My Sorority Recruitment Experience

At LMU, sorority rush is called “recruitment”. It’s three days of little sleep, a lot of talking, and a bit of hurt feelings and heartbreak. I get that it’s not as crazy as other schools, but it’s still pretty crazy. This is my perspective of what happened to me that weekend.

Loyola Marymount has no Greek housing, so it’s not “the thing you have to do” on campus. We have seven sororities and seven fraternities, but there are also business frats and historical frats. Basically, Greek like here is not intense. There’s no hazing, no real “top house”, and no one really cares what organization you end up joining. It’s just not a huge deal.

I’m not a legacy, Greek life was not my mom’s “thing”, but I’ve always been fairly certain I would join Greek Life in college. My main concern was joining an organization that held similar values as I do and did service for a philanthropy that I felt connected to. That being said, I thought I wanted to be in a particular one after spending all four years of high school as an officer for Teens for the Advancement of Children’s Hospital (CHLA is a sorority’s philanthropy).

It didn’t end up being that simple.

If you know me, I’m not the most outgoing person in the group and I’ve never been the type of person that stands out, so I only thought of recruitment positively until everyone who signed up was separated alphabetically. I was in a group with no one I knew. Que anxiety.

Starting recruitment in a group of girls that I didn’t know was very nerve-racking for me. I talk about my feelings, I can’t hide how I feel. That’s why I have a blog, to talk about things. When I was assigned to group one, I didn’t know who I would talk to or what to think. I was immediately uncomfortable and thought that feeling would stay, but I didn’t drop out because I wanted to explore the possibility of finding a sorority I enjoyed.

After the first unofficial day of just meeting our recruitment counselors and learning more about the values and schedule, I was excited, but the negative opinions that some of my peers held of Greek Life were dawning on me. Even after all the speeches I gave on how LMU Greek Life and recruitment is values based, there is no hazing, and how it was genuinely a good step for me, no one who didn’t approve felt settled. With the idea of their feelings in the back of my mind the whole time, I was feeling down. However, I was still determined to enjoy all the parties (sorority mixers) I went to.

The first day (attire: snappy casual [I still don’t know what that means]), I enjoyed most of my time at the parties. I was particularly excited about three sororities, so I was eager to share my feelings of excitement with my friends. Even though we were advised not to, it was hard not to tell them about how much fun I had, but I also wasn’t shy to be honest about the ones I didn’t enjoy as much.

That being said, the next day I immediately understood why we were told not to “gossip” about our experiences. Though I was called back to my top two, there were many people who were only got “called back” to one out of the five you could be called back to and a couple of my friends only got called back to two out of five, which was upsetting for all of us. Those two organizations were ones none of us were excited about, but my friends probably wouldn’t have been as upset as they were if we hadn’t gossiped about them the night before. I definitely learned my lesson. We encouraged them to stay in recruitment, but it was hard to build up their spirits right away. That night, we decided to only share the absolute positives from each party.

The final day I was called back to the organization I had been the most interested in since the first day and an organization that I had put as an alternate both days, so I was excited and not-so-excited. Luckily, the third day ended up being my favorite day of them all. I had an amazing experience in my first party (the one I was excited about) and even though I wasn’t as excited about the other one, I still had a really good time getting to know the girl who “preffed” me (the girl who talks with you for the entire hour you’re there). It was really cool building connections with people I wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise.

At the end of the day, I hadn’t completely made up my mind, but I was flirting with the idea of suicide bidding. Suicide bidding is sorta taboo because it means that you’re not guaranteed a bid, but I had enjoyed my time in one sorority the whole time, while I only truly enjoyed my time in the other the third day. After talking to a few recruitment counselors, I knew that I would have a great time if I had ended up in either, but I was in a position where I figured I would rather go through recruitment again to get my first choice than spend 3.5 years (and a lifetime) wondering how it would’ve been if I had gotten my other choice.

That being said, the Monday of Bid Night was interesting. I never got a call about not getting chosen for my pledge class, so I knew where I ended up a few hours before I opened my official “welcome” envelope, signed by my chapter’s president. Some of my friends ended up in their first choice since day one, what ended up being their first choice, and some got their second choice from their final two. Despite the craziness, we all ended up excited and happy. It just ended up working out for everyone. But that was just recruitment, we’ll see how the rest of these 3.5 years turn out.

Lizzie Bromley