Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth
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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

Sorority Report #2: Slather Yourself With Vaseline, 'No Natural Looks'

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Welcome to Sorority Report, a feature in which we celebrate the best and battiest of Rush Week emails from sororities. Part 1 extolled the virtues of Spanx.

On Friday, we put out a call for batshit Rush Week emails, and man, did you guys ever deliver. Rush Week, it's becoming clear, is a time when not one hair on a sorority sister's head can be out of place, not one leg can remain unshaven, and for the love of God: no natural looks.

As we explained last time, "Polish week" is the week in which sorority sisters beautify themselves physically and spiritually to make ready for meeting Potential New Members (PNMs) during Rush. For the women of Alpha Chi Omega, Polish week is also a time for PACE (Promote Alpha Chi Every day), where they rep their sorority with the fervor and zeal of a thousand thoroughly moisturized and heavily foundationed Jehovah's Witnesses. (There is a full glossary of AXO terms here if you're having trouble keeping up.)

Our second email on Polish Week directives comes to us from Alpha Chi Omega's Columbia University chapter. And it's not an email: it's a 30-page handbook, of which approximately 25 pages are taken up with forceful and direct hair, makeup and clothing "tips." The tips are so exhaustive, in fact, that it was tough to know which portions to excerpt. A few highlights follow; the whole handbook is below, with names and contact information redacted for privacy.

The Reason for the Season:

When we practice for recruitment, we are just like a football team getting ready for the big game on Saturday. We pour our hearts into going through the routines, memorizing the plays, synchronizing with our teammates. When Game Day (Recruitment) comes, we are a goal oriented team who is determined to win. We put on our neatly pressed, perfectly starched uniforms, lace up brand new cleats, and head onto the field. As a fan, when you watch a football team enter the stadium, you expect those clean uniforms and a team that looks like a team. If a football team entered the stadium wearing mismatched, dirty, torn uniforms, you would expect very little of them, and the team would not have the same confidence as a team that looks prepared. That is why we have recruitment outfits - we are part of the same team and need to look the part.

Put Vaseline on Every Single Part of You There Is:

• Put on lips before you go to bed for tons of moisture, or use as lip gloss for moisturizing shine

• Also, if you have lots of dead skin on your lips, put Vaseline on and "brush" your lips with a toothbrush, they'll be super smooth after.

• Use in the inside corners of eyes to make them pop (but just a little!)

• Use to get off tough eye makeup at the end of the day

• Put on eyelashes before you go to bed as an "eyelash conditioner" to enhance lash growth

• Put it on your brows to smooth them and keep them in place

• Apply to feet, elbows, knees, and hands before you go to bed, cover with socks/gloves/something, wake up with soft skin

• I think pageant girls put it on their teeth to make them look whiter/shinier and to prevent lipstick from getting on your teeth…not really into that idea because I'm scared to eat Vaseline but if you wanna try it go for it!

• Apply to perfume points and the scent will last longer


General dress code ("No natural looks"):

Hair for each day must be freshly washed and straightened or curled, no natural looks. Hair must be worn down for philanthropy and development days, but may be worn in a classy up-do for preference.

-Nails must be either painted in a neutral color (nudes, dark colors like black or navy, pale pinks) or in a French manicure/unpolished style. They should be clipped, filed, and cleaned.

-Clothing and shoes should not have stains/scuffs/marks

-Clothing and shoes should be bought in your size, you should feel comfortable and dress for your own body type.

-Please refrain from removing tags and do not buy anything that is non-returnable. Remember every outfit must go through two dress checks, and we will be photographing your outfits and checking them the day of recruitment!

-If you are unsure about any item, feel free to text/send me a picture ([redacted]) and ask my opinion!

-Our goal for the weekend is to be the best versions of ourselves – classy, fashionable, approachable. (This means do not wear heels that are too high, clothes that are immodest, etc.)

Accessories that are permitted throughout the weekend:


-A simple gold necklace

-one or two rings per hand

-Small bracelet/bangle

-Gold or pearl studs

(If I feel that a piece of jewelry is too loud or does not go along with the day's outfit, I may ask you to remove it)

Everything listed for each day is a requirement for that day!

