We are officially well into spring semester, and if you are a sorority girl that only means one thing: recruitment. For some it’s the first round of rush for the school year. For others, this is not your first recruitment rodeo. If you fall into the latter category, bless your little hearts! That’s dedication, people.
And while you’re all in the throes of cheers, small-talk and late nights in the chapter house figuring out who would make the perfect sister, let’s talk about a hot topic. No, not the latest recruitment chants for your chapter, or cutest matching outfits… something much more controversial:
Frill vs. no frill recruitment.
What the heck does frill recruitment mean? My own personal definition: frill recruitment amps up sorority rush all that….er…frill. The decorations, the matching outfits, the song and dance (literally). There’s so much frill that a PNM’s (potential new member) decision about a chapter could be swayed based on how over-the-top their house is decorated.
I know it sounds crazy that someone would choose a house based on some streamers hanging from the ceiling, but it’s so much more than that. We’re talking balloons, candles, full sheets covering walls that completely transform the look of a room, catered desserts and non-alcoholic cocktails. If a chapter can afford it, it’s game. And let me tell you, chapters can afford a LOT.
And with all that glitz and glamour (like most things involving large groups of passionate and competitive women) comes controversy.
The National Panhellenic Council is pushing chapters across the country to move to no-frill recruitment, or a least slowly tone down the amount of decorations allowed at each round. Their argument is pretty legit; after all, we are all values-based organizations and should be recruiting based on the values in which we were founded, not based on who has the cutest homemade sailor hats on the Good Ship AXO.
Buuuuut, on the other side of things….
“Frills” recruiting is tradition. It’s part of the process and a lot of what chapters do in each round has been the same for generations. It may not seem like it, but those songs, those themes, those ridiculous skits, are meaningful to not only the girls in the houses, but the many who passed through before them. I agree that some women may go to their first formal recruitment party and think “what the hell did I just sign up for?” But there are many more who trump that one girl who absolutely love the thrill of the yelling, cheering, dressing up, and suspense that comes with formal sorority recruitment.
Honestly, I don’t even know where I stand on this issue. Part of me is all “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” But the other part (which might also be the part that spends months getting glitter out of my sweatpants) has to wonder if there’s something to be said about recruitment that isn’t excessive, over the top and somewhat materialistic.
What do you think, sorority ladies? How does your chapter recruit? Do you think taking out the frill would ruin the experience?
Let’s talk sorority recruitment!