Student Life & Event Services

Sorority Frequently Asked Questions

For general frequently asked questions about Fraternity and Sorority Life, please visit the FSL FAQ webpage.

Membership Expectations

What are the requirements for joining a sorority?
Each sorority will have different requirements. All have a minimum GPA you will need to maintain upon joining, and for majority of chapters, Potential New Members looking to join should have either a 3.00 High School GPA or a 2.60 College GPA, depending on when you are looking to join.

Will sorority membership affect my grades?
YES! All chapters emphasize high academic standards. There is recognition for those who excel academically in addition to programs and support for those who may be struggling in their academic pursuits.

Do I have to live in the chapter house?
Most chapters have a one year live-in policy, however, not all women get the opportunity to live in a chapter house. This would be a great question to ask each chapter during the sorority recruitment process.


Primary Recruitment

How many sororities at UNI participate in sorority recruitment?
There are six sororities that participate in sorority recruitment. All six sororities are associated with national or international organizations. Their national and local websites are a great place to find more information! Learn more about the chapters at UNI.

When is Sorority Primary Recruitment?

Primary Recruitment will be held virtually on Wednesday, September 9, through Sunday, September 13.  In depth details on the schedule can be found here!

How will virtual recruitment work?

Before the start of recruitment, Potential New Members will go through orientation and modules of each chapter through Blackboard This will go through what to expect, introduce you to Panhellenic and the recruitment guides, explain the process, educate on the different chapters, and more!

Throughout the week of recruitment, it will look very similar to a formal in-person structured recruitment, but virtual recruitment will allow chapter members to recruit women to sorority while physically distant. We will utilize Zoom calls, so members and Potential New Members can chat live! You can find the schedule for recruitment here. The logistics of this new structure as well as other plans will be communicated through email to Potential New Members who have registered for recruitment. Therefore, the best way to ensure you receive updates and formal communication is by registering at uni.mycampusdirector2.com.

What technology will be used during virtual Primary Recruitment?

The goal is that each Potential New Member (PNM) will have access to a computer or device with audio and video capabilities for Zoom. We will also be utilizing Blackboard for PNM Orientation and our Virtual Open House. As part of the recruitment registration, you will have the chance to indicate if you will have access to this technology during recruitment or if you might need help locating technology to utilize. The Recruitment Team is prepared to assist PNMs to ensure technology is not a barrier to participate.

Why was it decided to move to virtual recruitment?

To prioritize the health and safety of Potential New Members (PNMs), active members, and our community, we chose to move forward with a fully structured virtual model for Primary Recruitment. With the uncertainty of COVID-19 throughout the fall, we wanted to be proactive in creating a safe, comfortable environment for everyone. This way will ensure PNMs are still able to find a place to belong within Sorority Life while having authentic conversations over Zoom.

How will I be able to meet new people and make connections with women over Zoom?

You can still expect to have the same authentic conversations over Zoom as you might have had with chapter members in person. Chapters will still be seeking values-based conversations with you, so they can get to know you and see if your values align with their chapter. You should also expect to have meaningful conversations with chapter members to help you to determine which chapter(s) you connect with the most!

We are also increasing the opportunities for you to connect with your Recruitment Group, other women going through recruitment. This will look like some in-person and virtual meetings/activities together, which will help you get to know those women even more

What are tips for going through virtual Primary Recruitment?

“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” – Coco Chanel

You are coming into college and the world is your oyster. During this virtual recruitment, you are going to meet many people and learn a lot about others and yourself. It is important before the first virtual meeting that you do some self-reflection, ask yourself who am I and what do I want out of my sorority experience. Write both of those questions and answers down on a sticky note that you can stare at before each sorority meeting or interaction. This will keep you grounded during your sorority recruitment experience.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

You are beautiful, unique and special; a sorority should only add to that. Being authentic will help you feel a connection in the right chapter. Remember, you want a place where you can be your best – and worst – self and still be loved. The chapter wants to provide you that as well. If you, as a potential member and the chapter are authentic, then you will know when you find the right chapter.

