Greek Speak: Behind The Scenes at Sorority Rush

[We scoured the country to find the ultimate sorority girl to share her expertise with you. After reading through tons of applications followed by hours Facebook-stalking all the candidates (which proved difficult thanks to FB’s privacy settings….), we found her. And now, with sorority recruitment under way at many schools across the country, she’s getting down to business and sharing everything you want/need to know about going from scared rushee to enthusiastic active sister.]

To protect the traditions and longstanding process, sorority rush is inherently shrouded in secrecy. Every chapter keeps their plans hush hush, current members can’t talk to potential new members, and everything – from rush songs to what snacks they’ll be serving – is kept on total lock down.

And to a nervous rushee with no idea what is about to happen, it can all be quite overwhelming.

To ease your minds a bit (and stop all the rumors about fat circling….), I’m going to open the doors of those palatial sorority houses and let you see things from the other side. So here it is: what every girl about to go through rush wants to know.

Question: I heard all the sororities release girls that aren’t pretty on the first day!
: Common thought? Of course! But total BS. If you get released from a chapter on the first day it was for one of two reasons: A) your GPA or B) there was no chemistry in the conversation.

A) Most if not ALL chapters have a pretty standard GPA cut off for new members that is set by their nationals and their individual chapter. If your grades don’t make the cut, neither do you. BUT don’t let this intimidate you – every chapter has different GPA standards so no matter your grades, you can still get into a great house!

B) As funny as it may sound, sorority women think of recruitment like a date. Some of us even go as far as calling it ‘PNM flirting.’ Members want to make a connection with YOU so that YOU want a ‘second date’… make sense? So, it doesn’t matter if you were dressed to the nines and flirted so hard you expected her to hand you a bid on the spot (side note: offering a bid like that is illegal; members aren’t going to offer you one before all bids are distributed, so stop holding your breath), if there was no connection and, in her experience with the other members of the house, she didn’t see you fitting in….Adios muchacha!

Question: When my rusher greeted me she knew everything about me down to my ex- boyfriend’s mother’s maiden name? Is this normal?
OK, not to that extent… but YES! Just like in an interview the members want to impress you! Again, it’s all about that ‘second date’… we want YOU to come back for the next round of recruitment! When you register for recruitment you fill out a bio that we use to pair you with a member who has something in common with you and can make you feel comfortable so you can be yourself!

Question: You can only get into a sorority if your mom, grandmother or sister is a member of a sorority.
Total BS. I registered for recruitment knowing I was the first person in ANY part of my family to go Greek. I was a nervous wreck that I wasn’t going to get into a sorority because I didn’t know anyone Greek, or know anything about the Greek community. But I was wrong. It turns out legacies (siblings or daughters of women already members of a certain sorority) only have a small advantage.

It varies for each sorority, but most sororities will carry a legacy PNM through the first round; after that, she’s on her own just like a non-legacy. This gesture is just out of respect for graduated sisters.

Question: Joining a sorority is WAY too expensive for me…
A little bit of truth and a little BS, too. I am actually debating whether or not I am going to live in or out of my chapter house next year. I did some research and found its actually CHEAPER to live in the house when it comes to room and board. The only thing that might cost more in a sorority versus an apartment or dorm are the chapter dues. Each year members pay dues to nationals and/or their local chapter. That covers everything from national membership to sorority mixers and events. SO living in a sorority is NOT as expensive as you may think.

Also, a lot of chapters have payment plans. Just like paying rent, you can pay your room and board in installments. This leaves more money in your pocket for extracurriculars, AKA the bars (did I mention that I turned 21 this weekend?!)

Question: If I join a sorority, am I going to get hazed?
For sororities who play by the rules, hazing is a personal foul. (SO corny… but the Colts are on, and I’m lovin’ it!) In all seriousness, though, most universities have strict no-hazing policies, so this should NEVER be an issue. In fact, this week is National Hazing Prevention Week where fraternities and sororities raise awareness about hazing prevention and we mean business. To learn more about hazing prevention you should visit

OK, that’s all I got for now and I know there is NO WAY this answered all your questions. What else do YOU want to know about behind the scenes at sorority rush?



  1. Jess says:

    OMG this helped a lot! Thank you for answering some of these major questions. I'm still worried, but at least now I know they're probably a little stressed/worried, too.

  2. Megan says:

    This is awesome! Thanx!

  3. Kat says:

    I've already started rush and I promise it's not that bad. At the end of the day, you really just want to kick off your heels and crawl in bed. You can't even think about all the parties you went to!

  4. Hlynn says:

    Hazing is super illegal. Sororities typically don't haze. Among fraternities, I've heard it's more common.

    As for appearance: clean yourself up. Dress well. I don't mean dress in a business suit, though, but act like you're about to meet a cute boy on a first date for coffee.

    There is a specific house on my campus where members have dropped because of due issues. I cannot determine if it's price or the attitude of their treasurer to payment.

    Our legacy policy goes like this (and is slightly different than stated): if you come to the last party (aka our preference night), you are automatically going to be given a bid. However, you are on equal grounds up until then.

