The Panhellenic Council has created a list of the most common questions from Potential New Members (PNMs) regarding Formal Recruitment. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact the Executive Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What topics should I avoid talking about when in the recruitment room?
A: The Panhellenic Council refers to these topics as the 4 B’s. They include Boys (specifically Fraternity men), Bars, Beer/Booze, and Buildings/Brownstones. No conversations should reference or center around dating, drinking, nightlife, or chapter housing facilities. To do so is a violation of the Recruitment rules, and any PNM or chapter member that violates this rule may be subject to judicial procedures.
Potential New Members, and sisters alike, should be focusing on making memorable conversations and bonds, rather than talking about their crazy weekend with Fraternity men. Good discussion topics include what extracurricular activities you are involved in, great classes you have taken/are currently taking, summer experiences, traveling, etc.
Q: What are the differences between each sorority?
A: While each sorority is unique in its own way, it is difficult to pinpoint specific differences between each because the members of each sorority are also so unique. At Columbia we have a very diverse population, and this is exemplified within the Greek community. During Recruitment we encourage you to forget and ignore any reputations or stereotypes that you may have heard about each individual chapter so that you can make a match that feels best for you. We encourage you to keep an open mind while speaking with the members from each chapter.
Q: If I do end up joining a sorority, what is the time commitment?
A: Each sorority has a weekly mandatory meeting called Chapter which typically meets on Sunday nights. Throughout each semester there are other mandatory events such as initiation, philanthropy events, workshops, etc. That said, for many of the Greek women, these mandatory events are not a burden because it is time spent with your sisters and doing things you enjoy. Panhellenic Council and all of the sororities encourage each of the members to be involved in other things on campus aside from the sorority.
Q: I know each sorority has dues. What is the monetary commitment for each chapter?
A: Each of the sororities require that the members pay a certain amount of money each semester, with the first semester (the new member period) being more expensive due to more activities and expenses accumulated. All of the dues are around the same price, but we as the Panhellenic Council encourage you not to worry about the monetary commitment while going through recruitment. Each sorority has their own way of helping you pay your dues whether it is a scholarship program, payment plan, etc. You should focus your efforts on meeting many sisters and having meaningful conversations.
Q: What should I wear during recruitment?
A: The most important thing during recruitment is to try to be yourself and present yourself in the best possible way. There are no stipulations on what to wear, but you should think about wearing things that you would be comfortable in and things that look nice. You will be walking and standing for the majority of the rounds, so wear comfortable shoes! The parties progressively become less casual as recruitment goes on, and the sisters will be wearing nice dresses during the last two parties. Please DO NOT wear black on the last night, Preference Night.
Q: Are members required to live in chapter housing? Who gets to live in the house?
A: Each Panhellenic chapter has its own unique housing accommodations. The stipulations for housing eligibility are determined individually by each chapter. Members are not required to live in chapter housing facilities, although some chapter officer positions may have different housing requirements. Chapter presidents and house managers are required to live-in.
Each chapter housing facility is operated by Columbia University Housing & Dining and is considered a Columbia University residence hall. All chapter housing facilities are subject to the rules and regulations stipulated by the Columbia University Office of Residential Programs. Columbia College and School of Engineering and Applied Science students are eligible to live in chapter housing. Barnard students are permitted to live in chapter housing, but only in ration established by Residential Programs (1/3 of the housing facility). General Studies students are not permitted to live in chapter housing.