Formal Greek recruitment for Knox fraternities and sororities is going on this week and next week.
During this time, the four sororities (Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Delta Delta, Pi Beta Phi and Alpha Sigma Alpha) and six fraternities (Beta Theta Pi, Phi Gamma Delta, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu and Gentlemen of Quality), will seek out members that best fit their Greek organizations. At the same time, people wishing to join will be able to socialize with each organization as a group to determine which one they believe fits them best.
While the fraternities and sororities have distinctly different ways of recruiting members, one thing that makes Knox different from many other schools is that no freshman is allowed to join during their first term at Knox.
About why that rule exists, Interfraternity Council Recruitment Chair and senior Jimmy Thornton said, “My guess is that they wanted Knox students to feel like they were part of Knox first, and that they could handle being a student first rather than get them to jump into Greek life. I think that’s a great rule.”
During formal recruitment, each fraternity on campus holds two events spread over two weeks. Those interested in exploring the different fraternities on campus can attend these events to get to know what each fraternity is all about.
“On the last Friday of recruitment, we have something called preference night,” Thornton said. “Guys who want to go Greek come in and fill out a preference card based on their top three choices [of fraternities they want to join].”
Thornton said that, by preference night, most of those men have received “what we call ‘bids,’ which are basically automatic acceptances.”
After preference night and after bids are given out, each house decides which new members they want to accept to their organization. On Jan. 22, “calling out night,” all the new members will be gathered together and their names, as well as the organization they will join, are read off.
President of Panhellenic Council Anne Horrell 12′ said that the process of formal recruitment for sororities is “so ridiculously different.”
“Sorority recruitment has three rounds,” Horrell said. “The first is sisterhood round, the next one is philanthropy round and the next one is preference round.”
During sisterhood round, which was Monday and Tuesday of this week, potential new members (or PNMs, as Horrell referred to them) go to the chapter houses to learn about each different sorority. After this round and before philanthropy round, they eliminate one sorority from their list of groups.
“They decide which are their top three and they cut one,” Horrell said.
Saturday is the day of preference parties for sororities, which is the one formal event of the week. Potential new members cut another chapter at that point from their list of sororities they are interested in, and then attend one or two preference parties. That Saturday evening is bid night.
“All the PNMs that are going through recruitment sign what’s known as a bid card with the Panhellenic President and Vice President saying that if a chapter extends them a bid, they’ll accept it.”
Horrell also said that sometimes it does happen that someone will aim to join a sorority that does not bid on them.
“They wouldn’t be able to go through a formal recruitment and join,” she said.
Informal recruitment, however, is much less structured and can happen at any time based on any individual chapter’s preference.
Horrell agreed with Thornton that she likes the rule of freshmen not being allowed to join a Greek organization their first term.
“At Knox, you have plenty of time to meet the chapter and the girls. You also have all fall term to get used to the college.”