Sam Houston State University’s five Panhellenic sororities welcomed many prospective new members to their organizations as recruitment wrapped up Sunday.
Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Chi Omega, Zeta Tau Alpha, Sigma Sigma Sigma and SHSU’s newest sorority Alpha Omicron Pi kicked off the fall semester by inviting female students to several events during their five-day recruitment period.
Recruitment began Wednesday with “Brag Night,” where sorority members show prospective students what their sisterhood has to offer. Junior education major and Alpha Omicron Pi member Nabil Valenzuela said “Brag Night” lets sororities show off their group to those who are interested.
“You’re supposed to brag about what you did over the past year, what you’ve done and what you want to do,” she said. “What you want to get across to the potential new members is what your sorority means to you and what it actually is.”
After “Brag Night” was “Theme,” where sisters help potential new members feel more comfortable around their prospective sorority. Members often find cute and easy ways for a prospective student to feel comfortable with their future sisters or in their house, according to Valenzuela.
The next day, softer sides of Greek life were shown at “Preference Night,” where prospective new members get a glimpse into the more intimate side of a sorority. The goal of “Preference Night” is for the new members to find where they feel most at home.
While every sorority does it differently, Valenzuela said “Preference Night” lets potential new members see a calmer side of the sorority while active members get to know their future sisters.
“[Preference Night] is not as perky, it’s not as peppy, it’s something that is more serious where [future members] can actually get to know what the sorority stands for,” she said. “It’s not facts being spit at you or you being interviewed. It’s honestly just you seeing what we’re actually like.”
Recruitment culminated in its final event, “Bid Day,” where sororities selected who they would extend bids to and prospective members then accepted and joined that group or dropped and quit recruitment altogether. New members typically chose two sororities that they hope to receive a bid from. However, it is not uncommon for a prospective student to not receive a bid from any their chosen sororities.
Following “Bid Day,” new members go through a period of educational meetings to learn more about the sorority and their new sisters. Lasting roughly two to three months, this period ends at “Initiation” where new members are officially sworn in to their sorority.
Valenzuela said that the initiation process is a secret ritual and every sorority does it differently.
Following initiation, members spend time getting to know their new sisters.
“Whichever sorority you choose, you’ll have new sisters that you can really connect with and become more involved with,” she said.
Before the semester begins, sorority members host “Work Week” where they prepare for their events during recruitment.
The Panhellenic Council, a board of representatives from all Panhellenic sororities, sets a standard of rules that govern what members can and cannot do during the recruitment process.
The council, along with Assistant Dean of Students Janine Bias, also selects a group of sorority members to the Rho Gamma program, which helps aid new members during the recruitment process.
Rho Gammas must disaffiliate from their sororities during recruitment in order to not show favoritism towards their own chapters. The Rho Gammas are in charge of organizing groups of prospective members during recruitment and assist them in the various events that occur throughout the week.
While this semester’s recruitment has passed, spring is right around the corner and a new cycle of recruitment will begin. For more information on Panhellenic Greek life, visit shsu.edu/greeklife.