In place of the typical on-campus excitement surrounding spring recruitment for the new prospects seeking to join Fraternity and Sorority Life, members of all Greek organizations on campus are now forced, once again, to reimagine their recruitment methods through online activities and meetings starting this week.
Recruitment will resume through Zoom following local health guidelines to comply with safety precautionary measures. Though the process varies within each organization, all chapters will include a meet-and-greet session with the new students to find the perfect fit for them.
With spring classes remaining online and a possible hybrid return in the fall of this year, Greek organizations are preparing to continue their online activities for new members, adhering to health and safety regulations and recent bylaws passed by the Greek Council prohibiting in-person activities on and off-campus.
“As unfortunate as this pandemic has been to everyone on campus, it has given us an opportunity to unleash our creative side when planning and disseminating these events,” said David Argueta, a fourth-year marketing management student and recruitment chair for Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
Gathering inspiration and advice from his brothers and other chapters across the state, Argueta developed a new approach to virtual recruitment this semester.
“Expanding our resources, such as our social media, to implement referral strategies where our members and the student body can recommend prospective members to leaders of our organization are at the top of our priority,” said Argueta.
The organization has implemented virtual activities with sororities on campus such as exchanging baby pictures and having members guess each other’s identities.
Although the remote recruitment process may be different from the students’ usual expectations, first-year apparel merchandise student Jordan Starr, who participated in Zeta Tau Alpha’s virtual recruitment last semester, shared that “the connections, experiences and memories that can be made by rushing and joining an organization are not affected by the current pandemic.”
These sororities maintain the engagement within their organizations with weekly events to keep their members connected.
“It has given me and other sisters a sense of community that being involved without actually being on campus can still be fun and engaging,” said Starr.
Despite meeting through online platforms, the innovative virtual events play a significant role for the organizations.
“We were able to attend a virtual makeup workshop with popular beauty gurus which brought all the sisters together for a night of learning and laughs,” Starr explained.
One of the biggest activities Greek organizations participate in throughout the year on campus is philanthropy week, where each chapter raises money for the mission associated with its organization — including cancer or Alzheimer’s research.
This year, the Chi Omega chapter made it its mission to continue raising funds for children with critical illnesses, but they also put a spin on it by hosting their events and annual shirt sales all online for the public to access and participate.
“Our usual in-person shirt sales had to be shifted to a virtual format where people could buy them and have them shipped to their home,” said Kelsey Ord, a third-year liberal studies student and philanthropy chair for Chi Omega.
The organization was able to achieve a record-breaking sale of 221 shirts for its Make-A-Wish week — numbers that exceeded their in-person sales when the campus was open.
“Activities and games will be implemented towards the upcoming week to keep those supporting our foundation engaged and interested,” Ord added. Video challenges using Tik Tok, donations and pie sales will also be held to raise awareness on their philanthropy week.