Join Date: Jan 2007
Hey Got2B! I'm Greek at Mizzou and would love to help you out. Here's the answers to your questions. PM me if you want more info!
1) What should I wear the days I don't wear the t-shirts they give everyone?
You will receive a packet from PHA with this information. Check online at mugreeklife.com also, because I'm pretty sure there are pictures of suggested outfits. You'll wear a t-shirt and cute bottoms (skirt or shorts) on the two open house days and on philanthropy day. On sisterhood day (Wednesday) you'll wear a cute summery outfit; most choose sundresses. On pref day (Friday) you'll wear a nicer, more formal dress (usually something that would be nice family function or church appropriate) and cute shoes. Just wear stuff you like, and if you have a cool story associated with something, don't be afraid to tell it! I have a really cool ring that my grandmother designed and gave my mom for graduation--my mom had replicas made for me and my sister when we graduated. It was a great conversation starter and I enjoyed telling that story! Also, a random quirky piece (if you can pull it off) is cool too. For example, my sister (who was a freshman last year) always wears this funky St Louis Cardinals hat--she wore it on one of the t-shirt days with her hair in a cute side braid and got a lot of compliments on it. Cute flats are the way to go shoe-wise because you'll do tons of walking and it's HOT in Columbia in August.
2) What questions should I ask current sorority sisters?
A lot of times, they'll be directing the conversations toward what they want to find out about you. However, you'll also find that it's best to just have a conversation with them--it doesn't have to always be questions and answers like an interview. Keep in mind that the girls that are talking to you are almost always just as nervous as you are, and are just college students themselves! Don't be intimidated, try to be yourself, and just be honest. No sense in lying. It's probably a good idea to have a few questions to ask when conversations lull though, and the girls talking with you will really appreciate it. You can always ask them stuff like "What do you like best about Mizzou?" "What's your favorite memory from your chapter?" "Do you have anyone studying (insert your major here)?" "What's your new member program like?" "Tell me more about your philanthropy!" Any of those will get the conversation going just fine. You'll probably only talk to each person for a few minutes (since you'll talk to multiple people each time), so you really don't have much to worry about. Plus, you'll get the hang of it as the week goes on. Just have fun with it! It's a stressful week but it can be fun if you have the right attitude.
3) What should I avoid asking or saying?
Don't ask about boys, fraternities, alcohol, partying, sex, reputations, or other chapters. The girls that are talking with you aren't allowed to talk about those topics anyway, so you won't get any answers. Stick with topics that you'd be comfortable discussing with your friends' parents--it can be a little more personal than basic cut-and-dry small talk, but avoid anything that could be considered a social taboo. The one exception to boys/fraternities is asking about pairings for homecoming (each sorority teams up with a fraternity or two to do a bunch of school spirit stuff), but they'll likely limit themselves to "We're with the men of (whatever chapter) and we're SOOOO excited about it!"
4) What questions I should be prepared to answer?
The first day you'll hear a lot of basic stuff--How was your move in? Are you excited about Mizzou? Do you know what you plan to study? What did you like to do in high school? etc etc. You will have very similar conversations at each of the houses on open house day. On Wednesday, you'll see skits at each of the houses showcasing something about their sisterhood and will likely talk about that afterward. You'll probably be asked questions about what you thought of the skit and where you think you might fit in the house. On Thursday, you'll learn about philanthropies and tour the chapters you're invited to. Be prepared to ask and answer questions related to service and whatever the chapter's philanthropy supports as well as questions about logistics of living in the house (when do you live there? how long? with how many people? etc) On Friday, the chapters are trying to impress you so that you'll rank them first, so they'll ask you a lot about what you liked throughout the week and answer questions you have about the commitment to their house. Bid day's all about fun!
5) What I should look out for on my visits to help me narrow down the list and pick the best houses for me?
I usually went with the vibes I got from the chapters I visited. Everyone's peppy and happy, but who seems the most genuine to me? Who would I want to be friends with? Do these girls seem interested in the same things I'm interested in? Am I comfortable here? Would I be proud to wear these letters and see my sisters on campus in them too? Do I agree with what they stand for? Is anything making me uncomfortable? It's never an easy decision, and to be brutally honest with you--a lot of the time, the chapters choose you more than you choose them. They're surprisingly good at crafting fabulous pledge classes, so if you just go with the flow, you'll likely end up in a chapter that fits you really well--even if they didn't seem like the coolest house at first.
6) How exactly does the selection process occur--I know the sororities have preferences and we put down our preferences, but I need more details--do I fill out a form every day, the last day, etc.?