  5. Terry says:

    I thought this was going to be a real article about greek life, not a pamphlet from the greek life office that makes everything seem sugar coated.

    Some sororities will drop you based on your looks. Personality is definitely a big point, but a good sorority has a reputation to uphold. Sorry about it, but that's the ugly, no pun intended, truth.

    Second, hazing happens. It doesn't matter what the official position of anyone is, hazing happens. No one's gonna kill you, but be prepared to work to earn the right to wear those letters.

  6. Emily says:

    I wouldn't necessarily say hazing happens. When your pledging expect to spend ALOT of time do sorority activities, its fun and can be stressful but no national sorority is going to humiliate you or do anything like what you see in movies. Non-national sororities might be a different story, I wouldn't know. I agree with Terry I'm disappointed to see this being your typical sorority propaganda. I was hoping you'd tell the good and the bad. Yes some houses will cut girls based on looks, yes they will try to find out everything about and very likely will uncover all of the skeletons in your closet. If rush is happening why you are in school, the sorority girls are watching you ALL THE TIME. Yes we're far from perfect, but during rush we put on a show and you best do the same.

  7. Beth says:

    I am a senior in my sorority and I have to say that the answers to these questions were so eloquently stated, and TRUE, that I will give them to my chapter as a basis for answering those tough questions during the recruitment process.

    The worst possible thing you can do to a Potential New Member is lie to her. That is why I respect this article. These are honest answers from an obviously experienced Greek. Thank you so much for writing this! :)

  8. […] So should you do it? Why or why not? Is Greek Life right for you or should you spend your money elsewhere? […]

  9. sara says:

    My sorority will cut based on looks… call us shallow but its the truth. And whether they like to admit it or not, almost every chapter on my campus does this too…

    With that in mind, I'll be the first to say that my chapter isn't made of gorgeous girls. Just average looking. You don't have to be a bombshell to get into my chapter, but the main things we cut girls for during this recruitment were bad breath, hair that was highlighted like a skunk, and reputations.

    Sorority girls do try and find out any reputations we might have. Even though we have to deactivate our facebooks before Recruitment starts, when the PNM lists first come out we look on facebook for pictures and also mutual friends. Mutual friends we have with the PNMs can usually give us good/bad vibe for them. Again, we would never base solely on hearsay from someone else, but it just give us a little more to go off of than a 10 minute conversation that we probably repeated with 400 other girls that day… So I would advise to put your pictures on private or at the very least de-tag any crazy party pictures, because if we see them we WILL judge you. Not to say that we are angels, but our sorority likes to be seen as classy so numerous pictures of you being sloppy at a bar don't portray a good image to us.

  10. […] So great. I’ve been at college for a month and now I’ll be forever remembered as that walk of shame going home during rush. […]

  11. […] candidates (which proved difficult thanks to FB's privacy settings….), we found her. She gave you the lowdown on rush and now that you're sitting pretty in your new house, she's moving on to more important topics: […]

  12. […] candidates (which proved difficult thanks to FB's privacy settings….), we found her. She gave you the lowdown on rush and the rules of the sorority date party. And now that you're sitting pretty in your new house, […]

  13. […] fact that October has been an insanely busy month for me  (a ridiculous amount of midterms, our sorority’s new members preparing for initiation, health and safety checks that I have to perform as an RA, and a general […]

  14. Jason Bakker says:

    Okay, slightly off topic here, but can anyone comment on their sorority being haunted?

  15. […] candidates (which proved difficult thanks to FB's privacy settings….), we found her. She gave you the lowdown on rush and the rules of the sorority date party. And now that you're sitting pretty in your new house, […]

  16. […] there’s one thing a sorority woman knows (besides the names of all her founding sisters/the words to every rush song/the rules to scoring the best room in the house) it’s a theme party. I don’t know if […]

  17. […] be smart – avoid hazing at all costs, even if it makes you look or feel like you’re going against the group. If something makes you […]

  18. Bessie G. says:

    BE EXCITED!!! I know rush is scary but honestly just let it happen.
    Dress well- like they said before, you're kind of dating the sorority right now. I had a girl come to the first day of rush in a letter jacket and jeans… cute for high school but we wanna see that you clean up well. haha I went to my first day in nice jeans and a nice top and i left with a HUGE smile :D
    OH and look the picture you sent in for rush! You have no clue how many times i've not recognized a girl because she sent in a picture that looks nothing like her.

    Be yourself- personality is KEY! we sincerely match girls with our sorority based on personality and character. If you don't fit in with us and your character is kind of bad (ex. you sleep around, you're known for being a crazy drunk… etc) we'll cut you. I had a girl come to me talking about how she loved serial killers… she was the same girl above in the letter jacket.

    be prepared to be asked about grades, your campus or community involvement, your family, where you came from, what you like to do… I mean just make general conversation and always do it with a smile :D

  19. Isa says:

    Is it common for sororities to cut based on GPA? and what GPA would this be, your high school or college gpa? because many universities have a week dedicated to recruitment before class starts…

  20. songsurf says:

    want more info on sorority recruitment? check out this article:

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