What is Recruitment? Why is it not called Rush?

Yes, it is called recruitment now, not rush. This can be difficult for seasoned sorority alumnae to make the change in their vocabulary, but we are here to help. The current definition per National Panhellenic Conference is “Primary recruitment: A period of time during the academic year when events are held by each sorority for the purpose of selecting new members. The primary recruitment period is organized and implemented by the College Panhellenic. Should the College Panhellenic not host a primary recruitment, then primary recruitment will default to the earliest opportunity a student is permitted to join. NPC endorses primary recruitment held in the fall academic term. NPC also advocates women be able to join a sorority during their first academic term on campus.” In previous decades the term “rush” was associated with hazing. This urged the National Panhellenic Conference to move towards another term, “recruitment”, to remove the implications of hazing from the sorority recruitment process.

Other terms that have been updated that are equally as important are as follows. “New member” instead of “pledge” is now used to describe a woman who has accepted a bid from a sorority but is not yet an active member of the chapter. NPC has also moved away from the classical skits and fluff/decorations focus portions of recruitment that you may remember being performed during recruitment. Now the term and theme of recruitments on campuses nation wide are, “Values-based recruitment: Recruitment that focuses on conversations between chapter members and potential new members about organizational values and member organizations.”

Another new term used by NPC now is “Release Figure Methodology (RFM): A process used to determine the number of potential new members each chapter is able to invite to events. The process is implemented on campuses by trained NPC volunteers known as RFM specialists.” Letters of recommendations are also different per NPC group. A letter of recommendation for the sorority experience is an opportunity for a member/alumna of a sorority to introduce a woman to a chapter where she is participating in recruitment. A recommendation from someone who knows the woman well and is able to provide personal details on the woman beyond her resume will be far more useful to chapters than a recommendation that copies and pastes the woman’s resume or generic information that is already provided to the chapter via her recruitment application.

While some terms have changed, the recruitment experience is still similar to how you remembered it. The purpose is unchanged to yield connections through sisterhood, supporting women in all aspects of personal development while attending her college or university, and of course there are still social aspects. Though things have changed over time, the ideals and desire for strong bonds of friendship and academic connections still remain relevant today.

For more information on what is current with Sorority Life on campuses across the country, please plan to attend our Sorority 101 Event on April 18th at 3:00pm via Zoom. Please also refer to the following articles and sites plus your own NPC group’s website for the most up to date information:

The Sorority Life: Family and Friends

How Do I Support My Student Through Recruitment?


Join the Birmingham Alumnae Panhellenic!

Whether you’re new to the area, a recent graduate, or just wanting to get involved, we want to meet you! There are many intangible benefits to membership; here are just a few we wanted to mention:

Inclusion is the most enriching benefit. You will meet members from all 26 National Panhellenic Conference women sororities and fraternities of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures. While we are in college, most of us focus on bettering our own chapter. Joining our Alumnae Panhellenic will not only teach you about the other organizations but it will also teach you about the women in those organizations. 

Community service is a top priority as we are constantly exploring how we can better the Birmingham community through hands-on volunteer hours and donations. We have a unique opportunity in the Birmingham area to help a wide variety of non-profit organizations. 

Our fundraising efforts from all sources directly impacts active sorority collegiate women through scholarships we provide annually. The Birmingham Alumnae Panhellenic is a 501(c)(3) organization, meaning all donations are tax deductible, including all donations made to assist in funding our scholarships.

Our Sorority 101 annual event promotes the Greek life experience as a whole while inviting colleges and universities to participate in sharing the intrinsic value of “Going Greek” while in school and staying active post graduation. Each year we have a panel of speakers discuss subjects from what to expect during recruitment to recommendations. It is the most exciting event we host; and it is free of charge!

Networking! You will meet amazing women and make connections professionally and personally. We have a wide scope of members from new graduates to past national officers from their respective sororities or fraternities to business owner.

