Sororities implement no-frills recruitment

By Courtney Flagg

News Editor

This fall marks the first year sororities on campus implemented the National Panhellenic Council’s (NPC) guidelines for formal sorority recruitment.

The NPC has been encouraging all universities with NPC sororities to switch to the more “toned down” style of recruitment since 2003. As a part of the switch, the University’s sororities have eliminated multiple elements of past recruitments, including skits, extra decorations and preference letters, in addition to a budget cap. Sorority sisters must also limit the amount of noise they make during the beginning of each round of recruitment.

“It was a change that was made nationally; the University has been taking baby steps towards a no-frills recruitment,” said Panhellenic Council President Emily Deuink ’11. “We decided to make this fall’s recruitment ‘no frills’ and get in line with national standards. Tradition kept us from accepting these changes. A lot of universities are still making them.”

In the past, sorority recruitment consisted of four “rounds”: a song round, a skit round, a philanthropy round and a preferential round. At the beginning of each round, save for the preferential round, potential new members were greeted by each sorority in enthusiastic ways, such as through cheering, yelling, stomping and singing.

At the onslaught of the decision, many sorority members expressed disappointment that they were not able to participate in the recruitment they had come to know.

“At first I was upset that I wouldn’t be able to experience the style of recruitment that I went through as an actual member. When I rushed, I really got a sense of what each sorority was about through their skits, cheering and energy,” said Kathleen Molgaard ’12, a member of Alpha Chi Omega.

Despite this initial discontent on behalf of the sorority members, Panhellenic representatives agree the transition has gone well.

“Each of the seven sororities on campus are cooperating and adjusting to the new rules really well. We were fortunate to once again host Open Suites last spring, which gave the sororities an opportunity to test out the new policies on chanting/screaming and decorations. Because of that, Formal Recruitment has been exceptionally successful,” said Panhellenic Recruitment Chair Christina Cabiati ’11.

Deuink agreed. “[Recruitment] went well. It’s a very different experience on this side of the fence, but it’s been very interesting,” she said.

One of the major changes to Formal Recruitment was the implementation of a recruitment budget. At the start of the year, the Panhellenic Council formed a committee to develop a recruitment budget for each sorority. The committee was comprised of several members of the Panhellenic Council in addition to a delegate from each sorority.

“Over the course of a couple weeks they met and discussed appropriate budget maximums. After everyone came to an agreement, we voted on the new budget bylaw during a Panhellenic meeting. Since this was the first time we used the budget cap during recruitment, we are looking at each sorority’s receipts to determine how well the cap is working. We feel that there is definitely room for improvement and are committed to discussing any changes the sororities feel are necessary,” Cabiati said.

Both Panhellenic representatives and University sorority members are excited for what the future has to hold for each of the respective sororities.

“The most resistant change has been the elimination of letters on preference round. But with new policies come new traditions. There are definitely ways to make new traditions in line with national politics. Maybe each chapter will decide to give out preference letters on bid night,” Deuink said.

Cabiati is also looking forward to what the future holds for the University’s sororities.

“I’m looking forward to seeing continued improvements with recruitment and ongoing commitments from each sorority to make our Formal Recruitment process as simple and straightforward as possible. I’m also interested in looking into how we can better educate women interested in participating in recruitment as to the mutual selection process that we use to match women with the sororities on our campus,” Cabiati said .

University students who participated in recruitment will find out which sorority they have been accepted into tonight.

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