CNU’s seven Panhellenic sororities recruited new members this weekend
With hugs so hard they make sisters fall down, cheers that rattled the building and more than enough happy tears, Bid Day 2019 welcomed new members into the seven Panhellenic sororities at CNU.
But Bid Day and running home was just the end of recruitment. Taking over a full weekend, the process starts on Thursday night when the potential new members receive their recruitment counselors to help them through the process. Friday night new members learn about the philanthropies of each of the seven Panhellenic sororities during twenty minute rounds. On Saturday, the new members are asked to whittle their list of top sororities down to five to learn about what sisterhood means in longer 40 minute sessions.
Finally, Sunday asks new members to bring their list down to their top two sororities. Preference day, the most in-depth of the weekend, offers a full scale look of what it means to be a sister of that particular chapter of a sorority.
After the morning of preference rounds, bid selection begins. Each chapter chooses a list of potential new members and sends the list to the Panhellenic council. Panhellenic then matches and distributes bids out to the potential new members right before they run home to their new sisterhood.
These women read the bids in the Gaines Theater and for Megan Hafer, Vice President of Recruitment for CNU Panhellenic, this was her favorite part of the weekend.
“The most rewarding part was standing up in the Gaines Theater and watching all the potential new members open their bids and find their homes.”
Finally, sisters run home. Gathering in the Auxiliary Gym bid day becomes not only a celebration and welcoming of women into a new sisterhood, but also a celebration of that sisterhood. Decked out in costumes and signs and bright tutus, bid day puts sororities in the spotlight and lets others not involved in Greek Life to learn a little more about what it means to be in a sorority.
After a jam-packed week this day is an emotional and cathartic experience.
“I’ve finally found my home at CNU with an amazing group of girls I’m so excited to call my sisters,” Ginny Hunter said on her experience of running home to Delta Gamma this past weekend.
But for many this process of becoming a new sister, although exciting is also nerve-wracking one.
“The whole weekend is kind of hard because you feel like you have to impress everyone you talk to, so to be finally able to run into the arms of women that you know will accept you no matter what is truly incredible,” new sister of Alpha Sigma Alpha Alex Chalkley said.
This mix of nerves and excitement is one found in current sisters as well. Brittany Sharabi of Delta Gamma admitted that recruitment was “nerve-wracking because I went through informal, so I get to see it for the first time from the sister side.”
Due to this, Panhellenic asks sisters to volunteer to become recruitment counselors. These sisters are asked to help facilitate conversation on values and where each new member thinks their values line up with chapters.
They also provide a skeleton for the week and answer any questions new members have about the process.
These sisters are also asked not to participate in chapter events from November until Bid Day so they can avoid skewing the recruitment process.
In some of the most touching moments of Bid Day these sisters once integrated into chapter are welcomed back and asked to run home.
This is one of the ways Bid Day is more than just about new members. Another way, is through the planning process. Sharabi shared that as a new member from informal recruitment this fall this bonding experience was something she was really excited about.
Planning for Bid Day takes a little over a year, and is facilitated both internally in each sorority and externally through the Panhellenic board and this process helps brings sororities together. This planning also requires a lot of balance, as Hafer put it, as CNU is unique in that recruitment is condensed into one weekend.
This makes recruitment at CNU an especially busy time, which differs from other Universities that take more time to meet with new sisters. They even differ from the fraternities on campus which take a full week to meet new brothers.
For Hafer this process works well at CNU due to the small nature of our school.
“CNU packs everything into one weekend. It is such a short amount of time to get to know people. It is so special at CNU because we build such a friendly environment around campus. This environment translates into recruitment by making it easier to talk to women that you have seen around campus and have classes with,” said Hafer.
Mary-Kate Long, a sister of Alpha Delta Pi, discussed this part of recruitment as well.
“I really like recruitment because you have so little time with these new sisters and when they run home they feel almost like strangers, but you know that in such a short time, they are going to become really great friends.”
This is something that Chalkley felt too. “When I ran home to Alpha Sigma Alpha they all immediately took me into their arms and they told me how happy they were to have me in their family.”
As far as changes for next year, Hafer just wants to see more women go through the process.
“I would love for more girls to find a place at CNU where they know they are loved and supported.“