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Expanding the Greek Community With Sydney Lufsey

Name:  Sydney Lufsey

Year: Junior

Major: Public Health Science

Hometown: Clarksburg, Maryland

Q: What does your role as VP of Recruitment for PHA entail?

There are multiple facets to my position, however the bulk of it is in the title. My responsibility is to plan, promote and facilitate the recruitment processes, both formal and informal, for the 16 Panhellenic chapters we have on campus and all of the potential new members that choose to go through the process. I regularly meet with recruitment chairs from each chapter to discuss and implement recruitment procedures. I also gain feedback from the community to help in creating and mandating those recruitment procedures.

Another facet of my position is working with the executive board from the other three councils to plan and organize Meet the Greeks and the Summer Greek Ambassador program. Lastly, I support the rest of the Panhellenic executive board in their efforts and programming, I act as a resource to individual chapters, and I advocate for my community.

Q: What attracted you to this position?

Honestly I was not attracted specifically to the position of VP Recruitment, but rather to the PHA executive board in general. I wanted a chance to positively impact my community with effective programing  and I felt that applying for the board was the first step in doing so. One of my biggest passions is diversity and inclusion. I want to create an inclusive environment for everyone in my community, or anyone who wants to be a part of it. So I initially applied for the Diversity and Inclusion chair on the executive board. However, the slating committee felt that I would be most valuable in the VP Recruitment role because I would be able to bring my passions and incorporate them into the position. I have found that recruitment is an extremely rewarding role because I get the chance to help many women find their homes and a place where they feel safe.  

Q: How would you describe Sorority Recruitment to someone who’s completely unfamiliar with it?

Formal Recruitment occurs during the spring semester and is a structured form of recruitment. Interested women must register for formal recruitment prior to the kick-off date. All interested women will be placed in groups and given Rho Gammas (recruitment guides), who will guide the women during the recruitment process. Formal recruitment has four rounds and lasts for two consecutive weekends. After each round, women in recruitment will be able to rank a certain number of sororities they are interested in returning to in future rounds. Women get the chance to visit and meet with members from all 16 sororities to see what all have to offer.

Q: What vision did you have for recruitment this year and how did you prepare for it?

Ideally, I envisioned recruitment to be inclusive for everyone. I had multiple meetings with recruitment chairs about inclusion and ensuring that no potential new member would feel uncomfortable in a conversation. For example, I added a question on the registration link for potential new members to include their preferred pronouns because I wanted to ensure that no one was excluded and no member was making assumptions based on sexual orientation or identity in conversation.  

Q: PHA promoted #GreatWomenGoGreek prior to recruitment. Could you talk about your experience as a member of the Greek Community at the University of Maryland?

The #GreatWomenGoGreek was Sam Waldenberg’s idea, the VP Public Relations. She wanted to market the PHA experience and created a theme that the community could get behind. #GreatWomenGoGreek truly resonated with me because I have met so many amazing women in my community and in my chapter, Alpha Omicron Pi, and I am empowered every day by them. I have had the opportunity to meet women who have launched their own businesses, started public health campaigns and created sexual assault prevention programing. The women in my community inspired me to seek out a PHA executive position in the first place.  

Q: How was this year different than the rest?

One of the biggest differences this year in comparison to previous years was that we tried out a new app for potential new members (PNMs) to rank on. The app allowed us to release the PNMs schedules early before each round and it increased efficiency in general.  

Q: Tell us a little bit about how this year’s recruitment went. Numbers-wise, how many women who signed up for recruitment were able to find a home?

640 women found a home in one of our 16 chapters on campus!

Q: What advice do you have for anyone who may be considering rushing next year?

The best advice I could give someone who is considering going through recruitment is to be yourself. A lot of times women going through the process feel like they need to dress or act a certain way, but I think that hinders their experience in the end. Sorority women do not fit one image, so conforming to a false stereotype prevents chapter members from seeing what truly makes you, you!  

Q: Based on your experience as VP of Recruitment this year, what would you change?

A year goes by extremely fast. I wish I knew that at the beginning of my term. I feel like I accomplished a lot, but I wish I had time to do more.

Q: What can we look forward to from PHA in the upcoming months?

I am extremely excited about the new board! All of their energies are so positive and they have so many amazing ideas. I expect that there will be a large emphasis put on diversity and inclusion for all board positions and more effective programing throughout the community!

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