What does mutual selection mean?

Bucknell utilizes a "mutual selection" process where chapter votes and potential new member (PNM) rankings are considered in creating a PNM's Recruitment schedule and, ultimately, their bid.

Who does the matching?

The University works with a program called ICS (Interactive Collegiate Solutions) which matches women to chapters based on mutual selection. Panhellenic is also assigned an RFM Specialist (Release Figure Management) who volunteers to assist with Recruitment on behalf of her national organization. She is not affiliated with the University and coordinates the process behind the scenes helping to ensure that the largest number of women possible are matched with their preferences.

What is a recommendation?

A recommendation is a personal letter of reference provided by an alumna of a sorority to her sorority's chapter at Bucknell. In the recommendation the alumna writes about the woman's talents and skills and ways that may contribute to the sorority. The purpose of the recommendation is to simply introduce a woman to the sorority so that the members may become better acquainted with her prior to Recruitment. If a PNM has someone who wishes to write a letter of recommendation, the alumna may send the letter directly to the national headquarters. PNMs are not penalized for not having any recommendations. Having a recommendation does not ensure a bid.

Are all women going through the formal Recruitment process guaranteed to receive a bid to a sorority?

Regrettably, not all PNMs will receive a bid for membership.

There are a few reasons that this might happen:

  • A PNM did not receive a bid from the organization she preferred and she subsequently elected to leave the Recruitment process
  • In an effort to receive a bid from a preferred organization, a PNM elected not to receive offers from other organizations. If a preferred organization chooses not to offer a bid, the PNM may have little to no other organizations left that may be willing to extend a bid.
  • A PNM may not match with any chapter during formal Recruitment.

What does it mean to be "released from Recruitment"?

When a PNM is "released from Recruitment" this means she has not been invited back to any chapters for the following round. If a PNM is released, a member of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs will contact the PNM directly to discuss options.

What support resources are available during the Recruitment process?

Each woman participating in the formal Recruitment process is assigned a group leader, known as a Recruitment Counselor. The Recruitment Counselor assists in the logistics of the Recruitment process and serves as a guide and ally for the women in their group. The Panhellenic Executive Board and staff members from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs are also available to assist.

How does a PNM withdraw from Recruitment?

If a PNM decides to withdraw from the Recruitment process, she must notify her Recruitment Counselor or the Panhellenic Recruitment Chair. In addition, the PNM must complete a short survey about the Recruitment process. This survey will help improve the process for future PNMs.

If a PNM participates in Recruitment, is she obligated to join the organization?

No. Recruitment serves as one of many opportunities to learn about what each organization has to offer and whether membership in the sorority community is right for the individual.

May I decide not to accept a bid that I receive?

A PNM does not have to accept a bid; however, she must directly contact the sorority from which she receives the bid to decline it.

If the PNM receives an invitation for membership (a bid) from any National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) group and she chooses not to accept it, she may not pledge any other NPC women's fraternity or sorority on the campus for one calendar year from the time of her signing. This is in accordance with the NPC Unanimous Agreements, which expresses the fair play essential to interfraternity activity and sets forth the rights of women's fraternities as private, voluntary social organizations.

While each organization has its own timeline of events, there is often a trial period that a PNM can participate in the organization with no obligation. This often gives a better view of the chapter beyond the snapshot of Recruitment. Choosing to use this trial period will not extend the year of "downtime" required before joining another NPC organization if the PNM decides after a week or two that the organization is not for her.

What happens if a PNM is scheduled to visit a chapter that she is not interested in?

A PNM may be asked to return to a chapter that is not one of her favorites. The Recruitment process is designed to match women with chapters that are the best fit and most interested in them. Though a student may not want to visit a particular chapter, she is required to do so and should approach that chapter with an open mind. It is important for all PNMs to be respectful of each chapter.

What happens if a PNM was not asked to return to a chapter that she really wants to join?

Once a chapter has made their PNM selections for the next day that decision is final. There is nothing that can be done to alter a PNM's schedule or add her back onto the list of a chapter that has not asked her to return. It is important to focus on the chapters that are still on a PNM's schedule and to continue to have an open mind.

Can Panhellenic make sororities reconsider invitations?

Panhellenic cannot share why a student may have been released from a chapter or which chapters have asked her back for the day. In fact, chapters do not inform Panhellenic of how they make their selections, or what their process looks like. Each chapter has alumnae advisers who are well versed in Panhellenic and sorority policies, and they ensure that their chapters are following their national selection guidelines.

What is Continuous Open Bidding, or COB?

Upon completion of the formal Recruitment period, in some cases, sororities will have the option to extend additional bids, which is known as Continuous Open Bidding. Acceptance of a Continuous Open Bid is contingent upon completion of Sorority Life 101. For more information, please contact the Panhellenic Recruitment Chair.

If a PNM finds the cost to join a sorority too expensive, is there any assistance that she can receive?

Dues and new member fees vary from chapter to chapter. Assistance in the form of scholarships and payment plans vary from chapter to chapter in their availability and should be discussed with chapters on an individual basis.

What is New Member Education?

All new members will participate in new member education programs outlined by their chapter. In addition, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority affairs will host a one-day program organized by the Panhellenic Council and IFC executive members focused on interfraternal values.