“There’s no place like home.” – Dorothy, “The Wizard of Oz”

A chapter should feel like home, but home is not a place; it is a feeling of safety and support. It is where you can learn and grow and where you have a family, so follow your gut. Where did you feel connections? Where do your values line up with the others you met? Where do you feel accepted, understood and wanted? Chances are the chapter where you feel those connections, is where you will thrive and grow as a person.

“You see how picky I am about my shoes, and those only go on my feet.” – Cher, “Clueless” 

Remember, there is nothing wrong with having personal opinions and thoughts of what is important to you in your sorority experience. These thoughts and feelings are your own. Do not let others’ thoughts, values or expectations alter what is important to you. And do not let your needs and wants influence what other potential members around you are thinking. During recruitment, you hear a lot about not talking to others about your thoughts on all the chapters on campus. This is because no one wants to sway you into a lifelong decision that you end up not making for yourself. You choose your happiness, so ultimately you should choose your chapter!

“Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.” – Dory, “Finding Nemo”

Remember that this might be a bit overwhelming for you. To keep track of your experiences with each chapter, take notes. Start a reflection journal where you write what you want in your sorority experience but also your thoughts and feelings after each chapter you meet. This way, you can look back and reflect before each selection. Also, use your resources like recruitment counselors if you are feeling overwhelmed. Although you may not be able to talk chapter specifics with your recruitment counselor, you can decompress by checking in. Give yourself the grace to breathe and feel this process. Everyone is going to have a different and unique experience, and each experience is correct because it’s your journey.

Lastly, remember that the sorority experience is about finding community, gaining friends and mentors that will walk beside you both in college and the future. Though the process itself may be new, in the wise words of Carrie Bradshaw, “They say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go. But friendships never go out of style.” These tips and more can be found on TheSororityLife.com

Is it still worth it to go through virtual Primary Recruitment?

Yes, yes, 100% yes! Going through Primary Recruitment, Potential New Members will have the same opportunities to find a place to belong at UNI and meet new people. This format could ultimately be less stressful and more beneficial for PNMs, because you are able to focus on having authentic, values-based conversations with the chapters. You will not have to worry about getting to each chapter location, what you’re wearing, etc., but instead dedicate your energy towards connecting with chapter women and making friends with the other women going through recruitment.

What is the cost for going through virtual Primary Recruitment?

The cost of Primary Recruitment registration has been adjusted to $20. This covers a sorority t-shirt, technology costs, and a goodie bag with a door decoration, a Sorority Life sticker, and candy. 

I already registered and paid the fee. Will I expect a refund?

With the updated registration cost, anyone who overpaid the new fee will receive a partial refund. All registrants will be communicated by email.

What does it mean if a chapter or chapter member follows me on social media?

This means that they have noticed you plan on attending the University of Northern Iowa this fall, and they are hoping you will register for Primary Recruitment! You are welcome and encouraged to follow them, DM them with questions, etc! We also encourage you to follow @UNIFSL on Instagram to ensure you are up to date with new information! If a chapter or member follows you, it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a bid to that chapter, or anything like that! It simply means you are on their radar, and they want to get to know you! If you ever feel uncomfortable regarding contact with a chapter or chapter member, please email sororitylife@uni.edu with questions and concerns!

Should I make my social media private? Or public?

Do whatever you feel best about! If you have already had it on one setting, don’t let recruitment be the reason you change that. Chapters will never use your social media to weigh decisions about your potential membership. A good rule to follow, is that if you wouldn’t let your grandparent or boss see it, don’t have it on your social media. However, it can be a fun way to show off your personality, style, and values! We know that with the world we live in today, it is super easy to connect with and learn about chapters and their members through social media!

If a sorority contacts me over the summer, am I allowed to talk to them?

Yes. Sororities will be actively promoting the overall sorority experience and membership opportunities. Outreach and education materials to potential new members and caregivers should reflect the Positive Panhellenic Contact (2003) – POLICY and share accurate information about the current state of sorority on campuses.

What does “mutual selection” mean?

Mutual Selection refers to the idea that chapters select which PNMs they want to talk to again, and PNMs select which chapters they want to visit again. This decision is two sided and therefore mutual.

 What does “maximizing your options” mean?

