There are two ways to participate in recruitment to join a sorority. Most are familiar with primary recruitment as the most common way to join a sorority. The other way to be extended a bid from a sorority called continuous open bidding (COB).
COB provides women an additional opportunity to explore the possibility of joining a sorority.
Continuous open bidding looks very different from primary recruitment. It is more informal and, unlike primary recruitment, you do not need to attend events for all sororities. You are welcome to attend events for various sororities, though not all events take place during the same time frames, so it becomes a little more complicated to do so.
When a sorority participates in COB they host a number of different informal and intimate events to get to know potential members better. As a potential member, you get to meet a variety of women from the chapter in a relaxed setting, ask your questions and learn more about the organization and its members. Attending as many events for a sorority as you can is the best way to learn if you would like to be a member of that sorority.
These informal events will look different for each organization. Some organizations might host a game night, roller skating, bowling, potluck or other various types of events. These events are designed to be less structured than formal recruitment, which can allow you to speak with more chapter members. These informal events also allow you a unique insight into what being a member of that organization is like. That is because many of these informal recruitment events are very similar to sisterhood events the sorority might host.
COB is held after the primary recruitment period, which looks different on each campus so be sure to check when it is held on your campus. Not every sorority on campus may participate in COB. Only those that still have spaces to fill in their organization will keep recruiting. When a sorority is participating in COB, they will publicize this information on social media and on campus.
Unlike primary recruitment, which often takes place over a week or weekend, COB might happen over a few weeks. Sororities spread out their recruitment events to maximize the number of women who can attend. However, it might happen over a week. There are no set expectations for COB and the best way to learn how it works on your campus is to ask the College Panhellenic.
Once you’ve figured out who is participating in COB and you’ve gone to multiple events, how do you know if you have received a bid? Just like primary recruitment, not all women who participate in COB will be extended a bid. If you will not receive a bid, the sorority would contact you and let you know. This allows you to participate in recruitment events for other organizations or wait until the primary recruitment period.
In primary recruitment, the College Panhellenic gives you your bid that a sorority is extending to you. During COB, the sorority will contact you directly to extend you a bid. Each organization does it differently, but it always an exciting event. Many will still host a Bid Day to welcome their new members home and celebrate their new membership. Once you have received a bid, it is time to celebrate the lifelong membership benefits of sorority that are being extended to you!