The Other Side of Recruitment: Being a Rho Gamma, Part 3

This is the seventh in a multi-part tale of my experience with Greek life and sororities. This is not meant to offend, put down, or upset anyone about being in a sorority or being Greek (I was one too!). It is just my recount of how I became Greek, what happened once I became Greek, and how I ended my affiliation. Please do not take this offensively in any way.

On the final day of recruitment before Bid Day, I had successfully broken all the rules I had sworn by as a Rho Gamma, which were all grounds to get me thrown out of recruitment and maybe even Greek life altogether. As I watched that PNM from my group walk away from me that evening, I felt guilty, but also relieved, because I knew that though I did something that was highly illegal, I did it for the right reasons. And there was really no doubt in my mind, or her mind, that she had then made the right choice for herself. (Ask her today and I guarantee you that she will tell you it was the best decision she ever made.) I made the PNM promise to not mention a word of it to anyone ever again.

The next day was Bid Day. This is the final day of recruitment and when all of the PNMs receive their bid cards inviting them to join one chapter on campus. For the entire week, all of the Rho Gammas had to stay in a hotel about a mile away from campus. The hotel parking lot was small and couldn’t hold all of our cars, so they told us that everyone had to park their cars in a parking garage on campus for the week and one Rho Gamma from each group was going to use their car to shuffle their group back and fourth to campus. My car was one of the cars left on campus and a girl by the name of “MIA” used her car to tote us around every day. (If you remember, Rho Gammas were not allowed to reveal their real names, so for the sake of the story I’m about to tell, I am going to use the fake Rho Gamma names we had made up for ourselves)

Since I was in the middle of my manager training at work during recruitment, I couldn’t really afford to take off an entire week. So, I had planned on actually going straight to work from Bid Day after we all “ran home.” (Details on what that means will be revealed later) It was a crazy idea, I know, but truthfully I could not wait to get back to work after the week of so much estrogen and zero testosterone. So, I had asked MIA if, on Bid Day, before we arrived in the Student Union to meet our PNMs, she could take me to my car and I could drop my car off at my chapter’s house and then she could drive me and the other Rho Gammas in our group to the Student Union for Bid Day. The Student Union is too far of a walk from Greek Row and the garage where my car was staying was even further away from Greek Row, so it seemed like the perfect idea and also not much trouble. I had asked her earlier in the week (probably Wednesday or so), again on Saturday night just to make sure her plans hadn’t changed for whatever reason, and also that Sunday morning after we woke up. Every time she told me, “Yes, no problem,” and that she understood the plan, especially after I had gone over it with her.

Sunday morning came and we were due to be in the Student Union by 11am. We left around 10:30 from the hotel and were in the garage by 10:45. I got out of MIA’s car saying, “Okay, I’ll follow you over there.”

In her car was one other Rho Gamma from our group (I don’t remember where the other three were at that point), “Little Miss Sunshine.” They both said, “Okay,” and I got in my car and they drove off. Once we got out of the garage, I got stuck at a red light where they had continue to go through when it was yellow. I didn’t think it was a big deal because again, they knew the plan.

I got to my chapter’s house and didn’t see MIA’s car outside of the house. I drove all the way around the house, still no MIA car. I parked my car and walked around the house again, no sign of her car. I reached for my phone (since they were finally returned to us that morning) and I called Little Miss Sunshine’s phone since she had called me in the beginning of the week before we got to the hotel. No answer, just ringing followed by voicemail. I continued to walk around and watched for cars passing by but it was never MIA. I called Little Miss Sunshine again and still no answer, so I left her a voicemail.

It was 10:55am and we had to be in the Pegasus Ballroom in the Student Union by 11am, sharp, no exceptions. I started to panic because I couldn’t drive over there since there’s no parking near the union and I’d have no way back to my car later in the day. It was already getting hotter outside with the sun rays beating down on my head. The girls in my chapter were going to start arriving soon and I had already broken enough rules–talking to and getting rides from my sisters would have been beyond breaking a rule. All I could do was start walking to the union or hope that someone drives by that I can get a ride from to the union–in the next five minutes.

Suddenly, while I was standing outside of my car, I saw one of  my active sisters come out of the house. She was excited to see me, “HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE!”

“Shhhhh! We can’t talk. I’m stuck here. My Rho Gamma group left me here and won’t come back for me. I have to be at the union in three minutes, where are you going?” I asked her, my voice shaking as I was whispering.

“I’m going to get some coffee but I’d be happy to drop you at the union,” she told me. We jumped in her car and she drove me there and I thanked her extensively and again, said, “Don’t tell anyone what just happened.” That phrase seemed come out of my mouth a lot in the last 24 hours.

