Opinion: Recruitment could have been in-person this year

Anna McBride

Photo courtesy of Panhellenic Council of IWU instagram

Sorority and fraternity recruitment, oftentimes known as rush, has been around for decades. The purpose of recruitment is to help men and women find people that align with their values. Sororities and fraternities help members get connected and serve the community around them.

 On Illinois Wesleyan University’s campus, fraternity and sorority life has been around for over 145 years. To quote the university, “Throughout recruitment, you will learn about the many exciting opportunities available to members of our chapters such as philanthropy events, service opportunities, scholarships, networking, leadership development, alumni connections, and much more.” The execution of these many exciting opportunities has become more complicated as the IWU Panhellenic Council decided to move sorority recruitment online. This year, recruitment will take place over four days consisting of two nights over zoom, one night in-person at alternative campus locations and bid day done in shifts at the respective greek houses. This decision is based on the current rise in covid cases which is something that we should always take into consideration during this time. Nevertheless, I think there could have been more effort in trying to have the events in-person. 

Illinois State University, which is three minutes down the road from Illinois Wesleyan, will be having their recruitment week as well, with theirs looking a little different. Instead of mostly virtual and not allowing girls to see what could be their future home, ISU will be having what was originally I plan. Their first night will be virtual, but the following nights will be in-person, while still abiding by covid safety guidelines. Potential new members (PNMs) will go from house to house throughout the rush process and receive an in-person bid day. 

To put it in perspective, their more than 300 pnms will get to meet sorority members and the house they could call home in-person, whereas our 80 pnms will only get to see our faces and speak to us in-person one night and will not be able to see the place that they will live before making their final decision. 

Just like it’s hard for many to pay attention and connect to other students and faculty in online classes, it’s hard to connect over zoom and try to feel if you fit into and want to be in a place you’ve never been. Whereas I see why the panhellenic council opted to move recruitment online due to the rising covid cases and to protect students and faculty, I think we still could have had an in-person recruitment, still being covid safe by requiring proof of a negative test, wearing masks and always maintaining a six foot distance.