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Greek Life

Sorority Frequently Asked Questions

Washington College’s fraternities and sororities are not only rich in history and tradition, but are devoted to the betterment of all who come in contact with us, and will, no doubt, strive for excellence in all parts of greek life. 

What will being in a sorority do for me?

  • Leadership opportunities
  • Life long friendships
  • Sisterhood
  • Opportunity to give back to the community through service
  • Emphasis on scholarship
  • Social Opportunities
  • Everlasting memories
  • Networking opportunities to connect with national chapter members from across the country and internationally

What is Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment?

Recruitment is a week long series of events, coordinated by the Panhellenic Council, where the chapters get to know you, and you get to know the women of each chapter. Panhellenic sorority recruitment is a mutual selection process that is filled with activities designed to offer prospective members the chance to learn about the Panhellenic sororities in a concentrated period of time. It is an opportunity for students to meet the sorority members, ask questions, and define financial obligations, time commitments, and membership requirements. Whether or not you decide to join a Panhellenic sorority, recruitment is a great way to meet people and get acquainted with life at Washington College.

How much does sorority recruitment cost and where does the money go?

The registration fee is $35. Recruitment fees pay for refreshments during recruitment, a recruitment favor (while supplies last), food, supplies and administrative costs.

What is a Rho Chi?

A Rho Chi, or recruitment guide, is a woman who is already a member of a sorority who will help you through the recruitment process by answering questions, and guiding you through the exciting events of the week. They will remain disaffiliated from their sorority during recruitment, enabling them to remain impartial. Every Potential New Member (any woman going through the recruitment process) will be assigned to a group of about 30 girls led by a Rho Chi.

What is Recruitment Week?

Recruitment Week is designed for you to get to know the three sororities at Washington College. Each day will consist of  recruitment parties hosted by each chapter; the groups will rotate to attend all parties. These activities help the potential new members and the sorority members acquaint themselves with one another. During recruitment functions, potential new members will be able to talk one-on-one with sorority members to assist them in finding the right sorority for them.

What is the time commitment for Recruitment Week?

Each night of recruitment will last 1-2 hours (at most 3) and it is mandatory that you attend every night of recruitment; however academic commitments come first. Every effort has been made to avoid conflicts with class time, but some are unavoidable. Absences will be communicated to the sororities before they make membership selections. If there is a class conflict, please discuss this with your Rho Chi. 

What is Preference Night?

Preference night, or Pref Night, signals the end of Formal Recruitment. This night is more serious than the other days and will consist of traditional ceremonies very dear to the sisters. Further details about Preference Night will be discussed in groups by your Rho Chi during recruitment.

What is Bid Day?

Bid Day is the last day of Formal Recruitment where Potential New Members receive their invitation, or bid, to join a sorority and Potential New Members get to meet their new sorority sisters. This is the most exciting day of formal recruitment.

Do I need to register to be a part of Recruitment?

Yes. The registration may be found online here (CLOSED), or there is also a link on the Greek Life website. Applications are available December 1st through the first day of Recruitment. No late applications will be accepted, and there is a $35 registration fee.

What should I expect my recruitment days to be like?

Recruitment can definitely be tiring both physically and emotionally. However, it is really up to you to decide how positive a recruitment experience you will have. A good attitude and an open mind are vital. Remember that even though small talk may become tedious and repetitive, every chapter visit is a new experience. Approach even the last chapter of the day with an open mind and good attitude; it could be the right one for you!

How do sororities decide who to invite back to each informal party?

Everyone who participates in recruitment has something different to offer a sorority, but sororities must release some potential new members, just as you will have to make decisions about some sororities. In deciding which potential new member to invite back, each chapter has its own process. Great lengths are taken by chapters to ensure a fair process and equal consideration for each potential new member. Additional concerns should be addressed with your Rho Chi.

What should I talk about at the recruitment informal parties?

It is important for you to be yourself during recruitment and let the conversation flow naturally. The sororities are presenting themselves to you just as you are presenting yourself to them. The conversation should go both ways. Asking questions is encouraged. As you go from one day to the next, conversations will become more in-depth and involved. Remember that you have to narrow your choice of sororities each round. Therefore, collect enough information to comfortably make these decisions.

What if I am shy?

There are a lot of shy people out there but this should not hinder your recruitment experience. Remember, there are members of the chapters who are shy too, and you are not alone. Every sorority wants members with a variety of personalities. Each member of a sorority contributes their individual talents to the chapter. Just keep in mind that it is up to you to present yourself to each sorority. Smile and feel free to talk; the members want to get to know you as best they can. There is no reason to feel insecure. Sororities want to impress you just as much as you want to impress them.

What if I have trouble choosing between certain chapters?

Difficult decisions are a common dilemma. Potential new members, however, shouldn’t look at this as a problem. Most women would probably be happy in several sororities on campus. Besides, keep in mind that sororities have to make decisions too. Think carefully and look objectively at what each sorority has to offer. A sorority should be a second home, a place where you feel totally comfortable and welcome. It shouldn’t be a popularity contest. Your intuition, experiences at each party, personal goals and desires should guide you to the group that is right for you.

I have heard that sororities have various reputations. How do I handle this information?

The only opinion of a chapter that should matter is yours. Each chapter is different from campus to campus and from year to year. If you allow someone else’s perception to influence you, you might not be satisfied with your choices during recruitment. Remember that each chapter is made up of many different women with different talents and qualities that compose the entire group. If you hear derogatory remarks about any sorority or any woman in the group, please disregard those comments as inappropriate and unethical to the Panhellenic spirit. You can direct further questions or problems to your Rho Chi.

What is a legacy?

A Legacy is a Potential New Member who has a mother, grandmother, or sister who is/was a member of a sorority while in college. Legacies may be given special consideration by the chapters that their female family member(s) are affiliated with, but they are never guaranteed membership in that particular sorority. At Washington College, we reaffirm the statement that legacies are not given automatic invitations to become members. We suggest every woman in Membership Recruitment have an open mind toward all of our sororities.

If I am a legacy to a sorority, is there anything special I should know?

Each potential new member is considered on an individual basis; legacies are no more obligated to join a particular sorority than the sorority is obligated to pledge her. The potential new member and the sorority are looking for happiness and compatibility, not a family connection to the group. You will also be able to indicate your legacy status when you register online.

What if during recruitment week I discover that I am not ready to commit to sorority life?

A potential new member is never obligated to join a sorority. For various reasons, if you would not like to continue with formal recruitment, you may choose to withdraw. If you withdraw prior to receiving a bid on Bid Day, you are eligible to participate in continuous open bidding better known as Informal Recruitment. Informal Recruitment continues throughout the academic year. If during recruitment week, you decide that you no longer want to participate in formal recruitment, you should discuss these feelings with your Rho Chi who will help you through the process.

What if I turn down the bid I receive on Bid Day?

If you receive a bid from a chapter on Bid Day, and decide not to accept it, you will not be able to participate in continuous open bidding for one calendar year. You will be eligible to participate in formal recruitment the following year.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement?

Washington College requires that anyone participating in recruitment not be on academic probation. The GPA requirement is 2.6, many chapters follow the guidelines set by their inter/national organizations when deciding to offer invitations and bids. It is also important to note that there are no grade exceptions are made by any chapter. Potential members who do not meet the academic requirement are released early in the recruitment process.