“I didn’t know NYU had Greek life!” This is usually the response I receive when I tell people I am not only a member but the president of one of the 23 active Greek organizations on NYU’s campus. Even though only about 10 percent of NYU students participate in Greek life, it is one of the many ways to find community on campus.
Why Did I Get Involved?
As an international student, I learned about fraternities and sororities from traditional film and television. Which means I held the stereotypical idea of them. From that understanding alone, I deduced it was not an activity for me. But much like everything else at NYU, I learned that the organizations and their people are far from the stereotypical picture I painted in my head.
I started my sophomore year at NYU in the fall of 2020. By then, I was very involved in clubs and activities on campus, and I had a solid group of friends. But the COVID-19 pandemic put a strange freeze on all of that. I hadn’t seen some of my friends in months. And I missed the sense of community being on campus gave me. So in the thick of it, and after a push from a friend, I decided to rush.
Recruitment was going to be on Zoom and I would go through the experience with a friend. How bad could it be?
Rushing was one of the best decisions I ever made. After meeting with women from all seven Panhellenic organizations over the course of a few weeks, I joined Delta Phi Epsilon, also known as DPhiE. The organization is full of the most passionate, driven, and coolest women I have ever met. I fell in love with our philanthropies. DPhiE supports the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. What’s more, we participate in the New York Dance Marathon to raise money to fight childhood cancer.
How Does Recruitment Work?
A lot of people ask me questions related to the formal sorority recruitment process, especially following the rising popularity of RushTok. According to Jaden Diaz, current Panhellenic Council president, “Recruitment can be an intimidating process. But we’re excited to welcome interested new members to the community. Plus, we prioritize community bonding activities across all of our organizations.”
So what can you expect while rushing? As a potential new member (PNM), you’ll meet each Panhellenic organization over the course of two weekends in the fall semester. Then the formal recruitment process unfolds in three or four rounds:
- Round Robin: The introductory round and the day PNMs view each organization’s recruitment video. You’ll learn the general overview of each sorority, such as the history of the organization, the establishment of the NYU chapter, and why active members chose to join.
- Sisterhood and Philanthropy: Sometimes condensed into one round or split into two, this round introduces PNMs to the activities the organization participates in to further sisterhood and general bonding. You’ll learn how members connect with each other to strengthen their chapter community. What’s more, you’ll discover how the chapter practices philanthropy. Organizations will go into more depth about the philanthropies they support and their fundraising efforts every year.
- Preference: This is the last—and longest—round of recruitment. At this stage PNMs meet with only two organizations to get to know them on a deeper level. Through the more in-depth conversations, you’ll learn which organization most aligns with your passions, interests, and values.
After each round, through a process of mutual selection, PNMs meet with fewer organizations. But you don’t have to go through this process alone. Each PNM is assigned to a recruitment counselor who helps guide them through the rounds. Finally, on Bid Day, the day after the preference round, organizations make their formal invitations.
If you’re a prospective student who wants to learn more about Greek life at NYU, check out our website. And if you’re a current student hoping to learn more before formal recruitment starts, attend Welcome Week events like Club Fest and Meet the Greeks to meet us in person.
Is Greek Life for You?
Greek life has a long, complicated history. But I can proudly say the sororities at NYU represent amazing philanthropies, have flourishing sisterhoods, and support their members academically, professionally, and socially. Whether you’re a general member or a member of the leadership team, you get back whatever you put in. Plus, everyone is dedicated to uplifting and supporting each other. So Greek life can help make such a large and daunting place like NYU feel much smaller. What’s more, having a familiar face in my classes and people to say hi to as I head home as well as a vast alumni network to tap into are extra perks.
Greek life is just one of the many ways to form connections at NYU. I encourage everyone to try it. You never know, you might become the next president of your organization!