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Sorority Recruitment: An Outsider's Field Guide

The rumors are true: Theta recruits out of McCosh. Waking up in a sterile infirmary room to the sound of a rolling breakfast cart stocked with Gatorade and Rice Krispies next to an upperclassman may be your ticket into the sorority. In an ideal scenario, she will have lost her iPhone the previous night and lost her patience waiting untilnoonfor the one actual physician on staff to make rounds to your room. This situation will encourage her to collaborate with you to identify and contact a mutual friend to bring her necessary supplies. Even without these optimal conditions, combine forces to harass the nurses for refusing to release the two of you early or provide a decent bagel.

Alternatively, Pi Phi recruits out of cycling classes at Dillon Gym. They comprise the entire force of spin instructors and the majority of participants. In a bizarre showing of Princeton politics, Pi Phi girls dominate select fitness classes. If you would like to project the image of religiously attending SoulCycle, join Pi Phi. If you’re just looking to wear Lulu leggings often throughout the winter, I believe joining any sorority will suffice.


Once — before you were born — the Kappas weren’t invited to a frosh’s birthday party. It’s a pretty tired joke now, but one that can still solicit a closed lip smile from the right crowd. That’s actually all I know about Kappa, but it’s one of the only confirmed nuggets of knowledge in this article. The other true piece of information concerns Kappa as well, so they bear a bit of the brunt of this article, but they do seem like a nice group of girls.

A certain contingency of Thetas prides itself on the frattiness of the group. Collectively, the sorority can beat exactly four of the frats in a case race and even pick off those weaker groups simultaneously by sending out A, B and C teams to various competitions before blacking out and devolving into a tangle of seven-layer human kites.

Pi Phi has a different conception of A teams and B teams, with the executive board sorting their potential new recruits into groups based on their appeal as future members. Current members can also easily understand their rank within the sorority based upon which team they are assigned. Rest assured; the assignment has no official effect on the outcome of bids unless you are placed on the C team, named such because for their boozy dinner they travel forty-five minutes on a train to Terminal C within Newark Liberty International Airport — the only location that meets both the requisite distance and meager budget allowances Pi Phi imposes on the girls unfit for association.

To bolster their image as a boys’ club, many Thetas adopt inexplicable dressing habits. Boost your chances of acceptance into the group by wearing a bucket hat to recruitment. Maybe even throw on an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt over the dress you’ve selected for the event. Refer to it often, but only as “a Hawaiian.” Example: “I decided to throw on a Hawaiian because it’s not cold enough to break out the Patagonia just yet.” If the older sisters begin to develop a visceral reaction to the repetition of the word, the only acceptable substitute is to call it your “Tommy Bahama.” Use this phrase sparingly. Ignore each of these suggestions if you’re seeking a bid from Pi Phi.

Woodrow Wilson once said posthumously, regarding coeducation, “We must admit women, so that we may admit Theta.”

The proper response to girls chanting “Pi Phi till I die” is not to share your immediate reaction that we are lucky to be a part of the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than our parents. Similarly, the proper response to “Pi Phi or die’ is not “Die!”


Kappa, in an admirable show of transparency, once posted what appear to be real conversations from their listserv in a public Google Group. The mostentertaining entryfinds the sisterhood discussing whether potential new members will forget their sorority if their letters are left off the philanthropic tank Pi Phi plans to market encouraging girls to GO GREEK.

Concerned with Pi Phi’s choice to push the slogan “The only way to fly: Pi Beta Phi,” Theta’s Executive Board feared girls would forget that they too have a slogan referencing flight and thus commissioned a Facebook cover photo reimagining the seminal battle scene in Paradise Lost. The image replaces the faces of Satan and Beelzebub with the top two Pi Phis, who suffer attacks by various Thetas dive-bombing them while carried through the air by archangel Gabriel, an image beautiful in its grotesque lack of pity. Ultimately, the sorority chose to abandon the commission because of its Christian imagery after realizing Ivy, the eventual home of many Pi Phis, may indeed be a more exclusive club than Heaven.?

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