Monday, August 20, 2018

What to Expect for Recruitment

Recruitment is right around the corner! Some people may feel excited for the next chapter of their lives, while others might be feeling nervous or a bit overwhelmed. There is absolutely no reason to be nervous (I felt the same way before recruitment). The women in each house are ecstatic for you to be coming and are just looking to get to know you! Be yourself and focus on meeting new people, especially those who are in your recruitment group. Prepare to get lots of love and smiles. You will meet some amazing women and establish friendships that will last a lifetime. The first stop on the recruitment week journey is convocation, which you went through tonight. Next up is the first official round of recruitment: open house.



This round takes place the first two days of the week. You will visit all 14 sorority houses over the course of the first two days. Panhellenic requires that you go to every house, so don’t skip any houses! You will be with your recruitment group for the entirety of the two days. You’ll walk from house-to-house together, and then lineup alphabetically when you arrive at each house waiting for the party to start. When the recruitment guide (also called a Rho Gam) knocks on the door three times, you will be completely silent. Then, the house will explode with cheering and banging as the doors swing open. The president of the sorority, the recruitment captain, and another member of the recruitment team will step onto the porch and welcome you to their house. The house will erupt with chanting! As you walk through the door,  you will be greeted and picked up by the girl you will be talking to that day. Every house does it differently, but at the ZTA House--get ready for lots of hugs.

Tips: Be sure to hydrate! There is water provided outside of every house, DRINK IT! It is hot and you do not want to get sick or feel lightheaded because it is a Texas summer -- SIZZLING. Also, it’s helpful to jot down some notes on your phone after each house to remember who and what you talked about.

Once you complete the second day of open house, you’ll go to the UTC (University Teaching Center) and rank the 10 houses you felt the most connected to and enjoyed the most!


Philanthropy is another two-day round. These are the days that you will be learning about each sorority’s philanthropy. ZTA’s philanthropy is breast cancer education and awareness. Our philanthropy is extremely important to us because men and women all over the world, including many of our sisters have been impacted by breast cancer in some way, and we strive to help in any way that we can to fight for a cure. Each house will have a small craft or activity that is centered around their philanthropy. Many houses also prepare a short presentation or some sort of entertainment to illustrate their efforts in raising awareness for their philanthropy. At the beginning of this round, you will go to the meeting place that your recruitment guide designates and get there early that morning to receive your schedule (you can attend a maximum of 10 parties). Your schedule won’t be the same as everyone in your recruitment group, so you’ll be going to each house on your own. If you have time, try mapping out your route from house-to-house ahead of time--especially if you have to catch the bus. There will also be recruitment counselors at every house to help you if you have questions.

This is also the first round that the houses are allowed to offer refreshments other than water. You will typically receive a refreshing, fruity drink (buckets of fancy lemonades and Shirley temples). Make sure to keep drinking the water stationed outside each house. These two days are hectic, but don’t worry because you’re halfway through and the best is yet to come!    
Tips: Try your hardest not to miss the bus that goes from DG to Kappa/Alpha Phi. Trust me, it’s a long run in the summer heat. These two days are important because you can really get a feel of the houses’ personalities.

Once you complete the second day of philanthropy, you’ll go to the UTC and list the 6 houses you liked the best.


Sisterhood day is when you really start to get an idea of which houses you think you will fit into best. The process is the same as philanthropy. You will go to your meeting spot and get your schedule for the day from your recruitment counselors. Each sorority’s true colors come out this day. The conversations will be deeper than the other two rounds because it is the day before preference night. You become closer to the women and get to know more and more of them. At the ZTA House, we always play a fun game to get to know you better! This day is very important because you will start narrowing down to the two houses whose sisterhoods you can picture yourself joining. This round is where you get an insight into the bond of the women in the houses.

Tips: At this point, it is integral to look around and try to get to know some of the women who are going to the same houses as you because you are getting closer to potentially becoming sisters for life! It is also equally important to be open in your conversations and let your beautiful personality shine through! Also, this is the day where you cut the most houses (4) so pay attention and note the houses that speak to your heart.  

Once you reach the end of sisterhood day, you’ll go to the UTC and rank the top 2 houses you feel the most connected to and could picture yourself in.    


