Ralph Lauren Polos and Red Solos

Meaghan Pulliam, Layout Editor

     Contrary to popular belief there is much more than pearls, Polo and red solo cups that make up the structure of Greek life at the university level. As senior girls go off to college, many are contemplating or are extremely anxious to rush, or as it is formally called, “recruitment”. When I was younger, I thought that joining a sorority was as easy as: 1. Smile big. 2. Wear pearls and Polo. 3. Be a legacy. If that were the case, then it would not be an honor to be in a sorority. Through my research, I found that it takes dedication as well as going above and beyond the expected in order to be an exceptional rushee.
     Many people associate sorority and fraternity culture with a life of floozy friends, blurry nights and a lack of emphasis on academia. On the contrary, sororities have quite an impact on society and there are many that take great pride in chapter members’ outstanding GPA and academic achievements. Many of nationally recognized sororities participate in philanthropy and even have their own foundation or charity for members to participate in, which sets a higher standard of behavior for the girls. Don’t get me wrong, a large part of being in a sorority is having fun and making new connections, but it takes hard work to gain entrance into the Greek system.
     This is where the work comes in. Senior girls interested in rushing are encouraged to join a local PanHellenic association. There is one for the Plano and Richardson area (Plano Richardson Alumnae PanHellenic Association); the deadline for senior girls to register is March 31. The PRAPA is an excellent way for senior girls to network and find alumni in the area to write recommendation letters to their respective sororities for the prospective members. The PRAPA emphasizes that all senior girls interested in joining a sorority have a letter of recommendation for each chapter on the campus they will be attending. Whatever university you decide to attend, there should be a deadline to register for fall 2012 rush and a deadline to have letters of recommendation and other important pieces of information such as a résumé, GPA, ACT/SAT scores, and photos -all of which are laid out in detail on the PRAPA website -turned in to each respective sorority.
     Many universities open registration for rush on June 1, therefore it would behoove any senior girl interested in rushing to prepare a résumé, get letters of recommendation, verify all deadlines involving rush at her respective university, and fulfill any requirements for rushing as soon as possible. An important piece of advice I received from girls in sororities over and over again is to make all of the stops; go above and beyond the required and the norm. For example, instead of getting only a letter of recommendation, get a letter of support in addition to the recommendation. The recommendation and the letter of support should be from two different alumni from the same sorority, keep in mind that they do not have to be from the same university nor do they have to have gone to your university. Unlike a letter of recommendation, a letter of support is an informal and handwritten note from an alumnus who knows you personally. It adds to your portfolio for each sorority you get it for and helps you stand out even more from the crowd.  Other tips I have received include dress to impress, smile and be friendly, outgoing, excited and interested. Above all else, be yourself. If you act like someone you think they want to see, you will end up being put in a sorority that does not fit you as a person, rather your fake personality. Be true to yourself, let the system work, and you will end up where you are meant to be.