Rule change lengthens recruitment

Andy Steinke

Sororities on campus are dealing with changes in their recruitment process this fall and will encounter even bigger changes next year.

Changes in the formal recruitment process, as well as changes to the alcohol policy during recruitment week, are two alterations sororities are dealing with this semester.

Sororities at the University typically have one week to introduce potential new members to chapters on campus, but this year that process has been extended and will cover two weekends: this weekend and next weekend.

“We’ve found that it is difficult to expect the women going through recruitment to devote one whole weekend to doing it,” Alex Harkness, vice president of public relations for the Panhellenic Council, said.

The Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternity Council – the greek governing bodies that oversee 34 chapters on campus – are also working with Orientation & First-Year Programs at the University to move recruitment to the two weeks preceding the school year, Harkness said.

Although sororities have a formal recruitment period at the beginning of the fall semester every year, that is not the case for fraternities.

“Formal recruitment has been successful for the sororities, because they don’t really have to worry about recruiting for the rest of the year,” said Mark Meckstroth, vice president of recruitment for the Interfraternity Council. “For the fraternity members, recruitment is something that is always on their minds.”

recruitment

Sorority recruitment for fall has changed since last year.

Old
• The formal recruitment timeline is the whole week of recruitment.
• No sorority member can consume alcohol during the formal recruitment week.

New
• The formal recruitment timeline is the 24-hour period prior to any recruitment event and the event itself.
• No sorority member can consume alcohol the day of a recruitment event or 24 hours before.

Fraternities currently recruit on an informal level but would join the sororities in the formal recruitment process before fall semester next school year.

The 12 sororities in the Panhellenic Council have also made changes to their recruitment-week alcohol policy, a policy that was one of the strictest in the nation, Panhallenic Council President Kristen Gast said.

In the past, sorority members have not been able to drink alcohol during recruitment week. Now, members are only restricted during the 24 hours prior to a recruitment event and during the event itself, Harkness said.

Because the recruitment period is longer this year, the Panhellenic Council decided to change the alcohol policy so sorority members could participate in other campus events, Harkness said.

Gast said she does not think there have been any negative effects from the alcohol policy change, and that potential new members have doubled this year.

However, the changes mean the University can no longer be considered one of the strictest campuses in the nation.

Sorority members are not allowed to drink at all during recruitment week at the University of Iowa, said Leslie Jensen, the vice president of recruitment for the Panhellenic Council at Iowa.

But the coordinator for the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life, Chad Ellsworth, said he doesn’t think the new policy will have any negative effects on recruiting new members.

Gast said she thinks it was a good idea to change the policy because the Panhellenic Council won’t have to do as much policing.

“The changes show we have a level of trust with our members,” Gast said. “We aren’t regretting the decision we made.”