Recruitment process demands hefty time commitment

Caroline Fassett, Investigative News Editor

Roughly 250 male and 300 female students are participating in the University’s formal fall recruitment process, which officially commenced Aug. 26. While the sorority recruitment process demands more preparation and greater time restraints than its fraternity counterpart, the University’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (PHC) both operate with the purpose of placing as many interested students into Greek life chapters as possible.

Assistant Director of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs & Community Development Mary Klebon stated that the sorority recruitment procedure is entirely established by the 26 organizations of the National Panhellenic Conference, who unanimously agree on the system’s rules and structure.

“It’s not like we’re doing something different here that no school has ever seen before. We have some control over the time of year that it happens, the timing … we place the majority of it on the weekends so it’s not interfering with classes. But aside from the schedule, we can’t really veer off on how [the system] works,” Klebon said.

Klebon says that the exact time constraints imposed on each active sorority member varies according to their chapter, the voting system used within that chapter, and the position they serve. Klebon stated that those with vice presidential membership, in particular, “work a lot” during this process.

This year’s sorority recruitment schedule required potential new members (PNMs) to undergo rounds of meeting and conversing with active Greek life members throughout the week. While it was necessary for the potential new members to dedicate between two and six hours of their time to the process on each given day, current active members often needed to commit approximately one to four additional hours to voting each night. These hours do not include the added time active members with presidential or vice presidential roles devote to organizing the process, and regular active members devote to preparing for it.

Many students voiced their frustrations with the process, but were unwilling to go on the record for this article.

Director of Social Events of Delta Gamma sorority Megan Ganning ’18 said that her four sorority recruitment preparation sessions lasted roughly two hours a night.

“It’s definitely long hours of singing and dancing, but nevertheless it brings you closer with your sisters and gives you hope for a new group of empowered women who will also be your sisters. People did it for me, so it only feels right to give it back,” Ganning said.

According to Assistant Director of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs Ashley Rastetter active fraternity members are not as constrained for time by the recruitment process.

“In relation to the women … overall membership doesn’t have a lot of hours that they commit to [preparing for] the events; they commit to the events themselves, and [to] actually getting to know the men that are interested in the organization,” Rastetter said.

The IFC is overseen by the North-American Interfraternity Conference, which, unlike the Panhellenic Conference, doesn’t impose a set system or schedule to which active members are confined.

“We don’t have open recruitment on campus, so the men are able to make their own schedule through their own time frame that has to be approved by the Office [of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs],” Rastetter said.

This comparative lack of restraint explains why active fraternity members can arrange events that last between one and two or three hours long, an interval of time notably shorter than those imposed on active female members.

Still, IFC President Jack Fitzpatrick ’17 labeled recruitment as “an exhausting process” that “takes hours and hours of planning on the fraternity side.”

“Ideally, I would like to see recruitment move to a less defined system. If recruitment could be over several weeks then it would not be as hectic or stressful. The system currently is very short, putting a lot of pressure on chapters and [potential new members]. Expanding the time frame of recruitment would only make sense if we could guarantee that the process as whole would move at a slower pace,” said Fitzpatrick.

Rastetter said that the IFC is headed by a “core group of [male students]” led by Fitzpatrick who organize recruitment procedures and plan their formal pre-recruitment event, which Fitzpatrick calls their “kick-off event.”

“What is really unique is the men also want all of the men that are interested in the fraternities to meet all of the fraternities … they require that the men come to an event held in the Terrace Room where they meet with [representatives of every fraternity],” Rastetter said.

Rastetter and Klebon agree that both recruitment systems are successful in placing potential new members into Greek organizations. Klebon stated that less than 10 women from each potential new member class are dropped from the recruitment process each year. Rastetter added that the fraternity recruitment system holds a 92 to 95 percent placement rate, saying that “the men that weren’t placed either weren’t interested in the organization that offered them membership, or just were [no longer] interested in the recruitment process.”

Fitzpatrick also expressed his approval of the fraternity recruitment process.  

“I think for the amount of hours that go in we have a great end product. As with all things there is room for improvement. Men’s recruitment was completely overhauled last year, and this current year we made a few adjustments to help the placement rates,” Fitzpatrick said.

The Vice President of Recruitment of the Panhellenic Council declined to comment for this article.

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