The Extras: The Low Down on Sorority Recruitment

axo bd
All of the AXO sisters on Bid Day 2015!

Hello, Brunonian family! I’m Jacklyne Vargas, nice to meet you all *insert imaginary handshake here*! I’m here to be your compass (well, that sounds heavy, doesn’t it?) in everything extracurricular here at Brown. If you’re reading this, send help you are a magnetic force of your own and I’m simply helping you figure out what attracts you. In all The Extras, in all the magnetic forces here at Brown, you can easily be pulled in countless directions, but I’m here to help! If anything, we’ll go crazy together…

So, if you are at all like me, you’ll know that Brown is not exactly known for its Greek life. The first time I even heard anything pertaining to Brown’s Greek life was during my Brown interview when my interviewer mentioned offhandedly that Greek life was not very prominent on campus.

However, fast forward to Orientation this past Fall, and I was offered a very insightful look at what Greek life at Brown was really like. My WPC (which stands for Women Peer Counselor), the fabulous Haley Moss ’16, spoke to me a bit about her involvement with a sorority on campus called Alpha Chi Omega (AXO). She told me how Greek life at Brown did not really revolve around parties, dispelling the stereotypes I had learned in the past. She spoke about the philanthropy that each house involved with, of community and true sisterhood.

Fast forward to this past weekend: I am now preparing for my first day of sorority recruitment. By preparation, I mean mental preparation for the unknown because the whole recruitment process is shrouded in mystery…

… Not much is revealed about what will happen during those next few days and that is definitely a bit unsettling. Now don’t worry, there isn’t any hazing involved during rush!

However, given that information about sorority recruitment is supposed to be exclusive to those directly participating in it (i.e. the sororities themselves and the ladies rushing), I won’t give any specifics as to what happened.

I do have to say that people are cut after every day of recruitment, so it is not guaranteed that everyone who applies will experience all recruitment days.

BUT do not despair! I will still give you the essence of my experience and hope to make the recruitment process much more accessible and much less intimidating!

Day One: Everyone going through sorority recruitment meets at Base Camp (which may change every year but this year it was in Grad Center). At Base Camp, we are separated into groups of around 50 people each and in those groups, proceed to the parties at the sorority houses, according to our schedule. At the houses, I speak with approximately 3 sisters each mostly about my background, my interests and the activities I’m involved with at Brown. Depending on the house, there may or may not be food provided (always a plus for me). After visiting all 3 houses, we go back to Base Camp in our groups and rank the houses in order of preference. I found that virtually all the sisters I spoke to in the sororities were very kind and eager to get to know me. Personally, I found it hard to rank the houses at the end of the night because their sisters all seemed very nice!

Day Two: Your schedule is determined according to the sororities that invited you back to their houses; everyone’s schedule is different. Some people are going to 3 parties, some to 2 and some to 1. This day’s conversations felt less superficial; for example, one sorority spoke about their philanthropy and the experience that members had in supporting their fellow sisters in their philanthropic endeavors. After visiting the houses you were invited back to, you go back to Base Camp and rank the houses in order of preference.  At the end of the day,  I quite enjoyed how the dynamics changed between you and the sisters you spoke to.

Day Three: This day is called Pref Night (which I believe stands for Preferential Night) and your schedule is determined by the sororities that invited you back to their houses once more. For both the sororities and the individuals going through recruitment, this night is quite special because it determines who will be chosen as new members of each sorority. Basically, on this exclusive night, if you are invited back to any house it is because they really want you to be a part of their sorority. I found this day to be extremely emotional and intimate given that members shared their personal experiences in the sorority, what they appreciated about each other and even what they appreciated about us (potential new members)!  After visiting the houses you were invited back to, you return to Base Camp for the final time and rank the houses in order of preference. The parties themselves were about forging a deeper connection between the potential new members and the sisters of the sororities themselves.

Day Four: BID DAY. What is most nerve-wracking about Bid Day is that you don’t find out if you received a bid from any of the houses until 9 AM that same day. The difference is, for the past few days of recruitment, you found out if you were invited back to any of the houses around 2 or 3 AM that day. The reason for ranking all the houses for the past few days is essential to Bid Day. The sorority you become a part of depends on how you ranked the houses and whether or not a house bid for you. For example, if the house you ranked as #1 does not bid for you, but the house you ranked as #2 does, then that is the sorority you become a part of, regardless of whether the house you ranked as #3 bids on you or not. After arriving at Base Camp, you find out what sorority you are now a part of. After plenty of joyful shouts and excited jumps, you (alongside your new sisters) proceed to your sorority for a Bid Day celebration!

Now, as for the Bid Day party, I can only speak to my experience at the Alpha Chi Omega celebration (yes, I am indeed a new AXO sister)! There was a lot of dancing, singing along to Taylor Swift, pictures with all of the AXO members and enthusiastic hugs! I had a wonderful time and truly felt accepted and loved by all of AXO.

All in all, if you are interested in having a group of girls that you can count on and than can count on you, that will offer support in any area you may need, that are incredibly brilliant and intriguing, that will be by your side through the ups and downs, then I encourage you to consider joining a sorority!

If you have any questions or would like some clarification about sorority recruitment or about AXO specifcally, then please feel free to email me!

As always, all my love.

Jackie

Don’t hesitate to leave any questions, comments, frustrations, tirades, rants, chocolates, inquiries or suggestions (I’d love your input) either below or in my email,  jacklyne_vargas@brown.edu! I’m seriously excited to interact with you all… Seriously. Have a delightful day!

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