Spring 2021 formal recruitment for Dickinson’s panhellenic sororities will be held virtually in a partially structured format due to safety concerns surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The partially structured format will allow potential new members (PNMs) to attend two out of three rounds being held in order to be invited to attend the last round, where a bid is offered to them. In the past, PNMs were obligated to attend every round throughout the week-long process. “We wanted to make sure people weren’t getting Zoom fatigue, because that would be a lot of Zoom time over a good number of days,” said Neve Brennan, who is Vice President of Recruitment. She highlighted that giving PNMs more flexibility is important.
According to the President of the Panhellenic Council Tenzin Crowley, “this was decided by the recruitment chairs of every chapter, so it’s been a communal decision.” She also added that, “recruitment is based on the different values of each of the sororities,” adding that PNMs will receive the necessary information and be able to connect with the values of each sorority, and eventually find a sorority that has similar values to them.
Despite the virtual format, both Brennan and Crowley agree that interest level among first-years has been encouraging. Brennan was expecting a lower turnout this year, but said that “based on who’s come to the information session and the panel session so far, I think interest is pretty good especially because these sessions are over Zoom, which can be hard for people who went to a day of classes.”
Crowley also added that, “… people are really looking for community right now, and [being in a sorority is] a good way to have that.”
When asked about what they would do to ensure the process went well even over Zoom, Brennan highlighted the importance of still having Rho Gammas. A Rho Gamma is a temporarily-unaffiliated sorority member who guides ten to twelve PNMs through the recruitment process. “… That’s a huge part of the support for PNMs during that week,” said Brennan, adding that “…although it’s on Zoom you will still have the same amount of support you would have in person.”
Both Brennan and Crowley agreed that the benefits of joining a sorority are visible in each organization, citing specifically academic and leadership opportunities, community, and support. Brennan emphasized that, “This is a time where you need extra support and I’ve definitely gotten it from my sorority even though I’m not on campus.”
“You will be the happiest in the end if you follow your gut,” said Brennan.
Several first-years stated that they would not have considered participating in recruitment if they were not allowed to be on campus. Olivia DeStefano ’24 agreed, citing the need to “… focus more on my online classes since they are more time-consuming.”
When asked if she was planning on going through formal recruitment, Cara Price ’24 said, “Probably not this year, I don’t know much about sororities, to be perfectly honest.” She highlighted that if she had interacted with the sororities in person during the fall semester, perhaps she would have a different opinion on the matter.
However, most first-years were still willing to go through the process regardless of the format. “I think I’m going to [participate in recruitment] next semester […] but I’d want to know more information about how that would work virtually,” said Emily Angelucci ’24.
Eve London ’24 said she would participate, and said that, “Even though it is online I am still really excited. I can’t wait to meet new people, especially upperclassmen. I hope that the sororities will come up with unique ways to interact with us virtually.”
Noor Alhamadani ’24 said, “While I do feel like in-person recruitment and getting those connections in person is better, the online format will still allow me to connect with the other girls and explore the sororities.” She emphasized that she is looking forward to meeting other people and finding a sorority that she can “fit into and grow with.”
According to the college’s website, fraternities will also proceed with virtual recruitment this spring.