Sororities and fraternities on campus work to adapt recruitment processes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fraternities and sororities at the University of Dayton have had to change up their recruitment weeks this school year in order to follow social distancing guidelines while still trying to gain new members.
Greek Life has had a presence on campus since 1933. In 2015-16, 15 percent of undergraduate men and 22 percent of undergraduate women were considered members of a fraternity or sorority.
In a typical year, Greek Life has a vast amount of gatherings and social events to accommodate their new members. However, 2021 has thrown a curveball for fraternities and sororities in their recruitment processes. Much like most of the classes at UD, “rush week” had to go completely virtual in order to uphold CDC guidelines.
Gianna Pieroni, the current sorority president of Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity, and Daryl Zawaski, the current vice president of membership of Alpha Kappa Psi, answered questions about their own experiences for virtual recruitment.
“Absolutely everything has changed now that we are following COVID-19 protocols and having to conduct this process while fully virtual,” Zawaski said.
“Our recruitment events heavily rely on the Brothers getting to have one-on-one interactions with the potential new members, and it’s nearly impossible to have that same environment while fully online.
“While Zoom breakout rooms are great, they only go so far,” Zawaski continued. “It’s difficult to make a name for yourself among a handful of other candidates in that same room.”
Alpha Kappa Psi is a nationally recognized organization known for its development of principled business leaders, and is the oldest and largest professional business fraternity in the world.
In a normal year, this organization recruits once per semester and typically hosts an informational session first, followed by fun events such as Meet the Brothers, Professional Night, Alumni Night, Speed Dating and even a Resume Workshop.
“I think we excelled in recruiting virtually this past semester by tuning into our social media. We released a ‘Why Rush AKPsi’ series on our Instagram which highlighted a variety of our Brothers and why you should rush,” Zawaski said.
Alpha Kappa Psi is just one of the many of the fraternities and sororities that had to get creative amongst trying to recruit new members in a pandemic.
Theta Phi Alpha Sorority kept a positive attitude despite the complications that comes with abiding by COVID-19 restrictions.
“While in-person events are lacking, for me sisterhood has increased,” Pieroni said. “We are always very supportive of one another and during COVID it has been stepped up to a whole other level. Our sisters have made a conscious effort to reach out to one another and build our relationships outside of official events.”
The Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity is a philanthropy sorority focused on the plight of homelessness. In past non-COVID years, this organization volunteered at soup kitchens and local shelters while also orchestrating canned food drives around campus.
“We participate in formal recruitment with other panhellenic organizations at the beginning of every spring semester,” Pieroni said.
“We also do informal recruitment most semesters. Usually you will go on a coffee date, or virtual coffee date, with two of our sisters and learn a little more about our sorority and what it means to be in Theta Phi.”
While new recruits did not get a traditional rush week, UD students continue to persevere in the face of this pandemic by coming up with inventive ways to stay connected online. Hopefully the next time Greek Life recruitment takes place, everyone will be able to congregate in person.