Ever since the first sorority at Otterbein was founded in 1910, they have been a popular way for young women to get involved on campus.
The 2020-21 school year might mark a significant change for Greek Life on Otterbein’s campus, for better and for worse.
Although overcoming the difficult challenges of recruitment being online, virtual recruitment has proved to work better than the traditional style for some.
“The challenges this year due to COVID-19 were overhauling the whole plan for recruitment because everything had to be virtual,” said Olivia Smith, the recruitment chair for Epsilon Kappa Tau. “Honestly, it worked out better for us this way because we could focus on actively starting conversations in small groups instead of awkwardly walking around a room of dozens of other people.”
Smith prefers being able to jump straight into meaningful conversations over small talk, and online recruitment was a way for her to do so.
“Since this is the first formal recruitment we’ve had in the spring in a while, and it’s been entirely online, we’re going to need to have a lot of discussion about what worked, what didn’t, and how we can compromise with each sorority’s desires,” said Smith.
Although Smith is a fan of online recruitment, not everyone feels the same.
“The house visits and parties are nice because it’s easier for our activities and PNM’s to interact one on one and choose who they wish to talk to,” said Lauren Absten, a second year in Theta Nu.
Although the online version may make it easier for the women to engage in more conversations with more substance than the in-person version, Absten prefers in-person recruitment because it allows the recruits to naturally gravitate towards specific people, which may help them make more permanent friendships.
“Luckily, since we are in the age of online learning, everyone was very understanding when
there were hiccups in setting things up or quality of connection,” said Absten.
Internet connectivity issues were never as big of a problem in the past as they are now. In the age of the pandemic, access to stable WiFi is as essential as paper and pens.
Students who commute may not have the most stable WiFi, which becomes a problem when they have to attend synchronous meetings for activities such as joining sororities.
Although Smith and Absten’s opinions are not the same, one thing they both said is that each sorority needs to have a conversation about what they liked and didn’t like about online recruitment, and that in the future, in a non-COVID world, recruitment will look more stable and organized.