The University of Alabama Panhellenic Association
Fall Formal Recruitment Guidelines for
Revised March 2008
The University of Alabama Panhellenic Association Recruitment Guidelines are intended
to help guide fraternity women and potential members through the membership selection
process and Formal Recruitment Week. The guidelines incorporate many of the
procedures recommended and/or required by the National Panhellenic Conference
(NPC). The purpose of formal recruitment is two-fold: (1) to ensure that member
organizations have equitable opportunities for membership recruitment within the
Panhellenic system; and (2) to provide potential members every opportunity to become
acquainted with as many fraternities as possible in order that they may make informed
decisions concerning membership.
All sorority members and potential new members will be expected to conform to the
highest standards of conduct. Mentioning subjects such as sorority reputations,
stereotypes or generalizations, potential new member reputations, or promising bids for
membership violates the spirit of the Panhellenic System. Formal Recruitment begins
the day sorority women come to campus for the purpose of Recruitment Workshop and
ends twenty-four hours after the conclusion of Bid Day activities.
All NPC UNANIMOUS AGREEMENTS shall be upheld in all Recruitment activities
throughout the year. These agreements include that men shall be excluded from all
recruitment activities and alcohol shall be forbidden in any recruitment activity. All NPC
fraternities and Alumnae groups are to promote Panhellenic-spirited contact with
potential new members at all times.
II. Recruitment Eligibility
a. A woman is eligible to participate in recruitment and join a sorority if she is enrolled
at The University of Alabama as a full-time student. A full-time student is defined as
taking twelve credit hours per semester, excluding correspondence courses and courses at
other universities. A woman is also eligible to participate in recruitment if she has not
been a new member or initiated member of any National Panhellenic Conference
sorority. She must meet all University and NPC registration requirements to participate
in formal recruitment.
b. Any women that graduated from high school prior to the spring immediately
preceding fall recruitment will be eligible to participate in recruitment as an
c. A potential new member shall also be defined as any high school student (grades 9-
12) who is considering coming to The University of Alabama or anyone who is
registered or intends to go through Formal Recruitment in the coming year.
d. The NPC fraternities do not discriminate in membership selection practices on any
basis prohibited by law.
III. Academic Year Contact
a. During the academic year, sorority women and alumnae representing their own
sorority may not contact potential new members or their parents for any reason unless
they know them personally.
b. Potential new members may attend local alumnae Panhellenic activities. Chapter
alumnae may hold events in their hometowns which represent positive Panhellenic
contact. These events may have active sorority members in attendance. All NPC
UNANIMOUS AGREEMENTS must be upheld in the event that alumnae wish to host
an event for potential new members. These agreements include but are not limited to that
men shall be excluded from all recruitment activities and alcohol shall be forbidden in
any recruitment activity. Events held by chapter alumnae should promote positive
Panhellenic contact and must uphold all rules specified in the Alabama Panhellenic Rules
c. A planned sorority function shall be defined as more than five members isolated in a
designated place, public or private, as will be determined by the judicial board.
Recruitment parties or other activities may be given in the name of an individual sorority.
All sorority functions where potential new members are present must abide by the NPC
UNANIMOUS AGREEMENTS stating that men and alcohol shall be forbidden and
excluded. The only approved social functions will be planned by the Alabama
Panhellenic Association. Recruitment parties and other activities may be allowed in or
out of the state of Alabama.
d. Sorority members may write letters of welcome to potential new members provided
that they write as a Panhellenic member and not as an individual sorority member. This
means there shall be no sorority names on letters coming from individuals. Only letters
written from the sorority as a whole may include letters, colors, mascots, etc. This would
pertain to invitations to recruitment events or other house-wide activities. This is to
promote positive Panhellenic contact with potential new members.
e. Potential new members may stay with active sorority members during Panhellenic
Weekend provided that the sorority has no social functions that include men or alcohol.
(deleted phrase about PNMs not being allowed in the houses at all other than Panhellenic
f. Normal visiting hours for Potential New Members in a sorority house and/or on
sorority property will be between the hours of 10:00 am and 7:00 pm for any reason other
than Panhellenic-sponsored events. No Potential New Member may stay in a sorority
house overnight for any reason.
