Social sororities, those that people are most familiar with, recruit new members through a process called "Mutual selection". The challenge to potential new members (PNMs) is navigating rush successfully. The goal of rush is to get a bid.
Many girls who do not get a bid rack their brains trying to figure out why they were not chosen by a particular - or any - sorority. While there are strict guidelines against discrimination of all kinds, there is a very calculated "formula" for observing and choosing new members.
Rushees or PNMs will go to a series of parties. Each woman is being evaluated. Communication skills, appearance, high school and college transcripts (which the sorority has access to) which list your GPA and activities and offices held, even your hometown - all matter.
Every minute of every party is choreographed. Members rehearse conversations, practice telling specific stories, and have memorized questions designed to get the PNM to reveal information that they may not realize that they are revealing. Some sororities rehearse communication for 2 HOURS PER DAY the week before rush begins.
Reasons why you may or may not be offered a bid:more...
- being identified as a “scholarship risk”. Even if your GPA is at or above the minimum required, it may not be high enough. Example: 2.9 and below as a freshman, 2.5
and below. Only a small percentage of scholarship risk PNMs can be selected.
- Leadership experiences.
- Geographics. If 50 percent of the students are from the state, the new member class should reflect that. Same with other areas. So in some cases, being from a different part of the country might be a plus, if there is a certain percentage of students from that area.
- People who are from "desirable" locations, such as a certain state, a cosmopolitan city, even other countries.
- Class balance requirements. Freshman obviously have the most time to devote to the chapter, but there is a need to have enough memebers at each grade level to ensure the vitality and desirablility in the eyes of PNMs.
- Legacies. A legacy is a daughter or sister, and sometimes even stepsisters and stepdaughters. These ladies are usually guaranteed to make it to the second round of recruitment, and are automatically placed higher on the bid list if the chapter wants to extend a bid.
- References. Some schools or sororities pretty much require them.
- Unique qualities, talents, work experience, and hobbies. Athletes, muscicians, internships, travels ... something that sets you apart from the other members.
- Diversity of all sorts.