Last updated July 30, 2020!
If you've been on the hunt for information about Deferred Recruitment, we think you'll agree with the following statement: there's not a lot of information out there for PNMs about how to prepare for spring rush!
We hear you (and we've seen the same thing for ourselves), which is why we decided to put together a blog post bursting with as much information about Deferred Sorority Recruitment as we could find. Sound good? Then let's dig in!
The Basics of Deferred Recruitment
Overall, Deferred (Spring) Recruitment will operate exactly like Formal Recruitment that takes place during the fall. Your party schedule should still include Open House, Philanthropy, Sisterhood/Skit, and Preference rounds, and attire should still progress from casual-cute to formal throughout the week. (More on this below.)
But there are a few differences too, and with those differences in mind, our number one piece of advice for those of you going through Deferred Recruitment has to do with keeping an open mind. This is always important, but it’s especially critical when you’ve already been on campus for a full semester. Focus on your academics, do your best to get settled and adjusted to your new college schedule, get involved with other organizations during the fall, and PLEASE avoid Greek ranking websites at all costs. (They’re 99% filled with rumors, bias, and/or overly-inflated promo posts written by chapter members to counteract any unfair negativity...just trust us on this.)
Finally, before recruitment begins, do your best to wipe the slate clean in your mind—this means throwing out any rumors or “top tier, bottom tier” -type talk you may have heard floating around campus. You’ll have a much better experience if you do!
Now, on to the specifics! Below you will find: 1.) Current information and schedules for 2021 Deferred Recruitment at campuses across the nation 2.) A suggested timeline to help you prepare for Deferred Recruitment 3.) A Deferred Recruitment Style Guide to help you pre-plan your outfits.
Let's do this!
Schools with Deferred Sorority Recruitment
Last update: July 30, 2020
Note: This is not an exhaustive list, but we tried to be as comprehensive as possible! Be sure to check these links frequently for updates.
- Baylor—Registration begins on September 1, 2020 and ends December 1, 2020 with a Recruitment Orientation event on September 14, 2020. Formal Recruitment runs from January 3-9, 2021. More details here.
- Cornell—2021 dates not released yet; check back here.
- Duke University—Panhellenic Recruitment will take place on the weekends of January 8-10 and January 15-17, 2021. More information about recruitment will be released late 2020, with the registration opening on October 19, 2020. Check back here.
- Emory University—Formal recruitment consists of four rounds spanning the first weekends of classes within January; More details here.
- Furman—Registration begins on October 1, 2020. If you are participating this year, you need to return to campus by January 6, 2021. Recruitment will take place from January 7-10, 2021. More details here.
- Georgetown College—Formal recruitment will occur in the Spring Semester within the first three weeks of school. Specific 2021 dates not released yet; Check back here.
- George Washington University—2021 dates not released yet; Check back here.
- Indiana University—Registration for formal recruitment will open September 1, 2020. Recruitment begins on Wednesday, January 22, 2021 with a virtual orientation and will run for two weekends. More details here.
- Marquette University—2021 dates not released yet; Check back here.
- Miami University Ohio—Recruitment will take place on the weekends of January 29-31 and February 5-6, 2021; More details here.
- Ohio Wesleyan University—Formal Recruitment begins the first week of spring semester. Due to the COVID-19, the dates are TBD. More details here.
- Saint Lawrence University—Greek 101 is required for anyone interested in participating in recruitment. 2021 dates for Formal Recruitment and Greek 101 are not released yet; Check back here.
- Southern Methodist University—Recruitment registration opens on September 6, 2020 and closes on October 23, 2020. Recruitment begins on January 13, 2021 with a mandatory orientation meeting taking place on January 12, 2021. NOTE: You CANNOT send recommendation letters to SMU’s Panhellenic office as they will not be forwarded on to the sorority houses. Be sure to have alum send recs directly to each house! More details here.
- Southwestern—Recruitment will take place in January of 2021. Check back here for more details.
- Syracuse University—Must be a second-semester freshman to rush; More details here.
- Tulane—Recruitment will take place January 12-17, 2021. Review details about the sorority recruitment schedule here.
- University at Albany—Must be a second-semester freshman to rush, unless a chapter is listed as an "exceptional organization"; More details here.
- University of Dayton—Primary recruitment takes place at the end of January and the first weekend in February; More details here.
- University of Richmond—Primary recruitment takes place during the first week of the Spring semester, January 11, 2021. More details here.
- Valparaiso—2021 dates not released yet; Check back here.
- Vanderbilt—2021 recruitment will take place on January 8-10 and 15-17; There will be a mandatory pre-recruitment meeting on January 8, 2021. Helpful article here.
- Wake Forest—2021 dates will be announced on October 1, 2020; Check back here. NOTE: Wake Forest hosts both fall and spring recruitment, but freshmen are only eligible to participate in Deferred Recruitment.
- Washington and Lee—2021 dates not released yet; Check back here.
- Washington University—2021 dates note released yet; Check back here.
Suggested Timeline for Deferred Recruitment
As always, check your College Panhellenic website for the most accurate information possible. Each school does things a little differently, but our general timeline for Deferred Recruitment should still be an excellent starting point to help you get prepared for the process!
Research the sororities housed on your campus and compile a list of alumnae willing to complete a reference on your behalf. Keep an eye on your College Panhellenic website so that you're aware of all recommendation regulations.
