When air gets crisp and your immediate family starts to get on your very last nerve, you know it’s finally time to get back to campus. And for many sororities, this return to college begins with the much anticipated fall rush. Central to that rush process, and I’m not overstating it, is the recruitment or philanthropy video: something that traditionally shows your chapter’s spirit and spunk set to a cute song, all of which is meant to have a lasting impact on every potential new member that strides through the doors of your house that evening. When I think back to rush, all I can remember are the videos with girls who were clearly faking it. The laughs were too long and over-exaggerated. And who is breezily splashing in a fountain when there just happens to be a camera there filming? Some videos had the realistic nature of a tampon commercial, in that they had no realistic quality at all.
Set your recruitment video off on the right track with great music. The girls hear a lot of chanting throughout recruitment (so much so that one would think they would be joining a cult rather than a loving sisterhood) so really set the scene with a catchy melody. Then think about what the words mean. Consciously or subliminally, you’re sending your rushettes a message with what your use as your music, just as you send them with the high cut of your recruitment shirt or your nicely vacuumed foyer. With that, here’s my ultimate recruitment video soundtrack playlist.
Burn by Ellie Goulding. I’m très biased here. This was the recruitment video song my current sorority chose, and I have to say it worked. It was upbeat and really speaks to the idea of confidence, that we all have something to contribute and that we can do so without dimming any of the lights that are our sisters. Now, whenever my pledge sisters and I are out and hear “Burn” come on, we call it our song. That’s what a great recruitment song should do: bond pledge sisters under a common sentiment. Plus Ellie Goulding is my homegirl and has the raw voice of a goddess.
Take me Home by Cash Cash feat. Bebe Rexha. How many of you went to a sorority house and thought “It’s a nice house, but it doesn’t feel like home?” I heard that over and over as an excuse from girls rushing as to why they dropped a certain house after the first night. The tune is incredibly catchy and definitely speaks to the idea of sisterhood. Also, there’s a great acoustic version if you’re looking for something a little more solemn for your philanthropy video.
Home by Phillip Phillips. I am obsessed with the Miami University Kappa Delta recruitment video that features this song. Look at how real they are! I know I would have a leaf fight with my sisters if my campus actually had piles of leaves on it…The genuine nature of it all is incredibly endearing! Despite his rather redundant name, I do enjoy Phillip Phillips and his song for recruitment videos. Similar to the previous song, remember that the whole point of recruitment is for girls to find a home away from home. You have found it, and so it is your obligation to show it to a new generation in the best possible light. Also obsessed with this acoustic cover of “Home”, perfect for a philanthropy video!
Rather Be by Clean Bandit Feat. Jess Glynne. “We’re a thousand miles from comfort/ We have traveled land and sea/ But as long as you are with me/ There’s no place I’d rather be.” This song is a perfect fit for a sorority recruitment video, when girls are so far from where they’ve spent their lives. When girls go to make their choices, they’ll be thinking about how there’s no place they’d rather be than your sorority, because the sisters feel the same way. Also recommended is this acoustic cover.
Young Blood by The Naked and the Famous. I love how this Kappa Delta chapter at Georgia Southern University used this song in their video. Not only is it fast and fun, but if you listen to the lyrics, it’s all about swearing secrets and making promises. This song will welcome your new babies into the family. However, be warned that many sororities use this song, and for good reason. No one wants to be that chapter that plays the same recruitment song. Can you say train wreck? Definitely consider the “Young Blood” cover by Birdy to mix it up.
You can’t go wrong with any of these songs- now just work on making the prolonged laughing look real.