Each day there's a maximum amount of chapters you can visit. I believe it's all 14 over the open house days, ten on skit day, six on philanthropy day, three on pref day, and one on bid day. At the end of the day you'll go to a classroom building's computer room and one of the Pi Chis (camp counselor types that are disaffiliated from their house--nice to meet ya, I'm one for this year!) will enter your decisions into a database. Let's say you're "preffing" (as it's called) after open house days, before skit day. For skit day, you can have a max of ten chapters. Therefore, you'll pick your top ten (the ones you really want to go back to) and then rank your next four (in the order you'd want to visit them if you're not invited back to some of your top ten). The next morning, you'll have a meeting with your Pi Chi group before the first party and your Pi Chi will give you a list of the houses you've been invited back to and the order you'll go to them that day. At the end of that day, you'll pref again in the same manner. If, say, on skit day you only were invited back to 8 houses (when you could have gone to 10), then afterward you'd pick your top 6 and rank the next 2. It's not uncommon to have fewer than the max number to go to, and you shouldn't take it personally--although you likely will, since it's a very personal thing, to be invited or not invited back.
7) What if the sororities I write down on the preference forms don't have me on theirs? Will I not get a bid? Do some--or many--girls not make the cut?
Last year 1300 girls went through and about 800 got bids. Before you freak out, this doesn't mean that 500 were left with nothing. About 400 of them dropped recruitment completely during the week for various reasons--most of them because they were unsure what going Greek really meant, or had their heart set on a chapter and got cut from that house, etc. The remaining 100 who didn't get bids for one reason or another likely "suicided" which means listing one house (out of a possible three) after preference day. Girls sometimes suicide houses when they're invited to a house they love and two houses they hate on pref day, and therefore only want a bid from that house they really love, and if they don't get a bid from them they'd rather not be Greek than be in the other houses. I think this is super drastic and it's never recommended, but it still happens. Even if you don't get a bid, there's always the option of informal recruitment, called COB, but that's a whole other topic. All in all, it's rare for someone who's made it to pref day to end up without a bid. As for your preferences for the earlier parts of the week, those don't always go the way you dream but you'll likely end up with at least a few of the houses that you really want or thought you matched well with. Just keep an open mind and a positive attitude and the week will go great for you!
8) Each day, you choose less and less houses to visit--so does that mean the ones I don't visit obviously won't have me on their preference lists, and I shouldn't put them on mine---the last 3 houses I go to should be the 3 I want AND have a good chance at, right?
Right idea, but not exactly how the logistics work. Each day, you'll visit fewer houses, and your options for the next day are chosen from the houses you visited the previous day. So if you visited ABC on open house day, but not on skit day, you wouldn't be able to go back there on philanthropy day or on pref day. The last three houses you go to on pref day will be the houses that want YOU the most and each will be working to impress you so that you list them as your top choice. After preference day, you'll rank the houses you visited in the order that you'd like to accept a bid from them. If the chapter you want the most also wants you the most, that's where you'll get your bid. Your opinion matters most after preference day, so be sure to choose carefully on that day. Your Pi Chis will go over all of this with you in great detail, but I understand why you'd want to know earlier.
9) Will I be able to tell during my visits which houses are more partyish, more service oriented, academic, etc. or will I have to dig up that info on my own...I'm not talking about the stereotypes of the houses, but how to find out which ones always have the top gpa or which ones have gotten in a lot of trouble/on probation, etc because they likely won't tell you...
Definitely do your research! You can learn a lot about chapters from their national and chapter websites. The houses that are known for something (sports, academics, competitiveness, etc) will definitely find ways to "brag" about their accomplishments--and rightly so, since they're hard to get. The important thing to know, though, is that going into it--you really have no idea what each chapter is about. You think you know...but you really don't. Your best bet is to just be yourself and see where you end up because you're going to find that each chapter has its own personality and that you really might fit well in a house you weren't expecting. And another important thing to realize is that while each chapter has its own personality, many of the desirable traits of Greek life are common to all houses--each has a house, strong sisterhood, fun social events, lots of participation in Mizzou stuff, varied majors, cool friends, successful philanthropies, etc etc. You really can't go wrong once you've decided to go Greek!
10) When I'm not at the houses, will I be hanging out with other rushees still, getting meals to eat, etc.? How long do the days events last--and are meals provided?
You'll be in your dorms when you're not doing recruitment stuff. Days are long--you'll be busy with recruitment from breakfast until dinner, with a few breaks. You'll also have meetings with your Pi Chis before breakfast and once in the evening. Meals are provided in whatever dining hall is near your dorm. You'll love hanging out with the other girls though! You probably won't be "going out" much during that week--you won't know where to go, you're not allowed to drink or hang out with fraternity guys--but you'll be so exhausted and so interested in getting to know other girls that you won't really want to leave your dorm anyway.
11) Should I bring a purse, water, a notebook and pen, etc.?
Yes to all of the above! If you can't take it into the chapters with you (only because it's sometimes inconvenient) your Pi Chis will hang onto it while you're at each party. Good idea to have some essentials in your purse, your phone on silent, lots of water, and a pen for recording info about the houses because they'll all run together eventually!
12) Anything else I should know or expect in general? I've got the basic info I need from the greek life/sorority websites, but I'd like to hear from those with prior experience, whether at Mizzou or another school. Thanks!
This is already a really long post! PM me if you want to know anything else. I'm happy to help!