Preference Night or “Pref” is the very last night of recruitment and can sometimes be a bit stressful because you may have some difficult decisions to make. This is the night everyone is waiting for. You will go to a maximum of two houses this day. Each house will be decorated elegantly, and everyone will be dressed in more formal attire than the previous days. The houses will present some form of program with testimonials on how their sisterhood transformed their lives. This was my absolute favorite day of recruitment. Today is when lots of women--both PNM’s and actives--will cry, so I would recommend waterproof mascara! I turned on some serious waterworks when I was going through recruitment, that’s for sure. For me, preference night was my favorite night of all recruitment. Both houses that you go to are houses that you have clicked with the best. I remember walking into Zeta and feeling a wave of comfort and belonging. I looked at the women that were sitting at the tables and saw my potential sisters. Also, I saw all the actives hugging and swaying to the music that was playing. I could see the love that they all had for each other which really spoke to me. All of a sudden, the tears started rolling as I felt an overwhelming sense of belonging. I looked to my roommate, Taylor Thorpe, at the table next to me, and I could see that she was feeling the same thing I was. Before we knew it, we were not only roommates, but we were sisters. The best advice I ever received for preference night was to look around at the other PNMs and talk to them while you’re waiting to go inside. Do you get along well with them? Are these the kind of women you would want to be your potential sisters the very next day? Waiting outside of Zeta for me was when I knew that this was my home. The women I talked to outside ended up being my sisters, and I am still so grateful for all of them (shoutout to Kalina, Macey and Taylor).

Tip: It is very important to completely open up during your conversations because it is the last night. Tell the girl(s) you are talking to what you are feeling!

Once you finish pref night, you will immediately go to the UTC and list the sorority where you could see yourself finding your sisters for life as number one.


The happiest and most joyous of days! You arrive at Hogg Auditorium and sit where you find your name tag. The card containing the sorority that gave you a bid is placed on your chair, and you have to sit on it until the presentation is over --the suspense is insane! Once the panhellenic president says to open your envelope, you open it and meet your new sisters in front of the building and all run together to the house! There are loads of hugs and smiles all the way there. You are then greeted by all the actives as they really have been waiting for you all summer and are so excited for you to start your journey!

Tips: Do not bring a lot with you for this day because you won't want to carry all your stuff. A small purse or a simple crossbody with keys and phone is all you'll need!

A Few More Helpful Tips:
Try to accept, pre-recruitment, that your hair won’t stay in place and you’ll sweat all of your makeup off probably before the first house. For anyone worried about that, the first day of recruitment I forgot my makeup touch-ups at home and before the first house, I had managed to sweat off most of my makeup, but I still made it through and had a great time! We are looking for PERSONALITY, not perfect hair or perfect makeup/attire. Be yourself and don’t focus on making yourself look flawless because it’s about what is on the inside that really matters!

You’ll hear these questions every day, whether it be Open House or Bid Day:
  • “Where are you from?”
  • “What is your major?”
  • “What are your hobbies?”
  • “What did you do this summer?”
Really try and have fun with it! If you have something fun or crazy to talk about, throw it out there. You never know what you might have in common with someone, and it could be a really memorable story.

Prepare yourself for long days/nights, lots of running, and small talk. Recruitment is a long week, but the sisterhood and support that comes as a result will last forever. We’ve been waiting for you all summer! GO ZETA!

Faith Osterberg PC ‘17
Recruitment Team 2018  


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Recruitment Survival Guide

Recruitment is coming up, so get excited! It’s an amazing experience where you will get to know each chapter here at UT, and ultimately, you’ll find the house that you will call home. I know that I was intimidated going into recruitment week, so here are some tips that will eliminate some of that stress and make your week go as smoothly as possible!

• Be yourself! Every girl is excited to meet you, so make sure that they are meeting the most authentic version of you. Nerves are inevitable when going into recruitment, but just remember that the women at each house have been waiting all summer to meet you! Stay true to yourself; it will allow you to make genuine connections at each house and see which chapter is the best fit for you.

• Go with your gut! Don’t worry about the opinions of anyone but yourself. Throughout recruitment, you may hear about which sororities are “top tier”, but do not let this sway your opinion! Keep an open mind as you visit each house and make sure to choose the house that YOU like best, not the house that all of your friends may be leaning towards! Each house has something great to offer, so make sure you are thinking about what will be best for you in the long term.

