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7 Days of Blogging: How Does Panhellenic Recruitment Work?

Posted by on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 in College Life, Extracurriculars, Freshman Life, General Information, Greek Life, Nashville, Student Life, Student Organizations.

When I came to college, I had no clue whether or not I wanted to be a part of greek life. Neither of my parents were part of a greek organization, and I had little to no exposure to the institution before coming to Vanderbilt. As a disclaimer, I still don’t know all that much about the recruitment process for IFC, IGC, or NPHC, the other greek councils at Vanderbilt, so this post is going to be very Panhellenic-centric. However, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about recruitment from my experiences and my current membership in a Panhellenic sorority.

First of all, let me say that it is an absolute GIFT to have deferred recruitment (aka spring recruitment). This allows students to acclimate to college and form friendships throughout the fall semester of their first year before going through recruitment upon returning from winter break. This also gave me the time last year to decide whether I wanted to go through recruitment, although I will say that I was still unsure about joining a sorority. However, going through the recruitment process allowed me to develop a better idea of what a sorority is like and convinced me that I would benefit from being a part of greek life.

Before formal recruitment begins, there is a Panhellenic Preview day during the fall semester. This is not a mandatory event, but it allows individuals going through recruitment to essentially go through a practice round, where they visit each of Vanderbilt’s 10 Panhellenic sororities and speak to a few members at each house. This helps calm the nerves of both women going through recruitment as well as members of sororities who haven’t been on the other side of recruitment yet (me this year!!).

Upon returning from winter break, formal recruitment begins. This involves two weekends of visits to houses, conversations with sorority women, and narrowing down sororities that each individual going through recruitment may become a part of. The process of narrowing down sororities is a “mutual selection process”, which means that both sororities and women going through recruitment note their preferences in order to place each woman in the house that is best for her.

The recruitment process can be scary, but going through recruitment at Vanderbilt is much less intense than it may be at other institutions. Greek life at Vanderbilt can be a part of a student’s experience, but it doesn’t have to be. And if a student is a part of a greek organization, it does not define their friendships or ability to participate in other extracurricular activities. I love my sorority and its members, but I also love my friends in other sororities and my friends who chose to not participate in greek life. Being in a sorority has been a great part of my experience at Vanderbilt, but it does not comprise my entire experience.

If you have any questions about Panhellenic recruitment, or about recruitment for other greek councils, at Vanderbilt, please feel free to reach out to me at and I will do my best to answer or refer you to someone who can tell you more. Thanks for reading!

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