Greek students passing out flyers all week, giant boards promoting Greek chapters and students all around campus sporting their Greek letters, this is what the WIU campus was like all last week. To non-Greeks, the constant promoting of Greek life may have become somewhat annoying, but for me, as a member of the sorority Phi Sigma Sigma, seeing all the excitement about recruitment was intriguing because I know that there will soon be many new sisters joining my chapter.
While the week was fun, recruitment is often very stressful for most of us Greeks, especially for those on the PanHellenic council recruitment team. This fall almost 200 women were registered for recruitment; those 200 women were in good hands because they had 25 recruitment counselors (Rho Chis) helping them through the process.
Recruitment weekend (last weekend) consisted of three different rounds before “Bid Day” when the potential new members found out what sorority they will soon join. The first round is the philanthropy round in the Union, where they met with each of the sororities, talked to members and learned about that sorority’s philanthropy. The second round consisted of house tours where the sororities invited some girls to tour their house, while getting to know them better. The third round was the preference round where the sororities invited a smaller group of women back to their house; during this round the girls got to know a couple members on a much more deeper level; at that point, potential members then participated in the sorority’s preference ceremony.
The job of a recruitment counselor is not always an easy one. They cannot wear their letters or have any contact with their sorority for about a month and a half before recruitment. They have to abstain from anything regarding their sorority so that potential new members don’t know what sorority their recruitment counselor belongs to; this keeps the potential new members from joining a house based on the sorority their recruitment counselor is a member of here at WIU.
Taylor Fischer, a law enforcement and justice administration major and assistant vice president of recruitment, explained the duties of a recruitment counselor. “Rho Chis remain unbiased, (and are) available 24/7 during recruitment weekend for their recruitment group. They are there to help inform them about the mutual selection process and they are there as a support system,” said Fischer.
WIU recruitment style is considered “no frills”; this basically means that the individual sororities cannot have all of their members in matching clothing or have decorations at the sorority house during the three rounds of recruitment. Haley Delia, a communication major and vice president of recruitment, explained to me the purpose of using a “no frills” recruitment style.
“The whole point of no frills is because women should join organizations based on the values they have in common, not how cute the skits, outfits or decorations are. No frills allows women to focus on the conversations and relationships formed during the recruitment process,” said Delia. She also discussed two changes the recruitment team implemented this year; all sorority members wore unity shirts during the house tours. Unity shirts displayed the chapter’s letters and “Sorority Recruitment” on the front with the back stating, “Add a chapter to your story.” The sorority recruitment team also utilized social media more.
With 19 fraternities and 10 sororities on campus, WIU has a very active Greek system. It provides great leadership, scholarship, networking and community service opportunities. For more on Greek life here at Western, visit http://www.wiu.edu/student_services/greek_life/.