When we were on our tour the tour guide said that anyone who wants to join a fraternity or sorority can do so. I don't remember the exact wording but it seemed that she was saying there is a frat or sorority for everyone, rather than that anyone can join any frat or sorority.
Is that true? It seems to fly in the face of everything I've heard about the Greek system, which is that it's very competitive.
I can only speak for the last four years, but as long as girls participating in rush maximized their choices (i.e., didn't cut any houses that were willing to invite them back), they would receive a bid somewhere. If you are picky, that's a different story.
Chiming in as the parent of a student who had a lot of sorority recruiting experience - I'm sure that the student viewpoint will be more valuable on this thread, so for what my POV is worth:
Sorority recruitment at Vanderbilt is competitive, meaning that each year some women are disappointed. But it's complicated. If a woman wants to be in a sorority and is open to considering all chapters on campus, and takes advantage of all the information available to her during the recruitment process, and doesn't kneecap herself first semester with poor grades, egregious public intoxication, or sleeping around (particularly with sorority members' boyfriends), her chances of receiving a bid are excellent.
So it depends on what the student wants. If she's got a Theta or nothing attitude, she's got a very tough slog ahead. If she pays attention to what the recruiting materials and volunteers tell her, she'll probably have a good outcome. And if she starts the process and decides it's really not for her, or if she knows it's not for her even before the process begins - that's fine too.
Simply put, fraternity recruitment is just not comparable to sorority recruitment; hence, having "an open mind" to what houses you consider does not guarantee you a bid. Sure, rushing multiple houses increases the probability you'll find a house you want to be in and that will give you a bid, but it is not a guarantee. Fall rush includes spending a good deal of time at the houses or house you want to pledge (unless you're a super-legacy or your Dad is highly political, etc...). Some houses are fairly exclusive and come into the Fall with a fairly solid rush/bid list. Granted, there are houses that have reputations as being less exclusive than others (I'm sure you can find out who), but anyone who wants to join a house has to first find where they fit in and second where they can get a bid. If you don't put the time into rush, you're almost assured of not getting a bid. Even if you like a house and rush that house hard, if one of the brothers has a problem with you, you're not getting a bid, and as I have tried to intimate, no fraternity bids everyone that walks through the door.
Last edited by VolStomper; 06-23-2009 at 11:00 PM.
dubcongress, most houses will give you some sort of informal bid during the Fall if you're in. The old rule was if you're asked to Winter formal, you've got a bid, but Vanderbilt is trying to force Winter formal out, since its reputation is nothing but an underage booze-fest (yup, this is what formals typically consist of). I believe Freshman aren't "allowed" at Winter formal anymore (it was a Greek decision). Anyway, you should know where you'll get a bid by the time you go home in December. If you don't you're not getting a bid. Formal bids are the first week you're back. Friday or Saturday or something. Now that I've graduated, I don't know all that much. Think it might have been Sunday last year, so that new-bees couldn't get trashed drunk. Pledging, well, that's just good ole' American fun.
Also, do not be naive and believe that rushing starts in the Spring. Go to houses during the Fall. From experience, every house knows the majority of the guys they will bid after two-three weeks if no sooner. If you're not on the radar at that point, you'll have a hard time getting into a house, let alone a decent house.
Last edited by VolStomper; 06-26-2009 at 12:44 AM.