About 1,600 IU students trekked this past week to meet with 22 sororities, braving flooding streets and sporadic downpours in the hope of landing a coveted spot during spring recruitment.
This weekend concluded the first two segments of recruitment: Open Invite, when women visit all 22 chapters, and the Philanthropy and Service rounds. The entire recruitment process spans two-and-a-half weeks and ends Jan. 21.
On a campus bus labeled PHA-A, groups of women were packed into the bus like sardines. Some touched up others' makeup. Others glanced at their phones, looking at maps of the sorority houses on the bus route. Between touch-ups and planning, they checked in with each other.
"How are you feeling?"
"Are you stressed?"
Freshman Megan Laune boarded the bus on her way to the next set of chapter interviews. Laune, a potential new member, said she rushed because her best friend is rushing and felt she would regret it if she didn’t try it. One of the reasons she rushed was to find a community.
Laune said she didn’t like the rainy weather and would have much preferred the bitter cold more commonly associated with January and previous years' recruitments.
“Rain makes you feel gross,” she said.
She looked for "vibes" and humor that match her own as she went to different sororities, Laune said.
She was considering the chapters as much as they were considering her. At the end of each round, PNMs rank their favorite chapters, and sorority members rank them, too. PNMs are encouraged to keep an open mind during recruitment. Laune said she feels neutral about the chapters so far.
“I haven’t had the moment of ‘I don’t want any other house,’” Laune said.
Laune said originally she was nervous because she doesn’t think she’s the type of person who would rush, but she enjoyed the small talk and getting to meet new people. She even added some other women rushing on Snapchat.
Back on the bus, senior Rho Gamma Ciara Lynch shouted out the names of chapters before the bus passed the sororities' houses on the North Jordan Avenue extension to signal when PNMs should get off the bus. Rho Gammas are sorority members who disaffiliate and are not active members during rush. They are selected to help people with recruitment.
Lynch said some students prefer to know everything about the sororities they visit. She suggested looking at official chapter websites or talking to people in the sorority.
Each round has specific dress codes, so many women make a shopping trip to prepare for recruitment, Lynch said.
There are no recruitment events during the first four days of school because sororities want to give the students an opportunity to focus on academics, Lynch said.
Friday and Saturday mark the beginning of the Sisterhood Round, and Preference Round is Sunday. Lynch said the conversations become more serious each round.
The third round is marked by chapters showing PNMs a video showing off their sisterhood. Lynch said this is when women really begin to consider the sororities they want to be part of.
During the Preference Round, women visit up to two chapters they visited during Sisterhood Round. Sorority members will read letters about their experiences, Lynch said. This round typically involves lots of crying.
The final event is bid night on Jan. 21, when women learn if a sorority wants them as a member. Laune said if she doesn’t get a bid, she won’t take it to heart.
“I don’t want to be in a place that’s not me,” she said.
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