It's sorority rush season, ladies, and everyone you know needs to be judged on a scale of "NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" to "THE COOLEST GIRL YOU'VE EVER MET THAT WILL FOR SURE BE AN ASSET TO OUR HOUSE!" Use this Alpha Phi rush handbook a tipster sent us to help make your judgment.

According to our tipster, the handbook (published in full below) was created in 2010 by the Alpha Phi chapter at the University of California-Santa Barbara. In it, you can read a frantically-written set of guidelines for "Appearance," "Room Décor," "Things You Cannot Say," and "Scoring" (humans), with increasingly spontaneous spacing and hasty spelling throughout. The entire guide is also helpfully peppered with tips for not looking so gay while trying to impress other women.

Let's start with scoring the potential new pledges, in which we learn that "Mandy Moore" is an abusive epithet.

"You may think this is harsh"

As the cheerfully unhinged disembodied voice of Alpha Phi's rush chair explains, "There will be NO conversing about girls in between parties, as this is against the rules. So, scoring is especially important! You make think this is harsh but it is the way we are able to pick our pledge class." You understand. Here, it's easy, just give each girl a number:

...We score on a 1 to 5 scale as follows:

5- HOLY SHIT! If she is not in our house I'm going to die

LOVE her

ALL necessary attributes

Beautiful, intelligent, sincere, funny, energetic, overall bombshell

YOU want to be HER


4- All necessary attributes

Really like her

Excited about her and can't wait to see her again

An Alpha Phi

3- You like her

There is nothing wrong with her, but nothing awesome about her either

(Mandy Moore)

2- Not an Alpha Phi- plain and simple

1- NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Something is off! Absolutely cannot be in our house

Hard to believe there could be a score lower than "Mandy Moore," but there it is, and it is reserved for latent serial killers.

"You're checking out there boobs...awkward"

The only thing worse than waking up one day and discovering that Communications major Mandy Moore had somehow become, through oversight or error, a member of your sorority, would be a Potential New Member thinking that you're gay, or thinking that you think she's gay, or you accidentally acting like you're being gay when you're not, or a Potential New Member thinking that you're checking out her boobs (which would be hella gay), or being gay. Unfortunately, rush events are fraught with opportunities to accidentally seem gay.

Under a section dedicated to helping sisters' assess potential pledges' appearance in a non-gay way:

Just like in a job interview ladies, your appearance tells more than you think it does. Try and read this about PNM's [Potential New Members], without looking like you are checking the poor girl out!

Under "Exercise ONE: Body Language"

make sure you don't inadvertently give a rushee the wrong idea…

Under "Exercise THREE: Name Memorization":

When all else fails…look at the nametag (but PLEASE do this discreetly because they A) can tell what you're doing, and B) may think you're checking out there boobs…awkward).

What could be sillier than a girl checking out another girl's boobs? NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!

Think of [getting ready for rush] as before a formal, except you will be dating girls haha.


"Your nails should be clean and freshly painted every day!!!"

While Alpha Phis expect their potential new members to look good, it is also important for Alpha Phis to look good themselves. Here, a short list of pointers, from making sure your shoes are appropriate, to acting like you are engaged in a conversation (the role of a lifetime, ladies):

When you come to Rush, ask yourself these questions: Are my hair, skin, nails, body/health well taken care of? Are my shoes, clothing and makeup appropriate? Do I stand/sit up straight, look people in the eye, and act engaged in a conversation? Does my physical appearance reflect the kind of person that I am or want to be? Be sure you can confidently answer yes to each of these questions. RUSH IS ABOUT SELLING ALPHA PHI ladies, and YOU are the covers of our best sellers.

YOU are the covers of our best sellers, and we are not a wet box of ugly books!

Also, to be more specific, make sure you are 'groomed' appropriately each day of Rush my loves. This means your hair is dry and styled (preferably no dark-ass roots). Your makeup needs to be tasteful and natural looking. You can go darker on the makeup as the days progress if you'd like, but let's not get too crazy.

We wouldn't want to get too crazy, my loves. By the way, your nails must be painted freshly every day!!!

Your nails should be clean and freshly painted every day!!! Make sure toenails are also painted, it's a must!

No, you cannot be excused from events to become tanned and polished. You must become tanned and polished on your own time.

If you've gotta get your nails/hair done make those appointments on your own time. No appointments will be excused during Polish or Recruitment times. We also ask that you come back nice and tan.


Sometimes it's hard to mimic natural human behavior. Should that be the case for you, "Remember: S-O-F-T-E-N (always keep this in mind when talking to a rushee)." You will be able to trick people into thinking you care about them in no time.

Gesture Message

S Smile Happy to meet them

O Open Posture Receptive to what they're saying

F Forward Lean Interested in the conversation

T Touch Friendliness, Closeness

E Eye Contact Not just hearing, but listening

N Nod Approval, Encouragement

"No 'we' statements EVER!!"

Once you've mastered normal body language, you can move on to mastering normal talking language. Like all casual speech between humans, several topics are forbidden. Here are things you cannot say:

- No "we" statements EVER!!

- No statements that allow them to think they are coming back (See you tomorrow, see you later, etc.)

- No "I" statements until Pref night

- Don't mention legacies

- Don't talk badly about other houses

- Don't curse (excessively) or talk about drinking or doing drugs

- Do NOT give them permission to join another house

No "we" statements, no "I" statements, no first person statements O.K.??? Do NOT give them permission to join another house.

"Fun facts"

What can you say during rush? Fun facts about the Alpha Phi house like these:

The pillar in the middle of the chapter room used to be a stripper pole

We have library night once a week

Linda makes us treats during finals

We have a chef and fully stocked snack kitchen

We have housecleaners

Boys are allowed upstairs until midnight and downstairs until 3am

There used to be a fountain in the foyer

Thanks, Linda!! RIP fountain!!!


On the last night of rush, it's important to show a potential new member how much you care about her personally. To that end, here is a pre-written script. NOTE: Do not begin "Ali," unless her name is Ali! If you are not sure of her name, do not look at her boobs to check!


Talking with you the past few days has been so easy that I honestly was upset when the bell rang and we had to put our talk on hold. I know that this week is kind of a whirlwind and that sometimes it can be difficult to see through the coordinated outfits and decorations…but this being an Alpha Phi extends far beyond this week. Alpha Phi is a sisterhood where someone will always be there for you; in times of sadness and in celebration, and in times when your dorm situation is unbearable and you somewhere to escape! I want everything for you that I have had the last three years, because believe me- there is nothing better than being an Alpha Phi.

Most importantly, "Do not sound desperate. Why should you? You're an Alpha Phi."

[Art by Jim Cooke]

Here's the full handbook: