Who’s excited for sorority recruitment?!
While many of you have just finished finals and are jumping into exciting summer adventures, there are hundreds of women eagerly anticipating going through primary recruitment in just a few months!
Before you know it, the doors on your campus will swing wide to hundreds of women chanting in outfits coordinated with the room’s aesthetic. As a seasoned member of the Panhellenic community, you know what kind of chaos to anticipate during this season. It can be easy to forget, however, that our potential new members may not know what to make of the week long process and instead get lost in the madness.
Reflecting on my experience as a PNM several years ago, I remember being overwhelmed hearing various comments about chapters and seeing sorority women in herds of matching t-shirts on campus. As an out of state student, I knew very little about what these chapters were all about and how they were different from one another before round one. I didn’t have friends from high school telling me what to think about my campus’ Panhellenic community before starting the process of joining it myself.
Sitting in my recruitment orientation and meeting my recruitment counselors for the first time felt like the opportunity I’d been waiting for, to get all my questions answered and my uncertainty resolved. I texted my recruitment counselor, Alex, every time I thought of something I needed answered and was so receptive to her feedback because I was reliant on her insight. I connected with another PNM in my residence hall when I noticed her walking the same direction as me to orientation and found a friend in her as we excitedly navigated the process together.
The reason I was so eager for allies in recruitment even though I did not understand the process was because I knew what I wanted out of it: sisterhood. Like many of your potential new members, and probably many of you when you were in their shoes, our women are seeking intentional community in their college experience through membership in our chapters. The weeks leading up to recruitment provide us the opportunity to give them a glimpse of how they could see themselves in our community.
Picturing it now, you might be realizing that summer will be over in a blink of an eye, but it’s not too late for you & your community to intentionally prepare for the exciting growth that will come following recruitment. Based on my experience, I wanted to share a few ways that you can support your potential new members and help them see themselves in your community before they join one of your chapters:
- Be purposeful in communicating with your potential new members! From Instagram posts to their registration link, how are you welcoming them to your community and empowering them in the process? These different online platforms or tabling at summer orientations are great opportunities to allow potential new members to see themselves in your community. Share how your chapters are succeeding in service, academics, or professional development. Talk about how your community collaborates with other groups on campus or how your chapters work together at different times of the year!
- Intentionally educate your recruitment counselors on not only how to facilitate logistics but how to serve as a Panhellenic ambassador. Do your recruitment counselors proudly embody Panhellenic friendship? Your potential new members and future leaders of your community will find relationships beyond the walls of their chapter if they see that modeled in their recruitment counselors. In my experience, seeing the friendship of my recruitment counselors made me more excited to be a member of the Panhellenic community beyond any of the specific chapters I was considering!
- Make your pre-recruitment events an engaging introduction to your community! How do the events you host leading up to recruitment introduce your potential new members to the community? Is it an environment where they feel they need to be polished and reserved or can they feel comfortable being themselves? You and I both know that our potential new members spend way too much time thinking about what they should wear instead of being excited about the opportunities of membership. Consider inviting a speaker to your campus to empower them in bringing their authentic selves into every round and to emphasize the impact the next week of recruitment can have on their lives.
So whether you feel like recruitment is forever away or starting tomorrow, just remember that what you get to provide in welcoming new women to your community is the most exciting, life-changing opportunity for them. How you communicate with them before they’re even on campus to how they feel with their recruitment counselors will demonstrate how excited you are to have them. I encourage you to think about what you needed as a potential new member and collaborate with other officers or council leadership to see it provided for those joining your community this year.