Philanthropy Day/Days (It is possible that philanthropy will be split between two days this year)

Top - Fancy White blouse (short sleeve or sleeveless, preferably not a button down, chiffon or cotton only, no tube tops or spaghetti straps, no distracting embellishments, No stains)

Bottom - Dark wash skinny/straight leg jeans (no rips or embellishments, no frays at the bottom, no jeggings, no black jeans)

Shoes - Nude Flats or Nude wedges (must be all nude/tan, no distracting embellishments, flats must be closed toed, no strappy wedges, if wearing open toe wedges – a professionally done pedicure is a MUST)

Purple Statement Accessory – scarf, necklace, chunky bracelet or watch. Should be a dark purple color to represent DVAS

Development Day

Option 1:

Top - Sleeveless or short sleeve blouse (in mint, white or light red/coral) – chiffon or cotton, no distracting embellishments, no stains

Bottom - skirt (in mint, white, or coral) (no jersey material, body con, not too tight, think Game Day outfit or Sunday brunch, maxi skirts may be allowed on a case by case basis)

A blazer is required if your blouse is a tube top

Option 2:

Sleeveless or short sleeve knee-length dress (Spaghetti straps may be permitted on a case by case basis, so long as appropriate under garments are worn) (Dress must be a combination of mint, white, and coral, not too tight, no jersey material or body con)

NOTE: Your outfit MUST have two of the following three colors: mint, coral, and white

Shoes: Nude Flats or Nude Wedges (same rules as philanthropy day)

Jewelry is suggested but not required. You are allowed to wear bangles, statement watches, chunky bracelets, etc.. Accessories (white belts, fashionable scarves, etc), will be allowed on a case by case basis.

Preference Night

Fancy Red Dress - scarlet and similar shades, no maroon, must hit just above the knee, no jersey or silk material, no body con, should be flattering but not flaunting

Nude Pumps - must be closed toe, 3-4 inches tall, no wedges, no embellishments


But j ust in case you thought every single piece of an AXO woman's personal presentation was relentlessly subject to relentless direct and scrutiny, we have the Heart Sell. That's the time when an AXO-er is supposed to make a simple, direct, emotional statement to the PNMs on why her sorority is the one to join.

... And that too is relentlessly directed, scrutinized and choreographed:

The heart sell is your story for being in AXO. It should be incredibly personal and emotional. While it is not appropriate to cry your eyes out at pref (we don't want to be Alpha Cry Omega, in the words of [Redacted[), you should be speaking from the heart and that might make you tear up.

These are the steps to the heart sell:

1. Why did you go greek?

2. Why did you choose Alpha Chi?

3. Why did you remain an Alpha Chi?

You should spend about 50% of the time on steps 1 and 2, and 50% on step 3.

We will be having a workshop on this in the Fall, and you will have a chance to write your own heart sell. However, for sisters who are helping with COB, the workshop will more likely than not fall after COB is over, and so this is useful information for your final night of COB week!

Also, you are absolutely not getting out of any of this, don't even try it:

1. Accepted excuses for missing recruitment will be strictly according to our bylaws and national rules. This means that you can only miss rounds of recruitment or polish weekend for: class, internships FOR CREDIT (paid internships do not count), verifiable illness of you or an immediate family member, wedding of a family member (or if you are part of the wedding party), and family emergency. Beyond that, the only other excuse CRIB will accept is a job interview for a full-time position. If you submit an excuse to CRIB for any other reason, it will not be excused, and you will be fined for the rounds that you miss. These rules are the same for recruitment workshops (I realize that other clubs and activities sometimes prevent workshop attendance, and so I will allow you to makeup a workshop [excluding polish week] with me for the week following the workshop).


3. There will be 3 dress checks. You are required to come to one dress check in either October or November to show all three of your required outfits. The final round of dress checks will be in December, in which you will be required to show all three outfits, including hair and makeup styles,. We will be taking pictures at dress checks and will be comparing your final recruitment outfits to these photos if there are any concerns.

And finally, never doubt that all of this is for your own good:

The recruitment team is here to help you. We love you all, and we want to make sure our chapter has every advantage when it comes to formal recruitment. Please refrain from attacking us as individuals or becoming personally offended if we ask you to wear something else, change your hair, wear more makeup, etc. For 361 days of the year, I do not care what you wear. These 4 days, my team and I have the final say.

If nothing else, sororities sound like great preparation for the military. A beautiful, shiny-haired, clear-skinned, well-Vaselined military.

Got more Rush Week tips? Email us.

AXO Columbia RecruitmentHandbook 2015 Redacted