Panhellenic sororities offer many opportunities for membership throughout the year. The most opportunities for membership happen during Primary Recruitment, which typically occurs near the beginning of the fall semester. Students not interested or unable to participate in Primary Recruitment may also have opportunities throughout the fall and spring semesters to join a Panhellenic organization through the Continuous Open Bidding (COB) process. It is important to note that not all Panhellenic chapters will participate in COB.
Primary Recruitment will be Wednesday, August 11, 2021 – Tuesday, August 17th, 2021.
Priority Registration for Primary Recruitment will begin on May 17, 2021 and will run until July 16, 2021. Registration by the priority deadline allows priority move-in appointment times for University Housing from Sunday, August 8th – Tuesday, August 10th.
Registration will officially close on Sunday, August 8th at midnight. Students may register for Primary Recruitment following the July 16 priority deadline, however priority move-in appointments can not be guaranteed.
Registration for Primary Recruitment will cost $150, which covers all of the costs associated with running Primary Recruitment.
|Dates||Recruitment Round||Things to Know|
|August 11th||PNM Orientation
During the orientation, participants will receive vital information for the upcoming week. This event is mandatory for everyone participating in Primary Recruitment. This event is only for PNMs and will be in-person with virtual options for those not comfortable attending in-person.
|August 12th||Go Greek Round
This first round will be a completely virtual round, with PNMs meeting all 13 chapters in a Zoom format. During this round, the PNM will be introduced to each chapter and begin to learn more about the organization and its members.
After meeting the chapters, PNMs will meet virtually with their Gamma Chi who will walk them through the preferencing process. This involves listing their top 10 preferences and then ranking their bottom 3 preferences. Ranking certain preferences does not guarantee that she will/will not be invited back to a particular organization.
|August 13th-August 14th||Philanthropy and Service Round
Philanthropy Round allows PNMs to be invited back to up to 10 chapters. Not everyone will be invited back to all 10, so it is completely normal and okay if a PNM does not receive invitations back to 10 chapters.
Broken up over two days, PNMs will learn about the philanthropic organizations and foundations that each of our chapters support on a national and local level. They will get to learn about causes near and dear to our members’ hearts and opportunities to be involved in raising awareness and funds for these organizations. This round will be hosted in-person with online options for PNMs that do not feel comfortable attending in person.
After PNMs meet with up to 10 chapters, they will again list their preferences. However, this time they will list their top 6 preferences and rank their bottom 4. Ranking certain preferences does not guarantee that she will/will not be invited back to a particular organization.
|August 15th||Sisterhood Round
Sisterhood Round will be over the course of one day. During this round, PNMs could be invited back to up to 6 chapters. Again, it is completely normal and okay to not receive 6 invitations.
PNMs will learn what it is like to be a member of that particular chapter during these days. She will learn about their chapter values such as scholarship, leadership, involvement, and sisterhood. She will get to talk to members about commitments such as financial costs, housing requirements, and time obligations. This is the opportunity for PNMs to see what it is really like to be a member of that chapter, and it is a great time for her to ask more specific questions. This round will be hosted in-person with online options for PNMs that do not feel comfortable attending in person.
At the end of the day,, PNMs will list their top 2 preferences and rank their bottom 4. Ranking certain preferences does not guarantee that she will/will not be invited back to a particular organization.
|August 16th||Preference Round
Preference Round is the final and most serious round of recruitment. During this round, PNMs could be invited back to up to 2 chapters. It is not uncommon to be invited back to only 1 organization during this round. Chapters will show a more serious side of their organization, including revealing some ritual and having conversations about what the chapter means to them personally. This round will be hosted in-person with online options for PNMs that do not feel comfortable attending in person.
After attending all events they were invited to, PNMs will rank their choices in preferential order. They may only rank the chapters whose preference events they attended, and they may not go back and change their rank order after it has been submitted. They will also be asked to read and sign an MRABA, or Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement. To learn more about the MRABA, visit https://www.npcwomen.org/resources/pdf/MRABA%20Script.pdf for more information. This is a binding agreement and will not change even a PNM is unhappy with her options.
Suggested dress for the day: Attire appropriate for a nice dinner. A dress, romper, or skirt appropriate for a cocktail event or wedding is suggested.
|August 17th||Bid Day
This is an exciting day! Women who have submitted their preferences and signed their MRABAs will be emailed their bids at a designated time. PNMs will have the option to meet with their Recruitment Counselor on campus, who will allow them to open their physical bid card and find out which organization is extending them a bid to membership! Over the following few days, PNMs will then spend some time with her new organization and get to know her new sisters. This round will be hosted in-person with online options for PNMs that do not feel comfortable attending in person.
No guests are permitted on this day, students only. This day is for the student to spend time with her new sisters. Parents and guests will have future opportunities to visit their student’s sorority, like Family Weekend or Parents Weekend, an event typically hosted by each organization.
Suggested dress for the day: Shorts, a Tennessee t-shirt, and comfortable shoes.
