If you plan to participate in sorority recruitment at the University of Texas, moms and daughters alike will want to familiarize themselves with this list of “sorority rush” vocabulary. Below, I’ve listed some of the terms, and how they specifically relate to rush at the University of Texas. I threw some rush tips in there too.

Active: An active is an initiated member of a sorority who has already gone through sorority recruitment.

Badge: A sign of sorority or fraternity membership. Only initiated members are allowed to wear the badge or “pin” and each sorority has their own unique design. They are typically only worn at specific, special events, including monthly formal meetings.

Bid: A formal invitation to join a particular chapter of a sorority.

Bid Day: On bid day, the last day of sorority recruitment, you find out which sorority you’re in. Every chapter hosts an outing or event for new members to get to know their new member class (also called pledge class).

Big: Each new member is paired with an active member, or big, who acts as both a mentor and friend. Your big spoils you with gifts on bid day and introduces you to everyone!

Big 6: This phrase was created by a lady named Prudence Mackintosh. She was a writer at Texas Monthly, and she’s famous for calling out six sororities at the University of Texas in an article she wrote that was published in the 1970’s.

Continuous Open Bidding (COB): If a chapter doesn’t reach its quota (number of new members allowed to join) during formal recruitment, it’s allowed to give out additional bids. These bids can be given to those to have and haven’t participated in recruitment. However, there is a caveat: while you can participate in COB if you went through formal recruitment at the University of Texas, you had to have withdrawn from rush prior to receiving a bid on Bid Day. If you already received a bid, but decided not to accept it, you’ll have to wait another year before you are eligible to rush again. Also, it doesn’t look good if you don’t accept a bid. Chapters frown upon choosing not to accept a bid because that’s one less spot that could have been filled with a girl that really wanted to be in that chapter. It essentially robs them of a spot. Although Continuous Open Bidding follows a more informal process, it rarely, if ever, happens at the University of Texas. If/when it does, only one or two chapters might elect to participate.

Dropping out: Quitting recruitment prior to bid day and forgoing your chances of receiving a bid during the formal recruitment process.

Initiation: Each sorority has a unique, traditional ceremony that officially transitions their new members into full-fledged, active members. If you participate in a chapter’s initiation, you are ineligible for recruitment at any Panhellenic chapter anywhere in the nation from that point forward. You can, however, transfer to any other chapter of that particular sorority! If you plan to eventually transfer to the University of Texas, either select a sorority that exists at UT, or wait to participate in sorority recruitment. If you accept a bid and participate in initiation, you’re in that sorority for life, even if your future school doesn’t have that particular chapter . Keep in mind that chapters vary in personalities across the nation. Each one could be very different!

Intentional single preference: AKA “suiciding” is when a rushee chooses only one house to accept a bid from on pref night. It’s frowned upon (I’ll explain why in our session) but to make a long story short, it’s when you list only one house during preference round. It has to do with the order you’re ranked on the sorority’s bid lists. It’s extremely risky because it’s all or nothing; you’re not guaranteed a bid. In my sessions, I teach girls exactly how to handle this tough decision, and a few things to say that will help their chances. You absolutely shouldn’t suicide unless you’re 100% positive you aren’t willing to accept a bid from the other chapters on your pref night list.

Legacy: A legacy is a daughter, sister, granddaughter (by blood or marriage, depending on the chapter) of an initiated member of a sorority. A double or triple legacy is when you have ties to two or more members, aka your mom AND sisters were all part of XZY. Legacies are not guaranteed bids. In fact, each sorority has it’s own policies. At Texas, legacies are given preferential treatment during rush, but each sorority is only required to take a percentage of the ones that go through. If a family member of yours was a member of a UT sorority, that can help your chances. If she went to some small college out of state…it might not have as much pull. Legacies still absolutely need rec letters!

GreekRank: Please, don’t waste your time. This is a shady site where anyone (issue here: anyone) can rank sororities and fraternities. It’s a big pool of gossip and negativity, and you don’t want to sink in it. Don’t go there, and don’t believe these scare tactics from unreputable sources of information! If you’re trying to figure out “what the top University of Texas sororities” are, you won’t find it there. I’m a firm believer that when you go through rush, you’ll know if a house is a good fit for you, and that you should do your best to maximize your chances of getting more houses to choose from by preparing in advance (with me!). Hiking in Heels supports all chapters and all ladies. It’s a top house if it’s YOUR top sorority.

