Formal Recruitment will be held in January 2019

Panhellenic Recruitment is the process through which potential new members consider sororities and sororities choose new sisters. The Formal Recruitment period is comprised of multiple rounds where potential new members visit each of the chapters on Cornell’s campus. Through a process of mutual selection, students narrow their choices until they finally select a sorority following the last round. Panhellenic Recruitment typically starts just before the spring semester. Formal Recruitment will be held again in January 2019.

All second-semester freshmen, as well as sophomores, juniors and seniors, including sophomore transfers, are eligible to participate in formal recruitment. Remember that individual chapters may have higher academic standards for membership.

Cornell Panhellenic is dedicated to ensuring that everyone who identifies as a woman is given full opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of sorority life, regardless of her race, religion, background, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, etc.

Formal Recruitment Guidebook 2018 (PDF)

Here’s the link to the Guidebook for Recruitment:  Formal Membership Recruitment Guidebook 2018

How do I sign up?

Registration for Formal Recruitment 2019 will go live in October 2018.
Click here to sign up!

Recruitment Vocabulary

Greeks have terminology all their own.  Below is your guide to the most common vocabulary.

  • Active:  A fully initiated member of a sorority with full chapter privileges and responsibilities.
  • Alumna: A member who has graduated from college. AKA “alums”
  • Badge: The pin or badge is worn to designate an active or alumni member of a sorority. New members have a similar badge.
  • Bid: An official invitation to join a sorority.
  • Big Sister: An active member assigned to assist and advise a newer member.
  • Chapter: The local undergraduate group that represents a segment of the national organization.
  • Initiation: A ceremony during which a new member takes the vows of a   chapter to become an active member.
  • Legacy: A woman who is the daughter, granddaughter, or sister of a  sorority member.
  • New Member: A student who has accepted a bid from a sorority but has not yet been initiated.
  • New Member Education Period: The time of education about the sorority  between accepting a bid and initiation.
  • Potential New Member (PNM): A participant in recruitment.
  • Preference: The final round of recruitment event after which PNMs sign an agreement listing the remaining chapters in order of preference.
  • Recruitment: The time in which sororities meet PNMs and seek out new members.

More information about Formal Recruitment:

Potential New Member Bill of Rights

  • The right to be treated as an individual.
  • The right to be fully informed about the recruitment process.
  • The right to ask questions and receive true and objective answers from recruitment counselors and members.
  • The right to be treated with respect.
  • The right to be treated as a capable and mature person without being patronized.
  • The right to ask how and why and receive straight answers.
  • The right to have and express opinions to recruitment counselors.
  • The right to have inviolable confidentiality when sharing information with recruitment counselors.
  • The right to make informed choices without undue pressure from others.
  • The right to be fully informed about the binding agreements implicit in the acceptance card signing.
  • The right to make one’s own choice and decision and accept full responsibility for the results of that decision.
  • The right to have a positive, safe, and enriching recruitment and new member experience.

What if I have a schedule conflict?

For PNMs who are interested in participating in recruitment, please make sure to contact Kaitlin Steinleitner ( with any potential conflicts that arise. Please be assured that we will accommodate any excused absences that are approved by Panhellenic. Please do not let any conflicts discourage you from signing up for recruitment and joining the Greek community!

Guidelines to Follow

  • A potential new member (PNM) cannot be, or ever have been, an initiated member of a National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) group.  A woman is ineligible for recruitment if she has been a new member of an NPC group on this campus within a calendar year.
  • A woman must have spent at least one semester at Cornell or be a sophomore transfer.  She must be a full-time enrolled Cornell University undergraduate student to be eligible.
  • A woman must have paid her registration fee to participate in formal membership recruitment.
  • A potential new member must attend the informational meeting held on the evening before recruitment begins or contact her Rho Gamma before she can participate in recruitment.
  • A potential new member must sign the PNM Code of Conduct before she can participate in recruitment.
  • A potential new member must fill out absence forms in advance of any absence.  The Panhellenic Council cannot guarantee that chapters will invite women who are unable to attend events.
  • If a potential new member becomes ill or has an emergency, she shall notify the Panhellenic Council and/or her Rho Gamma immediately.
  • A potential new member must attend all events she is scheduled to attend unless she has an excused filled with the Panhellenic.  If a PNM does not attend an event without an excuse she could be removed from recruitment.
  • A PNM shall consult with her Rho Gamma and the Panhellenic Council before withdrawing from recruitment.  Upon withdrawal, a PNM must sign an official withdrawal form with a member of the Panhellenic Council.
  • During formal recruitment, a PNM may NOT visit any sorority chapter except to attend recruitment events on the Panhellenic schedule.
  • During formal recruitment, a PNM cannot contact sorority women about recruitment outside of recruitment events.
  • No fraternity members may buy anything for a PNM (meal, soft drink, etc.). No potential PNM may buy anything for a fraternity member.  No favors or gifts may be given to PNM by the fraternity and/or by individual members.
  • A PNM will fill out the Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement (MRABA) immediately after the last event she attends.  Once an agreement has been signed, no changes can be made.
  • Any PNM signing a MRABA and receiving a bid at the end of recruitment shall be bound by that agreement for one calendar year.

Other Important Information

  • There is not a minimum GPA for Panhellenic recruitment. Individual sororities may use GPA as a consideration when selecting whom to invite back to events but there is not a restriction to register for the process.
  • There is also not a credit number. As part of the decision faculty, students, and alumni made in the 1950s to be a deferred recruitment campus, the rule is that a student must have completed one full semester on our campus.
  • The only exception is a transfer student who we know has completed at least one semester elsewhere. However, First Year Spring Admits are not eligible to join the spring semester they begin Cornell.