Greek recruitment late, but right on track

By Courtney Klemm

In previous years, Labor Day weekend meant football, cookouts and thousands of University women beginning the first stages of formal sorority recruitment. This year, however, the Panhellenic Council and the Recruitment Board decided to push the recruitment dates back one weekend this year in hopes of bringing in higher numbers of young women interested in rushing.

Formal sorority recruitment is scheduled to begin Sept. 9., and last through the following weekend. Fraternity recruitment began Aug. 24 and will last until Sept. 17.

“In past years, we’ve had a lot of girls that have had to miss recruitment because of Labor Day weekend,” said Sara Dina, senior in education and Vice President of Recruitment for Panhellenic Council. “This will give women more opportunities to go through formal recruitment. We’re hopeful we’ll have a lot more women register.”

Lauren Denison, senior in ALS and head recruitment counselor, said she feels pushing formal recruitment dates back would have a positive influence on younger women.

“It is the first weekend (freshmen) might be able to go home or the last weekend they can spend at their lake house,” Denison said. “A lot of girls will be really excited they don’t have to miss those. That could really work to our benefit.”

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    Nikki Venvertloh, sophomore in LAS, said she didn’t rush last year, but is looking forward to doing so this year. Venvertloh said she thinks moving recruitment dates would be favorable in terms of keeping numbers up.

    “A lot of girls on my floor are going home for Labor Day weekend,” she said. “Everyone is talking about rush, though. They all seem pretty excited to see what it’s all about.”

    The formal sorority recruitment process contains multiple stages, including Open House, First Invite, Second Invite, Third Invite and Bid Day. There are twenty recruitment groups, and an invitation back to a certain house is based on a mutual selection process, Dina said.

    During the mutual selection process, each potential new member ranks the chapters in order of preference. The chapters then rank the girls and then compare their list to the potential new members’ lists in order to determine who is asked back. During Open House, they visit all chapters, and their list of chapters to visit whittles down to ten, five, and three during the First, Second and Third invites respectively.

    “It’s important for potential new members to keep an open mind to see what qualities they share with the chapter,” Dina said. “Each potential new member needs to experience what each chapter has to offer through a structured process.”

    Throughout Open House and First Invite, potential new members get to know the women of the chapter and see what each chapter house is like. During the second weekend of Second and Third Invites, recruitment becomes more serious and personal, Dina said.

    “During Third Invite, the women of the chapter explain the impact their chapter has had on them,” Dina said. “The PNM is really looking for where they fit in best.”

    On Bid Day, women then pick up their bids, invites to a chapter and each chapter plans a special activity to celebrate their newest pledge class.

    While Dina said a structured process is necessary with an estimated 1,300 women, fraternities have found that an informal recruitment and rush process is successful.

    “We have an informal recruitment where anyone can go to any house,” said Octavio Duran, junior in LAS and Vice President of Recruitment for Interfraternity Council. “Students often get bids from multiple chapters.”

    Duran said he thinks there are several advantages to fraternities having an informal recruitment process.

    “We have a say in who we want,” Duran said. “Often, sororities don’t have that say. We are able to recruit specific type of men.”

    During this time, different chapters hold rush events like football tournaments and live bands. This is also the season of a social alcohol ban.

    “During rush season, chapter events can have no alcohol because it is considered dirty rushing,” Duran said.

    After rush season, chapters still can actively recruit men to join. While numbers have been down for some chapters around campus, Duran said he is optimistic about the current rush season.

    “I predict at least a 10 percent growth,” Duran said. “We are doing newer things, like distributing folders (with recruitment information) to the dorms, and targeting a lot more people. The huge freshman class coming in will help out a lot.”

    For both fraternities and sororities, a huge setback in the recruitment process came from the shortened freshmen orientation during the summer, which meant that the Greek Life seminar was not held.

    “A lot of freshmen weren’t aware of the opportunities in Greek Life, so we had to try to get the information out (another way),” Denison said. “Quad Day was really successful, and recruitment counselors will be stationed outside the Union until Sept. 7 to pass out information and answer any questions.”

    Regardless of any challenges, Dina said, the members of the Greek system were optimistic and enthusiastic about this year’s recruitment.

    “Everything is coming together great,” she said. “Chapters feel confident and prepared. We’re so excited to welcome 1,300 to 1,400 new members into our community.”