Last week, Kenyon’s 10 Greek life organizations dusted off their tote bags, bowling balls and cookie decorating kits for the most consequential Panhellenic process of the year: spring recruitment week. With a massive surge in interest fueling competition for bids, the 2023 recruitment process was replete with both jubilation and stress for prospective members and organizers alike.
The fast-paced week commenced with a “Meet-the-Greeks Info Session,” where hundreds of interested students flocked to the Gund Commons Ballroom in search of an introduction to Kenyon’s five active fraternities, four sororities and one gender-inclusive service society. In addition to glittery posters and welcoming smiles, organizations displayed piles of candy, pastel tablecloths and a crackling virtual fireplace (courtesy of Alpha Delta Phi (AD)) to initiate conversations with prospective members and generate excitement for their respective recruitment events. According to Greek Council sponsor and Director of Student Engagement Caleb Young, the kickoff event — which is traditionally held in the spring to allow first years to integrate themselves into the Kenyon community before joining Greek life — drew a level of interest unparalleled in recent years. “We had over 200 students indicate an interest in participating in recruitment this year, which represented a 30% increase from the last formal recruitment cycle,” Young wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Following a brief orientation to the rules and regulations of recruitment, students could explore the different organizations by attending open events over the course of the week — ranging from painting honey jars with Epsilon Delta Mu to an “Arts and Kraft” night where participants chatted and ate mac and cheese alongside the brothers of Phi Kappa Tau. Beyond the food and frivolity found in Gambier, several organizations shuttled prospective members off of Kenyon’s campus in the name of newfound camaraderie. One fraternity, the ADs, organized a trip to Columbus, where 30 prospective members joined the chapter’s current brothers for the beloved annual AD Wing Night, according to Senior Recruitment Chair Will Engel ’23. “It’s the night we get to know the PNMs the best, as well as just an awesome tradition. I also love watching PNMs try to beat Omar Morrosse ’24’s personal best of wings eaten (49),” Engel wrote in an email to the Collegian.
In the latter days of the week — following a host of activities intended to both impress and evaluate prospective members — most organizations pared down their list of event attendees to a select few, who subsequently received invitations to closed chapter events. These “invite-only” activities typically featured more personal settings, such as semi-formal dinner parties and brunches that allowed Greek Life hopefuls to chat with senior members. One fraternity, Beta Theta Pi (Betas), elected to invite its prospective members to a game of broomball involving an ice rink, hockey sticks and “no rules.”
However, in the midst of highly competitive bids and exclusive events, one organization distinguished itself as a haven for those looking for a more relaxed recruitment process: the Archon Society (Archons). The Archons are unique in that they extend a bid to any prospective member that demonstrates interest by attending at least one recruitment event. This feature proved to be particularly appealing in light of the increased volume of 2023 recruits. As Archons Service Chair Rocky Reisz ’25 announced at a chapter meeting on Monday, 94 individuals expressed interest in Archons at the Meet-the-Greeks meeting, and all 62 individuals that attended Archon’s recruitment week activities will be offered membership should they choose to complete the recruitment process.
Overall, each Kenyon Greek organization differs in the experiences they offer, the number of bids they decide to extend and their core values — from Alpha Sigma Tau’s emphasis on providing an inclusive space for character growth to Theta Delta Phi’s focus on leadership and service in the local community. Even so, Young stressed that every level of Greek life involvement reflected one common value throughout recruitment week: tireless hard work.
“The credit for the past week should be directed towards the executive board of Greek Council for helping to guide the week, to all of the recruitment chairs from the various chapters for planning and executing the various recruitment events and all other members of the Greek community for helping engage our student body and share the impact of their Greek experience with potential new members,” Young said.