Panhellenic students discuss sorority, fraternity recruitment
Before even coming to university, many students already know whether or not they are going to participate in Greek life. However, prior to joining up, students set on sorority and fraternity life have to endure the infamous “rush week.”
The Panhellenic council is an organization that governs all social interest sororities on campus. It oversees a total of ten sororities on this campus, including two associate organizations that do not participate in formal recruitment.
“We have Formal Recruitment at the beginning of Fall Quarter every year where are all eight chapters participate in open house activities,” said Panhellenic Council President Suzi Jacobs, a fourth-year communication and psychology double major. “All of [the sororities’] active members speak with members who are going through the recruitment process. This year we had about 560 […] people go through recruitment.”
Each day of recruitment has a theme and gives potential new members a chance to get to know each chapter on campus. Jacobs stressed the importance of potential members finding a chapter that will help them grow, and for current members to find recruits who can help the chapter grow. This process is called “values-based recruitment.”
“By the end of rush week, [potential new members] get more comfortable and find women who they are bonding with,” Jacobs said. “By the end of the week they find where they feel like they belong.”
Special-interest sororities have different motivations behind their recruitment guidelines. For the latina-based sorority Lambda Theta Nu, the recruitment process is much longer.
“We’re always recruiting — we have socials for people to come and get to know us [and] study jams where people can get study help,” said Lambda Theta Nu treasurer Quetzalli Haro, a fourth-year political science and chicano studies double major. “That way the girls can start getting to know us — we want to build that home away from home. After that they can decide whether they want to start the process [of becoming a member] or not.”
Lambda Theta Nu is based on the three pillars: academic excellence, community service and sisterhood. Their motivation is to help Latinas thrive on a college campus.
“A lot of Latinas don’t make it to higher education, and we are here on campus to make sure [Latinas] get where we have to go,” Haro said. “[Our chapter has] the highest GPA in our council, and we are in the top ten amongst all the sororities and fraternities on campus.”
For Haro, the recruitment process is vital in helping potential members understand the goals of the sorority and how they fit in with those goals. Their sisterhood is about inner growth through support that their sisterhood provides.
In addition to social and multicultural options available on campus, professional co-ed fraternities based on major or career choices are just as sought-after. Melissa Leong, third-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major rushed a pre-medical fraternity during the Fall Quarter of her first year, but did not get initiated. She found that rushing too early in her college career was not for her.
“In high school I knew everyone in my classes because we would all take the same classes together,” Leong said. “Going to college, [rushing] and meeting people for only five minutes [at a time] was a really big change for me, and I didn’t like that.”
She chose a fraternity with special interest in pre-med in order to focus more on the academic support that Greek life offers. Recruitment activities for the fraternity lasted one week, and included events during which Leong got to know both members and potential members.
“If you want to rush then go ahead!” Leong said. “But, if it doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t hurt to wait until later on. There will be more chances for you to do it.”
Leong is currently planning on rushing a service-oriented fraternity focused on philanthropy and the community this fall. She feels more confident this time round because of the time she took to experience meeting and interacting with new people outside of the Panhellenic spectrum.
“[Rushing] is not a spur of the moment decision,” Haro said. “Do [your fellow members] hold your ideals? Do you fit in? Are they your home away from home? Does [the chapter] do things you would be proud of? [Joining a sorority or fraternity] is a lifetime commitment, and you need to look for what you want.”
Written by: Amanda Cruz — firstname.lastname@example.org