Greek recruitment returns, in person

Juliette Gaggini, News Co-Editor

On Sunday, September 12, the recruitment process for Greek life on campus came to an end for the pledge class of 2021 as University students received their bids and joined their chapters. The University is home to seven active fraternity chapters and seven active sorority chapters, and students must wait until their sophomore year to begin the recruitment process.
The sorority recruitment process consisted of a series of three rounds, two of which were virtual and one of which was masked and in-person. This differed from last year’s recruitment process, which was completely virtual due to COVID-19. Potential new members (PNMs) had to attend meetings with every sorority in the first round, and with each round they were invited back to fewer sororities until the final round. Around 300 women went through the process, tightly following previous years’ trends.
The fraternity recruitment process was drastically different than that of the sororities. Instead of having scheduled events where each PNM had to meet each fraternity, the fraternities held in-person events such as field games and barbecues where PNM’s decided which fraternities they wanted to go to. Those who were selected were invited back to the fraternities. All fraternity events were held entirely in person.

The sorority recruitment process is overseen by the University’s Panhellenic Council, which is run by current students. The organization is a local governing body and represents all of the sororities at the University. Often referred to as Panhel, the organization works to unite the sororities and run educational and leadership events.

Fraternities also have a similar council, the Interfraternity Council; this council also works to unite chapters. According to the University’s website, they work to enhance the values in which fraternal organizations were founded by promoting the highest ideals of scholarship, leadership, service, and brotherhood.

Kendall Garnett ’22, current President of the University’s Panhellenic Council, reflected on this year’s sorority recruitment process and planning. “In terms of recruitment, I saw a lot of wonderful women sign up to be gamma chis, and seeing their dedication in training and their compassion as they worked with PNM’s made me proud. I also saw a lot of amazing work from chapter presidents and recruitment chairs who pulled off our first hybrid recruitment with a lot of hard work and very little complaints,” Garnett said when asked about what went particularly well this year.

“I think our programming was outstanding this year. We got the chance to hold an in-person 9/11 remembrance with Kurt Nelson, we had an outstanding Greek Week with 900+ cans donated to local food banks and hundreds donated to recruitment scholarships, we had a virtual Mental Health Week and are looking forward to hazing prevention week, academic appreciation week, and Spooktacular,” Garnett said.

Claudia Halbreiner is a junior in Delta Gamma who was enthusiastic about this year’s pledge class and in-person recruitment process. “When I went through recruitment last year it was completely virtual and there was a slight disconnect. I am so glad that the new members got to experience three whole rounds of recruitment, one of which was in person. I’m so excited to continue meeting the new members of DG at in person events this year!” Halbreiner said.

Jack Quinn ’23, a member of Delta Upsilon, was also enthusiastic about his fraternity’s pledge class and the in-person events this year. “My process last year was mostly on Zoom and it was definitely exhausting but I could say this year recruitment was more back to normal and it was nice to meet a lot of people in person. I’m really happy with how the process ended up and I’m excited to meet and get to know some of the new members,” Quinn said.

Sophomore Heather Kirchner was really excited about the recruitment process and receiving a bid to Alpha Delta Pi. “As a first-year last year, it was difficult to meet people because of social distancing and COVID-19 protocols, so I’m super excited to be part of an organization where I can meet so many awesome new people. Bid day was really fun and I’m really glad I got to experience it in person, boom boom!” Kirchner said.
Zach Gerhardt ’24 received a bid from Chi Phi and was also enthusiastic about the opportunity. “It was really awesome getting to meet people on campus who I wouldn’t have normally had the chance of getting to know. The whole process is a little scary but knowing that these guys are gonna be your best friends, possibly for life, is a really cool thing. I recommend it to anyone,” Gerhardt said.
Sophomore Amanda Pennett decided not to enter Greek life and provided the Bucknellian with the reasoning behind her decision. “I personally chose not to consider Greek life because I knew it would conflict with not only my academics but also my life as an athlete. I knew I wouldn’t feel like I could balance Greek life with my major and my athletic commitments. Mental health is also very important to me which I know I would be sacrificing by adding another commitment. While some are a great fit for Greek life and get a lot out of it I just knew it wasn’t for me and that’s okay because there are so many other ways to get involved and have fun on campus,” Pennett said.
Though there is much controversy and conversation around Greek life at the University, one clear issue is the difference in resources between fraternities and sororities. Each fraternity has a chapter house on campus and at least one house off-campus in downtown Lewisburg. Sororities, on the other hand, do not have a single house on or off-campus. Instead, many live in Hunt Hall in sorority suites. It is often argued that fraternities receive more funding which allows them to have these houses and some involved in Greek life feel this is unfair.

“The frats definitely have more funding which gives them more power over sororities. It would be nice if sororities could also have their own chapter houses with a personal chef and nice rooms,” Alicia Newman ’24, who received a bid from Alpha Delta Pi, said.

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