Putting recruitment in a different light, one new friend at a time

Due to its importance to chapters’ survival, recruitment can require more work than any other event during the Greek community’s year. It often involves weeks of preparation, which then turn into hours of actual recruitment activities with potential new members (PNMs).

This year, however, Alpha Omicron Pi’s vice president of recruitment and senior in Business, Abby Danekas, made it her goal to rid recruitment of any accompanying dread and display it in a new light: not just hours of work, but a chance to make future best friends.

“Abby has done a terrific job with recruitment,” said Colleen Savell, junior in LAS. “I have never seen a group of girls — all the girls in our chapter — be so positive about something before. Everyone always had a smile on their faces during work week, which is a huge accomplishment.”

Danekas said she also tried to take the focus off of the less important aspects of recruitment — such as what everyone is wearing and if their makeup is OK — and focus more on making connections with PNMs.

“The most important thing is not that we had a really great skit, slideshow or song, or something like that,” Danekas said, “but that the girl that was coming through felt like she had a really good conversation or made a connection and felt like she could be comfortable in our house.”

As former house treasurer, Danekas is no stranger to house leadership. She ran for VP of recruitment because she knew she could make the experience more organized and enjoyable.

“It’s an important thing because your house can’t continue without it, but it is supposed to be a fun process, not an annoying, caddy thing,” she said.

Danekas’ leadership does not end with AOPi, however. She is also the musical director for Greek Intervarsity (Greek IV), a Christian group for people in fraternities and sororities that meets once a week and conducts a musical service, she said. As musical director, Danekas sings and plays the guitar.

As a business major, Danekas is also involved in Business Council, an organization focused on helping students create professional and social connections in the business community.

“I think that time management is really what she’s put the focus on (during recruitment),” said Liz Thomas, senior in LAS. “I think she knows how much time to spend on everything — what’s important and what isn’t — and she doesn’t get hung up by the little things.”

One way in which Danekas encouraged members to get through the hours of work was by posting motivational quotes on the house walls, which Savell found helpful.

According to Danekas, one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of her position as VP of recruitment is knowing the value of her hard work she put into getting new members.

“It’s sort of funny because all of my work is going to be getting about 50 to 60 girls in AOPi that will have no idea … that this was my position, or all the work that I put in to get them in our chapter,” Danekas said. “(But) it’s still just exciting to think about.”

Danekas said she learned valuable lessons from holding this position, from the importance of having an exciting and fun atmosphere to finding ways to get everyone to work together.

“Everyone learns and works differently,” she said. “Some people want to just get things done so that they can be done with it, and some people want to go slower and go over things more or take breaks to do games. So, (I learned) how to try and find a balance when working with everyone.“

Danekas wanted members to focus on connecting with the girls they met and to be respectful, no matter who they spoke to.

“What I’ve been trying to convey to my members is … it just matters that you are being enthusiastic and interested and you are getting to know whoever it is you’re recruiting,” she said. “Regardless of if you think she would be a good fit for our house, always just be a kind, nice person to her so that it reflects well on our house.”

It is this advice and attitude that members of AOPi notice, and it’s why they are proud of Danekas’ contribution to house recruitment, Thomas said.

“I just think she did an awesome job in her position and put so much effort into this,” Savell said.

Julia can be reached at [email protected].com.