Moving into University Housing requires students to make an appointment to move in. Those that are registered for Primary Recruitment by July 16th are guaranteed an early move-in appointment from Sunday, August 8th – Tuesday, August 10th. Those registered after July 16th are still eligible for early move-in appointments as they are available, however spots will not be guaranteed. For more information about Move In, please visit University Housing’s website and be sure to check your Volmail account regularly!
As required by the National Panhellenic Conference, there is not a GPA requirement to participate in Primary Recruitment at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
The typical average to extend a sorority membership invitation is a 3.00 cumulative GPA. Women who have below a 3.00 GPA are advised that they are at a greater risk to be released from the Formal Recruitment process due to their academics.
To help students understand how their GPA may affect their Formal Recruitment experience, the Panhellenic Council at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville has adopted grade zones to show how academics may factor in Formal Recruitment. Please note, grades are only one of many factors that chapters will consider in membership selection.
- Orange Zone = Your options are not likely limited based on your GPA. (3.0+)
- Grey Zone = Your options are more likely to be limited by your GPA. (2.80-2.99)
- White Zone = Your options are very likely to be limited based on GPA. (2.79 and below)
The GPA information that will be verified after your registration has been processed may be different from the one provided on your high school transcript. The University of Tennessee has an adjusted GPA scale that is based off of common core classes. This means that your GPA that is entered into our recruitment system is based off the grades earned in things like math, science, English, etc., and may be different than your high school transcript which also counts your non-core classes. If this is the case, you are more than welcome to provide our office with your high school transcript, and we can notify our sorority chapters what your high school transcript says your GPA is in addition to the official UTK GPA. You may do this by emailing a copy of your transcript to Jennifer Pierce Thomas, Associate Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Recommendation/Reference (also called a REC or RIF) serves as your introduction to the sorority, so their members can get to know you in advance of primary recruitment in the fall. These official forms, which are unique to each individual sorority, are provided by the national organization for their alumnae members to fill out on behalf of potential new members. Please note that each sorority has its own policy as to whether or not they require a recommendation/reference and that the University of Tennessee Panhellenic does NOT have access to individual sorority Recommendation/Reference Forms.
Only a sorority alumna, or potentially a collegiate member of a sorority, can write a recommendation to her sorority. It is also recommended that the alumna use her sorority’s official recommendation form, which can usually be found on the sorority’s national website or in the sorority’s national magazine.
Securing letters of recommendation is ultimately NOT the obligation of the potential new member, so below are a couple of things to keep in mind if you choose to seek out letters of recommendation:
- If a PNM decides she wants personally seek out alumnae to write a rec of her behalf, she need only secure ONE recommendation for each of the 13 NPC chapters at UTK that participate in primary recruitment. More than one per chapter is unnecessary.
If a PNM is struggling to find alumna to write letters of recommendation, we encourage reaching out to a local alumni chapter, searching the national website, or contact the Chapter President by email and asking for recommendations on local alumni who would be willing to write one.
While there are 26 NPC sororities, when seeking letters of recommendation for recruitment, you ONLY need letters for those 13 National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities participating in formal recruitment at UTK. They are: Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Omicron Pi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Delta Zeta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Mu, Pi Beta Phi, Sigma Kappa, and Zeta Tau Alpha.
If you cannot find a letter of recommendation for each of the 13 NPC sororities participating in primary recruitment at UTK, please do not worry! Recs are like extra credit—it’s great if you can get them, but they are not required. If a sorority really wants to pledge someone and they have a policy that requires a PNM have at least one recommendation/reference form in order to be eligible for membership, they will find a recommendation for her. They won’t let her get away just because she can’t find her own recommendation
While chapter specific letters of recommendation are preferred, for women unable to find an alumna from each of the recognized sororities at the University of Tennessee to write a letter of rec, we have added a new option to the recruitment application. This year as part of the recruitment application, women participating in recruitment may elect to submit a generic, supplemental academic letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor, or principal. The individual writing the letter of recommendation does not have been a member of Greek organization; however, the letter should speak to your character as it applies to leadership, scholarship, community service, and friendship. Please note that this is an optional feature and as such, is not a required part of the online application form. The weight by which these Supplemental Academic Letters of Recommendation is up to each chapter’s discretion.
Traditional Recommendation Letters can be submitted either through the Sorority’s National Website or to the Chapter President’s email directly. Click here for the chapter information list that contains this information. Supplemental Academic Letters of Recommendation can be submitted directly through CampusDirector during registration.
There is no hard submission deadline for recommendation letters. However, we encourage women to turn recommendation letters for Formal Recruitment in by August 1st, 2020.
For the Panhellenic Council, Continuous Open Bidding (COB) can happen all year long in both the fall and spring semesters. These COBs are membership invitations extended by individual Panhellenic organizations to interested women. Not all Panhellenic organizations may be eligible for COBs based on the total chapter membership.
Any general questions regarding joining a Panhellenic sorority can be directed to our Vice President of Recruitment, Madeline Dillmon, at email@example.com or to Jennifer Pierce Thomas, Associate Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life at firstname.lastname@example.org.