Continuous Open Bidding (COB)
The primary recruitment period for the the Alabama Panhellenic Association occurs in August prior to the start of fall classes. Given that College Panhellenic Associations are only allowed to host one formal recruitment per year, the Alabama Panhellenic Association does NOT host a formalized spring recruitment. UA does have informal recruitment opportunities, so women interested in sorority membership following the conclusion of fall formal recruitment in the fall or in the spring should complete the COB Interest Form provided below.
What is Continuous Opening Bidding (COB)?
Continuous Open Bidding (COB) is an informal recruitment process that Panhellenic sororities use to recruitment new members outside of the designated primary recruitment period to reach quota and/or Panhellenic Total (I.e. Median Chapter size). For example, if Alpha Alpha Alpha sorority has 250 members for the spring semester and Chapter Total 255, then Alpha Alpha Alpha can offer 5 COBs if they are interested.
Is a Snap Bid the same as a COB?
No. Snap bidding ends when bids are distributed on Bid Day. Continuous Open Bidding (COB) begins as soon as Bid Day begins. Further, Snap Bidding is ONLY allowed for those chapters that did NOT match to quota in the bid-matching process of primary recruitment. The Snap Bidding process takes place before bids are distributed on Bid Day and eligibility is limited to women who participated in at least the first round of recruitment (I.e. Open House). Snap Bids are coordinated and extended through the College Panhellenic, prior to the distribution of bids and the start of Bid Day activities.
Who is eligible for COB?
All female UA students are eligible to participate in COB provided that (1) they are enrolled as a full-time student, (2) they have never been initiated into one of the 26 National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities at UA or on another campus, and (3) they have not received a bid during the most recent primary membership recruitment and declined the bid or have broken their pledge.
Is there a minimum Grade Point Average to Participate in COB?
Although Panhellenic does not require a specific grade point average (GPA) to participate in primary recruitment or COB, each sorority has a minimum grade requirement to be eligible for membership. Every sorority strives to maintain a high chapter grade point average (GPA), therefore each must consider a woman’s ability to adhere to the chapter's scholastic standards. With the large amount of women that participate in the formal recruitment process, GPA tends to be an easy way for the chapters to begin to manage the numbers. As such, it is HIGHLY recommended that women participating in primary recruitment or COB have at or above a 3.2 cumulative high school or college GPA at the time they are seeking membership. While scholastic standards is a component of the membership selection process, please note that meeting this minimum does not guarantee membership in a sorority.
How does COB work?
Unlike primary recruitment, COB is a very casual and unstructured. Each chapter does COB differently so the College Panhellenic Association does not set dates for informal recruitment events or offering of bids. Chapters individually contact a potential new member and invite her to an informal recruitment event or chapter activities in an effort to get to get to know her better.
If a woman receives a COB, what are her options?
If a woman receives a COB from a chapter that she is not interested in joining she may decline the bid.
If a woman receives a COB from a chapter she is interested in joining she can accept the bid. Those accepting bids through the COB process will be required to sign a COB MRABA acceptance binding agreement, which must be filed with the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, Ferguson Center Room 2512 within one business day of accepting the bid.
If a woman receives a COB from a chapter and is unsure about accepting at that time, she may ask to wait to accept or decline the bid. Each chapter is responsible to determining when an answer must be given by (normally 24-48 hours from time a bid is issued).
Which sororities are able to participate in COB?
Any Panhellenic sorority that has an overall chapter membership below Chapter Total, is allowed to, but not required by Panhellenic to pledge additional new members up to Total. Participation in COB is ultimately up to the discretion of the chapter, so there is not set number of chapters and/or a guarantee that specific chapters will participate.
How many women will receive bids through COB?
This number varies semester to semester. Given that COB is not mandatory and that chapters have the option to recruitment up to Chapter Total, we cannot speculate the overall number of bids that will be issued and/or number of women that will receive bids.
What do I need to do if I want to be considered for COB?
Women interested in being considered for COB should fill out the online COB Interest Form.
Is there a cost associated with COB?
No. There is not a cost to participate in Continuous Opening Bidding.
Are letters of recommendation required?
Letters of recommendation may be required by some NPC organizations.
How long will chapters COB?
Chapters are allowed by the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) to extend bids or offers of membership to unaffiliated women during the regular school year (as defined by the academic calendar). During the fall, COB begins after the formal structured recruitment process has concluded up Study Week. During the spring, COB begins the first day of classes and concludes prior to Study Week.
If a woman completes a COB Interest Form is she guaranteed a bid for membership from a sorority?
Filling out a COB Interest Form does not guarantee that a sorority will contact a potential new member nor does it guarantee that she will receive a bid.