Reflecting on recruitment

Katie-Beth Jackson

 When thinking about sororities, I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks of the viral Alpha Delta Pi “Gates of Hell” video and Elle from Legally Blonde.

As someone who just went through recruitment, I can testify that it’s just as nerve racking as one might expect.

When I went to the different houses and met all the girls, everything seemed pretty normal, but then later I actually thought about it the process is pretty bizarre.

Who decided it was a good idea to send girls around to different cliques to be ranked and judged?

Recruitment sounds like a disaster waiting to happen and going into rush I was ready to hate it.

I’m sure my fellow cynics out there can testify that it is hard to trust something at face value, especially when that something is a bunch of peppy singing girls in matching dresses.

But my mindset changed as I went through the houses and met the girls.

While I don’t exactly trust everything that I’ve been shown (no house where thirty plus girls live together can be perfect), I have made genuine friendships and I have a large amount of respect for everyone in sororities.

These girls value intelligence and one of the most important things to them is their philanthropies.

As one of the girls I talked to put it, “We go to this expensive school and have all these opportunities, why would we not give back and help our community that is right down the street?”

While to an extent this interest in community service can be faked (although I believe it is real), the genuine friendships I have made during this process cannot be.

Since going through recruitment I know where my home is, but I have friends regardless of what house they are in.

I made friends of the girls I rushed with, recruitment counselors, and the women from the houses.

Don’t let me fool you, recruitment is definitely not for the faint of heart.

The feeling of rejection from the houses can and has really hurt girls in a deeply personal way.

It’s like the Bachelor but instead of being rejected by one mildly attractive guy, it’s fifty girls that you thought wanted you.

That said, I still believe that recruitment is very empowering.

I’ve never felt as confident in myself as I do when I talk to the girls at Kappa Delta, I can always have a good laugh with Sigma Kappa girls, I feel at home with Kappa Kappa Gamma, and the Alpha Gamma Delta girls challenge me to be a better person.

It is truly magical to see women supporting each other because while we are told that female empowerment is important, actions speak louder than words.

Even when girls are being cut, it is not because someone is disliked, it is because the girls don’t want someone to be stuck in a place they wouldn’t end up liking in the long run.

They are not cutting off friendships, but rather trying to help find the right fit.

Sororities are not for everyone, that’s for sure, but just because they aren’t for you doesn’t mean that it is good to feed into the stigma about them.

It cannot be easy being seen in a bad light just because you associate with a group.

I would encourage everyone, including myself, to take lessons from the sororities on campus instead of tearing them down.

We need to start being people who support each other because like the sororities we are all a part of a greater community.

 KATIE-BETH JACKSON