Greek Life members reflect on the most in-person sorority recruitment since 2020

The Lantern
Following a two-year hiatus, formal sorority recruitment returned in person this year. Credit: Christian Harsa | Managing Editor For Digital Content

The long-awaited return of in-person sorority recruitment concluded Monday, and active members are reflecting on the personal connections they made when recruiting face to face rather than through a computer screen.

Formal sorority recruitment occurred over the phone and Zoom for the last two years due to COVID-19 but returned almost entirely in-person this year. About 200 more Potential New Members signed up for formal recruitment this year than last year, Abby Ritch, a third-year in early childhood education and Meet the Chapters chair for Delta Delta Delta (Tri Delta), said.

“Obviously those numbers speak for themselves of people wanting to rush when it is in person,” Ritch said.

The first round, Meet the Chapters, during which PNMs hear a general introduction from all 17 Panhellenic Association chapters, was still held on Zoom to speed up the process, Ritch said.

“It makes the process go a lot quicker in terms of having quick conversations, and it’s easier for the PNMs too because they don’t have to run around to all the houses,” Ritch said.

Keegan Kwiatt, a second-year in biology and member of Kappa Alpha Theta, said keeping the first round on Zoom also ensures that chapters are not judging PNMs on appearance.

“It’s more getting to know them on the inside,” Kwiatt said. “It’s more based on the conversation than how the person is acting and their body language.”

Ritch said having all the other rounds in person — Philanthropy, Sisterhood and Preference — makes it a lot easier for students to find their home.

“In-person recruitment is a lot more exhausting, but I feel like it’s a lot more worthwhile to see the house and the girls,” Ritch said. “You can see them interact with each other in the house to see the best fit.”

Kwiatt said she underwent virtual recruitment last year, which made the process a lot more difficult.

“Personally, I feel like it was harder to make a personal connection with the people I was talking to since it was over a computer screen,” Kwiatt said.

Emma Pfister, a fourth-year in international studies and Spanish and a member of the recruitment team for Gamma Phi Beta, said her pledge class was the last to rush in person.

“It was intense and also a little intimidating, but as the rounds went on, and I wasn’t going to as many houses, I started to feel a lot more comfortable and that’s how I ended up where I am,” Pfister said.

Pfister said recruiting in person allows actives to get to know the PNMs on a deeper level.

“My pledge class hadn’t really recruited in person, so there were some difficulties there. But, in general, talking in person allows you to make a deeper connection with people,” Pfister said. “If you need to hug someone you can hug someone, whereas you can’t really do that over Zoom.”

Maya Hollander, a third-year in health sciences and outgoing president of Alpha Epsilon Phi, said there are limited opportunities for the entire sorority to be together, and recruitment is a time that benefits both active sorority members and PNMs.

“Having everyone in the sorority be able to gather before the rounds and bond and have this common thing that we’re all so excited about has really helped our sorority,” Hollander said.

Hollander said in-person recruitment was also helpful in showing members what sorority life was like before the pandemic.

“The past year, we have been trying to get back to having big in-person events again and learning what being in a sorority was like before COVID,” Hollander said. “Recruitment has definitely helped with that and definitely given us all an opportunity to bond together as a sorority.”

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