• Not everything will go as planned. You may have a wardrobe malfunction, spill a drink, or take a fall, but every girl has been through it in some way or another and will be there to help you. While going from one house to another during recruitment last year, my umbrella flipped inside out while it was pouring down rain. One of the girls walking to that same house with me rushed to my side and let me stand under her umbrella with her--she is now one of my best friends! You are never alone in this process, so if something goes awry, someone will help you out!

• Ask questions! You can ask things such as, “What has been your favorite memory so far with your chapter?” or “What made you choose your sorority over the others?” Just as much as each house wants to get to know you, you should want to get to know the women at each house!

• Be prepared! Weather can be unpredictable, so make sure to pack a poncho or an umbrella in the case that it rains (like it did last year)! From Texas heat to rain storms, it is almost impossible to keep perfect hair and makeup all day. Confidence is key. Houses care about your personality and the conversations you are having, so do not fret if you don’t have enough time to touch up throughout the day! But it never hurts to keep an emergency kit with some body spray with you :) (see next bullet)

• Pack your essentials! You will receive a bag at the beginning of recruitment, so make sure to fill it with things you may need to touch up throughout the day. I packed deodorant, a hair brush, ponytail holders, oil blotting sheets, and an extra pair of comfy shoes (you will be doing a lot of walking)! Also--make sure to personalize your bag so that you’ll know it’s yours. You will be throwing the bags into a big pile before you enter each house, so it helps to have some sort of ribbon or tag on your bag that will help you find it later!

My best advice for recruitment is to not stress and have fun! This is such a unique experience that you will never get to do again, so have a good time while doing it! We have all gone through recruitment and found a house that we love, just as you will. Go Zeta and Hook ‘em Horns!

Zeta Love, Madeleine Ausburn

PC ‘17
Recruitment Team 2018

Saturday, July 7, 2018

What to Wear During Recruitment

My name is Reagan Walker! I am a second year Advertising major, and I’m also on Zeta Tau Alpha’s recruitment team. From Open House to Bid day, here is a day-by-day guide to help you prepare for recruitment week!

Day 1 and Day 2: OPEN HOUSE
The night before Open House, Texas Panhellenic will provide you with the t-shirt you’ll wear for the first two days of recruitment. Add some khaki shorts and tennis shoes and you’ll be ready to go! I recommend J.Crew’s 3” Chino khaki shorts. They fit well and are the perfect length! Since all the sorority houses are spread throughout West Campus, I would take advantage of wearing your most comfortable sneakers! Feel free to express yourself with simple jewelry, such as studs or a small necklace, but remember, your best accessory is your smile!

Day 3 and Day 4: PHILANTHROPY
During the next two days of recruitment, you’ll learn about each sorority’s national philanthropy. Each round gets a little more dressy, so I would recommend wearing a cute sundress with simple jewelry. Think of a dress you would wear to church, brunch, or a graduation party. Pair it with some wedges or sandals and you’re ready to go!

This round is my personal favorite because each sorority gets to show off their unique sisterhood which gives you the opportunity to see if you could picture yourself in their chapter. A classy dress with some heels will be the perfect outfit for this round. When I went through recruitment, I wore chunky nude heels because they were cute but still easy to walk in. During this round, you may have up to six houses in one day, so it is important to stay comfortable! A dress you would wear to a banquet or award ceremony would match this occasion. Finish off your look with jewelry that compliments your individual style.

This is the last day of recruitment before Bid Day! Preference night is the most formal and intimate round of recruitment, so pick out your favorite classy, black dress. Pair it with heels and your finest jewelry and get ready for a night you’ll never forget.

Day 7: BID DAY! The moment you’ve been anxiously waiting for!!  On bid day, you meet in Hogg Auditorium to open your bid day card and run home to your new sisters and soon-to-be best friends! Wear a fun, bright romper or dress with sandals or wedges, and get ready for lots and lots of pictures! I recommend wearing sandals since you will be running to your newly announced sorority house. Bid day is the best day of your life and a day you will never forget. No matter how stressful the week was, everything will be worth it when you meet your new sisters!

I hope this fashion guide will be helpful to your recruitment experience. No matter what happens during recruitment, have fun and be yourself! We can’t wait to meet you, PC ‘18!   

