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My Thoughts on Virtual Sorority Recruitment

I joined Greek life during my first year of college. I went through formal recruitment in the fall of 2018 and got my bid to Alpha Delta Pi. My second year, I got to be the one doing the recruiting. I wore heels all day, for five days, talked for hours on end with at least 50 women, stood in a room jam-packed with my sisters trying to hear one another over everyone else. I sang the songs, did the chants, took all the pictures, and got to bring home an amazing new class. My third year, I decided I wanted to be a Rho Gamma. Rho Gammas are recruitment counselors who help women going through the process of recruitment, from talking to them if they are conflicted about which house to choose, to being there for them when their favorite didn’t call them back; Rho Gammas disaffiliate from their chapters from June until Bid Day and go through hours of workshops and training in order to give girls who are going through formal recruitment a totally unbiased perspective and give advice when they rush a sorority.  

Once COVID hit, it was up in the air how we would navigate any semblance of formal recruitment. No way could we have 200+ women in a big room, and then every single chapter in a smaller room. Even with masks that would be impossible and totally unsafe. Not to mention that campus was closed and girls were doing school remotely. So we moved to our best option… Zoom. 

At first, I was very hesitant. I was trying to wrap my brain around everything that was going to have to change, and honestly, a little sad that the women rushing wouldn’t get to experience what a real formal recruitment would be like. They wouldn’t get to hear door chants, see our decor in the rooms, or even meet all of the sisters in real life. But as we started inching closer and closer to recruitment. Things started looking up.

Since I was a Rho Gamma, I didn’t get to see how chapters were conducting their zoom recruitments. What I did get to do was even better. I got to bond with all the new girls that were going to different Panhellenic chapters. Meeting my Rho Gamma “group” on zoom was weird at first, but soon enough all 15 girls that I got to help counsel became so near and dear to my heart that I was genuinely sad when we all went back to our own chapters. We even made a TikTok together.  

This is not to say that there weren’t any issues with Zoom recruitment. Of course there were. Girls would experience technical difficulties and miss out on conversations. It was hard to comfort girls through a screen if they just needed a hug. Sometimes women would just turn their cameras off. If any of the Rho Gammas couldn’t find a girl, it was tough to track her down (like a million where are you texts if she wouldn’t answer your facetime or call). Can you say ZOOM FATIGUE from 6+ hours on recruitment after being in class all day on a computer? I had to order blue light glasses halfway through. But the pros greatly outweighed any of the challenges. The women who participated in the virtual formal recruitment are the first people to ever do that in their chapters at UCR. This made way for tons of future advancements in recruitment, and all of us becoming PROS at Zoom, GroupMe, editing videos, creating tiktoks, PR plans for online marketing, and figuring out genuine ways to connect and engage with people on a screen. 

Kayla Bacon-Friends Sitting On Road Kayla Bacon / Her Campus

Zoom recruitment was a challenge that I didn’t even want to try to overcome. But the feeling of sisterhood and running back home to sisters new and old greatly outweighed any ill feelings of being behind a screen.