Sorority Recruitment Guidebook
Welcome to Washington and Lee University!
By coming to Washington and Lee you are entering a community that supports a strong, vibrant Greek life.
As members of Washington and Lee's Greek system, we have found that involvement in a Greek organization helps foster personal growth and offers countless leadership opportunities. Our Greek members are actively invested in the greater campus community, and our members boast leadership positions in nearly every organization and student government body on campus.
Washington and Lee is an excellent University thanks to the contributions of students like you. If you choose to become a member of our Greek community, you join a long-standing tradition of excellence, and a tradition whose values will benefit you long after graduation.
Dear Potential New Member,
On behalf of Washington and Lee's Panhellenic Community, we would like to welcome you to our campus. During your first year, you have countless opportunities and the capability to shape your own college experience. As you begin to make decisions about the right path for you, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with sorority life and to consider joining the strong Greek tradition at W&L. This Recruitment Book will aid you in the process.
W&L is proud to have five outstanding National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) groups and one local group on campus: Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, and Delta Society. Comprised of all sorority members, the W&L Panhellenic Council represents about 76% of the women on campus; it is the largest women's interest group at Washington and Lee University.
As the governing body of the six Panhellenic sororities, Panhellenic Council consists of eight executive officers and a delegate from each chapter represented on campus. Panhellenic works to foster a healthy Greek spirit, a campus-wide sisterhood of friendship, and a positive environment for women at W&L. We believe that each sorority chapter has its own unique strengths and characteristics, but all chapters offer you a once-in-a-lifetime Greek experience.
We encourage you to keep an open mind throughout the recruitment process and to seek the chapter where you feel most comfortable. Washington and Lee's formal sorority recruitment will take place immediately before winter term classes in January. In addition to this Recruitment book, your Recruitment Guides (Rho Gammas) are an excellent resource.
We strongly recommend that you get involved on campus and take an active role in finding your niche at W&L; Greek Life is one of your many options! If we can help in any way, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Panhellenic President: Hannah Dewing ‘19
Vice President of Recruitment: Davis Straske '19
The Panhellenic Creed
We, the undergraduate members of women's fraternities, stand for good scholarship, for guarding of good health, for maintenance of fine standards, and for serving, to the best of our ability, our college community. Cooperation for furthering fraternity life, in harmony with its best possibilities, is the ideal that shall guide our fraternity activities.
We, as fraternity women, stand for service through the development of character inspired by the close contact and deep friendship of individual fraternity and Panhellenic life. The opportunity for wide and wise human service, through mutual respect and helpfulness, is the tenet by which we strive to live.
Panhellenic Executive Council
Vice President of Recruitment:
Vice President of Judicial:
Head Rho Gamma:
Corey Gant, Director of Greek Life,
Joining a Sorority ...is the beginning of a new experience with new friends, offering you the opportunity to find a new home away from home. Becoming a member of a sorority is much more than wearing Greek letters, going to parties, and attending meetings. Unconditional support, the feeling of belonging, making lifelong friendships, and earning respect for your individuality - these are all a part of the Greek experience. Each sorority is unique with its own history, culture, community events, and activities that women will experience during the new member education period following recruitment.
Membership in a Sorority ...is often associated with the social aspect of college; however, Greek organizations were founded on the four principles of Leadership, Scholarship, Sisterhood, and Service, all of which are present throughout the sororities at Washington and Lee. Sorority women volunteer throughout the community, contribute to a variety of organizations on campus, and raise thousands of dollars for various philanthropies. Membership in a sorority provides women with endless opportunities for personal growth and individual achievement, all while contributing to the community.
Sororities give women the opportunity to hold positions of leadership within their chapters and around campus. Chapters provide environments where women can develop leadership traits such as time management, organization, and responsibility.
Sororities provide a system of support, a loving community, and a place where you always feel welcome and can be yourself. Membership in a sorority comes with many lifelong friends and memories.
Being part of a sorority requires balancing academics and social activities. Panhellenic Council requires women to have at least a 2.5 GPA to be eligible to participate in formal recruitment. Each sorority may also set a minimum grade point average for their members (see below). Greek women's average GPA's are consistently above the undergraduate all-women's average.
An important aspect of sorority life is giving back to the community. Our sororities sponsor over 25 community service activities. They also provide opportunities to participate and serve in other campus-wide organizations.
National Panhellenic Conference Bill of Rights
The Potential Member's Bill of Rights was adopted unanimously at the 1989 NPC Biennial Conference, giving women the right to:
- be treated as an individual
- be fully informed about the recruitment process
- ask questions and receive true and objective answers from recruitment counselors and members
- be treated with respect
- be treated as a capable and mature person without being patronized
- ask how and why and receive straight answers
- have and express opinions to recruitment counselors
- have inviolable confidentiality when sharing information with recruitment counselors
- make informed choices without undue pressure from others
- be fully informed about the binding agreements implicit in the preference card signing
- make one's own choice and decision and accept full responsibility for the results of that decision
- have a positive, safe, and enriching recruitment and new member experience.
