The Panhellenic Council recently broke the news that formal recruitment, usually a three day elaborate in-person process, will fully shift to a virtual format in light of the risks surrounding in person events during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recruitment will take place using the Zoom platform. The overall structure of the weekend will remain the same, but instead of a potential new member (PNM) visiting the chapters in the union or at their facilities, all engagement will take place virtually. PNMs will have the opportunity to meet women from every chapter on the first day, view virtual house tours when applicable and participate in the mutual selection process just as they would during a “normal” recruitment season.
The new Panhellenic Council Advisor Andie Kobrick, who is a first-year student in the College Student Personnel program, stated, “NPC sent national communication to all of its 800+ member campuses stating that they would prefer institutions to proceed with a fully virtual recruitment process. This is for the health and safety of chapter members, staff, potential new members and the Western Illinois University community as a whole.”
NPC, as Kobrick called it, is the National Panhellenic Conference. This organization serves as the governing body of all Panhellenic communities at schools across the nation. They provide guidance for Panhellenics when it comes to recruitment, membership development, scholarship and various other areas. Essentially, they make decisions on a larger scale that impacts all collegiate branches of National Panhellenic.
Kobrick said, “They have been very involved in the “return to campus” plan nationally and we have been in constant communication with them to make sound and fair decisions for the community. It was a difficult decision to go virtual, but the health and safety of the community is our utmost priority.”
Marisa Santore, a senior student here at Western Illinois University, said, “As a member of Delta Zeta, I am extremely sad to see recruitment go to a virtual format, but I am intrigued and excited to see all of what is to come. Meeting virtually is the safest way to bring women into our community during this time. Although it will be a completely different experience from what we are used to, I am open and willing to do whatever it takes to safely welcome new women into our Panhellenic community here at Western.”
While recruitment will look different than usual on this campus, with less of the pomp and circumstance of girls dressed up walking into the University Union, running home on “Bid Day” or filming recruitment videos, Kobrick, along with Vice President of Recruitment Brittany Eads, hope to maintain a sense of normalcy, along with the values of the Panhellenic Council, throughout the entire process. Their primary goal is to unite PNMs with chapters that are their home away from home for the remainder of their years here at Western Illinois.