IV. Summer Contact
a. Before the formal recruitment period, sorority women and alumnae representing their
own sorority may not contact potential new members or their parents for any reason
unless they know them personally. Normal social contacts should not be disrupted in the
case of long standing friendships by prohibiting all contact between fraternity women
and potential new members. Normal contact implies relatives, friends, neighbors, and
b. There will be no organized attempt by any sorority or sorority member to inform or
influence a potential new member in regard to a particular group at any time except
during the formal recruitment period. This includes internet contact, phone calls, letters,
cards, summer recruitment parties, alumnae teas, pool parties, beach retreats, etc…
c. No woman is eligible to join a sorority during the summer months. A chapter
member, alumna member or anyone acting on a sorority’s behalf shall not imply to a
potential new member nor her family that she has an invitation to a party, ask her to
pledge, nor imply that she will receive a bid.
d. No sorority woman should ask any fraternity to invite potential new members to the
fraternity’s summer parties. Nor should alumnae host parties for potential new members
during the summer months.
e. During the time after the last day of classes as indicated by the spring academic
calendar, sorority women, alumnae, and anyone acting on the sorority’s behalf should
have no contact other than normal friendly contact with potential new members.
f. Sorority members that serve as University ambassadors in any capacity (i.e., Avanti,
Parent Orientation Team, etc.) will be held to the same rules and regulations as the
Panhellenic Executive Board, Recruitment counselors, and Judicial Board members.
g. Potential new members may not stay with sorority members during orientation and no
contact is to be made during the scheduled orientation times or at any time after the last
day of classes as indicated by the spring academic calendar.
V. Fall Formal Membership Recruitment
a. Fall Formal Recruitment begins on when sorority women convene on campus for the
sole purpose of conducting Recruitment Workshop, and ends twenty-four hours after the
completion of Bid Day activities. Calendars specifying the official dates set by The
University of Alabama for recruitment will be distributed during the first Alabama
Panhellenic Association delegate meeting in February.
b. Potential new members and sorority women are not permitted to discuss or mention
any other sorority or fraternity in a negative or degrading manner at any time during
c. No form of bidding may occur outside the prescribed Panhellenic procedure. No bids,
oral or otherwise, may be directly or indirectly issued during events at any time,
including any indication to a potential new member by a sorority member, new member,
or alumna that the sorority intends to see the potential new member at a future
d. All communication between sorority women and potential new members outside of
the hours established for formal recruitment is to be kept to a minimum. There shall be
no purposeful seeking of contact with potential new members by sorority women during
fall formal membership recruitment except at official events. Normal friendly contact is
the only type of contact allowed during the formal recruitment period. Contact that is
prohibited includes, but is not limited to, telephone calls, letters, e-mails, text messages,
flowers, gifts, contact through male friends and boyfriends, etc. According to the NPC
Manual of Information (p. 84), “NPC believes that normal, social contacts should not be
disrupted in the case of long-standing friendships by prohibiting all contact between
sorority women and potential [members]. (Normal contact implies relatives, friends,
neighbors, co-workers.) However, each sorority is charged with the responsibility of
seeing that unfair advantage is not taken of such contacts.”
e. Strict Silence is the period in which there will be no conversation or contact between
potential new members and sorority members, alumnae or chapter representatives except
at specified Panhellenic recruitment events. Potential new members may not discuss
sorority members with other potential new members. This is designated as the period of
time from the end of the potential new member’s last event until she reports to the
sorority from which she accepts a bid. Strict silence allows potential new members to
make decisions free from outside pressures and opinions of others.
f. Potential new members found in violation of any of the recruitment rules and
procedures will be subject to dismissal from the recruitment program.
g. Sorority members may not sing outside their houses or continue singing inside after
time has elapsed and there must be no exterior decoration.
h. During the period of the Door Song, sorority members may not hit doors or windows.
