It’s the time of the year that every Greek looks forward to: sorority recruitment.

Sorority recruitment may be one of the most misunderstood practices at Ohio State, but for the almost 1,400 women involved in sororities at OSU it is like second nature.

Formal recruitment is open to any female OSU undergrad that has 12 credit hours and a 2.5 grade point average or above.

The first step for anyone interested in joining a sorority is to register online. Once formally registered, the potential new member, or PNM, will receive a recruitment guide, or a Rho Gamma. The Rho Gammas are women from OSU sororities who disaffiliate from their chapter for the year in order to help PNMs through recruitment in an unbiased way.

Formal sorority recruitment is an almost week-and-a-half long process, consisting of four different rounds. After each round both the PNMs and the sorority chapters do a mutual selection process.

The PNM chooses which sororities to continue to visit and the sororities choose which girls they believe will fit with their values.
PNMs first visit 14 different classrooms, each containing a different sorority and choose 10 houses to visit. PNMs visit six of those 10 chapters to learn about the chapter’s philanthropy projects. PNMs are given the opportunity to help out on a service project benefiting the chapter’s philanthropy. PNMs then go back to three houses of their choice and both the PNM and chapter select for the last time. PNMs are extended an invitation to join one of their top three choices on bid day.

Formal recruitment is a controlled and organized process. The process is set up by the National Panhellenic Council and it works the same at every other university, and provides the most fair and unbiased way to join a sorority said Kristyn Tomlinson, coordinator of sorority and fraternity life. Tomlinson said the process is a “no frills recruitment” and is about getting to know the women, their values and gain friendships. It is because of this that chapters and PMNs are not allowed to talk about boys or alcohol.

Erin Ferlet, a fourth-year in nursing and the vice president of recruitment and retention for the Pan Hellenic Association, said that this type of recruitment promotes a classy and honorable way to join a sorority.

In keeping with the tradition of an unbiased recruitment, chapters are not allowed to “dirty recruit”, by attempting to sway a PNM into choosing a specific sorority. Sororities are not allowed to promise bids, give gifts, bad mouth another sorority or take a PNM out when it is not a registered recruitment event. Dirty recruitment biases the process and chapters face punishment by fines or other discipline if caught partaking in any form.

Formal recruitment may seem like an intimidating and strict process, but many see the benefit from going through and joining a sorority. Ferlet said the experience has given her leadership experience, networking opportunities and has made getting involved on campus easier knowing she had other girls standing with her.

Alyson Englehart, a second-year in allied sciences, said, “going through recruitment really changed my perception of what it means to be a sorority girl. These women are all so different and driven; it is inspiring to be around.”

This year formal recruitment currently has 488 women going through the process. While it is too late to join now, women can still drop out of the process for any reason.

Jenna Huhn, a second-year in English, said, “A lot of girls said joining a sorority was a gut feeling they had. All of these girls were so passionate and I just did not feel that same passion and commitment as I was going through recruitment.”

The process of formal recruitment requires a large time commitment.
The process, for some, can also be stressful and overwhelming.

However, for those who think formal recruitment is not for them, sororities also offer informal recruitment in the spring and fall. Informal recruitment allows PNMs to choose their own houses to visit on their own time, and is overall more relaxed.

For more information on sorority recruitment or to register for recruitment visit