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Greek life organizations continue to recruit

Photo by Anthony Landahl

Despite having virtual formal recruitment, Greek life organizations saw a similar amount of interest as previous years in joining fraternities and sororities, according to assistant director for fraternity and sorority life Kathleen Prout.

Prout said she was surprised to see numbers and interest similar to last year’s, though now with a fully virtual recruitment process. However, she declined to disclose the specific number of new members.

For Panhellenic Council recruitment, orientation and every round of recruitment took place Aug. 26-30. The first round consisted of sororities rating potential new member profiles, and the following rounds consisted of one-on-one conversations over Zoom.

“We had a lot of women who maybe we’re really challenged by the fact that they didn’t get to have some of those really great interactions in person and were kind of put off by a virtual recruitment,” Prout said.

There were weekly meetings over the summer to try and plan for the fall. Blake Durbin, director of recruitment for the Interfraternity Council (IFC), said the board wasn’t sure what would be allowed until a month before the start of recruitment.

“I kind of thought it was in good faith the way Bradley did it,” said Durbin, a senior construction management major. “They made sure that we were all safer and they don’t want, obviously, an outbreak going on, so it’s totally understandable.”

IFC also had an online formal recruitment on Aug. 29 with Airmeet where potential new members met with different fraternities virtually through presentations instead of at the chapter houses.
Students could not have in-person conversations with current members at the house, and Durbin said those interactions are a major part of choosing which fraternity to join. However, he said the online version worked out well and more students attended than expected.

Fraternities also hosted informal in-person events the week after the virtual formal recruitment while adhering to social distancing guidelines, wearing masks and tracking attendance through Presence.

“We were encouraging them to do recruitment pods, so that way the same men were kind of interacting all together, whether they were in-house or out-of-house,” Prout said.

Durbin said the in-person events that fraternities hosted had strict rules and were closely monitored by IFC. He said that some fraternities went bowling and others went out to eat, but university guidelines were still followed.

“[We] as a IFC board were walking around and making sure everyone was doing the rules and such, and it worked out really well,” Durbin said.

Prout said that IFC saw lower numbers this fall, and Durbin said around 100 students joined fraternities. An exact number cannot be determined due to new members still joining after the formal recruitment process ended.


Both IFC and Panhellenic adopted a continuous open recruitment model where fraternities and sororities are encouraged to continue recruiting after the formal process. This model was adapted after national organizations and the campus saw a need for continuing to offer different experiences for the students who wouldn’t be comfortable in large groups or who did not want to constantly be online.

Durbin said that he believes recruitment should always be a year-round process but hasn’t officially been until now. He encouraged potential new members that weren’t comfortable with joining a fraternity right away to wait until it felt right for them or wait for informal recruitment in the spring.
He told chapters to keep up with their online presence and to continue reaching out to potential new members.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and Multicultural organizations go through a different process that is not public until new members are presented to campus.

Prout acknowledged that students are working hard to navigate through this virtual world and still build relationships through various platforms including Zoom, Airmeet and online video games.

“If anyone is interested in joining a fraternity or sorority on campus, out of the 30 organizations that we have, across IFC, Panhellenic, NPHC and our MGC organizations, there’s a lot of ways that they are working hard to be communicating and continuing to grow those connections,” Prout said.

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