Reagan Walker
PC ‘17
Recruitment Team 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Instagram: Who to Follow

Hi! Caroline here. I know recruitment can seem chaotic, and for those of you that are adjusting to life in a new city, it can feel impossible to keep up with everything that’s happening on social media. To make life simpler, I’ve compiled a list of accounts that will keep you involved with events both inside of Texas ZTA and university-wide!

Welcome to the University of Texas Zeta Tau Alpha chapter’s very own Instagram page! You’ll find that @texaszta is full of shout-outs to outstanding members, pictures from abroad, and recognition for academic performance (including our special 4.0 dinner). That’s not all! The @texaszta Instagram also provides a way for us to reach UT students interested in sorority recruitment, to display our members’ achievements, and to connect and communicate with other ZTA chapters across the nation. Follow @texaszta to stay in the loop as recruitment approaches! You can also search through the tagged photos to see other Zetas’ Instagram accounts.

First thing’s first: Food!
Created by two of our very own PC’16 Zetas (@jantonio and @caitycallan), this foodstagram keeps your feed filled with treats and eats found around Austin. This account makes it easy to find the hot food spots in Austin without having to consult Yelp. Impress your new roommates with knowledge about these places to grab a bite.
This incredible account was developed by PC’11 Zeta alumna Juliet Mullins. With over 21,000 followers, this delicious Instagram helped Juliet score a job as a program manager for UberEats. Now her delicious uploads come from all over, including the Middle East and Amsterdam. No worries though, Austin is the main focus of this foodie page!

Going abroad? Count me in!
@melrice16 @melissa_rudd @whitweiss @julia15jem @laurenhaley_9
Melanie Rice, Melissa Rudd, Whitney Weiss, Julia McKnight, and Lauren Haley are all headed to spend the summer in Barcelona, Spain to complete classes and learn about the culture.. Talk about smart cookies! Not only will they be taking classes in Barcelona, but they’ll be able to practice their language skills and learn about life in Spain.
Caity is spending her summer in LA where she has two internships -- one in casting for Fox and another in creative development for Skydance. (Yes, they made Star Trek, Mission Impossible, and World War Z). Follow her to see all that she accomplishes this summer in California!
PC’17 Sabrina March is spending her summer in London working as a legal intern for a software company. Follow her to keep up with her life as a working woman in Europe.

UT Athletics!
@texaslonghorns @texasfootball @anniesquier @jbo97 @tinaburke7 @wendilayne @jaydalallana @madisitter1 @paigelorenn @anneliese.parsons @lexihinnenkamp @courtney_sorelle @tori.vill
For all things UT sports, don’t forget to give @texaslonghorns a follow to stay updated. In addition, several Texas Zetas are on UT’s pom and cheer squad, including our Recruitment Captain, @anniesquier and Texas Pom and Cheer Co-Captains, @jbo97 and @paigelorenn! Let’s go ladies! Don’t forget to buy your Big Ticket so that you’ll never have to miss a Texas sporting event.
@utaustintx is important too, keep up with events happening all around campus.

Out of State? So are they!
From Florida, Daniela Perez @danieperezz (middle) is a Venezuelan who found her home as a Texas Zeta. As a major in journalism, Dani is fighting to bring a voice back to the people of Venezuela. Next to Dani is Syndey Mcilvan @sydneymcilvain (left), an LA native who is learning to love the Texas tradition!
From Tennessee, PC’15 Alex Carter @president_carterrrr is one of a kind; always documenting her adventures in around Austin. PC’16 member, Whitney Weiss @whitweiss, is one of our Atlanta girls - and such a fun insta to follow!

Last but not least: recruitment!
@texaspanhellenic @anniesquier @devo_
With fall recruitment on the horizon, it’s a good idea to follow @texaspanhellenic to get an inside look at how Texas sororities prepare for their new members. Make sure to follow our Recruitment Captain, Annie Squier @anniesquier, to keep up with her adventures in Austin this summer, and our President, Devon Forsyth @devo_, to learn more about what makes her a great leader, and what she does outside of ZTA.

I hope this guide will provide you with some familiar faces (and some great food) that makes campus seem a bit smaller as the school year begins. Happy creeping!

Caroline Cantrell
Recruitment Team ‘18