Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday, September 8th: Formal Fall Recruitment Orientation

Well... It's been an eventful first day of UW Formal Fall Recruitment! 

Our day began at 7:30 AM. What time did you wake up this morning to pack all of your sorority necessities into boxes and suitcases and get ready to report to orientation at Kane Hall? The recruitment counselors and members of the Panhellenic executive board prepared for the arrival of the potential new members (PNMs) early this morning. We made signs to guide our guests to the residence hall check-in at Haggett Hall and McMahon Hall, we printed out name tags, we delegated jobs, and we ate breakfast. 

As the PNMs began rolling-in around 10:00 AM, the recruitment counselors assisted them by moving their belongings up to their residence hall rooms. The PNMs were given their "recruitment survival kits", equipped with their PNM handbooks and their two Open House round t-shirts. While the move-in process was happening- a busy site with women, their parents, and their luggage- members of the Panhellenic executive board worked diligently inside of Haggett to prepare for the orientation session at 5:00 PM. 

At 4:00 PM, six hundred and fifty PNMs (and their parents) started to arrive at Kane Hall for the orientation session. After receiving their "recruitment survival kits", they shuffled inside of Kane 130, and patiently awaited the start of their recruitment journey. Kashia Wolfe, the VP of Recruitment and Sabrina Squires, the President of the Panhellenic Association addressed the audience about important recruitment logistics, information, and tips. The entertainment for the night consisted of a fashion show to showcase potential outfit options for the recruitment events, starring the women of the Panhellenic executive board. Later, in the parent orientation session, Krista Bennitt, the advisor of the Panhellenic Association, discussed the recruitment process in depth with the parents and answered questions. During the parent orientation session, the PNMs were introduced to their recruitment counselors and met with their recruitment groups.  

We are excited to see what the rest of the week has in store! 
Check out some of the pictures from today:  

 Check-in station at Haggett Hall.
 Welcome to Haggett!
 Some of our lovely recruitment counselors.
Nicolette love Haggett!
Krista, addressing the parents at the parent orientation session.

Notes from the President

For those of you who I have yet to meet, my name is Sabrina Squires and I am the current Panhellenic President. As my senior year is about to begin here at UW, I cannot help but reminisce on the times I have had here on this beautiful campus; and to be brutally honest, my college career wouldn't be the same if I didn't embark on the very same journey you are all about to do today... Formal Fall Recruitment.

I know this week may seem scary, intimidating and exhausting, but it will all be worth it in the end! And trust me, all of the chapters, your RC's, and the Panhellenic Executive Board are all feeling the same way.

As you go through recruitment, remember a few things:

  • Keep an open mind
  • Be yourself
  • Ask questions
  • Meet new people
  • Have Fun!

I don't want to ramble on (because I tend to do that) so I'll wrap up. 

Going Greek was one of the best decisions of my life, and getting involved once I was apart of a chapter was even more rewarding. College goes by fast, so I encourage you to live it up, meet as many people as possible, get involved, laugh, do something out of the ordinary and have fun!

Cherish every moment of your college career, including this upcoming week. The best of luck ladies! I'll see you around! 


Sabrina Squires
Panhellenic President 

Here is a quick sneak peek on what it is like to be on the UW's Panhellenic Executive Board:

2011-2012 Exec. Board during Formal Fall Recruitment 2011
(I was V.P. Service & Scholarship back then)

2012-2013 Exec. Board at AFLV in St. Louis

Friday, August 10, 2012

What to Wear

The most popular question leading up to Formal Recruitment week would undoubtedly have to be 'What do I wear?!' As women, we like to be dressed to impress. And this is the same for sorority recruitment! The sincerest tip we can give regarding dress is to be comfortable and be yourself. There are guidelines, but there is no actual dress code during recruitment week and at any given event you will see quite a range of outfits. Dress to your personal style because if you're not comfortable it will show, and you won't have as pleasant of an experience. Finally it is absolutely not necessary for you to purchase a new wardrobe in order to participate in the sorority recruitment process.

Tip #1: PLEASE wear comfortable shoes! We strongly advise you not to wear a brand new pair of shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking, sitting, and standing; therefore, you will want to be comfortable. Bring a pair of flip flops to walk in-between the sorority chapters if you are at all worried your shoes are going to give you trouble.

Tip #2: Seattle weather can be unpredictable in autumn; keep this in mind when deciding what to wear. An umbrella is always a good idea! 

Tip #3: You may bring a bag or purse, these will be left outside of the chapter house when you are inside for events and will be looked after by the recruitment counselors.

To give you a better sense of what to expect, a few of the Panhellenic Executive Board officers have outlined some of the types of outfits we generally see throughout recruitment week...

Orientation is casual and comfortable.

Panhellenic Days, or Open House Days will involve a lot of walking, so you will want to wear something comfortable. Clothing worn during this round is usually casual, such as nice jeans or shorts, which will complement the all-Panhellenic T-shirt you will be given at orientation. We understand that you may want to personalize the t-shirts provided for you. If you choose to do so, make sure the shirt is still appropriate!

House Tour Days are business casual. A dress, skirt or nice pants with a blouse will work well. Please keep in mind the length of your skirt or dress, you will potentially be walking up a lot of stairs. If you plan on wearing heals or wedges, which aren't advised for this round, be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes or flip flops for walking between events.

Philanthropy Day is slightly more formal, and a dress or nice skirt outfit would be a good choice. Many outfits at this round are those that would be worn to a luncheon or church service. If you plan on wearing heals or wedges, be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes or flip flops for walking between events.

