Eastern sororities hold virtual bid day Sunday

Ryan Meyer, Opinions Editor

Eastern’s sororities celebrated Bid Day on Sunday, welcoming new sorority women to their chapters in a different way than they have experienced in the past.

The National Panhellenic Conference placed a moratorium on in-person Bid Days for all 26 chapters in the conference.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may have prevented women from experiencing Bid Day the conventional way, but Hannah Gillaspie, a senior history major and the Panhellenic President, said that she wanted them to experience everything as a “new normal.”

“I think that the experience was different,” Gillaspie said. “Do I think that, in a way, they missed out on the usual? Yes, but I told the potential new members multiple times that I don’t even want to tell them what the usual was, because moving forward this may become our normal, we just don’t even know.”

Gillaspie also said the original plan was to keep some of the festivities in person, but in the end this semester’s recruitment process was entirely online. Some sororities, however, took the time to plan dinners or meetups with potential new members.

“Originally, we were going to keep Preference and Bid Day in person, but Preference we moved virtual because it’s just too difficult for us to regulate those safety protocols within the chapter houses,” Gillaspie said, adding that she wasn’t concerned about chapters not following guidelines but she wanted to ensure active and potential new members’ safety.

“Those ceremonies are supposed to be really special and intimate for the potential new members,” Gillaspie said. “A moment where they’re like, ‘this is what our chapter’s really about.’”

Hannah Rotramel, a senior public relations major and the president of Alpha Sigma Alpha, also believed that potential new members were missing out on Bid Day experiences.

“I think being able to open your bid and then run home with your new sisters is a really exciting experience for new members and they weren’t able to do that,” Rotramel said.

Alpha Sigma Alpha used breakout rooms on Zoom to welcome their new members to the sorority and invited them to “receive their welcome home baskets and take pictures with the bid day banner,” Rotramel said.

Claire Bunse, a sophomore marketing major, and Service and Giving Chairperson for Alpha Sigma Alpha, said that this year’s virtual aspect could exhaust a potential new member.

“Between hours of Zoom calls, I could imagine it was exhausting and stressful,” Bunse said. “All of the potential new members I talked to managed to be cheerful and nice with the virtual recruitment experience.”

Gillaspie’s role as Panhellenic President was challenging because of the shift towards virtual recruitment and the stress of the community as a whole.

“It was difficult because I felt the stress of my community and the nerves about moving virtual, not necessarily the disappointment because they understand the climate that we’re living in right now,” Gillaspie said.

Taylor Comer, junior criminology and sociology major, and vice president of growth for Alpha Sigma Tau, also said that this year’s recruitment process was different, but that her sorority still managed to make the best of the situation.

“Recruitment was really eccentric overall, but we did amazing for the circumstances,” Comer said. “We were still able to carry conversations and make connections with potential new members and got to welcome home some amazing women.”

Comer also said that recruiting this year was more of a challenge than in the past.

“It was harder because there was absolutely no amount of training or preparation you can do,” Comer said. “The best part about recruitment is meeting women face to face and getting those interactions but since everything was remote, we lost a sense of intimacy.”

 

Ryan Meyer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]