Fraternities and sororities at Virginia coordinate membership recruitment in various ways that include membership intake, formal recruitment, and rush. While the member organizations of each governing council organize this process differently, each process allows a student the opportunity to meet other students as well as to learn what each fraternity or sorority has to offer its members. Each of the four governing councils follows a slightly different schedule and process for membership recruitment; please see below for an overview of each process.
(Provides an overview of Fraternity & Sorority Life at the University)
IFC Rush process is designed for rushees to get to know brothers, popular events and purposes of various fraternities. IFC Rush is the series of events during which a male student can decide to become a part of a fraternity. There is a brief Informal Rush in September for men who are upperclassmen and/or transfers, as well as a Formal Rush in late January that is open to all undergraduate men.
There are several parts to IFC Rush. “Open House” is a series of evening hours during which every IFC fraternity welcomes all rushees. If a rushee is interested in many different fraternities, he should visit as many fraternities as possible during this round. After the Open House round, each fraternity makes a decision on who they would like to invite to the next round of Rush. There are three rounds of “Invites,” “first,” “second,” and “third.” Typically rushees attend fewer chapter houses during second invites than first, and even fewer for the third invites. As the invites progress, the rushees meet more brothers and more of the underclassmen who are also going through Rush. Past events have included laser tag, bowling, crableg dinners, and snow tubing. The last round of Rush is “Final Hours.” This round resembles Open House in appearance, except this time, the rushee will know most of the brothers of the fraternities he likes. Final Hours lasts for three hours; a rushee has the option of going to up to three different chapters that night. The last fraternity a rushee goes to is his first choice, the second to the last fraternity, his second choice and so on. “Bid Day” is when every fraternity delivers bids to the rushees they want to join their brotherhood. Accepting a bid is a major decision. The rushees that accept the bids of a particular fraternity will then become that fraternity’s pledge class.
The Inter-Sorority Council holds Informal Recruitment in the fall for upper-class women and transfer students and Formal Recruitment in the spring for all undergraduate women. The Formal Recruitment begins in January. Women come back before classes to attend a Potential New Member meeting, in which the Recruitment Process is fully explained to participants. Formal Recruitment has four rounds: “Round Robbins”, “House Tours”, “Philanthropy”, and “Preferentials”. During the first round of events, “Round Robbins”, every woman will visit all of the sixteen chapters, meeting sisters and learning about each individual sorority. It is important to understand that ISC conducts a Recruitment based on a mutual selection process. This means during each round the sororities have the opportunity to invite back potential new members and the potential new members will decide which sororities they would like to visit again. During the second round, “Philanthropy,” women will have the opportunity to go to as many as eleven houses where they will continue to build relationships with members as well as learn about the chapter’s philanthropic goals. The next round of Recruitment is “House Tours”. During this round, the potential new members will tour the chapter houses and learn more about activities and service projects unique to each sorority. The final round is Preferentials or “Prefs” where women go back to as many as three houses. Prefs highlights the rituals of sisterhood and give the potential new members a final chance to talk with sisters before signing their bid card. Following Preferentials, the women will sign a card indicating their first, second and third choices. The following day, the women may receive a Bid Card from a sorority inviting them to become a new member.
MGC holds an informational session at the beginning of the spring semester. This is for potential members to listen to a presentation from each fraternity and sorority and ask questions. Throughout the year, some of the individual organizations will have independent informational sessions giving interested people the chance to meet several members and learn in depth about the organization.
Other chapters participate in “Rush.” These chapters set up events that are open to interested students. At the end of Rush, the chapters will give bids to those they would like to have as a brother or sister.
In either situation, the University community will not know the potential members until they are initiated to the organization.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council holds a discussion series called “Meet the Greeks” for interested students. This provides an opportunity for interested students to meet members and learn more about the NPHC and the member organizations. In addition, throughout the year individual chapters may hold Informational Sessions. Informational Sessions give interested students the chance to meet most of the members and go further in describing the benefits of membership. It is at the Informational Sessions where interested men and women are given an introduction to the specific organization, its members and information on chapter programs and policies on membership. It is up to the interested person to do independent research on a fraternity or sorority.
After a person applies to an organization and has been accepted, the “Intake” process may begin. This process is different for each fraternity and sorority. The University community does not know potential members until they are initiated.