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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

“Zooming Home”

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How St. Joe’s sororities ran virtual recruitment

Freshman year, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and participate in formal sorority recruitment. I was absolutely terrified. While I had become more outgoing since high school, I still felt like a shy kid at heart who could never handle the hours of constant conversation necessary for the process. By the end of the weekend, I got to meet so many amazing women, had grown more confident in my networking skills and found my home at Alpha Omicron Pi. 

As a sister, I have loved working to give students the same positive experience I had during recruitment, and had no idea what it would look like when I found out it would be fully virtual this year. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw all of the potential new members (PNMs) were able to have a recruitment experience as normal and exciting as possible to help them find their new “homes.” 

Of course, virtual recruitment could not perfectly replicate the in-person experience. For example, my sisters missed yelling chants in the Campion banquet halls while PNMs waited outside the doors (if you are unfamiliar with the art of sorority chants, I suggest doing a quick YouTube search). As a PNM, it’s both exciting and terrifying. As a sister, it feels silly and cheesy at first, but once you get into it, it’s so much fun and an incredible memory with your sisters. Instead, PNMs entered Zoom rooms like they were going to class, but were still given warm welcomes by sisters, and they will hopefully get a chanting experience sometime soon. 

Something both sisters and PNMs did not miss out on was the opportunity to dress up for their laptop cameras. Everyone I spoke to was excited for the opportunity to do their hair and makeup and pick out an outfit, maybe for the first time in months, to make a good first impression. The best part? Others could be wearing sweatpants below the camera which is a luxury not afforded by in-person recruitment.

The most important part of recruitment, the conversation, did not suffer in the virtual format. Instead of talking in pairs and small groups in a crowded room, we were put into Zoom breakout rooms to chat with each other. This made for even easier communication because we did not have to shout to understand each other. It was amazing to get to meet so many new people after months of isolation. 

Panhellenic recruitment was one of the most exciting experiences I have had since the pandemic hit. It truly felt like I was networking at a crowded party from the comfort of my own home. I am so excited for the new members of Greek life to have more virtual events to look forward to in this era, where Zooms can be the highlight of your week, or even your month.

 While I hope we can have an in-person recruitment in 2022, this year has proven that Greek organizations can overcome just about anything. The weekend also showed PNMs, now new members, how Greek life sisters and brothers are still spending time together and are able to give members the fullest Greek experience possible, from their bid day to their senior send off. 

 

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