Panhel recruitment: “no frills,” no problems

Those wishing to participate in Panhellenic recruitment in the 2014-2015 school year will see a decrease in extravagance as Bradley’s Panhellenic Council (PHC) implements a “no frills” policy.

The discouragement of excessive frills began in 2003 when the National Panhellenic Council (NPC) added recommendations for a “no frills” recruitment to the bylaws.

The concept of “no frills,” as defined in the NPC Policies and Best Practices document, is a policy recommendation to limit excessive decorations, outfits, gifts and letters. The recommendation aims to cut costs and material focus in order to concentrate on “conversation and interviewing skills.”

“The purpose of this is to make recruitment more values-based and reflective of the individual potential new member’s (PNM) experience within that chapter,” senior and Director of Panhellenic Recruitment Hannah Ingrum said. “No frills essentially minimizes costs, time and investment for decorating and entertainment.”

The fall 2014 formal recruitment will be the first time NPC’s “no frills” recommendation is officially incorporated into Bradley’s sorority recruitment bylaws.

During sorority formal recruitment, PNMs visit all seven chapters for philanthropy round, the first day of the three-day recruitment process. PNMs will then visit a maximum of five chapters on the second day and a maximum of two chapters on the third day, or preference round.

For the 2014 formal sorority recruitment period, PHC chose to only implement certain parts of the “no frills” policy throughout the three days, focuses more specifically on the first day of recruitment.

To do this, four main changes will be implemented.

First, a budget cap will be set for each of the days of recruitment, and all receipts for expenses must be turned into PHC 10 days prior to the start of the formal recruitment process in August.

Second, sororities may not serve any food during philanthropy round. PHC will provide a meal for the PNMs instead; however, chapters may still serve water, tea and lemonade.

Third, sororities may not showcase any additional extravagant decorations that would allow the chapter house to appear different from its ‘typical look.’ Outdoor display banners will still be permitted.

Finally, a single shirt design will be required for all chapter women for philanthropy round only. Each house will wear that matching shirt with their chapter’s letters and a color unique to their sorority.

“I think [the ‘no frills’] is a very positive change for our campus,” senior and Chi Omega Recruitment Chair Alyssa Adamus said. “[PNMs] will be able to better understand how greek life works together to achieve a community of sisterhood.”

Kappa Delta Vice President of Membership Sarah Handler said it is still too soon to know how the sororities will react to the changes.

“It’s too early to tell exactly whether or not it will affect our recruitment, but I’m sure my chapter, as well as Panhellenic as a whole, will do everything possible to make recruitment successful,” she said.

Beyond changes in presentation, formal recruitment will also see a decrease in the amount of recruitment counselors who guide PNMs in the process as an unbiased resource and mentor.

Only 39 recruitment counselors will lead PNMs this year, a significant drop from last year’s 53 recruitment counselors.

“We felt that having such a large number of recruitment counselors was unnecessary and actually hurting [sororities’] respective chapters because it left them with less women to recruit,” Ingrum said.

As for the “no frills” policy, Ingrum said she has a positive outlook.

“I just think that the incorporation of the no frills policy is going to allow [PNMs] to see the chapters in a much clearer perspective,” Ingrum said. “It is my hope that it will take away some of the fakeness that seems to be associated with recruitment, and that the [PNMs] will feel much more comfortable.”

Ingrum said PHC plans to update current recruitment bylaws in mid-April to finalize all policies for the sorority formal recruitment process.