Panhellenic Life

at the University of Minnesota

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Any questions about recruitment can go to the Panhellenic Recruitment Team at

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Panhellenic recruitment be held virtually or in person?

For Fall 2020, formal recruitment will be held in an all virtual format. Informal recruitment events will be held virtually or in person following all CDC, Minnesota Department of Health, and University of Minnesota guidelines. 


Why should I go through recruitment if it's virtual?

Virtual recruitment will still allow individuals to make meaningful connections with chapters and their members! Sorority membership extends beyond in-person social events and gatherings. A virtual experience can still provide new members with friendships, academic resources, networking opportunities, leadership positions, and so much more!


I signed up for recruitment. What now?

Congratulations! We are so excited that you are interested in joining our community. After you register you should receive a confirmation email with a survey and preliminary details about each day of recruitment (dates, times, what to wear, food provided each day, what to bring each day, etc.) If you register by August 15, you should expect to hear from a Rho Alpha (recruitment counselor) within two weeks; they’ll get to know you and answer any questions you have.


What does the formal recruitment process look like?

Formal recruitment is a week-long process that occurs during the beginning of the fall semester. Each day, you will have the opportunity to meet women in different chapters and gain a better understanding of their values, personalities, and sisterhood. To learn more, check out the Formal Recruitment section!


How do I best prepare for formal recruitment?

Before going through recruitment, sit down and think about why you want to join a sorority and what you want to get out of the process. Recruitment is, above all, a values-based decision, so understanding what values you prioritize in yourself and your life will help you get the most out of the process. Also, relax! Recruitment is a fun, unique experience, so enjoy it!! The best thing you can do to find your home on campus is to be yourself. 


I’m on the fence about going through sorority recruitment. Should I do it?

Yes! Joining a sorority opens up a variety of opportunities for members, from new friendships to academic support to leadership development. As the largest women’s organization on the University of Minnesota’s campus, the Panhellenic community provides members with an immediate support system of women who share similar values and passions. If you’re on the fence, we recommend you just give it a try - we always say the worst that could happen is you get a t-shirt and some food, get to explore Dinkytown, and make a few friends, regardless of if you end up joining a chapter. 

Can I participate as an upperclassman? Is there a disadvantage?

Absolutely! Our community welcomes all undergraduate women to participate in recruitment - about a quarter of potential new members are not first-year students.  There is no disadvantage to participating in recruitment as an upperclassman. Panhellenic sets a campus-wide mandatory quota for upperclassmen to ensure that they receive equal consideration from all chapters throughout the process. 

I have a conflict with a round! What can I do?

You can still participate in formal recruitment! Make sure to let your Rho Alphas know immediately & email


What does it cost to be in a sorority?

Sororities have varying costs! Check out the Finance section for more information.


What is the time commitment for sorority members?

The mandatory events for sorority members aren't an overwhelming time commitment. All chapters on campus have required Monday night meetings (typically 30 min to an hour long), and new members usually have a weekly meeting, too. Additionally, there are a few other mandatory events per semester such as a philanthropy fundraiser, retreat, or initiation. These dates are always given in advance, and the events can be excused because of class, family obligations, etc. School is a top priority for our community, so many chapters are flexible with event attendance if you have big tests or busy school weeks. Other events like sisterhoods, social events with other organizations, date parties, and formals are never required but ARE very fun. Most members pick and choose which of these events they'd like to attend. If you decide to be very active within your sorority, perhaps even take on a leadership role, your time commitment will increase. However, the more involved you are, the more you will get out of your organization, so it’s a good idea to participate in as much as your schedule allows you!

Due to COVID-19, chapter events will look a bit different during the 2020-21 school year. Most events will be held virtually or have a virtual option. While this is unprecedented, there are still many benefits to joining the Panhellenic community and participating in these events in order to foster relationships with your new sisters and other women in the Panhellenic community!


What is the difference between formal and informal recruitment?

Formal Panhellenic recruitment occurs in the fall. The Panhellenic Council organizes this in collaboration with every chapter each year. It is formal because there is a set schedule and designated rounds with Rho Alphas to help potential new members. Formal recruitment offers the opportunity to meet every National Panhellenic Conference sorority on campus.


Informal Recruitment occurs in the fall and spring. Each semester, which chapters participate may vary; individual chapters are not required to host informal recruitment. Rather than a campus-wide schedule, each chapter participating must organize their own events. It is not any better or worse! It is simply more relaxed and less structured. Check out the informal recruitment tab to learn more! 


I’m not a “typical sorority girl” - is there a place for me?

There is no “typical sorority girl.” All Panhellenic women are unique and each chapter has a variety of members with different interests, personalities, and backgrounds. With 14 Panhellenic chapters on campus, 11 participating in formal recruitment, there is a place for everyone in our community. 

How do I know what chapter is right for me?

The answer to that question is different for everyone! The recruitment process is designed in a way that helps you narrow down to chapters that best match your values, personality, and what you're interested in. Women start off the formal recruitment process by visiting 11 chapters, and end up at the end with a maximum of two before receiving a bid (invitation to join) from one chapter. Every day of recruitment you'll indicate which chapters you felt a strong connection to right away and which ones you might need more time to connect at.


What is a legacy?  

Legacies are typically a sister, daughter, or granddaughter of a woman who was in a National Panhellenic sorority. If this applies to you check with the national organization about a legacy form you can fill out prior to recruitment. Being a legacy does not mean you have to join the chapter or chapter(s) at which you are a legacy - this process is about you and where you feel the most at home!

Do I need letters of recommendation? Where do I get them?

Letters of recommendation are appreciated by many chapters, but they're by no means necessary. If someone you're close with is a member or alumna of any of the chapters participating in formal recruitment (on this campus or any other campus), feel free to ask them to write a letter of recommendation for you. Instructions can be found on the websites of each international headquarters website. While each chapter treats letters of recommendation differently, if you've truly found your home on campus, a letter of recommendation won't be the make or break decision.

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