Once the door is shut, sorority members may not open it back up.
i. Hotboxing and/or any inappropriate conversation are strictly prohibited. Hotboxing is
defined as any situation in which the potential new member is intentionally separated in
by conversation and/or position from typical recruitment activities in which all potential
new members participate.
j. Sorority women are not allowed outside their houses at least one hour prior to or
following the conclusion of recruitment events as it reads on the official Panhellenic
Recruitment Events schedule. The Panhellenic Advisor must approve any exceptions,
due to work, school, or illness. Alumnae may only enter and exit a chapter house during
a recruitment party. All entrances and exits by alumnae must be made through side
doors. Alumnae should be inside of the chapter house at least one hour prior to the
beginning of recruitment events. Any exceptions must be approved by the Panhellenic
k. Shutters, shades, blinds, and windows on the front of the house and around the doors
must be closed and all excessive noise must end one hour prior to and following the
conclusion of recruitment events and between individual events.
l. No artwork, choreography, or entertainment, including the use of a DJ, shall be done
for Fall Formal Recruitment by any person other than the collegiate members of that
sorority on this campus.
m. During fall formal recruitment no potential new members shall visit a sorority house
except for during designated fall formal recruitment events. The only exceptions would
be: if rain occurs, potential new members may be allowed to enter the sorority houses
even if the events have no yet begun, and a potential new member has to use the
restroom, she can enter the house only if escorted by a Recruitment Counselor or Judicial
n. If a potential new member must leave an event for any reason, a recruitment counselor
must escort her. Actives are responsible for notifying the recruitment counselors if a
potential new member must leave.
o. Sorority women must not discuss information in regards to Greek Like outside of the
formal recruitment events.
a. Each sorority’s budget must not exceed $6,500. This allows for only a maximum of
$1,500.00 to be spent on flowers for the entire recruitment week. Balloons will be
prohibited, including Bid Day. The cost of fan, tent, etc. placed outside of the house will
not be added when counting the recruitment budget for each house. Within 30 days of
the conclusion of Fall Formal Recruitment, all Recruitment expenditures, including the
value of all donated goods and services, are due to the Panhellenic Advisor. Detailed
receipts must be turned in with expenses including a cost breakdown of the flowers. This
will be reviewed at the individual recruitment review with the Panhellenic Advisor.
b. All invitation and bid lists must be turned into the Greek Life office at the designated
times. Turning in the disks and related recruitment materials late will be automatic
$100.00 fine per 15 minutes after they are due.
c. NPC recommendation for recruitment release figures must be followed at all
d. Recruitment counselors or Judicial Board members will warn the recruitment
chairman five minutes before the time for the total event to be over if the sorority has not
begun to show signs of ending the party. Recruitment counselors and Judicial Board
members will have their watches set at the same time and theirs will be the official time.
VII. Chapter Membership
a All undergraduate sorority member, new members, and actives, shall be counted as
part of the sorority membership and shall be entitled to recruitment, unless they do not
register for the fall semester. A woman whose new membership expires before
recruitment may not recruit for her sorority, but a woman whose new membership shall
expire after recruitment during the fall semester may recruit if she is going to register for
classes in the fall. The latter may be counted as a part of the sorority members.
Transfers do not count as part of a sorority’s membership until affiliated.
b. A revised house total and list of members must be turned in to the Panhellenic
Advisor by the day prior to the start of formal recruitment.
VIII. Alumnae and Non-University Women
a. The sorority will be held responsible for informing alumnae members of Recruitment
rules and the Code of Ethics and for the observance of these rules.
b. Alumnae will not purposefully seek contact, or engage in conversation related to
recruitment matters or pledging, with potential new members during Fall Formal
Recruitment. This includes local and out-of-town alumnae, with the exception of the
mother-daughter or sister-sister relationship.
c. A maximum of twelve (12) alumnae members may assist in recruitment and may be
present at recruitment events. They must wear nametags designating their alumnae status
and they may not act as a hostess or have contact with any potential new members.
“Assist in Recruitment” includes food preparation, serving, and cleanup, but excludes
talking with potential new members or participating in door songs.
IX. Panhellenic Executive Officers
a. No Panhellenic Officer shall sit in on chapter recruitment meetings or workshops.
b. Panhellenic Officers and members of the recruitment committee will reside in the
facilities designated for their use during recruitment. No sorority member may visit in
these provided living areas.
c. Panhellenic Officers and recruitment committee members shall not wear or carry any
item indicating their sorority membership during Fall Formal Recruitment and the
beginning of the last day of the spring semester (i.e. t-shirts, insignia, car tags, etc.).
d. No member of the Executive Board will visit her own house during the entire Fall
Formal Recruitment period unless they are hosting a national or university visitor.
