What Sorority Recruitment at the University of Texas is REALLY Like

You asked about sorority recruitment at the UT, and we answered...or rather, we had our friend MacKenzie answer for us! MacKenzie is a 2017 grad of the University of Texas, where she pledged Alpha Phi as a sophomore. (On that note, be sure to catch her top tips for going through recruitment as an upperclassman!) We LOVE this girl and could not agree more with all of the (pure gold) advice she dishes out below. Keep reading to ditch the rumors and learn what sorority recruitment is really like at UT!

Is sorority recruitment at UT competitive?

“I didn’t feel like it was that competitive, but I went through with an open mindset. I think it comes across as competitive, though, when you expect to get a certain house, or expect to really, really like one house, or you have a friend in a particular house. In that case, if you get dropped from that house you might be bummed, thinking things like, 'I didn’t answer questions well enough’ or ‘I wasn’t what they were looking for.’ If you go in not expecting anything and remain open, you will get the most out of the process.”

What are some of the misconceptions about sorority recruitment at the University of Texas?

“Going into recruitment at UT, I think everybody has heard of ‘The Big Six’—but I guess a lot of people don’t know that this was from an article written in the 80s. A lot of the stereotypes or things you’ve heard regarding recruitment at UT are from 20 years ago. It’s a lot different than what those rumors might lead you to believe, and there are going to be different girls in every sorority that you connect with. Don’t listen to people who say, ‘This one is really good, but this one isn’t as good.’ You can create the kind of experience you want in any house. No matter which house you join, what you put in is what you will get out. Houses aren’t made up of one type of cookie-cutter girl—there might be girls into art, music, anything! Also, every pledge class is different. One year a certain house may have a lot of girls who are into sports, one year lots who are involved with YoungLife...it varies year to year based on who is rushing.”

What are some of the rumors you heard about sorority recruitment at UT prior to recruitment week?

“I had heard that certain sororities only took girls from certain zip codes, but that’s not true at all. And a lot of sororities don’t really follow the legacy thing, so if people are worried that they aren’t a legacy, they shouldn’t be. Legacies are important, but if we really liked a girl and she wasn’t a legacy, that didn’t affect our decision. Don’t go in worried that this will be a make or break thing for you!”

Why is it important to keep an open mind when going through sorority recruitment?

“When one of my friends was going through recruitment at UT, she almost dropped her last house because people told her, ‘It’s not a top house, so you don’t want to be in it.’ She considered dropping but ultimately decided to accept the bid, and ended up falling in love with the house and making so many friends! She would have missed out on such a great experience if she had chosen to listen to others or only stuck to the house she thought she wanted.”

What makes keeping an open mind so hard?

“I actually transferred to UT as a sophomore from UTSA, but even before I was on the Austin campus rumors had started to trickle back. During recruitment week some of our guy friends would ask which houses we had left, and then would have something to say about it—like, ‘Oh, you don’t have these?’ People all have preconceived notions. That’s why I recommend avoiding telling people who you have left. Just say, ‘I have some great houses and I really like them!’ so you don’t have to hear what they have to say about it!

How big are new member classes at UT?

“Usually 70-something. These past years have been some of the biggest, with pledge classes in the 80s or 90s.” 

Do a lot of girls drop out of recruitment at UT? If so, why?

“Quite a few do end up dropping, but again, I think it’s because they have a predetermined mindset—‘If I don’t get this sorority, I don’t want anything.’ It’s hard not to take it personally when you don’t get invited back to a house you like, and everyone has a moment during recruitment week where they think, ‘This really sucks.’ But remember, you’re not the only one getting cut and you’re not the only one getting your feelings hurt. It’s easy to forget that every girl there is going through the same process and experiencing those same feelings. The maximum number of houses you can have on Pref is three, so EVERY person will get cut from a house at some point. Remember that the recruitment system is all computerized. It uses your rankings of the houses and the sororities’ ranking of all potential new members in order to schedule your next day of parties. Half the time when girls are cut, especially toward the end of the week, it’s not about the girl at all...grades, chapter numbers, and quota all make a difference.”

Tell us about your recruitment week experience at UT!

“I had never even heard of Alpha Phi until I got there! All of my friends at other schools had gone Kappa, and I knew about DG because of a friend, and then Theta and Tri Delt were part of the ‘Big 6’ so I knew their names. I was bummed at first because I was in between two houses on Pref, and I didn’t get the one I chose first. I thought I would be really bummed, but I went with Alpha Phi anyway and I’m SO glad I did because I really loved it and made so many friends! Initially I was bummed that I got cut and also nervous—how would I make friends in a group of 70 girls? But then we started having mixers which were a lot of fun. We started a group chat with all the girls, and I began to see them around campus. One girl had an Oscar or a Grammy watch party at her house, which was one of the first events we did on our own, and I genuinely started really liking it. Once chapter started we met the older girls too, and they were so nice and very welcoming. It ended up being so, so positive. Looking back now, I would never change it!”

What are the rounds of recruitment at UT? What kind of attire should girls wear for each round?

“There are two days of Open House, and then Philanthropy, Sisterhood, Pref, and Bid Day. They give you a t-shirt when you go to convocation for the first two days of Open House; you will wear it both days with tennis shoes and khaki shorts. They should have a three or four-inch seam (long and appropriate, like camp shorts—I got mine from Gap). They don’t tell you to tuck in the shirt with a belt, but a lot of girls do it because it looks cleaner. For Philanthropy and Sisterhood, I wore a sundress and wedges for both. For Pref PNMs wear all black with heels; when I went through no one wore wedges. Bid day is whatever you want—just a cute summer outfit. Most sororities will give you a shirt after you get to the house. One note: I would definitely pack a pair of flip flops in your bag so you don’t have to walk across campus in wedges. I didn’t do that the first day and I thought I would die!”

What’s a really positive thing about the recruitment experience at UT?

The sororities do read your packets and they do know some things about you, so they try to pair you with people you will have a mutual interest with during recruitment week. I had great conversations every night and really felt like I could connect with any girl in any sorority. Outside of Open House, I didn’t just feel like I was being asked basic questions about UT or my major. The conversations I had were deeper and more meaningful in every house. I can’t think of one house where I didn’t connect to someone!”

To read more interviews with sorority chapter members (from lots of different universities!) be sure to check out our eBook: Everything You Need to Know About Sorority Recruitment!


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