Amid all the changes brought on due to COVID-19, Albion Colleges has had to figure out different ways to keep Greek life active on campus. A major component of Greek life is the recruitment process, a process that has seen major alterations made in the midst of COVID-19.
“The recruitment process has definitely changed in a lot of ways. I definitely think it is more in a positive way that we’ve been recruiting,” said Interfraternity Council President Frank Hernandez, a junior from Houston. “Since I’ve joined freshman year until now, recruitment has been evolving.”.
One of the biggest ways the fraternity’s Greek life has changed was through a push to incorporate more diversity into different chapters. This change came alongside and enhancing Greek life administration.
“I definitely recommended different changes, like having different events with different umbrella groups, such as OLA, AAG, or doing different events with student volunteer bureau, or union board,” said Hernandez.
Despite some of the positive changes to recruitment this year, Greek life members miss certain aspects of the old recruitment.
“One thing that people miss, as well as I do, is having the in-person aspect of everything. Because of COVID-19, we can’t really do that,” said Hernandez. “That is a challenge within itself, but I don’t think that that should be something that holds us back.”
Hernandez said that fraternities have done different things to recruit potential new members. Those new measures consist of Zoom meetings and Google Meets, discord events with video games and in-person events that follow COVID-19 guidelines.
Hernadez’s chapter, Tau Kappa Epsilon was able to play a social distanced game of kickball that attracted many potential new members. Other fraternities have done things like tabling, making posters and banners and posting on social media to recruit students to join Greek life.
Although they’ve been able to make the new system work, the extensive changes in recruitment have taken a toll on current members of Greek life.
“With COVID-19, it has taken a hit because we lost a lot of the social and in-person aspect, and that has affected how we do recruitment as well,” said Hernandez.
Changes to recruitment with COVID-19 are also expected to have an impact on recruitment numbers, something that changes year to year as is. But with the impact of COVID-19, there is a slight downward trend because the in-person aspect of recruitment has been restricted this year.
The sororities face similar challenges with recruiting and keeping their chapters alive during times like this.
“[Recruitment] has drastically changed considering usually during recruitment all the potential women that want to join sororities go through and we do house tours each day to get to know each of the women, which is now all virtual which makes it a little harder to get to know each woman individually,” said Panhel President Alex Mileski, a junior from Lapeer.
Sororities must take different measures as well to try to recruit women virtually. The sorority rush will be held from Friday, Feb. 12 to Sunday, Feb. 14 where the sororities will utilize break-out rooms via Zoom where potential new members get the chance to meet with different sororities to compensate for the in-person aspect of sorority rush. Potential new members are also required to send in an introduction video and watch a five-minute video about each of the sororities
“It has kind of impacted our numbers overall trying to go into recruitment. Seems a little lower because women are a little discouraged right now, but we are hoping to bring it up,” said Mileski.