by Nina Burns
For the first time in history, sororities at the University of Illinois held recruitment online. Covid-19 social distancing guidelines prohibit large gatherings and ask that individuals stay six feet apart. Formal recruitment normally requires girls to travel around campus and visit each individual sorority. The current pandemic made this process impossible. This fall, sororities on campus were forced to adapt to a virtual option.
“There were some new difficulties we had to face, like connection issues.” Sahi Muppalla, a member of the Panhellenic Greek life stated.
The large amount of participants caused a few server errors: a complication the recruitment process did not face in the past. Though sororities had to adapt to technology issues, this new online process brought some positives.
“The process felt more relaxed. This was a new experience on both sides, so we all went through the experience together.” Muppalla said.
Muppalla found that changing to an online platform didn’t stop members and potential new members from having organic conversations. While face-to-face rounds could be nerve wracking for some girls, this adaption allowed for a more casual tone. The new outlet allowed for more natural conversation and connections.
The recruitment process includes more than conversations. Sororities needed to find new ways to conduct other parts of the process.
“[The members] made a video tour of the house to show potential new members instead of giving tours during a round.” Brianna Anderson, a house mom at Alpha Delta Pi stated.
This was the first year of the virtual Panhellenic sorority rush. Though it was a learned process, Greek life hopes to return to normal next fall.