Greek Life recruitment starts at Eastern


Anya Porter

Ciera Terry (left), a sophomore biological science and music major, and Valery Thomas (right), a sophomore astronomy major, stand in a line with other women outside Alpha Sigma Alpha’s chapter house. Those participating in recruitment start heading to chapter houses at 5 p.m and they stay there until midnight. Once participants leave the chapter house, they must stay silent to remain unbiased during the recruitment process.

Analicia Haynes, Hannah Shillo

Editor’s note: This is the second story of four following the sorority recruitment process that ends Sunday night with “Bid Day.”

Potential new sorority members shuffled from house to house in Greek Court Thursday evening, introducing themselves to the nine sororities and learning the basics about each sorority.

Thursday was the start of a four-day sorority recruitment event that will end with the annual “Bid Day” Sunday night.

It was the first round for the potential new members, and wearing baby blue shirts and carrying bottles of water and booklets, they walked in small groups to each “open house.”

Guiding potential new members to each house and waiting for them to come back out for the next rotation were the recruitment counselors.

They wore matching blue jackets with giant white PHC letters sewed onto the back of the jackets and matching jean skirts.

Melanie Jones, a senior elementary education major, and Isabelle Kurowski, a junior psychology major, sat on a blanket outside of the Delta Zeta house.

They said they were both first-time recruitment counselors, and with their bags and a blue cooler filled with water bottles, they waited for their group of potential members to exit the house.

Their job was simple: to help the potential new members and to be fair.

“(The potential new members) don’t know what sororities we’re in either … then they feel comfortable talking to us because … they can say (or ask) whatever they want to us,” Jones said.

Jones and Kurowski said aside from remaining unbiased by not mentioning their sorority, they also maintain fairness by making sure the potential new members do not say things like “see you tomorrow.”

“It’s called bid promising. It almost makes it seem like they are guaranteed to come back to their chapter tomorrow when it’s all a mutual selection system,” Jones said. “Just because they’re like your favorite house doesn’t mean it’s the same thing for (the house).”

Ultimately, Jones said they just want to make sure everyone is playing fair so that every single chapter house has an equal opportunity.

Kurowski said it is not difficult to remain unbiased, though. She said it is a matter of just following the rules and “making sure you don’t bring up something your chapter does.”

As for Greek life population, Nathan Wehr, the director of Greek Life, said in a Wednesday interview that there is always room for improvement.

“Would we like to see more? Yes,” Wehr said. “Our numbers are a little down in terms of registration, but we’ve got to grow naturally and hopefully we can pick some women up in the spring.”

There may be opportunities for women to join in the spring, but Wehr warned there is no guarantee that each chapter will have availability for new members.

Another worry Wehr said he has involves getting through to the newer students coming in.

“The thing is there’s a new type of student coming in that’s seen the stereotypes, watched the movies and doesn’t really want to be a part of that, so the stereotype we’re trying to fight is that’s not who we are,” Wehr said.

This new type of student Wehr mentioned is looking for the return value in the money they spend while being in a sorority.

The approach is new and different, developed in a way that will show the new potential members that they are not just buying their friends.

“We have to be very strategic in how we are presenting ourselves: how their money is going to be spent, where is it going, what can you do socially (and) what is the chapter going to provide to you,” Wehr said. “Back in the day, it was very much of the students were, ‘Well, this is what I can do for you, I want to be a part of you, please accept me,’ now it’s that thinking of as a chapter, ‘I have to provide to the (potential new member), this is what we can do for you.’”

Despite the lower enrollment figures this year, Crow said the Panhellenic council makes the best of the situation by continuing to recruit new members.

“I know that for Greek life our main focus is we’re not just going to give up, all these chapters make an impact somewhere,” Crow said. “They’re changing Charleston and Greek Life isn’t going to give up that easily; we’re just going to keep pushing.”

Round two of recruitment begins at 5 p.m. Friday and will focus on the philanthropies and community service events each sorority takes part in every year.

Beginning at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, potential new members will learn about the sisterhood of each chapter they visit.

Preference rounds start at 9 a.m. Sunday, which is the last round before the potential new members discover their new homes at Bid Day, which is on the same day as preference rounds this year and begins at 6 p.m.

Analicia Haynes and Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].