Recruitment 101: Sorority Rush Lingo and Tips
Recruitment season is an exhilarating time for both sorority members and the young women who have freshly arrived on campus, eager to learn about Greek life. To be prepared for what's ahead, take this quick recruitment 101 class to learn basic sorority rush lingo and tips.
PNM is an acronym for a potential new member. This is someone who may be a good candidate for joining a sorority. This person is sometimes also called an interest.
Tip: A PNM has a better chance of getting a bid if she attends many sorority rush events and makes a genuine effort to get to know the ladies in the chapter.
A mixer is an official event held by the sorority (often at the chapter house) where members have a chance to get to know PNMs. There will likely be light fare, music, and plenty of conversation as the women of the sorority get an idea of who would make good candidates for the rush process.
Tip: If you're a PNM, make sure you have a good answer for why you want to join a sorority, and what interests you about that sorority house in particular. Do research on the organization's history, principles, and initiatives.
At a certain point in the recruitment process (usually the last day), a PNM will be expected to order their list of preferred sororities. This is called preferencing. Sororities will then decide who they want to extend an invitation, if they are on the PNM’s preference list.
Tip: It's not the best idea to only put one sorority on your preference list, because if you are not given a bid for that house, you might miss out on recruitment altogether. Many sorority chapters will only accept new members who are in their freshman year.
A bid is an offer of membership to a sorority. If accepted, the PNM is pinned and becomes an official new member of that house. The sorority holds a bid day ceremony to welcome new members.
Tip: If you’re extended a bid, bid day will be your first chance to really get to know the other new members. You’ll be initiated with them, and they will most likely become lifelong friends and sisters. Take the time out to get to know each other and start forming a bond.
When bids are given out and the new member process begins, every rushee will be assigned a big sister. The big sister will take her little sister under her wing and provide guidance. The big/little bond is very important and will most likely have an effect on both sisters for a long time.
Tip: Big sisters have a lot of knowledge to impart since they have already completed recruitment. They are charged with helping their little sisters learn how to be productive members of the chapter.
Spec / Spesh
A spec or spesh, short for "special" is a person who develops a special connection with a pledge during the rush process. A spec takes a special interest in the pledge and may help her out when needed. A spesh could be a member of another Greek organization that’s close to the chapter.
Tip: Remember your spec after you are initiated with a little gift to say, “thank you.”
Rush Chair / Dean of Pledges
A rush chair is a member of the executive board, also called the e-board. This person is in charge of running the rush and recruitment process. Sometimes this person is referred to as the dean of pledges.
Tip: The rush chair is in charge of deciding who will receive bids and who will ultimately be initiated into the sorority, so do whatever you can to meet her requirements. And remember this saying: “to be early is to be on time.” Value the time of others and meet your commitments.
The most exciting day for a rushee is initiation. This is when you become a full-fledged member of the sorority. You'll trade in your pledge pin for a sorority pin and receive special gifts from your new sisters. You often will not know what day the initiation date is, so it will be a surprise.
Tip: Once you are initiated into your sorority, get plenty of Greek paraphernalia so that everyone on your campus will know you're a newly initiated member. Popular items include sorority tees, hoodies, jewelry, car license plate frames, hats, and keychains.
Now that you've completed recruitment 101 and know some sorority rush lingo, it's time to dive in and get involved in the actual process. It’s an experience that you won’t forget. Keep these tips in mind as you navigate rush and recruitment this fall and spring at your school.