Preference Day is the most formal event of the week with both potential members and sorority women dressing up. Typically, women wear a nice evening or cocktail dress; however, rhinestones, sequins, or formal gowns are not appropriate. If you plan on wearing heels or wedges, be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes or flip flops for walking between events.

Have a great time picking your outfits, but remember that at the end of the day it's not about what you are wearing, it is about the conversations that you have with the sorority women and the connections that you make. Enjoy the experience, and hopefully this info will help you come dressed with a boost of confidence!

Monday, August 6, 2012

What to Pack

A popular question among incoming college students, not just those interested in joining a sorority, is What do I bring? Well, sorority life is not that much different from life in the residence halls regarding living arrangements, i.e. you will be provided with a bed, a dresser, a closet, and potentially a desk. But here are a few extra things that will make your time in your sorority a little more comfortable, well organized, and will also make you the best roommate around:

First, it is important to understand that every sorority is set up differently. You may find you require some items in one, but do not in another - and none of these items will you need right when you move in (besides bedding, of course!) There will be plenty of time during your first week and throughout the first quarter to pick up what you need, and at that point you will know the space that you will be working with. 

**Note: If you are staying with us in the Residence Halls during recruitment week, there are some specific things you will need to bring. Those are bedding (size twin will work), towels, and then all other personal supplies like toiletries and your outfits for the week! Keep an eye out for a detailed post on outfit planning next week :)

1. Twin size bedding
Sororities have twin size beds, not twin XL like many of the residence halls. A few additional bedding specifics that can make your sorority bed a little cozier are a mattress pad, and heating blanket for those cold Seattle winters! And yes, of course your favorite stuffed animal can come along...

2. Hanging shoe rack/ organizer
When you're potentially sharing closet space, having your shoes de-cluttered up off the floor makes a much neater space for everyone. Even if you have a closet to yourself, you'll appreciate the organization!

3. Stackers/ plastic drawers
You will be provided with a dresser or place to keep your clothes, but what do you do with those extra things that your clothes simply can't make room for, such as your toiletries or the entire medicine cabinet that your mom forced you to bring? (Don't worry, it happened to all of us and it actually does come in handy). Stacking plastic drawers are great for those additional necessities, and they are easy to store and don't take up much space.

4. Jewelry organizer
Of course you can't leave home with out your favorite accessories, and this includes jewelry. Whether you go free standing and place it on your dresser or desk, or hanging to de-clutter your space, having your collection displayed can even double as fun decor for your room - plus your new sisters will know exactly where to go when they want to borrow a piece, and so will you!

5. Mirror
Every room needs a mirror, and when you have multiple women getting ready in one room it can never hurt to have two or three! Long ones go great on the back of the door, or you can get a small one to hang above your personal space for your use each day.

And then finally,

What NOT to bring:
1. Microwave or mini-fridge
Most sororities do not accommodate these. There is usually a large fridge in the chapter house for members to keep their personal food items if need be, and often multiple microwaves for use!

2. Desk
... right away. As a college student, of course you will want a desk. But we recommend that you do not bring your desk on move in day at least, because sororities are so variable with these! Many sororities offer desks for their new members to use for their first quarter or entire first year in the study room, and some sororities even have built in desks in member's rooms. It is typically easier to wait and see what your sorority will provide you with.

3. Your ENTIRE closet
It is understandable that you will want to begin college prepared for every situation, and with that  every outfit situation. But realistically, in a sorority you are going to have multiple roommates with whom you have to share your living space. Sometimes, this even includes closet space. Be considerate and do your best to pare down your closet a bit, or do what many sorority women do and switch out your clothes for the appropriate season at the end of each quarter! You will quickly learn what you wear often and what you don't, and if the day comes that you really do need one specific clothing item that you left at home - don't worry, you have 100 new sisters from whom you can borrow ;)

Below are some pictures of sorority rooms here at the UW, so you can get acquainted with a few of their different styles!

Check out individual chapter websites and Facebook pages for more room pictures and descriptions, you can find the links at our website

Happy packing ladies, can't wait for you all to move in in the fall!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Letters of Recommendation

One of the more confusing processes of Sorority Recruitment are Letters of Recommendation, or Letters of Rec. If you've been around Greek Life, you've probably heard stories about campuses where having a Letter  of Rec is the only way to receive a bid, or even walk through the sororities front door! Here at the University of Washington, that is not the case. Letters of Rec are a great recruitment tool though, so here are some recommendations for those recommendations ;)

1) As we said above, Letters of Rec will not make or break your recruitment experience. If you have the ability to get some, great! Definitely do so. If you don't though, do not stress.

2) Each sorority has a different process for Letters of Rec. This information can be found on the sorority's national website, and links to these websites can find via UW Panhellenic's website here:

The national website should inform you where to send the letter, what the due date for the letter is, and provide a standard form of Letters of Rec for the sorority if there is one.

3) Letters of Rec should be largely handled by the alumnae woman who is writing it for you. Don't be surprised if you can't access the portion of the website where standard forms for Letters of Rec are kept, often times this is a section of the website that is for members only and requires a login that is given to women when they join their sorority. If the alumnae woman can't access this portion of the website (she can't remember her login, never got one, etc.) she can always just write a general Letter of Rec and send it to her sorority at the UW, Attn: VP Recruitment, VP Membership, Membership Chair, etc. Check out the sorority's local website for their address and title or name of the woman who should receive this letter.

An example of a sorority's national website, with instructions for alumnae women on how to submit Letters of Recommendation

An example of another sorority's local (or chapter) website with instructions for alumnae women on how to submit Letters of Recommendation to the specific UW chapter of the sorority

Keep connecting with those alumnae, and enjoy the process of getting to know more about the women in your life and their college days!