters in the party I was invited to last night.  The preference party is definitely a more intimate affair compared to all the other events.  Sisters sit down and talk to you about the week, someone that you’ve already met early in recruitment.  I’ll be honest and say that I was ecstatic to be invited back to my top pick.  I can’t express that enough.  Although I still saw the same uninterested attitudes, I also saw many who were overwhelmed by everything that was going on, the same went with the sisters in the party themselves.

What makes me most excited about last night is the fact that we were shown the very intimate and raw thoughts and feeling of the ladies of the sororities.  Nothing was held back when explaining how important the sisterhood was to them and how all these girls became their family.  And when I looked around at the faces of others while these stories and anecdotes were told, I could see that many, if not all, felt exactly the same. Some nodded; others were sniffling and holding back tears.  It was just an amazing sight.

Today is Jump, which is when you accept the bid by going on stage, announcing your pledge and then jumping to your sisters, followed by an after party.  I can tell you that this is a day that will change so many girls’ lives.  Just the thought makes my heart race!   I won’t reveal whether or not I’m going through with it, if I’m going to accept the bid, or if I’m going to wait.  But I will give you my final closing thoughts.

When approached about going undercover for Rush, I was extremely skeptical.  While I had seen bits and pieces of Greek Life, I still held prejudices about them. I wanted nothing to do with Sororities.  Within the first day, I realized how wrong my perception of Greek Life was wrong, and throughout the week I became more and more enthralled with everything.  I honestly fell in love with the idea of becoming part of a sorority and a sisterhood.  I just hope that I managed to change a few skeptical minds this week and maybe help shed some light on the ins and outs of Greek Life as well as what it means to be in a sisterhood.

This week has been a truly incredible experience and looking back, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Congratulations to all the new members of Greek Life and all the sisters.  Thank you again.

Day Four- Sisterhood & Indecision: Sept. 13, 2011

Last night’s events were all entailing sisterhood.  But among the talks of sisterhood, I kept my ever vigilant eyes on the recruits as well as the sisters.  There was definitely a feeling of anxiousness as well as disinterest in the air at the houses I was invited back too.  Many girls were shocked or upset about the houses that had cut them and the ones that had invited them back.  It was especially apparent by the body language during the sort of bonding games we played.  Girls who were interested sat forward,listening intently.  Those who were trying to be polite smiled and nodded, never interrupting, but also not saying much.  Then there were those who sat back and made no effort in hiding their boredom. I personally felt that that was rude, since obviously these girls felt like they had a connection, yet the recruit wanted nothing to do with them.  But those cases were few, I’m happy to say.

The most common attitude I observed last night was indecision.  Many girls I talked to had absolutely no idea where they wanted to go.  Some felt like they didn’t have a constant connection with any house, while others felt like they could see themselves in three houses.  The first day I went through the houses, I asked the sisters how they knew their sorority was right for them.  I was given the same answer constantly, “You just know, you feel it,” But, a few were worried that they would never find a home or that connection with the right house.  It got me thinking, “How do you know?”  Personally, I’m not sure if I feel the connection with my top pick or if it’s just the fact that I thought the girls were really nice.  So, I guess I’m in the same boat.

When my preference list was done and I began to leave, I noticed many girls still struggling to figure out what they wanted to do.  Those were definitely the recruits that I could see making a difference in a house and really having a great connection once they figure out where they want to be.  To those girls I say this: Don’t stress.  Maybe it will come to you, maybe it won’t.  If it does, that’s fantastic!  And if it doesn’t, don’t sweat it!  You’re not the only one with this dilemma And also, remember, 1. You have a few more days to mull it over, and 2. If you’re still unsure by the end, why not wait until spring recruitment?  Maybe a little time to think about things will help you figure out where you belong. Just stay positive!


Day Three- Philanthropic Ideologies: Sept. 12, 2011

Since today and tomorrow’s topics revolve around the same things (sisterhood), I thought that I’d touch more on the philanthropic side of things.  Basically, each sorority has a special charity or issue they raise money for.  On Sunday, recruits were given a short presentation and a craft to do in honor of it.  While going through the houses again, I found that some sororities were more passionate than others.  If you know anything about the sororities and their philanthropy, you know that the sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha are advocates of breast cancer awareness.  And they don’t just hand out ribbons.  These girls collected Yogplait tops last year and were the tenth largest collector last year.  They hand out flyers for self exams and educated groups about breast cancer.  Their hard work definitely blew me away, as well as the fact that it isn’t just CMU’s chapter that’s this hard working, its chapters all over the country.  I discovered that many girls joined Zeta because they saw how passionate they were on the issue and knew or know someone close to them who was diagnosed with breast cancer.  In that, I felt like Zeta deserved recognition from this freshman recruit.  Zeta definitely left a good impression on me.

As for the others, I found that while there are those that are extremely passionate (one sorority had the sisters as well as a few of the recruits, myself included, in tears over a video about their philanthropy),  others weren’t as clear or didn’t seem as passionate.  I found myself asking a few of my guides what exactly their philanthropy was and what I was doing the craft for.  Of course, all the sisters were friendly, but I found that some just didn’t seem to have the same drive and passion as others.