X. Recruitment Counselors and Judicial Board Members
a. Recruitment counselors and Judicial Board members are subject to all rules and
guidelines set forth by the Panhellenic Recruitment Chair. If a violation occurs, both the
individual and her sorority may be held responsible and she will be dismissed of her
b. Recruitment counselors and Judicial Board members will show proper respect to all
sororities; this includes making any comments, positive or negative. Violation will lead
to removal from her position.
c. No recruitment counselor or Judicial Board member may sit in on chapter meetings or
workshops to discuss potential new members.
d. Recruitment counselors and Judicial Board members may not reside in their chapter
house during Fall Formal Recruitment. They also can not wear or use any identifying
sorority insignia beginning the last day of the spring semester and ending at the end of
Fall Formal Recruitment (i.e. t-shirts, insignia, car tags, etc.).
e. No recruitment counselor or Judicial Board member may visit the inside of any house
during Fall Formal Recruitment, unless she is going to the restroom. No recruitment
counselor or Judicial Board member may be stationed at her own house.
f. Members of the Panhellenic Judicial Board will be stationed at each house during Fall
Formal Recruitment Events. No member of the Judicial Board will visit her own house
during the entire Fall Formal Recruitment period.
XI. Invitational Rounds
a. Open Houses
This round lasts for 20 minutes and is intended to provide potential new members with
an informative introduction to fraternity life and Greek membership. Potential new
members will visit all fraternities. Chapters may only serve ice water during this round.
No skits shall be performed during the first round of recruitment. Skits shall be defined
as a brief sketch including information on the individual sorority. This information
should include activities such as Philanthropy and Scholarship.
b. Philanthropy Day
This round is an invitational party. Each party will last for 30 minutes. Each chapter
must have their philanthropy project approved by the Panhellenic Executive Board on a
first come basis prior to the start of recruitment. Three songs sung by the individual
chapters are permitted, along with a king size sheet banner for decoration. These three
songs include 1) a door song, 2) a song during the party, and 3) a leaving door song. The
use of a video is optional, but the Panhellenic Executive Board must approve it prior to
the start of recruitment along with any extra programs. There are to be no entertainment
pieces in the chapter’s presentation to potential new members. Entertainment pieces are
referring to skits, dances, stomps, etc.
During this round, any sorority willing to have the Alabama Panhellenic Association
extend an invitation to any potential new members receiving no invitations to the second
round, must inform Panhellenic at the recruitment meeting immediately preceding Fall
c. Skit Day
This round is an invitational party that lasts for 45 minutes. Anything other than the skit
(i.e. slide shows) must be approved by the Panhellenic Executive Board. No decorations
other than those used for the skit are allowed (this includes balloons). All NPC
Recommendations for skits must be followed.
The recommendations are as followed:
Although skits enable a chapter to showcase talented members and to emphasize
information that the chapter wants the Potential New Member to remember, carefully
consider the proportion of time allowed by the event schedule so that the PNMs spend
considerably more time in conversation with members than watching them perform in a
Each chapter should decide when during the recruitment event would be the best time to
perform the skit, making sure to allow enough time for chapter members in the skit to
return to a conversation with a PNM to “close the sale.” The best prepared chapters are
those that recognize that all members must practice conversation points so that they will
be able to transition conversations, especially if the chapter member must break away to
perform in the skit.
While most chapter members enjoy seeing their sisters perform in a skit and often find
the performance and the lines spoken amusing, take care to ensure that the content is
Is the skit relevant for today’s college women?
Could the characters or the language be misinterpreted?
Is there any possibility that the spoken word, words of a song or a costume could
offend any PNM?
Are there innuendos that may be misinterpreted?
Does the skit give any new information or does it simply use information that the
PNM could find in the recruitment booklet? An example might be that the skit
gives information about the chapter’s founding, the colors, the flower… all
normally found in the recruitment booklet. Why not tell about accomplishments
of outstanding members or the chapter’s accomplishments, points about the
national organization or the chapter’s grade point average?
What does the chapter expect the PNMs to come away with from the skit that may
convince them to consider membership in that chapter? Is this “expectation”
what the chapter wants the PNM to remember?
