Behind the sorority scene: Recruitment 2003

Katherine Silkaitis

While many students traveled, worked or just simply slept late over winter break, Greek Life’s annual sorority recruitment called all members and hopefuls back to campus a week early.

The activities included a series of parties, interviews and voting sessions. After meeting with all eight sororities, candidates eventually narrowed their decision down to their top two choices, hoping that they would be chosen for at least one.

“For the candidate, it is a nervous excitement,” incoming president of Delta Delta Delta and junior Erin Sykes said. “They are excited to be there, but they do not know exactly what is going on. Emotions are running high.”

For some, the most difficult part of the week is deciding which sorority will be deemed first choice and which will be second.

“You do not want to disappoint the other sorority, and it is hard to know which one you really want,” Katherine Glancy, a new freshman member of Kappa Kappa Gamma said.

Despite pressures that women might feel, junior Tina Rivard, president of Pi Beta Phi, said that it is worth it in the end. “It is great seeing the excitement on their faces and to know that they want to be a part of your chapter and that we want them there as well,” Rivard said.

This year in particular garnered great success for both the candidates and current members.

“This year so many girls came out of recruitment happy,” Rivard said. “I do not know if it was a product of something the panhelenic organization did or if the girls were going in with more of an open mind, realizing that they did not need to join a specific chapter, but that Greek Life in general was good enough for them.”

Regardless of sorority, each chapter bases its search primarily on similar characteristics. “We look for leadership qualities, confidence, personality, individualism, being able to communicate well with others and the desire to become involved on campus,” Sykes said.

Sororities do face criticism and members’ qualifying attributes often come under fire. “Most of the time [critics] are opposed because they do not see the individualism within each member of a sorority,” Sykes said. “Every sorority looks for girls who are unique in their own right that will add to their chapter. No one sorority should be stereotyped in any way.”

Greek Life critics may also argue that being a member is too much of a financial strain. However, “the fees are mostly for the sorority’s philanthropy and for any social events. So, the money really all comes back to the girls in the long run or their service projects,” Sykes said.

As far a sorority. “It allows the chapter to not only have fun together, but to also help the community,” Secretary of Pi Beta Phi and junior Katie Dunne said. “We get to be hands-on and interact with the world, while we are still able to bond with each other,” Dunne said.

For freshmen, sorority life is not only about service, but also making new friends at college.

“It will help me meet more people and make great friendships, while still helping me give back to the community,” Glancy said.

While there was much success during this past recruitment, there are still changes that members would like to see take place.

“Coming from one of the smallest chapters on campus, I would like girls to see past size,” Rivard said. “Even though we may have the fewest members, we do have the biggest hearts. The girls in our chapter are dedicated to not only bettering Pi Phi, but the Greek community as a whole.”

Sykes said that the greatest satisfaction during recruitment was witnessing the future of your pledge class. According to Sykes, “It was a very traditional process and we were all excited to meet who would be our sisters.”