The topic of philanthropy really was an interesting one.  I actually had no idea that sororities did that before recruitment.  Each day brings new information about what it means to be in a sorority.  I’m glad to report that the stereotypes given to sororities seem more ridiculous and absurd each day.  I’d be proud to say I was a part of a sorority one day.  And hopefully, I can.

Day Two- Recruit Stereotypes: Sept. 11, 2011

When they said that day two was much easier than day one, they weren’t kidding. Today was basically about going back to the houses that enjoyed your cheery company the day before.  Not everyone goes back to the same number of houses.  Some go to nine, for me it was seven.  I was disappointed that I didn’t get invited back to a few houses which I found particularly friendly and the sisters that I thought I had a connection with, but Que sera sera.

Though today was more about the philanthropy of each sorority, I found something interesting going on.  I’ve said before that the stereotypes people have given aren’t true, and they aren’t. But that doesn’t extend to the recruits. Whoever said girls weren’t competitive was either a man or just misinformed.  When you get your lists of houses that invited you back, some girls were given the full nine and weren’t afraid of bragging.  But, because they were college students they used the art of subtlety.  House invites were casually mentioned in conversation,while waiting outside the houses, and also during breaks.   Girls talked about how their days were long because they had to visit NINE houses (emphasis on the nine).  Some just gave looks to other recruits.  If you’re a girl, you know what I’m talking about: the cross between a body check and a conceded glare.  This also occurred during the house meetings.  It was pretty clear today whether recruits wanted to be there or not.  No one really tried to hold back their dislike for a house. And if you’re wondering why today’s post is centered on this, it’s because I feel like it’s something that’s overlooked.

It scares me to think that some of these overzealous girls could possibly be the future leaders of these sororities;that they could display this attitude towards future recruitments and because of it, possibly turn away gems that would continue to carry on the great legacy that is that sorority.  My first thought when I noticed this was, “When will high school elitist attitudes end and adult maturity begin?”  Each sorority has their strength and weakness, but each has great qualities and amazing members.  The attitudes displayed today felt like they were only encouraging the stereotypes of Greek Life and throwing dirt on the hard work and efforts of sororities to disprove them.  I feel guilty for once being a believer of those stereotypes but also ashamed that my generation’s attitudes towards those who are different mirror those attitudes from thirty/ forty plus years ago.  Nevertheless, tomorrow is another day to prove oneself to be worthy of such a special gift that is sorority sisterhood, and hopefully these attitudes will change with acceptance into houses.

First Official Day of Recruitment: Sept. 10, 2011

I have officially made it through the first day of recruitment.  I have the blisters and sunburn to prove it!  All kidding aside, it was a fairly long day, and as many of the sisters have said,the first day is definitely the longest. But today felt like a world turned upside down for me.  Initially, I went in thinking that going Greek was just like being a part of a fancy club.  And it is, but it’s a fancy club with all your closest friends and family.

While going through the houses, I made it a habit to ask each of my guides what made them want to join a sorority and what was the best part.  The answers to both these questions, I found,were the same.  And when I say that, I mean that every person I asked answered the exact same way: sisterhood.  So, sisterhood, what’s that?  Well college girls and/or boys, it’s something very different than what you’re most likely thinking.

While sisterhood means a close bond with a female sibling, to these girls, it means something more than could be put into words.  I’m being all poetic because that’s what I saw whenever someone explained it. Sisterhood is a bond that can’t be broken, like a permanent surrogate family that’s yours for the rest of your life, even when you’ve graduated.  It’s a simple and complex term all at the same time.  It’s sitting down with a few other girls to catch up on 90210 on a lazy Sunday.  It’s also having someone to call when you’re at a party and you don’t feel safe.  And as cheesy as it sounds, the way these girls felt towards each other really moved me.

Cheesiness and girly feelings aside, today was a big day.  I’ve named my top choices, and move onto the next round tomorrow.  I have a feeling tomorrow won’t be much better, especially since it’s another day going through the houses.  But I have a hunch that after tomorrow it’ll be all downhill from there. Fingers still crossed.

Pre-Recruitment Nerves: Sept. 9, 2011
By Anonymous

I’ve never really considered Greek life. I’ve been told many good and bad things about it. So, I’ll be honest and say that I’m pretty nervous to go through recruitment. I’ll be surrounded by strangers and people I’ve never seen before. That sounds like the first day of college, actually. While I’m nervous, I’m also incredibly excited to see Greek life first hand. I know that Sororities are not like they are depicted in movies like House on Sorority Row, or Revenge of the Nerds.

Right now, I’m picturing  big lovely houses, girls dressed in their absolute best outfits, wearing their brightest smiles welcoming the hordes of potential new sisters. Okay, so maybe that’s setting the bar a little too high, but there really isn’t any other way I can picture it. It just means I’m optimistic about recruitment. But, I guess I’ll just have to put on my brightest smile and bring out the best parts of my  humor and personality (while hiding the less attractive parts) and hope I make a good first impression. Fingers crossed.