Stay in the know. Being a member will help you stay up-to-date on National Panhellenic Conference changes and new policies as Greek life is ever-evolving. Recruitment is much different than it used to be 20 years ago. 

Keep the Greek system strong while in turn keeping your own sorority or fraternity strong. The more alumnae members from all chapters that remain active the brighter the future of Greek Life will be.


Sorority Recruitment: You Are Enough

You are enough, you always were enough, and you always will be enough

By Rachel Burchfield

Sorority recruitment is exciting. It is miserable. It is hot. It is invigorating. It is empowering. It is aching feet. It is oversharing. It is answering the same question 25 different ways. It is my cheeks hurt too much from smiling. It is wonderful. It is awful. It is an emotional roller coaster. It is over-perfumed. It is a fashion show. It is meaningful. It is a beginning. It is an ending. It is complex. It is confusing. It is a lot.

But let me tell you one thing sorority recruitment most certainly is not: A definer of your worth.

Sweet girl, listen. And listen closely. Some of you are going to have the sorority recruitment you’ve dreamed about since you were five. Some of you are not. (Heck, some of you just decided 10 minutes ago to participate. You weren’t thinking about this even a month ago.) Regardless. Regardless! You are enough. Just as you are.

Your sorority letters – or, in some cases, lack thereof – do not define you. Only you can define you. Your sorority letters do not provide your worth, your inherent value, your meaning, your purpose. Sorority life is everything you think it is and more, but if you’re coming to sorority recruitment to get validated, you’ve come to the wrong place. You must find that self-worth within yourself. No letters – even if they are “the best” letters – will ever be able to give you true inner confidence, value, and worth. You alone are the keeper of those keys.

You are already a complete person right now, unaffiliated with any sorority. You don’t need a sorority to complete you. You are complete. You are beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, hilarious, irreverent, talented, athletic (well, unless you’re me – then you’re definitely not that), witty, and everything good in this world today, and the opening of an envelope on Bid Day will not raise or lower your stock in life. Your value does not increase or decrease based on a Bid Day jersey.

So many times we as women think “oh, well if only I can a.) date the right man, b.) pledge the right sorority, c.) fit into the right dress size, d.) get the right job, then I will be enough.” NOPE. You already are enough right this very moment, just as you are. You do not need all of the above add-ons. They are the sprinkles on top of an already delicious, fabulous, incredible cake.

As you enter sorority recruitment, be yourself. Your imperfect, raw, real, irreverent, true self. Let the right women fall in love with the real you. Just like when you go on dates, you should always be yourself (there are so many parallels between sorority recruitment and dating that I could write a book on it) – what’s the point if the man you’re dating falls in love with someone that isn’t really you? How far is that relationship really going to go? Same with sorority recruitment. If you’re not who you really are, how will you find your tribe? Show them the unashamed you that so many people already love and adore.

You are enough. You are worthy. And sorority life – let me tell you, it’s wonderful. I wouldn’t change one thing about my decision to join my chapter and become a Panhellenic woman. But that said, if all I had to hang my worthiness on were my letters, I’d be in a mess of trouble. I – and you – have so much more than Greek letters to define us.

I hope you have the most magical sorority recruitment. I wish you happiness and peace about your decisions and calm and unfettered joy and everything good. But the truth is, I don’t know one person who has ever had a sorority recruitment turn out 100 percent the way they thought it would. Not one.

But the good news is – it always turns out how it is supposed to, and it always turns out better than you thought it could be.

Walk in there a confident, complete woman, be yourself, wear your letters with pride, but realize that with or without letters, you’re everything and more, and raise your head and walk like the queen that you most certainly are into each sorority recruitment event and into each and every room you enter from now until the end of time.

You are enough, you always were enough, and you always will be enough.

Enjoy this moment. (Even the aching feet.) And in that moment of sorority recruitment when you feel like quitting – let’s be honest, we all have that moment – remember what I said, adjust your invisible crown, and continue to shine.