Greek organizations plan for virtual recruitment

by Andrew Sasser | 7/24/20 2:25am

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by Sydney Gillman / The Dartmouth Staff

As students prepare to return to campus in the fall, Greek organizations are preparing for virtual recruitment. No in-person recruitment activities will be held for the entire year, but the fraternity and sorority governing councils are each developing a virtual recruitment process.

Although sororities traditionally have recruitment activities in the fall, there will be no recruitment events for fall term this year, according to Inter-Sorority Council recruitment chair Mira Chatterjee '21. Chatterjee added that the “stress” associated with the return to campus in the fall factored into this decision.

“This fall is going to be an overwhelming term for everybody, both our potential new members and current sisters,” Chatterjee said. “We don’t want to focus on hosting a virtual rush when we are all trying to figure out everything else.”

Chatterjee added that the ISC is committed to hosting a virtual rush in the winter term, and that the ISC is also considering an additional virtual rush opportunity in the spring.

In contrast, fraternities have not yet made a decision on whether to host a virtual rush for the fall. Interfraternity Council president Michael Saturno '21 said that fraternities will hold virtual rush events this winter but added that the IFC has not decided on whether to host additional rush opportunities in the fall or spring. Saturno added that final details will be released by the “end of summer.”

With the switch to remote rush events, fraternities and sororities are also considering ways to modify the traditional rush process. 

According to Saturno, the shakeout process for fraternity rush will likely require an online form to be submitted and added that the rush process will last longer than the “typical” week-long process.

“I would expect that the process might last most, if not all, of a term,” Saturno said. “We’ll need the extra time for houses to get to know new members and vice versa.”

With regard to sorority rush, Chatterjee said that the ISC will allow anyone who has taken classes for three terms to rush, regardless of whether they were on campus or remote. Chatterjee also said the ISC is working with individual sororities to facilitate a rush process that will benefit both new members and their respective houses.

Kappa Delta sorority recruitment chair Kos Twum '21 said that she is planning to develop a rush process similar to the pre-rush events her sorority held on Zoom in the spring. She added that she is trying to make recruitment appear “as normal as possible.”

“I’m trying to look on the bright side,” Twum said. “It’s going to be like an in-person rush but just through a computer screen.”

Twum said that she is working on facilitating informal interactions with potential new members through social media, such as Instagram live stories. She also mentioned that KD may hold more formal pre-rush events in the fall over Zoom, depending on guidance from the ISC.

With regard to fraternities, Saturno said that all fraternities will likely be required to host “some sort” of virtual information session for new members. He added that while these events will not be required for new members, the IFC “strongly urges” new members to attend so that they can get to know the houses better.

In spite of the circumstances, some students are looking ahead to virtual rush.

Ali Silva '23 said that while she was “a little bummed out” about not being able to do in person rush, she hopes that she will be able to participate more in Greek life during her sophomore summer. She added that while she wished she could get rush “out of the way” in the fall, she understands the decision.

“It’s coming up really fast for sororities, and it would probably take a lot of work to get it together in time,” Silva said.

Annie Politi '23 said that while she wished she could participate in a “normal” rush, she thinks that virtual rush will be an “uplifting experience” if everyone has an “optimistic attitude.” 

However, she did acknowledge that virtual rush won't have the same “feeling” as an in person rush.

“It's going to be hard to replicate the feeling of going inside a house and being able to feel the atmosphere,” Politi said. “However, I’ve had a lot of really positive virtual experiences with sisters in pre-rush events, so I’m still looking forward to rush.”