I walked into the union through the back to find one of my sisters who was also a Rho Gamma outside smoking. “Ohmygosh wherewereyou?!” she said.

“They left me. MIA and Little Miss Sunshine left me. Stranded at the house with no way to get here,” I said, as I burst into tears.

“Those little… bitches!” she said, throwing her cigarette down and smashing it with the point of her foot. “That’s it! I’m gonna pound some ass!” She started to storm inside and I ran after her.

“No! No! It’s okay. I don’t want it to get blown out of proportion. The PNMs will be here in less than hour. Just don’t worry about it,” I said, wiping tears away from my eyes.

“No, Taylor. They have treated you like shit and that is just not acceptable. No one messes with my sister!” She stormed around outside of the ballroom looking for MIA and Little Miss Sunshine, who were nowhere to be found.

Finally, through the doors of the union walked Little Miss Sunshine and MIA, carrying all of the Rho Gammas bags from our group and all of our group signs, except mine. My sister marched up to them in a huff.

“Why did you leave her? Why? What were you thinking? She was left waiting there for you!” She exclaimed. The girls looked around for answers but couldn’t find any as their eyes scampered back and fourth.

“We… we… we thought she had a ride,” they said.

“Well she didn’t. And you knew that! She was following you to her house! You left her there and you didn’t answer her call,” my sister replied with a stern, loud voice.

“She didn’t call us,” Little Miss Sunshine said.

At that point I decided to intervene. “Yes I did call you. I called you twice. You didn’t answer. You purposefully didn’t answer me.”

I was trying so hard to hold back tears but it was impossible. My voice was shaking so bad I could barely get out entire words.

“I don’t even have your phone number,” Little Miss Sunshine said.

“Yes you do, bitch! You called me on Monday. Don’t even tell me that. Do not even tell me that. That’s it, I’m done!” I screamed, throwing my hand in her face. I walked out of the ballroom and started pacing back and fourth outside.

My sister followed me, “We’re telling exec. This is awful.”

“No, no we’re not telling exec. It’s not worth it. They don’t care, it’s over,” I said, crying harder.

At the exact second that I finished that sentence, the two head Rho Gammas stepped out of the Greek Life office. My sister ran up to them and said something to them and they both looked at me as I stood there crying, still.

They came over to me and asked me what was wrong and I gave them a shortened version, but told them that I was done with this. I had reached my breaking point and this was beyond upsetting.

They said, “You can quit now but you won’t get to run home. Your girls won’t have anyone to open their bid cards with and we’ll have to split them up between the other Rho Gammas in your group. Are you sure you want to do that?”

I stopped crying and wiped my mascara-filled tears off of my cheeks, smearing my make up. “I …umm…”

And then I thought about the PNMs that had grown to love me over the last week and the ones that I grew to love. Not to mention the one who changed who was her first choice on her final voting card because of what I said to her. Then I realized that everything I had been through didn’t matter. It was no longer about me. It was about the PNMs.

“I guess not,” I said.

The head Rho Gammas agreed to have my group of PNMs separated from the rest of my Rho Gamma group so I didn’t have to deal with Little Miss Sunshine or MIA for the time we were all in the ballroom. Soon after I went back into the ballroom, we could all hear the PNMs outside in the hallway waiting to be let inside. The head Rho Gammas came forward and asked us all to gather around in the front near the stage. They started off by stating the quota for this year. (Quota is based on how many girls rushed versus how many girls were given bids and a bunch of other things–it’s different every year) They said, “We are so happy to announce that for the first time since [some year I don’t remember] every single chapter but one made quota!”

At that moment, I felt my phone vibrate. I pulled it out of my pocket and flipped it open. Inside was a message from my chapter’s President who was my best friend at the time. “I know I could get in trouble for sending this but I don’t care. I miss you so much and cannot wait to have you back!”

As soon as I read that, right when they were making the good news announcement about the quota, I burst into tears. All of the Rho Gammas were cheering and clapping and the one next to me leaned over and said, “I know, isn’t that just the greatest news ever?”  As if I were crying because quota was made. HA.

I was crying because I was upset about what had happened that day already. I was crying because I was so happy it was over. I was crying because I was sick of being around all girls for an entire week without a moment to myself. I was crying because my best friend had just texted me (illegally) that she missed me and couldn’t wait until I came back. I was crying because I couldn’t have been happier to run any faster to my sorority that I knew would never abuse my trust, loyalty, or friendship.

…to be continued.

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