Recruitment to hold virtual open house

Open house will be virtual again this spring to ensure the safety of active members and potential new members during recruitment. Grace Fortier | Photographer

By Lexi Masarweh | Staff Writer

Virtual open house is returning for Panhellenic spring recruitment. The sessions will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Jan. 10 over Zoom.

“Open house is virtual this year because we want to make sure all PNMs [potential new members] and actives get a negative COVID-19 test result before participating in recruitment,” said Demi York, Aurora, Colo., junior and recruitment director of Kappa Alpha Theta.

York said that only unvaccinated individuals will be tested and that she thinks virtual open house is best for everyone’s safety. However, she also said virtual open house might be tough on some PNMs.

“It’s hard to understand how the process works, especially with open house being virtual and only 15 minutes long per party, but it’ll give them a good idea as to how the rest of the week will go and build up anticipation and excitement,” York said.

Alex Francis, Houston senior and vice president of membership and recruitment of Zeta Tau Alpha, said everyone is arriving on Jan. 8 and unvaccinated individuals will be tested on Jan. 9.

“Not only for open house day do we have the most PNMs coming into the building … but also it gives us enough time to get those test results back to make sure no one has COVID-19 from traveling from home,” Francis said.

Francis said that is why open house is over Zoom while the rest of recruitment is not. She also said she sees the pros and cons of virtual open house.

“I definitely think that this is the best option over the other ones that we were throwing around,” Francis said. “One of the reasons behind this is because at Baylor — since we deferred rush — Panhellenic was kind of thinking that like this whole first semester is kind of like open house day because the PNMs get to go to Welcome Back Bash and Howdy and Kappa Karnival. We have a lot of opportunities for them to meet girls in every sorority.”

Francis said open house is critical for state schools because their rush is during the first week, so their students do not get many opportunities to meet members of different Greek organizations like Baylor’s students do.

“For us, as long as we give them a video — like a short little clip with the basic facts about our chapter like dues and our GPA — I think that is sufficient for open house day because most of them already know us at that point,” Francis said.

Francis said virtual open house is standard for sororities across the board.

“Panhellenic shoots a video for us, so it’ll include details about our chapter,” Francis said. “It’s the standard basic things that were covered in the video at last year’s recruitment … The recruitment chair and president talk, and then we will be doing pledge songs this year — which is really exciting but pre-recorded of course — and then we’ll probably just answer some frequently asked questions from PNMs.”

Francis said the rest of recruitment being in person will make up for open house being virtual.

PNMs may refer to the Baylor University Panhellenic PNM Guidebook for more information regarding recruitment.