Campus / News / January 17, 2018

Greek groups change formal recruitment



Senior Trent Wooten , center left, and freshman Hunter Lee, center right, face off with sophomore Zeb Grun, right, and freshman Connor McClelland, left, in a game of Spike Ball at Beta Theta Pi’s formal recruitment at the Beta fraternity house Thursday Jan. 11, 2018. (Dan Perez/TKS)

Fraternities went to pick up the students who got bids after Preference Night on Friday before recruitment ended. The next night, all of the fraternities and their new pledge classes met in SMC for Calling-Out Night.

“Like with Preference Night and going to pick everyone up, [Calling-Out Night is] a celebration of what’s to come as well as [finalizing the process of] joining the organization,” Interfraternity Council (IFC) president and senior Jack Harman said.

This year, IFC implemented stricter regulations over recruitment than last year. According to Harman, the rules change every year as they do not have any specific bylaw governing recruitment. Last year had minimal regulations, resulting in what many saw as a free-for-all.

“Last year, a lot of the fraternities did two events and then there were other fraternities that did an event each day and really took advantage of that open recruitment style,” Harman said. “Which is fair because everyone decided that was what was gonna happen, but it’s also unfair because you have one group really recruiting and the other ones not doing it as much.”

IFC adopted regulations setting up events so that every house had a 60 minute event and a 90 minute event during the week and then either a 60 minute or 90 minute open house on Thursday.

Assistant Director of Campus Life for Residential and Greek Education Eleanor Kahn said that last year, the free-for-all style had allowed for some overlapping events.

“For Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, none of the events overlapped and there was even a little break in-between if people wanted to walk from one to another,” Kahn said. “I think that was inspired a little bit by Panhellenic recruitment but I think that the fraternities just have a different recruiting style and we see less people go to multiple organizations.”

The formal recruitment process officially took place from Sunday, Jan. 7 to Thursday, Jan. 11. On Friday, fraternities observed Greek Silence, at which they avoid interacting with potential new members (PNMs) as much as possible.

“[It’s] to keep everything fair so that they’re not informing that decision more than what they’ve gotten through their recruitment events,” Harman said.

The Panhellenic Council has stricter guidelines for sorority recruitment, which starts on Jan. 18 this year and goes until Jan. 20. Like the fraternities did this year, sororities hold several differently timed events throughout their recruitment.

According to Kahn, the differences largely come from the national organizations.

“On a national level, the [National Panhellenic Conference] has a lot of policies,” Kahn said. “It’s super structured, they want every chapter to be equal.”

Panhellenic Council president and senior Libby Richmond explained that they shortened recruitment this year from four days to three days. This way they have less school nights involved, as well as fewer conflicts with any other activities sorority members are involved with.

“We wanted to help people who are interested in joining a sorority but are involved in athletics, work in the evenings, all of those types of things. And also for our sorority members, so that they have fewer days where they have to prep all of their homework for the following day. In the evening it’s from 6:30 to 10:30, or longer depending on your position,” Richmond said.

PNMs are required to visit all four houses on the first night. After this ‘sisterhood’ round, Richmond explained that there are two more rounds: Philanthropy the next night and then Preference on Saturday. PNMs are invited back by a decreasing number of houses each night.

The Philanthropy round gives PNMs a chance to learn about the charities the sorority is involved with. PNMs start learning about the sorority’s traditions during the Preference round.

To further make sure the system works well, the Panhellenic Council uses a software called Campus Director, which allows the sororities and the PNMs to rank each other. This narrows down who gets bids from where, so that each PNM only gets one bid in the end.

The process rewards those who want to be a part of Greek life, as opposed to wanting to be part of a specific organization. Still, Richmond was proud that the process works well at getting people where they want to go.

“Generally, everyone is asked back [to the next round]. Usually if someone doesn’t complete the process, it’s because they didn’t want to. It’s usually not because they weren’t asked back anywhere,” Richmond said.

Connor Wood, Editor-in-Chief
Connor Wood is a senior with a double major in English Literature and Environmental Studies. He started as a volunteer writer and then staff writer his freshman year and was a news editor his sophomore and junior years. He has also worked as a communications intern for the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and as an intern with Unified News Group, both in the Madison, WI, suburbs.

Tags:  campus life formal recruitment fraternities greek life IFC panhellenic council sororities

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