National Panhellenic Conference Sororities
- Alpha Delta Pi (Theta Zeta Chapter)
Established in 1851, Alpha Delta PI is committed to sisterhood, values and ethics, high academic standards, and social responsibility.
Symbols: Lion, Diamond
Flower: Woodland Violet
Colors: Azure Blue and White
Philanthropy: Ronald McDonald House
Founding: Wesleyan College, 1851
Required GPA: 2.7
- Chi Omega (Xi Lamda Chapter)
Chi Omega is an intergenerational women's organization forever committed to our founding purposes: Friendship, personal integrity, service to others, academic excellence and intellectual pursuits, community and campus involvement, and personal and career development.
Flower: White Carnation
Colors: Cardinal and Straw
Philanthropies: Make a Wish Foundation,
Making Strides against Cancer
Founding: University of Arkansas, 1895
Required GPA: 2.5
- Kappa Alpha Theta (Zeta Iota Chapter)
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, Kappa Alpha Theta exists to nurture each member throughout her college and alumnae experience and to offer a lifelong opportunity for social, intellectual, and moral growth as she meets the higher and broader demands of mature life.
Symbols: Kite and Twin Stars
Flower: Black and Gold Pansy
Colors: Black and Gold
Philanthropy: Court Appointed Special Advocates
Founding: DePauw University, 1870
Required GPA: 2.75
- Kappa Kappa Gamma (Zeta Tau Chapter)
Kappa Kappa Gamma is an organization of women, which seeks for every member throughout her life bonds of friendship, mutual support, opportunities for self-growth, respect for intellectual development, and an understanding of and allegiance to positive ethical principles.
Symbols: Key and Owl
Colors: Light Blue and Dark Blue
Philanthropy: Reading is Fundamental
Founding: Monmouth College, 1870
Required GPA: 2.7
- Pi Beta Phi (Virginia Theta Chapter)
The mission of Pi Beta Phi fraternity for women is to promote friendship, develop women of intellect and integrity, cultivate leadership potential, and enrich lives through community service.
Symbols: Angels and Arrows
Flower: Wine Carnation
Colors: Wine and Silver Blue
Philanthropy: Read Lead Achieve
Founding: Monmouth College, 1867
Required GPA: 2.5
- Delta Society
Established in 2017, Delta Society is a student-governed organization comprised of highly-motivated women who are committed to community service, academic excellence, personal growth, and honorable living.
Flower: White Rose
Philanthropy: Project Horizon
Required GPA: 2.5
National Pan-Hellenic Council Sororities
Governed by the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) along with 7 other historically black fraternities and sororities, we have two NPHC sororities at Washington and Lee.
NPHC does not follow the same recruitment process or policies as sororities under the Panhellenic Council. For more information about NPHC, please reach out to Crasha Townsend, Director of Inclusion and Engagement (.
- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Founded at Howard University on January 15, 1908, our mission is to cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, promote unity and friendship among college women, maintain a progressive interest in college life, solve and alleviate problems as they pertain to women and girls, and to be of service to all mankind.
Service Areas include Education, the Black Family, Health, Economics, and the Arts. Other information: There is currently no undergraduate chapter on campus. We are hoping to charter a chapter in the upcoming year.
Required GPA for Membership Intake Process: 2.5
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Founded in 1913 by 22 students at Howard University.
The purpose of Delta is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world.
Five Point Thrust: Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement.
Other Information: Although Delta Sigma Theta is a historically black sorority, membership is open to all who are committed to the goals of the organization.
Required GPA for Membership Intake Process: 2.75
* Must be at least a first-term sophomore for eligibility.
Panhellenic Recruitment Guidelines
Recruitment is a period of time during which potential new members (PNMs) are to become familiar with the values and members of each sorority on Washington and Lee's campus.
The following guidelines are put in place in an effort to:
- maintain Panhellenic unity
- ensure a healthy recruitment experience for PNMs and our sorority women
- acknowledge agreements/rules that facilitate a fair recruitment process.
Please bear in mind that the Washington and Lee honor system applies to all aspects of student life, including sorority recruitment. All sorority women are responsible for understanding and observing the membership recruitment guidelines, and all are subject to Panhellenic conduct action in the event of a violation of these rules.
1. All NPC Unanimous Agreements and Panhellenic regulations on contact shall be upheld.
2. A membership recruitment budget will be established by the CPH Recruitment Committee before the end of the spring term prior to recruitment.
3. A member of a sorority may not buy for or give anything to a potential new member.
4. There may be at most, one more sorority woman than potential new member on sorority outings. The potential new members may outnumber the sorority women without restriction.
