By KAYLA LASURE
A record 433 women went through this fall’s Sorority Recruitment that began Friday, Aug. 28, in Keen Johnson.
Around 265 women who participated in recruitment were placed into eight different sororities Tuesday, Sept.1.
Eastern Greek sororities include Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Delta Pi, Kappa Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Zeta, Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta and Alpha Gamma Delta.
All of the Potential New Members (PNM’s) were able to visit each sorority over the course of the five day recruitment.
Lexie Toler, a pre-veteranarian freshman from Belfy, said she came out to recruitment because she wanted to find a place at Eastern where she would fit in.
“My sister was in a sorority at another school and I saw the great experiences and the amount of community service that she was involved in,” Toler said. “I just thought it was something really special to be a part of.”
To help the PNM’s through the process is a group called the Gamma Chis. Gamma Chi’s are sorority members who disaffiliate themselves from their chapters to help counsel the PNM’s without being biased, Wade said.
“The Gamma Chis disaffiliate from their chapters starting May 1,” Wade said. “They’re there to guide and counsel the PNM’s through recruitment. They are trained to be unbiased and not care if someone comes up to them and bash their own chapter. They know they’re not a part of that chapter right now and that they’re representing Panahellinic.”
During orientation night, PNM’s were divided up into 10 groups, with two Gamma Chis assigned to each group.
“They came and saw the recruitment team,” Wade said. “They got the gist of what the schedule would look like, what to wear, just a rundown to answer any questions, and met their recruitment counselors.”
The Gamma Chis created a skit to demonstrate sorority stereotypes to show PNM’s that, that isn’t what Greek life is truly about, Wade said.
Saturday was the open house round of recruitment and started at 8:30 a.m. at Keen Johnson. In 35 minute increments with 10 minute breaks in between, PNM’s rotated among all eight chapters to meet the active members.
At the end of the night, PNM’s were asked to write down their top five sororities of which they would like to revisit the next night. At the same time, chapters were picking which women they would like to invite back to visit their chapter.
“That’s called mutual selection,” Wade said. “Chapters have to want them and they have to want chapters.”
Sunday the PNM’s visited the chapters who invited them back for philanthropy day with an allotted 45 minutes this time.
“We watched videos all about their philanthropy,” Toler said. “You could tell how passionate each chapter was about their philanthropy. What’s really special is each sorority contributes to other philanthropies as well.”
PNM’s were asked to cut their choices down to their top two to revisit Monday during the preference round when they were given an hour with each chapter on their list.
“Preference night is very different from all the other night,” Wade said. “The other nights consist of chanting and is very bubbly. Preference night is more serious. Some chapters will show you a little bit of their ritual within it. Some of the chapters will show their hard times and read stories of how their girls were there for them.”
As the women chose their top two choices, they were asked to sign a Membership Recruitment Mutual Acceptance Binding Agreement (MRABA).
“You’re signing to say that you understand you’re rights as a PNM,” Wade said. “You say ‘I know that I will receive a bid from one of these two chapters and I know if I deny this bid I have to wait until a year to come through recruitment again.”
Toler was only invited back to one of her two choices, she said. She said she was OK with only being invited back to one because she had the opportunity to bond more with the one chapter she revisited during the preference round.
“[Monday] was the best night in my opinion,” Toler said. “The seniors would read something really special about the chapter. You could just tell by the girls faces how passionate they were about the girls in there and we really learned about how close the sisterhood is.”
At the end of preference, each chapter decided which PNM’s to give bids to as a sign to ask the women to join that chapter. The chapters didn’t find out until the following day at the candlelight service who their new members were.
The last night of recruitment is candlelight and is a celebration for all eight sororities to rejoin each other in the ravine, Wade said. PNM’s received their bids at 9 p.m. from their chapters and were then considered new members of their respected chapters.
“We had all of them open them up at the same time,” Wade said. “They open up an envelope that has their letter shirt in it, a bid and what colors we pin them with of what chapter they’ll go back to.”
Candlelight is one of Wade’s favorite recruitment traditions, she said.
“It’s fun to see where people are placed and see them grow,” Wade said. “I’m excited to see the new generation to come in and change either the stereotypes or the society. And with this group of 265 women that are strict on value based I really think it’s going to change for the better.”