Rarely does a PNM pledge a chapter because it had the best skit or the most elaborate
costumes. A PNM might be impressed by the creativity of the skit and the costumes or the
performance of the individuals involved. A PNM may be turned off by the elaborate
decorations and the costumes if she is worried that sorority membership is too expensive.
Be creative and find ways to portray a character in a simple way such as a hat, scarf, or
a prop. Many successful Broadway productions have few costumes and very little
d. Preference Parties
This round lasts for 50 minutes and is an invitational party. Potential new members will
sign Formal Membership Recruitment Acceptance cards (preference cards) immediately
following the last Recruitment event. If a sorority invites a potential new member to
their preference event, the potential new member must be somewhere on that sorority’s
bid list, even if she did not attend the event. Strict silence between sorority members and
potential new members begins at the end of the final party and continues until bids are
distributed the following day.
e. Bid Day
The only outside decorations allowed during Bid Day shall be welcome signs. Also, all
refreshments served on Bid Day must be served inside the sorority house and there shall
be no live entertainment, inside or outside, on Sorority Row. There shall be no men or
alcohol during the Bid Day new member events.
f. Snap Bidding
Snap bidding will begin as soon as bids are matched. Houses may snap bid to fill normal
recruitment quota spaces. Snap bidding is not intended to fill spaces in chapter total.
Snap bidding is limited to any woman who attends the maximum number (3) of parties
on Preference Night and preferences the maximum number (3) of houses after the
Preference Night parties.
XII. Open Recruitment
a. There will be a three week moratorium on Continuous Open Bidding which will begin
August 17, 2008, Bid Day. COB is open to those chapters which did not pledge quota or
pledged quota but did not reach chapter total. Any woman enrolled as a full-time student
at The University of Alabama is eligible for COB.
b. Open Recruitment shall extend at all times throughout the school year from the end of
Fall Formal Recruitment to the last day of spring classes.
c. Vacancies occurring in a new member class during the fall semester may be filled
only if the vacancy occurs before formal pledging.
d. Bidding shall be by oral invitation extended by the sorority as a whole to a non-
e. Within 24 hours of acceptance, the new member must sign an acceptance card for
continuous open bidding and the card must be presented to the Panhellenic Advisor.
Likewise, the president of the chapter is responsible for getting the new member’s name
and date of pledging to the Panhellenic advisor. The new member will not be officially
on the chapter’s roll until this is completed.
f. Panhellenic will sponsor a spring convocation for potential new members at the
beginning of the spring semester. The understanding for this process will be that every
sorority will be required to host potential new members at their house, whether they are
at Panhellenic quota or not.
XIII. Panhellenic Weekend
a. The Panhellenic Association will host a Panhellenic Weekend to familiarize potential
new members with the Alabama Panhellenic sororities. Invitations will be mailed to all
female students who have been admitted to The University of Alabama by March 1st.
Sororities will be given the opportunity to provide Panhellenic with names and addresses
of potential new members to be crosschecked with the Panhellenic list.
b. Recruitment counselors, Judicial Board members, and members of the Panhellenic
Executive Board may not participate in the house during the Panhellenic Weekend. All
pictures of these individuals are to be covered up on the composites in each house.
c. Every house must participate in the Panhellenic Weekend. During the Panhellenic
Open House there will be twenty women allowed to have contact with the potential new
members. These women will be: the Recruitment Chair and 19 active members of their
choosing. These names are to be given to the Panhellenic Executive Board.
d. Potential new members may stay with active sorority members during Panhellenic
Weekend provided that the sorority has no social functions that include men or alcohol.
Normal visiting hours for Potential New Members in a sorority house and/or on sorority
property will be between the hours of 10:00 am and 7:00 pm for any reason other than
Panhellenic Sponsored Events. No Potential New Member may stay in a sorority house
for any reason other than Panhellenic sponsored events.
e. Outside of the Open Weekend, sorority members may be at the same location as
potential new members provided that it is a public facility, which does not require its
patrons to be 21 years of age. A public facility will be defined as not being in a private
home, apartment, sorority or fraternity house, and not a place rented by one or more
sororities or fraternities for the purpose of entertainment. Sororities are prohibited from
hosting events and social functions, including but not limited to functions with
fraternities, during the weekend.
f. If it is discovered that more than five members of one sorority per potential new
member are at the same private location, whether by chance or premeditation, the
organization could face possible disciplinary action