I'm sad to inform you but September is just around the corner (make the most of your last month of summer vacation). Luckily, with a new school year means (drum roll please) sorority recruitment time, in all of its themes, chants, and matching outfits glory!  

I decided to make a post about going through sorority recruitment. Canadian Style. Yes, we Canadians have sororities and as a member of one, I have taken it upon myself to write this post to enlighten anyone who does not think sororities exist in Canada. Also, I want to help anyone who is planning on or thinking about going through recruitment in the Fall. So as I crank up "Sorority Girl" by Luke Bryan on my speakers, let's get started with 

Everything You Need to Know About Recruitment
Le Northern Belle | How to Rush a Canadian Sorority | Everything you need to know about Recruitment

The best way that I can define a sorority is:
A group (sisterhood) of collegiate and alumnae women who come together to excel in 
Academics, Leadership, Philanthropy and Sisterhood. Members within a 
sorority strive to be, and help their sisters to be, the best, well-rounded individual that she can be.

National Panhellenic Day

AOII, Alpha Omicron Pi, sisterhood retreat

The  Recruitment Process

         As I can only speak about how recruitment is run at my university, the University of Waterloo, I can only assume that other campuses that have two or more Panhellenic members follow a similar process. At my university, there are two Panhellenic sororities, which are Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG), and my beloved sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII)! What is Panhellenic, you ask? Panhellenic (aka Panhel, NPC and officially the National Panhellenic Conference), is an organization that governs 26 of the national and international sororities across Canada and the United States. Therefore, campuses with two or more active Panhellenic sororities must adhere to recruitment rules set out by Panhellenic. I will explain those later in the post. 

          The third week of the Fall semester is the Panhellenic recruitment week every year. Recruitment is kicked-off with Greek Life 101, which is an event that takes place the Friday before recruitment, where all sororities and fraternities on campus give presentations about their respective Greek organization. Each sorority (we have a total of three - the third is a locally founded chapter Sigma Lambda Gamma, not to be confused with the American sorority of the same name) will have a booth set up in the room where attendees can join in the Meet-and-Greet portion of the night where attendees can meet a few members of the sorority, ask additional questions and get more information about recruitment. 

Le Northern Belle | Alpha Omicron Pi at the University of Waterloo Recruitment Booth
This is what our booth looked like at the Fall 2014 Greek Life 101 Event
Le Northern Belle | Alpha Omicron Pi Recruitment at the University of Waterloo

Le Northern Belle | How to Rush a Canadian Sorority | AOII Throw What You Know
Many sororities have a hand-symbol/sorority hand sign. If you've ever heard the phrase "Throw what you know," you show your sorority's sign. Ours is called Alpha Love.

          The Monday right after Greek Life 101 marks the official start for Panhellenic Recruitment. Monday through Thursday evenings, both AOII and KKG will have their respective events taking place one before the other. This allows potential new members (PNMs for short, which is anyone going through sorority recruitment) to attend both Panhellenic events. An adequate, and tested, amount of time is allotted between the two events so PNMs are able to travel to and from each event. Each event will be either 1 hour or 1.5 hours in length but PNMs are allowed to come late or leave early, if necessary, such as for class.

          Each sorority will have a theme (i.e. Disney, Sports, Dr. Seuss, Carnival, etc) and will incorporate that theme into many aspects of recruitment week, like the decorations, food, and activities.

AOII Roseball Formal Awards
I just realized that I look like I'm hovering mid- air...Awesome! All these ladies in this
picture, myself included, sit on the  Leader's Council. Here we have
Fiona, the New Member Educator, Jasmine, the Standards Chair,
Teghan, the Chapter President, and I am the Vice President of Chapter Development
 (from Left to Right) 
          Most sororities support the same or similar four pillars which are Academics, Philanthropy (Charity), Leadership and Sisterhood. I would take this into consideration when prepping for recruitment because nine times out of ten, you will be asked questions or have to provide information about those four pillars. Some questions you might be asked are:

// Have you held a leadership role in the past? //
(If you're a first-year student/freshman, high school roles count)
// Are you a member of any clubs or organizations on campus or outside of school? //
// Why are you going through recruitment? //
// What are you taking in school? //
// Have you done any philanthropic works? //

Don't be deterred if you've never been in a leadership role or aren't a member of any clubs or organizations. The reason most of these types of questions are asked in recruitment is because they are important attributes to a sorority. Each sorority has its own philanthropy which they raise money for ever year. AOII's philanthropy is the Arthritis Society and every year for our Strike Out Arthritis event, we sell pies and run activities to raise funds. We also support other charities that are not our main sorority Philanthropy. Each chapter (a chapter is what a sorority on a university campus is called) has a leader's council or executive board who are essentially responsible for the chapter's operations. Chances are, there is a position that will appeal to you and I highly recommend asking questions about roles. You really learn a lot about your capabilities and grow so much as a person. Plus, it doesn't look bad on a resumé. The responses to these questions will allow each sorority to see where you would fit in.

Alpha Omicron Pi Bid Day

The event on Friday is known as Preference (Pref) Night and is an invite-only event. In order to be invited to a Pref Night, our campus' Panhellenic requires that you attend at least one of each Panhellenic sorority's recruitment events.  If you have been invited to Preference Night, you would have been notified on Thursday Night after recruitment events are over for the day (you'll usually get an email late Thursday around 11pm/midnight). Pref Night is a little more serious in context than the past four days were. Each sorority has their own way of hosting this special event that is unique to their sorority. You get a better glimpse of the sisterhood portion of a sorority. Since we only have two Panhellenic sororities on campus, you could receive and invite from both sororities.

AOII Big, Little and Grand Little Family Picture
My Little and Grand-Little (from left to right) with our Lilly letters at Bid Day. Please excuse my socks!

After your Preference Night is over (depending if you received 1 or 2 invites), you will be taken to a room where you will rank the two sororities confidentially, regardless if you were only invited to one preference night. Just a heads up, if you only rank one sorority, you do run the risk of not getting into any sorority. This is known as a suicide bid, so to err on the side of caution, rank as many sororities as you can. After Preference Night, your recruitment week is officially over. From that point, your sorority bid fate lies in the bid-matching system. A bid is a sorority's official offer to join that chapter. Once given a bid, you'll have up to 24 hours to accept (or decline, cause I guess that is an option too) the offer. Bids are given all at once, so just as a precaution, if you plan on going through recruitment, CLEAR YOUR WHOLE WEEKEND! Bids are given out on the Saturday (and trust me, you want to be there to receive it) and Bid Day, a sorority celebration for all their new members, happens on the Sunday. It's a pretty big event filled with even more cheers, pictures, hugs and activities.

AOII Roseball
Chapter Photo at Roseball, our annual Formal

Congratulations! You now know what it takes to rush a Canadian Sorority. I have many friends who are AOIIs in the states and though the fundamentals of recruitment are similar across the border, there are some aspects that I find are unique to us Canadians. So have a great recruitment week, and remember, the majority of sorority life depicted in movies and on TV shows are very much false and nothing like what a real sorority is like. But that's a completely different blog post that I will likely discuss in the future. Have an awesome week and remember to...

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© Classic Martha