By Logan Foust | Contributor
Running home. This year at Baylor, the potential new members, PNMs, in the 2021 member class going through the rush process will not get to experience that. Finding the right sorority for you is like finding a second home, and with COVID and social distancing rules, finding that home has become far more difficult.
Normally the rush process starts in the beginning of the fall semester and ends after bid day, which is around the second week of January. However, everything regarding the rush process has changed since it was announced that the 2021 rush week has been moved fully online.
Greek life at Baylor is regulated by the Panhellenic council. However, Baylor has put restrictions on student activities this semester, which includes most sorority events.
I understand these events have been put on pause for the safety of students, faculty and staff. However, the rush and sorority experience has been completely altered as a result of the limited in-person meetings and events.
Throughout the fall semester, sororities hold an event called Panhellenic Preview, so the PNMs who are rushing are able to visit and get to know all the sororities they are interested in.
Panhellenic Previews was an essential part of the rush process for me last year since they were the main outlet in which I met active members. Attending these Panhellenic Previews allowed me to meet so many amazing people and ultimately helped me figure out what sorority I thought I’d best fit into.
PNMs this year sadly do not get the same experience since Panhellenic Previews are online. Because they are losing the aspect of getting to talk to active members one-on-one I feel as if they are going to feel less known and pursued.
This same idea applies to how I think rush week is going to go. Since the PNMs are not getting the experience of walking into each sorority room and having different conversations with active members every day.
My fear is that once events can start being held in person again, the new members in the sorority will not feel as welcomed or loved as they were expecting.
I remember last year, my sorority had many new member events shortly after we got our bids. Not only did this help me meet all the other new members in my sorority, but it also made me feel accepted and loved by my sorority and the actives.
A way in which we could fix all of this would be allowing small gatherings to occur on or after bid day in January.
In these gatherings, everyone would wear masks and social distance to adhere to the CDC guidelines.
Allowing small groups of people in the same sorority to hang out would help them to get to know one another faster and create bonds that wouldn’t be possible to make over Zoom. Also, it would give actives the opportunity to have one-on-one time in person with the new members to welcome them into the sorority.
I recognize Greek life is not something that everyone is a part of in college, and that is perfectly OK. However, to some people they feel as if being in a sorority is part of their family legacy and is what makes the college experience.
Personally, I have found some of my best friends and have made some of my favorite college memories through my sorority.
Overall, you would not have to risk your health if Baylor and its sororities remain safe and conscious on how they are hosting events and meetings. Events would not have to be brought back all at once, but rather slowly over time.
Baylor has already allowed sporting events like football and volleyball games to occur, which holds far more people than there would be at any single sorority event. So why not allow sororities to gather if done safely?