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Greekin’ Out: Rushing this spring? Here’s what you should expect from Philanthropy and Development Day

Greekin’ Out is a series designed to inform and advise all Barnumbians interested in joining Greek Life. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be producing content aimed to answer all G(r)eeky questions, but if you think we missed something, email your inquiries to veronica.taleon@columbiaspectator.com, and we’ll get on it ASAP.

Recruitment days for Greek Life commence this week (here’s hoping that the weather clears up for them). Whether you’re currently rushing, are considering rushing, or are just nosy (read: me), you might be curious about what kind of activities the PNMs (that’s potential new members for you n00bs) will do. We sat down with Ama Kwarteng, BC ’17 and outgoing Panhellenic Council president, in order to learn all the G(r)eeky details about rushing week.

There are three rounds that make up recruitment days, all followed up by Bid Night: Philanthropy Day, Development Day, and Preference Night. Tomorrow we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Preference Night and Bid Day, but today we’ll help you get prepped and ready for Philanthropy and Development day on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Philanthropy Day

This year, Philanthropy Day will take place on Thursday, Jan. 26 and Friday, Jan. 27. Plan to block out four hours of your schedule for these events.

The title “Philanthropy Day” both does and doesn’t give you a good sense of what to expect. The gist of it is as follows:

At an ungodly hour in the morning (8:30 a.m.), you’ll have to meet with your Rho Gamma group (a group of PNMs led by a sister who is temporarily disaffiliated) in order to get your schedule. Don’t worry about trying to figure where to go, and when and how to fit everything in—they’ll figure it out for you.

On this day, you have to attend six different parties, one for each Panhel sorority. (Btw, you don’t get to pick and choose which parties you will and won’t attend—failure to attend them all will result in disqualification.) All parties will be located in the Faculty House (which makes for easy transport), but for specific rooms and floors, check your PNM Handbook (sent to your email).

This day was designed to introduce you to all six sororities, and Kwarteng stresses that it is just as much about you getting to know your future chapter as it is your future chapter getting to know you.

“[Philanthropy Day is] meant to introduce you to each sorority on campus and their respective philanthropic initiatives,” she said. “There are different activities and projects that you guys will work on based on that [chapter’s initiative].”

(Need a refresher of which sorority does what? Here’s a little something to help you out.)

Also expect to do a bit of talking with the current sisters on these days. Ask them questions and tell them a bit about yourself, but don’t stress too much about finding an “appropriate” topic for the day’s theme. When we asked whether PNMs should expect all questions to be philanthropy-centered, Kwarteng responded, “Not necessarily. Yes, that’s what the day is about, so the conversations tend to lean that way, but it’s just like having a normal conversation with a friend… You can talk about anything you feel comfortable with.”

Each party lasts only 25 minutes, which means that Philanthropy Day is really just a tiny taste of what each sorority has to offer. However, since you’ll have the general vibe of each sorority by the end of the day, you’ll then be put through a matching process called Mutual Selection.

“But what is Mutual Selection?” you ask. It’s a process in which you’ll fill out a ticket where you list your top four sororities (in no specific order) that you’d like to be invited back to. (And yes, fill out all four slots in order to maximize your chances of getting a bid at the end of the process.) If a sorority that you listed is also interested in you coming back to learn more about them, then you’ll officially be invited to their Development Day party.

Tl;dr:
  • You have to go to all six sororities’ parties.
  • Each party will be 25 minutes long and will take place in the Faculty House.
  • You’ll be working on projects and having conversations with the sisters.
  • You’ll be on your feet for quite some time—dress comfortably (per the PNM Handbook, jeans-type apparel is ok).
  • At the end of the day, you’ll fill out a Mutual Selection form. You pick four sororities and they pick you, but no guarantees (hence the mutual bit).
  • Depending on how the Mutual Selection process goes, you may or may not be invited back for Development Day.
Development Day

Development Day takes place on Saturday, Jan. 28. Plan to block out anywhere from one to four hours on your schedule, depending on how many parties you’ll attend. Also note that this is an invitation-only party—if you don’t receive an invitation, unfortunately this will be the end of your Greek adventure. (Though you can still participate in Continuous Open Bidding—we’ll have a post all about that later.)

You got to know a bit about everyone yesterday at Philanthropy Day, now you get to delve into the specifics of your mutually selected sorority. You’ll attend at maximum four parties on this day, but some people go to three, some go to two, and some go to just one.

But the term “Development Day” is even less descriptive than “Philanthropy Day,” so what exactly will you be doing? According to Kwarteng, each party begins with the sorority showing a short video to PNMs about their chapter and the women who make up it. Afterwards, you’ll use the remaining 30 minutes or so just to talk some more with the different sisters, though your conversations will likely be more in-depth. (Btw, it’s totally cool to pick up the conversation with the person you were talking to yesterday.)

Curious about conversation topics? The rules for Philanthropy Day apply here as well—talk about yourself, but also appear interested and curious by asking the sisters questions about their sorority, why they joined, etc. If you want a really comprehensive list of conversation starters, head over the the PNM Handbook—they have suggestions for social, scholarship, philanthropy, and sorority activities topics.

After all the party-going is over, you’ll fill out a similar Mutual Selection form, but this time you’re only listing up to two chapters that you’d like to be invited back to for Preference Night (and this time you do rank them). Depending on how many of your chosen sororities also list you, you may be invited to a maximum of two parties for Preference Night, which takes place the following evening.

Tl;dr:
  • This is an invitation-only event, and you can be invited up to four sororities’ parties.
  • You have to go to every party that you were invited to—failure to do so will lead to disqualification.
  • Each of these parties will last 40 minutes, meaning that the conversations will be more in-depth.
  • You’ll probably be on your feet for some time, but the dress code is not as casual as it was on Philanthropy Day. They describe it as “classy brunch” wear, so casual dresses, skirts, slacks and a blouse, etc.

So there you have it! This should be all the info you need to carry yourself through these first few days of recruitment. Best of luck, and check back again tomorrow for a similar installation on Preference and Bid Night.

Have any other questions about Philanthropy or Development Day? Ask us on Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat @CUSpectrum.

Veronica Grace Taleon is Spectrum’s editor and a Barnard sophomore. She would have a hard time rushing a sorority because the 8:30 a.m. schedule distribution time and she do not jive. Reach her at veronica.taleon@columbiaspectator.com.

Miles Greenspoon contributed reporting.

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