So You Want to Go Through Recruitment?

We’re very excited to have you here and even more excited that you are considering joining our sorority community.  This blog is designed to help parents and students understand the sorority recruitment process.

It is important to understand that sororities are private, selective organizations.  Recruitment often involves disappointment both for chapters and potential new members.  We hope that by providing you with all the information you need to make informed decisions that you will find the entire recruitment process, regardless of outcome, to be a fun and positive learning experience.


The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) is an organization composed of women’s Greek letter fraternities.  Each of the member groups is an autonomous social organization of college women, undergraduates and alumni.

NPC is a conference body that adopts resolutions in order to govern its own internal operation.  Through such resolutions have come the unanimous agreements of the conference.  In order for a resolution to become a unanimous agreement, each Delegate must vote in the affirmative followed by the ratification of each inter/national president.  Because they have been ratified, all NPC member groups must follow the unanimous agreements until they are amended or rescinded.

Washington and Lee University has 6 National Panhellenic Sororities:  Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi.

  • A woman who is or who has ever been an initiated member of an existing NPC fraternity shall not be eligible for membership in another NPC fraternity.
  • To be eligible to pledge an NPC fraternity chapter on the campus where a woman is enrolled, she shall be regularly matriculated according to the definition of matriculation established by that institution.
  • No female student shall be asked to join an NPC fraternity during any school recess except during a formal membership recruitment period and the ensuing Continuous Open Bidding held immediately prior to an academic term.
  • A signed Membership Recruitment Acceptance or a Continuous Open Bidding Acceptance is binding.  If a potential member receives a bid under the preference system, she is ineligible to be pledged to any other NPC fraternity on the same campus for one calendar year.  If a potential new member does not receive a bid under the preference system, she is eligible for COB.
  • A woman who has had her pledge broken by an NPC fraternity, or who has broken her pledge to an NPC fraternity, may not be asked to join another NPC fraternity on that campus for one calendar year from the date she was originally pledged.  However, she may be repledged by the same NPC fraternity at any time within the calendar year.
  • When a woman who has been pledged but not yet initiated transfers to another campus, her pledge is broken, and she is eligible to pledge an NPC fraternity on that campus at the earliest opportunity.
  • Women who have been pledged but not yet initiated into a chapter whose charter has been rescinded or relinquished or of a colony that has been dissolved shall be eligible to pledge another NPC fraternity immediately following the official release by the NPC fraternity.
  • A woman will complete the Membership Recruitment Acceptance Agreement after the last event she attends.  It is a binding contract and once this has been signed, no changes may be made.

PNM — Potential New Member, all women participating in recruitment.

Total — allowable chapter size, as determined by the Panhellenic Council.

Quota — the number each sorority may pledge.

COB — Continuous Open Bidding.  COB is an opportunity for those chapters that do not reach Quota during recruitment to bid to Quota and/or Total.

Snap Bidding — an option available to chapters that did not fill Quota.  Chapters may offer bids to PNM’s whose preferences were not matched.  This process takes place before bids are distributed.  Snap Bidding is not intended to fill spaces in the chapter Total and is limited to any woman who participated in formal recruitment.

The purpose behind release figures is threefold:

  • To enable each sorority to invite a sufficient number of PNM’s.
  • To allow each PNM to methodically investigate realistic options and ultimately to match with a sorority for which she has a preference among those options.
  • To maximize the number of PNM’s who ultimately affiliate with a sorority through recruitment.

Quota is an orderly procedure that maximizes the opportunity for Potential New Members and chapters to successfully complete a Fully Structured Recruitment.

The purpose of Quota is:

  • To give each woman the maximum opportunity to pledge.
  • To provide the fraternity experience to as many as possible.
  • To maintain adequate strength in all fraternity chapters.
  • A woman must be willing to accept a bid from any fraternity that she lists on her Membership Recruitment Acceptance Agreement.
  • A period of silence exists from immediately following the final Preference event to the time when women pick up their invitations to membership.  24 hours of silence should be the maximum time allowed for Bid Matching and distribution of invitations to membership.
  • Confidentiality is important.  All participating personnel must comply.
  • Undergraduate members never participate in the Bid Matching process.
  • Each chapter is entitled to an expected to have one or more alumnae representatives to handle their chapter’s bid list.  The integrity of the recruitment program is destroyed when all personnel do not keep strict confidentiality.
  • There are no NPC regulations covering legacies.  Recruiting regulations apply to all women equally.