by Vicki Daguerre-Bradford
Roanoke College has three PanHellenic Sororities, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Delta Gamma, and Chi Omega. In past years, each sorority has hosted two recruitments session for every school year. Informal recruitment has been in the fall and has only been open to sophomores and above. Formal recruitment has been held in the Spring Semester, directly after Winter Break, and girls from freshman year and older have been allowed to participate.
This coming fall semester, the system is set to change. Roanoke College’s PanHellenic Council and Greek Life Advisor have decided, on request from the National PanHellenic Council, to amend the system. Informal Recruitment will no longer be happening and Formal Recruitment will be the same as it has been, except in the Fall. change although Formal Recruitment will remain the same as it has in past years.
Traditionally, at RC, Informal Recruitment is less structured than Formal. Formal Recruitment is held in the week prior to classes starting for Spring Semester. Each day there is a set schedule for every sorority and Potential New Member (PNM). Sororities have a set number of parties each day with set times for each round of parties. PNMs are required to go to certain parties at specified times. The whole process is organized by PanHel.
In contrast, informal lasts for a couple of weeks. PNMs are allowed to choose which parties they want to attended and at which sorority. There is no set schedule from PanHel and PNMs and sororities are given more freedom to decide how to recruit within the rules. Sororities hold parties that are often less structured and on their own agenda. Pledge classes are often around 15 or more New Members, about the same size as formal recruitment. This fall only two sororities will participate in informal recruitment and the recruiting process will change.
The purpose of this year’s informal recruitment will be to even out the number of active members in each sorority, so that one does not have more than the other two. Therefore, instead of two full sized pledge classes of over ten girls, the pledge classes will most likely be less than five new members each to give each sorority the same number of girls across the board going into Formal Recruitment.
This method of recruitment will more closely resemble the snap-bid process. In the place of hosting parties, sororities will seek out unaffiliated girls that they believe would be good fits for their sisterhood and invite them to informal meetings, such as coffee dates, with an active sister.
Sorority Recruitment will not be advertised in the fall semester since the process has changed to a personal one with no parties, gatherings or formal Bids Days. Therefore, PanHel has already started to plan ways to present Greek Life to the incoming Freshman Class and prepare them, and the rest of the student body, for formal recruitment. Chapter Recruitment Chairs and other leading members were notified about the changes in the policy early and have started to plan ways to promote Greek Life in the Fall, despite the changes. The amendments to informal recruitment will have long term positive effects on Greek Life, such as hopefully ease the process of moving formal recruitment to the Fall and bringing a new Sorority to campus.