Sorority recruitment re-gears process toward relationship-building

Miranda Marinello

Beginning Tuesday, over 1,000 undergraduate sorority women and potential future sisters will be in the Student Center for Panhellenic recruitment.

Kent State’s eight sororities plan to focus on values-based recruitment this year, making changes both university staff and Greek life leaders hope will shift attitudes away from flashy booths and over-the-top presentations and toward relationship building.

Dennis Campbell, assistant director for fraternity and sorority life, stressed that fraternities and sororities are all values-based organizations.

“I think this year our community has made even more of a double-down, saying ‘this is what we believe in,’” he said.

The move towards values-based recruitment has brought on a string of changes that allow for the process to focus on developing relationships between potential new members and sorority leaders.

Changes to recruitment include an overhaul of each round of recruitment.

Open house round, previously called the philanthropy round, is held at the Student Center Tuesday through Thursday. During the open house round, potential new members will meet sisters from each of the eight sororities in 40 minute intervals. The open house round focuses on pleasantries and an in-depth breakdown of each chapter’s philanthropic efforts.

“The idea of this is kind of like getting to know the chapter and kind of figuring out what it is that this chapter’s all about in that round,” Dasha Harris, the coordinator for fraternity and sorority life, said. “So in the first round they can expect to get to know kind of the nitty-gritty of that chapter.”

After potential new members meet every sorority, recruitment counselors – sorority women who have temporarily disaffiliated from their chapters to help potential new members through the recruitment process – assist them in choosing their top five choices.

Next, the sisterhood round (previously house tours) is held in sorority houses Friday afternoon. The chapters that don’t have houses, Phi Mu and Sigma Delta Tau, will host their sisterhood round in the fraternity houses of Delta Upsilon and Kappa Sigma.

The sisterhood round is the most significant change from years’ past. What was once a round focused on each chapter’s house and its features is now a round dedicated to potential new members learning about what it’s like to be a part of a sorority.

“The point of the sisterhood round is to kind of get a deeper understanding of what makes that sisterhood unique and where that potential new member could potentially fit in with that sisterhood,” said Rachel Stevenson, a senior public relations major and the Panhellenic Counsel’s vice president of recruitment and retention.

After sisterhood round potential new members rank their top two chapters.

The preference round, which has kept its name and content, is held Saturday morning wherein potential new members are meant to connect with sisters on a deeper level and soul search to determine which chapter is their home. Each chapter gives a demonstration of their ritual with potential new members and a deeper explanation of their values.

Saturday evening each potential new member can consult with their counselor before turning in their final chapter rankings in their Membership recruitment acceptance binding agreement, which is the final ranking of sororities a potential new member is willing to accept bids from.

Harris recommended asking yourself the important questions when creating your list.

“I like to tell everyone not to run on emotions but to take a step back, calm down, take a deep breath, close your eyes and imagine where you would picture yourself after going through the rounds… Just take a deep breath, relax, and think where would you be the most comfortable?” Harris said. “Where would you want to go home to after a long day in class… Who do you want to go hang out with?”

Bid day takes place Sunday and consists of potential new members becoming new members by accepting their bids, running to their chapter and going to a celebration with their new sisters.

Counselors also reveal their chapter’s letters and run home with new sisters, wrapping up a long, yet potentially permanently formative, week of these young women’s college careers.

More upcoming events hosted by Greek organizations can be found on the Fraternity and Sorority Life’s community calendar here.

Miranda Marinello is the Greek life reporter. Contact her at [email protected]