Panhellenic recruitment sees new changes this year as discussions continue about the possibility of affiliated recruitment counselors in the future and with the addition of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
SIUE is currently home to five sororities that participate in Panhellenic recruitment: Alpha Phi, Alpha Sigma Tau, Alpha Xi Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Delta Phi Epsilon. Kappa Kappa Gamma is entering its first full year at SIUE.
Panhellenic recruitment begins on Aug. 21 with Potential New Member Orientation. This is followed by three nights of events during which potential new members learn more about the different groups and determine which sorority they are most interested in joining. The process ends with Bid Day on Aug. 25, when new members are matched with their sororities.
The addition of Kappa Kappa Gamma has led to some changes to the process this year. It will look similar to how it has in the past, but those going through recruitment will have an additional organization to choose from and the preference process will be slightly different, according to Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life Tyler Manning.
“Kappa Kappa Gamma officially chartered and was established as an organization in Fall of 2018, and so because of that, women will get to visit five chapters during their first round of recruitment instead of four, as it has been in the past,” Manning said. “During round two, which is on Friday, they’ll get to visit up to four chapters, which is different because in the past they’ve only been able to visit up to three, and then for round three on Saturday, they’ll get to visit up to two. So they get, honestly, more opportunities during that second round to visit more chapters.”
Adding another organization has also led to changes in the location of certain events, namely Bid Day, Panhellenic recruitment’s concluding event.
“With five chapters, we are outgrowing the place we traditionally use in the Meridian Ballroom.” Manning said. “There’ll still be a portion of Bid Day that is happening in the Meridian Ballroom, and then we’ll move the group outside to the Quad to kind of conclude Bid Day and allow our women to, what they call, ‘run home to their chapter.’”
Recruitment counselors play a large role in the recruitment process. According to Panhellenic Executive Council’s Vice President of Recruitment and junior political science major Paulina Fuhrmann, of Collinsville, Illinois, recruitment counselors provide guidance for the potential new members.
“Recruitment counselors are mentors for the women going through recruitment,” Fuhrmann said. “They really help the women to just understand what the process is like and just really guide them throughout it.”
The women selected to be recruitment counselors are trained extensively prior to recruitment, and this training consists of learning guidelines for helping the potential new members as well as learning more about all the sororities on campus, according to recruitment counselor Joy Williams, a junior biology major from Decatur, Illinois. The training included a weekend retreat during the summer and additional training Aug. 12-14, the week before recruitment.
“Over the summer, we had a weekend retreat, and we went and they told us all the rules and like what to wear each night, and then we learned every sorority’s chants because you have to know them for the reveal and everything,” Williams said. “And then we learned every other sorority’s philanthropies, mottos and their mascots, all that kind of stuff, so that we can talk about sororities that aren’t just our own.”
Recruitment counselors are also required to disaffiliate from their sororities. This allows them to provide more unbiased advice to the women going through recruitment, according to Fuhrmann.
“We ask them [recruitment counselors] to remove pictures from their social media sites of them with their sisters or wearing their letters, [and] we ask them to not wear their letters on campus — those are kind of our big rules that we ask them to follow.” Fuhrmann said. “Of course, you know, they should ensure that they’re being unbiased and that they’re helping the women find where they belong, not where the recruitment counselors think they belong.”
In recent months, there have been conversations about changing this aspect of recruitment and allowing recruitment counselors to remain affiliated with their sororities. These discussions will continue, according to Manning.
“After some thoughts from our chapters, we thought it would be more beneficial to wait until this recruitment period was over, and really as soon as that period is over, which is Aug. 26, [we can] really take the time in September and then through the rest of this fall semester to engage in conversations with our entire Panhellenic community about what would it look like for our recruitment counselors not to disaffiliate,” Manning said. “So that conversation will continue, it will be a collaborative conversation between all five of our chapters and our Panhellenic Executive Board.”
The deadline to register for Panhellenic recruitment is Aug. 20 at noon. To learn more or register for recruitment, visit http://www.siue.edu/kimmel/greek/cpc_recruitment.shtml.