Schedule changes are not unusual to the sorority recruitment process at the University of Richmond, but this year’s schedule was met with mixed responses from potential new sorority members and current members.
Recruitment has started on Sunday in past years, so that change was not that drastic, said senior Elle Wilkinson, recruitment chairwoman for Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Alison Bartel Keller, the director of Greek life, and the Panhellenic Executive Board members made the change, which allowed returning sorority members more time to practice for recruitment events, Wilkinson said.
Go Greek Night took place on Sunday, Jan. 13, when each sorority had a different party that potential new members attended, said sophomore Alex Mark, a member of Delta Gamma sorority. Philanthropy Night was scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 16, which gave sorority members two days to practice for the event, she said. The different schedule did allow the potential members time to settle into their classes on Monday without having a sorority event that night, but it also meant two days of waiting to see which sororities had invited them back.
“For some girls, going through recruitment is much more stressful, much tenser than for other girls,” Mark said. “It’s just one less thing they had to worry about on the first day of classes.”
Sophomore Emily O’Connor took part in recruitment activities both this year and last year and said that the longer waiting period had been noticeable. Though the new schedule for recruitment did allow her to get into her new spring routine, O’Connor said she preferred starting on Monday night.
A different recruitment schedule was suggested by freshmen Lela Puckett and Sienna Walker. Though they could not agree on which day was best to start recruitment, both liked the idea of having sorority recruitment the week prior to when classes started, they said.
The option of having recruitment the week before classes was considered this year, but would have required increased sorority dues to cover room and board for the potential members, Mark said. Money was already an issue for many students and might have discouraged more women from participating in recruitment, she said.
Another major addition to the recruitment process this year was the use of the sorority cottages, which were opened on Nov. 3, 2012. Many of the potential members and returning members agreed that the cottages were a nice feature for recruitment week. Each cottage was representative of its sorority and represented a sense of ownership, Puckett said.
The cottages were more convenient because of their proximity. The potential members were not required to travel from location to location across campus, Mark said. They also provided an intimate setting for the last two scheduled events of recruitment, Sisterhood Night and Preference Night, which are more serious and more personal for both sides of the recruitment process, she said.
The only downfall to the cottages is their size. Fewer potential members could fit in one cottage than could fit in a meeting room, such as Alice Haynes Room, where some events took place last year, Mark said. To accommodate for the size, returning members took part in events through rotating groups, so there would not be a large number of initiated members and a smaller number of potential members, she said.
Sorority recruitment takes place during the first week of every spring semester, so that potential new sorority members have had a semester to discover who they are at Richmond without the interference of a sorority influence, Wilkinson said.
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