Letter to the Editor
Record numbers of women turned out for Formal Sorority Recruitment this past weekend, and while the sisterly love that resulted is a beautiful thing, a trail of broken hearts and dashed hopes were left behind.
Last year I observed the recruitment process as a third party, I only knew what my friends told me and I asked them questions because I was genuinely interested but too timid to try. From what I could understand, it seemed like a great system. You got to meet everyone and have the opportunity to be considered by everyone. This year I really put myself out there and I even went to a lot of the sorority recruitment events in the fall to meet people. I had met so many great girls and thought I was making connections with people. I would walk into the library or Regattas and these girls I wanted to call my sisters would know my name and say hello.
Unfortunately for me, all of the time and effort just went to waste because I was notified I was not asked back Saturday morning. Now, I am not as disappointed about not making past the first cut, as I am upset about the entire recruitment process as a whole. And don’t get me wrong, I was bawling all Saturday morning- I had really wanted to be a part of something special. I came to the realization however that no one prepared us not to make it.
At the very beginning of Formal Recruitment you walk up to the Ballroom and you are given a recruitment T-shirt that you will wear on Sunday before you run to your new sisters, where you will be given your bid day shirt. The idea that not everyone makes it is avoided, and it is not brought up unless you ask about it. Everyone says, “When you get in” not, “if you get in”. The entire process not only creates a sense of false hope, it is exhausting. Albeit vulgar, the best way I can describe it is as a psychological clusterfuck.
You wait in lines to anywhere from 5-15 minutes; time where you wait in nervous anticipation racking your brain for ‘cool’ things to say when in reality you will say what your major is more times than you can count in a room filled way past the appropriate capacity. You not only have to speak loudly enough to be heard properly, but also have to try and think intelligently in a room where the noise is worse than standing right next to an amp at a rock concert. And then you have to worry about whether or not the sister you are talking to really wants you to meet as many people as possible, or she just wants to pass you off on someone else. The past few days when I see a sister I spoke with it has been like we never met, or worse they see me and quickly look in the other direction. I hold no hostility towards them personally, I am mad at the system. There is no way and entire group of people can get to know someone by talking to them superficially for three minutes.
Personally I think Formal Recruitment needs to go through some changes. It might be better for it to become more like the Fraternity rush where you just go and hang out with people, there might be less pressure that way. Also with so many girls coming out, perhaps it is time for some new sororities to be added to the campus, five just doesn’t seem like enough.
Maybe I wasn’t meant to be in a sorority, but I feel badly for all of the other girls who also didn’t make it. I might not be what sororities are looking for, but I have had the pleasure of knowing and meeting some amazing women whose enthusiasm, beauty, and sparkling personalities were overlooked or not appreciated.