It is very likely that you have heard of Greek life at college. It’s pretty darn famous and secretive! However, you might be wondering: with all the secrecy, how does one actually go about joining a brotherhood (especially if you have no family connection)?
Joining is simple. Before pledging to a new fraternity (“pledging” is a promise that binds you to the frat that you have chosen), you need to get a “bid”.
What is a bid to join a fraternity?
A bid is an invitation, from the current members, letting you know that they would like to see if you are a good fit for their fraternity.
You will receive your invitation when the fraternity decides to accept you, through a bid card with a formal invitation that will be delivered to your address or campus mailbox few days before the Bid Day (also referred to as Bid Night).
But how do you get one? And how hard is it? That totally depends on the frats that you are rushing (some are more selective than others) but the truth is that many men who rush don’t actually end up receiving bids.
LEARN MORE: Fraternity Rush Process
How to get a bid from a fraternity?
Nevertheless, don’t let this scare you! Here are some thing that you can do to increase your chances:
- Go to “pre-rush” events and really get to know the people. Fraternities are all about community! And this will make sure you rush where you feel like you might belong.
- Talk to the “rush chairs”. Of multiple fraternities.
- During rush events, be a social butterfly. Talk to as many brothers as you can.
- Don’t “suicide rush”; i.e. rush one frat and ignore all the others. You might not get a bid from the one frat you have chosen and it might not be the best place for you!
Is it hard to get a bid from a fraternity? Well, it depends on the fraternity, but rushing as many frats as you can will increase your possibilities and will really help you get a sense of your local Greek life scene. You could end up with brothers who will support you through thick and thin.
It can be hard to get a bid from a frat, but it is not impossible!
Can you rush multiple fraternities?
Yes, you can rush multiple fraternities, thus increasing your chances of getting into one. That is even expected because many frats will ask you “In how many fraternities are you rushing?“.
What you cannot do is go through initiation into a fraternity and then leave it to join another one.
LEARN MORE: How to choose a fraternity
What is a Bid Night?
Bid Night is the Bid Day, each college has a day for it. It is the last day of sorority/fraternity recruitment or rush. Bid Day is a process through which university undergraduate men and women join the sorority/fraternity.
Bid night is the last day of the recruitment process, and on this night, the college student gets an invitation to join a particular fraternity or sorority. It is the day to celebrate new beginnings. The chapters hold a special celebration to welcome the potential new members. Bid night seeks to welcome new members and celebrate the hours the chapter has invested in making recruitment a memorable process.
Each chapter selects a theme for bid night every year and makes this day unique through decorations, banners, accessories and T-shirts etc. Bid night marks the new journey of undergraduates and allows them to meet other new members of the fraternity/sorority who will support you see you as a brother/sister for life.
After the Bid Night, next step is the pledging process.
What is the pledging process?
Well, once the bid night finished you are almost a fraternity member. We just need one more step to be members of the fraternity, “the pledging”.
Pledging (not “hazing” that is illegal), is the process that new members have to go through. At this point new members are called “pledges“. During the pledging, the members of the fraternity teach you everything about that fraternity, the history or introduce you to the other members. You will also have to do certain tasks such as cleaning the house, cooking, helping with projects, partying with them, etc.
Do not worry too much about this process, if you are an educated, nice and pleasant person, you will overcome it without problems.
How long is the pledging process?
The pledging process is between 1 and 3 months. Members of the fraternity during that time will let you know that you have been accepted.
What can you do if you didn’t get a bid from a fraternity?
In case you do not get a bid from a fraternity, you should not lose hope.
- You can participate in the continuous recruitment process.
- Go through the primary recruitment process in the following year. If you consider rushing again, you should not put all your efforts into joining a particular sorority/fraternity. You should also consider joining other chapters on your campus.
- Join a cooperative housing where students meet, learn, live and socialize together.
- Join other clubs or professional fraternities on your campus like philanthropy club, journalism club, reading club, etc. Professional fraternities not only give you a chance to network, but also help in your professional development. These professional fraternities established at your school are for all interests out there and are a great option to join if you do not get a bid.
- Extracurricular activities are also a perfect way to make friends and enjoy your campus life.
As you can see, there are several different options if you do not get a bid.
You can also use this as a chance to get close with your friends, connect with your roommates or make new friends.
You can befriend new people on your campus, enjoy your university life to the fullest with them, and forget you didn’t make it to a fraternity. Not all get a bid, and it is absolutely fine!