By Amanda Wolfe
On January 8, 56 young women gathered in the Wortman Ballroom to begin their four-day journey of being introduced to Greek life at Roanoke College. Of course, there was plenty of guidance for the potential new members (PNMs) thanks to the thorough preparation of Roanoke’s Panhellenic Council and organization of Greg Hanlon and Kody Rother—both of whom were present the entire time to answer questions and ensure that everything ran smoothly. Audra Aldrich, senior and Panhellenic Vice President of Recruitment, played a pivotal role in the success of the spring recruitment process with the help of the other executive Panhellenic officers: Vice President of Administration, Meredith O’Connell, and President, Kasiana Beja. Aldrich was overall abundantly pleased with Formal Recruitment 2015, commenting, “I think recruitment went very well and I was excited for all of the chapters to get a large new member class. It was a fun and exciting time to be able to watch the girls find their new home within the Greek community at Roanoke College.”
Nonetheless, the 2015 Formal Recruitment did have a slight decline in the number of women rushing, believed to be caused by the rise in underground sorority membership on campus. Unrecognized and not protected by Panhellenic rules, those involved in underground sororities risk exposure to hazing and other unethical practices—and the problem is apparent among underground fraternities too. Recruitment of the three sororities currently recognized by Roanoke College, including Delta Gamma, Alpha Sigma Alpha, and Chi Omega, remains strong as over 50 women were introduced to just how wonderful Greek life can be on this campus. In fact, all the women who saw the entire process through received a bid.
Also playing key roles in the formal recruitment process were the Pi Chis chosen by the RC Panhellenic Council. Julia Holahan, Elizabeth Capps, Zoe Richards, Stacy Dixon, Simone Assaley, Abby Davis, Mackenzie Slater, Rebecca Smith, Cait Hartland, Alex Warn, Gaby Guerra, and Sarah Womack all temporarily gave up their letters to serve as unbiased counselors to the PNMs as they went through the stressful, but worthwhile experience. The PNMs were split into several small groups and were each assigned two Pi Chis who were available nearly 24/7 for advice on everything from determining which sorority is the right fit to which outfit to wear to Preference Night.
Stacy Dixon, Pi Chi and member of Chi Omega, said, “Being a Pi Chi for Formal Recruitment and having the opportunity to help girls find their home in the Greek community was one of the most rewarding experiences. It allowed me to meet so many wonderful girls, and it gave me the chance to get to know girls from other sororities. I’m so happy and honored to have been part of such an exciting time for the new members and organizations!”
Naturally, the sororities pulled out all the stops to appeal to the PNMs during their parties. DG, ASA, and Chi O all impressed with matching outfits, vibrant displays of their creativity, thorough expertise on their philanthropies, and a strong showcase of their tight sisterhood.
Upon accepting their bids, the new members took turns shouting out the name of their new sororities into a megaphone across the back quad before running toward their new chapter where they were welcomed by enthusiastic screaming and hugging. The new members truly felt like they were being welcomed home, as new member of ASA Shannon Groat said, “Formal recruitment was a lot of fun and I was able to meet and talk to a lot of sisters. I had the opportunity to learn a lot about each sorority to make the best choice and find the one that I would feel the most at home in.”
Ultimately, each woman ended up where she belonged, as all sororities offered a lifetime guarantee of career opportunities and an unbreakable sisterhood among the numerous other benefits of joining a sorority.