When someone tells you to “maximize your options” they are referring to attending every single event on your schedule and selecting any chapters you have left in your pool by the end of Preference Round. This strategy ensures nearly 99% of PNMs wishing to join chapters get placed in one. It also means PNMs need to keep an open mind and avoid listening to stereotypes or rumors about chapters, and get a feel for each one in an unbiased way.

My parents aren’t so sure I should go through recruitment, what do I say?

Great question! We recognize that there are tons of questions and concerns parents may have, so you can direct them to the Frequently Asked Questions page or the Family & Friends section at TheSororityLife.com.

I have a conflict during one of the recruitment dates, what do I do?

No problem! You are able to provide us with your scheduling information and any possible conflicts when you register for recruitment. You can also email sororitylife@uni.edu and explain the exact dates and times you will be gone, as well as a reason (if you are comfortable sharing) and we will work it out! Remember that chapters really want as many chances as they can to get to know you, so attending all rounds is ideal, but if there is a family emergency or event, or class conflict we totally understand!

Do I get to make my own schedule?

Round 1 of Primary Recruitment (Meet the Chapters) happens over two days, so you will be assigned to attend all six sororities either Wednesday or Thursday. If you have scheduling conflicts for either of the days, your schedule will be adjusted to fit your needs, so it is possible to attend some events on Wednesday and Thursday.

Round 2 and 3 (Philanthropy & Service and Preference) happen on Friday and Saturday, and each woman will get their own personalized schedule. Again, if you have conflicts, your schedule can be adjusted to your needs, but keep me in mind each of these rounds happen over one day, so we are only able to adjust based on the schedule of recruitment as well. Please try your best to keep Sept. 9-13 available for Primary Recruitment!

What are the requirements for going through Primary Sorority Recruitment?

  1. Completing your registration form.
  2. Paying the registration fee.
  3. Attending the scheduled events for sorority recruitment.
  4. Most chapters have a minimum GPA requirement for their new members, so either meeting the requirement or being able to explain why you might fall below that and your plans for academic excellence in college.
  5. Having a great attitude and being yourself!

Will my high school GPA or current college GPA affect my chances of joining a sorority?

Member organizations do set GPA requirements for membership, though any woman can register for recruitment no matter their GPA. Learn more about how GPA affects sorority recruitment here.

It is possible after the first round of recruitment that you may not get invited back to a chapter where you had a great conversation if your GPA does not meet the chapter’s standards. You may also be released from the recruitment process if your GPA does not meet any chapter’s grade requirements. If you get released from recruitment related to your grades, recognize it is a standard of membership for all chapters. Focus on improving your college GPA, and if you remain interested in sorority membership (which we want you to do!), you can participate later during the continuous open bidding (COB) period or in primary recruitment the following year.

Also, during recruitment, ask about how sororities can support you academically once you become a member. If all this sounds intimidating, don’t worry! Every chapter has at least one person – and usually many more – dedicated to furthering academic success for members.

Do I need letters of recommendation for each chapter?

Letters of recommendation are not required. These letters will not help you or hurt you during your Primary Recruitment process. It is important to remember that this process is for you to find where you belong within Sorority Life rather than on a piece of paper.

Can I join if I’m not a first year student? Can I join as a second, third or fourth year student?

Yes! Our community is filled with a variety of individuals who have different backgrounds and experiences. Going through recruitment at any point during your collegiate career is encouraged!

What is a Recruitment Group, and how big will my Recruitment Group be?

Recruitment Groups are randomly assigned small groups of women who have registered for recruitment. Each recruitment group is typically around 10-20 women. Once classes begin, you can expect to get to know women going through recruitment within your group as well as outside of your group! Participating in Sorority Life Meet & Greet events AND your Recruitment Group meetings/activities will be a great way for you to meet new people!

If I go through recruitment do I have to join a sorority?
Participating in Primary Recruitment does not obligate you to join. Recruitment is a time to meet new people and explore the opportunities and benefits of Sorority Life!

What should I talk about during sorority recruitment?
The most important thing to remember is: Be Yourself! Don't be afraid to ask questions because it is very important for you to get to know the women and the chapters! Some questions you may want to ask are:

  • What are the expectations of your new member program?

