Despite the unusual circumstances brought about by the pandemic, Greek Council announced on Sept. 29 that fall recruitment will happen over an extended, recommended four-week period.
Organizations will have the ability to submit schedules for their recruitment events, which are starting next week. Once they’ve submitted these schedules, Greek Council will give organizations permission to proceed with the recruitment process. Though there is no official timeline, Greek Council advised organizations to complete their recruitment periods by Oct. 31.
According to President of Greek Council James Loveland ’22, the only organizations that have submitted their recruitment schedules for approval are Alpha Sigma Tau (AST), Phi Kappa Tau (Phi Tau) and Phi Kappa Sigma. The Archons Society is planning to submit a schedule to Greek Council as well.
With only a handful of active members on campus, Greek organizations are getting creative for fall recruitment. Some groups have a mixture of in-person and virtual events, while other organizations have chosen to hold exclusively virtual events.
Last spring, many organizations had yet to initiate their new members by the time campus closed due to COVID-19, leaving them with a small number of sophomore members. Because of this, it became difficult to plan recruitment, according to AST President Liz Cleveland ’21, especially when most on-campus members had not been initiated into the organization.
Cleveland said that AST only has two active members on campus. However, to abide by their national requirements, the sorority had no choice but to continue with recruitment this fall despite only having a few on-campus members. All of AST’s recruitment events, which begin next week, will take place over Zoom. “The national organization gave us advice and resources to help us plan virtual events,” Cleveland said. “We’re going to be using breakout rooms a lot, but it’s hard to get that same connection with people.”
The Phi Taus are taking a different approach, hosting both in-person and virtual recruitment events. In order to follow the College’s COVID-19 guidelines, the in-person events will be limited to 10 people. One of their more popular events, “Milkshakes and Storytelling,” will take place on campus, but Phi Tau President Henry Biedron ’21 doesn’t anticipate the group exceeding capacity. The event will operate on a “first come, first serve” basis.
“To be honest, it would be a very pleasant surprise if we had to enforce a numbers ban, just because we don’t usually get that much traffic,” he said.
Though it is not yet clear what the future holds for the spring recruitment season, Loveland said the plans will depend on who is on campus next semester. If juniors and seniors return in the spring, recruitment will look similar to this semester. Loveland hopes that, once first-year students return to campus, recruitment will proceed as it normally does, which may not be until fall 2021. He is optimistic that first years will still have a more traditional recruitment experience.
Despite facing setbacks in the recruitment process, Biedron emphasized that all Greek organizations have an obligation to provide students with a “second family” and to keep the campus community safe.
“We understand that as an organization on campus, we have a lot of responsibility to public health and safety and to keeping our fellow students — as well as faculty members — safe,” Biedron said. “We really want to honor that, and make sure we’re not putting anybody in more danger than they need to be.”