If you ever walk upon Drake University’s campus, you are bound to meet at least one student who says they are a part of Greek Life. Around the second week of classes in September, many of Drake’s students who were already a part of Greek Life and those planning to join for the first time have been preparing for the long two week course of recruitment.
Vince Merfeld, a sophomore studying Business Management and Digital Media Productions, is currently a member of the fraternity Sigma Chi and is now in his second year of recruitment. In the last spring semester when COVID-19 restrictions were still enacted, Merfeld was awarded the opportunity to take over as the recruitment chair for Sigma Chi. Now, he has been helping out with many of the in-person events for his fraternity.
“Prepping for recruitment this year has been a lot of work between getting all of the events ready and making the house look nice. It’s been a lot of hard work, but totally worth it,” said Merfeld.
Merfeld described what the process of preparing for recruitment is like for his fraternity during this week.
“The recruitment process is a series of events this year. It’s from Friday [Sept. 10th] to Monday [Sept. 13th] and it depends on the house,” said Merfeld. “[Sigma Chi’s] recruitment days consist of house tours, food, and getting to know each one of the brothers better.”
Merfeld said there is personal pressure and demanding work to be a part of recruitment for Sigma Chi.
“Yes there is always pressure on recruiting to get new members. It is how you sustain your house to be there years after you graduate. There is always a pressure to recruit members that will help your fraternity still be here in the future.”
Despite the pressure, Merfeld said he likes hanging out with potential new members during the event days.
“My favorite part of recruitment is actually just the event days, getting to talk to new people and promoting a brotherhood that I am very proud of.”
As fraternities go through the trials of recruitment, many of Drake’s sororities are also working to recruit new members.
Chloe McGrath, a sophomore with a major in Management, is in her second year of sorority life and has now been deemed a recruitment officer for her sorority, Delta Gamma.
“Prepping for recruitment has been a one-of-a-kind experience, but it has also been very draining since it is my first time,” McGrath said. “We had one week to prepare for recruitment. In that week, we had to learn traditional songs and had undergone many, many practices for actual recruitment. The recruitment process is particular to my chapter, so I can’t disclose our process.”
McGrath said the recruitment process has affected her college life as well.
“One of my least favorite parts about recruitment is how late it goes. I am usually in bed by 10:00 pm, and with prep week and actual recruitment, there have been many instances where it went way later,” McGrath said. “As a result, I have been significantly depleted, and I worry that it will affect my academic performance. I do remind myself that it is not forever, and I will be ok.”
Even though there are many challenges that come with Greek life recruitment, there are plenty of parts of the process McGrath loves.
“My favorite part about recruitment is talking and getting to know all the different potential new members that go through recruitment. I’m a very social person, and so this has been very enjoyable.”
Both McGrath’s and Merfeld’s said their own first-year recruitment experiences reminded them of why they still enjoy the recruitment process.
“I decided to join Greek life because I wanted to be involved with the community and on campus as well as I wanted to be a part of a brotherhood and I wanted a good leadership opportunity,” Merfeld said.
As for McGrath, she said she has no regrets about joining Greek life.
“[Greek life] was something that I wanted to do for myself,” said McGrath. “I decided to join Greek life because I wanted to make lasting connections with girls who support and keep me accountable. I have not had one regret, and I’ve met some incredible, genuine people.”