By Kristin Burns
A fresh set of classes and professors aren’t the only things that occupy the minds of sorority women at the beginning of the fall semester, sorority chapters across campus are steadily working toward formal recruitment in January.
The Panhellenic Council holds a “deferred” recruitment, meaning that freshman have a full semester to research organizations before formal recruitment. Deferred recruitment at Baylor is different, as most colleges host formal recruitment in the fall.
Tam Dunn, associate director of student activities for Greek life, expressed the importance of establishing academics before becoming involved in a lot of organizations.
“You are here for an education first,” Dunn said. “You want to get grounded academically before you jump into a lot of commitment.”
Baylor encourages freshmen to meet many groups of people and prepare academically for the coming year, Dunn said.
Throughout the fall semester, sororities look for potential new members (PNMs) who show interest in rushing.
Harligen junior Ashlee Winters, vice president of Recruitment for the Panhellenic Council, said she encourages PNMs to meet numerous sorority women throughout the fall semester.
“The biggest thing is to keep an open mind and to meet as many girls as possible,” Winters said. “Put yourself out there, and see who you can meet.”
The Panhellenic Council offers college women the opportunity to get to know the eight sorority chapters on campus. These are Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi and Zeta Tau Alpha.
One way to meet the active members of the sororities is through weekly “SUB dinners.” Each chapter hosts a “meet and greet” in the Bill Daniel Student Center for one hour during the week. PNMs are invited to come and meet the women of a particular chapter.
“It’s another opportunity for the women to feel comfortable in coming in and approaching the active members,” Dunn said.
SUB dinners are informal and anyone is invited. PNMs are encouraged to ask questions about the sorority’s philanthropy and sisterhood.
“It’s extremely important to get to know them and get to know who they are,” Winters said. “You get to know women by their names.”
PNMS are able to begin relationships with the sorority women through a number of outlets.
“SUB dinners are not the only time or only place you can get to know the women,” Dunn said. “You’re going to meet them in class, you’re going to meet them in the cafeterias, you’re going to meet them through friends and church.”
More opportunities this semester for PNMs are the two “Meet and Greet” events in the Stacey Riddle Forum on Oct. 9 and Nov. 13. These are not mandatory, but give PNMs the option to tour the Panhellenic building.
“This is just an opportunity for them to walk through the chapter suites and kind of get to know the Stacey Riddle Forum,” Winters said.
Throughout the fall semester, PNMs are able to meet Gamma Chi’s, or recruitment counselors, to receive feedback about the Rush experience.
Orange junior Chelsey Art, the Recruitment Counselor Coordinator for the Panhellenic Council, describes the term, “Gamma Chi.”
“A Gamma Chi is a sorority woman who has chosen to temporarily disaffiliate in order to help the girls going through recruitment,” Art said.
Ten members from each sorority on campus choose to disaffiliate from their sororities and become Gamma Chi’s during the fall semester in order to give PNMs guidance throughout the recruitment process. Gamma Chi’s do not broadcast which chapter they belong to and do not participate in their chapter’s recruitment events.
“Gamma Chi’s are important to the recruitment process, because when the girls are going through recruitment, it’s just very nice to have people there who they know they can talk to about their feelings and their thoughts,” she said.
PNMs can meet Gamma Chi’s at SUB dinners at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesdays, the “Meet and Greet” events, and formal recruitment in January.
“It creates a safe environment for the girls going through recruitment,” Art said, as the Gamma Chi’s hold complete confidentiality and an unbiased opinion.
In order to participate in recruitment, a PNM must have at least a 2.75 GPA and have completed 12 credit hours earned at Baylor. The Panhellenic Council encourages PNM participation in the recruitment events offered this semester.
“It’s a fun process. Enjoy it,” Ashlee Winters said. “Take the opportunities that we give to you. Take advantage of it.”