Albion College Greek life recently completed its recruitment process for the 2020-21 school year. Unlike a normal school year when events would all be held in person, it was done virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The six fraternities and six sororities on campus followed CDC and Albion College guidelines to keep everyone safe.
Panhel Vice President of Recruitment Morgan Goodnow, a senior from Woodstock, Illinois said that Greek organizations on campus worked hard to come up with creative ways to recruit new members. Despite some of the challenges prevented by virtual recruitment, as well as some initial concerns regarding the organization of it, the virtual experience went well.
“Overall, I think the virtual format was a wonderful learning experience where every woman was challenged in unique ways,” said Goodnow. “We all worked together to grow personally and professionally.”
Some of these innovative virtual strategies for recruitment, according to Goodnow, could even become regular events after the pandemic is over.
“I absolutely think some things we implemented this year for virtual recruitment could be used in the future,” said Goodnow. “I know how stressful and time-consuming the three day process can be for both potential new members and the active chapter women, so I think exploring virtual options could really benefit everyone for a less stressful experience.”
This, of course, doesn’t apply to every element of recruitment, but Goodnow said that, at least on the Panhel side of recruitment, some aspects worked better virtually than expected.
“Personally, I loved having videos as our day one, Friday option,” said Goodnow. “I know the chapters worked diligently to create some really professional looking videos that were extremely informative, where the total time for all chapters was less than 30 minutes. In comparison to a typical Friday night of recruitment that usually takes over 4 hours, the time saving benefits are pretty obvious.”
Despite the time saving benefits, this virtual option also comes with some challenges moving forward. The prospective member video was one of the new steps to recruitment. This year, prospective members were restricted to 90 seconds to introduce themselves to all of the sororities. Goodnow acknowledged that it is difficult to learn as much about a prospective recruit in a 90-second video versus over the course of an entire evening.
“I think in the future, if this route was adopted, we should refine the potential new member videos to be longer and more informative with questions submitted by our chapters,” said Goodnow. “Friday is usually our day to get to know potential new members’ involvement on campus, learning fundamental facts about them, as well as getting to know their values”