I know that a lot of schools give being a Rho Gamma, Rho Chi, Pi Chi, Pi Gamma, or whatever your school calls it, a bad reputation. People make it seem like the Panhellenic advisor barges into your house, drags you out of your chapter meeting, tears the letters off your chest and holds you against your will for four months. With a reputation like that, how could anyone not feel like you are forever separated from your sisters, and no one will love you anymore?
But I’m here to tell you that these rumors couldn’t be more wrong. I was a recruitment counselor not only once, but three times. That’s right, I loved being a Rho Gamma so much I never did recruitment in my own house, so I have some pretty good reasons why being a Rho Gamma is one of the best decisions you can make.
I chose to be a Rho Gamma my sophomore year for a few reasons: I was already in a “sorority slump,” and I figured trying something completely out of my comfort zone could only help. The other reason, (and I know I’m probably going against 99.9 percent of you here) I had no interest at all in being in my house during recruitment. Yeah sure, the pretty outfits, decorations, and the bonding are probably well worth the stress of recruitment, but the late nights, cranky sisters everyone wants to punch, and the war that is voting did not appeal to me in the slightest. I didn’t want to hold a grudge against any of my sisters for not loving a PNM as much as I did. So I thought that being a Rho Gamma was still a way I could be a major part of recruitment and get to try something new; and it completely worked out for me.
1. You can help so many girls find their homes.
I have always loved helping people and giving advice, and this gave me the chance to do both with my Rho babies. Yes, it felt like a stab to my sorority-loving heart every time one of my girls dropped my house, but to see them get the feeling for any of the houses that I had for mine when I went through recruitment was so worth it. After doing it for three years, I know I had a hand in helping all of the girls behind me find their homes.
2. I actually made friends in other chapters.
You know that one girl from your PNM group who was really cool the week of recruitment, but didn’t join the same house as you? Now you just say hi on campus so you can use her as an excuse when a PNM wants to know if you have friends in other houses? Yeah, that was me before becoming a Rho Gamma. I literally could name the houses and only a few girls in each of them, but I couldn’t tell you anything else about them.
Becoming a Rho Gamma forces you to get to know other sorority women. Yeah, being forced to make new friends doesn’t sound like fun, but for those weeks leading up to and including recruitment, they are your adopted sisters. Your fellow Rho Gammas are the only ones who know how you feel when you can’t go to chapter or really wanna wear your favorite shirt with letters on it but can’t.
It’s so nice to have people outside of your chapter when things in your own house get tough, and having friends outside of your own house is always great when you go to other chapters’ events or mixers. There were four of us who were recruitment counselors all three years we could do it, and it was amazing to see how we all grew from scared little freshman to the top bitches of Panhellenic by our senior year.
3. You actually start to appreciate the other chapters. Seriously.
I know what you’re thinking, “I could never give a shit about those bitches down the street who had a mixer with our favorite fraternity last week.” But trust me, when you have to take a crash course on all of the other chapters to be able to answer questions about them to PNMs, you at least can see the good in them.
It was the strangest experience when a PNM started shit talking one of the other sororities during recruitment. On one hand I was really happy she wasn’t saying those things about my house, but on the other hand, I didn’t like it at all. This girl knew nothing about this house or the women who belonged to it. Yes, it was my rival house, and yes they totally cheated at Greek Week the semester before, but they also had raised double for their philanthropy that my house did, and some of my new friends were from this house, so it was not okay. I stood up for that house just as much as I stood up for mine, and I know the other Rho Gammas did the same for my house.
4. There is no better feeling than going home.
Remember on your bid day how you were so nervous to join your new house? What if you made the wrong choice? What if it wasn’t what you expected? Then when you ran into the open arms of your chapter you knew you were home, and that nervousness turned into excitement? Being a Rho Gamma gives you the unique opportunity of running home again on bid day, with only the excitement.
I think of myself as a pretty strong person, I don’t cry at that many things, and nothing in sorority had ever brought me to tears, until Bid Day as a Rho Gamma. I cried all three years when I came home. It was one of the best feelings in the world running back not only to my friends, littles, and twin, but running back to my sisterhood, and bringing the new babies home with me.
I was talking to one of my Rho babies-turned-sister one spring when the applications for Rho Gamma had just gone out. She said to me, “I don’t think I could ever give up my letters, I love them too much.” This is something you hear a lot when you’re a Rho Gamma, that you don’t love your letters as much as your sisters. So I told her what I always told people: there is no way to truly know how much you love and respect your letters than to be willing to give them up to find women who will help your chapter, and there is no better way to fall in love with your chapter and Greek Life over and over again than by being a Rho Gamma..