MRABA: This stands for the Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement. It’s a binding agreement that a potential new members signs when ranking chapters after the preference round (pref night). When signing it, a rushee/potential new member (PNM) promises to accept a bid from any chapter she lists on the MRABA (she might suicide and list just one). If she receives a bid from a chapter and declines the bid, she’s not allowed to accept a bid from any other chapter for a year. If the rushee doesn’t receive a bid (assuming they did NOT suicide), she is eligible for continuous open bidding.
New member: A new member is someone who has accepted a bid from a sorority. New members have not yet participated in initiation, which makes them active members. Each sorority has a new member training program (no, no, no, this is not hazing) where they learn more about the history of the chapter and it’s rituals.

NPC: This stands for the National Panhellenic Conference, aka the body that governs the 26 (inter)national women’s fraternities and sororities.
Potential new member (PNM): This is the PC term for rushee. A potential new member is someone who is eligible to participate in sorority recruitment.
Quota: This is also called the “total.” As we discussed above, each chapter is allowed to offer a specific number of bids during formal sorority recruitment at the University of Texas. The number varies each year, as it depends on the number of chapters and the number of women participating in sorority rush.

Panhellenic Association: A campus organization of collegiate members of NPC fraternities.

Panhellenic Council: This is a council for all of the National Panhellenic Conference sorority chapters that exist on campus. It governs all NPC chapters on that particular campus, and it organizes the recruitment process. A delegate from every chapter sits on the council.

Recommendation or “Rec Letter”: A rec letter is a form completed by an alumnae member of a sorority. It allows that alumnae to recommend a potential new member for membership. Alumnae have the ability to write letters at their discretion; they’re not obligated to do so. If you plan on participating in sorority recruitment at the University of Texas, Ole Miss, Georgia, Alabama, and many, many others universities, you absolutely need rec letters for each sorority, regardless of what the university website states. We know some awesome tips for how to get them, and we have excellent resources we can pair you with if you need help!

Recruitment counselor (also called Rho Chi’s or Rho Gamma’s): A Rho Chi is an active member of a sorority who has chosen to distance herself from her sorority during recruitment in order to serve as a guide and helper for the rush process. During recruitment, Rho Chis assist the rushees and lead them from sorority to sorority in between parties. In between some parties, you might be on your own finding your way from house to house. Check out a map of all the sororities on campus here, and print out a copy so you don’t get lost!

Silence: A period of time after the close of membership recruitment events and prior to the distribution of bids when there is no communication between potential new members and sorority members.
Snap bidding: When a chapter fails to meet quota, it can give out snap bids until quota is reached. This is a bit confusing, but it’s NOT to be confused with continuous open bidding. If a potential new member signs a bid card on pref night and isn’t matched, she is eligible to receive a snap bid. Snap bidding takes place after pref night, prior to bid day. Continuous open bidding occurs after recruitment. The process takes place before bids are distributed, and rushees are contacted directly by a sorority offering a snap bid. It would be the only time a sorority is technically allowed to reach out to a rushee during recruitment. If a rushee chooses to accept a snap bid, she would participate in Bid Day with everyone else. If she does not receive a snap bid, she can always still participate in continuous open bidding. However, if she HAS been matched on pref night and offered a bid, she cannot participate in continuous open bidding.

Spring Rush: While it’s the norm at some schools like Baylor, few chapters, if any, will opt in to participate in Spring recruitment at the University of Texas. Why? Sorority recruitment at UT requires at least a week or two of preparation. It’s a huge time commitment. In order to participate, active members have to be willing to sacrifice their winter break and return early.

Total: This is another fancy word for quota. Panhellenic determines an appropriate chapter size, including new and active members. If a chapter doesn’t meet the total or quota, they are allowed to participate in continuous open bidding until they reach the allotted number.

Sorority recruitment involves all sorts of new vocabulary words, and I hope this helped clarify what means what. Knowledge is power, and knowing these terms (and how they apply to rush at UT) prior to recruitment will give you an advantage going through. If I left anything out, or if you have any other questions about sorority recruitment, specifically at the University of Texas, contact me and I’ll walk you through everything.


Sorority Rush Coach