Frequently Asked Questions
What are Letters of Recommendation?
A letter of recommendation, also commonly referred to as a “Rec,” “Reference” or “RIF,” is a recruitment information form completed by an alumna of a sorority. These official forms, which are unique to each individual sorority, are provided by the national organization for their alumnae members to fill out on behalf of potential new members. The purpose of a letter of recommendation is to introduce a Potential New Member to the alumna’s sorority chapter at The University of Alabama.
Where Can an Alumna Find a Copy of Her Sorority's Recommendation Form?
An alumna may find a copy of her sorority’s Recommendation/Reference Form in her sorority's national magazine or on the national website under the Member’s Only section. She may also obtain a copy by calling her sorority's national headquarters if she does not have access to a copy of the national magazine or has misplaced her login information for the website. Keep in mind, the alumna writing the letter of recommendation does not need to be a graduate of UA, she only needs to be an alumna member in good standing of the sorority she is writing the recommendation. Please note that it is NOT the responsibility of the Potential New Member (PNM) to obtain a copy of the Recommendation/Reference Form for the alumna. Also, please be advised that neither the UA Office of Greek Affairs nor the Alabama Panhellenic Association have access to individual sorority recommendation forms and as such cannot obtain them for Potential New Members.
What is Meant by Additional Letters of Support and Are They Required?
Additional “letters of support," are personal handwritten letters on stationery from a sorority alumna, who has a personal relationship with a PNM, recommending her for membership. "Letters of Support" differ from Recommendations/References in that they are not on the official sorority recruitment information form and are often sent to the chapter either alone or as supplement to the recruitment information form. While commonplace in Texas, "Letters of Support" are neither encouraged nor recognized at The University of Alabama.
Are Recommendations Required to Pledge a Sorority?
Potential members are not required to secure recommendations in order to receive a bid. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the sorority to obtain a letter of recommendation if one is needed for membership. While letters of recommendation are not required to participate in recruitment; PNMs can reach out to sorority alumnae or an Alumnae Panhellenic for assistance.
What if I Cannot Secure a Letter of Recommendation for Each of 17 NPC Chapters Participating in Primary Recruitment?
This year as part of the recruitment application, women participating in recruitment may elect to submit a supplemental academic letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor, or principal. This supplemental academic letter of recommendation could be particularly beneficial for women unable to identify alumnae from each of the 16 Panhellenic chapters for an official letter of recommendation. The individual writing the letter of recommendation does not have been a member of Greek organization; however, the letter should speak to your character as it applies to leadership, scholarship, community service, and friendship. Please note that this is an optional feature and as such, is not a required part of the online application form.
What is a Legacy?
If your mother or sister was/is a member of a sorority, you are considered a legacy to that sorority. Some sororities also consider stepmothers, stepsisters, and grandmothers as legacies. Please note that Panhellenic does not have any policies regarding legacies because each sorority has its own policy and it is up to the discretion of each individual sorority as to whether they are interested in offering membership to a legacy.
How Do I Let a Sorority Know That I Am a Legacy?
Sororities want to know who their legacies are, so we have included a place on the Innova online recruitment registration form for you to indicate if you are a legacy to a sorority at UA. Sororities can only see the legacy status of those women that are legacies to their chapter, so please make sure to include your legacy information. You are also encouraged to submit a Legacy Introduction Form to the chapter to which you are a legacy. Instead of having a family member (i.e. sister, mother, or grandmother) write you a letter of recommendation, she would fill out and submit a Legacy Introduction Form to her sorority.
Do I Have a Join a Sorority To Which I Am a Legacy?
No Potential New Member has to choose the sorority to which she is a legacy. Consider your own compatibility with the group and do not feel obligated to a group because of your family members. Sororities are different over time and between campuses, so we encourage you to keep an open mind!
Am I Guaranteed to Receive a Bid from a Sorority to Which I Am a Legacy?
No sorority is required to choose any legacy - each Potential New Member is considered on an individual basis. Some sororities will have more than 200 legacies coming through Recruitment - that is almost twice the average pledge class size.
Supplemental Letters of Recommendation
What is a Supplemental Academic Letter of Recommendation?
This year as part of the recruitment application, women participating in recruitment may elect to submit a generic, supplemental academic letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor, or principal. The individual writing the letter of recommendation does not have been a member of Greek organization; however, the letter should speak to your character as it applies to leadership, scholarship, community service, and friendship.
Individuals may also want to include a copy of their social resume with the supplemental letter of rec. If this is the case, please make sure you have combined both documents into one file for upload.
What are the Benefits of Submitting a Supplemental Academic Letter of Recommendation?
While chapter specific letters of recommendation are preferred, the supplemental academic letter of recommendation could be particularly beneficial for women unable to identify alumnae from each of the 16 Panhellenic chapters for an official letter of recommendation.
Is a Supplemental Academic Letter of Recommendation Required to Participate in Recruitment?
No. A supplemental academic letter of recommendation is not required to participate in recruitment. This is an optional feature and women choosing not to submit a supplemental academic will not be penalized.
Who will see the Supplemental Academic Letter of Recommendation?
Each chapter's recruitment chair and recruitment advisor will have access to the Supplemental Academic Letter of Recommendation to reference as needed.
How do I submit a Supplemental Academic Letter of Recommendation?
Supplemental academic letters of recommendation can be uploaded directly to the PNMs online recruitment application in Innova Campus Director or they can be mailed to the Alabama Panhellenic Association at the address provided below. Individuals may also want to include a copy of their social resume with the supplemental letter of rec. If this is the case, and you plan to upload your supplemental letter of recommendation, please make sure you have combined both documents into one file for upload into the online recruitment application. If you plan on mailing your supplemental letter of recommendation to the address below, simply attach your social resume and mail in as a combined document.
Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
Attn: Director of Recruitment
The University of Alabama
Ferguson Center 2512
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0298
The supplemental academic letter of recommendation and social resume must be less than 1MB in size and while a PDF copy is preferable, you can submit your transcript in any one of the following allowable formats: doc, docx, xls, xlsx, txt, pdf, gif, jpg, jpeg.