(I’m sorry, this is a long one. If you aren’t planning to go Greek, you can skip right over this)
Before I go in to this, allow me to make myself clear.
I am not a typical UT sorority girl. I, unlike a solid 80% of Greek girls, refuse to wear t-shirts down to my knees; I only wear Nike running shorts if I’m running, and I don’t own a pair of Nike Free Run’s. I joined a sorority to have an immediate community of friends. Not going to lie though, themed frat parties and raves are the highlight of my week. (More on Greek life/ style in another post)
If you have the heat tolerance of a fully protected fire fighter, U.T.’s Formal Sorority Recruitment is the weeklong event for you. But bless your poor, naïve soul if you think your hair and makeup can withstand that heat.
Let me take you back to last summer, when I was scrambling at the last minute trying to get everything together for Rush.
Coming from that far away country to the north, commonly known as, Canada, I hadn’t the faintest idea of how Rush worked, what I needed to bring, or what to wear. So, like any other 17-year-old girl, I had a minor freak-out and sought out my mom’s help. She, the more rational female in my family, turned to the invention we like to call e-mail, to contact any and every sorority alum she knew—a brilliant decision on her part.
I quickly learned that I would need to compile a “Rush Packet” for each sorority I liked. It included: professional pictures, which my mother so aptly rolled her eyes at, a “social resume”, recommendation letters to make sure I wasn’t socially inept, and my transcripts. Why I needed to submit transcripts after being accepted in to University is beyond me.
After sending off my nicely compiled Rush packets, a full week of shopping commenced.
As previously mentioned, Formal Recruitment, or “Rush” is a five-day event. For those who want to participate in Formal Recruitment in upcoming years, here is what your schedule will most likely look like:
Round One: Open House (Days 1-2)
- You travel from house to house with your group and recruitment counselors (called Rho-Chi’s)
- Parties are about 25 minutes each and you basically have the exact same conversation at every single house.
- Clothing: Depends on the school, but UT had all PNM’s (potential new members) wear khaki shorts and a t-shirt that they gave us. They’re not the prettiest, but hey, they’re equalizers.
Round Two: Philanthropy Day (Days 2-3)
- Each sorority presents what their chosen philanthropy is and you do a little activity for it…you mostly drink lemonade and have the same exact conversation you had yesterday but with a different person
- Length: About 35 minutes
- Clothing: day/ sun dress, wedges or sandals, NO DENIM
Round Three: Skit Night (my favorite!) (Day 4)
- This is the night when the sorority gets to show you their personality
- Length: About 45 minutes
- Clothing: Dressy, but not formal. Time to trot out those Kendra Scott earrings!
Round four: Preference Night (Day 5)
- This is the most formal and personal round
- Members of the sorority will write little speeches about a certain person in her sorority or what her sorority means to her
- If you’re the emotional sort, bring out the tissues
- This is really the first point in recruitment where you have an actual say in whether or not you want to side with a specific sorority over another
- Clothing: Black dress, formal
- WOO! You made it!
- All PNM’s gather and receive their bids
- Clothing: Casual sun dress
After each round, you rank the sororities you want and which you don’t want and as the week progresses, you end up with fewer and fewer parties to go to.
What’s in my Rush Bag?
- Comfortable change of shoes
- Makeup/ hair products
- Portable fan (in Texas, it makes a world of a difference)
- Map of the school, or at least make sure you have a map on your phone
Over all, this is what I took out of Rush
- Each round, the drinks get better and better; don’t resist the urge and if you have to use the bathroom, GO!
- Don’t get your hopes up for a certain sorority. Go in with an open mind.
- Accept the fact that your hair will frizz and your makeup will sweat off…it’s all part of the fun.
- Yes, you do have the same conversation for five days in a row. You’re not imagining things.
The University of Texas website published a little handbook online that really helped me when it came time to prepare for Rush: Your Guide to Sorority Life
In conclusion, here’s a toast to all upcoming potential new members: Cheers to those who voluntarily subject themselves to the hottest of summer days only to impress the sorority of their choice. May the level of humidity remain below average and may the odds be ever in your favor.