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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Sororities shorten recruitment schedule

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Alpha Gamma Delta sisters cheer in O’Pake Recreation Center. PHOTOS: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

Primary recruitment for St. Joe’s campus-based social sororities, previously a two-weekend event, was condensed into a single weekend for the first time this semester.

The compressed schedule, along with other changes, is being implemented by Nicole Morse, who was hired as the assistant director of Student Leadership and Activities in August 2018. Morse is the advisor to Greek Life on campus, overseeing five social sororities and three social fraternities.

Despite concerns from chapter leaders and sorority members about the condensed time, Morse moved ahead with the changes for the weekend of Jan. 25-27.

By the end of the weekend, 227 women enrolled in sorority recruitment, slightly above last year’s numbers, according to Gianna Gesualdo ’20, incoming vice president of recruitment for the Panhellenic Council.

Alpha Omicron Pi sisters outside Villiger Residence Hall on Bid Night.

Morse said the changes were carried out in part to attract students who might not be able to commit to a longer recruitment process.

“We want to be a welcoming and inclusive community, making sure if there are athletes or people in theater that we don’t take so much time that they have to feel like they aren’t able to do this, because that’s not true,” Morse said.

Morse said she also condensed the process to one weekend to free the space in Campion Student Center for other clubs and organizations.

The condensed weekend does not give the chapters any less time than they had in the two weekend process, but the fast turn-around is challenging, according to Tina Giordano ’20, president of Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Sigma Sigma Sigma sisters cheer in O’Pake Recreation Center on Bid Night.

The weekend ends on Sunday with Bid Night, during which those rushing received an invitation from one of the sororities they gave preference to.

“For the sororities going to recruitment and the sisters who are already initiated, it’s a lot to have to quickly turn-around from meeting people on Saturday and inviting them into our sorority on Sunday,” Giordano said. “It is a quick turn-around that we’re not used to.”

But for Olivia Tilton ’22, who rushed this past weekend, the three-day schedule made her decision easier.

“I like the fact that we didn’t have to wait, so we didn’t have a lot of time to overthink decisions,” Tilton said.

Chapter members who went through the two-weekend recruitment process in the past also saw the benefits of condensing the event for those rushing.

“It makes it a more independent experience because that whole week between the two weekends is not knowing if you should talk to your friends about how you’re feeling,” Gesualdo said. “This allows them to be left with their own thoughts and to make those decisions.”

But for those doing the recruiting, the one-weekend process was also exhausting to pull off.

By Bid Night, Lauren DiAngelo ’20, president of Alpha Omicron Pi, said she felt the effects of the different process.

“Personally, I liked the two weekends,” DiAngelo said. “It’s easier for planning because this takes up a whole weekend, so you don’t get a lot of schoolwork done or sleep.”

Alpha Omicron Pi sisters in O’Pake Recreation Center on Bid Night.

In addition to the schedule, Morse said one of the biggest changes this year is that potential recruits were informed up-front about the costs of joining a sorority.

“We also have financial transparency in our process for the first time,” Morse said. “The second day of recruitment every chapter that they visit will give them a dues and fines breakdown and the chapter will actually present what their dues are and how that affects them as both a new member and an initiated sister. We have a very formalized version this year where we worked with every chapter to come with this spreadsheet that looks the same for everyone.”

Ultimately, though, Morse said it will take time to evaluate the success of the changes.

“On the back end, the chapters may not see how that affects them directly until they get them in their new member education and meet those people and hear them say that it was a really positive and fun experience for them,” Morse said.

That feedback will help determine whether the changes will remain for future recruitment events.

“If people really really hate it and need that time, then we can grow and change in a different direction,” Morse said.

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