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Absolutely Abby: Is informal recruitment better than formal rush?

September is coming to a close, and so is Ohio University’s sorority recruitment.

Rushing had never crossed my mind until I saw that it was a possible cost reduction for sophomore year housing, and that’s why part of me actually considered it. Now that the informal rush is gearing up, I considered taking the opportunity, but have ultimately decided against it.

With formal rush’s bid day being Sunday, Sept. 18 this fall, many OU sororities are still looking to “extend a bid” to informal inductees. Some sororities are now offering informal recruitment opportunities including Delta Zeta, Gamma Phi Beta and Alpha Omicron Pi

Although quite a few sororities are currently offering recruitment opportunities, there are fluctuations between formal and informal recruitment that should make people think twice before rushing into a sorority. 

Between trying to find formal recruits able to talk about their experience and current informal rushees, I am set on holding off until the formal rush, that is, if I decide to rush at all. 

A formal rush experience at OU lasts the span of two weekends with long hours and multiple experiences– an exhausting process to say the least. During the formal rush process, potential new members, or PNMs, are introduced to all OU sorority programs and are allowed to tour the houses, meet members and ask questions about financial standings and philanthropy. Throughout the process, both PNMs and sororities bid on certain candidates that they would like to continue with or drop those that they are no longer interested in. The last day of recruitment, bid day, is the final reveal in which rushees are notified whether they have been accepted into a sorority or not. 

Informal recruitment at OU is somewhat of a sped-up, more relaxed version of formal recruitment. The interested person would fill out a Google form, and attend the specific sorority’s socials, between the house and then eventually a member, then may or may not be extended a bid. In informal recruitment, PNMs do not have a recruitment officer helping them throughout the process, and not all sororities offer this alternative. These individuals tend to have to do more in-depth research of the programs on their own via Instagram pages, the Sorority and Fraternity webpage and attending socials. 

So, yes, part of me does want to rush. I think it would be both beneficial and enjoyable, and informal recruitment could be my savior from the hectic rush week. But the weight of “What if?” is far too heavy for me and others to commit to. 

As it is a strenuous process, formal recruitment lays all of the options in front of you, presenting all of the necessary information needed to spike interest in their programs. Informal recruitment, however, can restrict you to the few sororities offering the process. Logically thinking, I would want to wait and see all of my options before I throw my money at a program that I’m not 100% sure is right for me. And, after all, there is a second-semester rush process. 

Sometimes waiting is in our best interest. It gives us time to think about our decisions that involve both financial and social commitments, discover clubs and activities that may complement us in the way a sorority would, and give us the time to decide if this is something we really want.

Being in a sorority is a big commitment, and deciding to rush isn’t a surface-level decision. My version of rushing has all the options on the table, a period of time to think my decision through, and all of the full-fledged rush experiences to go with it— even if that means waiting until next year. 

Abby Waechter is a freshman studying strategic communications at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Have something to say? Email Abby at or tweet her @AbbyWaechter.

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