Recruitment week is the most exciting, terrifying, eye-opening, first glance into Greek life at Ole Miss. There are many questions as to WHAT recruitment week is and what it's all about. The information below should give you a little more insight on recruitment week to keep you cool, calm, and collected throughout the whole process of your daughter/son going through the week.
I went through recruitment during the Fall of 2015. My dad attended Ohio State and was in a fraternity, my grandmother, aunt, and two cousins were all involved in Greek life as well. I ended up getting a few tips and tricks along the way. All the information became a little overwhelming - my brain was spinning in a thousand different directions! My mom, on the other hand, had no idea what to expect when I went through rush, and I didn't either. All I knew was that apparently, I had to get Recommendation letters.
What is a Rec letter?
A 'Rec Letter' is a letter of recommendation from an Alumni explaining why Susie Susan is a good fit for XYZ sorority. If you don't have any connections to Alumni, you can search for chapters in your area and reach out to them to write a recommendation. Your child's first shot at maximizing his/her chances of being placed in a sorority/fraternity is by getting recommendations for every house.
This link is an excellent resource for all recruitment information:
There are pros and cons of participating in Greek life, and sometimes you won't know if it is meant for you until you try it out. If your son or daughter isn't sure if it's for them or not, it doesn't hurt to go through recruitment to test the waters. If at the end of the week they realize that this is something they don't want to participate in, then that's okay.
A key thing for you to remember as a parent is that this is your child's decision. It's their new chapter in their book.If they feel a strong connection to a specific house - be excited for him/her and try to be as neutral as possible. Remind your child that everything will work out. There is no wrong decision when it comes to Ole Miss Greek life.
Should parents come into town for Recruitment Week / Bid Day?
If it’s not too far/inconvenient to travel to Oxford from your hometown, I would suggest coming towards the end of the week to support your child on bid day. If your child is super nervous and needs some emotional support - come! However, there is SO MUCH going on during the week of Recruitment - You won't be able to see your child that much because there are so many prior engagements.
My mom ended up driving 6 hours to spend the weekend in Oxford. I asked her what she thought of her experience and if she had any advice:
“This will be the longest week of your life. Stay calm and remain positive. I’d suggest not spending the whole week in Oxford, you won’t really see your baby. The experience will thicken your daughter's skin – and the outcome will be impressive and worth every minute!! Hit the square and explore Oxford’s shopping and dining. Be there for Bid Day but be prepared to see your daughter for a short period of time before the girls are bussed away with their new BFF’s!”
My mom also gave me the best advice - "Be yourself, chin up, and shoulders back."
Joining Greek life comes with a great deal of responsibility. As a member of one of these organizations, you are held to a higher standard, and you are expected to have the same ethics and values that they are based on.
A lot of time goes into being in a sorority or fraternity including weekly chapter meetings, philanthropy events, volunteer work, sisterhood/brotherhood events, ritual ceremonies, swaps, date parties, formals; not to mention your academic responsibilities. With all of that, you find a special bond with your new sisters/brothers. You will ask yourself, "How did I make it this far in life without knowing these amazing people?"
I promise, after recruitment week is over, bid day has taken place, and things have settled down - your child will feel 1) a weight lifted off their shoulders and 2) a sense of accomplishment and 3) a place to call home. They will also be so happy to be done eating at the Union/Rebel Market for lunch and dinner. GOODBYE meal plan, HELLO home-cooked, yummy meals at the house.
Tips for parents:
• If money is an issue, you're not alone. During rush week they are upfront about how much does will cost throughout the four years. Most fraternities and sororities offer payment plans to ease the cost.
• Before, during, and after rush week is a stressful and confusing time. Offer support and listen to your student about their experience, and that will not only help them, but it will help you to understand what they are going through.
• Try to stay as neutral as possible when it comes helping your child choose which Greek organization is right for them. It can be a really hard decision at the end of the week and they may ask for your advice, but at the end of the day it should be their decision.
• There are a few stores on the square that have “Rush Week Happies.” These happies are a perfect way to tell your daughter that she is loved from long distance! (The Lily Pad, Olive Juice Gifts, and Katherine Beck Gifts are my favorites!)
• Listen to our Q & A Recruitment podcast! It is full of fantastic inside information from Ole Miss Greek alum, actives, and parents - Look up Parents of Ole Miss on your Podcast app.