Rushing at a southern school is a BIG deal. At The University of Alabama, almost 3,000 girls rush each fall. That is a lot of girls! A lot much goes into the recruitment process from both ends- the girls wanting to get into a sorority & the girls already in the sorority. Be aware of the financial obligations that come with being in a sorority. At Alabama, most sororities cost around $7,000 a year. Now, let’s get into the good stuff!
Essentials Before Rush
There are a lot of important things to know before attending recruitment in August. There is a no contact period from May 1st until Bid Day. You cannot talk to any of the girls currently in a sorority during this period. It is also important that you sign up for recruitment online. Registration is open from May 1- July 17. You will have to submit personal information such as extracurricular activities, community service, work experience, legacy information, a headshot photo of yourself, and your high school transcript. Before attending rush, it is also suggested that you get letters of recommendation. This recommendation comes from sorority alumni and serves as your introduction to the sorority. These are not necessary but it is definitely helpful if you can get them. Each sorority has a different policy for letters of recommendation so be sure to check them out individually- that is also how you will find out where/how to send them.
It is HOT during August in Alabama. It is strongly recommended to bring a small handheld fan. I showed up without one and all of the local stores were sold out because everyone needed one. For the handheld fan that I used CLICK HERE.
What To Wear
• Convocation: t-shirt and shorts
• Open House: sundress & sandals
• Philanthropy Day: t-shirt (given to you at Convocation) & nice shorts
• Sisterhood Day: casual dress/sundress & wedges
• Preference Day: nice dress & heels
• Bid Day: tank & shorts- you will get a new shirt with your sorority letters on it when you arrive at the house
I REALLY recommend bringing sandals to wear in-between houses on the days you are wearing wedges/heels.
What Happens When You Show Up
There is a meeting for all girls participating in rush called Convocation. This is the first night and you will hear about the layout of what the week will look like. At this meeting, you will be assigned to a group that you will be with the entire week. The leaders will help you with any questions you have and give you all the advice you need. You will also receive t-shirts to wear during Philanthropy Day during Convocation. From Convocation your leaders will give you information about what will happen from there, but I’ll give my short description.
The first two days you are split up so you can attend all 16 sororities. Each party you go to this day is only 20 minutes so you only have a short amount of time to talk to the girl you are assigned to. The next two days are for the sororities to tell you about their philanthropy. This starts the invitation-only parties, so some will drop you (DO NOT BE OFFENDED) and you will also drop some. At the end of each round, you go to a computer lab where you rank your preferences. You can visit 12 sororities for 30 minutes each for Philanthropy Day. Not everyone will get to visit the maximum amount of sororities for any given day. The next two days are sisterhood days where each party is 40 minutes and you can attend up to 8 parties. This is the day where you really get to connect with the girls in the sorority and see if it would be a good fit for you. The last round of recruitment is preference day. You can attend up to 3 parties that last 50 minutes each. The sororities you go to this day are truly interested in you becoming one of their new members. Lastly, IT’S BID DAY! THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR! You will start at Bryant-Denny Stadium. At the same time, every girl will open their bid and run to the signs with their sorority letters. Together all of the new members run out of the stadium and go to their new house.
I Got A Bid! Now What?
Most sororities take their new girls on a new member retreat on bid day (or the day after depending on your sorority). This is when you will meet all of your new sisters in your pledge class. It’s a great bonding experience and you will make lifelong friends on this trip. Once you are in a sorority you are required to attend study hours, Panhellenic events, and philanthropy events. Each sorority has a different organization they fundraise and raise awareness for. This is a great way to volunteer and give back.
For more information on recruitment at the University of Alabama click here.