Panhellenic recruitment returns partially to in-person

For the first time since 2020, the second-to-last and final round of recruitment was held in-person


Ashlyn Segler

New sorority members “run home” to their organizations’ lounges on Bid Day.

Ashlyn Segler, Contributing Writer

As Panhellenic recruitment returned in person this year for the first time since 2020, those on both sides of the rush process learned what it looked like to rush in person. For sororities and potential new members (PNMs) alike, the logistics of Zoom links and Wi-Fi connectivity were traded for those of recruitment attire and in-person parties.

Although the first two rounds remained virtual, sorority members were able to meet PNMs face-to-face during the second half of recruitment. Bid Day, when PNMs receive bids from sororities, was also held in person.

The last time recruitment took place in person, the class of 2023, who are now seniors, were going through recruitment as PNMs.

For many sorority members, returning to recruitment in person evoked a unique set of challenges.

“There are just far more details to worry about with in-person recruiting,” Kappa Delta Recruitment Chair Rahab Meghani said. “Every small thing has to be planned in terms of movements, aesthetics, providing for your members and timing. Online recruitment is far less logistically complicated because all you can plan is making the Zoom link and teaching members how to navigate Zoom itself.”

Multiple chapters reached out to alumni for guidance.

“None of our active members have been through the process, on this side, in person,” Tri Delta Recruitment Chair Lucy Koeniger said. “Fortunately, older and graduated members were more than eager and willing to guide us and go over questions we had about the inner workings of in-person recruitment from an active’s perspective.”

Despite difficulties with logistics, many sorority members expressed a preference for in-person recruitment. Senior Meredith Power compared her experience rushing in person freshman year to her experience this year as a member of Alpha Delta Pi.

“After going through round three in person on Sunday, I feel positive about in-person recruitment returning,” Power said. “I went through recruitment in 2020 and loved being able to feel the energy in the room and see the other PNMs. I think it’s important to be in person because our Greek activities are no longer virtual.”

Alongside active sorority members, PNMs benefit from in-person recruitment. Greek Recruitment Counselors (GRCs), who help guide PNMs through the rush process, commented on how in-person recruitment has positively affected the experience for many PNMs.

“From the PNM side, in person [recruitment] is a much better, holistic gauge of a sorority because you get to see how members interact, rather than just talking to two to three girls for a few minutes via Zoom,” Marie Claire Goff, a GRC and member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, said. “It also takes a bit of the awkward pressure off because they can read body movements and just have a conversation.”

GRC and Delta Zeta member, Imelda Donnelly, echoed Goff.

“The PNMs can clearly see how the girls in that sorority interact with one another in person, which could give them different opinions about the sorority,” she said. “Additionally, they can see the girls in line who were called back to that sorority and talk to them to see if they would like their potential pledge class.”

As COVID-19 restrictions fade further into campus history, many sorority members express a hope to return to fully in-person recruitment in the future.

“I hope to keep recruitment in person because I think it allows for a much more individualized and personalized conversation experience,” Sarah Davenport, a sophomore member of Chi Omega, said. “After going through COVID, I think all young people understand that when you speak to someone virtually, it’s a lot easier to act differently behind a screen than it is in person, and it’s easier to be your own self in recruitment when it’s in person.”

Kappa Alpha Theta member Emily McDonald added: “All in all, I would say recruitment is designed to match each girl with the place where she’ll be able to be her most authentic self, truly thrive and grow with the support of her sisters. While effective in both ways [both online and virtual], I hope that the in-person aspect coming back will be able to help each girl find her place.”