Sorority recruitment process under way

Caitlin, center, and other sorority leaders meet at Turner Student Services Building on Saturday to discuss recruitment. Erica Magda

Caitlin, center, and other sorority leaders meet at Turner Student Services Building on Saturday to discuss recruitment. Erica Magda

By Wesley Deberry

On an average day, colliding Illini football helmets and masculine grunts can be heard inside Irwin Indoor Football Facility. Thursday night, however, these sounds were replaced with softer voices of sorority members speaking to nearly 1,200 Potential New Members.

The 2007 Formal Recruitment Orientation kicked off a four-day process for Potential New Members visiting chapters, taking notes on their visits and ranking their favorites.

Dr. Lori Hart Ebert, award-winning speaker, addressed the Potential New Members on Thursday night.

“Should you join a sorority, each of you will make a choice,” Ebert said. “My biggest challenge to you … is that you make the right choices to get something valuable out of this experience.”

Ebert took center stage at orientation, but members of the Panhellenic Council and recruitment board also gave brief statements to prepare the Potential New Members for the upcoming weekend.

Panhellenic Council, the recruitment board and the “Gamma Chis” or Greek Counselors’ main goal is to create the best possible recruitment experience for Potential New Members, said Beth, vice president of public relations for Panhellenic Council. Members of these groups cut ties with their official chapters during the recruitment period and keep their last names anonymous to new members. Additionally, all Potential New Members were secluded from media outlets.

“We were chosen by the past governing board of Panhellenic to represent the entire Greek community,” Jillian, head computer chair for Recruitment Board, said. “What we have done is (disassociate) ourselves for these two weeks so that the Potential New Members do not get a biased look at any of the chapters.”

The open houses Friday and Saturday gave the Potential New Members an inside look of the different sorority houses. The Potential New Members visited each the 18 sorority houses on campus for 25 minutes.

“It’s a good number to give the Potential New Members a chance to see every chapter,” Jessica, vice president of recruitment for Panhellenic Council, said.

After visiting their last chapter Saturday, Potential New Members stopped at either Lincoln Hall or Gregory Hall to rank the sororities.

“Technology has gotten better … this year (the women) are putting their own preferences into the computer. Before we did it all by paper,” Allison, head assistant Gamma Chi, said. “When I was a Gamma Chi last year, we were putting in preferences some time after 1 a.m.”

This year the preference phase of recruiting was done in just over one hour.

Beth said that the preferences of the Potential New Members will be matched to those of each sorority, ensuring that they are mutual. “It all depends on the quotas … there is a very whole complicated, technical procedure behind all of it but it’s a mutual selection process all run through computers.”

While the technology of the preference phase of recruitment has improved, options for Potential New Members became more limited Sunday. After 30 minute visits to each of their top 10 chapters, the Potential New Members returned to Lincoln Hall or Gregory Hall to rank their favorites.

Potential New Members will have to wait until Friday before the 2007 recruitment resumes. The list of chapters they are invited back to will be narrowed to six, then to three Saturday. These visits set the stage for “Bid Day” Sunday, Sept. 9, when Potential New Members will be selected by one of the 18 chapters.