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Campus Events News

Drake Fraternity and Sorority Life holds entirely in-person recruitment

Crowds of potential new members gather outside the fraternity and sorority houses and wait anxiously for the first night of Rush Week to begin. It’s a very different sight than the last two years, when sororities held Rush Week events online and fraternities hosted informal online recruitment. 

 During Rush Week, sororities and fraternities open their doors to potential new members, often simply referred to as PNMs. Each house hosts a variety of events to get to know all the new recruits and for those recruits to get to know them. The Panhellenic Council plans Values Night, Sisterhood/House Tours and Preference Day for all chapters, while individual fraternity houses plan fun events like cook-outs and yard games to become acquainted with PNMs. 

Everybody involved in the recruitment process were happy to hear that all events would be in-person this year. According to multiple PNMs, being face to face helped conversation flow easier and allowed connections to form. It took a lot of pressure off and was what swayed many to go through with recruitment.
“My introverted self would not be able to rush virtually. I would be far too nervous,” Claire Price, a first-year potential new member, said. “For me, I’m very outgoing, bubbly and chatty in person, but over Zoom I am looking at my face and wondering if I look okay or am overanalyzing my own body language. I think it would be hard to connect over the internet. I think it would be a lot less intimate. Yesterday, we were able to have conversations and focus on the person in front of us instead of other things.”

The number of Drake students participating in Rush week has dropped since the COVID-19 pandemic, a pattern Executive Vice President for the Drake Interfraternity Council Nash Linsley attributed to online recruiting events. 

Drake’s Interfraternity Council did not require every house to host Zoom events during the pandemic as they understood that virtual recruitment wasn’t ideal. Fall 2020 only saw 45 potential new members interested in joining fraternities, a number that is slowly returning to pre-COVID numbers with 75 recruits showing up this year.  

 “I went through recruitment over Zoom, and if I didn’t talk to this one specific guy from my chapter, I probably wouldn’t have joined a fraternity and I wouldn’t have been in the position I am today,” Linsley said. 

Fraternities and sororities were able to increase the amount of promotion for Rush Week because of a change in Drake’s by-laws, which now allows groups to post an unlimited number of flyers around campus. In addition, fraternities and sororities at Drake used paid promotions on Instagram to reach a larger number of students. 

Price explained that broadening your social circle is a big reason to participate in Rush Week. Fraternities and sororities build life-long friendships and help students be a larger part of the community. 

“You get out of a fraternity what you put into it,” Linsley said. “For me, the most rewarding part of being in a fraternity is community service. I love trying to better the place that shaped me and us here at Drake so much.” 

To join a fraternity or sorority one can go through formal recruitment or informal recruitment, known as Continuous Open Bidding, throughout the rest of the year. 

Informal recruitment gives one the opportunity to take their time to get to know each house and figure out what they want to do, while formal recruitment allows you to have great conversations and find your people. It is predicted that Drake’s fraternities and sororities will see a rise in the number of PNMs in both areas. 

Current members want to make true connections with incoming members. Kappa Kappa Gamma President Sophia Lacy said that Rush Week is all about the journey to find one’s people. Sororities promote sisterhood and finding the house right for you.

“The most rewarding part of recruitment week is knowing PNMs are finding their home. Towards the end of recruitment, you are beyond happy for them and excited for them to find their home,” Lacy said. “My hope for PNMs is that they find their home and people. The process is so exciting and in the end it all works out beautifully.” 

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