  • What is your philanthropy?

  • What kind of academic program do you have?

  • What campus activities is your sorority or its members involved in?

  • What's your favorite part about being in a sorority?

  • What leadership opportunities are there?

What should I do if I have questions or feel uncomfortable?
First and foremost, it is natural to have questions and to feel uneasy during recruitment. If you have questions or concerns you can talk with any of the Rho Gammas, the Recruitment Team, or the Panhellenic Advisor. We're here for you day and night. We all want you to have the best experience possible.

Who should I talk to if I am unsure about continuing the process?

We are happy to help chat through your thoughts and support you in making the best decision for you. Feel free to message us on Instagram at @UNIFSL or email sororitylife@uni.edu with any questions that may arise. Once you are registered for recruitment, you can contact your Recruitment Guide, or Rho Gamma, (once assigned) about any of your questions or concerns, or reach out to any member of the Panhellenic Recruitment Team.

What is the refund policy?
You may cancel your registration for a full refund until noon on Tuesday, August 25. Go to the Registration webpage for more information. You may choose not to participate in recruitment after this date; however, refunds may not be granted.
 
What do I wear during Sorority Primary Recruitment?
The most important thing about sorority recruitment is to be yourself! Dress and be comfortable in what you're wearing.

Round 1-2: Nice top or Sorority Life shirt. Since virtual recruitment will primarily occur over Zoom, we encourage you to look presentable in the area in which can be seen on your camera.
Round 3: Nice blouse or dress. We encourage you to dress a nicer this day since you will be participating in the chapter's preference ceremony.
Bid Day: Casual, Jeans and a t-shirt. *You will be given a Bid Day shirt so you may want to wear a tank top underneath.
 
Where can I find more information?

We recommend checking out TheSororityLife.com as it has great information for those that aren't familiar with Sorority Life and for those seeking even more information.

You can also DM us on Instagram at any point with your questions or contact the Recruitment Team at sororitylife@uni.edu.

 

Continuous Open Bidding

What is Continuous Open Bidding (COB)?
This is an informal process that sororities use to take in new members after the conclusion of Primary Sorority Recruitment. When a sorority holds a recruitment event in either the fall and spring semester, they simply contact a potential new member on their own or you may contact the chapter currently recruiting. Chapters host a series of informal events in order to get to know you better, and this can look different in each chapter. Some chapters might go to dinner with a potential member or some chapters might host a 'craft night' and invite potential members to attend. The chapters participating in Continuous Open Bidding is different each semester.
 
When does COB occur?
COB begins after the conclusion of Primary Recruitment continues throughout the semester until all vacancies are filled in a chapter. So this could mean majority of the fall semester and all of the spring semester.
 
How do I know if I am eligible?
You are eligible to participate in COB if you are currently enrolled at UNI and have not accepted or declined a bid from a Panhellenic chapter within the calendar year. 
 
Are there any current openings/chapters in the COB process?
Chapters participating in COB are listed on the Continuous Open Bidding webpage. Typically, one to three chapters will participate in COB each semester. Chapters have the choice to not participate in COB, even if they have space available. 
 
How do I sign up for COB?
You do not need to sign up for COB, but you can fill out the Sorority Life Interest Form here, and we can help connect you to chapters. No registration is required, you can simply reach out to the chapters you are interested in joining.
 
When will a chapter contact me?
Chapters will contact you on their own time basis. Please remember that these women conducting recruitment for their chapters are also college students, so every chapter’s schedule is different. You are also welcome to reach out to the chapters and take initiative by attending their informal chapter events.
 
Can I reach out to a chapter to personally express interest?
Yes, contact information for each chapter’s recruitment chair can be found here
 
What do COB recruitment events look like?
COB recruitment events are by invitation from participating chapters and are typically informal. They can range from being invited to a chapter’s recruitment event to a coffee date.
 
The chapter is asking for me to verify my high school/college GPA - is this normal?
Chapters will have you verify your high school/college GPA to ensure you meet their minimum academic standards. Each chapter has individual standards, so be sure to discuss academic expectations during the COB process.