Sorority recruitment goes virtual for fall semester

Recruitment counselors, known as Gamma Chis, pose for a photo on Sept. 2 as they prepare for the upcoming sorority recruitment. Sorority recruitment was online earlier this year. Photo by Morgan Modlin.

Formal sorority recruitment has transitioned to a virtual format due to COVID-19 concerns. 

Truman State University’s Panhellenic Council will be recruiting girls virtually starting Sept. 7 following guidelines set by the University and the National Panhellenic Council

Laura Bates, director of Union and Involvement services, said  Truman’s Panhellenic Council, which comprises six nationally recognized Greek organizations, has been in contact with NPC since early March about the possibility of an altered recruitment. 

Communication has been evolving all summer,” Bates said. “NPC has been sending a weekly email of updates, hosting webinars and other resources for us. We have had several virtual meetings with them in order to be ready.”

Truman’s Panhellenic Council has also been assigned a recruitment advisory team to assist with the new restrictions and regulations because of COVID-19. This advisory team has been working closely with Bates and Truman’s recruitment team, including Panhellenic President Karlie Strawhun. 

Strawhun said NPC has given Truman guidance and guidelines on how to move forward with a safe recruitment. They also noted what has been successful at other universities who have already held a virtual recruitment.

Following these guidelines, Truman’s Panhellenic Council is hosting online events throughout the week of Sept. 7. Potential new members will watch informational videos about each chapter on Wednesday, have two days of Invite, and one day of Preference. Invite will be the first conversation between potential new members and sorority women, and will focus on philanthropy. Preference conversations focus on creating a deeper connection between potential new members and each sorority. Strawhun said all communications between potential new members and sorority women will be held over Zoom. New members will receive their bid card in person on Sept. 13 while following all social distancing guidelines. 

While originally nervous to see how a virtual recruitment would affect the number of women who signed up, Strawhun said numbers are similar to past  . 

“It’s scary because it’s different,” Strawhun said. “Normally recruitment is the same structurally from year to year. It is kind of exciting to do something new.”

Strawhun emphasized that communication between Truman’s Panhellenic Council and sororities on campus is what will make recruitment a success. Bethany Schmidt,  vice president of recruitment for Delta Phi Epsilon, said she agrees. 

Schmidt stated that Truman’s recruitment team has been a helpful resource during this transition. Recruitment team has been holding meetings and webinars to be as transparent as possible.

Though it might be difficult, Schmidt said she is glad that recruitment is online this year. 

“Of course I was disappointed about virtual recruitment, but I appreciate that we are taking a safe approach to recruitment during the pandemic,” Schmidt said. “It is a good way to show Truman and Kirksville that we will not put recruitment or Greek Life above our community’s health.”