Hey, it’s Bid Day!
You never know when you might surpass crowds of college girls in Greek letters decked out in costumes or matching tank tops covered in glitter. Accompanied with running, screaming, and hugging other girls, while simultaneously saying “WELCOME HOME!” By some random chance you do come across this, don’t go into hiding. Forever21 did not announce bankruptcy.
It’s bid day.
To some of us we see bid day as this
To others we see bid day as this
Or maybe you view it as this
But maybe hearing the phrase bid day makes you
Those two words probably mean absolutely nothing to you, and that’s okay.
Don’t fret, you are not alone. If those two magical words “Bid Day” have no impact on you, you are in the majority. The vast majority of people who, outside of the Greek world, have no idea what day this is, other than it sounds really close to the phrase “big day,” and yes, bid day is a “big day.”
Bid day is similar to something of a closing “ceremony” for sorority world. After members of each sorority have been there for two weeks in which they participated in work week and formal recruitment, sometimes called “rush,” they get to extend membership of their sorority to girls who were PNMs (potential new members) and just participated in formal recruitment. This celebration varies from school to school and chapter to chapter, but usually all the PNM’s gather and open an envelope revealing which sorority chapter has offered them a bid of membership. Then run home where the members are waiting for them with open arms.
You might be wondering now, what in the world is formal recruitment? What is work week? Potential new members? What even is a bid??
Here are some extremely helpful terms, we can call this our…
Formal Recruitment- Formal Recruitment or as your mom’s might say “rush,” is the process of mutual matching of girls who are wanting to join a sorority (PNM’s) spend a week going to parties thrown by each sorority chapter at their house and ranking them at the end of each day; simultaneously the sororities and their members are hosting rounds of parties at their house getting to know each PNM while ranking them as well. So somehow during that magical, confusing, mystical week at the end there is bid day where new members get their “letters for life” and join their sisterhoods!
Work Week- Each campus may call this week something different. But this is the week before formal recruitment when sorority members come up and spend their days perfecting conversations, door stacks, rules, and best of all BOND.
Potential New Member- Otherwise known as PNM. This is a girl who is going through formal recruitment, not a part of a sorority yet, who has the potential to be given a bid.
Bid (of membership) - The whole point of the week. Of everything. Of life. Not really. This is what a sorority extends to a PNM inviting them to become a member to their house. Usually a bid is in an envelope and signed by the girls who are the recruitment director and the chapter president.
No bid, no bid day.
Each sorority usually themes this day. Ranging from American- red, white, and blue to NFL themed with jerseys. Usually this is done in lieu of social media, for those perfect Instagram captions sorority girls everywhere strive for. Que “new bids on the block,” “welcome to the dream team,” cliché captions galore on all the perfectly filtered pictures. But come on, that is half the fun. Even the new members get to take part, announcing to the Facebook world what letters they will be sporting for the next 4 years. Even better when they get to put them in their Instagram bio’s. Most important duh. This turns into a subliminal competition between houses of who has the better theme. Better themes mean better social media pictures. Better pictures, better bid day. Kidding. Kind of. But it’s bid day.
The actual opening of bids vary from school to school. At a lot of schools all the PNM’s open their bids in one large spot. They’re all usually in a large auditorium or arena, bids in tow sealed in an envelope. There is a bunch of music and the typical count down.
No this is not a spaceship ready to launch. Only if it is going to sorority world.
Bids are opened. Envelopes go flying. Screams are heard. Tears are shed. Jumping and hugging. Sprinting towards new sisters. If you were an outsider with no idea what is going on, it might seem like a bomb went off. Yes, a bomb of sisterhood, glitter, letters, t shirts, clapping- you name it. A sorority bomb went off with bids in tow. Sounds catastrophic, but hey, its bid day.
Then what some schools call “the running of the herds.” Sorority girl herds. Sometimes there’s pushing and shoving. Along with shouting. Who knew there was violence on bid day? Kidding, I’ve never heard of anyone actually being injured during this. PNM’s sprint to the sororities and then they all run to their houses or where bid day is being held. Other members are gathered there clapping and shouting to welcome them home. The PNM’s “new members” are given shirts to put on with big, usually obnoxious letters on them to show their new life branding. Kidding, but it is bid day.
Each sorority will have different bid day activities planned. Usually including food of some sort. It’s been a long week for both sides of recruitment. Girls have to eat. Each new member is assigned a “bid day buddy.” This girl is a member that spends the day with them and is usually the one waiting for her once she opens her bid; she welcomes them to the sisterhood, helping them meet friends and the first sister they get to know. Some chapters go bowling, or have a DJ, or go skating, or painting. Anything that is a group activity that girls would enjoy. It’s the first official time a girl gets to bond with her new sorority, so this day is very important. Even if a girl doesn’t know a single person in her new sisterhood, she now shares a lifelong bond, and she soon will have friends galore.
But bid day isn’t just for members. Parents come, families come, friends come, boys come, and alumni come. They all come for different reasons, maybe their daughter pledged their sorority and they want to celebrate the new bond. Or alumni want to visit with their friends and reminisce about the good ole days of living in house in ’85. Sometimes frat boys want to look at the upcoming eye candy for the school year. Who knows? I mean who doesn’t love 18-22 year old girls screaming covered in glitter? The spectators come in heavy, and it’s not hard for them to experience the excitement too. They are welcomed at each sororities gathering, and to congratulate the new members. There’s just something about bid day.
New members are also given bid day baskets from their new chapter. This furthers the similarities between Christmas and bid day, I mean who doesn’t love presents? These have shirts, stickers for the cars, and cute gifts plastered with their new letters. Even more exciting if the shirts are from Houndstooth Clothing ;) Parents often order bid day baskets with flowers and shirts from local companies, and alumni will send flowers to PNM’s; bid day even helps out the local economy! Trust me, the first thing a new sorority girls wants is to sport those new letters of hers across campus. While the new members might be seeing their letters flash before their eyes in sparkling gold, local businesses see shiny dollar signs. Might sound brutally honest, but hey, its bid day.
So there you have it. Bid day and what it entails. Maybe you’re intrigued. Maybe you’re thinking “I hope my daughter never ever joins a sorority.” Maybe you realize that you’ve missed out on all the fun these past years. Or maybe just maybe you’re thinking “wow I cannot wait for my bid day.” Bid day is something that years down the road there can be pictures of the day a sorority girl “gained her besties” in her wedding slideshow, and memories that will last a lifetime. It’s the first time a girl gets to wear her greek letters that she will get to wear for the rest of her life!
The next time you catch yourself near 18-22 year old girls screaming at the top of your lungs “Welcome Home,” you don’t have to run for cover. Stop and stick around for a while, maybe some of the houses will offer you refreshments. Or you could capitalize on the free entertainment, one of them is bound to trip. But hey, it’s bid day.