5. There will be no promising of bids directly or indirectly by any member, new member or alumna, of a fraternity.
6. Potential new members, including sophomores, are required to:
a. Meet the GPA requirement of a 2.5 before being eligible for recruitment.
b. Register for recruitment and pay the registration fee.
c. Inform their Recruitment Counselor and the College Panhellenic adviser if they wish to withdraw from recruitment.
7. Potential new members, including sophomores, are not permitted:
a. Visit sorority chapter houses (except to attend open recruitment events).
b. Actively participate in sorority sponsored sisterhood events or Panhellenic programming geared specifically towards
affiliated sorority women.
c. Attend a closed sorority sponsored social event, such as a theme party.
Potential new members are strongly encouraged to attend Meet the Greek events and open philanthropy events of all chapters.
Note: Biological sisters and Sophomores. Biological sisters may continue their normal sibling relationship without boundaries; however, older sisters must obey Panhellenic rules in the presence of other PNMs. Sophomore PNMs should continue normal roommate relationships during the recruitment process.
What to Know About Recommendations and Legacy Status
Recommendation letters are not required at Washington & Lee; however, if there is an alumna of a sorority that wishes to write a statement on behalf of a Potential New Member they are welcome to do so. These letters are another way for the individual chapters to get to know the PNMs but they are not weighted heavily in the formal recruitment process. The alumna does not have to be from a W&L chapter.
Since W&L has deferred formal recruitment, recommendations can be submitted until the end of fall term. Letters can be sent directly to the individual chapter houses and addressed to the Recruitment Chair. Mailing and contact information can be found on the Panhellenic Council website.
Legacy Status: Women of legacy status are typically given extra consideration but we do not have a standard that says a legacy is required to be kept in the process until a certain point. That being said, each organization may define a legacy differently and/or give one's status a different degree of attention. Most sororities give legacy status to women with mothers (stepmothers), grandmothers, and sisters in the organization.
Formal Recruitment Advice
- Recruitment counselors are great resources and will be around all week to help you - contact them.
- Sorority women must follow strict silence outside of recruitment events- keep this in mind if they do not approach you during recruitment week.
- Eat dinner and stay hydrated; nights are long and having energy will help you through them.
- Do NOT go out to parties - focus on academics in between recruitment.
- Keep an open mind and ignore misleading stereotypes
- Think about what you want to know ahead of time and ask questions about the chapters during each night's party.
- Make your decision based on what sorority you feel comfortable visiting - don't get too stressed out.
- Rho Gamma - all of the RGs go through training that makes the reliable resources when it comes to the recruitment process and the Greek experience. If you are trying to decide about Greek life and/or where you might fit best, talk to your RG.
- Resident Adviser - utilize your RA as a resource. This is someone that has gotten to know you well and may be able to help you prepare for recruitment and/or help you through the process.
- Peer Counselor - remember that all of the PCs are available to any student. Go to a PC if you are in need of a third resource.
Rho Gammas, also known as recruitment counselors, are women that have temporarily disaffiliated from their respective sororities in order to guide YOU through the recruitment process. Rho Gammas are assigned to each first-year hall and have been chosen to make your recruitment experience as enjoyable as possible. They have no contact with their sororities during formal recruitment and follow rules of silence with their sisters; therefore, you can trust them with any questions or concerns you may have throughout the recruitment process. They will have answers to your questions, so please don't hesitate to ask!
2018-2019 Panhellenic Recruitment – Important Dates
Sunday, September 9, 2018 ~ Sorority Information Session #1: Introduction to Sorority Life ~ Stackhouse Theatre ~ 5:30pm
Thursday, September 13, 2018 ~ Meet the Greeks: Ice Cream Social ~ Third Year Pavilion ~ 5:00pm
Sunday, September 23, 2018 ~ Younity Panel ~ Stackhouse Theatre ~ 5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm
Friday, September 28, 2018 ~ Parents Q&A Session ~ Stackhouse Theatre ~ 2:15-2:45 pm-Followed by Parents and Family Weekend Open House on the row 3-4pm
Sunday, October 7, 2018 ~ Alpha Delta Pi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta Open Houses ~ Sorority Houses ~ 2:00pm
Monday, October 8, 2018 ~ PNM Registration Begins ~ Online ~ Opens at 9:00am
Sunday, October 21, 2018 ~ Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi, Delta Open Houses ~ Sorority Houses ~ 2:00pm
Thursday, October 25, 2018 ~ Meet the Greeks: Bonfire and S'mores ~ Third Year Pavilion ~ 7:00pm
Sunday, October 28, 2018 ~ Information Session #2: Formal Recruitment ~ Stackhouse Theatre ~ 7:00-8:00pm
Friday, November 9, 2018 ~ PNM Registration Closes ~ Online ~ Closes at Noon
Formal Recruitment Week Schedule
Thursday, January 3, 2019 ~ Information Session #3: Pre-Formal Recruitment ~ Stackhouse Theatre ~ 5:00 pm
Friday, January 4, 2019 ~ Open House Night ~ Sorority Row ~ TBA
Saturday, January 5, 2019 ~ Sisterhood & Philanthropy Night ~ Sorority Row ~ TBA
Sunday, January 6, 2019 ~ Preference Night ~ Sorority Row ~ TBA
Monday, January 7, 2019 ~ Bid Day
Note: All dates and times are subject to change.
