Danger sign #1: Mothers are engaged in their daughters’ sorority choices/process beyond general “good luck, sweetie” and general self-esteem building support. Ok, maybe a fun clothing run
Danger sign #2: Mothers / other relatives have a vested interest / care that their daughters join a specific house, as opposed to “find the house that suits you - or don’t join at all if that suits you too.” If the social climate is such that one’s choice of house is considered to impact one’s social circle as an adult - that’s another warning sign that it’s a too-serious system.
Danger sign #3: There are programs for high school seniors, resume workshops, etc. Greek life should not start til the campus experience (ideally second semester / deferred).
Danger sign #4: Recs are mandatory and considered very important and a girl is cut if she doesn’t have them. Unwelcoming to girls with non college educated mothers and international girls.
Danger sign #5: There are a lot of legacy girls going through - enough to fill the houses even without non legacies.
Danger sign #6: It is not unheard of for a girl to drop out of school if she doesn’t make her desired sorority. I have heard of this at UT and SMU.
Danger sign #7: Over-the-top preparation of hair, makeup, and clothing. The idea of mothers hiring hair and makeup people in hotel rooms is beyond ridiculous. It sounds like a pageant mom culture. There should be no reason for a girl to do / look anything beyond a generally put-together polished version of her best self. Btw, a positive sign is when the Panhel has rushees wear common t-shirts for first round. That takes away some of the “judge me on my clothes” ammunition.
Danger sign #8: Lots of girls are let go at each stage, and/or the final quota is determined by a system other than adding up the number of girls going through and dividing by the number of houses. Indiana is a particularly bad example where it’s based on the number of beds in the house versus the number of girls wanting a spot. A well designed system should practically guarantee a spot to girls who go through and don’t cut any houses.
Danger sign #9: Girls are expected to live In the house all 4 years. This serves a purpose of cutting them off from other friendships from class, etc.