If you happened to be on the South end of campus last Saturday, you might have been in for a surprise. Girls in tutus and glitter, waving signs and flashing smiles, danced to music in the streets. Later, when their new members began to make their way down the hill, they rushed to meet them, cheering and calling their names. In the nights before, they had gathered in each house like clockwork, braving the cold to welcome in the lines of Denison women who trailed between them.
For three nights and one day, those who signed up for recruitment were invited to learn about the traditions, philanthropies, and values of each of Denison’s five Panhellenic Council (NPC) sororities, and to meet the members of each chapter. Meanwhile, many of the fraternities who are part of the Interfraternity Council (IFC) on campus have been recruiting since last semester.
So what’s it really like to go through recruitment? The following interviews, though representative of only a few individuals in each group, provide a peek into the respective processes for fraternities and sororities on our campus./
How would you explain the recruitment process?
Delta Gamma: I would explain the recruitment process as four days of getting a feel for what all of the Panhellenic sorority houses are like, as well as getting an opportunity to meet multiple women in each of the houses. Ideally, from these four days and your experience in each house, potential new members would be able to get a sense of which house is the best fit for them.
Kappa Alpha Theta: Recruitment is a time for the current members of each house to get to know the potential new members (PNMs) and identify which women would be a good fit for our house. We do this in a few ways. One way is just talking to the PNMs and getting know a little bit more about them. The other part of this process is showing the PNMs what it is like to be a member in our house by showing them our philanthropic efforts, sisterhood, and a little bit into our ritual.
Kappa Kappa Gamma: The recruitment process is a way for potential new members (PNMs) of Greek Life to figure out if the system and/or an individual house is a good fit for them. Denison’s Panhellenic Council has PNMs go through multiple rounds over the course of three days, with fewer houses on each day. On the first night PNMs will visit each house, on the second they may be called back to up to four, and on the third night, they can go back to a maximum of two houses. It is a mutual selection process where the PNM votes on each house and each house votes on the PNM.
Lambda Chi Alpha: For guys, it’s really laid back. You get to meet a lot of people from different classes which is really nice as a freshman.
Beta Theta Pi: The recruitment process for fraternities is pretty casual. Throughout the first semester, all of us meet freshman through our various involvements around campus, and we’ll start inviting them to events near the end of the first semester so we can get to know them, and they can get to know us. These events can range from golfing, bowling, going to a hockey game, or a party. I would describe it as laid back and chaotic at the same time. We are constantly trying to throw together different events that give us a good chance to meet the recruits and allow everyone involved to have a good time. While the process is mostly fun for us it can be a lot to handle for some recruits as the schedule is packed.
What is the most challenging part of “rush week”/ the recruitment process?
Theta: It is always a challenge during recruitment to keep the energy high throughout each round. You could be talking to 10 or so girls night and you probably will not vibe with everyone that you meet. But even if you do not hit it off with someone, it is still important that they feel welcome in our house. That means sometimes you need to stay excited no matter who you are talking to.
DG: I think the most challenging part of the recruitment process, for many people, is trying to figure out where they should end up. Before I joined, I used recruitment week as an opportunity to figure out if sorority life was something I wanted to be involved in and that decision was very much influenced by the women that I was able to meet. I met some truly amazing individuals as a potential new member and have met so many more being on the other side of the process as well, so it was really hard for me as a potential new member to decide which house would be best suited for me. But even though I had a tough time making that decision, looking back I know I made the right choice. Greek life is definitely not for everyone and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! But, if it is something you’re interested in trying, my advice would be to choose the house where you feel most comfortable and completely yourself.
Beta: Recruitment for us is more of a month-long process because we try to meet people and invite them to events both first and second semester. So that month can be very stressful and chaotic trying to organize events and trying to meet as many people as possible.
KKG: For me, the most challenging part of the week as an active member is how people choose to handle their stress. A lot of people have a propensity to take it out on each other which is just not fun for any of us. At the end of the day, it’s just recruitment – it’s not life or death.
How many hours of sleep did you get?
Theta: Sleep varies night tonight and person to person. Some days I would get back to my room by 10:30 or so, others I would not get back until 2:30 in the morning.
DG: I got a decent amount of sleep throughout the week, but the entire process is a lot of work so I was still really tired by the end!
KKG: I got approximately eight hours of sleep each night because I went to bed as soon as each night of recruitment was over.
Beta: My sleep schedule didn’t differ that much, I still managed to get 7-8 hours.
In your opinion, what is the most rewarding part of being in a sorority or fraternity? In other words, why did you join?
KKG: I joined my sorority because I wanted to surround myself with a group of strong women who could work together to lift up each other. The most rewarding part for me has been the people I have met and the friendships I have formed. There are definitely people who I can’t imagine my life without – and I might have never met them if not for joining Kappa.
Theta: I joined to put myself out of my comfort zone. It is so easy to get stuck surrounding yourself with the same people all the time. Since joining, I have found people who let me unapologetically be myself and support me in everything I do.
Beta: I joined my fraternity because of the community. It’s great to know that there’s always a group of people on campus who I know I can do anything with, and I can talk to at any time.
Lambda: I joined because of amazing people and the opportunity for growth. If you don’t love the people in a fraternity, and you don’t think you’re going to become a better person inside of it, then you shouldn’t join.
For those who don’t know the difference, what makes your group stand out?
Theta: I think that the best way to describe how our group stands out is how we are all so different. We have women in leadership, athletics, theater, and just about every other activity on campus. Every week at chapter we hear about someone killing it in the classroom and later hear that same person crack a joke in the back. We are women who are not defined by labels.
Lambda: Lambda’s number one priority is upholding values. Every member is challenged to evaluate their character and find ways to better themselves. We have a fun time, but doing the right thing always comes first.
KKG: Kappa stands out because we don’t conform to sorority stereotypes. Overall, everyone is so nice, inclusive, and is working to make the world a better place. We volunteer at the Kendal retirement community and hold the campus’ highest GPA. Our national philanthropy is Reading is Fundamental which helps to improve literacy for underprivileged youth.
DG: Delta Gamma really is a place where everyone feels comfortable being their truest selves and I think that that is something that makes our house stand out. DG is made up of women with a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, and talents and is so welcoming to anyone and everyone. It’s really great to be a part of a group that supports everyone in everything that they do and all the things that they are passionate about.