Formal Recruitment Attire
Night 1: OPEN HOUSE
Purpose: To introduce potential new members to each chapter and sorority life at large.
Attire: jeans, casual top or t-shirt, flats or boots
Night 2: SISTERHOOD & PHILANTHROPY
Purpose: To display sisterhood and chapter achievements through conversation and skits.
Attire: a bit more formal, black pants/skirt, dressy top
* Note, you may be sitting on the floor. *
Night 3: PREFERENCE
Purpose: To show potential new members what it truly means to be a chapter member and become a sister.
Attire: cocktail dress or semi-formal outfit.
* Note, many chapters wear black on preference night. We advise PNMs to wear a different color. *
See our Pinterest for more outfit suggestions! http://www.pinterest.com/WLUPanhellenic/
Sorority Meal Plan
All sorority members are required to participate in a sorority meal plan. "Live-in" residents are required to enroll in the "live-in" meal plan. All other members have their choice of the three meal plan options as described on the meal plan contract.
Social Media Policy
The Panhellenic Council of Washington and Lee University understands the popularity and usefulness of social networking sites among our Greek women. Greek women should remember that they represent Washington and Lee and their Sorority Chapter at all times on and off campus. The Panhellenic Council recommends that all Sorority Women who participate on social networking sites should take the following precautions:
- Before participating in any online community or blog, understand that anything posted online is available to anyone in the world. Any text or photo placed online becomes property of the site and out of her control the moment she posts or up-loads anything online, even if she limits access to the site.
- Greek Women should not post any information, photos, or other online items that could embarrass her, her family, her Sorority, the Panhellenic Council, or Washington and Lee. This includes information that may be posted by others on her page/blog.
- Greek Women could face investigation and judicial action for violation of Panhellenic policy.
The Panhellenic Council highly recommends Greek Women not to be afraid of reporting any infractions to Panhellenic regarding social networking sites.
It's all Greek to Me - A Glossary of Terms
Active: An undergraduate sorority member initiated by her chapter
Alumna: A sorority member who has graduated from their collegiate chapter; plural is alumnae.
Bid: A formal, written invitation to join a sorority
Chapter: The local membership unit of a national sorority.
Colonization: One method of extension used by sororities to establish new chapters on approved campuses.
Formal Recruitment: A designated membership recruitment period during which a series of organized events are held by each sorority; recruitment is coordinated and supervised by Panhellenic Council.
Hazing: Unethical or forbidden pre-initiation activities. This applies to both mental and physical forms of harassment, which are banned by Panhellenic and the Interfraternity Councils, the University, the state, Rockbridge County, as well as the individual national Greek organizations.
Initiation: Ritualistic ceremony during which new members receive life-long membership privileges.
Legacy: A woman whose mother, sister, half-sister, or grandmother is an alumna or active member of a sorority.
Meet the Greek Events: Activities organized by the Panhellenic Recruitment Chair to provide more opportunities for actives and potential members to interact.
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): A body composed of 26 national women's fraternities, each of which is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter society of college women, undergraduates, and alumnae.
New Member: A woman who has accepted a sorority bid but is not yet an initiated member.
Panhellenic Association: A cooperative campus organization of collegiate members of NPC sororities.
Panhellenic Council: The governing body of the Panhellenic association; composed of a seven-member executive council and delegates from each chapter.
Potential New Member: Any woman interested in becoming a sorority member who has matriculated and is eligible according to Panhellenic requirements.
Preferential Bidding: A computerized system used at the conclusion of Formal Recruitment to match sorority and Potential New Member preferences.
Quota: The number of women who complete the final round and sign the acceptance agreement divided by the number of sororities.
Recommendation/Reference: A letter written by an alumna to a chapter of her sorority recommending a woman for membership. NOTE: These are helpful, but are not required at Washington and Lee.
Recruitment Counselor (Rho Gamma): A Panhellenic representative who has no contact with her own chapter during Formal Recruitment and is available to guide women through the recruitment process and to answer questions.
Sorority: A Greek-letter sisterhood. There are 5 NPC sororities, 1 local sorority and 2 NPHC sororities at W&L.