It might feel early, but NOW is the time to dust off your resume, write a cover letter, and start putting together sorority packets! Alumnae are already in "rec mode" during the summer months thanks to fall recruitment, meaning your vacation time is the PERFECT time to send out packets. Bonus: It's SO much easier to pull everything together when you're still at home (next to mom!) and not juggling a complete workload of college courses!
It's also worth noting that even though you will be rushing as a second-semester freshman, you will still register for recruitment using your high school information. Per a recent Baylor graduate: "Even though sorority recruitment at Baylor takes place during the spring, all of your information is due before honor society and grade information from the fall semester is posted. Because of this, you will use your high school achievements/clubs/groups on your resume." You will find instructions for creating a sorority resume here along with a free template that you can download. With all of that said, do be sure to include your college information in the education portion of your resume! Here's a quick example:
- Send thank you notes to all of the alumnae who agreed to write you a letter of recommendation approximately two weeks after delivering your packets. This is a polite gesture, but it’s also a great way to prompt anyone who might have forgotten about that late-fall deadline you mentioned (it happens).
Keep your eyes open for the start of recruitment registration! Registration for deferred sorority recruitment typically opens in September, with closing deadlines varying from campus to campus. Mark the registration deadline on your calendar and set a reminder in your phone to ensure that you don’t miss it.
It’s important to note that registration fees typically starts to increase as the deadline draws closer. If you are 100% sure that you want to go through sorority recruitment, register as early as possible to get the best rate.
After sending your sorority packets, add any mandatory pre-recruitment meetings to your calendar. Most universities who host deferred recruitment will require you to attend some type of mandatory meeting or workshop in the fall to help you prepare for spring recruitment, so pay VERY close attention to the calendar posted on your school’s Panhellenic website. We also recommend saving the date for any optional mixers or social events hosted by the sororities on your campus! Take advantage of as many opportunities as possible to get to know the members of each house!
Continue to get involved with other organizations that interest you! In addition to helping you meet friends and feel more at home on your college campus, this shows a lot of initiative and will help you learn the art of balancing an active social life with academic responsibilities—crucial for joining a sorority!
- Clean up your social media accounts. Sororities will look you up before and during recruitment. It’s just a fact. Don’t let it freak you out, though—this is a great opportunity to show off your personality and interests before recruitment even begins! With that said, take a close look at your social media profiles before arriving at any mandatory meetings to make sure that every image and caption posted is a good representation of your character.
Pre-plan your outfits. Do a little research. Identify the types of parties that will be hosted on your campus and plan to dress accordingly. Generally, the recruitment dress code will begin dressy-casual and gradually progress to more formal attire as the week continues. We highly recommend selecting the exact outfit and accessories you will wear for each round of recruitment before arriving for orientation. More info on this below!
- Practice the art of active listening. You know what everyone’s favorite talking point is? Themselves. And that includes the sorority women you’ll be meeting during rush week! We all want to be seen, heard, and really listened to. We want to know that what we’re saying has value; that it matters. There’s a huge difference between hearing something and actively listening to it. “Active listening” means absorbing what the other person is saying and seeking to make a connection using that information. Treat the experience less like an interview (they do all the asking, you do all the answering) and more like a conversation with a friend (after all, that’s exactly the kind of relationship you’re forming).
Do a hair and makeup trial run. When selecting hair and makeup styles for recruitment week it’s important to consider the season, the weather, what’s most flattering, and what will last longest without a touch-up. We recommend going with what’s tried, true, and the you-est version of you—in other words, don’t use recruitment week as a trial run for a completely new style. While bold lips are fun, they might not be right for recruitment week. Who wants to be thinking about whether or not they have lipstick on their teeth all day long?
- Assemble a rush week emergency/essentials kit prior to the start of recruitment. Items up for inclusion: reusable water bottle, high-energy snack, notepad and pen, oil blotting sheets, breath mints, pain reliever, deodorant. You’ll find a complete shopping guide + TONS of other information to help you prepare for the sorority recruitment process in our 50+ page eBook, Everything You Need to Know About Sorority Recruitment! We have a section that specifically speaks to deferred recruitment and rushing as an underclassmen, plus many (many) articles to help you prepare for rush week conversations and more.
Want your own copy of this list that you can refer back to again and again? Click the button below to download it in PDF form!
Deferred Sorority Recruitment Style Guide
Open House: If you receive a t-shirt from your College Panhellenic to wear for Open House, pair it with slim dark-wash jeans or black pants. Sub out sandals for flats or cropped ankle booties, and keep a scarf and jacket in your bag to ensure that you stay warm when walking between houses.
Philanthropy/House Tours: Once again, you might receive a standard t-shirt from your College Panhellenic. If so, wear it with dark-wash jeans or black pants—whatever you didn’t wear the day before. Accent your attire with a pair of leather riding boots and a cardigan.
Sisterhood/Skit Night: It’s time to start kicking things up a notch! A wrap dress or patterned skirt paired with tights and suede wedges would work well. Layers and accessories will do a lot to make your rush week looks pop during the winter!
Preference: By far the most formal round of recruitment (both for you and for chapter members). Still, don’t go overboard. Sequins, full-length dresses, and cleavage are no-go’s—think about what you might wear to a Christmas party. Avoid wearing black or white as many sororities will have their entire chapter dress in these colors. Classic cuts in bright colors are your best bet. Top it off with a structured peacoat for warmth.
Bid Day: You’re finally receiving your bid card, and most likely a t-shirt from your chapter! Put on your favorite jeans to ensure a perfect match when you exchange your top for your new sorority colors.
Looking for more information about Deferred Recruitment? Stop by this blog post!
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