Sorority recruitment is an exciting week, one during which you meet new people, try new things and are able to find a home away from home. However, it can also be a time when rumors tend to fly. We've heard the freak-outs over and over again ("Only X amount of girls are getting bids!" "You have to have at least 23 recommendations to join a chapter!"), and we're here to help. Below are a few rumors we go ahead and set straight.
The amount of women that each chapter is allowed to extend bids to is called quota, and that number changes yearly based on the amount of women who sign the MRABA (more on that next month) after the final round of recruitment. So even if 200 women at your school went through recruitment last year and this time there are 800, stay calm. Even with an increase like that, your chances of receiving an invitation to join a chapter are statistically just as good as they have been for every other woman who has gone through recruitment on your campus.
As far as recommendations go, each national organization has its own policies regarding them, one which alumnae members will be aware of. The importance of references varies from campus to campus, but in general they aren't required. If they are suggested, you can either work with women you know or see if there is an Alumnae Panhellenic in your area.
If you attend a school that conducts deferred recruitment (taking place later in the fall or at the beginning of spring semester) you might think that chapters already know exactly who they want to extend bids to before you even start. Again, false. Sorority women may have the opportunity to get to know some potential new members through campus involvement, but that doesn't mean they've already picked out their next pledge class. Everyone visits every chapter on the first day of formal recruitment, which means everyone starts on a level playing field.
The most important thing to remember is to use your recruitment counselors. Not only will they tell you the truth about all the ridiculous things you're hearing, but they'll also know what the fraternity/sorority culture is on your campus. These women are great resources and can really help put your mind at ease.