Last weekend, many Carnegie Mellon girls went through the annual tradition of Formal Membership Recruitment. From September 30 to October 4, those looking to join a sorority and those just interested in making new friends met with the members of the University's sororities to see if they could find a place in one of the University's five houses: Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Zeta Psi Sigma.
Formal Membership Recruitment, or FMR, consists of four days during which all of the sororities hold parties. The parties last for one half hour on the first two nights, forty five minutes on the third night, and one hour on the final night. Interested girls visit the sororities and get to know all the sisters. At the end of every night, the potential sisters select the houses they feel the most comfortable with and narrow down their list of choices.
Simultaneously, the sisters at each sorority choose the girls that seem to be a match for their houses, and invite the chosen ones back for the next night of partying. By Saturday night, potential members must narrow down their choices to three sororities and place their preferred house in the number one position. On Sunday night, also known as Bid Night, the potential sisters return to the sororities to find out which houses have offered them membership.
To ensure the FMR process is fair, specific precautions are taken. All girls going through FMR must meet with a Rho Sigma, an unaffiliated sister who is specifically assigned to aid recruits in their selection. Rho Sigmas help girls figure out which sorority fits them, but they will not promote one house over another. Also, all current sisters are forbidden from speaking to any potential sisters outside of FMR. These rules are designed so that recruits can make up their own minds about the sororities instead of going to whichever one their friends selected.
"I did FMR because I wanted to get to know more girls on campus," said Kristen Livesey, a sophomore in SHS and a new member of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
While FMR is a necessary step for girls interested in joining Greek life, many of the girls who go through it only do so to make friends, and later decide that sorority life may not be for them after all. "I honestly never thought I'd do anything sorority related. I figured I'd just try it out," said Rachel Goykhman a CFA freshman and Delta Gamma pledge.
Still, if a house feels a connection with a girl, even if she quits partway through the process, it will go the extra step for her.
"I dropped out of FMR," said Galit Frydman, a freshman in MCS who is now pledging Delta Gamma.
Frydman figured that she would pledge another year, but the sisters had other plans: "DG called me on Bid Night," she said.
The FMR experience has been described as chaotic, but fun.
"It was crazy!" said Goykhman. "I had no time to do any work, but it's totally worth it."
Recruitment isn't any less exciting for current sorority members. Michelle Tai, a TSB sophomore and asister at Kappa Kappa Gamma, explained that she "was just as nervous to meet potential sisters" as the recruits must have been to meet current sisters.
All in all, most seem happy about this year's FMR experience.
"I feel this year's process was very successful. I feel the right girls ended up in the right houses," said Tai.
"I would definitely do it again," said Livesey. "I only wish that I had longer to decide what sorority I was going to join. Four days seems too short."
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