Panhellenic Recruitment

Memberships are for a lifetime so we believe that all prospective members should be informed consumers of the process. There are two ways that students may join a Panhellenic (PHC) sorority—formally or informally (first-year students may only participate in the formal recruitment process).

All recruitment (formal and informal) events and new member periods are alcohol and other substances-free. Hazing is prohibited and all potential new members (PNMs) are required to attend educational sessions about hazing prevention and alcohol misuse.


Annually every January, students may participate in the formal recruitment process to join a PHC sorority. Students must register in order to participate in formal recruitment. There is no cost to register for recruitment.

Once a student registers for recruitment, they need to participate in the Recruitment 101 and 102 programs. This program is mandatory and an important aspect of the recruitment process. During both sessions, the recruitment team will review the recruitment schedule, chapter events, guidelines and policies, chapter information, GPA requirements and dues. 

During formal recruitment in January, PNMs participate in a series of events over the course of two weekends that allow PNMs to meet each chapter, and learn about philanthropy and sisterhood. Then PNMs may be invited to closed events before Bid Day. Each PNM is assigned a recruitment guide who they can meet with throughout the process for advice and guidance. 

Each PHC sorority has a new member program that occurs prior to initiation—the time varies between one and five weeks. The University of Richmond requires that new member periods cannot last longer than five weeks.


Informal recruitment, also called continuous open bidding (COB) can occur during the fall semester or spring semester (after formal recruitment). First-year students may not participate in COB in the fall semester.

COB is a very informal process that sororities use to take in new members. When a sorority holds COB, they simply contact a PNM on their own and hold a series of informal events to get to know them better. Each chapter does it differently. Some might go to dinner with a potential member. Some chapters might hold a ‘board game night’ and invite potential members to attend.